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Matrox Parhelia 128Mb 8x AGP in ASUS P4P800-E Deluxe, stuck and all out of options!

Posted on 2005-03-05
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have just built the following system:

400W PSU
ASUS P4P800-E deluxe
P4 Prescott 3.2Ghz HT
512 DDR400
1x 40Gb HD 1st IDE Master
1x DVDRW combo 2nd IDE Master

Everything seems to be fine when running with an ATI radeon 9100 128MB 4x AGP installed.

However, the intention is to put my 4 week old,  triple head Matrox Parhelia 128MB 8x AGP card,  in this system.

At the moment, this does not work at all.

What happens is, I turn on my system and get a full screen of one colour (either pale green or pale red) for about 10 seconds, then the monitor switches off and then on again after a further 5 to 10 seconds.  Windows continues to load, I can see the IDE LED working but I just have a black screen.

On the Matrox Forum (which infuriatingly is not available even for reference over the weekend) I researched this problem.  According to a number of threads, there is a known issue with Matrox P series cards on the ASUS 'P4****' series motherboards.  They say that problems can arrise because of the ASUS logo screen which appears before the usual BIOS loading information and requires a 101h graphics mode configuration.  They provide a number of BIOS fixes for the Matrox Card.

I should say that I currently have no problems running my Matrox Parhelia in my Optronix OP-A26P5-ML8 motherboard with a Celeron 2.4Ghz processor.

I put the Matrox card in my Optronix board and ran the following fixes:

1. Upgraded Matrox BIOS to latest.
2. Ran VBE graphics Matrox BIOS fix
3. Ran ASUS startup logo Matrox BIOS fix
4. Ran startup logo colour fix for Matrox BIOS.

I then checked my ASUS board for the latest BIOS, this was v1004.001 which was the version installed on my system but I decided it would do no harm to flash it anyway.

Following this I again tried the Matrox card in the ASUS board.  No change!

The technicians on the Matrox Forum seem to be saying (from my reading of other's posts) that there should be no problems running the Parhelia card in the ASUS board, it is designed for 0.8v or 1.5v AGP slots, (although this information is somewhat ellusive).

Since the Matrox Card works fine in another system and the ASUS board has no issues when running with a different graphics card, I have no way at all of knowing which product is at fault!

Should I get the Matrox Card RMA'd, could I have misconfigured something when building the ASUS system?

I'm really at a loss.

pnmack79


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Question by:pnmack79
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24 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:ildave1
ID: 13466950
Pnmack79,

Odd situation here...  

So, your card works in another system, but not this system.  But, another graphics card works with this system?

What if, you tried to run this sytem bare?  IE: Unplug every external device that you have, unplug your CD-Roms, Take out any pci card that you dont absolutly need, etc... Then try it... If it still happends, if you can, swap things until you can spot the problem.

The Only think I can think of is that this specific card could possibly conflicting with other hardware.

If all else fails, doing an RMA is a no-loss effort on your part.  But, I dont quite see why it works in one PC(meaning the card is fine) but not the Other(expecially if you've removed/updated the matrox drivers).

Regards,
David McGraw
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Author Comment

by:pnmack79
ID: 13467141
David,

Thanks very much for the suggestion, I will try it.

The system is pretty sparse at the moment as it is, I only have the one IDE hard drive on the primary channel and the IDE DVDRW on the secondary channel.  When you say "swap things" what do you mean?

Also, this has to be specific to the motherboard, since I have built the new system from components that were running together on my previous motherboard.  

The original system was the Optronix motherboard indicated above with the 3.2Ghz CPU and 2 IDE hard disks a PCI SATA expansion and a SATA disk.  The Matrox worked fine in this situation to, the only issues I had were resolved by updating the Parhelia BIOS.  Therefore the only new component is the sony DVDRW.  

The only thing left to swap about then would be motherboard jumper settings and case connections to the motherboard, which I will double check, is this what you mean?

