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Problems nvdia video cards in P5A-B!

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:40 pm
by Ernani
I am with problems of performance and nvdia instability always that use plates in my P5A-B ALi Aladdin V AGPset. Currently I am with Inno 3d Mx440 of 64MB and performance of video and DVD is poor! I used one trident Blade 3d of 8 MB and everything functioned right ! somebody knows if has solution this problem?
my computer:
CPU k6-2 500
350MB ram

RE: Problems nvdia video cards in P5A-B!

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:57 pm
by Jim
I have been there. To get decent DVD playback on a P5A-B w/ a normal K6-2 you have to :

1) Get your processor up to 550Mhz. i.e. 5.5x100 w/ voltage set @ 2.3.

2) Use every possible bios tweak to get a bit more speed out of your machine. The problem is the P5A-B only has 512k of mobo cache.

You actually would get better video w/ a 1Meg cache board @ 500 Mhz, than you will w/ a P5A-B and a normal K6-2 @ 550Mhz.

The other solution is get a hold of either a K6-2+ or a K6-3+ processor w/ on die cache. They will play DVDs just fine on your board.

RE: Problems nvdia video cards in P5A-B!

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:58 am
by tazwegion
Jim... wouldn't 5 x 112Mhz give a crisper system response?

Also... the paragraph looks/reads (disjointed) like it was created by a 'google style' translator, so it might help if we keep the responses simpler :)

* Asus P5A-B AGP 1x/2x compliant...

* Trident Blade 8Mb 2x/4x AGP...

* Geforce MX440 4x/8x AGP...

An 8Mg Trident blade shouldn't whoop a nVidia GF4 MX440... but that card is an 8x AGP model, and therein lies the problem... it's an AGP 4x/8x compliant card & the Asus P5A-B supports 1x 2x AGP :(

Personally... the nVidia Geforce2 2x/4x AGP would've been my preference ;)

Are there any 'undocumented' tweaks that will allow an AGP 4x card to run on an Asus P5A-B motherboard Jim?

Also note worthy is the lack of UDMA-66 support, hence transfer from a DVD will be slightly impaired here also :(

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:57 am
by DonPedro
hi ernani,

there are a lot of things to be considered to make dvd-playback smooth.

- since you use a K6-2, onboard cache must be enabled (bios)
- try to set your memory timings to 2-2-2 timings (bios)
- also try to overclock you cpu to 550 as jim suggested by applying a higher multiplyer (good cooling device is a must)
- somewhat trickier is to raise the fsb-speed. higher fsb speed has the advantage that it not only ups the cpu-clock but also memory and cache-speed. the problem is that the ali-5 chipset is not as overclockable as the via-chipset. I don't think that you will be able to run your system at a higher fsb than 105 mhz without extra cooling devices attached to some chips on your mainboard. jim can tell you a lot more about this and how to do.
- did you install the ali-agp-driver? did you check (system properties), that it acually is correctly installed and working?
- did you run "directx" checkup to see whether it finds any problems?
- make sure that your system operates the dvd-drive in DMA-mode
- deactivate/cancel all background tasks (virus-scanner, e-mailchecker etc) while you are watching a movie

some more technical stuff

as jim mentioned, a cpu with on-die cache like the K6-3 or the K6-+-versions would surely help most. Since your cpu is a k6-2 modell you have to rely on mainboard cache, which is running at 100mhz, a lot slower than the cpu's on-die cache running at cpu-speed (500mhz or whatever). but I am not so convinced about whether a mainboard with more than 512kb cache (like the asus p5a) will speed things up that much in our case here.

