Athlon 64 3200+ problem - Page 2

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Re: Athlon 64 3200+ problem wrote:

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If you want weird, I can do weird :-)

This is my motherboard, the Asrock 4CoreDual-SATA2. It is a
"transition" board, in the sense that it is equipped with a
variety of legacy stuff. I use an AGP video card in it, for
example. It can take DDR or DDR2 RAM. It has a limit as to
how much RAM it can handle (2x1GB with stability, 2x2GB without
stability). It can handle FSB800 or FSB1066 Intel processors
(but check the list of tested processors, because they don't
waste a lot of energy at Asrock, keeping the BIOS up to date).
You can't stick an E8400 in it, because that is an FSB1333
processor. The chipset can't go that fast and be stable.
FSB1066 is really the practical limit.

The BIOS is the single worst feature of the board. Basically,
it works fine when everything is "Auto" and runs at nominal
speed. EIST is broken (but can be made to work, by downloading
a hacked BIOS from Germany).

One reason I cannot recommend it, is it is too much of a
"hackers" board. It needs to much "assistance", to make
something good out of it. But if you want familiar legacy
interfaces, it has those.

If has a PCI Express video card slot, but even that has
its peculiarities. The slot is x4 speed (1GB/sec), and
not all video cards start properly in it. The AGP 8X
slot works better.

A motherboard with one of the Intel chipsets, is going
to have a better BIOS, and fewer issues. My board requires
a lot of research, to find answers. If it wasn't for the
guys in Germany, I'd still be having problems. To overclock,
I needed my trusty soldering iron, to add "features" to the
board. (I have a BSEL mod, to overclock, and a Vcore boost,
to help the processor at higher speeds.)

The BIOS is not even capable of programming the clock generator
chip properly. The Asrock staff have had plenty of time to fix
it, but it is still broken. Again, it works fine in "Auto",
so the "Plug and Play" thing works. But any attempt to alter
settings related to clocks, can result in a crash in the BIOS.
At least the board recovers well from crashes - you press the
reset button, three times in a row, and it'll reset the BIOS

So I gently steer people away from the board.

It has two IDE connectors. And two fully working SATA connectors.
So can take a total of six drives. Two IDE drives are my
current "base" system, with a SATA plugged in occasionally
for backups or test installs.

There are IDE to SATA adapters you can get, but that
is not necessarily the cheapest way to solve it. You
could get an add-in card, with whatever ports you want
on it, and that could be cheaper. Neither solution
comes with iron-clad guarantees.


Re: Re: Athlon 64 3200+ problem

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Duly steered.

What do you think about the Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-UD2H motherboard?
Maybe paired with a Phenom 9650 2.3 and 2GB DDR2 (1066)?
Newegg prices this out at 89.99+119,99+54.99 resp.


Re: Athlon 64 3200+ problem wrote:

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I don't want to spoil your fun. I wish I understood what you
were trying to do. What your objectives were.

Did you keep any of the components from your last build (9950), or
did you return them ?

Are you trying to build a "cheap and performing system",
mainly for single threaded applications ? Are you trying
to build a box for video editing, where the editor can
use multiple cores during rendering ?

Some programs, would get most of their benefit, from
a single core running as fast as possible. Fewer programs,
are multithreaded, and a multicore chip can blow away
the single core in that case. Many benchmarks you might
find in the Tomshardware charts, are going to emphasize the
multithreaded test case.

I can illustrate with my own choice. I bought a 2.6Ghz Core2
Duo. It isn't the fastest chip (because if you buy faster
off the shelf, you pay too much for it). You can overclock
chips, depending on how far an individual chip can be pushed.
So I could buy a 2.6GHz processor, and overclock to 3GHz.
I might pay $80 for the 2.6GHz processor, and through overclocking,
end up with the same performance as the $160 product.

The last application I used, that actually used the two cores flat
out, was Windows Movie Maker. A lot of the other stuff I do
(web browsing and the like), doesn't need four cores. It
would be "1.x" cores, with perhaps some benefit from a
second core. I can tell you though, while waiting for Windows
Movie Maker to finish outputting my sample movie, I'd pay
for a quad core to speed that up. I'm not seriously interested
in video, so no quad for me :-)

If you know that the majority of your software is multithreaded,
or if you know you'll have a particular application running
in the background all the time (i.e. using a core all to itself
in effect), then more cores would help. Based on your own software
mix, you can choose a lower speed quad, compared to a higher speed

I checked the Newegg reviews, in the entry for the 9650 2.3GHz, and one
of the reviewers suggested this instead.

AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache
6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor $103

It is a four core processor, where two of the cores have tested good.
Depending on the motherboard and BIOS features, you can unlock
the other two cores. To me, even if the four cores did not all
work flawlessly, there is still the advantage of a dual running
at 3.1GHz or higher (as overclocking allows). So that is a product
you could play with, and get a little more out of it.

The 550 is in the list here, supported by BIOS F3.

On the memory front, the AMD processors are limited to two slots
when pushing memory at the highest speeds. So if I was shopping
for memory, I'd be aiming for a two stick configuration as my final


Re: Re: Athlon 64 3200+ problem

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You have a good memory.  I told you I have two machines, or at least I
did have before this blowup.  The remaining machine indeed is the
9950.  It has a Phenom X4 9950 (CB-AMP995) CPU on a ASUS M3A78CM
motherboard with 4GB PC6499 DDR2.  As I said earlier in this thread, I
have not been happy with this configuration.

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Oh I planned to use two 1GB sticks this time.



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