WinFast K7nCR18D PROII capabilities?

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So my machine is now 3 years old and I'd like to bump up the performance
a little.  I currently have an Athlon xp 2400 and 512 mb of PC3200 ram.
  The Mobo is a LeadTek WinFast K7nCR18D PROII. I have not been digging
in Computers for a while (other than to replace a video card in the
system) so I'm a little behind in whats going on.

My questions to the mavens are:

What is the most useful/practical higher speed CPU I can use with this
board?   (In other words if $100 gets me 2% more speed it is not practical.)

The manual lists 3 dimm sockets for memoty, and only mentions that the
memory be compatible with the BIOS FSB setting.(400)  I currently have
512mb PC3200.  I understand that if I add additional RAM it should be
PC3200.  However, do the other two have to be 512mb? Can I have other
sizes?  Mix and match if you will?  Below is the info on the mobo.


􀁹 Ultra ATA 66/100/133 IDE cable x
1; FDD cable x 1; this user’s
manual; USB module and cable
(optional); and TV-out add-on
card (optional)
Motherboard & SCSI Software Pack CD:
􀁹 Chipset driver; display driver; USB 2.0
driver; AWARD flash utility; user’s
manual; and technical support request
1.2. Specifications
CPU Support
♦ AMD Athlon/Athlon XP/Duron
processors at 3200+ MHz with Socket
A support
Platform Processories
♦ NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400/nForce2
400+ nForce2 MCP(-T) (only
K7NCR18D series)
NVIDIA nForce2 IGP+ nForce2
MCP(-T) (only K7NCR18G series) –
support Geforce 4 MX equivalent GPU
♦ Dual channel memory architecture
with 128-bit DDR memory controller
(64-bit DDR memory controller-
K7NCR18DL); high-speed buses to
MCP (800 MB/sec maximum); two
ATA; 133 controllers; USB 2.0 (EHCI) ;
1.1 (OHCI) support ; and supports
6-channel AC97 codec
Board Size
♦ ATX form Factor/12" x 9.6" (304.8 mm
x 243.8 mm)
FSB (Front Side Bus)
♦ 200/266/333 MHz FSB support
♦ 400 MHz FSB support only for
K7NCR18D series
♦ Supports three 184-pin DDR DIMMs ;
up to 3 GB;
On Board IDE
♦ The IDE controller on nForce2 MCP;
MCP-T chipset supports IDE;
CD-ROM under Ultra DMA 133;
twin headers for 4 IDE, including
Expansion Slot
♦ Four 32-bit PCI bus slots support
3.3 V/5 V PCI Bus Master
♦ One Accelerated Graphics Port
- In compliant with AGP standards
- AGP 4x/8x support
♦ One ACR slot
♦ 256-bit 2D/3D graphics accelerator
♦ Second generation T&L engine
support with NVIDIA shading
♦ DVI-out add-on card support
(WinFast K7NCR18G series)
On Board LAN (Optional)
♦ 10/100 MB Base-T Ethernet/Fast
On Board IO
♦ 1 FDD connector supporting two
360 K/720 K/1.2 M/1.44 M/2.88
MB FDDs; 1 COM/serial port; 1
parallel port supporting
SPP/EPP/ECP modes; 1 VGA port
(WinFast K7NCR18G series); A
second COM port (WinFast
K7NCR18D series); 2 SATA
devices, support all UDMA and
PIO mode (UDMA is up to 150
MB/sec and support SATA Raid 0
and SATA Raid 1)( WinFast
K7NCR18D-Pro 2/18G-Pro 2
only);6 USB ports (4 built-in and 2
with Front Pin Header); 1 IrDA
connector; 1 CIR connector; and
1394 module (K7NCR18D/G Pro
series )

Re: WinFast K7nCR18D PROII capabilities?

Nicholas wrote:
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<<snip>> /

As long as the BIOS supports it, you can use any processor you want. The
FSB goes to FSB400 on that board, so at the hardware level there is no
limit. But the BIOS may have a say in the matter. Leaktek's site leaves a lot to
desired. I don't see a CPU support list, but maybe I'm blind.

