ECS Pathetic Technical Support


P

Pedro Corbett

I'm posting below some messages I've exchanged with ECS USA technical
support recently. I was trying to find out what should be the correct
setting for the AGP clock on a 741GX-M motherboard, which has
independent settings for CPU FSB, memory and AGP clock, and the
replies I got were almost surreal.
Although the quality of the motherboard itself is not in question
here, I have no intention of buying again from a company with such a
pathetic support service.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

(My first message to them)

From: Pedro Corbett
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 6:59 PM
Subject: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

I have a 741GX-M motherboard with an Athlon XP 2500 processor
and 256 MB DDR333 RAM. The default BIOS value for the AGP clock
is 133 MHz, and I have changed this to 166 MHz, to match the
processor and RAM clock. Is this setting correct?

Pedro G. T. Corbett

------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Their first reply, where they write a lot about the CPU FSB settings,
and nothing at all about the AGP clock setting)

From: "Support" <[email protected]>
To: "Pedro Corbett"
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2004 17:46:23 -0700
Subject: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Dear Valued Customer,

No.

For your information, the CMOS factory default setting is always set
at FSB 100Mhz. Furthermore, nowadays, we use memory type that comes
with the module type DDR(double data rate). It is just a
multiplication of the actual FSB (Front Side Bus) x 2

If you're having CPU FSB (Front Side Bus) is
-333MHz, on the CMOS Setup Utility needs to set FSB Frequency to
166MHz.
-266MHz, on the CMOS Setup Utility needs to set FSB Frequency to
133MHz.
-200MHz, on the CMOS Setup Utility needs to set FSB Frequency to
100MHz.

If you're using a AMD Athlon XP 2500+ with FSB of 333, please get to
the "CMOS Setup Utility > Frequency/ Voltage Control" and set your
"CPU Frequency" to 166MHz. Next, save your settings and exit the BIOS
Utility.

Thereafter, you could verify your CPU speed in Window XP (start/My
computer/ System Tasks/ View System Information/ System
Properties/General/Computer) should be "AMD Athlon XP 2500+
(1.83GHz)".

~ Please include Case # or prior correspondence in your emails ~
(The case# could be found on the subject line of this email)

Thank you for using ECSUSA product,
ECSUSA Technical Support Department.
JF

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Pedro Corbett
To: Support
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2004 6:00 PM
Subject: Re: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Thank you for your answer, but I was referring to the
"Graphics Engine Clock" setting at "Advanced Chipset Setup/
OnChip AGP Control", which is by default set to 133 MHz.
I am aware of the settings for the CPU FSB, as you described
in your message, and I need to know if the "Graphics Engine
Clock" setting should be left at 133 MHz or should be changed
to match the CPU FSB value.

Pedro Corbett

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: "Support192" <[email protected]>
To: "Pedro Corbett"
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 10:22:18 -0700
Subject: RE: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Dear Sir/Madam:

Yes, it is correct FSB speed < 166MHZ> when you using XP2500+ <FSB
333> , the CPU will running double speed at CPU internal clock.

"""""""" Please include all the previous correspondence or case
number when replying """"""""

Regards,


ECSUSA Support Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Pedro Corbett
To: Support192
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 8:26 PM
Subject: RE: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Either you are unable to understand English, or you don't
know the BIOS of the 741GX-M motherboard. I AM NOT talking
about the FSB speed setting. I am talking about a COMPLETELY
INDEPENDENT setting, the "GRAPHICS ENGINE CLOCK" setting at
the BIOS section "Advanced Chipset Setup/OnChip AGP Control".
Due to your confusing replies, I will never ever buy another
ECS product again, and will strongly recommend everyone I
know to do the same.

Pedro G. T. Corbett

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: "Support192" <[email protected]m>
To: "Pedro Corbett"
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 15:43:34 -0700
Subject: RE: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Dear Sir/Madam:

The AGP clock nothing relate to CPU and memory clock at all.
You should contact your AGP VGA vendor about your AGP clock setting.
You must using PC2700 memory when you using FSB 333 CPU, or PC2100
memory when you using FSB 266 CPU.

