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Phenomenal: Phenom II X4 AGP rig

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#1


I really like Asrock and their little nifty boards, they always cater to some specific needs: 2011 board with a floppy connector? check. 865G AGP based board released in 2012 for no apparent reason? check. A board drafted for 775 P4s that at its EOL supports Core 2 Quads? got you covered.

One of those curious boards is the AM2NF3-VSTA. It really shows a lot of Asrock's ingenuity: supports AM2, AM2+ and AM3 CPUs up to 125w, DDR2-1066 and AGP cards. Basically a dream machine for any AGP user with a "high-end" card (HD 3850/4670).

There's a caveat though: due to nVidia's shenanigans, the nforce3 chipset doesn't have a working multi-core GART driver for 64bit OSes; only single core CPUs work in that configuration and, because of that, the usefulness of using a modern OS is lost and if you stick to XP 32bit with a working multi-core GART then you can't take advantage of the 4 DDR2 slots. My intent is to research this issue and, hopefully, get to a working solution.

Will I be able to overcome all of that and become an internet hero :pimp: or will I cry frustration tears like all others before me? :banghead:



Current specs:


Phenom II X4 965BE C3


HIS HD3850 IceQ3 Turbo AGP


Asrock AM2NF3-VSTA


8GB OCZ PC2-8500 Platinum LV


Asus Physx P1


Cooler Master Geminii


Cooler Master Extreme Power 600


KMEX CG-6B6C


Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 Reds everywhere


Planned mods:
- Sleeve PSU cables
- Put a black acrylic panel to cover the 3.5" bays and provide space to hide cables
- Add red LED strips at the front
 
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#2
I hope you figure it out and become a hero man.
 
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#3
It sounds like a real thriller. Let us hear more.
 
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#4
What the ......
Support for Socket AM2+ / AM2 processors: AMD Phenom™ FX / Phenom / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core / Athlon X2 Dual-Core / Athlon 64 / Sempron processor
NVIDIA® nForce3 250 Chipset
 
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#5
Be really careful overclocking that 965BE as my 940BE @ 3.4GHz/1.425v turned my CPU VRM area noticeably brown in about a month's time (granted, I crunch on it full time). My board still works fine but I replaced the CPU with an X3 720BE @ 3.4/1.35v and it still runs great, if not better for some reason. Make some custom heatsinks and tame those evil D2PAK MOSFETs that release so much heat.
 
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#6
Look at the CPU support list: http://www.asrock.com/mb/NVIDIA/AM2NF3-VSTA/?cat=CPU

Be really careful overclocking that 965BE as my 940BE @ 3.4GHz/1.425v turned my CPU VRM area noticeably brown in about a month's time (granted, I crunch on it full time). My board still works fine but I replaced the CPU with an X3 720BE @ 3.4/1.35v and it still runs great, if not better for some reason. Make some custom heatsinks and tame those evil D2PAK MOSFETs that release so much heat.
Got me some Enzotech MOS-C1s :D Besides the 965 is newer silicon (C3 125w) so I might have a little more wiggling room. Re-capping the board is also in the plans.


Also bought a Sempron 145 for research. Got both new for ~$100. :rockout:
 
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#7
^
i know
but i surprised that Phenom II can run AGP slot :D
 
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#8
Yeah, I bought a Biostar A780L3B/Sempron 130 combo earlier this year (specifically for testing single core functionality on my AM2NF3-VSTA) and I found that even with that processor and Windows 7 x64with working drivers on my 3850, anything DX10 seemed to crash. Ran the cheap board for 6 months with the X3 720 @ 3.4/1.35v and it died a couple weeks ago.
 

Frick

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#9
Oh asrock i love that company. :D

lots of mario in the op, hosting problems?
 

Krazy Owl

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#10
Do you already have that HIS ? I could have to sell a HD4670 1gig hdmi.
 
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#11
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#12
I haven't had the privileged to be able to play with one of those boards. So if this question sounds dumb ignore it and smack me in the head. But does that board have core control in the bios?
 
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#13
Don't think so but I guess Justin should be able to tell us. Asrock doesn't mention it on the overview but then again AM3 support isn't stated either.
 
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#14
As far as I can tell, no. I haven't seen any options to control the active core count in the BIOS. Also, another crappy restriction is that core overvoltage is only allowed if the processor has an unlocked multiplier. My Phenom 9750 (no longer have), Sempron 130 (if I recall) and my Phenom 8550 exhibit this, while my 720BE, 940BE and 955BE could all be overvolted to 1.55v (which is pretty much lethal for the board). If it did have core control, I would happily dual boot, turn off all but one core and overclock the hell out of it for Win7 and enable them all at a modest OC for XP x86.
 
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#15
As far as I can tell, no. I haven't seen any options to control the active core count in the BIOS. Also, another crappy restriction is that core overvoltage is only allowed if the processor has an unlocked multiplier. My Phenom 9750 (no longer have), Sempron 130 (if I recall) and my Phenom 8550 exhibit this, while my 720BE, 940BE and 955BE could all be overvolted to 1.55v (which is pretty much lethal for the board). If it did have core control, I would happily dual boot, turn off all but one core and overclock the hell out of it for Win7 and enable them all at a modest OC for XP x86.
Thats exactly why I was asking. I was wondering if you could shut down cores for testing and such.
 
