*Official* Asus P5N7A-VM uATX HTPC Motherboard Thread - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 01:21 AM
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I just installed my new motherboard today, but have encountered issues on what is being reported by CPU-Z for the RAM. I have 2x2GB of Crucial Ballistix 4-4-4-12 (2.0V) DDR2 RAM. I have an E7200 CPU with everything set to auto. The target RAM speed (according to BIOS) is 800MHz. The only change I make to BIOS is bumping up RAM voltage to 2.0V. Upon power-up, I look at CPU-Z, and it's got crazy timings! 533MHz and 15/15/63/63!! Not sure if it's being reported wrong by CPU-Z or not. I thought I read something on these forums about RAM issues, but cannot find it now. Anybody else have issues, or have suggestions? TIA!
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post #122 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 03:51 AM
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Has anyone tried running this board with a power suppy thats less than 400 watts? There's some nice small cases that only have 270 watts included...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811121068
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post #123 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 04:56 AM
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Hello,

I have just setup a P5N7A-VM with a Sapphire 4850 1GB video card. I have the HDMI running to my Pioneer VSX-84TXSI and then onto a Sanyo PLV-Z2000 projector. I have various other AV equipement connected to the receiver. I have a PS3 and an old HD DVD player connected. The problem I am experiening is that the PS3 and the HD-A1 both take up the entire screen the way they should. The computer however seems to only take up about ninety percent of the total screen. In other words the PS3 and the HD-A1 take up the entire screen the way they are supposed to. The input on the projector is not changing. I have tried the following to resolve the problem:

Tried different HDMI inputs to the receiver - no change

Tried different video card resolutions - no change to the actual screen coverage area.

Tried changing the projectors screen settings - this resulted in a change but I don't understand why I would have to do this is the input is from the receiver just a different source?

Tried outputing the HDMI from the built in HDMI - no change

Any suggestions out there as to a solution?

The solution was the scaling in the advanced settings in the ATI Catalyst Software.
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post #124 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 04:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makryger View Post

So I've finally completed my own build. But something very strange is happening. I have it connected via HDMI to my tv (Sharp 46D64U), but it the image keeps flashing in and out. It will be relatively stable for a while, and then just randomly cut to black, and then come back on. It can be consistently replicated by plugging in and unplugging USB devices. It doesn't happen in the bios, only when vista is running. Any ideas of what is going on?

Check to ensure your VMC resolution is the same as your desktop resolution. If they are different, the PC might be switching between the two resolutions, which causes HDMI to resync.
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post #125 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 05:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stranx44 View Post

Finally got my board today (darn weekend made it take longer!)....and here are initial assessments:

First, I have 3 boards I am using for HTPC / Media Server duties including the Asus P5Q-EM (G45), M3N78-VM (nVidia 8200), and of course our Asus P5n7A-VM (nVidia 9300):



A look at the layout (and the actual nVidia MCP7A w/o heatsink on):



There's plenty of space for a nice big HSF (like my Ninja Rev. A), well laid out and placed DIMM slots (so it doesn't intrude on a big HSF), but the SATA connectors should of been right angled at edge of board and the IDE connector switched with the Floppy (most are used as CDROMs which are on the left side in a standard ATX placement), which itself should be eliminated altogether with advent of USB thumbstick drives (as well as a COM Port!!! Egads!). As other alluded to here, the MCP7A gets quite hot even if it is a 65nm part, so i took out the goop Asus used and placed on some Artic Silver AS7 on. For those that are wondering, yes my CPU (a Q9300) was lapped.

First and foremost, the AMI BIOS is annoyingly slow to boot, especially if you have a lot of SATA drives connected like me. Even if you disabled Express Gate and the bootup splash screen, it spends quite a few seconds querying the drives (unlike the G45 which is lightning quick). The Bios menus themselves aren't very detailed (i'm still confused how to underclock / overclock my CPU) and the choices very limited compared to my G45. I'll play with this later though once i get some stability into the system.

Second, half of my bootups appear to get stuck for whatever reason. It is really annoying and reminds me of the old days of the first Athlon 64 X2 boards from Asus / nVidia. I'm sure in time, this will be worked out via the BIOS but I spend half the time waiting to see if it boots or not and restarting again.