For RAM, there are three slots. Two slots are "close together". One
slot is a loner. The amount of memory in the loner slot, should
match the total memory in the two "close together" slots. If you
currently own a single PC3200 stick of size 512MB, you should
buy a second 512MB stick. Place the sticks in the two blue slots,
for a total of 1GB memory in dual channel mode.

You can use any RAM config you want, in fact. But if you match
the amount of memory, as described in the previous paragraph,
then you enjoy the slight benefit of dual channel memory operation.
(For dual channel, sum total of two paired slots must equal memory
in loner slot.)

The two inline texts below, are a list of CPUs, and the BIOS release
notes from the most modern Leadtek BIOS release. The fastest processor
you can buy is a 3200+. Compared to your 2400+, that would be theoretically
33% faster, based on AMD's P.R. rating. But if you look at the core clock
rate, the fastest processor runs at 2200Mhz and yours runs at 2000MHz.
Depending on what you are doing, it may not look like 33%. A lot of the
advantage of the fastest processor, is operating with a faster FSB improves
performance with memory. Perhaps a program like Photoshop, sees the
most advantage of using the Barton 3200+.

If this was my board, I doubt I'd bother buying another AthlonXP
at this point. Unless it was really cheap. For example, this
processor is more modern, and only costs $87. An extra 512MB
stick, to match your other 512MB stick, plus this processor, would
make the beginnings of a nice S939 board. This one comes with
a heatsink/fan. These will not be available forever, so if you
want one, buy it now.

AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 2.2GHz 1MB L2 S939   $87

******** Processor choices for S462 (list originally from QDI) *******
Family       Core  P.R.   Pkg  CPU Cache Mult  Core  Tmax Power
              Freq              Clk             Volts

XP Model 10  2200 (3200+) OPGA 200 512   11x   1.65V 85oC 60.4W
Barton       2100 (3000+) OPGA 200 512   10.5x 1.65V 85oC 53.7W

XP Model 10  2167 (3000+) OPGA 166 512   13x   1.65V 85oC 58.4W
Barton       2083 (2800+) OPGA 166 512   12.5x 1.65V 85oC 53.7W
              1917 (2600+) OPGA 166 512   11.5x 1.65V 85oC 53.7W
              1833 (2500+) OPGA 166 512   11x   1.65V 85oC 53.7W

XP Model 8   2167 (2700+) OPGA 166 256   13x   1.65V 85oC 62.0W
Thoroughbred 2083 (2600+) OPGA 166 256   12.5x 1.65V 85oC 62.0W

XP Model 8   2133 (2600+) OPGA 133 256   16x   1.65V 85oC 62.0W
Thoroughbred 2000 (2400+) OPGA 133 256   15x   1.65V 85oC 62.0W
CPU ID 0681  1800 (2200+) OPGA 133 256   13.5x 1.60V 85oC 57.0W
              1733 (2100+) OPGA 133 256   13x   1.60V 90oC 56.3W
              1667 (2000+) OPGA 133 256   12.5x 1.60V 90oC 55.7W
              1533 (1800+) OPGA 133 256   11.5x 1.60V 90oC 55.7W
              1467 (1700+) OPGA 133 256   11x   1.60V 90oC 55.7W

XP Model 8   1800 (2200+) OPGA 133 256   13.5x 1.65V 85oC 61.7W
Thoroughbred 1733 (2100+) OPGA 133 256   13x   1.60V 90oC 56.4W
CPU ID 0680  1667 (2000+) OPGA 133 256   12.5x 1.65V 90oC 54.7W
              1667 (2000+) OPGA 133 256   12.5x 1.60V 90oC 54.7W
              1600 (1900+) OPGA 133 256   12x   1.50V 90oC 47.7W
              1533 (1800+) OPGA 133 256   11.5x 1.50V 90oC 46.3W
              1467 (1700+) OPGA 133 256   11x   1.50V 90oC 44.9W