"""""""" Please include all the previous correspondence or case
number when replying """"""""

Regards,


ECSUSA Support Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Pedro Corbett
To: Support192
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2004 8:04 PM
Subject: RE: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Since my FIRST MESSAGE I have been saying that the AGP clock
is INDEPENDENT. But as the 741GX-M motherboard has ON BOARD
INTEGRATED VIDEO and that's what I'm using, the "AGP VGA VENDOR"
IS ECS, so YOU should be able to inform about the AGP clock
setting.
Do a favour to the computer market, quit your job and go work
in a McDonald's. All your replies will be posted to the newsgroups
so people know what they're getting themselves into when buying
from ECS.

Pedro Corbett
 
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P

Pen

It's not great, but you contributed to the misunderstanding
by never telling them what video card you were using.
You should have specified right away that you were
using the on board graphics controller. The board
has an AGP slot.
 
Y

yak

I'm posting below some messages I've exchanged with ECS USA technical
support recently. I was trying to find out what should be the correct
setting for the AGP clock on a 741GX-M motherboard, which has
independent settings for CPU FSB, memory and AGP clock, and the
replies I got were almost surreal.
Although the quality of the motherboard itself is not in question
here, I have no intention of buying again from a company with such a
pathetic support service.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

(My first message to them)

From: Pedro Corbett
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 6:59 PM
Subject: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

I have a 741GX-M motherboard with an Athlon XP 2500 processor
and 256 MB DDR333 RAM. The default BIOS value for the AGP clock
is 133 MHz, and I have changed this to 166 MHz, to match the
processor and RAM clock. Is this setting correct?

Pedro G. T. Corbett

------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Their first reply, where they write a lot about the CPU FSB settings,
and nothing at all about the AGP clock setting)

From: "Support" <[email protected]>
To: "Pedro Corbett"
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2004 17:46:23 -0700
Subject: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Dear Valued Customer,

No.

For your information, the CMOS factory default setting is always set
at FSB 100Mhz. Furthermore, nowadays, we use memory type that comes
with the module type DDR(double data rate). It is just a
multiplication of the actual FSB (Front Side Bus) x 2

If you're having CPU FSB (Front Side Bus) is
-333MHz, on the CMOS Setup Utility needs to set FSB Frequency to
166MHz.
-266MHz, on the CMOS Setup Utility needs to set FSB Frequency to
133MHz.
-200MHz, on the CMOS Setup Utility needs to set FSB Frequency to
100MHz.

If you're using a AMD Athlon XP 2500+ with FSB of 333, please get to
the "CMOS Setup Utility > Frequency/ Voltage Control" and set your
"CPU Frequency" to 166MHz. Next, save your settings and exit the BIOS
Utility.

Thereafter, you could verify your CPU speed in Window XP (start/My
computer/ System Tasks/ View System Information/ System
Properties/General/Computer) should be "AMD Athlon XP 2500+
(1.83GHz)".

~ Please include Case # or prior correspondence in your emails ~
(The case# could be found on the subject line of this email)

Thank you for using ECSUSA product,
ECSUSA Technical Support Department.
JF

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Pedro Corbett
To: Support
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2004 6:00 PM
Subject: Re: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Thank you for your answer, but I was referring to the
"Graphics Engine Clock" setting at "Advanced Chipset Setup/
OnChip AGP Control", which is by default set to 133 MHz.
I am aware of the settings for the CPU FSB, as you described
in your message, and I need to know if the "Graphics Engine
Clock" setting should be left at 133 MHz or should be changed
to match the CPU FSB value.

Pedro Corbett

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: "Support192" <[email protected]>
To: "Pedro Corbett"
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 10:22:18 -0700
Subject: RE: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Dear Sir/Madam:

Yes, it is correct FSB speed < 166MHZ> when you using XP2500+ <FSB
333> , the CPU will running double speed at CPU internal clock.

"""""""" Please include all the previous correspondence or case
number when replying """"""""

Regards,


ECSUSA Support Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Pedro Corbett
To: Support192
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 8:26 PM
Subject: RE: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Either you are unable to understand English, or you don't
know the BIOS of the 741GX-M motherboard. I AM NOT talking
about the FSB speed setting. I am talking about a COMPLETELY
INDEPENDENT setting, the "GRAPHICS ENGINE CLOCK" setting at
the BIOS section "Advanced Chipset Setup/OnChip AGP Control".
Due to your confusing replies, I will never ever buy another
ECS product again, and will strongly recommend everyone I
know to do the same.

