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ragnargd

Research on AM3+ boards

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Hi,

i'm in the process of researching the compatibility of AM3+ boards.

So far i tried the 970 chipset (ASrock 970 Pro3 R2.0), and the 870 chipset (GigaByte GA-870A-USB3 Rev. 3.1). Upcoming are two boards of the 770 chipset. I'll report extensively about this later.

At the moment, i have some problems, and perhaps some of you tried this as well, and have some advie. I know that at least RLoew could... ;)

While the 970 chipset all-in-all is a great installation experience (no immediate need for IDE or USB AddIn cards, USB2 works PERFECTLY with NUSB! have to set legacy-support to "auto", though), i have that problem with the yellow exclamation mark on the DMA-controller. RLOew has this exclamation mark with his Asus-board as well (though i don't know if he has the same problems).

Consequently, i cannot set my ide-devices to DMA-mode (system crashes), and as such, copying from the IDE-DVD is painful, to the degree of making the system nearly unresponsive until reboot (which is not working thereafter as well).

Furthermore, when using a browser, using an add-on 8111B GBit PCIe NIC (which works fine in other machines), the same happens: System gets nearly unresponsive, reboot is somewhat difficult.

Is there a way to solve that problem, that is, getting the DMA-controller to work? If there was, this would be the perfect board for W98SE... :(

With the 870 chipset, i don't get the onboard USB2 to work (devices are recognized, a driver installed with NUSB, but USB-devices don't work - and i have to disable any kind of USB2-legacy-support, as otherwise W98SE won't even start), and as the GigaByte devices of that chipset don't have separated PS/2-ports, without an add-in-card, there is no mouse possible. Maybe things improve a bit with a special PS2-splitting-cable, but it's not here yet...

Does anyone have experience with this?

Cheers, Ragnar G.D.

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I just started working with a second AM3+ Motherboard. A MSI 970A. The earlier one is the Asus M5A97. I don't have any 870 chipset Motherboards, at least with AM3+.

I have not had problems with Disk DMA as the Hard Drive Controller has it's own Bus-Master DMA, so it is not dependent on the System DMA Controller. You probably will need my SATA Patch as neither of mine offered "Legacy" Mode.

Both Motherboards use the RTL8111E NIC. The Tenda 9901 Driver will support this but only at 10/100MB/s and with a warning on every boot.

What graphics card are you using with the GigaByte Motherboard? It might be causing the USB problem.

I stopped buying GigaByte Motherboards because of the single PS/2 Port. A PS/2 splitting cable did not work with my MA785 as there is only one software defined port. I use a USB Keyboard and a PS/2 Mouse with it.

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6 hours ago, rloew said:

I just started working with a second AM3+ Motherboard. A MSI 970A. The earlier one is the Asus M5A97. I don't have any 870 chipset Motherboards, at least with AM3+.

I have not had problems with Disk DMA as the Hard Drive Controller has it's own Bus-Master DMA, so it is not dependent on the System DMA Controller. You probably will need my SATA Patch as neither of mine offered "Legacy" Mode.

Both Motherboards use the RTL8111E NIC. The Tenda 9901 Driver will support this but only at 10/100MB/s and with a warning on every boot.

What graphics card are you using with the GigaByte Motherboard? It might be causing the USB problem.

I stopped buying GigaByte Motherboards because of the single PS/2 Port. A PS/2 splitting cable did not work with my MA785 as there is only one software defined port. I use a USB Keyboard and a PS/2 Mouse with it.

Regarding DMA on AMD 970: My SSD was also unaffected, was able to use DMA-setting, and generally was fun to use. Together with the perfectly working USB2, that really made me exited at first. It was the DVD, that annoyed me, but what really spoiled the fun, was the behaviour of the system while browsing. Is suspect that is related to the DMA-problem. And that means, this is something you cannot simply circumvent with an addin card, here patching the old drivers would be necessary. And even that has absolutely no guarantee of successs, as ít might be an architectural problem. Regarding the NIC, i did not have the patience to make the onboard 8111E run with the NDIS2-driver, as described by XRayer, but in the light of events, it might actually be worth trying. I'm not overly optimistic, though, the problematic DMA-controller might make problems later on, when you least expect it. Additionally, the fact i wasn't even able to INSTALL without ushers method (and i mean: with 1GB of RAM!), and the FireWire-controller making the system hang, makes me wary about that chipset. I will only ivest more energy on that one, if the AMD 770 is a letdown, too.