XP Model 6   1733 (2100+) OPGA 133 256   13x   1.75V 90oC 64.3W
Palomino     1667 (2000+) OPGA 133 256   12.5x 1.75V 90oC 62.5W
              1600 (1900+) OPGA 133 256   12x   1.75V 90oC 60.7W
              1533 (1800+) OPGA 133 256   11.5x 1.75V 90oC 59.2W
              1467 (1700+) OPGA 133 256   11x   1.75V 90oC 57.4W
              1400 (1600+) OPGA 133 256   10.5x 1.75V 90oC 56.3W
              1333 (1500+) OPGA 133 256   10x   1.75V 90oC 53.8W

******* Latest BIOS - release history file *******
K7NCR18D PRO2 Mother Board BIOS update history

BIOS VERSION 04/24/2003
1.Support Athlon XP 2600+/2700+ for FSB333(166MHz) & L2 cache 512K

BIOS VERSION 05/30/2003
1.Fixed ROM BIOS of some  PCI card can't be flashed.
2.Fixed IR function work incorrectly in K7NCR18DM.
3.Supports CPU  FSB clock up to 300MHZ.
4.Fix C1-Disconnect fail when APU driver installed.
5.Build-in Awdflash.exe version 8.24B in BIOS.

BIOS VERSION 06/25/2003
1.Added Mobile Barton 1800 + L2 512K (133MHZ) and
   Athlon MP Low Power Model 6 Desktop CPU (L2=256K)
2.Fixed some USB 2.0 device that use Genesys's GL811 USB2.0 controller bug.

BIOS VERSION 07/03/2003
1.Fix resume from S3 then select shutdown that
   will cause system restart but not shutdown.

BIOS VERSION 07/10/2003
1.Fix system resume from S3 will hung up when you use SATA hardisk is using
   Raid0 or Raid1 function.

BIOS VERSION 07/21/2003
1.Fixed under Win98 some device will be disappeared when restart if you are
   using BIOS date code after 6/25/2003 .
2.Fixed some WD Harddisk was manufactured during 4Q of 2001 can't be detected

BIOS VERSION 07/25/2003
1.Add memory patch for Hynix HYMD264 646B8J-D43,HYMD232 646B8J-D43.
2.Fix system resume from S3 will hung up when you use SATA hardisk is using
   Raid0 or Raid1 function.
3.Update Awdflash.exe to version 8.24F.

BIOS VERSION 08/11/2003
1.Add Duron 133 L2 64K CPU Support (CPUID=681)

BIOS VERSION 08/21/2003
1.Add Memory Prefetch item in BIOS setup to fix some RAM module compatiblity .
   Note: If you have some memory issue

BIOS VERSION 10/01/2003
1. Supports AGP clock to 120Mhz
2. Update SATA Rom Ver. 4236
3. Fixes Duron 133 L2 64K CPU update Name ERROR.

BIOS VERSION 12/21/2003
1. Fixed AGP card auto-detect fail on C17/IGP some times.
2. Fixed USB fail when s3 resume.
3. Update SATA bios

BIOS VERSION 01/28/2004
1. Fixed changing CPU ratio failed.

BIOS VERSION 04/16/2004
1.Fixed PCI modem wake fail.
2.Update SATA ROM.
3.Fixed ACPI LED always bright.
4.Fixed S1 resume fail.
5.Fixed USB Mouse can't active under DOS mode.

BIOS VERSION 07/30/2004
1.Supports Sempron CPU.
2.Update awdflash.

BIOS VERSION 08/13/2004
1.Fixed can't enter windowsXP when plug SATA HDD.



Re: WinFast K7nCR18D PROII capabilities?

Paul wrote:
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This forum is another place to look for info.


Re: WinFast K7nCR18D PROII capabilities?

Thanks for the reply. I'm a little mixed up though. Are you saying that
the Athalon 64 3700+ will work with my mother board? Also, most of my
work is with Photoshop, Autocad and other such programs.  I have noticed
that the as my work files get bigger I can see the slow down. This is
why I am contemplating an upgrade. I am not ready to buy a new machine
quite yet.