Pedro G. T. Corbett

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: "Support192" <[email protected]>
To: "Pedro Corbett"
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 15:43:34 -0700
Subject: RE: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Dear Sir/Madam:

The AGP clock nothing relate to CPU and memory clock at all.
You should contact your AGP VGA vendor about your AGP clock setting.
You must using PC2700 memory when you using FSB 333 CPU, or PC2100
memory when you using FSB 266 CPU.

"""""""" Please include all the previous correspondence or case
number when replying """"""""

Regards,


ECSUSA Support Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Pedro Corbett
To: Support192
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2004 8:04 PM
Subject: RE: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Since my FIRST MESSAGE I have been saying that the AGP clock
is INDEPENDENT. But as the 741GX-M motherboard has ON BOARD
INTEGRATED VIDEO and that's what I'm using, the "AGP VGA VENDOR"
IS ECS, so YOU should be able to inform about the AGP clock
setting.
Do a favour to the computer market, quit your job and go work
in a McDonald's. All your replies will be posted to the newsgroups
so people know what they're getting themselves into when buying
from ECS.

Pedro Corbett


Next time, bypass the frontline canned response giving people and call
them.
 
K

kony

I'm posting below some messages I've exchanged with ECS USA technical
support recently. I was trying to find out what should be the correct
setting for the AGP clock on a 741GX-M motherboard, which has
independent settings for CPU FSB, memory and AGP clock, and the
replies I got were almost surreal.
Although the quality of the motherboard itself is not in question
here, I have no intention of buying again from a company with such a
pathetic support service.


First off all, you asked for it!
You had a choice in what product to buy and bought from low-end
manufacturer. Do you expect them to starve to death in other to
make your parts cheaper? They have to cut costs somehwere, if
you can't setup a system yourself without asking such basic
questions then pay for support or for someone else to set up
system for you.

This may seem harsh, but there's no point beating around the
bush.

The interesting part is that you don't question the quality of
the product... if the settings weren't correct to begin with, is
it really a quality product? If the settings were correct why
are you changing them? It may well be that you simply need to
set bios to defaults again.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

(My first message to them)

From: Pedro Corbett
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 6:59 PM
Subject: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

I have a 741GX-M motherboard with an Athlon XP 2500 processor
and 256 MB DDR333 RAM. The default BIOS value for the AGP clock
is 133 MHz, and I have changed this to 166 MHz, to match the
processor and RAM clock. Is this setting correct?

Pedro G. T. Corbett

That's because your email to them was mixing up the funtion of
AGP and FSB, either that or their bios had a very serious error
in semantics. The answer is that you should leave all settings
at bios defaults but change either a jumper or bios FSB setting
to appropriate value for your CPU's FSB. AGP clock setting is
NOT changed for a particular CPU.

From: "Support" <[email protected]>
To: "Pedro Corbett"
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2004 17:46:23 -0700
Subject: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Dear Valued Customer,

No.

For your information, the CMOS factory default setting is always set
at FSB 100Mhz. Furthermore, nowadays, we use memory type that comes
with the module type DDR(double data rate). It is just a
multiplication of the actual FSB (Front Side Bus) x 2

If you're having CPU FSB (Front Side Bus) is
-333MHz, on the CMOS Setup Utility needs to set FSB Frequency to
166MHz.
-266MHz, on the CMOS Setup Utility needs to set FSB Frequency to
133MHz.
-200MHz, on the CMOS Setup Utility needs to set FSB Frequency to
100MHz.

If you're using a AMD Athlon XP 2500+ with FSB of 333, please get to
the "CMOS Setup Utility > Frequency/ Voltage Control" and set your
"CPU Frequency" to 166MHz. Next, save your settings and exit the BIOS
Utility.

Thereafter, you could verify your CPU speed in Window XP (start/My
computer/ System Tasks/ View System Information/ System
Properties/General/Computer) should be "AMD Athlon XP 2500+
(1.83GHz)".

