Considering upgrade, need your thoughts (Athlon 1.4, GF3TI200)
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Thread: Considering upgrade, need your thoughts (Athlon 1.4, GF3TI200)

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  1. #1
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    Considering upgrade, need your thoughts (Athlon 1.4, GF3TI200)

    Hey all. I finally decided to upgrade my good ol' Duron 800@1000 to something better and a video card along with it . Thinking about Athlon 1.4 (266FSB) and GF3TI200 or Radeon 8500. Any thoughts of which one to choose? Any specific core markings so that it is overclockable? Can't go for Athlon XP, as have an older ABIT KT7A-RAID mobo, rev 1.2 i guess, that won't handle Athlon XP. Also, for which brand to go on video, if to get a GF3TI200?
    Thanks all for your thoughts.

    Cheers.


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  2. #2
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    You should really double check that your mobo can't handle XP's. I've seen a few reports to the contrary. As for T-Birds, look for core revsion codes starting with AXIA, AVIA or AYHJA. Check this guide out:
    http://www.athlonoc.com/stepping1.php

    I'd chose the 8500 over the Ti200, even over the Ti500 (although if you can get some incredible deal by all means go for it). Why? Better image quality, faster (..than Ti200, about on a par with Ti500), more standard features (DVI, dual-monitor support, DX8.1 support, iDCT DVD playback assist, Video out, cheaper than Ti500 etc...).

    Hope this helps,

    MuFu.

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  3. #3
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    I second MF's comments.

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  4. #4
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    I am not quite sure, is there a way to find out if my mobo holds Athlon XP? Sisoft Sandra says that it's rev 1.0-1.2. I could not find a notice about revision on the ISA slot, so I am kinda confused here. I heard something about Abit KT7A-RAID prior to rev 1.3 holding Athlon XP well, but some ppl have complaints about this ability. Don't want to be left out with a chip that "does not fit". The other reason for not buying Athlon XP is that it's quite tricky to overclock it, with all those grooves burned by AMD . And the price for 1.4 is wuite favorable too. So i dunno, I am doubting

    Also heard about the problems RADEON 8500 had in Windows XP with the new drivers, or is it bull?


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  5. #5
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    I think it was Justintime who posted about the KT7A Rev1.0-1.2's being able to support XP's a while back.

    The stories about the 8500 and bad XP (ME, 2000, 95/98...!) drivers were definitely not false. The release drivers were absolutely terrible an severely hampered an otherwise impressive piece of hardware. The one official driver release since then has brought things on leaps and bounds, with many websites "re-reviewing" the card. There are also some pre-release drivers floating around which improve things further still. I'd say that the current XP release is fully up to scratch although there is room for more improvement I'm sure. Something to look forward to, eh?

    MuFu.

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  6. #6
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    Hmm, can anyone point me to that Justintime's post?


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  7. #7
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    Yeah, MuFu you're right. He said it was the 1.0 boards which means that anything over that should work as well. Let's put it this way. If your board can handle the bus (KT7A) and voltage (KT7A), then it can handle an XP. The only thing it would support is the SSE and data prefetch, which can be fixed with a simple flashing of the BIOS (use a 1.03 rev BIOS if they make diff ones).
    Hmmm what do you guys think about the R7500? I don't have any money now, and I won't have a lot to get my card, so the 8500 and GF3 are out of my range. I was looking at a GF2 TI but I've heard people say the 7500 will kill it in everything, including price and overclockability. Is this true? Also, can this card handle a AGP bus of 75mhz because my P.O.S. S3 Savage2k can't. It starts to give me artifacts and eventually locks my computer running at 150mhz FSB. My next board will fix this, but the K7S6A isn't out yet. Besides, that will require new memory and everything, so that gets to wait for now. What are the prices of 7500 DDR boards? And are all 7500 boards DDR because I found this really cheap retail 7500 but I don't know if it is DDR, and I won't "upgrade" to an SDR board.

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  8. #8
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    Well, now I am confused. Really confused. As soon as Athie XP came out, i read dozens of posts in alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit that anything prior to 1.3 cannot handle XP. Abit claims the same thing. Did anybody of you have any experience with making those work? I am sure that my board can handle both voltage and FSB, but ppl reported complete inability to POST, not just something else.
    So i really don't know, if you could point out to the place that did install Athie XP on KT7A-RAID prior to 1.3, I would be very grateful.

    Thanks and cheers.


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    [This message has been edited by redsolar (edited 01-14-2002).]
    Athlon XP 1700+ AXDA1700DUT3C @2004 Mhz (166x12), TT Volcano 7+, Arctic Silver 3
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  9. #9
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    Originally posted by DuronClocker:
    Yeah, MuFu you're right. He said it was the 1.0 boards which means that anything over that should work as well. Let's put it this way. If your board can handle the bus (KT7A) and voltage (KT7A), then it can handle an XP. The only thing it would support is the SSE and data prefetch, which can be fixed with a simple flashing of the BIOS (use a 1.03 rev BIOS if they make diff ones).
    Hmmm what do you guys think about the R7500? I don't have any money now, and I won't have a lot to get my card, so the 8500 and GF3 are out of my range. I was looking at a GF2 TI but I've heard people say the 7500 will kill it in everything, including price and overclockability. Is this true? Also, can this card handle a AGP bus of 75mhz because my P.O.S. S3 Savage2k can't. It starts to give me artifacts and eventually locks my computer running at 150mhz FSB. My next board will fix this, but the K7S6A isn't out yet. Besides, that will require new memory and everything, so that gets to wait for now. What are the prices of 7500 DDR boards? And are all 7500 boards DDR because I found this really cheap retail 7500 but I don't know if it is DDR, and I won't "upgrade" to an SDR board.