Other info: the memory is a single stick of 512 and the hardrive is SATA.

thanks again for the info.

Paul wrote:
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Re: WinFast K7nCR18D PROII capabilities?

Nicholas wrote:
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The point is, upgrading your current system, may not give you much of an
improvement. Your options are:

1)  Buy a Barton AthlonXP plus a 512MB stick of DDR memory.

2)  Buy a S939 processor, a cheap S939 motherboard with AGP slot,
     plus a 512MB stick of memory.

For about $50 to $100 more for the S939 system, you end up with the
3700+ processor. And the processor will be overclockable to a greater
extent, than the Nforce2 system would allow. I have an Nforce2, and
there isn't a lot of headroom available at the FSB400/DDR400 level.

Example of cheap S939 AGP motherboard:

If you want to go at this upgrade a bit slower, just buy the 512MB stick
of RAM first. As a Photoshop user, that is likely to give you the most
gain. Swapping to disk makes Photoshop dog slow. You know what size images
you are working with, and whether you are in scratch disk country or not.
(Just what your IDE disk LED, after doing an operation in Photoshop.)
For Macintosh computers, I believe the rule of thumb, was available memory
should be 5x the size of the image. If your OS used 150MB of the 512MB,
that would leave about 362MB of memory. Dividing by 5 means you could
handle a 72MB image or so, if the undo option was set to a minimum.
(More undos means more copies of the image stored temporarily, somewhere.
And more trips to the scratch disk.)

Another option, for a memory upgrade, would be to go to 2x1GB, and
retire the 512MB stick. Buying a kit of two in a package, is the
best way to do that, and get a matched pair for dual channel. A
dual channel config of DDR memory, would help with either your
current S462 motherboard, or with S939.

If the memory upgrade doesn't feel like enough improvement, then you
can reconsider whether staying with S462 socket, or moving to S939,
is the right answer. But don't wait too long, as the number of motherboards
that can take your AGP video card may not be around for much longer.
And the cheap S939 processors won't be around for very long either.
(The 4000+ would have been what I would have recommended, but it
is gone already. Leaving the 3700+ as the next best S939 option
for a reasonable price.)

The S939 upgrade is a dead end, in terms of the future. I only offer
it, to extend the performance range of your upgrade options. For
example, if you were a rabid gamer, then I'd suggest moving to
an even more modern system, as gaming with a dead end system is
a bad investment (nickel and dime upgrades don't help in the long
run). If you are a professional Photoshop user, then
you shouldn't even be trying to upgrade your current system, and
should buy something newer, with much more processing power.
For a pro, time is money. A Core2 Duo would be the right class
of machine, for a Photoshop pro.


Re: WinFast K7nCR18D PROII capabilities?

Thank you Paul for the clear and concise information.  I now see where
you were going.  It has been a while since I really built a system (6
years).  If I remember correctly, a change of mobo would require mobo
driver changes as well and assorted other configuration work.  If I
could just slot in the current hard drives and go I would consider it.
At present, a clean HD and reloading all the software is not something
I'd like to undertake.

I will be in the market for a new machine later next year. I am not sure
where 64bit systems have reached or whether the Windows XP/Vista 64 bit
OS's have reached the point where they make a usable difference for me.
At present my main software is 32bit. CorelDRAW X3, AutoCad, and
Sketchup.  Again, I'll need to research the compatibilities of
OS's/hardware/software for what I want to do. I do have preference for

I have also been paying a little attention to the Apple systems capable
of running Windows, purely because a majority of people in my field use
Apple machines.  That in itself would never a be a deciding factor, but
if I came across Apple only program that I had to have then...

What is the "cutting edge" AMD platform that I might look at, that will
still around next year? i.e. Socket what?

Paul wrote:
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Re: WinFast K7nCR18D PROII capabilities?

Nicholas wrote:
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Socket AM2 will still be around next year. AM2 uses DDR2 RAM, and the
degree of improvement from the RAM perspective, may depend on what
speed and CAS value you buy. DDR2 is still a bit on the expensive side,
and the price will settle down next year.

