or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Home Theater Computers › Sony VGX-XL3
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sony VGX-XL3 - Page 119

post #3541 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by esjbh2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

Welcome 'esjbh2'

It could be as simple as a failed momentary switch on the front panel of the case.

The Delta 297-watt power supply is a proprietary 18-pin main motherboard configuration (vs. standard 20+4 or 24-pin ATX, Micro-ATX, Flex-ATX configurations).  Before heading down the road of replacement (most likely that means getting one from Sony or an on-line supplier) let me ask you a few questions, starting with the obvious process of elimination questions (sometimes it's the easy ones that trip us up):.

1).   When you have the lid of the case off, and the power cable connected to the Power Supply Unit (PSU) and plugged into a powered outlet, do you see a lighted, green LED on the motherboard near the button-cell battery? If that LED is lighted, you have continuity from the wall outlet through the PSU to the motherboard.
2).   Have you pulled the power cable from the wall outlet and plugged another electrical device into that outlet to verify you do not have a failed wall receptacle?
3).   Do you have your VGX-XL3 plugged into a surge-suppressor or other power strip; and if so have you checked to see if the circuit breaker has tripped on the surge suppressor or that the plug-strip has not failed.
4)   Had you made any alterations, upgrades, modifications just prior to the power issue?

Cheers!
Robert.
Thanks for you reply Robert. Here are some answers:

1) No lighted LED. I see the LED you're referring to, but it's not lighting up.
2 & 3) Yes, I've confirmed power to the PSU using various reality checks.
4) No recent alterations, upgrades, or mods.

I looked around inside the case hoping to see a fuse to replace or similar, but saw nothing. So I assume there's nothing simple like a fuse or circuit breaker on this unit?

Additional information which may or may not be related???....For the last month or so, I had been getting a checksum error on restarts. It would keep auto restarts from being successful, but it would always start when I hit the F key to continue at the prompt, so it was seemingly just an annoyance. Some online research suggested either replacing the button-cell battery or flashing the BIOS could address issue. I was going to take action on this but found that the unit was powered off & DOA and here I am.

-Jack

 

"Hi Jack" ( not a smart greeting while boarding a plane ).

 

Well, it's good that you have eliminated the easily overlooked stuff.

Because you have no standby power to the board (a dark LED) that suggests no standby power from the Power Supply (or a dead LED; possible but that's pretty rare). I would suspect the power supply at this point. 

 

I have not opened the Delta Power supply in my VGX-XL2, but I would be quite surprised if there is NOT a replaceable fuse inside it. That's probably a good next step for you, to pull the power supply.

 

Just be careful to make note of what everything connects to, as you disconnect each of the power supply leads ( I always cut strips of paper and write my notes on those strips, and then tape them in rings around the leads to remind me what they attach to when I reassemble a system.  

 

Once removed from the VGX-XL3 case you can crack open the power supply enclosure and scout for a removable fuse. It is probably a ceramic body fuse, but may be a glass body fuse. If it's a ceramic body you won't be able to see if it's blown. If you have a tester you can check the continuity. But gosh, they're cheap, so you can just assume it's blown and replace it. Just go to Radio Shack and get a replacement. Radio Shack is pretty well supplied in the common fuse sizes and amperage.

 

If you do find a replaceable fuse inside, and you replace it so you know it's good, it might also be a good idea to then take the power supply to a local computer repair shop and have it tested before you go to all the trouble to re-install it.  If it turns out that the power supply is "toast", let us know and maybe one of our fellows will have a lead for you for getting a replacement.  They're not terribly expensive, but like all things Sony (and all things proprietary in design), they cost more than standard units.

 

As for the BIOS, ....don't mess with it now, Jack. We don't presently have a backup copy of the original VGX-XL3 BIOS for you to re-flash it (we may shortly have that original as well as a BIOS update, but not quite yet).

If you bugger the BIOS right now, you're dead. You'll just turn your beautiful VGX-XL3 into a 'wheel chock' for the camping trailer! eek.gif

 

But ...it won't hurt to "reset" the BIOS to the OEM factory defaults by clearing the CMOS, and replacing the button-cell battery (I believe your system uses a standard 'CR2032' battery, but please verify that before you buy one.  

The easiest way to clear the CMOS on a non-bootable system is to short the "CLEAR CMOS" jumper on your motherboard. On the "P5BW-MB" motherboard for the VGX-XL3 I believe the CMOS jumper is marked "CLRTC.".

 

CAUTION:  This needs to be done when the system is not powered; disconnect the power cord just to be safe.  Open your computer and look for the little 3-pin jumper near the button-cell battery. Only pin number 1 will be visible; the other two pins (2&3) are presently covered by the jumper. You clear the CMOS, (and reset the BIOS to the factory defaults) by moving the jumper from its pin 2&3 position to the pin 1& 2 position, and then move it back to the pins 2&3 position before reconnecting the power cord.

 

If you disconnect the power cord, and pull the battery for a period of time, that will also clear the CMOS without needing to short the jumper. Either will work.

 

Good luck, Jack. And keep us updated on your progress.

 

Cheers!

Robert.

post #3542 of 3843
Quote:

Originally Posted by esjbh2 View Post
 

 

Thanks for you reply Robert. Here are some answers:


1) No lighted LED. I see the LED you're referring to, but it's not lighting up.
2 & 3) Yes, I've confirmed power to the PSU using various reality checks.
4) No recent alterations, upgrades, or mods.

I looked around inside the case hoping to see a fuse to replace or similar, but saw nothing. So I assume there's nothing simple like a fuse or circuit breaker on this unit?

Additional information which may or may not be related???....For the last month or so, I had been getting a checksum error on restarts. It would keep auto restarts from being successful, but it would always start when I hit the F key to continue at the prompt, so it was seemingly just an annoyance. Some online research suggested either replacing the button-cell battery or flashing the BIOS could address issue. I was going to take action on this but found that the unit was powered off & DOA and here I am.

-Jack

 

"Hi Jack" ( not a smart greeting while boarding a plane ).

 

Well, it's good that you have eliminated the easily overlooked stuff.

Because you have no standby power to the board (a dark LED) that suggests no standby power from the Power Supply (or a dead LED; possible but that's pretty rare). I would suspect the power supply at this point. 

 

I have not opened the Delta Power supply in my VGX-XL2, but I would be quite surprised if there is NOT a replaceable fuse inside it. I haven't seen one yet without a fuse.That's probably a good next step for you, ...to pull the power supply.

 

Just be careful to make note of what everything connects to, as you disconnect each of the power supply leads ( I always cut strips of paper and write my notes on those strips, and then tape them in rings around the leads to remind me what they attach to when I reassemble a system.  

 

Once removed from the VGX-XL3 case you can crack open the power supply enclosure and scout for a removable fuse. It is probably a ceramic body fuse, but may be a glass body fuse. If it's a ceramic body you won't be able to see if it's blown. If you have a tester you can check the continuity. But gosh, they're cheap, so you can just assume it's blown and replace it. Just go to Radio Shack and get a replacement. Radio Shack is pretty well supplied in the common fuse sizes and amperage. If you find that the fuse is soldered onto the circuit board rather than resting in a receptacle (many are), you can still test it for continuity.

 

If you do find a replaceable fuse inside, and you replace it so you know it's good, it might also be a good idea to then take the power supply to a local computer repair shop and have it tested before you go to all the trouble to re-install it.  If it turns out that the power supply is "toast", let us know and maybe one of our fellows will have a lead for you for getting a replacement.  They're not terribly expensive, but like all things Sony (and all things proprietary in design), they cost more than standard units.

 

As for the BIOS, ....don't mess with it now, Jack. We don't presently have a backup copy of the original VGX-XL3 BIOS for you to re-flash it (we may shortly have that original as well as a BIOS update, but not quite yet).

