Anyone have a A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Najum Hussain, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. Anyone have one and if you do what do you think? anyway i can get the
    max performance out of it?

    Naj
     
    Najum Hussain, Jan 2, 2005
    #1
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  2. Najum Hussain

    tecknotot Guest

    I have one and think its great... and i only have 1 video card
    too....it has alot of other features that will be utilized very soon.
     
    tecknotot, Jan 2, 2005
    #2
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  3. Im using a Asus EAX800 XT Extreme PE as my graphics cards. Ive set the
    PEG at Auto at the moment Performance is amazing il use the SLI sometime
    in the future. but i need to start utilizing the features on it as well.
    Do you use any sound card?

    Naj
     
    Najum Hussain, Jan 2, 2005
    #3
  4. Najum Hussain

    tecknotot Guest

    No, Im currently using the built-in sound card because I had an Audigy
    1 and I thought the on-board had newer and better functionality.

    But I dont get sound in Half-LIfe 2 unless I change it to 2 speakers
    and still trying to figure out why. Do you have Half-Life 2?
     
    tecknotot, Jan 2, 2005
    #4
  5. Najum Hussain

    Najum Guest

    I have half life 2 and have updated it using the new catalyst drivers.
    Its very smooth and i play at high res. Ive never used the onboard audio
    codec i disbaled it in order to use the my own sound card Soundblaster
    audigy z platinum pro. So far so good no problems.

    Naj
     
    Najum, Jan 2, 2005
    #5
  6. The onboard sound on the A8N-SLI Deluxe is basically just 8-channel AC97
    audio, nothing special. Most sound cards will probably have more features.
     
    Robert Hancock, Jan 2, 2005
    #6
  7. Najum Hussain

    RJT Guest

    Got one with a PCIe 6800GT - super. Just the one card for now, SLI comes
    later. It's a great mobo if you ask me, just one prob: the nForce
    firewall seems to block certain websites... can't seem to fix that. And
    it keeps prompting me to disconnect my SATA drives in a raid array. But
    that seems to be normal.

    RJT
     
    RJT, Jan 4, 2005
    #7
  8. Najum Hussain

    Nom Guest

    Disable the onboard sound (it's just Ghetto-Spec AC97) and use your
    much-better Audigy 1.
     
    Nom, Jan 6, 2005
    #8
  9. Najum Hussain

    fsda Guest


    I have had nothing but stability problems with mine. This is with a
    plenty big enough power supply (Enermax EG701AX) and four sticks of
    Kingston RAM (2GB total) right off the official Asus Memory QVL list. No
    overclocking.

    I'm running an AMD FX-55 with factory heatsink.

    I have a big Silverstone case with huge fans - temperatures are very low
    inside the case and cooling works very well.

    Can't figure out why I have so poor stability.

    Originally, with a single eVGA 6800GT PCIe card, I would get a hardware
    lockup about once a day. The lockup seemed to always be accompanied by
    a repeating sound. I'm mostly playing Half-Life 2 and Microsoft Flight
    Simulator 9.1 right now, so usually the lockups occured there, but I did
    get at least one lockup when web browsing, accompanied by a repeating
    sound that happened to be playing at the time. Oh yeah, also got the
    same crash in Need for Speed Underground 2.

    I have an Adaptec 2940UW, a Maxtor ATA/133 card, and a Sound Blaster
    Audigy 2 ZS card. Using the XP SP2 drivers for the first two cards, and
    the lastest Sound Blaster drivers.

    Meanwhile, my second eVGA 6800GT arrived, and I of course installed it
    and went SLI.

    Now I get even more frequent crashes - several times a day. These
    crashes do not involve repeating sound. I've hardware locked twice now
    during initial loading of Half-Life 2 (loading the actual program, after
    the "Valve" advertisement), but there was no sound repeating - just a
    hardare lockup. I've done less game playing due to trying to
    troubleshoot the problem, so most of my crashes now occur during
    standard Windows browsing, or while the computer is just sitting there.
    These usually start with massive video corruption - i.e. the screen is
    all scrambled. This is followed by the screen going completely black
    and the machine totally locking up (i.e. Windows XP is frozen at that
    point. I have used NT/2000/XP enough to recognize when the video driver
    is simply crashed and the rest of the machine continues to run. That is
    not the case here - once the screen goes black, the computer is totally
    frozen).

