Recommendations for the best possible Socket A motherboard?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by tHatDudeUK, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. tHatDudeUK

    tHatDudeUK Guest

    I already have an Abit NF7-S v2.0 motherboard. However, a digital tv card in
    conjunction with and SATA striped RAID array it won't work properly. I had
    held out hope that there would be a decent Nforce2 MCP-S motherboard but
    that doesn't seem to be the case, anyone know any better than me???

    I'm basically looking for something as good as the one I have right now but
    with SATA RAID properly implemented.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    Best regards

    tHatDudeUK, Nov 4, 2004
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  2. tHatDudeUK

    Rob Hemmings Guest

    A7N8X-E deluxe? Uses the MCP-T chipset though.
    Rob Hemmings, Nov 4, 2004
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  3. tHatDudeUK

    tHatDudeUK Guest

    Yeah I'm guessing that will have the same problem as I have now. It's
    starting to look like my only option to get my TV card working again is to
    go with either Intel Pentium 4 or AMD 64bit....
    tHatDudeUK, Nov 4, 2004
  4. tHatDudeUK

    Rob Hemmings Guest

    Or flog it and get another make of TV card? :)
    I s'pose it's worth a google to see if anyone has same TV card in an
    A7N8X-E and gets problems. What card is it, btw (I have an A7N8X
    deluxe 2.0 and was thinking of getting a freeview card..)
    Rob Hemmings, Nov 4, 2004
  5. tHatDudeUK

    tHatDudeUK Guest

    It's a Nebula DigiTV which cost me just over £100 at the start of this year.
    I think the problem is that it's PCI. I think the USB2 version should
    technically be ok (at least that's my understanding.)
    tHatDudeUK, Nov 4, 2004
  6. tHatDudeUK

    BUFF Guest

    MSI & EPoX both have new boards available in the UK using the new RAID
    southbridge to keep transfers off the PCI bus.
    Of course ABIT have the NF7-S2 & -S2G if you are happy to run stock/mild
    BUFF, Nov 4, 2004
  7. tHatDudeUK

    Chip Guest

    Depends what you want to do with it. If you want to run insanely high FSB's
    then you won't do better than an nf7-s or a DFI Lanparty B or DFI Ultra
    Infinity. But all of these will suffer from the problem you describe, I
    would think.

    The other option would be to go for something like the new Abit KW7 (KT880
    board). This features the VT8237 southbridge with integrated sata raid,
    i.e. the raid is not on the PCI bus.

    Although it will overclock OK, I don't think you get a working PCI/AGP lock
    with KT880 boards though. So realistically you are stuck with about 220MHz
    max FSB.

    Chip, Nov 4, 2004
  8. tHatDudeUK

    Apollo Guest

    Same setup here, (Neb / NF7s ver2 / sata raid0), what problems are you
    getting, I still get some artefacts, they were a lot worse before I
    increased the PCI latency.

    May be worth playing around with the latency if you haven't tried
    already. I have heard that showshifter gives better results but I
    haven't tried it yet.

    Are you getting a decent signal? I get around 80% / 23db / 0.0070 BER
    on all mux's, I have read that 23-24db is the minimum for an acceptable

    BTW my Hauppauge nova-t pci (first version without remote) gave me a
    full signal in the same PC from the same feed, with no artefacts.

    It does seem to be a pci bus problem but different cards are affected to
    varying degrees, I happen to really like the DigiTV software too, it
    works and looks good.
    Apollo, Nov 4, 2004
  9. There's a recent thread on where someone, (not you?) has
    the same query.
    I will repeat the post I made there in case it helps.
    I used to have an Epox MB and a Nebula DigiTV card which had problems with
    the PCI bus manifested by a reluctance to work with the remote control.
    When it came to upgrade my system I wanted an Athlon cpu and NVidia chipset.
    I read about the problems with SATA and the PCI bus interfering with the
    Nebula on nForce2 MBs and it seemed to be down to the fact that the chipset
    had no native SATA support and relied upon a Sil chip to drive it. This
    apparently overloaded the PCI bus, interfering with the TV Card on
    I then learned that the later NForce2 chipsets contained there own SATA
    driver and dispensed with the Sil chip.
    I bought a NF7-S2G which appears to have this chipset and no Sil chip. It
    works fine with the Nebula, not a even blip and the remote functions
    As long as you don't need the sophisticated overclocking functions of the
    earlier NF7-xx MBs, I can recommend this MB.

    However, I am not even remotely a MB Guru so others might have a different
    take on this problem.