Thanks again

Paul
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:mwnnj
ID: 13481666
i don't know if there is sense of doing this but why don't you try to disable the Hyper Threating using the working card ,check also what is the AGP Aperture size,thou the two cards have the same ram,,if you can't enter the BIOS there is a problem of initializing the card ;check out with the motherboard manual(asus) :
how to config the shadowing issues,
what is the setting for AGP 8x,,,i mean just to set it on auto or there are any kind of specific additional settings,,,
Is there a setting to re-initialize every time on reboot all interfaces such as AGP and PCI,,,

cu
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Author Comment

by:pnmack79
ID: 13481736
Hi

Thanks for the response mwnnj

I haven't tried ildave1's suggestion yet, however, I have made a little progress.

I put an old cirrus logic laguna pci card in the system and selected PCI/AGP priority in bios.  This has enabled me to boot into windows, where, I have apparently installed the matrox drivers successfully, i.e. windows recognises the matrox card.  

In display properties (this is WinXP pro) I have monitors 1, 2 and 3.  1 is the primary display running off the Cirrus card, 2 and 3 are the default 2 channels of the Matrox Parhelia.  When clicking "extend my windows desktop onto this screen" and the "apply" or when trying to make either 2 or 3 primary display, the system freezes completely, the mouse pointer disapears and I have to restart manually.

Does this shed any light?






0
 

Author Comment

by:pnmack79
ID: 13481812
p.s. the settings applicable to the AGP slot in bios are:

make priority AGP/PCI or PCI/AGP
set AGP aperture 64Mb to 256Mb
"Spread Spectrum" enable/disable

there are also overclocking options where the AGP/PCI frequency can be set 66/72/80 but I was born in the 70's (just) and I remember my dad's 286 so I'm scared of overclocking! ; )

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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:mwnnj
ID: 13482287
right, i dislike overclocking too,i'm not a gamer ,i like stable and smootworking systems,,,
the priority must be set to AGP prior to pci
AGP aperture size can be set to 128MB if not stable working try with 64MB
for the "spread Spectrum " issue please read the following lin,i think you dislike the overcolcking and kitschy things too:
http://www.rojakpot.com/default.aspx?location=8&var1=0&var2=114

what about the hyper-threating issue?


later
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:mwnnj
ID: 13482310
sorry i misread your first reply,so you mean if you enable PCI to AGP the pc boots up with the parhelia and if you choose the AGP/PCI option it freeses at the very boot .
did i understand you right?
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Expert Comment

by:mwnnj
ID: 13482332
sorry i'm tired,
that's just right for the pci laguna card - you must choose the pci to agp priority ,that's the right setting,,
please try AGP to PCI for the Matrox Parhelia 128MB 8x AGP card.
and i think, i must set myself straight in mode : "away from the keyboard",,,,

cu
0
 

Author Comment

by:pnmack79
ID: 13482843
Thanks mwnnj,

lol, you sound like you've had a hard day, and yet you still want to help me?  If it was me I'd be running a warm bath, but no, give that man a medal!

For the record.

I have three CRT monitors here, one pluged into the PCI card, one into the Parhelia, the third one I aint fussin' with.

In PCI/AGP, I can boot up with monitor 1 and the PCI card and get to windows, whereupon I can look in device manager and find the matrox parhelia card, allegedly, "this device is working properly....", (yeah right windoze, like whatever you say!) or again in display properties I can see the two greyed out screens (just itching to get enabled!).  With monitor 2 plugged into "out A" from the Parhelia, monitor 2 switches out of standby during the boot process but come windows, just shows a bouncing "no connection"l.  Trying to enable monitor 2 is a big bad crashnificent no no.

In AGP/PCI with the same connections, around the BIOS boot stage I get a full screen of pale colour on the Parhelia, nothing on the PCI card, then about 30 seconds later a black screen, end of story.  I have to remove the AGP card to get back to BIOS setup.

I've actually got a different PCI card in now a Matrox Mystique from yesteryear, I have a niffty second hand electrical store round the corner from me that sells all these things for £5 (yup I'm a brit), bargain test components!

Thanks for the "spread spectrum" link, I shall read that next.

