PDA

View Full Version : My Athalon's current state (still MIA)



Jim
10-14-01, 10:11 PM
Okay, Terrancelam and Bren should both pay attention here, since I need help (and you still owe me that one from your "generous" day). I'm calling in my IOU. :p

Anyway, to refresh on the specs of the machine, here it is:
300w PSU
Abit KT7A-RAID mobo
1.2 GHZ (266) Athalon w/ SK6
256~512 MB Crucial PC-133 SDRAM
40 GB IBM 7200RPM HD
Creative 12X DVD-ROM
Asus V8200 GeForce 3
SB Live 5.1
floppy, and enough cooling to freeze hell

Okay, now if anyone remembers the story from the summer, it was basically that the computer was just UNSTABLE. It would crash, hang, reboot, freeze, and just basically piss me off. Things like Max Payne and 3D Mark 2k1 would NOT run, with Payne freezing at the exact same time into the first menu.

So fast forward to today, when I finally got a cable to use for my HD (was without one for a while). I rip a few things out of the computer, mainly the SB Live and one of the 256 meg sticks of ram, and started over (again).

FDisked, formatted, and installed Windows 98SE. Installed the latest 4n1's, as well as the updated USB drivers, display drivers, DirectX, etc. Everything seems relatively stable at this point, although I've done nothing to stress it. For once, I can pop in a DVD, and it'll play without Power DVD crashing, so that's good. But with the SB Live out, I can't tell if the audio works for this or anything else. The BIOS was also flashed somewhere in there, and the RAID controller disabled for the time being (not being used).

Now, when I go to run Max Payne or 3D Mark 2k1, I'm getting the same results. 3D Mark will basically freeze before the first demo, and even a control-alt-delete won't fix it. Max Payne still freezes about 2 seconds into the main menu. So I'm assuming I'm basically at the same point, but that also means I'm still stuck.

I don't know WHAT the problem is anymore, nor do I have any real indication of what it COULD be. At this point, I'm looking for anyone's suggestions on what could possibly be done. We've gone over a lot, from the PSU (more than enough juice, and a decent one), the cooling (more than enough to make this ROOM cold, about 10 fans total + the SK6 & a Delta on the CPU), to the SBLive/VIA problems.

The only things I can think of that would help you help me is some of the SiSoft Sandra tests. I figure I'll benchmark the cpu and all shortly, maybe even try the burn-in wizzard. But I'm really at a roadblock here, as to how to get this up and running without any stupid problems.

So, ANY help would be appreciated, especially since I've had most of these parts practically SITTING here (yes, that INCLUDES the GF3) since late June, and I'd really like to USE what I paid for. :p

Jim
10-14-01, 10:33 PM
I can try that, but I don't believe that could be the problem here (although it can't hurt to test it anyways). Why would a bad stick of ram work fine for most things, but...freeze when running Max Payne or 3D Mark? If anything, that would point towards the video card, and I know for a fact that it works perfectly fine.

Like I said, I'll try it, but I don't think a stick of ram is screwing up on some things, and not others.

HongKongPolice
10-14-01, 11:15 PM
What are the voltage readings from Hardware doctor? If they're jumping around quite a bit, then you've got a dirty PSU

terrancelam
10-14-01, 11:22 PM
I've been hard at work doing school stuff heheh..ahh Yea, alright a few things, Jim I would definately consider a more powerful PSU, I remember having a great deal of problems with my 300Watter on my 1.4ghz t-bird. I personally recommend about a 350W for general stability and ocing issues.

Next, as for the freezing, two things, pull out each stick and test them individually. The mobo is known to be a picky biatch when it comes to ram.

As for the voltage readings, you can get them in Bios, tell us how they look currently with your 300W psu.

BTW the SB Live 5.1 is known to have SERIOUS issues with this board, a few fixes for it, but other then adding 3 to the PCI delay in the bios and getting the latest driver from Creative, not much I can help you with here. I had the choice between that and the PCI 128 and I got hte PCI 128.

BTW are you using a NIC?

Hope we can resolve this soon.

Jim
10-14-01, 11:38 PM
I've been hard at work doing school stuff heheh..ahh Yea, alright a few things, Jim I would definately consider a more powerful PSU, I remember having a great deal of problems with my 300Watter on my 1.4ghz t-bird. I personally recommend about a 350W for general stability and ocing issues.

