FIC VA-503+ revisted

Discuss software and how to tweak more performance out of your system.
James
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Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

FIC VA-503+ revisted

Post by James » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:03 am

Hi Forum members,

I am in the process of rebuilding a FIC VA-503+ motherboard with AMD K6-2 551Mhz CPU. I've been having issues with BSODs due to video card. Bad thing is that FIC now requires a userID and password to get any info on legacy hardware. I am using an updated BIOS from eSupport.com, have a 10GB WD hard drive, and a Sony 3.5" floppy.

I've tried a number of video cards:
HIS Nvidia 9250 Pro AGP = BSOD 0x000008e for at13duag.dll for any direct3d test.
EVGA Nvidia 6200 AGP = BSOD 0x000008e for nv4_disp.dll for direct3d 8

I wanted to rule out AGP, so I put in a PCI card:
Jaton Nvidia 6200 = BSOD 0x000008e for nv4_disp.dll for direct3d 8

With the above video cards, my next thought was that I had too much card, so I dropped in a unknown brand with Nvidia Geforce2 MX-200 AGP (same BSOD for direct3d 8).

Looking in Event Viewer, I did see system errors for ACPI, so I switched to Standard PC and am usiing APM setting. No ACPI errors anymore in Event Viewer.

Also, USB with Microsoft mouse and wireless work fine. Using AT power (300? watts).

Last I recall, system worked great with a dual boot Windows 98SE and IBM OS/2 Warp 4 using ELSA Winner 2000 PCI video card.

Any help is appreciated. I would really like to get this old socket 7 mobo running again.

Regards,
James

Jim
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Posts: 1745
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

RE: FIC VA-503+ revisted

Post by Jim » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:41 pm

One thing worth checking is your RAM. Kyle Brant, the author of "K6Speed", (the program in the download section that allows you to adjust your speed in MHz without having to open up your machine and mess with jumpers), Used an FIC VA-503+, and he said that that board is so borderline on its settings, that it requires the highest quality RAM in order to run stabley. He also gave a list of the WPCredit settings he used with a FIC VA-503+. See :

http://www.k6plus.com/index.php?name=PN ... +asus+p5ab

I had stability problems with an FIC VA-503+ too, until I switched to Hynix RAM. It is worth noting however that the FIC VA-503+ gives the best memory performance of any MVP3board. i.e. Highest Memory Read and Write numbers.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

James
Junior K6'er
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

Post by James » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:46 am

Hi Jim,

I will check out the RAM sometime today to see what I have in there. Also, do you have recommended BIOS settings?

Regards,
James Cannon

James
Junior K6'er
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

Post by James » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:27 pm

Hi Jim,

I did manage to look at the installed memory. Looks like generic stuff. I must have bought it online perhaps. However, both sticks are identical and have the same sticker on them:

128MB SDR DIMM, H
(BAR CODE)
16YHS 0135P24087

Not sure if I want to go out and buy new RAM. I did see the Hynix RAM online. If you do have recommended RAM settings, maybe there is something I can tweak.

Regards,
James

Jim
K6'er Elite
Posts: 1745
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Jim » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:40 pm

What brand is the RAM ? If the chips have "MT" on them, it is junk. It will work ok in an ASUS P5A-B with an ALi chipset, but not in any MVP3 board. Re adjusting the RAM settings, all you can do to make your existing RAM more stable is slow down the timings, adjusting things one at a time until the machine runs better. NOTE : In RAM Timings, higher numbers is slower. The numbers represent the number of "Clocks" allowed for the various functions to take place. If I were you, and you really want this machine to run at top performance, I would get 2x 256 Meg sticks of good quality PC 133 CL2 RAM.

Re Bios settings, apart from the RAM timings, I would have to hookup my FIC VA 503+ machine and check how I have them setup. It is an NT4 machine so I haven't used it in a long time; but to help you I can, once you have either replaced your RAM, or adjusted your timings slower, till it runs OK.

