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8KNXP F6 & Corsair XMS Observations


stevem

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I was going to post in the main 8KNXP thread, but that's gotten too large... I thought I'd post some observations of the latest official F6 BIOS for the 8KNXP & Corsair XMS TWINX1024-3200C2 modules. It may be useful to others with a similar setup. The system is a 3.0GHz P4C with 2x512MB Corsair modules running @ 400MHz & DPS2 installed. With F6 the above system is not completely stable @ 400MHz with PAT enabled. The usual story. All RAM timings, CPU & VDD increases have been tried. By disabling PAT the system tests fine... If PAT is enabled and CL 2.5 is selected the board fails to POST, even with relaxed timings (eg 2.5-8-4-4), which is bizarre... PAT can only be enabled with CL set to 2 & POSTs OK at 2-6-3-3 or 2-7-3-3, etc. Everything appears stable, but running memtest86 & Prime95 results in errors. By disabling PAT, an overnight run of memtest86 & Prime95 results in no errors. Needless to say, disabling PAT on an i875 is NOT an option, & neither is running the RAM at 333MHz... Fortunately, I grabbed BIOS F6k from this forum a few weeks ago... With F6k I'm able to run 2-5-3-3 with PAT enabled (& confirmed by Sandra, CPU-Z, AIDA32, etc), with complete stability in memtest86 & Prime95. Performance is ~5000MB/s. The trick seems to be to leave VDD set to nominal. If I increase VDD to +0.1V, memtest86 runs fine, but Prime95 fails. Increasing VDD to +0.2V leads to memtest86 & Prime95 failing... This is counter-intuitive... As long as I keep VDD at nominal, I can set memory to 2-5-3-2 or anything higher (including CL 2.5) without any problems, while having CPC & PAT enabled. I've been using 2-6-3-3 with complete stability (LAN, DV capture/editing, gaming, etc). So it's F6k for me, until a better BIOS for Corsair XMS is developed... BTW, the nominal VDD stability can be explained by the fact that "nominal" in the BIOS != 2.5V. Gigabyte do the over-volting for you...
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Did you flash the BIOS from the Windows utility or the DOS utility that came with the F6 download from Gigabyte? The DOS utility has an option that is checked by default to format or update the boot block. It might be something you want to check out. I'll try booting with my Corsair 4x512mb Corsair TWINX1024-3700 sticks and see what F6 did for them. Last time I had them in the Gigabyte motherboard I was running F6k as well. Just a thought to check.
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jaym, pls keep this board posted w/ your progress using the twinx 3700. I have the same mobo and ram. I'm pretty new to building and tweaking pcs and don't have any idea what timings are best or even where to start as far as experimenting with it.
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The final [not beta] f6 BIOS did not improve my cas timings. Giga recommends installing the ICH5R driver 1st. The windows method did not work nor did the Intel F6 method. Pressing F6 during boot up does nothing. Do you have to have 2 sata drives installed before the BIOS detects the ICH5R? I only have 1 right now.
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heh... sent gigabyte an email last friday asking if there are any know compatibility problems w/ the GA-8knxp and corsair twinx 3700.. Chris Ho sent a reply saying try and use twinx 3200 because 3700 is over the specification. Is that anything like being over qualified? :biggrin:
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In reference to Qs about flashing. I've never been keen on Win32 BIOS flashers with an NT HAL... I usually flash via DOS or QFlash. For the heck of it I did give @BIOS 1.08w a go, with no probs flashing F6k & F6 back & forth. It's relatively safe with two EEPROMS... WRT boot blocks, F6k & F6 are the same. Only ICH5 SATA RAID 1 support was added. I see people unsure about the "Top Performance" option in the BIOS. Enabled = enables PAT. Disabled = the obvious... Confirm it with CPU-Z under the memory tab, etc. I can't remember the revision of my RAM modules. I believe there's a difference between the 3200C2 & 3700 (Winbond BH vs CH RAMs?). I omitted to specifically thank RAM GUY & this forum. Edit: F6 does nothing. F8 enters QFlash BIOS util. Although mentioned countless times, the modifiers are CTRL+F1 at the BIOS screen for advanced features.