I think so because the algorythm to convert the data-stream (coming from the dvd-drive) into single pictures of a movie uses always the same ram-adresses (and amount of ram) to make this happen. I don't know if this ram-area is covered by only 512kb cache. but I know that I get smooth dvd-playback even with mainboard-cache disabled (512kb on my gigabyte ga5ax with ali-5 chipset) when using a K6-3+ cpu. and that tells me, that only 256kb cpu-cache are sufficient. but maybe it is because the much higher clock-speed covers the pnalties from not having any 3rd-level cache (mainboard) at all. however, I can clock down my k6-3+- cpu to 400mhz and still get smooth video experience. all this I achieve under NT4 (which is known to have only poor multimedia capabilities!!!), Geforce4-MX460, driver 77.72, dvd-playback via powerdvd 3.0. the cpu-load averages 65%. for comparison, I also have windows 2000 installed on another partition onf the same machine. there I installed ali-agp-driver 1.83, directx 9.0c, graphics driver 8x.xx (don't know exactely), powerdvd 5.0, and get a cpu-load of about 50%. I guess this is due to the usage of agp-techniques and far better directx-usage of the dvd-software).


I don't think that ernanis problem is with the agp-speed specification of his graphics card. if the card is working but is somewhat slow in certain regards then the card can't be a 4x/8x card. he would not be able to boot into windows. my experience with such cards is that the screen stays black from the very beginning of the boot process. the machine would probably make some peep-noises and then freeze. there are 2 kinds of geforce-4-mx cards out there: there is the 1x/2x/4x version and the 4x/8x version.

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:14 pm
by Jim
Peter seems to know more about this than me, so I am not going to argue. Just going to say : A K6-2 @ 5x100 on an FIC VA_503+ Rev 102 w/ 1 Meg cache, plays markedly better DVD than a K6-2 @ 5.5x100 on an ASUS P5A-B Rev 104 w/ 512k cache. I have built and used both of those setups. With the ASUS board, I had to use every possible tweak to get it going as fast as possible to get smooth DVD. That was not necessary w/ the FIC despite the 50Mhz difference in speed.

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 1:00 am
by tazwegion
I re-read the original post, and a thought came to my mind... is it possible the MX440 is a PCI variant (Inno3D did manufacture some in 64Mb flavours), that being the (possible) case... the PCI bus bandwidth would be the bottleneck for performance would it not?

Additionally could a driver issue not cause similar symptoms? I've been led to believe that the 'detonator' series drivers from nVidia are better than those of 'standard issue'... strangely I had also heard that some series of the 'detonators' were optimized for varying products, and that sometimes the older drivers were better suited to more 'mature' components :D

I figured that everything worked OK prior to the VGA card swap... hence the issue lay somewhere in 'that' department :D

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 3:33 pm
by Jim
@ TAZ : Sorry, you were right. That was not too easy to read. I edited it a bit. Didn't change anything said, just the spacing to make it clearer.

Vis a vis going to 5x112, I never tried that w/ my K6-2 550AGR. It was my impression that AMD hand picked those processors, out from the normal run of the mill 500s; and that they were pushing the design pretty hard to get them up that high.

I never tried FSB OCing till I got my K6-3+ 450ACZ. It doubtless can be done to some extent, though I don't know if 5x112 is going to be possible in every case, or necessary for that matter to get smooth DVD, as he may be able to get away w/ 5x105.

Certainly raising the FSB will give disproportionate results, because you are speeding up everything, not just the processor. Whether or not his RAM is up to that I don't know; all I can say is that on an ASUS P5A-B I had to use the fastest possible ram timings, and every other bios tweak that I could to get smooth DVD playback @ 550Mhz.

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:09 am
by tazwegion
No worries Jim... the K62-550 I've got on the Epox MVP3C2 is running better @ 5x112fsb ;)

BTW 'that' system has outgrown it's original miditower case... and is destined for a full server case, hopefully my first 'window mod' will go smoothly :)

Don Pedro thanks for the clarification RE: the MX440 chipset... all the data I found @ the nVidia site pointed exclusively to 4x/8x support... altering my google parameters (MX440 AGP 1x 2x 4x) gave more informative data :D

LOL You learn something new everyday! :banana