Yet another mobo advice thread

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Grummun
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Post by Grummun » Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:54 pm

After playing with the new machine for a few weeks, I've discovered that the dual-core CPU seems to be a minor problem. The three games I've tried (Dungeon Seige 2, Unreal 2, and Steam Half Life/TFC) all perform more smoothly if, after starting the game, I Ctrl-Alt-Del to bring up the task mangler, and under 'Processes', right click the game process, and set the affinity to one CPU or the other, but not both. Otherwise, I get periodic stutters in game play. Unreal 2 was giving me a headeache until I figured out how to fix it. I believe theres a utility that allows you set the CPU affinity of a process when you launch it, but I can't recall what it is at the moment.

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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:01 pm

You mean like this one? ;)
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Post by edm » Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:24 am

Sweet rig Grum!

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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:29 am

Grum wrote:After the hardware was put together, there were some problems installing the OS (in this case, Windows XP Pro). The nForce 4 SLI chipset features ATA/SATA RAID, and my intent was to set up my two hard drives in a mirrored array. Based on comments on various forums, SATA RAID with the nForce 4 seems to be a problem for a lot of people. Setting up the array in the BIOS is easy enough, the problem is getting XP to recognize it. As it turns out, the big problem is that neither the drivers that ship with the motherboard, nor the drivers on Gigabyte's website, work. You have to get the latest drivers directly from nVidia, and copy the SATA drivers to a floppy disk so you can feed them to XP during the install. After that, the rest of the install was pretty easy. I have to think the people at Gigabyte didn't actually test the drivers they shipped; out of the box, they plain don't work.
i don't see any raid drivers on nvidia's site, just this driver which seems to be for the entire chipset. it also seems this needs installed after the install of xp. any idea where the stand alone raid drivers are? i didn't get the gigabit mobo, but the nforce4/ultra chipset/raid drivers should be the same.
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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Tue Jan 03, 2006 11:54 am

Grummun wrote:After playing with the new machine for a few weeks, I've discovered that the dual-core CPU seems to be a minor problem. The three games I've tried (Dungeon Seige 2, Unreal 2, and Steam Half Life/TFC) all perform more smoothly if, after starting the game, I Ctrl-Alt-Del to bring up the task mangler, and under 'Processes', right click the game process, and set the affinity to one CPU or the other, but not both. Otherwise, I get periodic stutters in game play. Unreal 2 was giving me a headeache until I figured out how to fix it. I believe theres a utility that allows you set the CPU affinity of a process when you launch it, but I can't recall what it is at the moment.
m$ has released a hotfix for this. you need to call to get it. from posts that i've read, you usually get it within 5 minutes and it actually works.... of course this wouldn't prevent me from backing up my registry and creating a restore point before applying it. ;)

looks like the patch is being posted all over the net too. the support link and digital signature match, but use at your own risk...

http://www.perambula.net/res/WindowsXP- ... 86-ENU.exe
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Post by Grummun » Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:10 am

[NME]T-Bone wrote:i don't see any raid drivers on nvidia's site, just this driver which seems to be for the entire chipset. it also seems this needs installed after the install of xp. any idea where the stand alone raid drivers are? i didn't get the gigabit mobo, but the nforce4/ultra chipset/raid drivers should be the same.
I found a page that discussed installing XP on SATA RAID, and from that page got a zip with just the contents of the floppy necessary for installation. I don't know how they figured out which files were needed; I can provide the zip if you need it. The files on the disk are:

000005 02-01-05 14:34 disk1
295424 02-11-05 18:11 idecoi.dll
010676 02-18-05 05:01 nvata.cat
006272 02-11-05 19:50 nvatabus.inf
089856 02-11-05 18:11 NvAtaBus.sys
016640 02-11-05 18:11 nvcchflt.sys
032256 12-16-04 16:32 nvcoi.dll
003507 12-01-04 02:30 nvide.nvu
010672 02-18-05 05:01 nvraid.cat
004936 02-11-05 18:08 nvraid.inf
063232 02-11-05 18:11 nvraid.sys
017408 02-11-05 18:11 nvraidco.dll
176128 12-16-04 16:32 nvuide.exe
004709 02-01-05 19:45 txtsetup.oem

(File sizes are 0-padded on the left, 'cause phpbb apparently strips leading spaces).