    Suspecting a hardware conflict, I removed the Adaptec and Maxtor cards,
    and this did not help. I then removed the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS and
    uninstalled it's software, so that now all I have installed are the two
    video cards. I reactivated the motherboard sound system.

    I still get the same crashes described above - i.e. video corruption
    followed by black screen and complete hardware lock, even with nothing
    but the two eVGA 6800GT cards installed.

    So far, I am very unhappy with this system. I feel like I "gold
    plated" all of my hardware, and tried to buy the best components
    available, so it's not like I skimped and went with a marginal power
    supply, case cooling, etc.

    I'm not sure what to try from here.

    I've been using BIOS version 1002, and the release Nvidia drivers.
    Since going back to the baseline configuration has not helped, I'm not
    sure what to try next.

    My only next options are:
    1) Remove the second 6800GT and go back from SLI. I hate the idea of
    doing this, for obvious reasons (i.e. the expense of this system just to
    get SLI).
    2) Start trying the Asus BETA BIOS versions.
    3) Try the latest Nvidia BETA drivers.

    I'm never a fan of BETA drivers and BIOS, but I'm getting desparate....
     
    fsda, Jan 10, 2005
    #9
  10. Najum Hussain

    Nom Guest

    Assuming you've already run MemTest overnight, to eliminate your RAM, and
    Prime95 overnight to check CPU/RAM stability, then the instability can only
    really be caused by your video card(s).
    I'd swap out the 6800s and run a PCI video card for a few days to be sure.
    I'd also remove two of the Memory sticks, just to eliminate the
    too-many-sticks-at-too-higher-speed problem that seems to plague most modern
    chipsets.
     
    Nom, Jan 10, 2005
    #10
  11. Najum Hussain

    fsda Guest

    Actually, thank you for the suggestions. I have not yet run MemTest
    overnight, nor Prime95 overnight. I will try to find these through
    google...

    Note that I am new to the AMD platform. While I was impressed with the
    whole "memory controller integrated into the CPU" thing, I have to say that
    now I am longing for a Northbridge memory controller.

    I really wanted 2GB, and I wanted to only use two of the four DIMM slots to
    allow for future upgrading. But reading that the DIMM configuration is so
    finiky, and that you can't use really fast timings when using all four
    DIMMs, I decided to go with something off the official Asus QVL. The only
    2GB configuration that Asus has on the QVL are the 4x 512MB Kingston config
    - I bought the exact Kingston part number that Asus recommended.

    I did notice that the motherboard went to 333MHz memory speed, even though
    these are DDR400 sticks. I forced them to 400MHz in the BIOS. I now read
    on the Asus site FAQs that the motherboard will automatically slow down to
    333MHz when four DIMMs are used, although they also say you can force it to
    400MHz and that this should be fine when using QVL memory (which I am). I
    am going to be pissed if it ends up that I'll have to run at 333MHz -
    what's the point of a FX-55 and SLI in this case? Plus, then I might as
    well have gone with non-QVL memory and left two DIMM slots open...

    I was running an old PCI Matrox Millenium II for a while while initially
    setting up the machine (i.e. before I could get my hands on a 6800GT). I
    didn't have any hardware lockups at all at that point, although I also
    could not stress the system as much with that old PCI card (i.e. no games,
    screensavers, etc.), and I didn't really use the system a lot until I got
    my 6800GT.

    I have noticed that the "hardware lock with repeating sound" occured with a
    single 6800GT and the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS, while once I went SLI I
    just get a system freeze, and it's not associated with sound (with or
    without the Sound Blaster installed).

    Today the system froze again on a screensaver (DirectX, but not 3D - the
    Michelangelo one from MS Plus!), with no repeating sound and no screen
    corruption.

    Now I am trying the system at 333MHz memory, instead of forcing it to
    DDR400, to see if that works.

    I'll try the stress tests, too, although I'm not sure how I'll know if it
    causes the crash - right now I get the crashes with no "stress test". So,
    how will I know that the "stress test" is causing the crash?

    Thanks again for your advice.
     
    fsda, Jan 11, 2005
    #11
  12. Najum Hussain

    Nom Guest

    From that, I suspect your problems are being caused by the GFX card(s) or
    the Memory.

    Take two sticks of memory out, and see what happens.