If you bugger the BIOS right now, you're dead. You'll just turn your beautiful VGX-XL3 into a 'wheel chock' for the camping trailer! eek.gif

 

But ...it won't hurt to "reset" the BIOS to the OEM factory defaults by clearing the CMOS, and replacing the button-cell battery (I believe your system uses a standard 'CR2032' battery, but please verify that before you buy one.  The most common cause of a "checksum error" during the startup boot process is a faulty battery that is not providing sufficient power to the motherboard when the computer is off. Motherboard malfunctions and viruses can also contribute to checksum errors.

The easiest way to clear the CMOS on a non-bootable system is to short the "CLEAR CMOS" jumper on your motherboard. On the "P5BW-MB" motherboard for the VGX-XL3 I believe the CMOS jumper is marked "CLRTC.".

 

CAUTION:  This needs to be done when the system is not powered; disconnect the power cord just to be safe.  Open your computer and look for the little 3-pin jumper near the button-cell battery. Only pin number 1 will be visible; the other two pins (2&3) are presently covered by the jumper. You clear the CMOS, (and reset the BIOS to the factory defaults) by moving the jumper from its pin 2&3 position to the pin 1& 2 position, and then move it back to the pins 2&3 position before reconnecting the power cord.

 

If you disconnect the power cord, and pull the battery for a period of time, that will also clear the CMOS without needing to short the jumper. Either will work.

 

Good luck, Jack. And keep us updated on your progress.

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 2/5/13 at 1:02am
post #3543 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSebire View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSebire View Post

I've got 8GB of Ram 4x 2GB Corsair XMS 800Mhz (Paired) to go in my VAIO VGX XL 302 UK. If I do a fresh install of Windows 7 it will show that I can use the full 4GB.
If I use Ebooster on the other 4GB, my PC should work up to 50x faster, having the full 8GB to play with in 32bit mode. I will run a comparison and report back.
I still haven't played with the bios yet. But want too....


>>> ....eBooster really does work. It's like Superfetch, it puts everything in to memory. <<<

 

Richard, can you provide us a link/URL for your "eBooster" source?  I would like to give it a try. It probably won't work the same on my older VGX-XL2A [ Two complications: 1). the 4GB hardware restriction for my system which I mentioned; 2).  I have 4x 2GB 800 MHz memory DIMMS to use for testing, but my system clock doesn't especially like 800 MHz memory ]. frown.gif

But if "eBooster" is not expensive, it wouldn't hurt to give it a spin, and then bench-test the performance differences, if any).

I could always save the "eBooster" application for another of my PC's, if it doesn't make a difference in my VGX-XL2A.

You can 'PM' me with any specifics, if you do not wish to post the info to this thread.

 


>>> I have also removed the top support frame to the chasis, which normally sits on the drive and the graphics card to aid ventalation. Had no problems there. <<<

 

What a great idea!  I feel like a dunce for not having thought of that (sheesh, the things in plain sight which we ignore redface.gif). I have two 2.5-inch SSD's mounted flat, side-by-side atop my optical drive, and that danged front-to-rear support frame makes things almost impossibly tight.  I don't put much weight atop my case so next time I pop the lid, that thing is coming out! Thanks for the idea. 

 


>>> My next issue is that the VGX XL has three fans, I want to replace these, does anybody know there spec's? <<<

 

Richard, I replaced all three case fans in my US spec. VGX-XL2A a year ago, but did not keep all of the old fans (so unfortunately I cannot report all of the specs). However, I do have the OEM 70mm front fan which I replaced. Here's 'the poop' :

 

NMB - MAT  Model: 2810KL - 04W - B19

12V DC - 0.11 AMP

Square: 70mm x 70mm x 25mm 

3-pin

Tubaxial Fan Type

Ball Bearing

2,400 RPM  

Noise: 21.5 dBA  

Air Flow: 19.0 CFM

 

Spec. datasheet:  http://elcodis.com/parts/2850461/2810KL-04W-B19-P00.html

 

Richard, when I made my replacement fans purchase I didn't try to match the OEM performance specs (because I was trying to improve on the air movement and noise (sound pressure).  I pulled one of the larger (4-pin) fans from the rear (behind and under the black plastic passive cooling assembly cover), and pulled the 70 mm (3-pin) fan from the front (under the optical drive), .... and then I took them with me to my local big box electronics retailer to match the physical dimensions for mounting consistency.  I purchased the quietest (dBA sound pressure) rated I could find, with the highest efficiency (air volume movement).  

As I recall I think the replacement front fan is manufactured by "Apevia", but I don't recall the manufacturer of the rear pair.

 

Let us know what replacement fans you buy, and what your impression is of their performance when you get them installed. 

 

Cheers!

Robert.

 


Edited by REnninga - 2/5/13 at 2:10pm
post #3544 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

I pulled the power supply, disassembled the unit, and could not find anything that resembled a fuse. There was a smell of electrical burn, so the theory of a bad power supply seems reasonable.

I did some web searching for the same Delta model (DPS-290AB A REV:01) and the Sony part number (1-468-950-12) and was not at all happy with the results. I found only limited search matches, with the cheapest price at about $125 US for a new unit, with others being significantly higher. eBay wasn't any help with used models on eBay with buy-it-now prices of $150. Wow, I'm used to buying non-proprietary PSU units for $30-$40!!!

Anybody have a source for a replacement PSU unit or an alternate solution that would work at a reasonable price???

HELP!!!
post #3545 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by esjbh2 View Post
I pulled the power supply, disassembled the unit, and could not find anything that resembled a fuse. There was a smell of electrical burn, so the theory of a bad power supply seems reasonable.

I did some web searching for the same Delta model (DPS-290AB A REV:01) and the Sony part number (1-468-950-12) and was not at all happy with the results. I found only limited search matches, with the cheapest price at about $125 US for a new unit, with others being significantly higher. eBay wasn't any help with used models on eBay with buy-it-now prices of $150. Wow, I'm used to buying non-proprietary PSU units for $30-$40!!!

Anybody have a source for a replacement PSU unit or an alternate solution that would work at a reasonable price???

HELP!!!

 

Hello Jack.  

 

Yes, they're pretty spendy. A small form-factor 18-pin PSU isn't something you find on the shelf at the Computer components stores.

If you know what you are doing and have a voltage/amperage tester you could gut and rebuild yours with the internal components of a new, small form-factor, 20+4 pin Micro-ATX  (MATX) power supply unit (the wiring to the motherboard molex connectors are all color-coded).

Or you may eventually find a used one under 100 bucks if you aren't in a hurry. But a PSU isn't really the best component to buy used.

 

Probably better to bite the bullet and protect your investment.Here's the webpage for purchase a new unit through Sony; $107.59 (In Stock):  

 

https://www.servicesplus.sel.sony.com/sony-part-number-146895012.aspx?CSRT=18027082061863816665

 

spacer.gifRepair Parts :

spacer.gif Customer Service: ordering, order tracking, returns:     Email: ProParts@am.sony.com
                
spacer.gifParts research:     Email: ProPartsResearch@am.sony.com
spacer.gif
spacer.gif Phone: 800-538-7550,  9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET, Monday - Friday.

 

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 2/6/13 at 1:31am
post #3546 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

Hello Jack.  

Yes, they're pretty spendy. A small form-factor 18-pin PSU isn't something you find on the shelf at the Computer components stores.
If you know what you are doing and have a voltage/amperage tester you could gut and rebuild yours with the internal components of a new, small form-factor, 20+4 pin Micro-ATX  (MATX) power supply unit (the wiring to the motherboard molex connectors are all color-coded).

Or you may eventually find a used one under 100 bucks if you aren't in a hurry. 
But a PSU isn't really the best component to buy used.