I'd probably agree with that under most circumstances, but there's really not that much running off it (fans on or off). Hell, I've got a PII 400 w/ 2 cd drives (one dvd, one cdrw), 2 hd's, a voodoo3, a dvd decoder board, a dv board, a sound card, and a network card; all running off a 200 or 250w PSU, so I don't think that having almost nothing connected can be MORE than what a 300w PSU can handle.


Next, as for the freezing, two things, pull out each stick and test them individually. The mobo is known to be a picky biatch when it comes to ram.

I'll try that later, and maybe I'll even "borrow" some sticks from some friend's computers to make sure. :p

But once again, I don't think its the ram since it seems to benchmark out fine.


As for the voltage readings, you can get them in Bios, tell us how they look currently with your 300W psu.

***I'll edit this post with the voltage readings shortly.***



BTW the SB Live 5.1 is known to have SERIOUS issues with this board, a few fixes for it, but other then adding 3 to the PCI delay in the bios and getting the latest driver from Creative, not much I can help you with here. I had the choice between that and the PCI 128 and I got hte PCI 128.

That's why I'm doing this WITHOUT the 5.1 for now. :p



BTW are you using a NIC?

Not yet, but eventually I'll throw one in.



Hope we can resolve this soon.

Me too. :p

Jim
10-14-01, 11:46 PM
Originally posted by TigerUpperCut
What are the voltage readings from Hardware doctor? If they're jumping around quite a bit, then you've got a dirty PSU

Hardware doctor? :confused:

terrancelam
10-15-01, 12:04 AM
Let's just say that the T-bird is not like a P4, this thing is like a hoover! It's just sucks up that power, trust me on this one. Even ask Brent on this one, but it's up to you, if you don't want to get a new PSU, but try and "borrow" one that is higher wattage.

As for the ram, I had the exact same problem where things would freeze up like you, except my problems extended over to I.E and all of my Office 2000 stuff as well. Got ride of the piece of crap ram and got a new powersupply and things have been running smooth since, but we'll get to that part later hehe.

Last post for the night for me, it's already 1 am here in Toronto, got school at 8:30am, see you sometime in the afternoon.

HongKongPolice
10-15-01, 06:31 AM
Hardware doc is the prog that comes with your mobo for monitoring voltages, fan RPMs, and temps, itz on your abit CD or on abit's website

Myzhi
10-15-01, 07:18 AM
It's seems to be you got a problem in graphic intensive stuff. It might be not enough power is being give to the Geforce card by your motherboard. Download Powerstripe, set your AGP settings to 1X, and test some graphic intensive stuff again.

newbie69
10-15-01, 10:33 AM
try updating the voltage in the bios for more stability; you can try flashing your bios with a new updated one

terrancelam
10-15-01, 03:04 PM
don't flash your bios at the moment.

newbie69
10-15-01, 05:36 PM
Originally posted by terrancelam
don't flash your bios at the moment.

why not?
________________

try upping the core voltage of your CPU in your bios...i remember the same thing happened to me a while back with my 1.2GHz CPU, it wouldn't run at deault speeds stable, like when i play halflife it would freeze, but then i upped the core voltage a bit, and it was stable as ever, then i bought a new PSU and ran the core voltage back to its normal setting, then it was purely stable...hope this helps

Jim
10-17-01, 06:13 AM
*This has to be split up in order to post all the pictures*

Okay, grabbed a few numbers and stuff.

In the bios, it lists the Core Voltrage as 1.750v and the I/O Voltage as 3.40V. I assume this is normal since its the default that was set for this processor.

NOTE: Any pics, benchmark scores, etc. are with EVERYTHING as "compatible" as possible. That means there has been NO optimization of ANY kind, no tweaks, nothing. So if the scores are a low, that's the reason.

And also, I'm not sure WHAT information is needed, but it can't hurt to have too much. So there's just some of the Sandra and other shots "just in case".


