Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3: BIOS Mania

by Gary Key on 10/11/2006 3:31 PM EST
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  • Zoomer - Tuesday, October 17, 2006 - link

    Could someone list out the fsb speeds where the mch strap changes? Reply
  • khenderson - Friday, October 13, 2006 - link

    I hope this isn't OT, but I'm looking to build a system around the S3 version of this board. My goal is a slightly less poweful (and cheaper) PC than is suggested in this guide. BTW, if this is your goal as well, Jarred Walton has offered some excellent adivce in his midrange and high-end buyers guides (found under anandtech's Guide tab). Anyway, I've pretty much made up my mind on everything except the memory:

    GA-965P-S3
    E6400 (base 2.13Ghz)
    1900XT 256MB

    Also...
    I want to use the stock CPU fan.
    My overclocking goals are only moderate: I'll be happy to reach 2.9-3.2 with CPU.
    I am not concerned with leaving room for future upgrades.
    I know I want 2gigs of system ram.

    Assuming a 1:1 ratio and only moderate overclocking goals, that would put the FSB at a max around 400 (400X8=3.2CPU). With this in mind, perhaps I could get away with Corsair/OCZ DDR-800 instead of the DDR-1000 modules referred to in the guide?

    Specifically, I'm ready to pull the trigger on CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2-800 with 5-5-5-12 timings going right now for about $230. I'm not sure if these sticks suffer from the Micron D9 issue or if that issue even applies when the overclocking is mild. I'm not very aware of how much overclocking these sticks allow, but it doesn't seem like I'd push them hard. All things considered, from a bang-for-the-buck perspective, are these moduales a good choice? Would it be worth the performance gain to seek out sticks with 4-4-4 timings?

    Recommendations and advice is greatly appreciated!


    Reply
  • Jodiuh - Friday, October 13, 2006 - link

    Cleared CMOS, flashed to F7, cleared CMOS, configured BIOS, booted to windows w/ no sound. Good times, lol! Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, October 13, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Cleared CMOS, flashed to F7, cleared CMOS, configured BIOS, booted to windows w/ no sound. Good times, lol!



    Download the bios again today from Gigabyte and reflash. If I understood the text message this morning they replaced the bios with a X-FI friendly F7 version last night. If not, PM me with your email address and I will see if I can get a fix over the weekend.
    Reply
  • AdamK47 3DS - Friday, October 13, 2006 - link

    I'm going to wait until someone posts on here that they did indeed change the BIOS. Otherwise I'm sticking with F5. Reply
  • AdamK47 3DS - Monday, October 16, 2006 - link

    I've decided to take the plunge and reupgrade to F7. There is another workaround for the X-Fi issue posted http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/Ga-965P-DQ...">here. Reply
  • AdamK47 3DS - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    The constant X-Fi redetection is why I went back to the F5 BIOS. I'm very glad to hear that the new F7 BIOS fixes this annoying issue. Reply
  • AdamK47 3DS - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    I downloaded F7 from the Gigabyte website. I tried it out just recently. During the many times I've rebooted my PC to try out various setting my X-Fi was redetected twice and not detected at all once, so I had the lovely PC speaker for sound. I'm going back to F5... again. Two strikes so far for Gigabyte. Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    I am testing the final release tonight. I found F7E beta to be very good, my opinion on the final F7 is up for debate now. However, in regards to the X-FI issue with the official F7, did you remove the drivers completely, remove the card, and then reboot into Windows, shutdown, reinstall the card, and then reinstall the drivers? The first F7 beta I received required this operation, the second one did not. Reply
  • aldamon - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    Gary, have they explained the why the X-Fi is being lost in the first place? What did they break that isn't broken in F4? Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    Not yet, they are still looking at it. It was fixed in our F7E, gone again in the F7 final. Honestly, I feel like F7E should have been the final now. ;-) Reply
  • BillClo - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    I'm glad that the testers mentioned the requirement for many users to install a 1.8v memory stick just to get the system to POST, change settings, shut down and reinstall the higher-performance memory. The only problem is that I, and probably most people who encounter this problem (with memory that by the way, Corsair says IS compatible), don't have any DDR-533 memory laying around with which to swap out. I find this necessity totally unacceptable, and Gigabyte ought to be ashamed of their product. They say it's the fault of the memory makers, and I think both parties are partially to blame.

    How can one update to the latest BIOS so your memory can work when you can't even POST, let alone get to DOS to update BIOS? Disgraceful situation.
    Reply
  • Marlin1975 - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    DDR2 specs at 1.8Volts. That is what the boards are made to accept DDR2. If a memory makers wants to set theirs higher then take that up with them. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    Note that POSTing with other RAM is no longer required with the latest BIOS, although if you have a board with an earlier BIOS that doesn't help much. However, even if you don't own any other DDR2, it shouldn't be too difficult to borrow some from a friend for the operation. At least swapping DIMMs is about as painless a task as anything short of external peripherals.