Note: The link I posted before is to a thread where KYLE BRANT, (the author of K6Speed), posted his WPCredit settings for an FIC VA-503+ board. WPCredit is a program available in the downloads section here, which allows you to access ALL THE CHIPSET SETTINGS. - Like about 20,000 of them. You can approximately double your memory write speed, and increase your memory read speed by about 50% with WPCredit.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

James
Junior K6'er
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

Post by James » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:57 pm

Hi Jim,

I will try slowing down the memory. Perhaps I will try some new RAM as recommended. I don't think my motherboard accepts more than 256MB. Unfortunately, I don't have the motherboard manual to verify and the web site for FIC requires UserID and password. I do have some old web pages printed out, like the FIC VA-503+ FAQ and jumper settings for CPU/RAM combos. If anyone has the motherboard manual in .pdf, it would be appreciated.

Regards,
James

Jim
K6'er Elite
Posts: 1745
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Jim » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:07 am

I have the motherboard manual PDF files, (9 of them), PM me an email address to send it to, and you will get them to night.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

James
Junior K6'er
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

Post by James » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:01 am

Hi Jim,

I really appreciate your help with this. Good news is that I found a folder with PDF for the motherboard manual. Good news is that I can indeed have up to 512MBs RAM using 2 256MB SDRAM. It does not list 133MHz RAM. I am sure it should work at 100Mhz. Not sure which is best web site to purchase. I am hoping that having good RAM will resolve issue. I am also looking at an ATX power supply with more power! With the motherboard manual, I now know what jumper to change from AT to ATX. Do you think having a better (more powerful) power supply would be recommended? All the video cards I tested do not need additional power (no connector on card).

Regards,
James Cannon

Jim
K6'er Elite
Posts: 1745
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Jim » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:02 pm

I used to use 200 Watt AT supplies with my K6 Machines, except for one which got a 300 Watt AT supply; - (of which I still have 2 brand new unused ones). Re RAM speed bear in mind that you can overclock these things. If you use a K6Plus processor, most of them will hit 600 MHz with no problem. They also have a lot more Cache on the processor so things tend to run a lot faster.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

James
Junior K6'er
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

Post by James » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:26 am

Hi Jim,

I booted the computer using the Microsoft Windows Memory Diagnostic and it passed with 5 runs and no errors. I think current memory is probably good. I still may consider upgrading RAM anyways in order to try 512MBs.
I am still stumped on DX8 and DX9 BSOD during dxdiag for nv4_Idisp.dll with error 0x0000008e.

Regards,
James Cannon

Jim
K6'er Elite
Posts: 1745
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Jim » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:44 pm

I am not sure about the error you are encountering. All I can say about the FIC VA-503+, is that they don't just require RAM that can pass run of the mill tests. They require EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH QUALITY RAM, because the boards settings are so close to the limits, that they will cause normal RAM to generate errors.

Try running MemTest on it for a few hours.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

James
Junior K6'er
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

Post by James » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:18 pm

Hi Jim,

I found some Hynix memory online. I am hoping this will do the trick. Might be a week until it arrives.

Regards,
James

Jim
K6'er Elite
Posts: 1745
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Jim » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:11 pm

We'll see. I should have given you a link to this post before.

http://www.k6plus.com/index.php?name=PN ... ight=hynix

The key thing is Hynix designations end in "H" if the RAM is CL3 and end in "K" if the RAM is CL2, - (which is preferable)
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

James
Junior K6'er
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

Post by James » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:15 am

Hi Jim,

I got the RAM, it is CL3 and system now sees 512MB. Is a huge difference in performance as expected, but still getting BSOD for Direct3D tests. :(

I downloaded CCcleaner thinking it may help, but did not retest DirectX. I am thinking a reinstall of Windows XPis in order.

Jim
K6'er Elite
Posts: 1745
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Jim » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:07 pm

One thing about the FIC VA-503+ is you have to set the AGP setting to 1x, NOT 2X or 4X.
Last edited by Jim on Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

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