Third, the RAID configuration is a PITA to install with Vista 32. Unlike Intels ICH9/ICH10R, nVidia's RAID controller isn't included in Vista's core driver set thus requiring you to add it via Floppy (egads again!) or fortunately a USB thumbdrive. However, after Vista was installed, i ran through a few crashes during bootup. After yanking out my 5 Seagate 1.5TBs temporarily, things seemed to have calmed down with Vista letting me install SP1 and the appropriate drivers.
Next up....BD playback, undervolting, overclocking, vDroop measurements, RAID performance/configuration, and Speedfan configuration....

Awesome, keep up the reporting. I have two of those boards too...the only one I do not have is the 9300.

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post #126 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajel View Post

Has anyone tried running this board with a power suppy thats less than 400 watts? There's some nice small cases that only have 270 watts included...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811121068

I got a similar ATX case, with 275 Watts. I'm having a problem with the HDMI picture flashing in and out when I plug in USB drives. I can't tell yet whether its the PSU or a driver issue. It works fine when I use DVI--> HDMI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

Check to ensure your VMC resolution is the same as your desktop resolution. If they are different, the PC might be switching between the two resolutions, which causes HDMI to resync.

That's a good idea, but alas, this is independent of VMC. It happens when I'm just on the regular screen. I'm thinking of uninstalling all the drivers I got off the internet and installing what comes on the DVD. Any other ideas anyone?
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post #127 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by editorman View Post

Not obvious what is going wrong for you. My systems (Vista 32 based) plays normal DVDs just fine. I am also using PowerDVD8.

hrmm...
well, I've been working on it constantly the past couple days and have tried variations of the following:
Codecs - have tried Powerdvd8, Nvidia purevideo codec, Mediaportal's built in codecs, ffdshow.

Rendermode - VMR9 Renderless (VMR9 Exclusive in Mediaportal), EVR - both produce tearing (and in theory shouldn't)

If I use ONLY hardware acceleration, the tearing isn't as bad, however if I enable ffdshow for resizing/post processing then the tearing is extremely bad.

The real kicker for me here is that for years I've used ATI for my HTPC. I used to have a 6600GT and it did the same thing, however I NEVER had a tearing issue with ATI. Could it be drivers??? Should I use 59Hz or 60Hz for refresh?

ANY ideas are welcome. Normal DVD's have the tearing...Blu-Ray's play perfect.

thanks,

:EDIT: - just removed the 178 nvidia drivers that the nforce driver pack installs with this board, and installed the beta 180.43's and the tearing issue is nearly gone (still occasionaly slight tearing - nothing like before). The picture also looks MUCH clearer (it was what I would consider poor quality before. noisy, rough, LOTS of mpeg artifacting around all the edges). So if anyone else has a similar issue, try the new beta drivers as they're a night and day difference for my setup.
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post #128 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 08:31 AM
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[quote=makryger;15047063]I got a similar ATX case, with 275 Watts. I'm having a problem with the HDMI picture flashing in and out when I plug in USB drives. I can't tell yet whether its the PSU or a driver issue. It works fine when I use DVI--> HDMI.

Thats why i was asking, the manual says the board requires a 400 watt PSU.

Looks like thats why your having issues.
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post #129 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 09:42 AM
 
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I'm running a high-eff Seasonic 330w just fine without problems. E8400, Crucial 4GB, 1TB Seagate, all passive cooling.
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post #130 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 10:48 AM
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ASUS P5N7A-VM motherboard connected via HDMI will not boot with Panasonic PT-AE3000.

It works fine with Shape Aquos.
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post #131 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quantumstate View Post

I'm running a high-eff Seasonic 330w just fine without problems. E8400, Crucial 4GB, 1TB Seagate, all passive cooling.

