1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

The ASUS A7N8X-X / A7N8X / A7N8X Deluxe Thread

By Didou · 207 replies
Sep 27, 2003
  1. The ASUS A7N8X-X/A7N8X/A7N8X Deluxe Thread

    This thread, I hope, will help those having problems with this board & those who are considering it as a next hardware upgrade.

    Let's start with the High-End version of this board.

    -=( The A7N8X Deluxe )=-

    Link to the ASUS Webpage

    Pictures :

    Top View


    Back View


    Bundle View


    PS. Please refrain from posting in this topic until the description posts are finished !!!
  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182


    There are 1.01,1.02,1.03,1.04,1.05,1.06 & 2.00 revisions of this board. 200FSB AthlonXP's are supported by the revision 2.00 ( or by the 1.xx revisions starting from the 1004 BIOS -> Link ).

    How to tell which revision you have.

    The revision number can be found between the 2nd & 3rd PCI slot.



    This board is very picky when it comes to Ram. Although you can get it to work with some generic Ram, it's not advised.

    The nForce2 chipset performs best when the Ram is running in sync with the FSB. If your FSB is set to 166, in the BIOS set the "Memory Frequency" to [Sync]. Make sure the Ram is capable of running at that speed, of course. You do not want to run PC2100 Ram at 166mhz. This applies whether the board is running in Dual-Channel or Single-Channel mode.

    Performance is also much better when running the Ram with very aggressive timings. You can get some no-name PC2700 Ram & run it at PC2100 speeds & get better performance ( & eventually better stability ).

    Running the Ram in Dual-Channel will only bring a small performance extra due to the aging K7 architecture, but if you can get extra performance for free, why not ?

    If you happen to use it in Dual-Channel mode, setting the "T-Ras" or "Row-Active Delay" value to high values such as 9/11 will result in better performance ( this only works in Dual-Channel mode ).

    In order to get the best performance in Dual-Channel, it is better to have the same amount of memory on borth channels. For example, if you have 256mb on the DIMM1 & 256 on the DIMM2 ( Channel 1 ), you'll get the best performance by installing a 512mb module on the DIMM3 ( Channel 2, the furthest from the Socket ).

    This table is taken from Hardware.fr


    If your BIOS is version 1004 & up, setting the Ram modules correctly will result in the mention Dual Channel Mode being posted on the system's power-up.

    Here's a list of Ram modules that have been approved by ASUS to run in PC3200 mode with this board.
    [b]DIMM Vendor | DIMM Part No.               | CL | Size  | Side   | DIE Vendor | DIE Part No.[/b]
    Samsung     | M368L6423DTM-CC4            | 3  | 512MB | Double | Samsung    | K4H560838D-TCC4
    Samsung     | M368L3223DTM-CC4            | 3  | 256MB | Single | Samsung    | K4H560838D-TCC4
    Adata       | BDMA83A                     | 2.5| 256MB | Single | Winbond    | W942508BH-5
    TwinMOS     | MDoubleTTUF08108L294K4FW0/T | 2.5| 256MB | Single | TwinMOS    | TMD7608F8E50B
    Winbond     | W9451GBDB-5                 | 2.5| 512MB | Double | Winbond    | W942508BH-5
    TwinMOS     |                             | 2.5| 512MB | Double | Winbond    | W942508BH-5
    TwinMOS     |                             | 2.5| 256MB | Single | Winbond    | W942508BH-5
    Kingston    | KVR400X64C25/256            | 2.5| 256MB | Single | Winbond    | W942508BH-5
    Corsair     | CMX512-3200C2XMS3202 v1.1   | 2.5| 512MB | Double |            |
    This table does not mean other brands/types of ram will not run at PC3200 with this board.

    Update : list of ram modules known to show stability issues
    • Kingston ValueRam PC3200 CAS3 -> KVR400X64C3A/512
      Stability issues when all 3 memory slots are populated & even 2 slots in some cases.
    Send me a PM if you know other Ram modules known to have problems with these boards.
  3. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182


    The A7N8X Deluxe is the only ASUS board based on the nForce 2 chipset to have Dual-Lan capabilities. The upper Ethernet connector is powered by the 3Com NIC, the lower one is powered by the nVidia NIC.