~ Please include Case # or prior correspondence in your emails ~
(The case# could be found on the subject line of this email)

Thank you for using ECSUSA product,
ECSUSA Technical Support Department.
JF

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Their email was correct.

From: Pedro Corbett
To: Support
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2004 6:00 PM
Subject: Re: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Thank you for your answer, but I was referring to the
"Graphics Engine Clock" setting at "Advanced Chipset Setup/
OnChip AGP Control", which is by default set to 133 MHz.
I am aware of the settings for the CPU FSB, as you described
in your message, and I need to know if the "Graphics Engine
Clock" setting should be left at 133 MHz or should be changed
to match the CPU FSB value.

Pedro Corbett

------------------------------------------------------------------------


The answer is, you don't change bios settings if you dont' know
what they do or why you'd change them. They told you about the
only setting you should need to change from the bios default
values. If you aren't starting with default values, enter the
bios and "load setup defaults" after using clear cmos jumper (see
manual).

If you just wanted the short direct answer to the question posed
in that email, the answer is "no" (no, you should not change
it).
From: "Support192" <[email protected]>
To: "Pedro Corbett"
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 10:22:18 -0700
Subject: RE: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Dear Sir/Madam:

Yes, it is correct FSB speed < 166MHZ> when you using XP2500+ <FSB
333> , the CPU will running double speed at CPU internal clock.

"""""""" Please include all the previous correspondence or case
number when replying """"""""

Regards,


ECSUSA Support Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Pedro Corbett
To: Support192
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 8:26 PM
Subject: RE: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Either you are unable to understand English, or you don't
know the BIOS of the 741GX-M motherboard. I AM NOT talking
about the FSB speed setting. I am talking about a COMPLETELY
INDEPENDENT setting, the "GRAPHICS ENGINE CLOCK" setting at
the BIOS section "Advanced Chipset Setup/OnChip AGP Control".
Due to your confusing replies, I will never ever buy another
ECS product again, and will strongly recommend everyone I
know to do the same.

Pedro G. T. Corbett


I've suggested same (not buying ECS) in the past but people won't
listen, they are cheap. ECS is not obligated to support
end-users, what made you think they were?
You were expecting a lot to receive any email response from them
at all.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: "Support192" <[email protected]>
To: "Pedro Corbett"
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 15:43:34 -0700
Subject: RE: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Dear Sir/Madam:

The AGP clock nothing relate to CPU and memory clock at all.
You should contact your AGP VGA vendor about your AGP clock setting.
You must using PC2700 memory when you using FSB 333 CPU, or PC2100
memory when you using FSB 266 CPU.

"""""""" Please include all the previous correspondence or case
number when replying """"""""

Regards,


ECSUSA Support Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Again, they gave you the correct answer when they should've just
deleted your email instead. Their error was trying to educate
you instead of ignoring you.

From: Pedro Corbett
To: Support192
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2004 8:04 PM
Subject: RE: CASE# JFE85427/ RE: AGP Clock on 741GX-M

Since my FIRST MESSAGE I have been saying that the AGP clock
is INDEPENDENT. But as the 741GX-M motherboard has ON BOARD
INTEGRATED VIDEO and that's what I'm using, the "AGP VGA VENDOR"
IS ECS, so YOU should be able to inform about the AGP clock
setting.
Do a favour to the computer market, quit your job and go work
in a McDonald's. All your replies will be posted to the newsgroups
so people know what they're getting themselves into when buying
from ECS.

Pedro Corbett

Lay down some cash for a computer course so you know how to set
up equipment... a motherboard does not come with a free education
beyond the manual.

Strong hint: Do not change anything until you have specific
reason to or know what and why you're changing it. In other
words, if you have to ask, leave it alone.

My post may seem harsh, but the truth is that you would be better
off just leaving it alone so long as CPU is running at correct
speed. ECS already advised you on that.
 
G

Grinder

[snipped correspondence]

Even though they were not helpful, they were prompt and courteous. It
seems to me that you could have given them more than two chances before
flying into a rage. Please take this as a practical assessment, not a
moral judgement. I believe that you could have gotten the information
you sought with well-mannered persistence, in spite of their early failings.
 
