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Phenomenal: Phenom II X4 AGP rig

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#51
First build attempt.



Got a few things wrong in the building order so it looks messier than it should. Took note of the things I'll need (extensions, covers, etc.).

That's a GT430 PCI over the top right corner, I was planning to use it for Physx but the board won't post with two GPUs installed. :(

The top mesh over the CPU cooler (if you're wondering, that's a CM Geminii) can fit two slim 120mm fans although I guess it's really intended to hold a radiator installed over the case.

Haven't decided what to do with that. I was thinking about putting a pair of CM Turbine Masters over the case as intakes. :wtf: (might look tacky)
 
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#52
First issues creeping up:

- The board is very picky with AM3 CPUs. I disabled the IDE channels and the board would get stuck looking for hard drives on post. After clearing the CMOS the board wouldn't post. I had to install an AM2 CPU to get the board to post and then put the 965 back in again.

- Soft and hard reset don't work, the board doesn't post in that case. Soft shut down sometimes resets the machine and sometimes shuts it down.
 
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#53
Windows XP installed and customized:


now to tackle W7...
 
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#54
Are you running with all 4 cores enabled on the 965 BE?
 
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#55
yes
 
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#56
First benchmarks:









It managed to break my previous 3dmark06 record with the 3850 AGP: http://www.3dmark.com/compare/3dm06/17254875/3dm06/17075086

Issues:
- For some reason I can't get my RAM to work at 1066. I change the speed in the bios but CPU-Z shows 533Mhz. Flexible mode is disabled.
- CnQ doesn't seem to work, is there a setting I should change for this? CnQ is active in the bios. EDIT: Changing the energy plan to "minimal power" enables it.


As for Windows 7 I've hit the common roadblock. I found a thread discussing another thread on the nVidia forums that said how to use the XP x64 GART driver on Vista x64 but, of course, the original thread was deleted. Can't let users know of your bullshitting, right nVidia?

This is a gem: http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2041

The NVIDIA nForce3 core logic predates multi-core CPU's and was not designed to support them.
Then why do multicore CPUs work just fine on XP32? It's not a 32bit thing since W7x86 exhibits the same problem. Way to go nVidia. :banghead: I don't really mind keeping XP on this machine but I'd like to take advantage of the extra RAM somehow.

Anyone knows about a good RAMdisk software that can use the unmapped memory and keep an image file on disk (to restore the ramdisk)? Primo RAMdisk seemed to fit the bill but it doesn't detect my unmapped memory for some reason. eboostr does use the unmapped memory but it isn't very customizable and I can't tell if it copies the ramdisk on disk.
 
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#57
A small change to the build: it will now house a CX430 V2; it comes with all the cables sleeved so it'll be a time saver.

I was considering water-cooling this rig so that's why I bought the Extreme 600 in the first place but right now this will do. I've also decided that this won't have an optical drive. Picked up an LCD panel and a 5 channel fan controller.



So far I haven't found any turnaround for the x64 GART situation :(

I don't know why but sometimes it fails to boot and I have to clear the CMOS again, it has been like this since I installed the second 1066 kit. I'll shuffle the RAM in the slots to see if that solves the issue. RAM is temperamental sometimes.


Pics on Sunday.
 
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#58
Very nice build, Don't ever let go of it!

I also just got my hands on a AM2NF3-VSTA, and I have a radical idea of modding the CPU micro code in the bios, upping mosfet cooling and trying a 1090T in it? (Even though the bus speed will cap it to death)

This will cause fireworks!? :roll:

If it works, and lasts a few hours of Prime95 i'll shall send you a bios file.
 

de.das.dude

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#59
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#60
Very nice build, Don't ever let go of it!

I also just got my hands on a AM2NF3-VSTA, and I have a radical idea of modding the CPU micro code in the bios, upping mosfet cooling and trying a 1090T in it? (Even though the bus speed will cap it to death)

This will cause fireworks!? :roll:

If it works, and lasts a few hours of Prime95 i'll shall send you a bios file.
If you should try I'd say use one of the X6 95w models. I don't think the board has enough juice for a 125w X6 CPU.
 
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#61
If you should try I'd say use one of the X6 95w models. I don't think the board has enough juice for a 125w X6 CPU.
Yeah good idea, The 95w ones were improved with the same transistor count if I remember?

I wish I had the tools to install all solid gold caps and new alloy chokes on this board. And also hot wire a 8pin cpu power plug :laugh:
 
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#62
I loved these hybrid boards from ASRock back in the day. I've tried all of them - 4CoreDual SATA2 R2.0, 4CoreDual-VSTA and M2NF3-VSTA the one you used (still have that one).

Phenoms are incredibly strong in 3DMark05 & 06 with AGP cards, in case you want to climb up the 3850 AGP hwbot rankings :D

Congrats on your hard work, this rig is incredibe sir :)
 
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#63
I think I killed my HD3850 Turbo :cry:
 
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#64
Very nice build, Don't ever let go of it!

I also just got my hands on a AM2NF3-VSTA, and I have a radical idea of modding the CPU micro code in the bios, upping mosfet cooling and trying a 1090T in it? (Even though the bus speed will cap it to death)

This will cause fireworks!? :roll:

If it works, and lasts a few hours of Prime95 i'll shall send you a bios file.
I pretty much couldn't go higher than 3.5GHz on my 955/965BE C3 chips when I had them, and they turned the back of my board a toasty brown color after about a month or two of 24/7 load. I'm currently running an Athlon II X4 640 and it seems to throttle even at stock unless the vcore is reduced to 1.25v. IntelBurnTest at stock 3GHz/1.25v gets me ~25 GFLOPs and overclocked to 3.4GHz gets me like 17. Once it's dead, I think I'll go back to the 4CoreDual-SATA2 and try to volt-mod my X6800 or pick up a QX6700 and sell off the X6800 and Xeon X3210. Not looking to put much more money into this old stuff though, only reason I got it in the first place was because Geeks.com was selling these boards for $25 each and I picked up an AM2NF3-VSTA, 4CoreDual-SATA2, 775Xfire-VSTA and K8NF6P-VSTA for just $100 to get some old parts running again.
 