    The drivers for the 3Com NIC are not included in the nForce2 drivers, you need to download them HERE.

    Differences between the nVidia NIC & 3Com NIC :

    1. The 3Com NIC supports IP, TCP and UDP Checksum offloads while the NVIDIA NIC does not.
    2. The 3Com drivers include diagnostics software for DOS and Windows (a huge plus with the corporate community) while the NVIDIA drivers do not have that functionality yet.
    3. The NVIDIA NIC supports interrupt moderation resulting in lower CPU utilization, the 3Com NIC does not.


    Both NICs are 10/100 Mb/s capable. It would've been nice to have Gigabit Ethernet on one of the NICs.

    TIP donated by Tarkus : Enable the 3Com from the BIOS before installing Windows as enabling it later seems to bring more problems than anything.
  4. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182


    This board has 4 USB2 connectors on the back panel & an USB header to which you can connect the USB bracket that comes with the board in order to have 2 more USB connectors.

    This board cannot boot on an USB device, whichever the type & can have problems functioning with certain USB devices, such as mp3 players.

    Here's a list of devices known to have problems with this board :

    * 6in1 Internal Reader 3 1/2 usb1, Flash card reader card X4-USB
    * MP3 Player DAP 128 Mb (Additek)
    * PNY 6in1 Player ( metallic grey look ) which doesn't even work on the a7n266-e
    * Creative Muvo 128Mb ( Solution : flash with new firmware update, instructions contained in ReadMe file )
    * The Archos JukeBox 20
    * Compact Flash USB HAMA Player
    * CF USB Player from Crucial

    Tips for USB trouble-shooting :

    1. Try these Beta Drivers -> USB Drivers 1.2.1 (Mirror Link) or here -> USB Drivers 1.3.1.

    2. Spread your USB devices across the different controllers. For ex. if you have 3 devices, connect one to the USB connectors next to the 3Com NIC, one next to the nVidia NIC & the last one on the extra USB Bracket.

    3. Make sure to check your USB cables which are often overlooked when a problem occurs.

    4. W2K Service Pack 4 clears a lot USB problems reported previously.

    5. If you're still having problems, you might need a stronger PSU or you can try connecting your devices to an USB hub with its own power supply. This is known to help in many situations.

    PS. For WinXP users ( Taken from nVidia's website ) -> "Windows XP users must install Service Pack 1 prior to attempting to install this package. Failure to do so will result in the inability to support USB 2.0."
  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182

    FIREWIRE / IEEE-1394

    This board has 2 IEEE-1394 headers & comes with a PCI Bracket. The drivers are included in the nForce Drivers so no extra install necessary.

    There's only one device known to have problems on this board.

    1. SONY PC 101 DV IN/OUT

    The problem is present only in one direction. When acquiring from the camera, everything is fine. When uploading, image is often incomplete, visual bugs are present, etc. A Beta patch has been released HERE.



    This board has two S-Ata connectors to which you can connect 2 SATA devices ( 1 on each ). There were certain compatibility problems with large capacity drives ( 160GB & above ) but they have been solved with recent BIOS updates.

    In order to use your SATA drives, you need the Silicone Image drivers located HERE for Windows & HERE for Linux.

    You need to have those drivers on a Floppy while installing Win2K/XP. During the very first part of the install process, hit F6 to add a 3rd party driver & insert your floppy with drivers. Otherwise the Windows setup process will not be able to find your drives. You do not need for the whole content of the zip to be on the floppy, there's not enough space anyways. You just need the following files in the root of the floppy :
    You can use your SATA drives in a RAID stripe ( 0/1, 0+1 is not possible ). To do so, after the system POST, hit CTRL+H to enter the SATA BIOS & create your RAID stripes.


