A7N8X-E Which nForce driver???


J

Joe101

I have a new A7N8X-E system.
I just loaded XP, so far so good.
Next, I need to get Ethernet working, XP Home OEM CD did not find and load
ethernet drivers.
I understand I need to load nForce drivers (a.k.a all-in-one, or chipset,
or platform)

Should I use the nForce drivers from the ASUS CDROM, which are exact same as
on ASUS web site, these are the 3.xx series drivers, or.........
Should I use the latest drivers from NVIDIA which are the 4.xx series
drivers?
I pasted both Readme.txt files below. Note there are more files in the one
from NVIDA site.

I really want to setup all hardware on the A7N8X-E card, but find it so
confusing.
Especially I am interested in the HDD drivers as I have one of the SATA
drive (single drive, no RAID), so..... Does the nForce all-in-one platform
driver set have the SATA driver????

Thanks Joe101

********** Readme.txt from ASUS CD ***********************************
This nForce Win2K/XP driver package contains the below components:

Audio driver 3.62 (WHQL)
Ethernet driver 3.46 (WHQL)
GART driver 3.34 (WHQL)
SMBus driver 3.38 (WHQL)
IDE driver (In-the-box) 3.43 (WHQL)
Installer 3.65
*********************************************************************


*************** Readme.txt from NVIDA web site ******************
This nForce Win2K/XP driver package contains the below components:

Audio driver version 4.42 (WHQL)
Audio utility version 4.44
Win2K ethernet driver version 4.16 (WHQL)
WinXP ethernet driver version 4.16 (WHQL)
Ethernet NRM driver version 4.42 (WHQL)
Network management tools version 4.42
GART driver version 4.36 (WHQL) with updated uninstaller files
Memory controller driver version 3.38 (WHQL) with updated uninstaller files
SMBus driver version 4.04 (WHQL) with updated uninstaller files
Installer version 4.46
Win2K IDE 2.6 driver version 4.46 (WHQL) with updated uninstaller files
WinXP IDE 2.6 driver version 4.46 (WHQL) with updated uninstaller files
***************************************************************************
 
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P

Paul

"Joe101" <not said:
I have a new A7N8X-E system.
I just loaded XP, so far so good.
Next, I need to get Ethernet working, XP Home OEM CD did not find and load
ethernet drivers.
I understand I need to load nForce drivers (a.k.a all-in-one, or chipset,
or platform)

Should I use the nForce drivers from the ASUS CDROM, which are exact same as
on ASUS web site, these are the 3.xx series drivers, or.........
Should I use the latest drivers from NVIDIA which are the 4.xx series
drivers?
I pasted both Readme.txt files below. Note there are more files in the one
from NVIDA site.

I really want to setup all hardware on the A7N8X-E card, but find it so
confusing.
Especially I am interested in the HDD drivers as I have one of the SATA
drive (single drive, no RAID), so..... Does the nForce all-in-one platform
driver set have the SATA driver????

Thanks Joe101

********** Readme.txt from ASUS CD ***********************************
This nForce Win2K/XP driver package contains the below components:

Audio driver 3.62 (WHQL)
Ethernet driver 3.46 (WHQL)
GART driver 3.34 (WHQL)
SMBus driver 3.38 (WHQL)
IDE driver (In-the-box) 3.43 (WHQL)
Installer 3.65
*********************************************************************


*************** Readme.txt from NVIDA web site ******************
This nForce Win2K/XP driver package contains the below components:

Audio driver version 4.42 (WHQL)
Audio utility version 4.44
Win2K ethernet driver version 4.16 (WHQL)
WinXP ethernet driver version 4.16 (WHQL)
Ethernet NRM driver version 4.42 (WHQL)
Network management tools version 4.42
GART driver version 4.36 (WHQL) with updated uninstaller files
Memory controller driver version 3.38 (WHQL) with updated uninstaller files
SMBus driver version 4.04 (WHQL) with updated uninstaller files
Installer version 4.46
Win2K IDE 2.6 driver version 4.46 (WHQL) with updated uninstaller files
WinXP IDE 2.6 driver version 4.46 (WHQL) with updated uninstaller files
***************************************************************************

Ben's FAQ recommends Forceware 4.27, and that is what I used to
set up my system. Other people's opinions may differ, but with
respect to the IDE driver included in the all-in-one, I would not
install it, and instead let Windows install the default Microsoft
driver. You can check later, to see if the driver is the default
one or not. The problem with IDE drivers that come with chipsets,
is they are not as compatible with other software as they should
be, so if you have any fancy burning software for example, there
could be interactions. Some of these IDE drivers incorporate
some nice cacheing features, and that can make the IDE interfaces
"look" faster, but imagine what happens if the machine crashes
while using such a driver (data lost in cache)...

http://www.ben.pope.name/a7n8x_faq.html

The manual and the install CD itself have a nice list of the
included driver software. I'm using the Marvell port, and it
has worked OK for me, with no complaints. I haven't tried the
other port yet (I think it shows up in Knoppix, but I haven't
tried surfing with it yet). If you think about it, two
Ethernet connectors implies a computer will need routing software,
so if you find an Ethernet port isn't working, think about what
network stack the OS is using, and whether the OS is prepared
to entertain two connectors at the same time. (At least, that
is where I'd start looking, if I had two Ethernet ports, and one
of them didn't seem to work...)

The SATA ports are controlled by the Silicon Image SIL3112, so I
would not expect the Nvidia All-In-One to have a driver for it.
Ben recommends downloading a driver from the Silicon Image site,
and at one time, that was the only way to get an up to date
driver. As I don't own any SATA drives, I haven't tried mine and
don't know if my chip is working or not. If you are trying to
install Windows on the SATA drive, I would expect you'll need
to make one of those driver floppies, so you can install the
necessary drivers early in the Windows install.

This board can be more complicated to set up, if you start
concentrating on the contents of the Nvidia driver, and trying
to get certain versions of stuff - otherwise it is about the
same amount of work as some other boards I've set up.

Also, before you get too much software set up on the machine,
I recommend running memtest86 from memtest.org . That will
tell you whether the RAM has any major problems. I also
recommend a few hours of Prime95 torture test (mersenne.org),
as I discovered my bargain RAM was pattern sensitive. (I used
a Knoppix Linux boot CD, to run a Linux version of Prime95, as
that doesn't require loading software on a hard drive. Knoppix
also has a copy of memtest86 built in, and it can be launched
at boot time from the same CD. If you can get a basic Windows
install to take, then you could run the Windows version of
Prime95 from there.)

Nforce2 seems to be picky about RAM, so you need to spend a bit
more time proving CPU/RAM/board are 100%, before loading up all
that software. For example, if overclocking, Prime95 can show
you the real limit to clock speed, as sitting in the Windows
desktop can give you a false sense of security. If Prime95 reports
an error in 30 minutes of testing, it is time to dial the clock
down a notch. I'm currently running a Mobile at 11x200 1.65V and
Prime runs clean overnight. Some games are also good at stress
testing the machine, but I don't own any decent games (just
old stuff).

HTH,
Paul
 
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M

Mikey

Hi;
By all means use the 4.46 from nVidia dated June 2004.
They beat the h*ck out of the ones on the CD-Rom!
Offer a speed test for IDE/ATA/ATAPI Controlers to confirm proper performance is achieved.
 

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