Ugh. Thanks for the information, Kajel. I must have missed that part of the manual. As Quantumstate suggested, just because they test it to work with one wattage, doesn't mean it won't work with less. I'm sure they build in a little leeway, but I was worried 275 W was cutting it close. That's what I get for purchasing a $50 case! (Apex DM-387)

So I guess I'll try getting a new PSU, if I cannot find one with these really weird dimensions. I emailed the company that made the case to see if they offer any higher wattages. I also noticed that the Antec Minuet 350 case has almost the exact same skeleton as the Apex one, but it has a 350 W PSU of the correct dimensions. I'll email them to see if they can sell the part individually.

Thanks for the input!
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post #132 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 01:06 PM
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I got my board and build done this weekend with this, and so far am very impressed with the board. I'm running Ubuntu 8.10 Interpid 64bit, with a goal of doing Mythtv with all the fixin's. This is my first move away from Fedora for Myth as I've done Myth on Fedora now for about 5 years (man is it light years ahead).

Myth SPDIF passthru works fine, as does mplayer with -hwac3 as an option, but I cannot get system sounds to play. I've messed with every combination of changing conf.modules options, goofing with alsaconf and .asoundrc settings, and mixer settings and dang if I can make it work. Are any Linux users of this board having success getting system sounds to work? I'd dug through alc888 postings on ubuntuforums and other google searches and the whole thing is evading me. I'm far from a Linux n00b. :-)
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post #133 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quantumstate View Post

I'm running a high-eff Seasonic 330w just fine without problems. E8400, Crucial 4GB, 1TB Seagate, all passive cooling.

Uhm, sounds weird if it requires 400w! Personally i've bought a 280w, it's not assembled yet, so I can't really say anything yet.

I will be running E8400, 2x2gb, 500mb wd green.
//m
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post #134 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 01:39 PM
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Page 1-37 in the manual says 400 watt psu

You can reference it also at this url

http://support.asus.com/download/dow...ge=en-us&os=24
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post #135 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stranx44 View Post

Finally got my board today (darn weekend made it take longer!)....and here are initial assessments:
......... Next up....BD playback, undervolting, overclocking, vDroop measurements, RAID performance/configuration, and Speedfan configuration....

Okay after a night long battle with my board, here's some more observations:

- Added note on the installation. This board is a little smaller in footprint than my p5q-em, so the edges of the board does not rest on a case stand.

- My CPU temps were much higher than i expected (about 10C higher than on my p5q-em). Turns out it was a loose CPU HSF connection, which also seemed to help with the reboots somewhat.

- Undervolting works great! Was able to run my board down to about .95V or so. VDroop isn't too bad on this board with a range of about 25mV between idle and full load.

- Overclocking / underclocking is really ****ty! The menus are just abysmal and i could not get a good manual setting between FSB / Mem w/o the system complaining about overclocking it (even at the lowest setting it failed!). If you're contemplating anything from stock, forget about it! Best you can do for underclocking is to lower the CPU muliplier and that's about it. My 500MHz mem sticks are now crippled at 333MHz.

- Speaking of overclocking, i was playing around with the mem and as someone noted above, something quirky is happening with the timings. No matter what i input into the timings, it seems the BOS overrides it (even though it supposedly accepts it). I am getting very strange mem readings like:



I wonder if this is one of the open memory bugs plaguing the chipset, and somehow related to the failed bootups i'm experiencing.

- Since I'm using old school YL 120mm fans, I still have the older 3 prong fan pigtails to connect to the mobo. Although the fans read fine, I'm having trouble controlling them from the CHASS connector inside of SPEEDFAN. Going to have to experiment more to see if i can get it to work.

- RAID configuration was a nightmare. I was importing my 5 Seagate 1.5 TBs drives i had from my P5Q-EM system and even after full configuration, Vista wouldn't see it! I installed, reinstalled, deleted, reinstalled the RAID partition in both the BIOS and Vista and the nVidia RAID manager kept on saying i did not have a RAID drive! After many excrutiating hours mucking around with drivers, RAID settings, and BIOS settings, I was able to make it work after making the drives AHCI disks at first, partitioning / formatting them, then deleting them, and finally reallocating them as RAID drives! Jeez, nVidia could you make it any harder?!!! With Intel's ICH10R, RAID setup was a breeze... Anyhow, I'm in the middle of transferring over 6TB of backed up data now with no glitches (seems a little more stable than P5Q-EM, as long as i don't reboot!).

