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Thread: 4CoreDual-VSTA and Radeon 5770 - Compatible or not?




  1. #1
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    Default 4CoreDual-VSTA and Radeon 5770 - Compatible or not?

    Well, what the title of the thread says: are a 4CoreDual-VSTA motherboard and a Radeon 5770 compatible wif each other?

    The VGA Compatibility Chart on the ASRock site lists nothing later than ATI Radeon HD 3870 as supported. But I am wondering if the reason for that is simply that they are simply not bothering to test new cards and update the chart. (Not that I blame them, really.)

    (I also notice that the list of supported cards is different under XP as opposed to Vista. I certainly don't understand that! I am going to be running XP SP3, not Vista, with only a slight chance of running Windows 7.)

    Thank you in advance for any help!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 4CoreDual-VSTA and Radeon 5770 - Compatible or not?

    I cannot give you a 100% guarantee on this, but from everything I have read so far, nearly all graphics cards with a *true* PCI-E 1.1 compatability mode in their bios seem to work just fine with any of the "Dual" series socket 775 motherboards, as long as you set the PCIE Downstream Pipeline and PCIE VC1 Request Queue to Disabled in your BIOS before installing the card. Note that I don't even see the latter setting in the PDF manual for my 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0, but the former seems to apply across the board (no pun intended) for all PT880 motherboards bearing the "Dual" moniker. At least one user has reported that the settings could also be retuned to "enabled" for select ATi cards without issues, as well.

    This is reportedly because the PCI-E graphics slot on these boards is, electrically, a PCI-E 1.1 standard 16x graphics slot running at 4x speed, but some newer cards may have BIOSes programmed exclusively for 2.0 compatabilty. Many cards with "standard" bioses from ATi, in particular, seem to have no problems with switching modes, whereas some models of the nvidia 8x00 series were notoriously hit-and-miss for 1.1 mode (depending on the specific designation of the chip used it could either work without a special bios or only work with one), and said issue seems to have been corrected in many latter (i.e. several 9x00 and most recently, the GTX 460) cards - again with the caveat that it could depend on the manufacturer's bios implementation for non-reference designs.

    I am not sure about the protocol on this site regarding posting links to outside forums, so if you would like to see a related thread on tested/compatible gpus, you can send me a PM for the URL (unless I have them disabled without knowing it, lol).

    In any case, I would advise you to be sure to check the specifications of the particular brand of card you have in mind, as well as user reports where applicable, for more specific information on PCI-E 1.1 compatability before you take the plunge on any untested GPU, and good luck! :)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 4CoreDual-VSTA and Radeon 5770 - Compatible or not?

    Thank you for the detailed reply; I greatly appreciate that you took the time to write it!


    I think that I might be better off replacing the motherboard.
    When I bought this board, I kept it as a backup, and when my main computer finally died, I bought an e6600 to put it it, along with the Corsair Twin-X PC3200 DDR and AGP video card from the old machine. But recently I swapped out the 1gb of Twin-X and replaced it with 2gbs of Mushkin DDR2; if I upgrade to a PCI-e video card, there is no longer any reason to use a dual motherboard; I can upgrade to a more modern board, which will enable me to both overclock my e6600, and to use my Event Layla 3G soundcard, which is incompatible with the SiS chipset used in these dual boards. (I am considering a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3L; although not exactly plentiful, they are available, and seem to have outstanding overclock abilities.)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 4CoreDual-VSTA and Radeon 5770 - Compatible or not?

    Hi again,

    The board you mentioned was the 4CoreDual-VSTA, which as far as I can tell, doesn't actually have any SiS chips involved. Rather, it uses the VIA PT880 Pro northbridge (as do the 775Dual-VSTA, the 4CoreDual-SATA2, etc.) a VIA southbridge, and I thought it had Realtek sound. ASRock's product page (ASRock > Products > 4CoreDual-VSTA) doesn't seem to contradict my initial impressions, but I may be mistaken - especially if the problems with your sound card are something you're mentioning from personal experience. :P Then again, I didn't read that board's manual or data sheets, either...

    As for buying a new motherboard entirely, you're almost exactly right that there is almost "no reason" not to change boards once you buy a PCIE video card. That is, unless you like the idea of using both your AGP card and your PCIE card to drive multiple displays. Like if you bought a PCIE card with only DVI and HDMI out, but wanted to watch movies on a TV which only supported composite signals - which your AGP card just might happen to have. Again, maybe there's some HDMI to composite adapter out there that I haven't yet seen, but being able to use what you've already got instead of looking up adatpers sometimes makes life simpler, heh. :P

    I'm actually in a similar position of wanting to change motherboards once I get a PCIE card (from a 4CoreDual-SATA2, which I've had for less than a month), but not for overclocking, but rather to get my CPU to actually run at the proper speed! I'm using a Q9550 which is "supported" on the product page, but runs at only 80% of its stock clock speed. :( Needless to say, I've been doing my homework on 775 boards of late, haha...