Probably better to bite the bullet and protect your investment.
Here's the webpage for purchase a new unit through Sony; $107.59 (In Stock):
 


https://www.servicesplus.sel.sony.com/sony-part-number-146895012.aspx?CSRT=18027082061863816665

spacer.gifRepair Parts :

spacer.gif Customer Service: ordering, order tracking, returns:     
Email: 
ProParts@am.sony.com
                
spacer.gifParts research:     
Email: 
ProPartsResearch@am.sony.com
spacer.gif
spacer.gif Phone: 800-538-7550,  9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET, Monday - Friday.



Cheers!

Robert.
Yeah, that's the one I quoted at $125 (including shipping). At this point I'm leaning towards cutting my losses and building a contemporary HTPC without the limitations/proprietary issues I've been saddled with over the years with this Sony VGX-XL3 unit. This may be the straw that finally breaks the camels back unfortunately. rolleyes.gif
post #3547 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by esjbh2 View Post

Yeah, that's the one I quoted at $125 (including shipping). At this point I'm leaning towards cutting my losses and building a contemporary HTPC without the limitations/proprietary issues I've been saddled with over the years with this Sony VGX-XL3 unit. This may be the straw that finally breaks the camels back unfortunately. rolleyes.gif

 

Hello Jack,

 

I'm sorry.  Yes, I know what you mean. The reason I found this AVS forum thread in August 2010 is that the OEM Sony/Nvidia card in my VGX-XL2A failed and I called Sony for a replacement and was quoted  $527  for a matching replacement card! ( eek.gif I peed my pants a little.)  While looking for an alternative solution the folks I found here pointed me toward a Sapphire card for about $500 LESS which worked great, and made my ol' XL2A better than ever.  

 

I have been expecting my own Power Supply Unit to fail, at some point, because I am running and managing a lot of drives on my system. It's disappointing to learn from your exploration that there is no fuse in these little Delta 297-watt units. That's the first time I have heard of an un-fused PSU (I'm surprised it ever received a UL label!)  and it's almost a guarantee that they will fry at some point (or fry the motherboard) Planned obsolescence on the part of Sony perhaps? (Naw, ... that would just be cynical rolleyes.gif).

 

Jack, I have a couple of additional ideas for you if you will contact me by 'PM'  (and check your 'PM' messages).  And I'll do a little more Internet searching for you today, to see if I can help you find a better price on a replacement PSU, somewhere. If I do, I'll send the source or contact info to you by 'PM.'

 

Cheers!

Robert.

 

PS. Jack, you have reached the same conclusion a lot of us have reached. I myself am building a new current state-of-the-art HTPC ( temporarily installing the components in an old Gateway desktop pc ATX case while I await a killer price on a Moneual MonCaso HTPC case, with media center remote controller ).

 

Repairs for these VGX-XL* systems get very expensive, very fast. And when all is said and done you still just have a much thinner wallet ....and an outdated, limited ability HTPC.

 

If they weren't so beautiful it would be easier to let go (sounds like a shallow interpersonal  "relationship", huh?)


Edited by REnninga - 2/6/13 at 1:09pm
post #3548 of 3843

Replacing A Sony Vaio Desktop SFF PSU (18 Pin)

 

Hello all, 

 

Those of you following Jack's VGX-XL3 power supply issue may get  a good and hearty chuckle from this 'Tom's Hardware' post, by contributor "90Ninety".  You all will immediately recognize the Delta power supply part number in the first photo.  The fact that this guy decided to actually plug-in and power this 'Rube Goldbergian monstrosity' is either a display of monumental human courage, ... or incredible Darwinian-death-wish supidity. biggrin.gif  (And I wonder what the 'back story' is accounting for the bloody fingerprints on the Delta power supply enclosure?)  

 

Enjoy! 

 

 

Replacing A Sony Vaio Desktop SFF PSU (18 Pin)

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/309855-28-replacing-sony-vaio-desktop

 

 

 

If the photo content on the page is collapsed, look for the "....See full content ?"  text, and mouse-click on that phrase to expand the photo story.

 

I can't help but wonder if "90Ninety" is still among the living, or if the First Responders found nothing remaining of him except but a lingering ozone smell, and a pile of glowing ashes in his chair?

 

Cheers!

Robert.

 

PS. Jack, as goes the old adage ... "Don't try this at home!"  

post #3549 of 3843
Regarding XL3 power supply....

Upon closer re-examination of the circuit boards in the PSU, I did identify a fuse. It is a T6.3AH 250V soldered in unit that was camouflaged by what appears to be either black shrink wrap or a rubber encasing. I'd never seen a fuse like that before, but after researching computer PSU's, I became convinced that a fuse needed to be there somewhere, and I was finally able to overcome my "refrigerator blindness" and see it. I've got some pics if anyone is interested.

So, that's the good news.

Unfortunately, the fuse checked out fine, so no easy issue resolution there. mad.gif

Hey Robert, yeah, I came across that same frankenstein project while searching the Sony part number. HILARIOUS!!!!....and scary!!! biggrin.gif
post #3550 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by esjbh2 View Post

Regarding XL3 power supply....

Upon closer re-examination of the circuit boards in the PSU, I did identify a fuse. It is a T6.3AH 250V soldered in unit that was camouflaged by what appears to be either black shrink wrap or a rubber encasing. I'd never seen a fuse like that before, but after researching computer PSU's, I became convinced that a fuse needed to be there somewhere, and I was finally able to overcome my "refrigerator blindness" and see it. I've got some pics if anyone is interested.

So, that's the good news.

Unfortunately, the fuse checked out fine, so no easy issue resolution there. mad.gif

Hey Robert, yeah, I came across that same frankenstein project while searching the Sony part number. HILARIOUS!!!!....and scary!!! biggrin.gif

 

Hello Jack,

 

Thanks for clarifying that the unit does, indeed, have a fuse. That helps the blood pressure a bit to know there is at least a little bit of motherboard protection, and I couldn't figure out how a 215V-250V dual-current electrical device could pass UL and get certified, without a fuse.

 

You know, Jack, the more I think about it the more convinced I am that it might be a very good idea to spend a few bucks to see if a small appliance repair shop can check-out that PSU for the possibility of a fried capacitor or inductor, or something else cheap, replaceable and simple. 

 

You could de-solder and replace the capacitors yourself over a weekend. It's pretty simple, if you have the correct-rated replacement units and tools. You might want to do your own close inspection with a jeweler's Lupe or magnifying glass first, just to look for failure tell-tales. Bad capacitors will often show a bulge at the top (good ones are completely flat on top), or even a bulging or bubble in the plastic jacket material, or sometimes signs of leaking.

 

Here's a pretty good short introductory "How-to" article if you're not familiar with the process.  It focuses on replacing capacitors on motherboards, ...but as the philosopher said:

 

"Capacitors are capacitors."  

                                     ~Mediocrites (circa 311 BCE)

 

 

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-reapair-capacitors-on-computer-motherboards/

 

 

 

     

 

Bad capacitor with bulging top 

 

 

[Note: I have a 42" LCD monitor which failed just before Christmas. The Sony repair center was going to charge me almost $200 just to evaluate it for repairs, then parts and labor on top of that. So I spent $15, bought a whole new set of matching capacitors for the main-board and replaced them all on New Year's Day while watching football on another TV, ... and I now have a good-as-new 42" LCD television which otherwise would probably have gone to Goodwill for recycling.] 

 

 

Unless you end up electrocuting yourself ( no, it's not a good idea to repair a power supply with it plugged-in to the wall outlet ), at the very least you'll expand your knowledge base. And at the very best you'll have a working VGX-XL3 again, and will have saved yourself about $100.

 

Yes, by all means, if you can post your photos that would be great! Someone will eventually be helped by looking at your posted photos. And others of us will just enjoy seeing what the inside of the PSU looks like, without having to go to the same trouble you have to pull that sucker out of the case and crack it open.

