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Old 12-08-04, 08:51 AM Thread Starter   #1
Hoot
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Unhappy Off to a bad start


Some of my Christmas Bonus was burning a hole in my pocket, so despite Ed's advice, I dove in and purchased a K8N Neo2 Platinum and 90nm Athlon64 3200+.

I have always used either Abit or ASUS motherboards because I've never had a problem that I didn't cause with those brands in the 7 of so motherboards I have gone through over the evolutionay process these past 7 years or so living on the bleeding edge. I went with MSI because I dearly love the Nvidia chipset and only they and Gigabit offer the NF3-Ultra. Since I had money tied up in my Radeon 9800XT I did not want to wait for the NF4 entrants with their abandonment of the AGP bus.

I got the K8N Neo2 Platinum and Athlon64 3200+ this past Friday from Monarch. I replaced my existing NF7-S and Barton with it and installation went great. I reinstalled XP SP2 on my SATA array, along with the current chipset drivers painlessly. After reloading all my apps, it ran fine aside from an occasional stutter start that required turning off the PSU and trying to start it again. It ran fast and furious Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. No sweat getting through Memtest86, Prime95, 3D Mark, etc.

On Tuesday, after several stutter starts in a row, I had all I could take and started troubleshooting. I rechecked all my connections, cleared the CMOS memory, but to no avail. The voltages on my Antec True550 were well within tolerance. I tried measuring the Vdimm, Chipset and Core voltages during the brief power-up, but the sample rate on my Fluke DMM was too slow. So, I hooked up the 4-Trace digital Storage scope and found that the core voltage was only getting up to 1.083V as opposed to the minimum of 1.45V needed for the 90nm Athlon64. Unfortunately, after stutter starting the system on and off about 20 times during troubleshooting, it got worse. It would power up and not shut down quickly as before. It just powered up and failed to enter POST. The core voltage was still only 1.083V. I called Tech Support at Monarch and after establishing that I wasn't some Joe SixPack we arrived at the mutual agreement that given the setup worked fine for three days and now the Vcore was stuck being too low, that the motherboard was defective and probably not the CPU. I sure hope so, because they issued me an RMA to send back the just the motherboard, which is in transit as I write this.

I did a lot of searching around the forum circuit regarding this stutter start issue and found I am not alone. Most of the posters had their problem resolved by replacing the board, but a few had the problem on the second board as well. Some found it related to using the Antec Truepower PSU (like me). Some found it related to using an older PS2 Keyboard (like me) and some never figured out the cause. Hopefully the replacement motherboard will work better though I must admit, when it was working, the MSI board was great. The manufacturing quality was good and it came with about any possible accessory you could possibly need to get it going.

I've always had good service from Monarch, but then I never got anything from them that required an RMA. Hopefully, that process will continue to go as well as it has started out.

More after my replacement arrives and I get my system back together.

Hoot

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Old 12-08-04, 08:57 AM   #2
TollhouseFrank
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oh man. that HAS to be a pain in the patookis.

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Old 12-08-04, 09:18 AM   #3
obsolete
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I've been through a few MSI boards......both via chipset & nf2. All have ran really solid. Thats one thing I've always liked about MSI is the stability of their boards. But the newer MSI boards with nf3 chipset & such seem to have some "quorks" here & there.

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Old 12-08-04, 10:25 AM   #4
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I just upgraded too... check my sig for components used. I'm not having problems, i even o'c to 240x10 (didn't go past). The only thing i'm worried about is if the temp readings from mbm5/bios are accurate...

Other than that no probs.... A lot of people are having problems with the msi mb but if you do some reading here ahead of time and find out what settings to use in bios everything should work fine. Another thing, if you're not gonna overclock you should've bought the Asus AV8 as it's a more stable mb - the msi mb though is best for oc right now anyways.....

As for the voltages...hopefully it's not something else (you mentioned about the ps) and then you rma'ed the mb for nothing.....

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Old 12-08-04, 10:29 AM   #5
Sentential
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Hoot bro you arent the only one. Im in the process of RMAing my board as well. Ive had numorous USB issues where they randomly cut off. Ive had all sorts of video "stuttering" and overall my stability is pure **** even at stock.

Ive traced it to a bad mobo since I have the older / ****tier Korean SB chips. Hopefully Ill get a Taiwan that will fix these issues
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Old 12-08-04, 10:35 AM   #6
TombKeeper
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How can you tell what sb the mb has?

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MB:............Asus P5Q Pro
CPU:..........Intel Xeon E3110 @ 4.0 Ghz @ 1.35V in CPU-Z
HS:............Noctua NH-U12P (push-pull) w. MX-2 TIM
RAM:.........2x2Gb Mushkin 1066s
VIDEO:......MSI 275 GTX
SOUND:.....X-Fi Prelude + Logitech Z-5500s
HD:............2 x 640Gb WDs
PS:............Corsair 750TX
CASE:.......Coolermaster Stacker 832 (painted Black in/out)
DISPLAY:..Dell 30" 3007
OS:............Windows 7 Pro
Other:........Logitech G15 kb, Logitech MX Rev mouse, APC BX1300LCD ups
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Old 12-08-04, 10:42 AM   #7
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huh, i started off with an Abit AV8 (via chipset) and got fed up with its issues with RAM (ie wont run BH-5 over 220 but takes TCCD into the 250's+) and am now waiting on the arrival of a MSI Neo-2 (NF3-U chipset)
i think we all are expecting too much out of the "first run" of 939 chips and mobos...ya, expecting a STABLE system that will run P95 @ stock settings and boot every time we hit the power button...

GOOD LUCK!! (to us ALL!)

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Old 12-08-04, 10:47 AM   #8
WuChild
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Tis the season to RMA the Neo2 it seems, mine is in transit to Newegg, luck of the draw I guess. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often with motherboards, they are so complex and fragile, I'd love to see how they are built.
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Old 12-08-04, 10:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TombKeeper
How can you tell what sb the mb has?
<remove the heatsink on the chipset>
...And it will say on the chip itself:

Made in Korea or

Made in Taiwan

Thats how you know
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Old 12-18-04, 07:17 PM Thread Starter   #10
Hoot
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Join Date: Feb 2001
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Well, the new board arrived. I put everyting back in and it booted fine. No stutter starts. No low core voltage. Flashed it from 1.3 to 1.4 and still running fine. Reading around, there are quite a few people reporting startup anomalies of one sort or another. It is running 10x240 at 1.45Vcore right now and the memory set to 2-2-7-2 1T at 2.65Vdimm and with HT set to 4. Highest 3D Mark 2001 score I ever got @ 23,200 or so. I hope this one will run for more than three days without dying. Thanks to Monarch for the painless RMA and prompt service.

Hoot

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DFI LP UT NF4 Ultra-D 7.04-3 Bios
A64 3700+ San Diego 11x257 (2827 Mhz) @ 1.57Vcore
2x1Gb Crucial Ballistix 7:6 (300 Mhz) 3-3-3-8-1T @ 2.77Vdimm
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2x WD 36GB Raptors in Raid0
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