Paul
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:mwnnj
ID: 13487263
hi paul and thanks for the very feedback!
see the problem is much more complicated ,cuz you are using two GPUs ,,,
let's separate the problems,,,
remove the cirrus logic laguna pci card and try to run the machine only with the parhelia.Why?
i want that you proove ,how will your pc act onlywith the agp-parhelia card ,will you observe the same problems with both of the monitors and the booting issue or it will run smooth,,,
i want that you make the BIOS settings as above for the parhelia ,and that the parhelia is the only GPU on your system,then try to boot and see if you have something on both of the attached displays to the parhelia,,then post your results,thus you can see if the parhelia one GPU is good and stable working-i mean ,that you make not only one restart with the parhelia standalone GPU but to test the system a whole day or more to be sure if that works,that you make surely your BIOS settings and all,,,
then comes the second problem:how to assemble the two GPUs ,so that they can work parallel,,,
there are 4 points i have as first in mind:
1. AGP and PCI busses initialisation/resetting on reboot(warm restart/cold boot)
2. AGP to PCI priority :which is the best for your system
3. IRQ sharing of both GPUs
4. the right PCI slot for your PCI GPU- please do not put the PCI card on the 1. PCI slot ,this is a standart AGP/PCI share slot,if this is your combination ,it will not work in most of the cases,please choose another PCI slot >= 2!

please make first the tests with the parhelia,there's no need to bump dull the topic.
regarding to the IRQ sharing i have as first this procedure in mind:
after the parhelia's tests ,hoping everything will be a OK, you shut down the system ,take the AGP parhelia out and put the PCI GPU on an appropriate pci slot ,for the best testings take all other pci adapters out of your system such as:PCI sound card,PCI NIC and probably PCI USB adapter/HUB,,,do you have any PCI IDE/SCSI controller ?so you have all your pci slots free and you can go furhur with finding the right combination for to put the two GPUs working together,,,install the pci GPU and start the system ,go in BIOS and choose a special and only IRQ for the PCI GPU such as IRQ 9 or IRQ 7 or IRQ 5(see what is free at your system at the moment-before testing at all,there must be found a compromise),save the BIOS changes and shut down ,,,then install the AGP GPU - parhelia one,it is standart for most BIOS versions to choose the IRQ 11 or even IRQ 10 for the AGP GPUs and this is also a problem for me ,cuz it's an automatic BIOS decision,i think if both cards share the same IRQ ,it will bekome a mess at your system ,so please choose different IRQs for the different GPUs,,,
i also read you have found another PCI GPU ,then make the tests also with the new one ,it's a heavy work ,but you want to succeed in this trouble situation,don't you?

Have a nice time and keep the topic updated:post your results and ask for details.

later
0
 

Author Comment

by:pnmack79
ID: 13488203
Thanks mwnnj

Ok I only arrived at the decision to put the pci card in after running the Parhelia alone in the AGP slot.  Since the parhelia did not work at all that way but the system continued to load I wanted to see whether windows recognised the Parhelia at all, which it does.

However, at present the pci card is in slot 1 so I will move it to say 3 or 4 and test again.

Last night I moved a jumper on the motherboard to enable SMbus 2.0 (which is backward compatible) but this has not changed anything.

There is no difference using the other pci card at present.  I will test some more and see what I get.

Watch this space....
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Expert Comment

by:mwnnj
ID: 13489483
for SMbus you can find a reference at this link:
http://www.smbus.org/specs/

i hadn't understood you quite well:you mean ,if you put the parhelia as stand alone GPU on AGP port then you can't run the machine?

ok,i'm waiting for your reply.

later
0
 

Author Comment

by:pnmack79
ID: 13492360
Update:

First off I have been all over the motherboard and checked every connection.

Secodly, I tried David's suggestion, stripped the system bare down to just CPU, Memory and AGP card.  No difference I'm afraid.

Third I put the PCI card back in on slot 3.  Leaving Parhelia in AGP slot, I booted to windows.  In device manager I checked the resources tabs of each graphics card.  Parhelia is assigned to IRQ16 and the PCI card to IRQ23.

System still crashes if I try enabling a monitor on the Parhelia.

And to answer your question mwnnj, with the Parhelia as the only GPU in the system, no I can't see any useful information at all.  The only indication I have of what is happening is that the hard disk LED on the front of the case flashes for the same kind of time that you'd expect it to take for windows to load normally.