In terms of the near future, this article has some hints as to what
AMD may want to change in terms of that socket. The AM2+ split plane
concept, allows running the two cores in a dual core processor, at
different voltages. That is to allow a power saving over current
day operation. It is a small refinement that doesn't impact performance.
I expect in terms of clock rate, things will be more or less the
same next year, as they are now for Athlon64 X2. (In other words,
faster processors will come out, but you won't be able to afford

In terms of changing motherboards in your existing machine, you can
do a "repair install". That preserves your settings and your
existing third party software installs. My recommended upgrade
procedure, is to buy a new hard drive, make an exact copy of your
current disk (I do that with an old copy of Partition Magic, but
maybe the disk manufacturer has software to do something
like that too.) Once you have the exact copy disk in hand, you are
prepared if something goes wrong. You can uninstall your current
video card drivers, just before shutting down and starting
"surgery" inside the computer case. Then, reinstall the video card
drivers after the new motherboard chipset drivers have been installed.

Instead of doing a repair install (which requires putting back service
packs and all those Microsoft patches), you can create a new hardware
profile (I've used that in Win2K), or you could delete the whole hardware
enum in the registry (another method to get rid of the old drivers).
Techniques like that are more difficult to get right in one attempt.
Which is why you have the exact disk image, in case you need to back out
and try again. For example, in retrospect, on my last motherboard
upgrade, I should have removed my old sound card software before
I changed the hardware. I now have a mixer panel running, for
a sound card that doesn't exist :-) While a repair install
takes care of most of the details, using your brain and thinking
about what is changed between the old system and new, is a
good thing to spend 5 minutes thinking about. Expect the software
side of things, to cost you a couple of evenings, and perhaps
an extra grey hair or two.

In terms of logistics, it may be easier to remove all the components
from the computer, and set them up on a table. Don't put the components
back into the computer case, until the repair install has been sorted
out with the new motherboard. It is a lot easier to work on a table
top, with everything easy to reach, and unplug etc., than to be doing
all the work while everything is inside the computer case. I put a
thick telephone book with cardboard cover, underneath the motherboard,
to provide support. The only dangerous part of doing stuff like that,
is the risk of pulling the video card out of the slot. Don't allow
any small children around the table, while you are working on
the system. My last two upgrades, were completely booted and tested,
while sitting on the table in pieces.


Re: WinFast K7nCR18D PROII capabilities?

Gracias, I'll  keep this info handy for the near future.

Paul wrote:
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Re: WinFast K7nCR18D PROII capabilities?

On Mon, 27 Nov 2006 09:14:18 -0500, Nicholas

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There is no practical upgrade from an XP2400 at this point.
Back when the processor was first bought, it might've
arguably (at the time) been cost effective to get an XP3200
or Barton core (if yours is not) but it might not have been
if these CPUs were at a cost premium still.

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You can mix and match but should get memory rated at least
as well as your present module.  You don't mention the jobs
you run (which need more performance) so it's a bit hard to
suggest what amount of memory might be ideal but I'm
inclined to think if you'd gotten along with 512MB till now,
it might be best to add 512MB and leave it at that - any
more memory is sinking too much money into an aging
platform, IMO, and might be better spent on switching to a
new platform supporting PCI Express & DDR2 memory.

Your board can use dual channel memory mode if you have two
or more modules installed - they need not be matched pairs
but will only be in dual channel mode/performance up amount
used on smallest populated channel.  If you are using
integrated video then going to dual channel mode is another
slight performance boost (not so much for 2D work and that
video is too slow for modern 3D gaming, but nevertheless a
boost in memory bandwidth will be a few percent improvement
in other things as well) BUT we dont' know if your present
512MB is from 1 module or 2 x 256MB... I might've overlooked
that info in your post, it was a bit jumbled towards the

So I'd consider the optimal config for your system to be 2 x
512MB modules, one in each channel/slot.  Any further
upgrades wouldn't be cost effective and even now before
adding memory you should consider "IF" It's time to replace
more (CPU, board, memory, PCI Express video, and "maybe"
hard drive).

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