graphics upgrade

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Currently running an ageing PCIe NVidia 7600GS. MB is an Asrock 4CoreDual
which has AGP and PCIe graphics slot. intel Code 2 e6400 CPU + 2GB RAM
(WinXP so no point in more!)

I bought a card from ebay an ATI Radeon 4650. Got it for much cheapness, so
wasn't too bothered that it was basic. Clean removed the drviers and put in
the ATI card and installed drivers and saw nasty visual artifacts in all
games. Looked like the memory on the GFX card was shot - textures from the
game would stretch right across the screen and trackmania was unplayable -
good framerates, but it was like decending into a fog of textures
sometimes - shapes allover the place. Sent that card back and got refund. I
then bought a new 4670 instead. It displayed the same artifacts and
problems. I sent it back and the tech support guys confirmed that there was
a fault on the card, so I got a refund.

I now have my eye on an ATI 4770, but not sure whether to bother or not. I
would like a hassle free upgrade!

What is everone's opinion:
Have I been unlucky and had 2 faulty cards?
Is my motherboard suspect?

I upgraded my old 300W Nexus power supply to a 600W noname, but it made no
difference. I think the old PSU probably has enough juice anyway, so don't
think its that. I personally suspect the MB, but nothing else is playing up.

Re: graphics upgrade

GT wrote:
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I have the 4CoreDual-SATA2 Rev 2.

Did you play with the two potential BIOS settings ?

       "deaktivierten PCIe Downstream Pipeline"

      "PCIE downstream Pipeline" and "PCIE VC1 Request Queue"

The VC1 setting might be something you'd see in a hacked BIOS.
My manual doesn't mention it (and I don't want to drop to the
BIOS right now). That setting may have something to do with
PCI Express packets and priority settings for them (some packets
can race ahead of others).

There are hacked BIOS available on that site as well. I'm using
the 2.13a BIOS, and it adds a working EIST (SpeedStep) function,
as well as supporting 2x2GB DDR2. The problem with the RAM though,
is the settings aren't stable. I had to back off, and go back to
my 2x1GB DDR2 kit, to get stability. Still, it is a better
BIOS than what Asrock provided at the time. I see the author of
the hacks, is still releasing new ones. I'm content to leave
well enough alone now, as it is too much work to fool around
with the board (I've torn my system apart three times, while
modding it, so I'm sick of the screwdriver work and soldering...).

On my board, which is a revision 2 board, the clock generator was
changed during the factory build, and the original Asrock BIOS
apparently is not capable of programming it correctly. This is
one reason why BIOS based overclocks fail - the clock generator
isn't actually fully programmed for your manual settings. If the board
is "left alone", and the BSEL pins on the processor select the
frequency via pins on the clockgen, then the board works. So I
was able to hit 3.45GHz, by doing a BSEL mod, and telling the
computer the FSB was higher that way. I had to do a volt mod
as well, to Vcore, to get there. Still isn't stable so I'm back
to stock.

So if you've been adjusting any clocks in the BIOS, there is a
remote possibility that may upset your board as well.

It is a pretty strange board, in terms of the BIOS bugs that
are allowed to exist in it. The guy hacking the BIOS has made
some good progress, but really the staff at Asrock should
give a damn, and fix some of this stuff themselves. I have
a suspicion that the broken EIST, is something to do with
Intel... Asrock may have broken EIST on purpose for some
reason. It is just too strange a thing to "break" on its own,
which is why I had to make up a conspiracy theory to match.

Executive summary -

    4CoreDual-SATA2 Rev 2. AGP OK, PCI Express YMMV.
    (I'm using AGP.)


Re: graphics upgrade

GT wrote:

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what was wrong with the 7600 GS if nothing wrong with it do you want to sell

Re: graphics upgrade

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Nothing wrong with it at all - great card, just not fast enough for me and
STALKER. I will either stick it in my Living Room PC as it is totally
passive, or just sell it. Its the MSI version, so a decent quality board. I
have the original box etc (somewhere)

Re: graphics upgrade

GT wrote:

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if you sell it let me know my email address is thats
if you live in england

Re: graphics upgrade

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Been away with work. Will keep you in mind when I finally get around to
doing something about this upgrade!

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