    I don't use the S-ATA myself ( disabled with the SATA_EN1 jumper ), so most of the info here has been donated by Tarkus.
  6. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182


    nVidia reference drivers

    As of 07/19/2004, the latest drivers from nVidia are :

    nVidia nForce Unified Drivers for Win XP/2K ( 4.27 )

    nVidia nForce Unified Drivers for Win 98(SE)/ME ( 4.20 )

    nVidia nForce Unified Drivers for Linux ( 1.0-0261 )

    New Beta Audio Drivers ( official 4.27 drivers posted above are newer so use those instead )

    nVidia Beta 4.31 audio drivers for XP/2K.

    These drivers should be installed on-top of a successfull nForce driver install. They contain updated audio drivers & utilities ( NVMixer, etc ).

    Picture of the updated NVMixer

    nVidia nForce driver Archive

    Previous releases for WinXP/2K can be found HERE.

    Previous releases for Win98/98SE/ME can be found HERE.

    Previous releases for Linux can be found HERE.

    Asus reference drivers

    As of 09/30/2003, the latest drivers from Asus are :

    Asus nForce 2 all-in-one WinXP Drivers ( 1.16 , based on the 2.03 nVidia drivers )

    Asus nForce 2 all-in-one Win2K Drivers ( 1.16 , based on the 2.03 nVidia drivers )

    Asus nForce 2 all-in-one WinME Drivers ( 1.16 , based on the 2.03 nVidia drivers )

    Asus nForce 2 all-in-one Win98(SE) Drivers ( 1.16 , based on the 2.03 nVidia drivers )

    Asus nForce 2 Linux Drivers

    Info on Linux installation to come later.


    The A7N8X Deluxe board comes with the MCP-T ( Media & Communications Processors ) Southbridge which includes the APU ( Audio Processing Unit ) from the nForce1 chipset.


    Anandtech has this to say about the A7N8X Deluxe onboard sound ( taken from nForce2 6-way Motherboard Roundup - December 2002 ) :

    Or this about the nForce1/2 MCP sound part ( taken from NVIDIA nForce Computex 2001 Preview ) :

    Note : MCP-D is the high end MCP from the nForce 1 chipset, the MCP-T is the same chip with added Firewire support & the 3Com NIC.

    The nVidia Audio Control Panel is very well done. They have a Guide HERE & an nVswap utility HERE which can help you connect your speaker setup correctly.

    It is also covered by our very own TS|Thomas HERE in the Soundcard & Speakers tweak guide.


    Sound Troubleshooting Tips :

    1. When installing Codec packs, install the strict necessary minimums. Certain codecs haven been known to cause certain static sounds in general usage on the Sound part.

    2. Static can be heard when using older SATA drivers. It is recommended to install the newest ones ( included in the 2.45 nVidia drivers, look above for the links ).

    3. Static can also be heard when you use HIGH RPM fans. Try lowering the speed or maybe getting a bigger, lower RPM fan ( 120mm for example ).
  7. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182


    You can find the lates BIOS builds HERE

    As of 10/08/2003, Build 1006 is available.

    A7N8X Rev 2.0

    A7N8X Rev 1.xx ( Support for systems operating with FSB set to 200, is included in Build 1004 & up )

    nForce 2 BIOS bug

    This bug translates into a black screen instead of the expected POST screen & occurs generally after modifying a lot of the settings in the BIOS. An easy workaround is to select "SAVE CHANGES" & then exiting the BIOS instead of choosing "SAVE CHANGES & EXIT".

    Taken from -> LOSTCIRCUITS


    1. WIN 2000/XP

    I have not tryed this nor found any information on installing this board on the server version of these OSes so I shall stick to the Professional version ( or Workstation ).

    1. Windows
    2. 2K Service Pack 4 / XP Service Pack 1
    3. Windows updates
    4. Asus nForce 1.16 or nVidia 2.45 drivers
    5. 3Com & SATA drivers
    6. Video Card drivers

    2. Linux

    The nForce 2 chipset has been released for quite a while, so Linux support is very good & recent distributions allready come with the necessary drivers in order to have everything ( almost ) working straight out of the box.