WCPUID
http://chvimages2.homestead.com/files/athalon/stats1.jpg

http://chvimages2.homestead.com/files/athalon/stats2.jpg


There's two shots from the VIA Hardware monitor here. The voltages changed a tiny bit every once in a while, so I decided to post both pictures:

http://chvimages2.homestead.com/files/athalon/stats3.jpg

http://chvimages2.homestead.com/files/athalon/stats4.jpg

Jim
10-17-01, 06:15 AM
Part II

SiSoft Sandra:

http://chvimages2.homestead.com/files/athalon/stats5.jpg

http://chvimages2.homestead.com/files/athalon/stats6.jpg

http://chvimages2.homestead.com/files/athalon/stats7.jpg

http://chvimages2.homestead.com/files/athalon/stats8.jpg

Many of the Sandra results are in this text file, so if there's something specific you're looking for, its probably in here:

Sandra Results (http://chvimages2.homestead.com/files/athalon/System_Report.txt)


The Asus hardware monitor:

http://chvimages2.homestead.com/files/athalon/stats9.jpg
How hot can that really get? Seems a bit cool, and I wonder how far I can OC it without stressing it too much...


3D Mark 2k actually ran completely this time:

http://chvimages2.homestead.com/files/athalon/stats10.jpg

However, once again, 3D Mark 2k1 would NOT run (in fact, it wouldn't even get to the first test before locking up). Max Payne would lock up too, right at the same points I've said before. However, the Q3 demo and the Serious Sam demo both worked without any problems, so I'm kinda puzzled here. I don't think its a DX8-related thing since NONE of the 3d Mark 2k1 demos would run, and because I used the EXACT same DX8 installer and vid card drivers on another computer that ran everything just fine.

Overall, the system seemed a bit more "stable" than it has been before, EXCEPT when it came to the gaming. And considering this is the machine I plan on using for my gaming, I'd like to rectify that. But I'm still kinda clueless as to what the problem actually is, and hopefully someone here can figure it out. ;)

HongKongPolice
10-17-01, 02:53 PM
nono, install the WinBond Hardware Doctor (should be in your mobo CD). It gives realtime voltage readings of everything, and if its flucuation a lot, your PS is giving dirty power. BTW your +12v is kinda low, @ 11.71 in SiSandra and 11.53 in the Via monitor. Thats a difference of .18 which is quite a bit. I have a feeling it is your PS, Hardware doc gives realtime readings so it'll be a much better indicator.

HongKongPolice
10-17-01, 02:55 PM
BTW, your CPU bench is quite low for a 1.2Ghz.... Something is really wrong, unless you had progs running in the background when you did the bench

terrancelam
10-17-01, 03:04 PM
Consider getting a new PSU, it seems your voltages are quite a bit below normal. A 350W should solve that issue and if you want some extreme ocing, a 431Watt should solve any stability problems relating to power.

Nextly, it seems from your WCPUID stuff that you don't have alot of your videocard features enabled. Such as sideband addressing and etc.

Hmm upping the vcore may help you a bit, if you decide to stick with you old PSU.

As to why you shouldn't flash the bios, well the newer bios have tended to cause some conflicts and for some wierd reason, people have experienced some instability with them(Specificly to the Abit KT7A).

So have you tested the ram individually yet? And are you having any problems with surfing the net or your computer freezing on you?

Jim
10-17-01, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by TigerUpperCut
nono, install the WinBond Hardware Doctor (should be in your mobo CD). It gives realtime voltage readings of everything, and if its flucuation a lot, your PS is giving dirty power. BTW your +12v is kinda low, @ 11.71 in SiSandra and 11.53 in the Via monitor. Thats a difference of .18 which is quite a bit. I have a feeling it is your PS, Hardware doc gives realtime readings so it'll be a much better indicator.

Actually, I havn't seen that. The VIA Hardware monitor that was on the cd gave, what I'm assuming, is real-time voltage readings. It fluctuates a bit, but nothing major (like 11.47v~11.53v)

I'll look for that program though (unless you have a link to a copy online).



Originally posted by TigerUpperCut
BTW, your CPU bench is quite low for a 1.2Ghz.... Something is really wrong, unless you had progs running in the background when you did the bench

Like I said, there were NO optimizations of any kind, meaning EVERY setting EVERYWHERE (in windows, the bios, etc) were on the lowest possible setting. And I had quite a few things open at the time, although none were working. When things are completely up and running, I'll take a real benchmark.

terrancelam
10-17-01, 03:36 PM
btw have you tried upping the vcore up a bit to see if that solves your instability issue?

Jim
10-17-01, 03:44 PM
Note: I am determined to get this solved, no matter what happens. This thread will NOT die until I'm done! :D



Originally posted by terrancelam
Consider getting a new PSU, it seems your voltages are quite a bit below normal. A 350W should solve that issue and if you want some extreme ocing, a 431Watt should solve any stability problems relating to power.

