New A7N8X-Deluxe user - so far so good


K

Kyle Brant

Hello all.

Just joined the Asus owners group a few days ago for the first time
when I purchased a refurb A7n8x-deluxe from newegg.com. I received a
v2.0 board with 1006 BIOS. Only got the barebonez mobo, but that's
all I expected for $60 (and free shipping). Wow, this board rocks so
far, I have no complaints at all. Sound system is nice, performance
is good, everything works as expected so far. I bought the mobo b/c
my old socket-a mobo did not support overclocking, and a new
Duron-1600-applebred was not getting a full workout in my old ECS
k7s5a mobo.

Specs:

2 - 256Meg Crucial ddr sticks
WD 40G 7200 rpm HD
ATI Radeon 8500
300W Powmax PS
Cheapest of cheapie cases (lol)

Hmmm, guess that's about it, everything else is on the mobo.

Both NICs work fine, tho for some reason win2k loaded the wrong driver
for the 3com NIC using the "driver update" technique (perhaps because
I did not know which hardware device description corresponded with the
onboard 3com NIC so I went with the default device highlighted by
win2k which turns out to be the item at the top of the list), however
when I did a second "driver update" the appropriate driver loaded, the
3com NIC works fine now. Actually, the 3com NIC appeared to work Ok
with the wrong driver, until I played an online game, then I got some
really weird choppiness in gameplay. Updating the driver resolved
this issue.

I did the L2 mod on my Duron/Applebred 1600 ($42 from Newegg), cache
fully enabled now and cpuz reports the chip as an XP cpu (hehe), and
now have it up to 2088 MHz at 1.575v, and running quite stable, hi
temp 40C with prime95 running. HSF in use is a Coolermaster used with
my old Tbird 1400 (one hot cpu I might add, typical fully loaded temp
of 55C), nothing special about this HSF but temps were quite low at
1600 speed (hi temp of 37C). The machine is in the basement and case
is open right now, so these temps may be a bit lower than others
experience. Memtest86 was run all night at default speed settings of
333 fsb cpu and 266 memory, no errors after a little tweaking of the
memory settings in CMOS, so memory subsystem and caches are
functioning properly.

My old memory sticks were dropped into this new mobo with hopes of
running at 166 speed (1 pc2100 and 1pc2700, both Crucial) in dual
channel mode. Happy to report my Crucial sticks work great at 166
speed, even with the 1 stick overclocked.

The only oddity so far is with the Nvidia IDE drivers, when I tried to
do a "driver update" to get the Nvidia IDE drivers loaded, it did not
"take". The IDE drivers are in a subdir named "winxp" so are there no
IDE drivers for win2k with the 2.45 Nvidia drivers? Do the Nvidia
drivers provide any substantial improvement over the MS SP4 drivers
with Win2k? I note that a CPUMark test shows very good numbers, with
the exception of the HD performance number, which dropped versus my
old setup (and dropped by about 30% from around 1200 to around 800).
However, Sandra indicates HD benchmark to be just slightly better with
the new setup.

Also, I see there is a newer BIOS (1007) but as usual not much info on
whether it is a worthwhile upgrade, any comment there would be
appreciated.

Oh, and does anyone have an inside scoop on how to go about getting
the "goodies" (I/O plate, cables and other stuff that come with the
retail version) for this mobo. I sent an email to Asus tech support
asking the same question, and strangely the email got bounced back.

Looking forward to all the tips and suggestions you experienced Asus
folks have to offer. Thanks in advance.
 
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B

Ben Pope

Kyle said:
Hello all.

Just joined the Asus owners group a few days ago for the first time
when I purchased a refurb A7n8x-deluxe from newegg.com. I received a
v2.0 board with 1006 BIOS. Only got the barebonez mobo, but that's
all I expected for $60 (and free shipping). Wow, this board rocks so
far, I have no complaints at all. Sound system is nice, performance
is good, everything works as expected so far. I bought the mobo b/c
my old socket-a mobo did not support overclocking, and a new
Duron-1600-applebred was not getting a full workout in my old ECS
k7s5a mobo.
Excellent.

The only oddity so far is with the Nvidia IDE drivers, when I tried to
do a "driver update" to get the Nvidia IDE drivers loaded, it did not
"take". The IDE drivers are in a subdir named "winxp" so are there no
IDE drivers for win2k with the 2.45 Nvidia drivers? Do the Nvidia
drivers provide any substantial improvement over the MS SP4 drivers
with Win2k? I note that a CPUMark test shows very good numbers, with
the exception of the HD performance number, which dropped versus my
old setup (and dropped by about 30% from around 1200 to around 800).
However, Sandra indicates HD benchmark to be just slightly better with
the new setup.

Wait for the newer nForce UDP... which is supposedly due soon (which has
only meant 4 months so far :). Not sure if Win2k will get a SW IDE driver,
but I wouldn't worry about it.
Also, I see there is a newer BIOS (1007) but as usual not much info on
whether it is a worthwhile upgrade, any comment there would be
appreciated.

Using 1007 (Uber) myself... I like the newer SATA BIOS in it. (use a WD
Raptor as my primary boot so it is of concern for me)

Ben
 
B

Barry Walsh

Kyle said:
Hello all.