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#65
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#66
How the hell did you manage that? :banghead:
I tried to install a Thermalrigth RAD-2 on it but one of the capacitors was in the way (the rightmost 330uF cap) so I desoldered it and put it on the back of the card. The solder was pretty hardened so I had to use some flux cream and the flux spilled over nearby components (about a half inch wide area) but I cleaned it with isopropyl alcohol, a toothbrush and cloth afterwards . Now it won't send a video signal :cry:

There was no sudden loss of signal or something, nothing that would indicate a short or anything so there's the possibility that the capacitor was killed in the ordeal. I'll get a replacement cap and try again. *crosses fingers *
 
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#67
I tried to install a Thermalrigth RAD-2 on it but one of the capacitors was in the way (the rightmost 330uF cap) so I desoldered it and put it on the back of the card. The solder was pretty hardened so I had to use some flux cream and the flux spilled over nearby components (about a half inch wide area) but I cleaned it with isopropyl alcohol, a toothbrush and cloth afterwards . Now it won't send a video signal :cry:

There was no sudden loss of signal or something, nothing that would indicate a short or anything so there's the possibility that the capacitor was killed in the ordeal. I'll get a replacement cap and try again. *crosses fingers *
That really sucks, I hope you fix it!
I learnt my lesson trying to mod my HIS 4670 PCB. The poor thing is dead now and looks damn sexy on my wall!

You should get a HD3870 Waterblock?. They seem to line up with everything on the HIS 3850 PCB. It will make an insane overclocker.
 
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#68
What sets fear in my hearth is that I have a 6200LE with half its caps blown but it still works so unless this 330 cap closes the circuit or something I can't get how it doesn't at least send a video signal. :cry:
 
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#69
What sets fear in my hearth is that I have a 6200LE with half its caps blown but it still works so unless this 330 cap closes the circuit or something I can't get how it doesn't at least send a video signal. :cry:
Damn, If I see a 3850AGP here in Australia I'll buy it and sell it to you for a good price :)
 

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Fishfaced Nincompoop
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#70
What sets fear in my hearth is that I have a 6200LE with half its caps blown but it still works so unless this 330 cap closes the circuit or something I can't get how it doesn't at least send a video signal. :cry:
Is flux cream conducitve? Is it possible some was left on the card and it shorted something out? I assume you did it properly but still... I have a HD 2400 pro which has every single cap on it bulging and it still works as a charm.
 
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#71
Is flux cream conducitve? Is it possible some was left on the card and it shorted something out? I assume you did it properly but still... I have a HD 2400 pro which has every single cap on it bulging and it still works as a charm.
It isn't. It's regular flux with a creamy additive that evaporates as soon as the soldering iron touches it. I've used it several times to recap motherboards. Never had a problem.

Got a radial cap and soldered it to the card. No go. :banghead: I can't fucking believe this :cry:

Not that I had a need for it but this certainly sucks. Now I'll have to get another card :mad: I got this baby to 824/1197, I doubt I'll get another like it. :shadedshu All of this for trying to get 25Mhz more.
 
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#72
It isn't. It's regular flux with a creamy additive that evaporates as soon as the soldering iron touches it. I've used it several times to recap motherboards. Never had a problem.

Got a radial cap and soldered it to the card. No go. :banghead: I can't fucking believe this :cry:

Not that I had a need for it but this certainly sucks. Now I'll have to get another card :mad: I got this baby to 824/1197, I doubt I'll get another like it. :shadedshu All of this for trying to get 25Mhz more.
The real shit thing is the rareity of these cards. Im lucky the DirectCU cooler fit without mods, they are such a fragile card. If it works dont touch it lol
 
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#73
With the card installed there's no beep but if I remove it there's two short beeps so the card is being detected. The heatsink gets warm so the GPU is working too, it just won't boot. I placed the original cap back in its place and there's no change. :cry:

I just can't wrap my mind around this, I've modded game consoles (Genesis Crystal Audio mod, S-Video mod, SNES region mod, etc) recapped motherboards and graphic cards and now this happens in a simple cap swap.

I'll try to boot with a PCI card and see if Windows recognizes the 3850 somehow.



EDIT: Holly molly. Two guys with 3850 turbos selling them for >350. :banghead: I'll have to try with a sapphire or powercolor then. :cry:
 
Last edited:

Frick

Fishfaced Nincompoop
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#74
You didn't touch up some other component at any time with a heatsink or something? Or the static discharge fairy (whom I have never seen IRL actually)..
 
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#75
Ordered a Sapphire 3850 on ebay, seller had it at $75 but agreed to a $50 offer. It should take about 10 days to get here by International Priority. In the mean time I'll try to get the 3850 Turbo to work.



You didn't touch up some other component at any time with a heatsink or something? Or the static discharge fairy (whom I have never seen IRL actually)..
Well, the only component that touched the heatsink was the mentioned cap. The caps near the 8 pin connector had about 1mm of clearance from the edge of the heatsink so they didn't need to be removed, everything else fit snugly under it. If the cap would have been 3mm shorter this shouldn't have happened :cry:

Maybe I'm passing something up but I just can't phantom what would it be...