    I installed RedHat9, & it detected all the devices except the nVidia NIC. It installed an i810 audio driver though which I'm not sure is correct. Nevertheless, the sound worked & my speakers were mapped correctly as they were on Windows. It's still a good idea to install newer drivers that might be available on either the nVidia website or the ASUS website.

    The nVidia Linux Installation Guide can be found HERE
  8. Hitman`

    Hitman` TS Rookie Posts: 40

    To go with the specs in the last few posts, I will add a real life experience with this post as I own one of these motherboards. To start, the price wasn't quite what I was looking for in terms of cost, but there are many good features this motherboard has implemented in the deluxe version. First off it sports nVIDIA's nForce 2 SPP chipset with the MCP-T or D PCI bridge, which I favor over VIA chipsets because stability is more of a VIA thing than an nVIDIA thing where you can tweak both. The dual channel architecture is also implemented, making for 6.4GB of total system bandwidth, but the processor really can utilize only about half of it but it gives you the option to increase your performance at no cost to you. The serial ATA controller works flawlessly with my maxtor hard drive, runs noticably faster than a traditional ATA, leaving room for more ATAPI devices or more hard disks on the IDE channel. The dual LAN capability in sort of a flop, the nVIDIA LAN doesn't perform near as well compared to the 3COM that comes with it. Kudos to the sound controller. nVIDIA did put a good sound card onboard in A7N8X Deluxe. I like the hardware buffer that most integrated sound solutions dont have on cheaper boards, it takes some strain off the cpu while playing games when its enabled. There are also a few things I don't quite like about this board. Number 1: jumpers, this board ahs jumpers all over it and its one thing I cant stand on modern computers. ABIT does a good job by implementing this in their BIOS, but ASUS doesn't put JUMPERFREE it in the A7N8X, boo. Fan connectors are an issue too. The A7N8X comes with 3-3pin connectors for fans, but I have a MGE Acrylic case, so there are 5 case fans and a cpu fan to power. I personally don't like connecting from the power supply as you can no longer control the fan, so I had to buy a fan controller for my system, not a bad choice, but just kind of annoying that there isn't enough onboard power connectors. Performance-wise, its a go-getter. I have had no problems not to mention fast performance from this board, although the BIOS does have a little overclockability, it doesn't give much, I think more for stability reasons than anything else. Overall, this board is a great one at the moment, but kind of spendy, as most ASUS boards are. But if you got the cash, ($110-$140) buy it.
  9. drennane

    drennane TS Rookie

    Neftworking with this board.

    Has anyone tried networking in Win2k with this board. I have the board with the Realtek chip and I just cannot get it to work. I connects, ie. the little connected icon appears on the bottom, right but cannot see or be seen by any other computer on the n/w in the same workgroup. It gets a IP address from the DHCP but still nothing. I tried pinging it and pinging another computer from it... nothing. Its driving me mad. I have installed latest drivers from Asus (ver 2.45 or something)... nothing. Yet no one else seems to have a problem. I've traced the net looking for someone like me.

    Any suggestions, much appreciated.

  10. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182

    -=( The A7N8X-X )=-

    Link to the ASUS Webpage

    I won't post the whole specs, instead I'll just concentrate on the differences between this board & the Deluxe version.

    Pictures :

    Top View


    Back View


    Bundle View

    <-- Soon in a theatre near you -->
  11. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182


    The A7N8X is based off the nForce2 400 chipset ( not Ultra-400 ), which does not include the DualChannel memory controller.

    Many people will argue that the K7 architecture isn't really capable of using the 6.4 GB/s that the chipset can offer ( when running PC3200 in DualCHannel ) in the first place.

    You have to understand that the CPU isn't the only component using the memory bandwidth. All of the system's devices that can use the DMA mode share the bandwidth with the CPU. Having a chipset capable of offering more then the CPU can handle means the extra bandwidth can be used by other devices without having to compete with the CPU at all.