T

Trent©

I'm posting below some messages I've exchanged with ECS USA technical
support recently.

2 oxymorons in the same sentence! Can you pick them out? lol
Although the quality of the motherboard itself is not in question
here,

RIGHT!!! lol

Wait 'till you hafta call them about the RMA!


Have a nice week...

Trent©

NUDITY...birth control for folks over 50!
 
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P

Pedro Corbett

Lay down some cash for a computer course so you know how to set
up equipment... a motherboard does not come with a free education
beyond the manual.

Since I've been into programming (Pascal, Delphi, 65xx, Z80 and x86
Assembly) since 1987, I think it's hardly the case of me needing to
take a computer course. I don't consider myself a complete dummy on
basic to average hardware configuration either, having always
assembled my own computers myself.

I made it perfectly clear in my first message that my only doubt was
about the AGP clock setting. Their first answer simply ignored the AGP
clock question and went on explaining how to set up the CPU FSB speed,
something I never asked. I suspect the person in charge of answering
these technical inquiries is not very fluent in English, too.

The 741GX-M motherboard has 3 possible settings for the AGP clock:
100, 133 and 166 MHz, defaulting to 133 MHz. I've never seen a
motherboard with a basic AGP clock of 100 MHz, and that's what
confused me in the first place and led me to ask their technical
support about it. As far as I know, AGP speed should be set in
multiples of 66 MHz - please correct me if I'm wrong. I was wondering
(and still am) if, for some reason, the effective AGP clock speed in
this motherboard might be related to the FSB clock speed, and that
this might be the reason for the 3 possible settings. If you're an
engineer or a really experienced technician and are able to sort that
out, I'll be most pleased to listen and learn.

And finally, yes - any motherboard vendor should answer this type of
question, if it hasn't been covered with enough depth in the manual,
and by that I mean a little bit more than just listing the possible
values for a specific setting. I don't think that's a favour they are
doing to their customers.
 
P

Pedro Corbett

The AGP clock nothing relate to CPU and memory clock at all.
Just another word about this post by ECS. Their answer is wrong. The
BIOS allows the memory clock to be adjusted independently, so that you
might have a 333 MHz FSB CPU working with a PC2100 (DDR 266) memory
card, for example.
 
K

kony

Just another word about this post by ECS. Their answer is wrong. The
BIOS allows the memory clock to be adjusted independently, so that you
might have a 333 MHz FSB CPU working with a PC2100 (DDR 266) memory
card, for example.


Their use of the word "must" may've been wrong, but it IS a good
idea to do so. Tyically a chipset is slower at asynchronous bus
speeds. If the memory has enough margin to clock higher than FSB
rate, it typically also has ability to run at faster timings, for
larger performance benefit. Exceptions would be much more
expensive high-end memory, but when some has that much $$$ to
spend they'd probably get a lot of memory, so they are more
likely to need more conservative memory speed just to keep it all
stable.
 
K

kony

Since I've been into programming (Pascal, Delphi, 65xx, Z80 and x86
Assembly) since 1987, I think it's hardly the case of me needing to
take a computer course. I don't consider myself a complete dummy on
basic to average hardware configuration either, having always
assembled my own computers myself.

You may be a nobel prize winner for software but (apparently)
that doesn't make you execeptional at hardware. Hardware can be
frustrating, but remember that it is not software, you didn't
write the bios so you need to rely on those assocated to have
correct settings.
I made it perfectly clear in my first message that my only doubt was
about the AGP clock setting. Their first answer simply ignored the AGP
clock question and went on explaining how to set up the CPU FSB speed,
something I never asked. I suspect the person in charge of answering
these technical inquiries is not very fluent in English, too.