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#16
Got the PSU and fans in:

 
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#17
As far as I can tell, no. I haven't seen any options to control the active core count in the BIOS. Also, another crappy restriction is that core overvoltage is only allowed if the processor has an unlocked multiplier. My Phenom 9750 (no longer have), Sempron 130 (if I recall) and my Phenom 8550 exhibit this, while my 720BE, 940BE and 955BE could all be overvolted to 1.55v (which is pretty much lethal for the board). If it did have core control, I would happily dual boot, turn off all but one core and overclock the hell out of it for Win7 and enable them all at a modest OC for XP x86.
You can disable cores through windows.


 
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#18
what software is that?
 
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Benchmark Scores GTX 1080 please?
#19
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#20
I had no idea ASRock has such a long history of bizarre motherboard creations. I remember when I picked the ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 up a long time ago for a friend. Not only does the board offer AGP and PCIe on the same board, but it has the legendary "Future CPU" port. They offered an addin board that, with a complicated series of jumpers, could be configured to run an AM2 processor with DDR2 memory. Never ended up using that feature, but the AGP/PCIe slots definitely made the generational transition to PCIe easier on my friend's wallet.

http://www.asrock.com/mb/ULi/939Dual-SATA2/

Subbed to see this beast in action.
 

brandonwh64

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#21
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#22
I think the physx card may be something of a waste, I'm pretty sure nvidia stopped writing drivers that worked with those cards a while ago, and most modern implementations would demand a card that can run CUDA.
 
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System Name STEAMBOX | GAMECUBE | EQC (Everyday Quad Core)
Processor i5 4590@3.7Ghz |i7 3770K@4Ghz -|- Athlon 5350@2.52Ghz
Motherboard GA-B85N PHOENIX | Asrock Z77E-ITX | Asus AM1I-A
Cooling Stock | Antec Kuhler 620 | Reeven Vanxie
Memory 2x4GB ADATA XPG 1600Mhz | 2x4GB Kingston 1866Mhz -|- 2x4GB Crucial Ballistix@1920Mhz
Video Card(s) RX 480 Nitro | Sapphire RX 480 w/Accelero Mono Plus | HD 8400 @ 720Mhz (IGP)
Storage LiteON 128GB mSATA+3TB Seagate | Seagate 1TBxSamung 64GB SSD (Intel RST) | Kingston v300 240GB
Display(s) Daewoo 49" 1080p | ASUS PA248Q 1920x1200 IPS
Case Corsair 250D | CoolerMaster Elite 110 | Acteck Fiji
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Seasonic SS-660XP2 | Silverstone SFX-450 | 200w mini FLEX PSU
Software Windows 10 64bit
#23
I don't plan to use this rig much, it's mainly for the (hopeless) technical challenge. That and I have a few parts lying around including the HD3850, N520, case and the mentioned Physx card. The PPU will be useful if only to benchmark with 3D Vantage (the second Physx test supports addon cards).

Once completed I think I'll give it to a relative or something, don't have much use for a third backup rig.
 
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#24
I don't plan to use this rig much, it's mainly for the (hopeless) technical challenge. That and I have a few parts lying around including the HD3850, N520, case and the mentioned Physx card. The PPU will be useful if only to benchmark with 3D Vantage (the second Physx test supports addon cards).

Once completed I think I'll give it to a relative or something, don't have much use for a third backup rig.
I get you. Actually, I'm curious how it will turn out, your nforce chipset issue sounds a bit itchy and scratchy. I guess I'm subbed now so I can watch as it moves along. good luck with it.
 
Joined
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Location
Mexico
System Name STEAMBOX | GAMECUBE | EQC (Everyday Quad Core)
Processor i5 4590@3.7Ghz |i7 3770K@4Ghz -|- Athlon 5350@2.52Ghz
Motherboard GA-B85N PHOENIX | Asrock Z77E-ITX | Asus AM1I-A
Cooling Stock | Antec Kuhler 620 | Reeven Vanxie
Memory 2x4GB ADATA XPG 1600Mhz | 2x4GB Kingston 1866Mhz -|- 2x4GB Crucial Ballistix@1920Mhz
Video Card(s) RX 480 Nitro | Sapphire RX 480 w/Accelero Mono Plus | HD 8400 @ 720Mhz (IGP)
Storage LiteON 128GB mSATA+3TB Seagate | Seagate 1TBxSamung 64GB SSD (Intel RST) | Kingston v300 240GB
Display(s) Daewoo 49" 1080p | ASUS PA248Q 1920x1200 IPS
Case Corsair 250D | CoolerMaster Elite 110 | Acteck Fiji
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Seasonic SS-660XP2 | Silverstone SFX-450 | 200w mini FLEX PSU
Software Windows 10 64bit
#25
Installed the PSU to take some measurements.



It's going to be a tight fit.