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by shiver [/i] [B]heh... sent gigabyte an email last friday asking if there are any know compatibility problems w/ the GA-8knxp and corsair twinx 3700.. Chris Ho sent a reply saying try and use twinx 3200 because 3700 is over the specification. Is that anything like being over qualified? :biggrin: [/B][/QUOTE] I dunno if this would help, but I have a Gigabyte GA-8PENXP and TWINX3200 c2- 1GB. I could use one of them w/o any problem, but in dual channel, thyre screwed. I emailed Gigabyte and they sent me a beta BIOS which killed my motherboard...............
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Hello all, Seems to be a common tale, but... I have recently purchased a GigaByte 8KNXP (Rev 1.0), Pentium 3 Ghz, and a 1 Gig matched pair of Corsair TWINX1024-3200LLPT. I suffer recurrent system instability. Either I get dumped to the Windows desktop, a blue screen, a frozen screen, or a windows protective shutdown complete with memory dump. The generally will occur within 10 - 15 minutes of running any high-end game. More often if the machine was cold. I have already tried the BIOS F6a, F6e, and F6k. I have tried various memory settings. I am currently at BIOS F6k with memory settings of 2-6-3-3 as this thread suggested. Yet, I still remain unstable. Does anyone have any advice? Should I just buy different memory sticks? If so, what can I buy that will definitely work.
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I just want to inform that Corsair TWINX1024-2700LL runs fine on GA-8KNXP. It runs at DDR333 and DDR400. Both speeds passed Memtest. I ran Prime95 all night for each speed and still fine. It could run at DDR434 but I must raised CPU Host Frequency which also raised AGP bus and PCI bus; it reduced memory performance when I ran Sandra memory test. DDR333 Settings: CPU Host Clock Control [Disable] Memory Frequency For [Auto] Configure DRAM Timing [SPD] DDR400 Settings: CPU Host Clock Control [Disable] Memory Frequency For [2.0] Configure DRAM Timing [SPD] Or Configure DRAM Timing [Manual] CL [2.5] RAS Active Time [6T] RAS to CAS [3T] RAS Precharge [3T] ----------------------tested with---------- GA-8KNXP (BIOS F6k) Intel P4 2.4CGHz/800/512k PSU: Antec TruePower 430W OS: WinXP Pro (SP1) Games: UnrealTourn. 2003, Warcraft 3
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On the 8KNXP, when using 'Top Performance', the normal memory voltage settings gives me 2.9V! And no matter what I try to set it to in bios, EasyTune4 and MBM5 both says it's at 2.9V. This can't be good... I'm using bios F6 (final), and TwinX1024LL. Help!
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Good news! I have discovered the source of all my system instability. It was the Dual Power System 2 (DPS2) module. That little riser card with the blue light that is supposed to make your power more stable. Once this little monster was removed, all my instability problems just disappeared. My system had been continually failing on blue screens, lockups, and re-boots. This tended to happen in high-end games after no more than 5 minutes of play. I tried all the new BIOSes (F6a, F6e, F6k). No luck. I tried various memory settings. No luck. I tried re-installing WinXP. No Luck. In fact, I was getting lockups and re-boots during the clean install of WinXP. So, yesterday, I tried new memory (Kingston KHX3500). Still, no luck. Now I was really worried, so I disabled every setting the I could find in the BIOS (Hypethreading, Fast AGP, the works). I also removed every unneccessary expansion card or module including the dreaded DPS2 module. I reinstalled XP, the drivers, and a few games without difficulty. To my surprise, the games ran stable. So, one-by-one, I re-enabled all the BIOS settings. I was now full-speed, dual-channel, hyperthreading without problems. I tried the old memory (Corsair TWINX1024-3200LL). The system was rock solid. I looked that little riser card. I thought well, better give a try. As soon as I power on, before I ever even reached the Win XP desktop, BSOD. So, if your having stability problems, I suggest you get rid of the DPS2 card. You don't need it. -Gary
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:D This is funny, DPS2 should give us more stability, instead of that it gives us more instability. Can you tell me what PSU you got because I'm running Kingston KHX3500 (2x 256MB) without any problem. Probably your DPS2 was defective? My KHX3500 run at DDR400 though because if I pass 400 I will have to raise AGP bus and PCI bus which will reduce performance.