- Lastly, Blu Ray playback....in a word, FLAWLESS! After mucking around the past year with 680g, 780g, 630i, G35, and G45 chipsets, the BD playback worked right out of the box with my old PDVD7.3 player...no hitches, hiccups, stuttering, etc. I'm very anxious to see some of my BD reference titles (kung fu panda, speed racer) on the 9300 again!

In a nutshell, MCP7A is as advertised: a great HTPC platform for viewing HD material. However, it looks like nVidia / Mobo OEMs still have a bit of tweaking to do in the BIOS as it seems more of a BETA release at this point. The periodic reboot issues are annoying as hell, the overclocking options are lackluster, the memory issues are perplexing, and the RAID configuration process is inexcusably complex. However, once you get past all of these problems, the BD playback is just about perfect and the best I have seen to date!

Choosing between the Asus intel G45 or the nVidia 9300/9400 platform is kind of a toss up at this point:

- With the G45, everything (RAID/Overclocking/Memory/etc.) works great, except for the BD playback itself with its stuttering, lack of 24p support, backwards compatibility, etc.. Recent BIOS and driver updates have rectified this to an extent, but its still noticeable and waiting for the right drivers is a hit and miss affair.

- With the 9300/9400, the whole chipset seems to have been released as ES units plagued with memory, RAID, BIOS, etc. issues. However, once you get passed all of these problems, the BD playback is second to none! With the history of how frequently Asus updates their BIOS (and seeing how this 9300 board seems to be made for big OEM partners with its LPT1 / COM ports on board), I'm sure we'll be seeing fixes for all the problems soon.
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post #136 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 02:47 PM
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Quote:


Anyone else having lockup issues with rebooting or using Ctrl-Alt-Del?
If I am on the BIOS splash screen and I do a Ctrl-Alt-Del, the system powers down but not all the way. There is power to the DVD drive and the main power light is on but the system will not power on properly again unless I remove power from the power supply for a few moments and then reconnect.
If I select reboot option in Windows, the same thing happens 50% of the time. The other 50% it reboots as you would expect.
The BIOS was current but I flashed it anyway to see if it would help. No change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esoteradactyl View Post

ive also experienced this issue, somtimes it's fine other times it's not. once i got everything setup and had s3 working correctly, i soon forgot about the issue im guessing this is a bios issue. ive also noticed that when you change the voltage on the ram, after exiting the bios, the computer no longer powers off and then back on automatically like all other asus boards ive owned. cpuid also shows my ram as ddr3. the program says its been updated to support these new chipset, so that seems very strange. other than these small quirks, i have to say im extremely happy with this board. video and audio wise everything works perfectly!

Hey guys,

Is anyone still having problems with restarts/reboots? At certain times I've noticed CPU utilization is 49-50% when my pc is idle. When I check task manager or performance/reliability monitor in Vista System PID 4 is consuming all the CPU util. Is anyone familiar with this process? If you google PID 4 System Vista there is quite a bit of information about this and CPU utilization. I'm starting to think maybe there is an ethernet driver problem.

Edit: I forgot to mention when this high CPU utilization is occuring I have restart/reboot problems. The system appears to shutdown but power stays on, fans still are running, there is still HDD activity, but there is no video. I cannot get the system to recover unless I press reset.
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post #137 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 03:11 PM
 
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This might be just Vista.

I had reboot problems, until I put a decent heatsink on the chipset.
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post #138 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quantumstate View Post

This might be just Vista.

I had reboot problems, until I put a decent heatsink on the chipset.

This never happened with my former motherboard running Vista. The system does not restart/shutdown on it's own, it is only occurring during user initiated restarts. I am just not comfortable with the high CPU utilization when there is nothing going on, or that I can pinpoint.
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post #139 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 03:27 PM
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I really want this board but can't find anywhere selling this thing as a motherboard/cpu combo. This is my first HTPC build, I'm confortable installing anything but a CPU, maybe cause I've never done it before.

Do you guys know any place selling this as a combo CPU/MB already burned and tested? Also how hard is installing a CPU?