    Take the 6800(s) out, stick the Millenium PCI in, and see what happens.
     
    Nom, Jan 11, 2005
    #12
  13. Najum Hussain

    fsda Guest

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    I tried setting my DDR400 to "Auto" in the BIOS, which runs it at
    333MHz. Still got a lockup, although almost 24 hours later. This time
    between lockups certainly makes this tough to troubleshoot...

    I'm going to try the latest beta version of the video drivers from the
    Nvidia site first. If that doesn't work, I'll start swapping out video
    cards and memory sticks. This'll be a long and frustrating road...
     
    fsda, Jan 12, 2005
    #13
  14. Najum Hussain

    Nom Guest

    That's what Prime95 http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm and MemTest
    http://www.memtest.org/ are for ! Both will put your CPU and Memory system
    under 100% load - meaning any failures should show up within 15 minutes or
    so.

    Use the same method to test GFX stability - loop 3DMark05
    http://www.futuremark.com/ and rthdribl
    http://www.daionet.gr.jp/~masa/rthdribl/ for a while.
    Dodgy drivers normally result in a Blue Screen Of Death crash. If things are
    just freezing up, it's almost certainly some sort of hardware/stability
    issue, as above.
    Nah, it'll be easily solved :)
     
    Nom, Jan 12, 2005
    #14
  15. Najum Hussain

    Paul Guest

    Some info here. Your board may not be that much different than
    the review board:

    http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20041123/sli-performance-04.html

    Paul
     
    Paul, Jan 12, 2005
    #15
  16. Najum Hussain

    fsda Guest

    (Paul) wrote in
    Thanks - yes I had seen this. The talk about not being to run the
    fastest DDR400 memory at the lowest memory latencies. But I didn't get
    low latency RAM - I picked Kingston RAM off the QVL. And I am not
    pushing the memory latency settings - I left everything to Auto in the
    BIOS (and CPUz correctly reports that the timings match the memory
    specs).
     
    fsda, Jan 13, 2005
    #16
  17. Najum Hussain

    fsda Guest

    Thanks again for the advice. I will use the programs you recommend and
    embark on a set of tests to see if I can find the hardware problem.
    Give me a few days to report results.

    BTW, the latest beta Nvidia drivers did not help. I once again returned
    to the machine after about 18 hours of up-time to find it frozen again.

    I've not pulled two of the four memory sticks (leaving in the two
    6800GTs in SLI mode), and will see what happens in the next 24hrs.

    It'll probably be this weekend before I can do the stress testing, but
    hopefully it'll point me in the right direction.

    Thanks again for your help!
     
    fsda, Jan 13, 2005
    #17
  18. Najum Hussain

    fsda Guest


    OK, just using the computer as usual, but removing one of the 6800GT cards,
    and going back to single card operation, the computer has now gone 24 hours
    without a freeze. I'll let it go another 16 or so just to make sure, then
    start the "brutal" tests. Should see if this is an SLI issue...
     
    fsda, Jan 15, 2005
    #18
  19. Najum Hussain

    fsda Guest


    Took two sticks of RAM out - still locked up (after about 15 hours).

    Now I put the stick back in, but pulled out the second 6800GT. I.e. I
    am "removing SLI" to see if that stabilizes the system.

    Thanks
     
    fsda, Jan 15, 2005
    #19
  20. Najum Hussain

    fsda Guest

    OK, I've been running the system now for 3 days straight with no
    lockups. Trick was removing SLI and going with a single 16x PCIe
    6800GT. This is with all my DIMMs installed. I've even run Prime95 for
    at least 12 hours, with no lockups or errors at all.

    Note that with both of my eVGA 6800GT cards installed in SLI
    configuration, I'd never get to 24 hours before a hardware lockup.

    Since I've made the machine as bare-bones as possible, it's pretty clear
    that my system is stable when NOT running in a SLI hardware config.

    So... now I guess it's time to put the second 6800GT back in, go back
    into SLI config, and see what happens.

    What is bothering me is that if SLI brings back my hardware freezes,
    there's really nothing else I can do or remove to make the system more
    stable - everything has already been pulled... And I already tested SLI
    with only two DIMMs (instead of four).

    So, put me down on the list as one with an unstable Asus SLI system...
     
    fsda, Jan 17, 2005
    #20
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