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-   -   Gigabyte MB conundrum (http://www.aoaforums.com/forum/amd-motherboards-and-cpus/48259-gigabyte-mb-conundrum.html)

alfieguy 27th November, 2009 01:29 AM

Gigabyte MB conundrum
 
I got this system for $3 so don't ask me why I am using such an old computer ;-)

It has the GA-7zx Revision 1.01 MB with an 850mhz Duron Spitfire CPU.

It has 256MB ram, 2mb video, running xp. Runs good except problem with slow and stalled videos under vlc 8.6i. Have to close almost all other apps to run videos and then some still will stall or run in spurts. Performance monitor shows cpu is maxing out during this.

The MB supports increments to 133mhz on the fsb via dip switches, but the chipset and cpu are limited to 100mhz according to gigabyte support, which has not always given the correct answers.

Support says that easytune is not supported by this board. Are there any software overclocking tools I can use that work with this board?
Could not find anything specifically for this board at setfsb home site, plus it is written in Japanese. Is the program also in Japanese or just the readme.txt file? Are there any other programs that will work for this board where i can temporarily overclock under XP?

What is the best way to make videos and other stuff on this board run faster? The memory does not seem to max out, even non paged memory is most always available, but the video ram might be a bottleneck?

Any good feedback welcomed, thanks.

Samuknow 27th November, 2009 05:46 PM

Welcome to AOA.

The onboard video is not helping at all. Even a very cheap video card with 32 meg or more of video ram would be a big improvement.

alfieguy 28th November, 2009 05:25 AM

thanks, am sure ur right need more video ram
 
yes, I have to order some parts for this pc, but only paid $3 for the system with monitor, and it's old so won't be spending alot on it. Could die any day.

maybe I will try newegg, but I hate mail order.

Performance monitor shows 100% cpu usage on video vlc .avi files. Is that due to lack of video ram? Maybe it is cuz other applications run fine, it is mainly playing video files that slows everything down. 2mb of ram should be enuf for one video file when everything else is closed. Running no screen motif to save on video ram.

Thanks for your reply and the welcome :-)

Gizmo 28th November, 2009 08:37 AM

Welcome to AOA! Thanks for dropping in. :thumbsup:

You are asking an 850 MHz Duron CPU to decode a video stream in real time, and then shovel the data created by that decoding process across the PCI bus to the on-board video card using programmed I/O.

That's not a reasonable thing to do. I would expect even a modern CPU would find that to be a tall order, because of the limitations imposed by the data transport mechanism being used to the video card.

A more modern video card can perform the decoding and playback right on the card, as well as being able to do DMA transfers, meaning that the data transfer bottleneck becomes much less significant.

cloasters 28th November, 2009 07:29 PM

I'm impressed that this rig can run video at all. Gotta give it top marks for trying so hard!

alfieguy 29th November, 2009 06:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gizmo (Post 500950)
Welcome to AOA! Thanks for dropping in. :thumbsup:

You are asking an 850 MHz Duron CPU to decode a video stream in real time, and then shovel the data created by that decoding process across the PCI bus to the on-board video card using programmed I/O.

That's not a reasonable thing to do. I would expect even a modern CPU would find that to be a tall order, because of the limitations imposed by the data transport mechanism being used to the video card.

A more modern video card can perform the decoding and playback right on the card, as well as being able to do DMA transfers, meaning that the data transfer bottleneck becomes much less significant.

Yeah, thanks, I did some more reading on video cards and I think your correct. One thing that I am concerned about is matching the video card to the system, as it might draw more power than tha old Matrox Millenium that's in there? I am sure this is where the bottleneck is, else it would not occur only on running videos. By "data transport system" are you referring to the lack of memory or video card bus or both? Where exactly is the bottleneck? Also will updating the drives to this video card give much of an improvement. I notice there are drivers a couple years younger than the ones I am using. Thanks for all the good replies and welcomes, feels like the old internet of bygone days.

Gizmo 29th November, 2009 09:27 AM

The 2M Matrox Millenium was not optimized for video playback; it was a 2D accelerated card and was designed for those kinds of workloads; office documents, limited CAD/CAM of the time, that sort of thing. As I recall, it wasn't even a particularly good gaming card.

In any case, unless I am mistaken, that card sits on the PCI bus, not the AGP bus, so you've got three problems:
  1. Limited on-board video memory. This means that there's not much room for the CPU to get ahead of the card and stuff information into video RAM for playback.
  2. Limited processing capability on the card: pretty much the entire workload of video playback has to be done by the CPU; all of the video decoding, reading the data stream, and shoveling the decoded data to the card's display memory.
  3. Programmed I/O over the PCI bus; the card is really doing very little processing, and as I understand things, it is actually faster for the CPU to write the decoded data across the bus to the card than it is for the CPU to put the data into RAM, set up the DMA transfer registers, and let the DMA engine transfer the data across the bus.

That mobo should be able to handle a 4X AGP card, but you'll need to find a card that is 4X AGP compatible. While most video cards should be able to run either 4X or 8X AGP, you'll need to make sure of that.

Either of these should do:
Newegg.com - XFX PVT44AWANG GeForce 6200 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 AGP 8X Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards
Newegg.com - HIS H925H128E1TOAN Radeon 9250 128MB 64-bit DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

Obviously, there are other cards that will work as well; these were just two that came up quickly.

As for power requirements, yes, that could be an issue: these cards will likely draw a fair bit more than your Matrox does. However, they draw the majority of their power when running 3D rendering tasks. Even then, neither of the cards mentioned above has an extra power connector; they get all their power from the AGP slot, which means they can't be all THAT power hungry. As long as your PSU can handle about 300W, I would think you should be in good shape.


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