Paul

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Expert Comment

by:mwnnj
ID: 13493336
Paul,is there a chance to test the parhelia on an another good working pc?
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Author Comment

by:pnmack79
ID: 13495783
Hi mwnnj,

Yes, as I stated in my initial post

"I should say that I currently have no problems running my Matrox Parhelia in my Optronix OP-A26P5-ML8 motherboard with a Celeron 2.4Ghz processor.

I put the Matrox card in my Optronix board and ran the following fixes:

1. Upgraded Matrox BIOS to latest.
2. Ran VBE graphics Matrox BIOS fix
3. Ran ASUS startup logo Matrox BIOS fix
4. Ran startup logo colour fix for Matrox BIOS."

Thanks

Paul
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:mwnnj
ID: 13497121
hi Paul ,please read this:
http://www.techsupportforum.com/computer/topic/7705-1.html

and especially the section:
BIOS Setup:

the Hyper-threating is diasabled on this board and it is goodworking with parhelia's GPU...

later!
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Author Comment

by:pnmack79
ID: 13512311
Hi mwnnj

I'm afraid to admit that I've given up.

I am in the unanticipated situation of having my faster CPU back in my Optronix mobo with the Parhelia on board and my Celeron 2.4Ghz in the ASUS mobo.

This is because both ASUS and Matrox tech support have told me that (ASUS) "it may be an instance of incompatibility" and (Matrox) "we have no records of anyone using that hardware combination".

I am going to look around to see if anyone anywhere can suggests a working mobo combination for the 8x Parhelia (there is lots of info on the AGP 4x version) and I could always upgrade the CPU in the ASUS board later on : )

I guess with the advent of pci-express and the newer socket 775 CPU's this is a silly time to be buying graphics cards and motherboards anyway.

Oh well


Thanks very much for helping me out.
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Expert Comment

by:mwnnj
ID: 13512433
No problem,it's your decision!
Have tried the BIOS settings as my last link thou,,,

also,you can ask for points refund at the community support:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/

Wish you all the best!Nice time!
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Expert Comment

by:mwnnj
ID: 13526061
Please,
post thou your last results,no matter if you like to abandon the question!
keep the topic updated,,,

cu
0
 

Author Comment

by:pnmack79
ID: 13529732
Hi mwnnj,

Yes sorry I should have responded to your suggestion.

I did try disabling hyper threading but it didn't make any difference I'm afraid.  The thread you pointed me to was for the P4C series which runs the Intel 875 chipset whilst my board is P4P series which is based on the Intel 865 chipset.  There are some other fundamental differences in his system and mine.

Thanks again for your help
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Expert Comment

by:mwnnj
ID: 13530249
Yes ,you're right- i didn't really watched out ;o)
No need to say :sorry !
I'm the one ,who must excuse,cuz i gave a hurried and incorrect suggestion.,,,
thou, if i find something interesting ,i'll make my posting(only  academical - if you try later to manage the problem)
Sorry, for couldn't post something helpful.
Nice time !

cu
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:mwnnj
ID: 13530614
pnmack79,

have you ever tried to adjust the display timings with monitor adjustments panel while booting on the ASUS P4P800-E Deluxe board:
i mean when your system boots ,there is a very refresh rate on every of the attached displays ,try if you wish to adjust it to 50Hz only to boot in windows desktop then if you succeed to load the windows GUI you will be able to reset the refrate rate to a better one:
refer not only to the supported matrox'es refresh rate specs but also for the monitor's ones,
it could be that the vertical refresh rate on both attached displays on the parhelia is too heavy for the GPU and the mobo's chipset and thus the graphic card will be blocked:something like out of frequency range,try to give the lowest one,if you have time and wish to do this,,,,


cu
0
 

Author Comment

by:pnmack79
ID: 13540564
Hi mwnnj

You know, I'm all burnt up!  I've got no more fight left in me and I'm to god darn lazy to take out my graphics card again.  I'm going to settle for "if it aint broke don't fix it" with the optronix mobo for the time being and not worry about putting it in the ASUS.

My current setup :O)

3 screens with centre screen on KVM switching between 3.2Ghz system running XP and 2.4Ghz system running dual boot Fedora Core 3 and XP.

Life's too short!
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Accepted Solution

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mwnnj earned 1500 total points
ID: 13542107
Enjoy your time and have fun ;)!


cu
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