Yes, but it didn't "need" changed, did it? No level 1 support
person is going to remember all specs on every product. They
can't know your entire hardware configuration and the time it
would take to learn it and do the research might be worth more
than the entire cost of product. They sell a product, not
end-user support. They may even have 1000 emails waiting to
reply to so they only reply with canned response that is
necessary to get product working.
The 741GX-M motherboard has 3 possible settings for the AGP clock:
100, 133 and 166 MHz, defaulting to 133 MHz. I've never seen a
motherboard with a basic AGP clock of 100 MHz, and that's what
confused me in the first place and led me to ask their technical
support about it. As far as I know, AGP speed should be set in
multiples of 66 MHz - please correct me if I'm wrong. I was wondering
(and still am) if, for some reason, the effective AGP clock speed in
this motherboard might be related to the FSB clock speed, and that
this might be the reason for the 3 possible settings. If you're an
engineer or a really experienced technician and are able to sort that
out, I'll be most pleased to listen and learn.

Most likely it's just a bios bug, those text strings were misused
in those fields of the bios, might represent 2x/4x/8x AGP rate,
or 1x/2x/4x, I'm too lazy to look up the spec of the chipset at
the moment.

Since you have concern about AGP rate, seems productive to use a
software utility that shows the rate being used. Adia might,
Sisoft Sandra might, the Coolbits+ tweak for nVidia video card
drivers might, as well as a few utilities for nVidia or ATI video
cards, the names of those utilities escaping me at the moment.
And finally, yes - any motherboard vendor should answer this type of
question, if it hasn't been covered with enough depth in the manual,
and by that I mean a little bit more than just listing the possible
values for a specific setting. I don't think that's a favour they are
doing to their customers.

Everyone has their own list of pet peeves. They could correct
yours, and mine, and everyone elses, but wouldn't that drive the
cost up? Let's be honest, nobody buys ECS because they have a
superior product, it's the low cost.
 
P

Pedro Corbett

I've posted the question on a technical forum at Adrian's Rojak Pot
site. This site publishes a BIOS Optimization Guide and is frequented
by quite a few BIOS tweakers, besides Adrian himself. The address of
the thread is:

http://forums.rojakpot.com/viewtopic.php?p=122256#122256

Let's see if somebody comes up with an explanation for the odd
100/133/166 MHz choice for this motherboard's "graphics clock engine"
setting.
 
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P

Pedro Corbett

kony said:
Yes, but it didn't "need" changed, did it? No level 1 support
person is going to remember all specs on every product. They
can't know your entire hardware configuration and the time it
would take to learn it and do the research might be worth more
than the entire cost of product. They sell a product, not
end-user support. They may even have 1000 emails waiting to
reply to so they only reply with canned response that is
necessary to get product working.

Your points are very sensible, agreed, but I still think that a
standard preformatted automatic reply explaining this odd "Clock
engine speed" setting wouldn't mean I'm asking too much.

My guess is that either some internal divider takes the value and
divides it by 2, thus the 133 MHz value being the right setting, or
the BIOS was simply badly written. Usually, these AGP clock settings
come in the form of a CPU FSB ratio, where for example you set the AGP
clock at 1:1 ratio, 2:3, etc, depending on the CPU FSB clock, in order
to obtain the basic 66 MHz AGP bus speed. Now, taking into
consideration them saying that the setting is independent from the CPU
FSB, and the 100/133/166 MHz options lead to that conclusion too, I
wonder why would someone possibly want to set the value to 100 MHz, in
which case the AGP bus would be underclocked (100/2 = 50 MHz). Or, if
setting it at 100 MHz automatically triggers a 2/3 divider (to get the
66 MHz basic AGP clock), and the 166 MHz value triggers a 2/5 divider,
then what's the point in having the setting at all (since you'll end
up with 66 MHz in all cases). So I guess it must be there for
overclocking purposes (the 166 MHz setting), even though it would be
very aggressive and dangerous to set the AGP bus at 83 MHz (166/2).

As to the onboard video, as somebody wrote criticizing me for not
having mentioned up front I was using it, that doesn't matter at all,
since changing an AGP clock setting will affect both the onboard video
chipset and the AGP slot.
 
P

Pedro Corbett

Grinder said:
Even though they were not helpful, they were prompt and courteous. It
seems to me that you could have given them more than two chances before
flying into a rage. Please take this as a practical assessment, not a
moral judgement. I believe that you could have gotten the information
you sought with well-mannered persistence, in spite of their early failings.

Point well taken. But then again, that apparent courteousness in the
message headers is certainly just a template in their answering
system.
 