Thanks for any help.
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post #140 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tparikh4 View Post

I really want this board but can't find anywhere selling this thing as a motherboard/cpu combo. This is my first HTPC build, I'm confortable installing anything but a CPU, maybe cause I've never done it before.

Do you guys know any place selling this as a combo CPU/MB already burned and tested? Also how hard is installing a CPU?

Thanks for any help.


I'm probably not the person who hsould be commenting on it, since my setup is kind of screwed up right now, but CPU instlation is really straight forward- open up the assembly, place the cpu you in the only way it can go in, and close the assembly. Then put HSF on top.

in fact, putting together a whole PC is quite simple. It's choosing the wrong components that can doom you to failure
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post #141 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sntholiday View Post

Hey guys,

Is anyone still having problems with restarts/reboots? At certain times I've noticed CPU utilization is 49-50% when my pc is idle. When I check task manager or performance/reliability monitor in Vista System PID 4 is consuming all the CPU util. Is anyone familiar with this process? If you google PID 4 System Vista there is quite a bit of information about this and CPU utilization. I'm starting to think maybe there is an ethernet driver problem.

Edit: I forgot to mention when this high CPU utilization is occuring I have restart/reboot problems. The system appears to shutdown but power stays on, fans still are running, there is still HDD activity, but there is no video. I cannot get the system to recover unless I press reset.

My board is running just awesome. Possible because i didn't install any of the Asus utilites, (just Pc probe)? Have you tried removing Epu-4 engine?
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post #142 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajel View Post

My board is running just awesome. Possible because i didn't install any of the Asus utilites, (just Pc probe)? Have you tried removing Epu-4 engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sntholiday View Post

Hey guys,

Edit: I forgot to mention when this high CPU utilization is occuring I have restart/reboot problems. The system appears to shutdown but power stays on, fans still are running, there is still HDD activity, but there is no video. I cannot get the system to recover unless I press reset.


I originally installed the EPU-4 Engine, but since removed it. I happen to have the EXACT same problem on shutdown! I click on my vista ultimate 32-bit to shutdown, it initates the process, screen goes dark, but everything stays on like you stated.

Couple this problem with the wacky data being reported by my RAM, and it's becoming fairly clear that I am being punished for being an early adopter!!

Update: Now when I wake from S3 sleep, my ethernet port needs to be refreshed. Shame on you nVidia.
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post #143 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 10:30 PM
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So a few of us have reported that our PC's won't shutdown completely or won't restart on occasion. Someone even mentioned that they had to pull the plug to resolve (I have a reset button that works; my power button does not). I've traced this issue down to whenever I run CPUZ, the issue always happens. I haven't spent time looking at other similar utilities, but can anyone else replicate this?

I'm looking forward to a BIOS update that will hopefully solve this and my RAM timing issue.
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post #144 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tparikh4 View Post

I really want this board but can't find anywhere selling this thing as a motherboard/cpu combo. This is my first HTPC build, I'm confortable installing anything but a CPU, maybe cause I've never done it before.

Do you guys know any place selling this as a combo CPU/MB already burned and tested? Also how hard is installing a CPU?

Thanks for any help.

CPU installation is very easy. Quick google and you'll find lots of sites showing how to do it.

Otherwise, buy from a local PC shop and they can put it together for you.
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post #145 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier View Post

ASUS P5N7A-VM motherboard connected via HDMI will not boot with Panasonic PT-AE3000.

It works fine with Shape Aquos.

It will also not boot with Panasonic PT-AE2000 when connected via HDMI with Windows XP SP3

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post #146 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tparikh4 View Post

I really want this board but can't find anywhere selling this thing as a motherboard/cpu combo. This is my first HTPC build, I'm confortable installing anything but a CPU, maybe cause I've never done it before.

Do you guys know any place selling this as a combo CPU/MB already burned and tested? Also how hard is installing a CPU?