Just joined the Asus owners group a few days ago for the first time
when I purchased a refurb A7n8x-deluxe from newegg.com. I received a
v2.0 board with 1006 BIOS. Only got the barebonez mobo, but that's
all I expected for $60 (and free shipping). Wow, this board rocks so
far, I have no complaints at all. Sound system is nice, performance
is good, everything works as expected so far. I bought the mobo b/c
my old socket-a mobo did not support overclocking, and a new
Duron-1600-applebred was not getting a full workout in my old ECS
k7s5a mobo.

Specs:

2 - 256Meg Crucial ddr sticks
WD 40G 7200 rpm HD
ATI Radeon 8500
300W Powmax PS
Cheapest of cheapie cases (lol)

Hmmm, guess that's about it, everything else is on the mobo.

Both NICs work fine, tho for some reason win2k loaded the wrong driver
for the 3com NIC using the "driver update" technique (perhaps because
I did not know which hardware device description corresponded with the
onboard 3com NIC so I went with the default device highlighted by
win2k which turns out to be the item at the top of the list), however
when I did a second "driver update" the appropriate driver loaded, the
3com NIC works fine now. Actually, the 3com NIC appeared to work Ok
with the wrong driver, until I played an online game, then I got some
really weird choppiness in gameplay. Updating the driver resolved
this issue.

I did the L2 mod on my Duron/Applebred 1600 ($42 from Newegg), cache
fully enabled now and cpuz reports the chip as an XP cpu (hehe), and
now have it up to 2088 MHz at 1.575v, and running quite stable, hi
temp 40C with prime95 running. HSF in use is a Coolermaster used with
my old Tbird 1400 (one hot cpu I might add, typical fully loaded temp
of 55C), nothing special about this HSF but temps were quite low at
1600 speed (hi temp of 37C). The machine is in the basement and case
is open right now, so these temps may be a bit lower than others
experience. Memtest86 was run all night at default speed settings of
333 fsb cpu and 266 memory, no errors after a little tweaking of the
memory settings in CMOS, so memory subsystem and caches are
functioning properly.

My old memory sticks were dropped into this new mobo with hopes of
running at 166 speed (1 pc2100 and 1pc2700, both Crucial) in dual
channel mode. Happy to report my Crucial sticks work great at 166
speed, even with the 1 stick overclocked.

The only oddity so far is with the Nvidia IDE drivers, when I tried to
do a "driver update" to get the Nvidia IDE drivers loaded, it did not
"take". The IDE drivers are in a subdir named "winxp" so are there no
IDE drivers for win2k with the 2.45 Nvidia drivers? Do the Nvidia
drivers provide any substantial improvement over the MS SP4 drivers
with Win2k? I note that a CPUMark test shows very good numbers, with
the exception of the HD performance number, which dropped versus my
old setup (and dropped by about 30% from around 1200 to around 800).
However, Sandra indicates HD benchmark to be just slightly better with
the new setup.

Also, I see there is a newer BIOS (1007) but as usual not much info on
whether it is a worthwhile upgrade, any comment there would be
appreciated.

Oh, and does anyone have an inside scoop on how to go about getting
the "goodies" (I/O plate, cables and other stuff that come with the
retail version) for this mobo. I sent an email to Asus tech support
asking the same question, and strangely the email got bounced back.

Looking forward to all the tips and suggestions you experienced Asus
folks have to offer. Thanks in advance.
There used to be an nVidia IDE driver in past driver sets, but major
bugs were found and so it was removed from the recent sets. It will
return in the future. You may also want to ge the system utility from
nVidia to help you play with timings and other settings.
ftp://download.nvidia.com/Windows/nForce/systemutility/nvsu_1.00.zip
 
K

Kyle Brant

| There used to be an nVidia IDE driver in past driver sets, but major
| bugs were found and so it was removed from the recent sets. It will
| return in the future. You may also want to ge the system utility
from
| nVidia to help you play with timings and other settings.
| ftp://download.nvidia.com/Windows/nForce/systemutility/nvsu_1.00.zip
|

Heh, already got it, and it is of some use, particularly to recover
from a failed OC w/o having to clear CMOS. Is there an Asus BIOS that
is compatible? (i.e., 1007, does it work with this program?)

Further, is there a way to boot at a safe cpu speed if the BIOS
settings are too aggressive?
 
B

Barry Walsh

Kyle said:
| There used to be an nVidia IDE driver in past driver sets, but major
| bugs were found and so it was removed from the recent sets. It will
| return in the future. You may also want to ge the system utility
from
| nVidia to help you play with timings and other settings.
| ftp://download.nvidia.com/Windows/nForce/systemutility/nvsu_1.00.zip
|

Heh, already got it, and it is of some use, particularly to recover
from a failed OC w/o having to clear CMOS. Is there an Asus BIOS that
is compatible? (i.e., 1007, does it work with this program?)

Further, is there a way to boot at a safe cpu speed if the BIOS
settings are too aggressive?
I've read comments that updated BIOS's will be needed to allow it access
to more settings. The 1007 BIOS doesn't seem to, since that's what I
have and the settings available are currently fairly minimal.

I don't know of anyway to force a boot at safe cpu speeds, although I
suspect there is. It's been my experience that any unworkable choice of
settings is reset back to a 100MHz bus after a power down.
 
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K

Kyle Brant

| just order one for 59 bucks free shipping....barebones,,,,no
problem...
|
|

Heh, the accessories only cost $15, called Asus RMA dept to get them.
Asus will send an I/O plate for free also, I am given to understand by
others who have posted comments on this refurb board at newegg.
 

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