    As far as pure performance goes, having a SingleChannel memory controller doesn't cut performance in half. The differences in benchmarks ir probably a few % points at most.

    Some people will also argue that the system feels "smoother" when running a DualChannel system. As many other features of a PC, this one is very suggestive.

    The same advice that goes for the Deluxe version goes for this board :

    1. Run the Ram in sync with the FSB for best performance.
    2. If the Ram permits, running aggressive timings will result in a performance increase.
    3. Not mixing Ram types/speeds/brands is a good way to stand clear of trouble.
  12. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182

    Well, as Socket-A slowly starts to get phased out, there aren't as many questions on the a7n8x anymore & the need for this thread to be "sticky" is no more.

    I myself never got to finishing this thread, lack of time & motivation. Anyways, feel free to bump it once in a while if necessary.;)
  13. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182

    Linux Installation

    First you need to download the latest nVidia nForce drivers from nvidia.com.

    As of 05/27/2004, the latest are 1.0-0274.

    If you have a RedHat based distribution, there are binary RPMs available for download for certain versions of the 2.4 Linux kernel. If the kernel you are using is in that list, it's just a matter of downloading the file, then going to that folder & doing a rpm -ivh NVIDIA_nforce-<version>.rpm. If you have a different kernel, it is better to download either a source rpm to rebuild it or the drivers sources in tar.gz format.

    -=( source rpm )=-
    If you choose the source rpm, download the rpm file ( LINK ), go that directory then type ( as root ) rpmbuild --rebuild NVIDIA_nforce-<version>.src.rpm. You need to have your kernel sources installed to use this technique BTW. If all goes well, you will now have a fresh binary rpm waiting for you at /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/i386/. Once again, a simple rpm -ivh NVIDIA_nforce-<version>.rpm should do the trick.

    -=( source tar.gz )=-
    If you've downloaded the tar.gz file ( LINK ), extract it with the command tar xvfz NVIDIA_nforce-<version>.tar.gz. Go into the newly created folder, then type ( as root ) make install. Just as for the source rpm, you need to have your kernel sources installed for this technique to work.

    Installations tips for other distributions such as SuSE can be found here -> Release Notes.

    Once you've installed the drivers, you have driver modules which will be loaded in memory when needed. The default parameters should work well for most people, but you can still pass options to the modules by editing the file /etc/modules.conf.

    For the nVnet NIC : add to the modules.conf file the line options nvnet optimization=1 will make the NIC use as least CPU cycles possible, rather then concentrate on network throughput. Putting speed=0 will set the NIC to negotiate network speed, while 1 will force it to 10Mbps & 2 will force it to 100Mbps. duplex=0 sets it to auto, 1 to half-duplex & 2 to full duplex.

    For SoundStorm : you can add options nvaudio spdif_status to the same file. This is what nVidia says for that parameter.

    If you do not wish to load the modules at startup, you can manually load them with the options by typing /sbin/modprobe nvet optimization=1 for example.
  14. Atma

    Atma TS Rookie

    potentially stupid question

    I know that it said this:

    This board has two S-Ata connectors to which you can connect 2 SATA devices (1 on each)

    However, is it possible to connect two per connector? as someone I spoke to (with an A7N8X Deluxe, I have the A7N8X-E Deluxe) said it should be possible.

    thanks in advance for a helpful answer.
  15. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182


    As you can see from the picture, there are only two connectors on a SATA data cable. One goes to the board, the other to the SATA HDD. So no, not more then one device per cable/connector.

    If I am mistaken, maybe someone would care to post a link showing how it is possible to connect more devices.