I had never built a PC before and had Vista installed and running within 4 hrs of opening the first component. I was moving pretty slow and careful. The CPU installation itself was easy - it just drops in. The heat sink installation was the scariest (but not that difficult). I used a Scythe Mini Ninja heatsink and Arctic Silver 5. Between the Arctic instructions and ones supplied with the CPU (maybe Scythe?), it wasn't that bad.
http://www.arcticsilver.com/ins_rout...2intelas5.html

Definitely install the HS while the mobo is out of the case. Use gloves. And support the mobo well when you snap in the HS pins. You should also pay attention to how the locking pins align and make sure they're oriented correctly before pushing into the mobo. I had to redo the whole thing since the pins weren't oriented in the locking position the first time I tried installing. Other than that, things went pretty smooth. I ran Prime95 to torture test the setup and the CPU maxed out around 45C with only the case fans (I left the heat sink fan off).

Oh yeah, also make sure the standoffs in the case are correctly set for the mobo. I got sloppy and kept screwing up (either leaving in extra standoffs which could potentially cause a short or left out a standoff that didn't give the mobo much support when snapping in RAM).
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post #147 of 1124 Old 11-11-2008, 11:35 PM
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I've received all my parts and will build this weekend.

P5N7A-VM
Antec Fusion Black 430 case
E7200
Ninja mini cpu cooler
OCZ 2x2GB PC6400 Ram
Seagate 1.5TB hard disk

I don't have a blu-ray drive yet and plan to use an old IDE dvd-rom. Will be using this mostly for playback of HD mkv and normal movie rips as well as light gaming, music etc.

Does this board work well with Vista 64? What I mean is are the beta chipset, graphics drivers etc all working with x64, or am I better off with 32 bit?
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post #148 of 1124 Old 11-12-2008, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post

I've received all my parts and will build this weekend.


Does this board work well with Vista 64? What I mean is are the beta chipset, graphics drivers etc all working with x64, or am I better off with 32 bit?

I'm running Vista x64 with 6Gb ram (had extra lying around so why not shove it into the HTPC ) and don't have any problems at all. No reboots, no lockups, no odd behavior, all drivers installed and worked as you'd expect. The only issue I have is tearing while playing DVD video. The issue is compounded when I use ffdshow to post-process the video. No matter what I've tried, I still get tearing. I'm going to re-install the OS from scratch today to see if that resolves the issue, but if not I'm thinking it's just a "feature" of the Nvidea chipset/graphics drivers. My 6600GT I had a few years ago did the same thing...ever since I switched to ATI I hadn't had tearing. Now that I'm back to Nvidia...I have tearing. very disheartening that it doesn't like me as I know others have perfect playback.
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post #149 of 1124 Old 11-12-2008, 08:12 AM
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Well I completed my build last night (well kinda, since Im waiting for cybermonday for my new dvdrom burner and 1TB HD, until then i used a ide drive and a 150 gig hd, just to tests).

I installed the mb with a c2d 3.0 intel into a Antec mini 180.

Everything went fine. This is my second PC build so I was quite a bit nervous when working with the CPU and heatsink (using the stock one for now) for fear I was doing something wrong.

Everything booted just fine and installed ubuntu 8.10 with no problems. CPU is around 40 c and the mb is reporting around 50c within the nvidia settings but I havent done anything really with it yet (didnt even test sound). Just the install and since it was well past midnight last night, I had to call it quits.
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post #150 of 1124 Old 11-12-2008, 08:16 AM
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Hi
I just put together my new HTPC system today - and it does NOT work very well. During installation of winXP the PC crashes - im thinking its the Chipset overheating (its extremely hot). Ive tried disconnecting everything from the motherboard, everything but the PS2-keyboard and the HDMI-out cable. Running the setup like this, the PC still crashes after a period of just looking at a bootscreen. Im using passive CPU cooling, so there is no airflow to the chipset cooler - but the motherboard is lying in open air (out of cabinet) and I think that a passive chipset-cooler should be able to cool the chipset without having to depend on other hardware to do the trick - if thats not the case, then ASUS has done a poor job with the cooling of this board.

Anyway - I think this board might be defective and im considering returning it for another one. What do u guys think? - will the next one be just as bad or is my current board defective in some way?

Another thing - could someone recoomend me a passive (or semi passive) cooler for the P5N7A-VM chipset, that is known to work well?
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