I also can't say what version of the driver this is; all I know is that it worked, where the drivers that shipped with the mobo and the drivers from Gigabyte's web site did not. At the time I did the install, I couldn't download drivers from Nvidia 'cause my DSL was screwed up; I was lucky to download the zip file that I found.

[NME]T-Bone wrote:m$ has released a hotfix for this. you need to call to get it. from posts that i've read, you usually get it within 5 minutes and it actually works.... of course this wouldn't prevent me from backing up my registry and creating a restore point before applying it.

looks like the patch is being posted all over the net too. the support link and digital signature match, but use at your own risk...

http://www.perambula.net/res/WindowsXP- ... 86-ENU.exe
I think I'll pass on calling Redmond, thanks anyway for the info. :D I saw some mention of this when I was doing the install, but completely forgot it. I think I had the impression it only applied if you were using power management (particularly "Cool 'n' Quiet"). I guess any mobo with ACPI has some kind of 'power managment.'

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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:37 am

This may also apply to the stuttering problem:

AMD Athlonâ„¢ 64 X2 Dual Core Processor Driver for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 Version (exe) 1.2.2.2 - Allows the system to automatically adjust the CPU speed, voltage and power combination that match the instantaneous user performance need. Download this Setup Installation program (EXE) to automatically update all the files necessary for installation. This package is recommended for users whom desire a graphical user interface for installation. This .EXE driver is a user friendly localized software installation of the driver designed for end-users. This driver supports AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core processors on Windows XP SP2 and Windows 2003 SP1.

The download can be found on this page.
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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:24 pm

After installing the winbloze patch, i've noticed that the older version of games - TFC, DoD, and such stutter or hyperaccelerate unless you set the processor affinity to use just a single cpu. HL2 and all source versions of games do not have a problem using both cpu's. I was getting a constant 90fps in DoD:S and it ran smooth as silk running at 1280x1024 with all the bells and whistles on.

Soooo... if any of ya see me flying around the map at super speeds, I'm in the process of switching over to a single cpu. I wonder if the server actually plots my position as fast as the client end. I was a solly and made it from fort to fort in badlands in about 5 seconds. :lol:
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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:17 am

After more testing, I've found that source games are able to detect mutiple cpu's which may explain why these games do not stutter on a dual core processor. If you bring up the console immediately after starting a source game, you'll see loading... blah blah blah... 2 cpu's detected.
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Post by Grummun » Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:28 am

[NME]T-Bone wrote:After more testing, I've found that source games are able to detect mutiple cpu's which may explain why these games do not stutter on a dual core processor. If you bring up the console immediately after starting a source game, you'll see loading... blah blah blah... 2 cpu's detected.
Multithreaded? Or just aware of two CPUs? And if the second, how and why? You wouldn't think it'd be the application's problem to adjust a single-threaded process to a multi-CPU environment. Seems like scheduling processes is the OS's job... oh wait, I see the problem:

Image

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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:06 pm

:rofl:

That be true. Source programs are aware of multiple cpu's. I don't know if it's coded to run multithreaded upon detection.

I had very little stuttering (hardly noticable) in HL2 before the patch, none after the patch. Admitedly, I didn't think to check the other source games until after the patch, but they run fine on my machine.

The how and why...
How: Windows has an API call that will return the number of processors on a machine.
Why: To determine if you should run parallel processes. (multithreaded)

Anyhow, a program can alter it behavior, single vs. multi threaded. It's the OS's job to schedule the process(s)/thread(s) cpu to execute on and how much time to give it. Anyhow, source games may have the ability to run mutithreaded when detecting multiple cpu's.