    Not too sure about the Abit/XP thing then. You'll have to do more digging, redsolar, sorry.

    All 7500 boards are DDR-based and cost up to $150, although on pricewatch you can see many on offer for $90-$100. They don't universally outperform the GF2 Ti's but generally are regarded as being quicker. They also support DX7 fully (can do EMBM which the GF2 can't) and have many of the features of the 8500 (iDCT, Hydravision etc). I haven't owned one (now got an 8500 which is awesome) but I have a Radeon 64MB DDR VIVO that handles a 90MHz AGP without breaking into a sweat.

    MuFu


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    [This message has been edited by Mutha Funker (edited 01-15-2002).]
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  10. #10
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    Oh yeah... the 7500's often o/c from 250/230 to 360/275 unmodified and 360/300 with a voltage mod.

    MuFu.

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  11. #11
    Justintime Guest
    read this

    "Why does only the KT7A(-RAID) version 1.3 support the AthlonXP processor?
    There has been much heated discussion about the failure of early KT7A motherboard revisions to support the AthlonXP and Duron (Morgan core) processors. These discussions have also been confused by incorrect statements on the ABIT (China) website, suggesting that the 64 BIOS release provided support for these processors. This is not true, and the issue is more complicated. The difference between the earlier Athlon processors and the new AthlonXP processor lies in the processor boot process. You can see the relevant boot timing diagrams on page 35, figure 10 of the Athlon Model 4 Data Sheet (for the older Athlons) and page 43, figure 12 of the Athlon Model 6 Data Sheet (for the Athlon XP). During the boot process, the motherboard must sample three data lines called FID(0:3) in order to determine the CPU multiplier setting. In the new AthlonXP processor, the timing requirements for this sampling has changed, and these lines only become valid 100ns after the Vcore power OK (PWROK) signal is asserted.

    This means that if the motherboard does not apply an extra circuit to delay the NB_RESET# signal after the FIDs are fully valid, the motherboard may potentially get the wrong values from the FID lines. This is the reason why the earlier motherboard versions cannot support the AthlonXP processor. Getting the wrong FIDs may not always result in the system being unable to boot up - but it may result in the motherboard using the wrong parameters to initialise the processor, causing system instabilities under certain circumstances. On the earlier Athlon processors the FIDs are always valid after the Vcore of the processor is valid and this is why no motherboard has a problem supporting the highest frequency of old Athlon.

    In practice, this change is very subtle. Many AthlonXP processors will work fine on earlier motherboard revisions. Others will work fine for some percentage of the time, but will require a hard reset during boot if this timing assertion is violated. However, only revision 1.3 of the motherboard contains the necessary hardware modifications to fully support AMD's revised timing specification. This is why ABIT cannot officially support the AthlonXP processor on earlier motherboard revisions - although if you can live with the occasional hard reset there is no problem. Furthermore, ABIT have made attempts to improve the timing compatibility with the 64 BIOS release, but still cannot officially support the processor on these revisions.

    No BIOS release will allow ABIT to properly support the AthlonXP on motherboard versions prior to v1.3. However, in practice, the timing difference is sufficiently subtle that many processors will work fine, and others will simply require the occasional reset during boot. Once the processor has booted, the stability should usually be the same on all motherboards.

    In some respects ABIT are simply being more honest than other motherboard manufacturers. In most cases the AthlonXP will appear to work OK - or have occasional instabilities. However, rather than pretending that a simple BIOS update can resolve the problem, ABIT are only officially claiming that the board with the proper additional circuitry can support these new processors.

    Since originally posting this question, a few people have emailed me suggesting that the problem might be resolvable by unlocking the processor's multiplier using the L1 bridges and then setting the multiplier manually using SoftMenuIII. I can confirm that this solution will not work as this does not resolve the problem of the FID lines being unstable. If the bypass circuit incorrectly samples the high-low status of the FID lines, the power up issue will remain and hence this solution is not workable. However, locked or unlocked, a reset should always work as the PWROK line is always valid after the initial cold start. "


    ------------------
    Jr
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    [This message has been edited by Justintime (edited 01-15-2002).]

  12. #12
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    Excellent response Justintime - gold star for the day!


    Current Main Rig:
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    512MB DDR RAM @ 436 MHz. (PC 3700)
    Abit AN7 motherboard
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  13. #13
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    Interesting...I wouldn't even have thought about something like that happening. I was pretty sure it would at least work though, just not 100% stable, but hell most of us overclock anyways, hehe! Well, thanks for clearin that up Justintime!

    ------------------
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  14. #14
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    Thanks, Justintime, though this was one of the first articles I read about Athlon XP and KT7A-x versions prior to 1.3. I read it on www.viahardware.com, my first place to visit about the info on all Abit/Amd problems, etc.

    Yeah, I guess I'll have to stick with 1.4 TB and try to clock it as high as it will get .

    Thanks all for your ideas and suggestions, I really appreciate them.

    Cheers.


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