K

kony

I've posted the question on a technical forum at Adrian's Rojak Pot
site. This site publishes a BIOS Optimization Guide and is frequented
by quite a few BIOS tweakers, besides Adrian himself. The address of
the thread is:

http://forums.rojakpot.com/viewtopic.php?p=122256#122256

Let's see if somebody comes up with an explanation for the odd
100/133/166 MHz choice for this motherboard's "graphics clock engine"
setting.


So is it "graphics clock engine" or "AGP rate"?

There aren't same thing. AGP is the port but graphics engine is
the logic at the end of that port.
 
K

kony

Your points are very sensible, agreed, but I still think that a
standard preformatted automatic reply explaining this odd "Clock
engine speed" setting wouldn't mean I'm asking too much.

My guess is that either some internal divider takes the value and
divides it by 2, thus the 133 MHz value being the right setting, or
the BIOS was simply badly written. Usually, these AGP clock settings
come in the form of a CPU FSB ratio, where for example you set the AGP
clock at 1:1 ratio, 2:3, etc, depending on the CPU FSB clock, in order
to obtain the basic 66 MHz AGP bus speed.

Yes, but if the BIOS entry is vaguely described (they do only
have a line or two to describe it and manuals were never Hsin
Tech's strong point), it might not be the AGP bus (actually a
port) speed but rather it's internal speed. If you really need
to tweak this then research the chipset on the board, to
determine what it actually supports, then at least you'll know
what's in spec and can decide if you wanted to overclock it or
not.
Now, taking into
consideration them saying that the setting is independent from the CPU
FSB, and the 100/133/166 MHz options lead to that conclusion too, I
wonder why would someone possibly want to set the value to 100 MHz, in
which case the AGP bus would be underclocked (100/2 = 50 MHz). Or, if
setting it at 100 MHz automatically triggers a 2/3 divider (to get the
66 MHz basic AGP clock), and the 166 MHz value triggers a 2/5 divider,
then what's the point in having the setting at all (since you'll end
up with 66 MHz in all cases). So I guess it must be there for
overclocking purposes (the 166 MHz setting), even though it would be
very aggressive and dangerous to set the AGP bus at 83 MHz (166/2).

Agressive/dangerous is only relative to what past hardware could
do... if chipset is capable of it, so much the better. However
typically the bottleneck is memory thoughput on an integrated
solution, so focusing on that might yield better result if goal
is to tweak for performance. If you find performance ok for your
uses then leave it at default settings.

You could instead use the more typical way of resolving this, try
the settings and benchmark, then test applications for stability.
As to the onboard video, as somebody wrote criticizing me for not
having mentioned up front I was using it, that doesn't matter at all,
since changing an AGP clock setting will affect both the onboard video
chipset and the AGP slot.

With any particular product there might be known bios glitches,
hardware bugs if not limitations. "Specs" could be ignored to a
certain extent on a completely integrated solution so long as it
works, needs not be compatible with additional hardware as would
be the case with an integral graphics engine.

You might find someone has already been down this road you travel
and can advise on the signficance of the different settings in a
website based hardware forum. There is a large forum at
http://www.amdforums.com/ , which covers far more than just
AMD-related hardware.
 
P

Pedro Corbett

kony said:
So is it "graphics clock engine" or "AGP rate"?

There aren't same thing. AGP is the port but graphics engine is
the logic at the end of that port.

The setting is "Graphics engine clock" (I had inverted the order of
the 2 last words, sorry), under a section called "OnChip AGP Control".
It's clearly not the AGP rate setting (4x, 8x), but the AGP bus clock
speed. There's no setting in the BIOS for the AGP rate, so I guess
it's automatically configured (manual says it supports both 4x and 8x
speed AGP cards).
 
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P

Pedro Corbett

You could instead use the more typical way of resolving this, try
the settings and benchmark, then test applications for stability.

I didn't do any benchmarking on the system (the computer isn't even
mine, actually, it's a friend's), but it has been running stable at
the 166 MHz setting for over a week now. I'll probably end up
disassembling the BIOS code and checking what it does with this
selection, so we don't have to keep on guessing.
 

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