On the USB2-problem on AMD 870: I used a GF 7600GT 256MB, and later on a GTX 7900 512MB with your patch (on the AMD 970, these worked like a charm). I did not try any other card (as these are my favourites anyway), but i might at least try something else. In case: Do you have a suggestion?

... Anyway, i share your sentiments about the single-port PS2-ports on GigaByte (or any other brand), they *really* are annoying, because even with the USB2-addIn card, i can't use a mouse via my KVM-switch (which supports USB-mice on the KVM side, but on the PC-side, seems to work on PS/2-ports only).

All-in-all, you can't get new AMD 870 boards with socket AM3+ any more anyway, even used ones are quite rare. All the while, you can still buy brand-new shiny AMD 770 boards, and those also have better layout, support more CPU-types (like, i.e., the Opteron 8360 HE), occasionally have a SATA3-controller, have separate PS/2 ports for mouse and keyboard, and possibly much more. I now eagerly await those, and hope, they prove fit. Hope dies last, they say... :-)

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I have no idea why DMA would work with a SSD and not with a CD/DVD Drive. Nor how this would affect browsing.

Xrayer's method is far more complicated than the one I suggested but handles more cases. The Tenda driver only needs some commented out lines restored in the INF File. Otherwise it installs without complexity.

I use Iogear PS/2 KVMA Switches, which can be cascaded, along with Inland PS/2 to USB Converters. I have had some issues with proper operation of the Keyboard and/or Mouse with different Converters and Motherboards. UEFI BIOSes seem to have additional problems when in the BIOS Setup screen with both.

I have never seen a problem with FireWire Controllers. Try my RAM Limitation Patch Demo with the /M Option. It handles a number of problems even with 1GiB or less of RAM.

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I now have the AMD 770 board with me.

One thing can be said for sure: AMD 770 is a pain in the a**. :-(

Random crashes just after installation, USB does not show up, controller does not show up, whatnot...

I'd rather live with the restrictions of the other two chipsets. This seems to be a dead end.

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I don't have a 770 Motherboard so I have nothing to say about it.

I do see a possible problem with the two AMD 970 Motherboards though.

Neither one is able to reliably play a 1920x1080 MKV Video using Gom Player 1.5.4. The Video freezes after an hour or two and the Mouse becomes barely responsive.

I have a Mathematics Program that runs all eight cores at near 100% as well using 64-Bit Memory. After 10-15 Hours I get a Disk Write Error BSOD. It occurs with every combination of a 6200, 7100, 7200 or 7950GT Video Card, with Versions 77.72, 81.98, or 82.69 Driver that I have tried. With no driver, it works fine. I am now testing the Z87 with a 7950GX2 Card and the M5A97 with a XVGA Driver.

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6 hours ago, rloew said:

I don't have a 770 Motherboard so I have nothing to say about it.

I do see a possible problem with the two AMD 970 Motherboards though.

Neither one is able to reliably play a 1920x1080 MKV Video using Gom Player 1.5.4. The Video freezes after an hour or two and the Mouse becomes barely responsive.

I have a Mathematics Program that runs all eight cores at near 100% as well using 64-Bit Memory. After 10-15 Hours I get a Disk Write Error BSOD. It occurs with every combination of a 6200, 7100, 7200 or 7950GT Video Card, with Versions 77.72, 81.98, or 82.69 Driver that I have tried. With no driver, it works fine. I am now testing the Z87 with a 7950GX2 Card and the M5A97 with a XVGA Driver.