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Alenbie [/i] [B]:D Can you tell me what PSU you got because I'm running Kingston KHX3500 (2x 256MB) without any problem. [/B][/QUOTE] I am currently running with a generic 350 Watt ATX power supply from CompUSA. Previously, I had an expensive heavy-duty 600 watt PSU. I had stability problems back then too. I have been living with the since I built the system. A few weeks ago, that first power supply burned out just as I powered on the system. At the time, I figured it for a fluke, but maybe the two problems were related. -Gary
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by dahlberg [/i] [B]On the 8KNXP, when using 'Top Performance', the normal memory voltage settings gives me 2.9V! And no matter what I try to set it to in bios, EasyTune4 and MBM5 both says it's at 2.9V. This can't be good... I'm using bios F6 (final), and TwinX1024LL. Help! [/B][/QUOTE] Top Performance mode also over-volts the CPU to around 1.6V. F6k is less aggressive with VDD & sets my 3200C2 @ 2.7V. It may explain instability when manually increasing VDD with TP on... I'll take some more DMM readings to confirm the values. Software/ITE monitoring isn't as accurate as I'd like. PSU voltage is under-reported (static or loaded), but CPU voltage is over-reported.
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Dr.2K [/i] [B]stevem, I'm afraid that statement is not 100% true. Top performance does not by itself=PAT.[/B][/QUOTE] You are correct. Disabling "Top Performance" in a small band of frequencies does not disable PAT entirely. It depends on your components & at what level you want PAT to operate. My systems are HTPCs & I've little reason to OC, but I've taken one system & examined it a little closer. I am able to run 2-6-3-3 with top performance enabled up to 210FSB/420DDR. If I disable top performance, PAT remains enabled up to 214FSB (1:1 ratio). However, buffered memory performance (F6k BIOS) is as follows: 400MHz 2-5-3-2 TP PAT ~5080MB/s 400MHz 2-6-3-3 TP PAT ~5000MB/s 400MHz 2-5-3-2 PAT ~4500MB/s 420MHz 2-6-3-3 TP PAT ~4900MB/s (interesting...) 420MHZ 2-6-3-3 PAT ~4600MB/s 440MHz 2.5-6-3-3 ~4800MB/s It appears the BIOS is auto-configuring, depending on FSB, timings, etc. Memory type/brand plays a major part in the optimisation routine. I'd prefer a manual selection of PAT levels, as with Abit. The highest bandwidth is at default clocks with lowest latency for my setup... [QUOTE]The odd thing about this board and I have reported this to gigabyte, is that bios F6 and F6k automatically disables "PAT" whenever you raise the FSB above 10-15% of the default.[/QUOTE] This is standard OC behaviour. If 10% OC is exceeded PAT is auto-disabled. I found F5 to be more stable with OC. [QUOTE][B]I have also used both corsair xms pc3500 2x512 and pc3700 2x256 and both cannot give me CAS 2 stability with 2.5-2.8v at 240FSB 1:1 with my 3.0c on any of my boards. [/B][/QUOTE] Have you tried CL2.5? I have not heard of any board/DDR run CL2 @ 480MHz. IIRC PC3700 (466MHz) is rated @ 3-8-4-4. The idea is that higher clock speed (eg >500Mhz = >6GB/s) outweighs higher latency penalty. I am of the opinion that low latency is not a good strategy with i875 dual channel solutions if OC is your thing...
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Dr.2K [/i] [B]Hi SteveM, well for the life of me after i have tried 2 seperate KNXP boards i CANNOT get "Top Performance" to run with my setup with either 2x256 ocz gold matched set pc3700 1:1 at 2,3,3,7 240FSB or 4x256ocz gold quad matched set 1:1 at 2,3,3,7 230FSB. [/B][/QUOTE] fwiw, i ran across a post in a thread at overclockers.com which was made by pscdoc saying he was running a p4 3.0ghz on the 8knxp using ocz gold pc 3700 with 1:1 2,3,3,6 timings.
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Another interesting aspect of Top Performance setting is the AGP/PCI multiplier is auto-overlcocked to 72/36 regardless of AGP/PCI ratios lock. This may preclude users with high PCI bus use & has possible stability implications for AGPX8 SBA & FW stability... It's just not worth OCing AGP/PCI buses anyway. Unless the SRCCLK is also tied to AGP/PCI (which I don't think), this is a silly optimisation from Gigabyte... P.S. As the originator of this thread, and given the title & content, it clearly is an 8KNXP/Corsair thread regardless of whether it includes a [b]single[/b] post regarding another OEM's DDR. In fact, the info is contained within another on-topic contributor's sig. So thanks for moving it out of the Corsair forum... Care to move it back?
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