:( Its starting to look that way, but that still doesn't explain why it'll lock up for one thing, and not another. And I'm not going to be too jumpy to buy a new power supply (it would likely be a 431w then) unless I am POSITIVE that it is the ONE AND ONLY reason for my problems (and if it is, I'll kick myself for getting "only" 300w (damn, 300w used to be too much :p).




Nextly, it seems from your WCPUID stuff that you don't have alot of your videocard features enabled. Such as sideband addressing and etc.

Once again, nothing was changed from the defaults. So the BIOS probably set the AGP at 2x, and all the other stuff like that. I'm not going for performance until I can get stability.



Hmm upping the vcore may help you a bit, if you decide to stick with you old PSU.

:/ I might end up trying that. What do you suggest I up it to (its set at 1.750v as of now)?




As to why you shouldn't flash the bios, well the newer bios have tended to cause some conflicts and for some wierd reason, people have experienced some instability with them(Specificly to the Abit KT7A).

I already flashed the bios a few weeks before. And althought that could cause problems, its at least been working "better" than it did before I did so.



So have you tested the ram individually yet? And are you having any problems with surfing the net or your computer freezing on you?

A) Not yet, but I'll probably test the ram either tonight, or tomorrow night.

B) There is nothing installed other than what's in the first post. So there's no modem or network card, and its not connected to the internet. I might switch the stuff from this computer to that one just to try it, but as of now, its not online.

Freezing? Depends what I do. Like I said, I can do stuff like Photoshop or play Serious Sam just fine. But open up Max Payne, 3d Mark 2k1 or some other things, and bam, its frozen.

Also, another question. Since I most likely won't be using any SBLive cards in this for the compatibility reasons (does that apply to the Audigy cards as well?), what sound card would you recommend I get for this? I'm looking for something roughly on par with a SB Live or Live 5.1 (so the 128 is kinda out of the question).

terrancelam
10-17-01, 04:11 PM
well personally I would just get a SB-128 for now, because it's in my opinion better then the live! Because of it's compatibility. But other then that, have you done some checking to see if IRQs are conflicting?

As for the vcore, raising it to 1.77V or 1.8V might do, it seems your running quite cool on the cpu side, so it shouldn't a big heat factor.

For the ram problem, I'd have to say that ram does cause problems if it's not up to par. So just test it out in different arrays and individually.

HongKongPolice
10-17-01, 04:53 PM
goto http://www.abit-usa.com/

Under utillities, doesn't matter which you dl, if you got a winbond monitoring chip (Which is what all Abit boards use I think) it'll work.

Via's monitor is CRAP, it doesn't update often enough, Hardware Doc gives ALL voltages, ALL fan RPMs, and ALL temps, its the best.

terrancelam
10-18-01, 06:16 PM
Whats the current status on the situation Big Jim?

Brent
10-18-01, 08:44 PM
i hven't read this whole thread, but heres myhelp

first of all never say your not sure if that will help or not, and never say i doubt that will fix it, cause most likely it WILL, if you are serious about fixing this problem be open to ALL possibilites and try everything

300watt psu you have, not enough, I find things are most stable with at least 350watts, my system loves the 431 enermax i put on her, overclocking is great nice and stable, believe me i've seen numerous problems with the psu not being powerfull enough, borrow someone's real powerfull psu if you have to but at least TRY IT, if you plan to upgrade and add more stuff in the future you will need a new one anyways, time to go get that 450 watter ;) now a days it's not uncommon to have 550 watt.....

check that ram, you may not think its the problem, but who knows, switch out some ram with another computer or a buddy of yours, try it

that's all i got for now

Idiot Savant
10-19-01, 04:59 PM
Dumb question, I know:

What vidcard drivers do you have?

If your problems are in just Max Payne and 3dMark2k1, DirectDraw and GPU issues come to light. These two programs utilize more vidcard features than 3dMark2000 or Quake 3, I'll guess your problem lies in there. Perhaps borrow someones card just to test.

Also, in AGP settings in BIOS test AGP 2x and set the aperture to 64MB.

Oh, and if you havent heard this enough, 300w is nowhere near enough to keep that board happy: Get a 400w just to be safe.