Where did you find the usb's drivers? I managed to install windows 98 on my msi H97 PC Mate, but now there is a problem... No matter what I do, my usb mouse doesn't work properly.the mouse jumps around the screen , often to some random location.  I have tried another usb mouse but without any result. In device manager there are 3 question marks "usb universal serial bus". I think I must install a properly driver... The strange thing is that my usb keyboard works great. Even my flash drives work great.


 

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I use the ones from NUSB 3.3. Mice use USB 1 so the USB 2 Drivers are not needed unless there is no USB 1 Controller.

Are you using a converter or a KVM Switch between the Mouse and Motherboard? Some have issues.

The three unrecognized USB Devices are probably the USB 3 Controllers.

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On 29.5.2016 at 2:52 AM, rloew said:

I do see a possible problem with the two AMD 970 Motherboards though.

Neither one is able to reliably play a 1920x1080 MKV Video using Gom Player 1.5.4. The Video freezes after an hour or two and the Mouse becomes barely responsive.

That is very similar to what i experience when using opera or IE, just that it happens immediately.

I will try with moving the cards between slots (i have two PCIe-slots available), as it may be a problem of the w98se or nvidia drivers with interrupt sharing on that chipset.

But, all in all, it feels more like a memory overflow error or a memory leak (of the nvidia-driver, in combination with the chipset).

Although i suspect the problem may come up with any driver providing DirectX: Did you consider trying out an ATI x800 256MB PCIe?

But beyond NVidia-drivers and such, I don't think that a ressource conflict between "motherboard ressources" and a "DMA-controller" is a good sign anyway...

The AMD 8x0 chipset seems to be more promising regarding stability (although even this may be misleading, i did not do serious stress-tests yet).

Unfortunately, there exist only two AMD 8x0 boards that provide support for (some) Opterons, and have two separated PS/2-ports.

ASRock 890FX Deluxe5, and the ASRock 870iCafe R2.0

And they are nearly impossible to find, even in used condition.

As i supect USB2 will have to be added separately, such a board would easily be cramped with addin-cards (sound being a must)

So even if it works, it is most probably not a solution for everyone (if only because you will be pressed hard to find ANY of those at all... :-)

I'll report if i get hold of a test-subject...

The AMD 7x0 chipset boards crashed even with everything onboard switched of, only "running" in safe mode, so i suspect some severe incompatibility issues.

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I suspect these PS/2 Ports are interfaced through the USB Controller. You can get the same result using a PS/2 to USB Adapter.

This would not work with Windows 95 nor solve the handover issue when installing to Windows 98.

I haven't seen a PS/2 Card that has a true PS/2 Interface. I suspect that if they exist, they would be very old ISA Cards.

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Yep, they are said to be USB 1.1. That said, as you mentioned, probably not usable with W95 during installation (didn't think of that, as i only use w98se - there it should work, as the USB 1.1 stack is part of the base build, i think).

They are described as usable during boot (i.e. BIOS), but that doesn't mean much.

I'd be interested which chipset they use. Some via, i suppose.

I'll take my time to experiment. It'll take some weeks before they arrive anyway.

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AMD 970: Moving the GPU to another PCIe-slot did not change anything, right after using Opera 10.63, the system became unstable.

Not that i really expected this to help, but well, another box checked... :(

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Windows 95 does not have USB Keyboard or Mouse Drivers. Only the Hybrid that Lone Crusader and I developed can use them.

Windows 98SE has USB 1 built in, but during installation or reinstallation, prompts are put up. Having one PS/2 Port does allow you to complete installation, but some people have none at all and cannot complete the install because their Mouse and Keyboard are disabled in the middle of the process.

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Yeah, not having a PS/2-port is a real show-stopper.

btw: As you already predicted, a PS/2-splitter cable will not work on GigaByte boards (in this case, on my GA-870A-USB3 rev. 3.1).

They DO work on on some laptops, and (by reports on amazon and newegg) on some motherboards of some other brands - but 'tis of no help here... :)

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