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370DL3: Power supply too small?

(Pete Cresswell)
Posts: n/a
      01-10-2004, 01:44 AM
Dual processor board.

New Adaptec 4300 FireWire card.

Put the card in, PC won't even begin to boot. Usually there's a little sound
when it starts booting. With that card in there, there's occasionally a little
"Urk!" and a brief flash of the LEDs - but ususually not even that. In no case
does the power supply's fan ever get to spin up.

Pull the board: PC starts up normally.

Put another FireWire board in the same slot: PC starts up normally.

Put the problem board in another slot: same problem.

Took the board back to CompUSA and swapped for another new one - so I don't
think it's a defective board.

Unencumbered by any knowledge of this stuff, the first thing my mind turned to
was the notion that maybe the power supply somehow senses when too much is being
demanded of it and that it's right on the edge...and this card draws
considerably more than most.

Upon reflection (and after consulting somebody who should know...) the power
supply theory is starting to sound shaky.

That leaves motherboard compatability. I've already found that Adaptec's USB2
driver doesn't do dual processors - and they don't bother to state that on the
"PC System Requirements" list on the, thinks I, maybe their 1394 card
is more of the same....

I've always wanted a silent power supply - so this was my excuse - and one with
about 80 watts more capacity should be arriving any day now to put theory #1 to
final rest.

Suggestions anybody?
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George Pontis
Posts: n/a
      01-15-2004, 09:44 PM
In article <4002ac43$0$18892$afc38c87@>, "Citizen Ed" <"Citizen Ed"> says...
> Pete,
> Let's wait and see what happens with the new power supply first, then
> we'll work from there. That would be my first guess.
> As an aside, I'm not sure what you're talking about with the Adaptec USB
> 2.0 drivers. Drivers for peripherals are written for operating systems,
> not for the number of CPUs. There isn't any reason that if a card works
> in XP with a single processor, for example, that it wont work in XP with
> dual CPUs....
> Ed

The driver still has to deal with interrupts, and in MP systems there is ambiguity
on which CPU will handle it. About 2 years ago, there were very few sound card
drivers that worked reliably with dual CPU - including many for chips that the
manufacturer integrated onto a dual CPU motherboard. (Cmedia comes to mind ...)

The scenario described by Pete in which a system won't boot with a certain PCI
card is not that rare. I saw another post recently in which it was related to a
slight difference between PCI 2.1 and 2.2 compatibility, "resolved" by Asus saying
that the motherboard was not perfectly compliant with PCI 2.2.

- Geo.
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George Pontis
Posts: n/a
      01-18-2004, 02:13 AM
In article <4007112d$0$10514$afc38c87@>, "Citizen Ed" <"Citizen Ed"> says...
> What you say about systems not booting is true, but that doesn't really
> have anything to do with drivers. Show me a single vendor that offers a
> different driver for a sound card or usb card in MP environments as
> opposed to single processor environments. I've never seen one. I HAVE
> seen TONS of cards that wont boot in certain boards though.
> I'm not familiar with the ASUS/PCI 2.1/2.2 issue...

The only example that I can think of is the audio driver (Cmedia chip, of course)
for the Iwill DVD266u-RN. There is a version on the Iwill site for dual CPU usage,
and a newer one for single CPU. This was a board that had some attractive and
unique features but also some killer issues, sound being one of them and ethernet
the other.

Normally the vendor would provide only a single driver that was MP-aware, so two
drivers would not be needed. The above is probably an example where something
affecting dual CPU usage was broken in a later version.
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