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 2/7/13 at 5:06pm
post #3551 of 3843
Contents of Delta 297w PSU:



post #3552 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by esjbh2 View Post

Contents of Delta 297w PSU:
 

Hello Jack,

 

I have just started looking at your photos, but can already tell you that the capacitor at circuit-board position "C901" is bad. You can mark that one for replacement (do you have a permanent marker?)

 

Your images are great. I am able to enlarge them 400% on my monitor with almost no loss of quality.  If you will give me some time - maybe the remainder of the evening - I would like to blow them up on my large screen LED monitor so I can take a good look at each module and let you know what else I see (if anything) which obviously needs to be replaced.

 

I am in the middle of a PC operating system upgrade, and that large screen monitor is tied-up at the moment. I'll get back to this as soon as I can.

 

Cheers!

Robert.

 

UPDATE:  OK, Jack. Here's what I can see, and/or what looks suspicious and warrants checking out:

 

1)     As noted capacitor "C901" is bad. The top of the capacitor is bulging, as can be seen by the distorted grooves (spreading at the intersection). I'm 99.9% certain.

2)     Capacitor "C608" looks a bit odd; either it has been dye-marked at the top, or there is leakage. Take a close look at that one.

3)     I can't really inspect some of the capacitors in the photos, because they are either partially hidden or the lighting is such that I can't clearly see their tops. But now that you know what to look for (bulging and/or leakage) you can inspect each carefully.

4)     Thoroughly and carefully give the circuit boards a good dusting with a can of compressed air. In addition to revealing more for inspection, dust can actually be conductive and lead to shorting of circuits.

5)     The plastic jacketing of fuse 'F1" (T6.3AH/250V) looks a bit suspicious; a bulge near one of the pigtailed end caps - almost looks melted?  You said the fuse checked out as good, but it might warrant checking further (or even a precautionary replacement). Were it me, I would replace it with a standard pigtailed glass-tube or ceramic without the plastic jacket. Fuses stay cooler without the jacket, and are easier to inspect for failure.

6)     I see a 2-pin Molex connector on the right-hand circuit board next to fuse "F1". Is there a cooling fan inside the PSU enclosure which connects to that?  If so, could you post the manufacture and model number and specification info printed on the fan hub, and the dimensions of the fan body housing in millimeters.  [examples:  80 mm x 80 mm x 25 mm.   120 mm x 120 mm x 15 mm; etc.]

 

Jack, if you are not too familiar with the various modules on the power supply circuit boards, each is are coded by a first letter (or first two letters) reference key:

"C" = Capacitor

"R" = Resistor

"IC" = Integrated Circuit

"D" = Diode .....and so on

 

Following a bad fuse, capacitors are the most common component to fail. And both fuses and capacitors are cheap. All of the modules in that power supply are replaceable, and some cost only a few cents. Once all of the bad components are identified, and verified, and you have replacements in hand, a shop tech could de-solder and replace them in less than an hour (or ... you could try it yourself if you have the correct temperature-range soldering gun, a few inches of solder-absorbing tape (wick) and solder.

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 2/7/13 at 10:33pm
post #3553 of 3843
Is that a Smurf I see in there?
post #3554 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjk61011 View Post

Is that a Smurf I see in there?

 

Good eye, Francis.

 

Looks like "Clumsy" smurf to me. Which may explain Jack's power supply issue!   cool.gif

 

Cheers!

Robert.

post #3555 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyWombat View Post

To be honest, in 25 years of working with PCs I havn't had anything quite like this happen, but it does sound most likely to be a PCI-e hardware issue - in pulling any PC card in and out of tight slots there is a small risk that one of the contact pins can become detached thru wear, and one of these may have come loose and got jammed causing a physical short circuit. I wouldnt risk putting another card in there unless you were going to throw it out anyway. Have a good look in the slot if you can, to see if there is anything suspicious - with the power cable unplugged of course, its too easy to start poking around without thinking wink.gif
You could try a PCI graphics card - its been a few years since I last used one, but they were quite good at the time and should be fine for anything but demanding 3D stuff - but to be honest you are probably better hanging on to it for spares - personally I find it much more pleasurable working on a PC I have confidence in.

Maybe I'm able to find a free PCI-e video card to "sacrifice"... just to test if it's the PCI-e slot - as I suspected, too...

I thought also to try to fix the eventual PCI-e pin that could be bent in the manner of touching another pin and cause a short circuit... but, if I could put a normal PCI video card in the empty PCI slot that sits up the capture card, and it will do a good job - no 3D, but I need at least 1920x1080@50/60, I could leave the PCI-e slot empty... something like this:
http://www.zotacusa.com/geforce-gt-430-zt-40605-10l.html
will do the job, right? If so, I could just buy one of these (or other brand) PCI video card and get a working third XL!

Or, if not, I will dismantle all the parts I'll need for future replacements...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyWombat View Post

The QX6800 is the same family as the Q6600 which jwaiv is hoping to test soon on a 302 motherboard, the same as the 201 - I'm looking to test a Q6600 on my 201 MB after I get my 302 repaired - so there could be more news on this soon. But the X6800 is a known good performer without any errors apparently, so its a good choice if you can get one for a good price - draws less power than the quad-core chips, and should perform just as well for most apps.

I searched a lot the bay, and found these prices (shipped):

E6700 - €45 (just one) - usually around €90
X6800 - around €100
Q6600 - from €60
Q6700 - around €80
QX6700 - around €80
QX6800 - from €120

As the price of QX6800 is just a little bit more than the X6800 - but with a lot more power - I just thought to go with the QX6800. But I'll wait until some experienced users here will test a quad-core, and review it positively.
post #3556 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by www.laserdisc.ws View Post
"... if I could put a normal PCI video card in the empty PCI slot that sits up the capture card, and it will do a good job - no 3D, but I need at least 1920x1080@50/60, I could leave the PCI-e slot empty... something like this:
http://www.zotacusa.com/geforce-gt-430-zt-40605-10l.html
will do the job, right? If so, I could just buy one of these (or other brand) PCI video card and get a working third XL!"

 

A cautionary note: "Heat rises",... and heat-sinks require air movement in order to work effectively.

 

If you are going to populate one of the two slots of your PCI riser card with a horizontally-mounted PCI interface video/graphics card, I recommend you do not install a passively cooled (heat-sink only) unit. There will be almost no air movement in that mounting position (effectively tucked into a corner), and all of the very significant amount of heat generated in the card will pass up through the circuit board itself and its components, rather than being drawn away and dissipated by the heat-sink (because the card will be suspended with its heat-sink oriented downward, under the card.

 

Much better to use a fan-cooled unit to generate some air movement through the heat-sink, or I'm pretty sure you'll have another card failure (caused by heat).

 

Cheers!

Robert.

post #3557 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by www.laserdisc.ws View Post


" ...As the price of QX6800 is just a little bit more than the X6800 - but with a lot more power - I just thought to go with the QX6800. But I'll wait until some experienced users here will test a quad-core, and review it positively."

 

The QX6800 is not supported by the BIOS in your system. The Core2 Extreme QX6800 'Kentsfield' is a quad-core Max TDP 135-watt processor vs. the dual-core Max TDP 75-watt Core2 Extreme X6800 'Conroe'.  You will get a boot phase "microcode error", and the system will freeze during boot or will shut-down.

 

See this Intel comparison page:  http://ark.intel.com/compare/27258,30720

 

I recommend you stick with a proven good runner in your system; either the Core2 Duo E6700, or the Core2 Extreme X6800.

 

Cheers!

Robert.

post #3558 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjk61011 View Post

Is that a Smurf I see in there?