    Martin Prentice, Nov 4, 2004
  10. tHatDudeUK

    tHatDudeUK Guest

    That motherboard would be a step down for me. I think I'm going to try sell
    my PCI version and put the funds towards a USB version which will hopefully
    cure my problem.
    tHatDudeUK, Nov 4, 2004
  11. tHatDudeUK

    Paul Guest

    You didn't describe your problem, but start here:

    About a third of the way down the page, someone advocates using
    wpcredit. Perhaps you can make some sense of what they are

    There are two parameters on the PCI bus that are used for
    tuning performance and fairness, There is a "PCI Latency Timer",
    and it is a policeman on the bus. Many BIOS expose the setting,
    so you can adjust it, and modern motherboards set it to 32 or
    64. The numbers are times, possibly measured in PCI bus clock
    cycles, as to how long a PCI card can have bus mastership. If
    a card runs for too long, the latency timer kicks the card
    off the bus, and then the next card has a chance to do any
    pending transfer. AFAIK PCI arbitration is round robin, so
    if any card does extraordinarily long transfers, the other
    cards can get "starved" for service opportunities.

    A second parameter, is the burst size set by the card itself.
    At one time, the recommendation for burst size, would have
    been a cache-line-sized chunk. Whether that is a factor
    any more or not, would depend on whether the PCI scatter
    gather DMA space is cacheable or not. I would think a card
    would do a single burst, and release the bus to the next
    card, so if the burst on a card was set to less than the
    global pci latency timer, then the cards should play nice
    without needing to be thumped by the latency timer. (Of
    course, if one card has its burst size set to a ridiculous
    value like a burst of 1 word, it will starve itself. I
    think the policy used on a proprietary system I worked on
    years ago, was to always set all the cards to exactly the
    same burst size, in lieu of wasting time trying to tune

    Adjusting those parameters, could correct your problem.
    Storage controllers are notorious for having their transfer
    size set really high, to give exaggerated benchmarks.
    Reducing the burst size used by the SIL3112 might help, or
    reducing the PCI Latency Timer will force all PCI devices
    to a common max value. (My A7N8X-E doesn't have a PCI
    Latency Timer setting in the BIOS, so I guess I would need
    WPCREDIT to adjust it.)

    As to whether the AGP max burst needs to be adjusted, I
    would only bother with that if the other adjustments aren't

    Good luck,
    Paul, Nov 4, 2004
  12. Yes, it probably would if you need the overclocking abilities of that
    particular MB. Also, I believe that it has the Soundstorm system instead of
    the rather pathetic sound system on the S2G.
    However, I prefer to add my own soundcard and it has a Gbit LAN that I
    wanted for media file distribution. I don't overclock, (would rather shell
    out for the speed I require...I know....I'm a mug ;) )

    Just a thought, have you tackled Nebula about your difficulties. They are
    VERY good about exchanging PCI for USB if you can't get yours to work
    properly. They offered to exchange mine but I liked it too much to mess with
    USB. I believe that USB are not without problems if you check the Nebula

    Good luck with your search.

    Martin Prentice, Nov 4, 2004
  13. tHatDudeUK

    jaime Guest


    That was me, and I've still not made a decision on which board.
    jaime, Nov 4, 2004
  14. tHatDudeUK

    tHatDudeUK Guest

    I bought it when they first came out in January 2003 which is quite a while
    back now. I don't know if they'd be willing to swap it after I've owned it
    for so long.

    Where are the Nebula forums you mention?

    Thanks for the help everyone.
    tHatDudeUK, Nov 4, 2004
  15. tHatDudeUK

    tHatDudeUK Guest

    tHatDudeUK, Nov 4, 2004
  16. Yes, that does open another path to a possible fix.

    The Nebula forums I mentioned are not really dedicated to Nebula but to TV
    cards including Nebula. My fault for describing them as such :(
    They are at

    Good luck

    Martin Prentice, Nov 4, 2004
  17. Good luck seems you are not alone :O)

    Martin Prentice, Nov 4, 2004
  18. I just ran a check using the i key as recommended on that site. I didn't
    know that facility existed. Very useful.
    Now, my H/W FBUS had a value of 1. This is above the 0 recommended but I
    have a Creative Live soundcard which may account for it.
    It would be interesting to know what yours is?
    Anyway, I ran a defrag on the SATA drive whilst listening to a DigiTV
    channel. It didn't fail and the H/W FBUS value remained at 1.
    How does yours compare?

    Martin Prentice, Nov 4, 2004
  19. tHatDudeUK

    jaime Guest

    Looking at the latest beta reminded me that I also wanted to make sure that
    the board will run fine with 2 DigiTV cards, which probably complicates
    things further.
    jaime, Nov 4, 2004
  20. tHatDudeUK

    jaime Guest


    Which model numbers are the boards with the new Southbridge?

    jaime, Nov 4, 2004
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