Disabling AGP Sidebanding With VIA Chipsets

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I can only wonder how many of the hard core shelled out the big bucks for a GeForce or ultra card only to find out we would have to clockdown and give-up some of the speed we bought our Video Cards for? The lucky few bought cards that provided a means to disable “side-banding”. (The best solution when running a AGP card on a severely overclocked bus. The Demon gives a complete and very well written explanation of all things AGP). For the rest of us, our cards will boot nicely, bench-mark wonderfully, only to crash disastrously when we open a game.

This situation grew even more intolerable with the coming of “The little E”, Intel’s flip-chip marvel. Given the proper home in a motherboard of quality, the “little Jewel” clambers up the front side bus like a gibbon sails through the top-most branches in a forest. And runs So cool it’s Ca-ruuuel. The GeForce on the other hand…the little pig starts squealing if you even look at you BIOS settings with your hand on the up arrow of your keyboard…It’s true I swear it!

Just recently I learned in Overclockers.com’s Forum That Powerstrip, by EnTech, could be used to disable AGP X 2, thereby at least muffling the GeForce’s cries of complaint. Which is to say that you could overclock your FSB and still get a game not only to load but to play really rather well (thanks again guys).

But of course this came at a price – it halves the bandwidth of the AGP. Not good but acceptable, inasmuch as 750MHz or 775MHz is a pretty lofty tree to be able to monkey about in, and the “little pig” stopped squealing (God I love the Discovery channel).

But what about those guys that bought cards that came with the ability to disable side-banding? Well they didn’t have to run at AGP X 1 they could run at AGP X 2. It gets worse… when new motherboards come out (Non-Intel for my money) that support X 4 AGP they would be able to run at X 4. Not fair…NOT FAIR! But true all the same. The disablers of AGP brotherhood was doomed to fall further and further behind in our quest for eye candy and frag speed. What could we do? – sadly nothing.

Picture an aging Gibbon misjudging his leap…sailing gracefully among the top-most branches…his life flashing before his terrified mind as he begins his inevitable decline…. falling, falling…then forming a puddle on the forest floor amongst the decaying leaves. No, this too, too, horrible a thought… think of premature planned obsolesce…No don’t!… that’s even worse!

But wait! Now cometh VIA! Now cometh safety nets and refurbished parts, extended use and renewed vigor! (What a meat grinder of a metaphor!) If one downloads VIA’s NEW AGP 3.59 drivers and looks at the release file, one find’s the following:

  • 2. Updates:
  • a. To disable/enable sideband as the default value, please modify the registry key, SideBand, in the OEM.REG.
  • Disable sideband as default value:
  • “SideBand”=hex:00,00
  • Enable sideband as default value:
  • “SideBand”=hex:01,00

For those of you new to the joys of the MS registry do this:

Click on Start, click on Find, click on Files and Folders, set “look in” to C: In “named” type “regedit“. This will bring regedit up in a box below. Drag it onto the desktop. Click on it. A registry editor will open. Click on “EDIT“. In the “find what” box type “sideband“. Click on “find next“. A new box will open with four icons. You only want to change one of them (If you change the other three you’ll corrupt your registry). RIGHT click on “sideband”, click on “modify“.

You will be presented with a box which contains the “hex value” you must change to disable sidebanding. Left click between “01 and 00”, then drag you cursor to the left over “01” this will highlight “01”, then while it’s highlighted simply type “00”. That’s it.

Now tell me, doesn’t that make you a happy little Gibbon? Have questions? Open a new thread in Overclockers forum – I’m there almost every day (well just about, I need some time to read the reviews posted on the front page!).

Daniel Edgar

Again if you’re a really, really, shy little monkey you can Email me…or just in a big hurry…but what gets posted in the forum is there for everyone. You know, like when it’s a really hot day and all the animals gather around the water hole and one big animal starts splashing and they all get wet, but because it’s really hot day they really, really like it?…Damn – where’s my freakin’ channel changer.


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