    PS. Welcome to TechSpot. Hope you enjoy your stay.:wave:
  16. Hitman`

    Hitman` TS Rookie Posts: 40

    Serial ATA has many advantages when it come to performance, but is limited by upgradability. The nature of SATA is one device per channel. As you can imagine, this would make it difficult to install multiple devices because most cards have only two channels. Like SCSI, SATA is a performance oriented bus, allowing a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 150MB/s per channel. (as opposed to 133MB/s Max for a dual device IDE channel) SATA works best with approved drives, even though there are drive adaptors, I would not recommend anyone to use these. Another similarity to SCSI is that it is geared towards mass storage devices, like hard drives, at higher RPM, 7200-12000 is common for most SCSI-SATA drives. Even the fastest ATA CD/DVD type drives run only at ATA33 speeds, so its useless to install these on a SATA channel, which is one of the reasons for keeping the onboard IDE controller standard on most boards. SATA was started and to be used as a performance alternative to SCSI-3 (even though SCSI is still faster, SATA keeps up rather well) SATA 8-channel cards are now out, for server applications but will cost you dearly, $500 bucks or more.
  17. Atma

    Atma TS Rookie

    oh well, thank you guys for answering my question, I found some info on it that explained that (which I couldn't find last time I checked).

    I guess I'll just have to settle for 700GB (500 in two SATA drives, 200 in two EIDE drives) :D
  18. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182

  19. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182

    This board is almost the same as the original A7N8X Deluxe. The 3Com NIC has been replaced with the Realtek Marvell 88E8001 Gigabit NIC.


    It also comes with a WIFI card made to be inserted in the proprietary ASUS slot below the last PCI slot.


    At the bottom right corner, the small speaker has been removed & the pins to plug the PC speaker, power switch have color marks.
  20. Shiney

    Shiney TS Booster Posts: 154

    I have just purchased the A7N8X-E and I swear I have been nice to it, but it still refuses to speak to me. So i pulled its memory out, removed the graphics card, and alas still no voice. What do i have to do to be friends with my new board so we can get on speaking terms.

    Do you have to use the onboard sound to be able to hear it, i have disabled it due to using an audigy 2.
    I do have a small speaker attached to the board.

    Please help :)

    Any thoughts on which is the best lan port to use.
    Im running a small home network using a adsl/hub.
  21. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182

    If the case speaker is correctly connected to the motherboard, you should be hearing the speech reporter through that, granted you haven't disabled Speech Reporter in the BIOS ( check "Speech POST Reporter" in "Advanced BIOS Features" in the BIOS ).

    If it doesn't work, try flipping around the PC speaker connector, you might've connected it wrong.


    PS. either one of the onboard NICs will work fine. If your LAN does not support Gigabit speeds, it will not make much of a difference.
  22. Shiney

    Shiney TS Booster Posts: 154

    Thx Didou for your swift reply, but i have tried the speaker connector both ways and the bios is set to on. The speaker is one of them small ones that seem to be taking over from the standard round metal types, do you think this could make a difference.

    Thx again

    You dont need the audio turned on in the bios for it to work do you?
    The speach is on but the onboard sound is disabled.
  23. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182

    I deactivated the Speech POST Reporter quite quickly so I don't remember exactly how it worked.

    When you hook up speakers to the onboard sound card, it will use them for the Speech Reporter but I do not know if it is capable of using speakers hooked up to another sound card for the same functions ( I doubt it ).
  24. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Topic Starter Posts: 4,182


    The SoundStorm supports EAX 1.0 & 2.0 & most games detect that feature straight away. Other game ( mostly old ones ) fail to detect it as an EAX capable sound device.

    System Shock II for example does not enable 3D Hardware sound because of this. Here's how to go around this problem.

    Another problem that might occur is that certain games reset the speaker setup to 2 speakers, no matter what it was set to previously. You can simply ALT+TAB back to the desktop & re-enable 4/6 speaker mode with the nVidia sound applet.

    PS. Here are a few screenshots of the new nVidia mixer.;)


  25. metroiceberg

    metroiceberg TS Rookie

    A question about the WIFI adapter

    Is there any issue with the WIFI card that comes with the A7N8X-E Deluxe, or the A7N8X Deluxe boards? I had heard that they are hogs when it comes to CPU utilization. Anyone have any info about this?
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...