Hahahaha...I had to go back and look at the pic. biggrin.gif A Smurf AND a Gremlin or two apparently. smile.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

Hello Jack,

I have just started looking at your photos, but can already tell you that the capacitor at circuit-board position "C901" is bad. You can mark that one for replacement (do you have a permanent marker?)

Your images are great. I am able to enlarge them 400% on my monitor with almost no loss of quality.  If you will give me some time - maybe the remainder of the evening - I would like to blow them up on my large screen LED monitor so I can take a good look at each module and let you know what else I see (if anything) which obviously needs to be replaced.

I am in the middle of a PC operating system upgrade, and that large screen monitor is tied-up at the moment. I'll get back to this as soon as I can.

Cheers!
Robert.

UPDATE:  OK, Jack. Here's what I can see, and/or what looks suspicious and warrants checking out:

1)     As noted capacitor "C901" is bad. The top of the capacitor is bulging, as can be seen by the distorted grooves (spreading at the intersection). I'm 99.9% certain.
2)     Capacitor "C608" looks a bit odd; either it has been dye-marked at the top, or there is leakage. Take a close look at that one.
3)     I can't really inspect some of the capacitors in the photos, because they are either partially hidden or the lighting is such that I can't clearly see their tops. But now that you know what to look for (bulging and/or leakage) you can inspect each carefully.
4)     Thoroughly and carefully give the circuit boards a good dusting with a can of compressed air. In addition to revealing more for inspection, dust can actually be conductive and lead to shorting of circuits.
5)     The plastic jacketing of fuse 'F1" (T6.3AH/250V) looks a bit suspicious; a bulge near one of the pigtailed end caps - almost looks melted?  You said the fuse checked out as good, but it might warrant checking further (or even a precautionary replacement). Were it me, I would replace it with a standard pigtailed glass-tube or ceramic without the plastic jacket. Fuses stay cooler without the jacket, and are easier to inspect for failure.
6)     I see a 2-pin Molex connector on the right-hand circuit board next to fuse "F1". Is there a cooling fan inside the PSU enclosure which connects to that?  If so, could you post the manufacture and model number and specification info printed on the fan hub, and the dimensions of the fan body housing in millimeters.  [examples:  80 mm x 80 mm x 25 mm.   120 mm x 120 mm x 15 mm; etc.]

Jack, if you are not too familiar with the various modules on the power supply circuit boards, each is are coded by a first letter (or first two letters) reference key:
"C" = Capacitor
"R" = Resistor
"IC" = Integrated Circuit
"D" = Diode .....and so on

Following a bad fuse, capacitors are the most common component to fail. And both fuses and capacitors are cheap. All of the modules in that power supply are replaceable, and some cost only a few cents. Once all of the bad components are identified, and verified, and you have replacements in hand, a shop tech could de-solder and replace them in less than an hour (or ... you could try it yourself if you have the correct temperature-range soldering gun, a few inches of solder-absorbing tape (wick) and solder.

Cheers!
Robert.
C901 is not as it appears in the photos, at least from what I see/interpret as the top disk looks flat in person. But I'll get some better pics and send them direct to you if you don't mind giving me an experienced look/see.

BTW, I'm currently trying to find somebody that likes tinkering with circuit boards, but most folks around here that call themselves "Electronics Technicians" can do little more than swap whole components. Sad. Fuse shows continuity, but if I do get into this, I'd likely replace it as you suggest, and probably with a wired fuse-holder model for ease of fuse replacement.

Yes, there is a fan that is not shown in the pictures. Delta Electronics Model AUB0712H. Markings include: DC 12V 0.29A -SE03 7115E11R DC Brushless. It is a 2-wire unit as you can tell by the PSU connector. Looks like it measures at ~ 70 x 70 x 25mm.
post #3559 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by esjbh2 View Post
 
" ..... C901 is not as it appears in the photos, at least from what I see/interpret as the top disk looks flat in person. But I'll get some better pics and send them direct to you if you don't mind giving me an experienced look/see."
Well, "experienced" is a subjective call,  rolleyes.gif  but sure. I'll be happy to take a look. 
The nice thing about capacitors is they are so cheap and so easy to replace. Radio Shack has most of them in stock and they run from about 29-cents to under 2 bucks.  And Radio Shack also has the replacement fuse (in both Glass-body and Ceramic "slow blow") for about $2 - $3 for a five pack. As noted, I would go for the glass-body because I like to be able to inspect the fuse filament wire (just personal preference) rather than trusting a continuity test. The replacements at Radio Shack are not pig-tailed fuses; which are a bit harder to find. I would install a fuse holder if I were making the replacement/ repair.


"..... Fuse shows continuity, but if I do get into this, I'd likely replace it as you suggest, and probably with a wired fuse-holder model for ease of fuse replacement."
Yes, that's exactly what I would do. I would de-solder the pig-tails and install an in-line fuse holder (one rated at 10 amp/500 volts rated will only cost you about 3 to 4-bucks, maybe less). If you install long enough leads you can have the fuse-holder outside of the PSU enclosure (run the leads through the wiring harnes opening along with the main wiring bundle). Then, if you ever need to replace the fuse you won't have to pull the PSU again. Just a twist of the fuse-holder and you're in business.

 



"....Yes, there is a fan that is not shown in the pictures. Delta Electronics Model AUB0712H. Markings include: DC 12V 0.29A -SE03 7115E11R DC Brushless. It is a 2-wire unit as you can tell by the PSU connector. Looks like it measures at ~ 70 x 70 x 25mm."
Thanks, Jack.

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 2/8/13 at 7:32pm
post #3560 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

A cautionary note: "Heat rises",... and heat-sinks require air movement in order to work effectively.

If you are going to populate one of the two slots of your PCI riser card with a horizontally-mounted PCI interface video/graphics card, I recommend you do not install a passively cooled (heat-sink only) unit. There will be almost no air movement in that mounting position (effectively tucked into a corner), and all of the very significant amount of heat generated in the card will pass up through the circuit board itself and its components, rather than being drawn away and dissipated by the heat-sink (because the card will be suspended with its heat-sink oriented downward, under the card.

Much better to use a fan-cooled unit to generate some air movement through the heat-sink, or I'm pretty sure you'll have another card failure (caused by heat).

Thanks Robert, your posts are very informative, as usual!

OK, "plan B": acquire a free (or near-free) basic PCI (not PCI-e) video card, to test if the system works - and the PCI-e slot was the problem; if it works, buy a good PCI video card WITH FAN! Can you list the best PCI video cards below 100€?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

The QX6800 is not supported by the BIOS in your system. The Core2 Extreme QX6800 'Kentsfield' is a quad-core Max TDP 135-watt processor vs. the dual-core Max TDP 75-watt Core2 Extreme X6800 'Conroe'.  You will get a boot phase "microcode error", and the system will freeze during boot or will shut-down.

See this Intel comparison page:  http://ark.intel.com/compare/27258,30720

I recommend you stick with a proven good runner in your system; either the Core2 Duo E6700, or the Core2 Extreme X6800.

Maybe you are right, but I'm a kind of "reflective explorer"... as someone here suggested that quad-cores like Q6600, QX6700 and QX6800 *may* works, I'd like to wait until someone else will prove the contrary... I used my XL-201 for six years until now, I could wait some weeks before I will take my decision!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSebire View Post

I've got 8GB of Ram 4x 2GB Corsair XMS 800Mhz (Paired) to go in my VAIO VGX XL 302 UK. If I do a fresh install of Windows 7 it will show that I can use the full 4GB.
If I use Ebooster on the other 4GB, my PC should work up to 50x faster, having the full 8GB to play with in 32bit mode. I will run a comparison and report back.

... but if this Ebooster thing will work, I could stick with a "simple" X6800!
post #3561 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by www.laserdisc.ws View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

A cautionary note: "Heat rises",... and heat-sinks require air movement in order to work effectively.

