TechSpot

asus a8n-sli deluxe CPU support

By wheaties1187
Nov 27, 2005
  1. I finally recieved my new asus a8n-sli premium board (along with a bfg tech 7800gt and some other goodies) and got it all set up. To my dismay, the system would not boot. This is the second board i have tried to set up with my new system that would power up but would not post or show any video. I thought it was strange to receive 2 dead boards, so i decided to call AMD and see about the processor (also new, purchased with first board). Turns out my 3700+ San Diego is revision E4 (the other possibility is E6), and the a8n-sli premium did not support revision E4 - explaining what I thought was a dead board. so i returned the board to get the a8n-sli deluxe, which should be here tomorrow. the deluxe version does support the E4 revision, since BIOS 1007 or later.
    so my question is - if i were to get this new deluxe board and it has an older bios (1001 or 1002), would it be able to boot so that i could flash it or would i have to send the board to asus to be flashed? i plan on contacting asus support if it the board doesnt boot, but i was wondering if anyone here knows what will happen or if they have had actual experience with this situation. i am very anxious to find out and didn't want to wait for asus support. so thank you in advance if anybody knows what's up :giddy:

    http://support.asus.com/cpusupport/cpusupport.aspx?SLanguage=en-us
    thats the cpu support page that AMD pointed me to. the 1007 (required for my processor) is a few versions old, so i hope that the board ships with at least that version and it wont be a problem at all.
     
  2. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    I would bet that your board ships with at least 1011 (1008 minimum) as 1011 is the first BIOS to support X2. I know this isn't the answer you want to hear but I think you're just going to have to play wait and see. Please let us know what happens will you? TIA
     
  3. wheaties1187

    wheaties1187 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    hey guys, im up and running on the new system!!! :bounce:
    the board shipped with bios 1015 (latest) and i was up and running after throwing some arctic silver on the cpu. everything went flawlessly. it tears through games, and i am a very happy camper (at last).
    specs:
    ASUS a8n-sli deluxe
    AMD 64 3700+ san diego
    BFGtech 7800 GToc
    1.5g Corsair xms ddr400
    40g seagate (system drive, device drivers.. important stuff)
    120g seagate (storage and w/e)

    the board was picky about the ram... the three 512 corsair sticks were not exactly identical... resulting now running ddr333 in single channel :dead: i have some questions about timings that i will post in the correct category after some more testing.

    one thing was that i didnt realize until afterwards that the 7800 bundled Call of Duty 2 disk was the DVD-edition. so it looks like ill be buying a dvd drive soon, since i can get one for less than the game lol (and i want one anyways, just never had the need).
     
  4. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Glad to hear you got things up and running!

    I have the same motherboard and CPU as you do. I WAS going to get the premium, but luckily the salesman I bought from knew about the 3700 with the premium board and recommended I get the deluxe instead.

    Anyways, glad you are up and running.
     
  5. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    By the way, what are your chipset fan rpms at right now?

    The deluxe version has a different glitch that you should be aware of. Many of the boards have a faulty chipset fan. Mine died on me in the first few weeks.

    You'll know you also have the faulty fan if you hear a freakishly loud screaming comming from your case. Yes, it is that loud.

    If it happens to you, don't worry. Easily fixed, just a pain in the ***. Asus is aware of the problem and will immediately send you a newer, stronger chipset fan. Replacing it involves removing your motherboard completely. Other than the inconvenience of having to rewire everything, it is relatively simple.

    If your chipset fan speeds are up in the 6000 to 8000 rpm ranges now, that is a potential sign that yours may be a faulty one.
     
  6. wheaties1187

    wheaties1187 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    aarrgh.... 6250 rpms. i thought that seemed kinda high but thought that would be good for temps lol. my case has bad ventilation im probably getting a new one for xmas, but for now it will continue to run hot. mobo temp reports 38*c, which is actually hotter than my cpu at 36*c.
    so it will probably be real bad for me if the chipset fan goes out. on the bright side, if i tell asus to send me one now, ill get it by the time i have the new case and just put it in when i have to take the mobo out for the switch.
     
  7. wheaties1187

    wheaties1187 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    btw, thanks for all the help DN. i remember you replied to one of my other questions too. this site is the main reason i got things up and running smoothly. i thought i knew a decent amount about computers, since i built my first one not too long ago. but since i joined techspot i have read up and learned a ton. looking back on it, i think my first build working was somewhat luck.
     
  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    That's what I would do if I were you (get Asus to send it to you BEFORE it dies on you).

    Your chipset fan running at 6,000 doesn't necessarily mean your fan will die. If you are closer to the 8,000 like mine was, then that is a dead giveaway. Keep an eye on it.

    I have mine replaced, and the new one I have now is STILL at 6,000. My board temp is also always a few degrees higher than my CPU.

    Currently:
    CPU: 37
    System: 39
    chipset fan 5800
     
  9. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    No problem at all!

    I was in the same boat when I first dragged my sorry **** to this forum! Didn't know a thing and was putting together my first system. I have learned just about everything from participating in this forum.