    A lot of local computer stores would probably be willing to help out if necessary. They want your business, so if you explain the situation and bring in your PC, a lot of them will help you out for a minimal charge. Most enthusiasts have at least one other friend that will be into computers, though.
    Reply
  • BillClo - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    I find myself in the curious position of having friends who don't have a modern system (most are still stuck with AMD XPs or P3/4 Intels) so borrowing a stick of DDR2 isn't an option.

    Nor are the local shops willing to help out. Out of all of them, only one had any interest in helping, and the only way they'd do it was if I brought the system in, they did all the work, and by the way, the usual minimum $50 charge applied.

    I have the choice of paying $50 for a local shop to do what I ought not to have to do, or buy another memory stick of DDR533 for about $40 and PRAY that it's compatible. Shouldn't have to go to such measures to get what is supposed to be an ENTHUSIAST level board to even POST. :(
    Reply
  • modestninja - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    Go to somewhere like Best Buy and purchase a stick. They have a 30 day return policy, so before that's up return the RAM. There you go, minimal hassel and you can update your BIOS.

    Also, pretty much any DDR2 533 will work because pretty much any stick works at 1.8V.

    Finally, this is hardly the Motherboard manufacturer's fault since all they did was follow a spec. From my understanding, all the memory makers had to do was put in a slower SPD with a standard 1.8V and it would work no problem.
    Reply
  • BillClo - Saturday, October 14, 2006 - link

    As an update, I went to the expense to pick up the only affordable DDR2 stick in this entire town (a 512MB generic stick from Staples). Made absolutely no difference; the system still won't boot. I also tried swapping out power supplies, different video card. I get no beeps from the board when I remove RAM or leave the video card out. Reset CMOS a couple times.

    The only thing strange I discovered is that the PCI slots are rev 2.3, and all the PCI video cards I have on hand are rev 2.1/2.2. I will initially only be using this system for Folding At Home, so a nice video card isn't needed initially (may get an X1900 series to run their GPU client in early '07).

    So ended up RMA'ing the piece of junk board. My first and last time buying Gigabyte.
    Reply
  • OcHungry - Friday, October 13, 2006 - link

    Way to go. Teachem how to cheat. Not even an atheist makes such recommendation. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    I will send mine to anandtech, they are my friends. Whats that anandtech "accidently" put in 4gigs of memory when they sent it back?! I love my friends.. :P Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    quote:

    although the E6600, E6700, and X6800 CPUs were still not clocking to the same levels of the 975X motherboards.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    Gary had to post without the final editing pass due to benchmarking delays. (Well, I knew what he was doing and just told him to let me know when it was done.) Hopefully all typos/grammatical errors have been cleaned up now. Not that it changes the message, but we know how some of you like pure English. :)

    --Jarred
    Reply
  • Marlin1975 - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    The Gigabyte S3 is the same as the DS3 without the solidcaps. That and the Bios should be the same, just 1 number lower as it came out later.

    So F7 for DS3 = F6 for S3
    Reply
  • Madellga - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    Hi Gary,
    Nice to see a review oriented to the average Joe, using the "normal" components.
    If I understood you correctly, the other Gigabytes can do a bit better(DQ6/DS4), right?

    Does this E6600 needs this VCore settings only on the DS3 or your other mobos also?
    I just think the VCore is a bit on the high side for the 3.4GHz.

    Now I can tell also when you are the article's writer, based on the tittles.....
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    Hi!

    My E6600 needs all the help it can get on any board. ;-) I have one of the worst retail units shipped I think. My ES stepping does 4GHz with 1.575V, this one is lucky to go anywhere without at least 1.475V from 3.3 up. Hopefully the next one I buy will be better.
    Reply
  • OcHungry - Friday, October 13, 2006 - link

    I admire people who make the confession.
    I am sure now those poor souls who went and bought DS3 2 months ago forgive you.
    Reply
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    You mention the f6 bios caused problems with X-Fi cards, did the f7 one you had suppose to fix it? Im going to upgrade to this board and have a x-fi. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    The f7 bios is now on gigabyte website fyi. So latter this week means now :D
    http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/BIO...">http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Moth...uctID=23...
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    I just received a message from Gigabyte saying it was released. We were told it was going to be tomorrow or Friday as they still had some regresssion testing to do. They were also trying to improve the D9 overclocking limitation (well, most D9, not all). Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - link

    F7B did not fix it, F7E did, so hopefully they do not change it again. ;-) Reply

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