If you are going to populate one of the two slots of your PCI riser card with a horizontally-mounted PCI interface video/graphics card, I recommend you do not install a passively cooled (heat-sink only) unit. There will be almost no air movement in that mounting position (effectively tucked into a corner), and all of the very significant amount of heat generated in the card will pass up through the circuit board itself and its components, rather than being drawn away and dissipated by the heat-sink (because the card will be suspended with its heat-sink oriented downward, under the card.

Much better to use a fan-cooled unit to generate some air movement through the heat-sink, or I'm pretty sure you'll have another card failure (caused by heat).


Thanks Robert, your posts are very informative, as usual!

OK, "plan B": acquire a free (or near-free) basic PCI (not PCI-e) video card, to test if the system works - and the PCI-e slot was the problem; if it works, buy a good PCI video card WITH FAN! Can you list the best PCI video cards below 100€?
 

Question:  Why focus on trying to find workarounds rather than first finding out if you have a bad PSU or a damaged PCI-e slot (misaligned pin contacts, etc.) You mentioned you have unusual boot behavior (no motherboard piezo speaker beep at power-on, some LED activity, failure to boot). If you have already smoked two video/graphics cards in the PCI-e slot, and you have no Piezo beep, I would be looking at the possibility over-current from the PSU (easily enough checked, since the rated output voltages and amperage are known and printed on the power supply. If either or both of those devices are damaged and/or failing, focusing on workarounds is a waste of time and money. Personally, I would focus on determining the problem, and fixing it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

The QX6800 is not supported by the BIOS in your system. The Core2 Extreme QX6800 'Kentsfield' is a quad-core Max TDP 135-watt processor vs. the dual-core Max TDP 75-watt Core2 Extreme X6800 'Conroe'.  You will get a boot phase "microcode error", and the system will freeze during boot or will shut-down.

See this Intel comparison page:  http://ark.intel.com/compare/27258,30720

I recommend you stick with a proven good runner in your system; either the Core2 Duo E6700, or the Core2 Extreme X6800.


Maybe you are right, but I'm a kind of "reflective explorer"... as someone here suggested that quad-cores like Q6600, QX6700 and QX6800 *may* works, I'd like to wait until someone else will prove the contrary... I used my XL-201 for six years until now, I could wait some weeks before I will take my decision!

 

Referral:  Quads have been tested by other VGX-XL* owners posting to this thread. You can use the search feature and read their results. If memory serves, thread member 'wpbguy' installed a Q6600 (quad) back around the Summer of '08, and got the "microcode error" but was able to bypass it and booted the system. Whether it remained stable or not, I don't recall.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSebire View Post

I've got 8GB of Ram 4x 2GB Corsair XMS 800Mhz (Paired) to go in my VAIO VGX XL 302 UK. If I do a fresh install of Windows 7 it will show that I can use the full 4GB.
If I use Ebooster on the other 4GB, my PC should work up to 50x faster, having the full 8GB to play with in 32bit mode. I will run a comparison and report back.


... but if this Ebooster thing will work, I could stick with a "simple" X6800!

 

Question:  Why install eBoostr in VAIO VGX-XL* system models which will already support 8 GB of "usable" RAM without it?  Just install Windows 7 x64 (64-bit) or Windows 7 x86 (32-bit) with the 36-bit kernel patch Physical Address Extension (PAE).

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 2/9/13 at 2:42am
post #3562 of 3843
Robert,
you are right, and I thank you very much for the time you are dedicating to my problem.
My electronic skills are poor, sorry... if it's a PSU problem, how can I check if it works properly? I thouught to use a PSU tester, but Sony's PSU has 18+4 pins instead of the usual 20+4 pins... the green led on the motherboard is on, by the way, don't know if it could be useful.

As I wrote before, I also thought to swap the PSU of the non-working XL with a working one from another XL, but I'm a bit scared about the possibility of breaking the good one... could a bad motherboard or PCI-e slot "fry" a working PSU? Don't know, really, experts are welcome!

About quad-core: I did several searches, but, apart the fact that after the initial microcode error, if F1 is pressed the quad-core will work, I don't know if it will work well for a long time, or not... some reviews from users will be really useful!

About 8GB: the use of eboostr and the 50x figures seemed interesting, but maybe just a little bit optimistic... but, *maybe*, using 4x 2GB 800MHz with eboostr is faster than using 4x 2GB 667MHz without it... what do you think?

And, using an SSD with the OS on it, will increase the speed of VirtualDub conversions, VS using normal HDDs?

Thanks,
Andrea
post #3563 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by www.laserdisc.ws View Post

>>> Robert,
you are right, and I thank you very much for the time you are dedicating to my problem. <<<
Hello Andrea.
You're welcome, of course. That's why we're here. Many have helped me over the years ( gotta pay it forward, right? smile.gif )  I'm a bit confused because you have three VGX-XL2xx series systems and you are addressing repairs and / or upgrades to all three of those systems in single posts. Maybe if you will separate your posts, and clarify which system (model number, etc) that you are addressing with each post, it will help with my confusion, and help us to focus responses to make sure we give you correct answers or suggestions.
It will also help if you post system info : e.g., look at the info at the bottom of each of my posts
When you have the lids off each system case, can you confirm for us the motherboard model?  The model name of the motherboard is printed in white silkscreened lettering alonside the left side of the PCI slot (left side looking from the XL* system front).  You may have three motherboards all of the same model name and revision:  e.g., "P5BW-MB Rev.2.00" If they are the same, it makes things easier as regards upgrades.
I would like to get a copy of the BIOS code from those systems (the XL201, and running XL202), so we can determine the list of processors which will run on those systems without receiving a "microcode error" boot phase interuption, system freeze or shutdown. 
If you will send me a 'PM' with your return e-mail address I will provide you information about how to do that.

>>> My electronic skills are poor, sorry... if it's a PSU problem, how can I check if it works properly? I thouught to use a PSU tester, but Sony's PSU has 18+4 pins instead of the usual 20+4 pins... the green led on the motherboard is on, by the way, don't know if it could be useful. <<<
Not a problem. And recognizing our own experience level is a good indicator of what we should, and should not try to do ourselves, right?  wink.gif  Experience level especially warrants consideration when talking about power supply and motherboard testing and repair.
The green LED on the motherboard is the "standby power" indicator. If you look at the printed markings on the motherboard you will see a tiny arrow pointing to the green LED and the label "SB PWR"
"Standby power" is what allows the power / sleep button on the wireless keyboard to boot the computer when it's powered down. This is the reason why we always need to remember to pull the power plug when we work inside the case. It's only truly powered off when the power cord is disconnected.
The lighted green LED shows that you have standby power continuity from the PSU to the motherboard, but does not necessarily mean that you have a properly functioning PSU. Various Power Switching Unit voltage and amperage is supplied to the drives and the memory and the different component device buses. Frying (smoking) any card in a pc is serious, if it's not just a heat related failure which is not uncommon. Before risking any more devices on that motherboard - or risking the motherboard itself - I suggest testing the PSU.
The best methods of testing a PSU are manually, with a multi-meter ( a novice should definitely NOT do this ) or with a Power Supply Tester ( which is far safer). If it were my system, based on what you have written, I would begin with a power supply test, ...and you need to make the decision if you do that yourself, or if you take it to a computer repair shop for testing; It takes about 5 minutes or less.
If you have a faulty power supply, have undercurrent or overcurrent  being supplied to any of the component feeds, this is what you need to address first. And as I noted to Jack regarding his PSU issue, the internal components of a PSU can be replaced. Resistors and Capacitors are cheap. Integrated circuits won't break the bank. Inductors can be harvested from a sacrificial working ATX or m-ATX PSU, which has outlived it's usefulness. But, starting with determining if you have a healthy PSU is, in my opinion, the first order of business for your problematic XL202 (<-----I think that's the right model, correct?) 
Here's a little primer which discusses the two most common testing methods, just to add a bit to your knowledge base and help you reach a decision on how to proceed :    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/f/powersupplytest.htm