    That and by blowing things up :haha:
     
  10. wheaties1187

    wheaties1187 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    i thought that it was strange to have higher temps on the board but i guess not. my old board used to average about 28* vs 40* cpu. i think ill have them send me the new fan and keep it j/i/c.

    i was also wondering if the pm system is commonly used on this site. i found it the other day. i figured it would be more direct than just posting in this thread and going off topic. but anwyays i gotta go to bed cuz i gotta wake up in a few hours lol.
     
  11. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    Wheaties1187-
    Your board has the new chipset fan installed (the old one runs at 8K RPM minimum) and as far as I know it is reliable and cools well enough to keep things running smoothly. My mobo temps are identical to DonNagual's and your's so I'd quit worrying about it.

    I highly recommend that you take that third stick of RAM out if you want to run at decent speeds. AMD CPU's are very particular about how much RAM you use and in what combinations. It has nothing to do with the mobo since AMD 64's address the memory directly from an embedded memory controller via a dedicated Hypertransport bus. The mobo chipset is irrelevant unlike in Intel CPU's where the RAM is addressd via the northbridge on the mobo itself.

    The upside to the AMD design is that it is very, very fast and efficient. The downside is, it is not easily configurable since the memory controller is embedded in the CPU during fabrication. One thing that AMD is now addressing is the fact that 64's can't address 4 sticks of dual sided memory at geater than 333MHZ 2T timing. I think your CPU is supposed to get 400DDR with 4 dual sided sticks but still can't beat the 2T timing limit. The fact that you're stuck at 333MHZ is probably because you've got an imbalance with three sticks instead of a matched pair or pairs.

    Bottomline, run two sticks of 512MB in the A1/B1 sockets (sockets 1 and 3 as you move away from the CPU) and you'll get 400DDR / 1T timings and can then begin to overclock that great CPU. If you want more than 1GB of RAM then I would suggest that you run 4 matched 512MB sticks at 400DDR / 2T timings or 2 matched 1GB sticks at 400DDR / 1T. If you need more info just let me know as I have no idea of your depth of knowledge on this subject.
     
     
  12. wheaties1187

    wheaties1187 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    thanks merc, it's good to know that my chipset fan is all set.
    as far as the ram goes, i used to have 1 stick of 512 corsair xms ddr400 (3200c2pt, 2.5-3-3-6 timings). i wanted to expand to fill the 3 slots on my asus a7n8x deluxe board, so i got an additional pair of 512 corsair sticks. i just now realized when i went to install them into the new board that they were 3200pt, 3-3-3-8 timings. the a8n-sli deluxe auto-detected ddr333 single channel, so i tried to manually set the ram to 400mhz with 3-3-3-8 timings. however, the c2pt didn't take the new timings and so i was left with 1 gig running in single channel. i wasn't sure if 1 gig in dual channel would be better than 1.5 running slower in single so that's why i brought it up.
    I know about the speed and that the timings refer to clock cycles and that 1T is faster than 2T, and how to set all of them in the bios. I also understand how the dual channel (A1 + B1, A2 + B2) works. however, i don't have much experience with actually testing the different setups or whether the capacity, speed, or timings are most important.
     
  13. wheaties1187

    wheaties1187 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    ^^posted that from school today

    picked up a dvd-burner today and fixed my ram while i was at it.
    ram was:
    1.5g ddr333 2.5-3-3-7, 2T, single channel
    after pulling out the c2pt:
    1g ddr400 3-3-3-8, 1T, dual channel :giddy:

    so based on what merc said, this should run a bit faster than before. i also saw an interesting page earlier showing that 512x4 is actually slower in several cases than 512x2. so i guess i'll stick with 1 gig for now.
     
  14. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    Take my word fr it, you'll be much better off running 2 sticks of 512MB RAM at DDR 400 speeds in A1 B1. Use these timings for max stability and very good speed:
    (These are for the A8N SLI Deluxe BIOS and represent 2.5/3/3/6 1T timings)
    Make sure HT (hypertransport) is set at 5X
    Timing mode - manual
    memclock 400MHZ
    Tcl (CAS Latency) - 2.5
    Tras - 6T
    Trcd - 3T
    Trp - 3T
    Rest as presented
    1T/2T - 1T
    S/W DRAM 4G - Disabled

    You can probably lower the TcL (CAS Latency) to 2T from 2.5 but it caused some instabilities in a very few applications on my system, but I was using two 1024MB sticks.
     
  15. wheaties1187

    wheaties1187 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    on the pair of sticks i have in the system it says 3-3-3-8 timings on the stick itself (my other stick is 2.5-3-3-6). will it support the faster timing? am i overclocking the ram? i dont think im gonna try it until i understand what i am doing.
    you were definately right about the 1 gig ddr400 vs slower 1.5g though. i played some cod 2 on high settings and didnt even notice the slightest bit of slowdown (i didnt try cod until i had the ram changed though- cuz i didnt have the dvd drive until today). i noticed an improvement in quake 4 though. i kept my high single player settings and played some mp which is usually choppier, and i never dropped below 50 fps. new system is running amazingly, so thats why i dont want to screw with o/c'ing the ram until i hear back.

    btw - just won my first deathmatch in quake :bounce:
    50 kills 24 deaths (out of 8 players)
    unfortunately no screenies of my first victory cuz i didnt know what my command was lol.
     
