ASUS MB and SLI Issues, anyone else solve these yet?

By Eldon
Aug 4, 2005
  1. Greetings, folks.

    Here's what I've got...

    Athlon 64 FX-57
    ASUS A8N-SLI Premium (current BIOS 1007.002 BETA)
    2x OCZ EL DDR400 PC3200 Platinum Dual Channel 2gb (2x 1GB)
    2x BFG nVidia 7800 GTX OC
    2x WD Raptor 74GB in RAID 0 (nVidia RAID)

    Plextor 716AL DVD
    Audigy 2Zs Platinum

    Windows XP (sp2)

    So, I'm having a couple of interesting issues. First and foremost, the MB will not POST with 4 sticks of memory, either with the (non-QVL) OCZ 1GB sticks or the (QVL) Corsair Value Select 512MB sticks. I relaxed the memory timings with two sticks to 3-4-4-8, (2T) and still no POST with 4 sticks.

    -> tried popping the CMOS battery and resetting it, starting with 2 sticks working up to 4.
    -> tried 1 to 3 sticks with no problem.
    -> tried manually setting memeory timings, both tight and relaxed.
    -> tried 2 kinds of memory
    -> tried BIOS version 1005, and BETA 1007.002

    The second problem is that I can't get the nVidia Control Panel to give me the SLI option. I spent a couple hours with a BFG tech support guy, and we tried just about everything. I stripped out everything from the system, installed one card at a time, set the BIOS to Single Card, installed the second card, set the BIOS to Dual Card... nothing. Device manager recognizes two 7800s, but SLI section of the display control panel indicates that I need to uninstall the "non-compatible" GPU before activating SLI. I'm currently using 6.66 nForce drivers and 77.72 Forceware drivers.

    As a precaution, I have ordered the following as backup...

    + MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum SLI Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI
    + DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 SLI-DR Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI
    + OCZ EL Platinum Revision 2 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400

    I am taking no effing prisoners. >_<

    Thoughts? Ideas?


    ps. I'll be water cooling the rig in a modded Lian-li after I sort out the HW issues (BIX, DD blocks, aquacomputer pump and controller). bwee!
  2. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    do not use all four ram slots at once or max out the system ram capacity. doing so would lead to slow and unreliable memory operation. your best bet is to use 2 of the slots for a dual channel ddr configuration.

    as for your sli are going to need to do some things befoer sli is ever going to work. these steps can be found in your motherboard's manual and they vary from board to board. you are also going to need to make sure the two graphics cards are identical, as sli will fail otherwise.

    reply how things went...
  3. Bob McBob

    Bob McBob TS Rookie

    OK, for the record, wow, nice rig.

    Now, having just set up a PC on this board, let me ask a few questions...

    - Has the selector card between the PCI-e16 slots been changed to Dual Cards? Is that card seated correctly with the retaining pin in place?
    - Do you have power cables run directly to both video cards and the 4-pin connector on the Mobo?
    - Are you running the video cable to the card in the blue slot (not the black slot)?
    - Is the SLI connector that bridges between cards securely in place?
    - Did you try the configuration with the BIOS set to Auto, as opposed to dual?
    - Is your BIOS up to date?

    Theoretically, if all the above is in place and working correctly the nVidia software should allow you to enable SLI.

    - Bob
  4. Eldon

    Eldon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I appreciate your response. However, it's not acceptable for a motherboard not to work with all four slots. The board should at least work to spec, so the solution isn't to lower my expectations. As an aside, I was able to get the system to POST with 4GBs by lowering the frequency for the memory in the BIOS to 200Mhz.

    Regarding SLI, I have two identical BFG 7800 GTXs, and they only make one version so far. I've followed all the steps of the MB manufacturer, as well as a wide variety of other things, including spending an ungodly amount of time with BFG tech support.
  5. Eldon

    Eldon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks :) I'm excited about its potential.

    On the ASUS A8N-SLI Premium, there is no selector for SLI. It is controlled by the software. Both cards are seated correctly, with the bridge in place, the power connectors attached, and all power connectors connects to the MB (although the manual indicates that the 4-pin connection to the MB isn't required if the power supply has a 24-pin connection.)

    Yes, I tried all three at various stages.
    Yes, I tried 1005 (Production) and 1007.002 (Beta).

    Yeah, exactly. I haven't figured out the issue yet, but I've got two more MBs coming today. We'll see if they are as finicky (they probably are but in new and exciting ways. :p )
  6. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    i don't like it any more than you do. but ideally it would work. the problem is that you have a non-ecc memory configuration, so expect poor reliability above 2gb, for now. usually when peope fill all ram slots on thier motherboards, the chipset automatically reduces the speed to a ddr333 spec and relaxes timings, thus significantly lowering memory performance. as i understand it some of the new memory controllers on the latest a64s can handle 4gigs in 4 slots without lowering the memory clock speeds, but there's no gurantees in that...
    are you saying that you were trying to run your ddr400 at a higher speed whilst trying to get your ram configured? no wonder it didn't work, as 200mhz is the standard spec for ddr400.
  7. Eldon

    Eldon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    As far as I can tell, setting the frequency to "400" in the BIOS effectively sets it to 200 in reality. A setting of 400 shows 200 in CPUz, and a setting of 200 shows 100 in CPUz. Weird.

    I have noticed that the MSI board booted with 4 sticks no problem, but it lowered the speed and increased the timings. What I don't get is why, when I pulled two sticks back out, it didn't automatically adjust favorably.

    Incidentally, I can't get SLI to work on the MSI board. Not happy atm. :(
  8. Secondgunman

    Secondgunman TS Rookie Posts: 91

    What what

    What what?
  9. Secondgunman

    Secondgunman TS Rookie Posts: 91

    I heard the MSI was buggy that way.

    I heard MSI cand be buggy when you play with the amount of RAM you sometime with have to reset the BIOS; I think most of your problem is that with your RAM in four slots you are restricted to the speed of your RAM.
    Most 4 Gig Mobos I think work better with two sticks of RAM.

    P.S. OCZ maybe better RAM for the cost, it is realy not very good RAM over all I have had alot of problems with it and have given up using it in gaming systems. ALL my Rigs get Croshair or Kingston, more and more I am using Kingston as the cost is far less then Croshair and thay are about the same when the job is done.
  10. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

  11. Eldon

    Eldon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    WEll, yeah. I can get 4 sticks in the asus if I drop the speed to 100mhz. MSI will take 4 sticks, and I haven't tried the LANPARTY yet, but I think I'm going to stick to ASUS for the moment.

    I've also figured out how to get SLI going. Apparently, a FEW of the BFG 7800 boards are being sent out with the nVidia reference BIOS (x.11) instead of the BFG BIOS (x.25). I had two different BIOS versions on the cards, and therefore they wouldn't go into SLI. Thing is, you can't see the secondary card's BIOS unless you put it in the first slot. Tricky....

    EDIT: To answer your question, yes, it's in 2T now with 2 1GB sticks in Dual channel. Not sure why it won't let me pop it into 1T...*sigh*
  12. Secondgunman

    Secondgunman TS Rookie Posts: 91

    Re last post

    Alot of people slam Asus for one thing or another but I have found their boards to be very good and take a real good beating. MSI is the other company I have had good boards from but I am not happy with they way they lay somethings out on them, but they do, do what the do well once you get over the layout.
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