>>> As I wrote before, I also thought to swap the PSU of the non-working XL with a working one from another XL, but I'm a bit scared about the possibility of breaking the good one... could a bad motherboard or PCI-e slot "fry" a working PSU? Don't know, really, experts are welcome! <<<
To the best of my knowledge you won't damage a healthy PSU by connecting it to a failed or failing motherboard. The fault protections in the PSU are a two-way street, and the motherboard doesn't induce electrical current (other than the tiny amount in the CMOS button-cell battery).
However, I don't personally see an advantage to disconnecting and removing and installing one of your known-to-be-healthy PSU's into that other system case (to test the PCI-e slot) if you haven't already determined that the PSU in that system is faulty. Why not first test the health of the PSU before moving on to the suspect PCI-e slot? If the PSU tests healthy, THEN focus on the PCI-e slot ( inspection / non-destructive testing / replacement).
If you find out the PSU is at fault, your problem PCI-e card issue may be resolved, ( well, ... may be resolved if permanent damage has not already been done to the printed circuits on the motherboard ).  

>>> About quad-core: I did several searches, but, apart the fact that after the initial microcode error, if F1 is pressed the quad-core will work, I don't know if it will work well for a long time, or not... some reviews from users will be really useful! <<<
The installation of some Windows applications and Windows/Microsoft updates require a "clean reboot" (without intervention) to successfully complete installation. It's your call to make, but I think you are asking for trouble and frustration by pushing beyond the current BIOS-supported processor limitations, and forcing the system to use a quad. If you will spend some time looking at the benchmark performance reports, comparing the gains you can achieve just by upgrading from your current OEM Core2 Duo E6300 & E6400 system processors to a proven Core2 Duo E6700 or Core2 Extreme X6800 ( then looking at the amount of improvement yielded with a more expensive and unproven quad, which requires a bypass workaround every time you boot the system and may limit functionality, or prove unstable ) ... I think you will reach the conclusion to go with what works, and for less cost. But it's your call.

>>> About 8GB: the use of eboostr and the 50x figures seemed interesting, but maybe just a little bit optimistic... but, *maybe*, using 4x 2GB 800MHz with eboostr is faster than using 4x 2GB 667MHz without it... what do you think? <<<
Well, Andrea, as goes the old adage: "If it sounds too good to be true ..."  ( and you know the rest.of that). rolleyes.gif
Ask yourself this question: "If purchasing and running a little add-on application on a pc would improve it's performance 50x, why wouldn't every pc sold already have that application installed on it, and why wouldn't Microsoft (which has about $60 Billion to $100 Billion cash sitting on its books) have already purchased 'eBooster' and integrated this application into Windows? 
'eBoostr' is essentially another approach to Ram Disk and Vista's Ready Boost. A registered copy of the 'eBoostr' version which can access "hidden RAM" costs about $40 (USD); although you can download and test it for free, for two hours per fresh boot cycle of your system. There are numerous independant reviews and opinions and tests results on-line about 'eBoostr', going back to it's introduction to the marketplace when most pc's were running only about 512MB to 1GB of RAM. And, in unmodified 32-bit versions of Windows with 4GB or less of installed RAM, the Ram Disk type applications (including the free ones like 'RamDISK') actually do a pretty good job of utilizing the non-addressable installed memory (roughly +/-767MB on average with 4 GB installed RAM) and utilizing it as cache. I have been running the free application 'RamDISK' on my 4GB, x86 (32-bit) system for about two years). In at least one version of 'eBoostr' you could assign that cache to your VirtualDub application.
But it's my understanding, however, that these applications are primarily intended for improving the performance of systems which are RAM limited, 1GB - 4GB systems running Windows x86 (32-bit). But If I had the ability to run 8 GB of "usable" (addressable) RAM on my system that's what I would do. Maybe spend some time reading the independant on-line reviews and opinions of 'eBooster', and even give the free trial a go if you wish, before shelling out $40 for an application, ...as opposed to spending almost that same amount of money and buying well-matched, "usable" (addressable) RAM for your system.
If you already own 8 GB (4x 2GB) of the 800 MHz memory, put it in your system and give it a try. What operating sytem are you running; and is it x64 (64-bit), or x86 (32-bit)?  If you don't already own 800MHz DIMMS, don't buy them (there is a reason why the memory configurator utilities on the memory supplier webpages do not recommend 800MHz DIMMS for use with these XL* systems' chipsets).  Buy 533 MHz or 667 MHz 2GB DIMMS for about $11.50 (USD) each (in dual-channel pairs) for a total of $46 - $50 (USD), and run 8 GB of "usable" RAM ( and skip spending $40 on 'eBoostr').
8 GB of "usable" (addressable) RAM, and a Core2 Extreme X6800 processor = one helluva step up in system performance! Couple that with a SATA2 (SATA II)  Solid State Drive (for your System OS & applications) ...and you'll be amazed.

>>> And, using an SSD with the OS on it, will increase the speed of VirtualDub conversions, VS using normal HDDs? 
Thanks,
Andrea
<<<
Yes, but let me clarify.  The combination of a SSD and maxing out your system with 8GB of "usable" (addressable) RAM will improve the read / write performance of your applications more than just 8 GB of "usable" RAM alone. However 8GB of RAM alone makes a very big ddifference. And a CPU upgrade, of course, also further improves that performance.
You can also achieve improved read / write performance of your System OS & applications drive by running a pair of matched HDD's in 'RAID0' (block-level striping).
Personally, I prefer the SATA2 (SATA II) SSD solution (performance, speed and reliability) to the more failure-prone 'RAID0' HDD's.
And using a SSD allows for you to use the HDD rack for large capacity storage drives, rather than a System drive.  [ Note my emphasis on SATA2 (SATA II) rather than SATA3 SSD's ]

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 2/10/13 at 12:28am
post #3564 of 3843

Andrea,

 

Here are the performance test passmarks / CPU marks. You can view the more telling benchmarks for the processors here: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/

 

Beginning with your UK spec. VGX-XL201 and XL202 system OEM processors:

Intel Core2 6300 @ 1.86GHz
       = 1,099 Performance test passmark / CPU mark

Intel Core2 6400 @ 2.13GHz

       = 1,272 Performance test passmark / CPU mark

 

The two noted processor upgrades:

 

Intel Core2 Duo E6700 @ 2.66GHz  

 
     = 1,583 Performance test passmark / CPU mark

 

Intel Core2 Extreme X6800 @ 2.93GHz  
     = 2,037 Performance test passmark / CPU mark

 

 

 

As you can see, these are significant performance improvements. You may be able to find the quad-core Q6600 and QX6800 processors' passmarks on the website; I have not looked.

 

Keep us in the loop, Andrea. Every little tidbit of information about our upgrade successes (and our failures) will eventually help someone else.

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 2/10/13 at 12:08am
post #3565 of 3843
I haven't been here for quite some time. Glad, and amazed, to see it's still going! smile.gif

Anyone tried Windows 8 Pro on the XL3 (02) yet?

I've installed win 8 on quite a few other pcs over the last month or so and it seems a lot faster than win 7. I'm just about finished creating a win 8 pro server to replace my whs v1 server for media streaming.

The only problem, I see, with win 8 on the xl3 is the dreaded blu-ray player eject switch.

Cheers, Jim
post #3566 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by JST200 View Post

I haven't been here for quite some time. Glad, and amazed, to see it's still going! smile.gif

Anyone tried Windows 8 Pro on the XL3 (02) yet?