  16. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    I would set the timings at 2.5/3/3/8 1T and maybe move the DRAM voltage up to 2.65v. If that works then try 2.5/3/3/6. If it runs stable leave it and be happy. If you see any instability then reset to what you have now. After that you won't see any real differences in performance unless you benchmark.

    I read an article that showed there was only a small gain in performance once you get past a certain point in regards to RAM timings. Getting to 400DDR and 1T resulted in the most significant increase in performance that you'd be able to see. The above settings would increase performance that you could see in a game but not as great as the last change. The 2.5 CAS would put you on the edge of seeing those rapidly diminishing returns.

    I see no reason that Corsair RAM wouldn't run at the above settings so give it a shot. Just be advised that this is overclocking and nasty system crashes are part of that game. If your system crashes you'll have to reset the CMOS/BIOS and then reset all your BIOS settings. Been there, done that, plan on doing it again but if you're not confident enough at this point to reseet the CMOS/BIOS etc. then just enjoy your set-up as it is. It's plenty fast already.
     
  17. wheaties1187

    wheaties1187 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    thanks for all the help merc. i have reset the cmos before and im comfortable with resetting all my bios info so i think when i get a chance ill try testing out those faster timings. normally i would be hesitant to overclock but all the info you've givin me so far has helped tremendously so i think i'll give it a try. like you said, corsair should be able to handle it. if i somehow damage the ram ill just wish for twin sticks of 1024 for xmas lol.
     
  18. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    OK mate, and you won't damage the RAM with those settings. Good luck and have fun with that kick *** system.
     
  19. wheaties1187

    wheaties1187 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    just finished testing...
    i upped the voltage to
    2.65V and set timings to 2.5-3-3-8
    i ran prime95 for like 15 min and no problems so i tried to step it to
    2.65V 2.5-3-3-6
    the computer booted but the windows logon screen was artifacting so i immideately shut down. im going to run some games at 2.5-3-3-8 but i dont think ill see too much difference since they are already running spectacularly.
    j/w if the change from 3 to 2.5 with higher voltage is worth the risk? or is it not really much of a risk other than the fact that it voids the warranty?

    as far as cpu overclocking - 1) games are running great as is 2) i dont have the money for a replacement right now if something were to go disasterously wrong. so i think i'll leave it be for now.

    overall, i got service pack 2 installed and the new dvd-burner hooked up so i think the system is good to go. A big thanks to everyone who helped me get this beast running!
     
  20. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    No you won't hurt the RAM at that voltage. Stick with 2.5/3/3/8 1T DDR400 2.65v and just have fun. When you get the urge to be a knucklehead overclocker and learn the ins and out of that game you can tweak and play to your hearts content but as far a games are concerned you're already seeing the most bang for the bucks. If you have ANY problems then roll back the settings. Corsair RAM can take a lot more voltage than 2.65 but the benefits are limited and only matter to us knucklehead overclockers. You already have the bug, though, so learn as much as you can before you go any further. There are some really, really good overclockers on this forum (I am not in that league) that can help you when you're ready to hit the numbers.

    I run my CPU (which is a piss-poor Newcastle core 3500+) at 2.4, RAM at 2.5/3/3/6 1T (BF2 crashes at 2/3/3/6 1T 2.65v) 2 x 6800GT's (SLI) at 401/1100 and things are stable. If I had your CPU I could push harder but the Newcastle is comfortable at 2.4 1.585v. When I benchamark for a team competition I can push the numbers more to fit the benchmark software but real world games like the buggy BF2 crash so I don't bother.

    Also. everyone here is very happy for you that you got your new rig up and running and it is kick-***. That is what it is all about. Secret is we all want to go out and buy the next new thing and push the speed a little more but who can afford that. So, we all live vicariously through te new guys that are just setting up their first "hot" rig and get a kick out of it. Thanks are appreciated but not necessary. You'll be doing the same thing as us in a couple months. :knock: The wheel turns. LOL.
     
  21. wheaties1187

    wheaties1187 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    well merc, you were right: i've got the bug. after thinking about it and reading stuff about overclocking, i decided to give it a go. my 2.2ghz 3700+ san diego is now running rock solid at 2.62ghz, 1.47v (with stock cooler and arctic silver compound). it stays under 50c even during extended periods of torture testing in Prime95. i had to drop the HTT to 3, and the fsb is now running at 857mhz. i also lost a few mhz on the ram, but tightened the timings. ram is running in d/c @ 374 mhz, 2.5-3-3-6 1T, 1.65v. i found out that my a8n-sli deluxe doesnt support the cpu/ram divider so i used ddr333 and the o/c got the mhz back up a bit. overall im very happy with it, especially considering im using fairly low voltages. maybe a new cpu cooler and a better case for xmas will let me really crank it :D
     
  22. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    That's great. I keep my Newcastle core at 2.4 all the time but only crank up the GPU's when I am gaming. The core on your CPU is a lot better overclocker than a 130nm Newcastle. Good luck!
     
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