Most programs I write will make the API call to determine number of physical & logical cpu's. If the program run's on a machine with a single physical processor and has at least 1 logical cpu then I use very little if any threading. if I detect 2 or more physical cpu's I can get away with running more threads.
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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:26 pm

New nvidia vid drivers released last week have more dual core optimizations. :D

Release Highlights:

* WHQL Certified
* Adds support for GeForce 7800 GS AGP
* Application compatibility fixes. For a full list of fixed and known issues please view the Release Notes.
* Mixed vendor support for NVIDIA SLI.
* TV-Out/HD-out support for NVIDIA SLI.
* Added support for VSync on Direct3D games when running NVIDIA SLI.
* Performance enhancements for dual-core CPUs.
* PureVideo high definition MPEG-2 de-interlacing support.
* Usability enhancements when connecting to an HDTV.
* Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0c and OpenGL® 2.0 support
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Post by Cobra » Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:21 am

Hello gang,

Well I think I need a new mobo. I currently use a Asus A7V600-X with a 2ghz AMD Duron and 1 gig memory.

I have been using Pinnacle Studio 9 to edit movies and when its creating the dvd files, it maxes the cpu out. :o

I cant afford a Crosshair or Striker but I am looking at the Asus A8N-SLI Premium and a AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 2.6

Mobo, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131540
AMD, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 819103526R

But Im wondering if I will see any improvement with this.
Thing is. the price of cpu's is not dropped like I thought, but they now have these dual core and the FX ones is unbelievable! Cheaper just to buy a system. But I like building.

Now the video card Im using is a ATI Radeon 9600xt All In Wonder.

So I bought a Hauppauge Win-TV-PVR-350 capture card and Im thinking of getting a ATI Radeon X1600XT and this way they will be seperate.

So many choices. :(

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Post by boat » Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:42 am

well i think when messing with media files, you'll almost always max out the cpu, so get a newer/faster one will only cut down on render times, but the cpu will still be maxed out. so if youre worried about maxing out the cpu, you may wanna look more into the dual-core realm, that way at least one core could be chugging away at the rendering stuff, while the other is available for the other general purpose stuff.

*edit: and if you do go with a multi-core setup, make sure your operating system supports multiple cpus, else the efforts would be moot :P xp home edition only supports 1 cpu, whereas xp pro and media edition support multiple cpus. ;)

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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:15 am

Hey bub, XP Home will support dual cores, it will not however support dual sockets.
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Post by boat » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:20 am

i though dual cores show up as essentially dual cpus, and xp home doesnt support dual cpus...? :?: :?

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Post by boat » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:24 am

interesting.

http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/high ... icore.mspx

oh well, disregard previous post(s) :P

you would think of all people, m$ would try to license out every little thing they can... :P ;)

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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:31 am

boat wrote:i though dual cores show up as essentially dual cpus, and xp home doesnt support dual cpus...? :?: :?
M$ added patches to XP and it's server software when AMD released dual cores. They really didn't have a choice as Intel was also going to be releasing dual cores and multi-core cpu's were already in design stage.

XP home will support a single socket. XP pro will support dual sockets. This is how AMD's 4x4 platform works - a dual socket mobo each with a dual core (soon to be quad cores) for a total of 4(8 ) processors in XP Pro. :D
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Post by Cobra » Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:14 pm

So I would need XP Pro.

Well a dual core is so confusing.

I see AMD 2.6ghz go for $400 and up.
But then I see a Intel 3.2ghz for as little as $184.

But I know, theres a tradeoff for that cheap Intel. Its a 3.2 dual core but a slow chip somehow.
Cache or front bus speed? I have always liked AMD.

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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:40 pm

You can use either version of XP with a dual core. If you go with Intel, do not get a Pentium D dual core, get the C2D (Core 2 Duo) dual core instead. Pentium D's are older technology and are being phased out. Speed (GHz) is no longer a huge consideration. A C2D at 2.2Ghz or an AMD X2 @ 2.2Ghz will easily out perform a P-IV 3.6Ghz.

The C2D's currently hold the top price/performance ratio. Of course RAM is ridiculously expensive right now. All the new CPU's require DDR2 memory.

If you go AMD, make sure it's an AM2 socket as socket 939 is now a dead end.
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