I've installed win 8 on quite a few other pcs over the last month or so and it seems a lot faster than win 7. I'm just about finished creating a win 8 pro server to replace my whs v1 server for media streaming.

The only problem, I see, with win 8 on the xl3 is the dreaded blu-ray player eject switch.

Cheers, Jim

 

Hello Jim.

 

It's great to have you back, you have been missed.

 

Jim, I think the key for all of our systems which still have a working optical drive button will be choosing the "upgrade" installation of Windows 8, rather than doing a clean installation. Interestingly enough, Windows 8 support states that the 'Pro' upgrade version of Windows 8 will upgrade Windows-XP, Vista and 7 ( which will allow some of us who still have our recovery DVD's to backup our files, then reinstall our original OEM system setups and then install Windows 8 'Pro' upgrade version (leaving all the Sony system support utilities including the optical drive eject button, intact).

 

On a separate note, check your 'PM' mailbox, I have some news which may be of interest to you.

 

Cheers!

Robert.

post #3567 of 3843
Hi Robert,

Thanks for the welcome! :-)

To be precise/pedantic Win 8 will upgrade from Win XP SP3. So if you have Win XP SP2 you have to install SP3, not a big issue but something to be aware of. The install DVD wont even run if you have SP2.

Since we know what bits of Sony Utilities/drivers are required for the Blu-Ray drive eject button then either a clean install or an upgrade should be OK. I've done both (on other PCs). The upgrade doesn't necessarily carry absolutely every thing through, so it would be wise to have the Sony utilities and drive available even if you upgrade.

For the hell of it (and because I have Win 7 backups) when I get time I might give installing Win 8 on the XL302 a go, I'll try both methods.

The only thing that would make me seriously consider changing to Win 8 would be if MyMovies stopped support for Win 7. The lack of MYMovies support for WHS V1 has forced me to replace my WHS V1 server with a Windows 8 Pro based server.

By the way have you seen the price Windows 8 Pro UPGRADE has jumped to? From the reasonable pre 31st Jan 2013 offer of £25, to almost £200 from the MSoft store. Resellers seem to have settled around the £100 mark. Amazon currently seem to have it on offer at about £45, though this may only be whilst pre-Feb stocks last I'm guessing. Worth noting that Win 8 Upgrade now comes in 2 flavours; Win 8 (about £110) and Win 8 Pro (about £200). To add Media Centre to Win 8 costs about £50(?) to add it to Win 8 Pro costs £6.99.

Cheers, Jim
post #3568 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by JST200 View Post

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the welcome! :-)
Hi Jim. Thanks also for replying to my 'PM' and I'll get back to you on that item by e-mail message, a bit later.
To be precise/pedantic Win 8 will upgrade from Win XP SP3. So if you have Win XP SP2 you have to install SP3, not a big issue but something to be aware of. The install DVD wont even run if you have SP2. Since we know what bits of Sony Utilities/drivers are required for the Blu-Ray drive eject button then either a clean install or an upgrade should be OK. I've done both (on other PCs). The upgrade doesn't necessarily carry absolutely every thing through, so it would be wise to have the Sony utilities and drive available even if you upgrade. For the hell of it (and because I have Win 7 backups) when I get time I might give installing Win 8 on the XL302 a go, I'll try both methods.
Great info. I am in the process of doing an installation of Windows 8 Pro 'Upgrade' for my VGX-XL2A.  I began with a fresh HDD and the original Windows XP-MCE Recovery DVD's, service pack CD's, Sony OEM Vista Home Premium, service pack CD's, Windows 7 Ultimate 'Upgrade installation' and Win7 SP1.  That is  the current status, and everything works (including the eject button) and all of the original (updated) Sony applications and utilities are retained and all are working, and all of the additional 3rd-party applications such as Roxio, WinDVD, etc. are retained and functional (with the exception of a couple of Adobe applications ...which are upgradeable if I want to pay for the upgrades ... which I do not biggrin.gif HA!)
My experiment was to see if I could do the full, sequential series of 'upgrades' of the OS and applications and utilities, and have close to the functioning original system. And it does work.
I will now 'image' (Clone) the current status to backup before proceeding with the Windows 8 Pro 'Upgrade', and if that is equally successful in retaining most or all of the original stuff I will do a major drive cleanup of all the extraneous junk files and installation files from all the upgrades and updates ...and then 'Clone' the final result to a SATA2 SSD. It's been time consuming (almost an entire weekend) but fun, too. It helped that my DSL-Internet service was out for almost 18 hours, because that kept me from getting side-tracked.
AND ... I'll be able to switch back to the Windows 7 (fully image backed-up HDD) if the learning curve for Windows 8 rises above my pain threshhold, and I need a break!  rolleyes.gif

The only thing that would make me seriously consider changing to Win 8 would be if MyMovies stopped support for Win 7. The lack of MYMovies support for WHS V1 has forced me to replace my WHS V1 server with a Windows 8 Pro based server.

By the way have you seen the price Windows 8 Pro UPGRADE has jumped to? From the reasonable pre 31st Jan 2013 offer of £25, to almost £200 from the MSoft store. Resellers seem to have settled around the £100 mark. Amazon currently seem to have it on offer at about £45, though this may only be whilst pre-Feb stocks last I'm guessing. Worth noting that Win 8 Upgrade now comes in 2 flavours; Win 8 (about £110) and Win 8 Pro (about £200). To add Media Centre to Win 8 costs about £50(?) to add it to Win 8 Pro costs £6.99.

Cheers, Jim
Yes, I expected Microsoft to offer another big promo deal after the first one expired Jan 31. But they did exactly what they said they would do. Since when did a mega-corporation actually do what they said they were going to do? What's up with that!!!  confused.gif  I suppose this confirms what I have been reading, that Windows 8 is proving to be a "big hit" with users after they have transitioned (which surprises the heck out of me, after playing with it for just a few, frustrating hours). I do want to transition, however, because time marches forward, and it's either keep current with Windows, switch to Apple (or say goodbye to the Robber Barons and go with 'Ubuntu' and 'XBMC').
I was fortunate to grab my copy of Windows 8 Pro 'Upgrade' ( full retail packaged with both 32-bit & 64-bit installation DVD's ) for just $29.99 (USD) on that 1-day promotion by Newegg.com and TigerDirect.com.  And I scored several of the "free" Media Center activation/registration keys, so I should be good to go.  (If I really hate Windows 8 on the XL2A, I'll use it on the new HTPC I'm building).

 

Cheers!

Robert.

 

PS. Speaking of Windows 8, here's the link for a very useful website for articles about the 'How-To's and workarounds for transitioning to windows 8.

http://www.howtogeek.com/?s=windows+8

post #3569 of 3843
Asus p5bw-mb, that was installed in VGX-XL302 and maybe other XL3 series, already support QX6800.
Because CPU ID 06F7 is present in basic firmware.

06F7 support Kentsfield kernel CPU's with B3 stepping only, that marked as SL9**.

G0 stepping (SLA**) not supported without CPU ID update (06FB).

Sorry for my bad english.
post #3570 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by kepocuhka View Post

Asus p5bw-mb, that was installed in VGX-XL302 and maybe other XL3 series, already support QX6800.
Because CPU ID 06F7 is present in basic firmware.

06F7 support Kentsfield kernel CPU's with B3 stepping only, that marked as SL9**.

G0 stepping (SLA**) not supported without CPU ID update (06FB).

Sorry for my bad english.

 

Hello kepocuhka. Welcome!

 

Your English is just fine, and you wouldn't want to even try to decipher our Russian!  redface.gif

 

Thanks for the processor support info. It's timely. Please check your messages in-box, I have sent you a 'PM' about a project.

 

Cheers!

Robert. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Home Theater Computers
AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Home Theater Computers › Sony VGX-XL3