    The GA-EP45-UD3L was one that I initially looked at, but quickly rejected. It uses the P45 chipset which differs from the P43 primarily in that it offers support for crossfire for ATi video cards, and yet that particular board doesn't possess a secondary PCIE graphics slot. There are, however, quite a few nice-looking boards out there that do. Ultimately, those boards tend to cost at least $5-10 more, and in some cases, that gap seems to get even larger - but typically on boards which also present many other "premium" features.

    If you think you may wish to consider an nvidia graphics card instead (for example, if the brand new GTS 450 gets a street price or new drivers that make it more attractive than a Radeon HD 5770, or you find room in the budget for the stellar GTX 460), there are a number of LGA-775 nforce boards out there supporting SLI. One interesting solution is ASRock's N7AD-SLI (ASRock > Products > N7AD-SLI) which is fully certified for SLI by nvidia, but also offers crossfire support for select ATi models. Your mileage may vary with cards not on that list, but for SLI, you should "theoretically" be good to go with just about any nvidia card that supports it. The major gripe with this board is that it is *extremely* difficult to locate at the present time - I've seen maybe 1-2 on ebay, if that, and Newegg lists it as out of stock and "deactivated."

    If you're wondering why I seem to be ramming the concept of crossfire or SLI support down your throat, it's because many newer titles seem to be very graphics card limited - the days of CPU-limited games seems to be all but gone as long as you aren't running, say, a Pentium 4 - and having the option there to upgrade whichever video card you choose down the line by slapping in another same card (if you have the power supply and ventilation for it) rather than buying another new high-end card (which might consume just as much power and generate just as much heat as running the two lesser cards, anyway) seems worth $5-10, doesn't it?

    Another thing to keep in mind is that even if you do get the "next great thing" in single card solutions, you can keep that older GPU and use it as a dedicated number cruncher. DirectX 11 cards (Radeon HD 5xxx, nvidia GTX/GTS 4xx) support programmable functionality through DirectX 11, and PhysX-capable cards (nvidia 2xx or newer) are also supported by several titles (with promises of many more to come). Thus even if you don't ever use two cards in a "true" multi-gpu rendering scenario, your system can still potentially see a perfomance boost by using the secondary PCIE graphics slot as a dedicated pipeline for other game data, further freeing up your CPU or enhancing the overall experience with the same CPU loading. Heck, you could even do something like buying a GTX 460 as your current rendering platform, with a GT 240 sitting there just doing physics, until you either dive into 460 SLI or upgrade your main rendering card from the 460 to a faster part, then you could shift the 460 into the physics role. I would sort of advise againt that for now, unless you had another future use in mind for the e.g. GT 240, like say, an HTPC setup.

    Keep in mind, I may also be rationalizing all of this to myself to justify spending even more money down the road. :)

    Good luck with whichever approach you take! Feel free to let me know how it goes.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 4CoreDual-VSTA and Radeon 5770 - Compatible or not?

    I don't have time to write a real reply right now, but I must tell you that my e6600 Conroe also ran "underclocked" at 2.3ghz instead of the rated 2.4ghz until I went to BIOS and set CPU Configuration->Overclock Mode to Async. This immediately gave me back my missing 100mhz!

    I will reply to the rest of your post in a day or so, but I wanted to tell you about the Async mode workaround for the "Underspeed Bug" as soon as possible. Let me know if it works please!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 4CoreDual-VSTA and Radeon 5770 - Compatible or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred_Fred View Post
    I don't have time to write a real reply right now, but I must tell you that my e6600 Conroe also ran "underclocked" at 2.3ghz instead of the rated 2.4ghz until I went to BIOS and set CPU Configuration->Overclock Mode to Async. This immediately gave me back my missing 100mhz!

    I will reply to the rest of your post in a day or so, but I wanted to tell you about the Async mode workaround for the "Underspeed Bug" as soon as possible. Let me know if it works please!
    On the particular board I'm using (the 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0), the BIOS options are a little bit different; while the specific values of the FSB, PCIE, and PCI/AGP speeds cannot all be independently adjusted, the two latter values can be set to either auto, default speeds (100 MHz for PCIE, and 33/66 for PCI/AGP), or "synch with FSB." Setting them both to fixed values while leaving the fsb on "auto" results in no change in the CPU speed.

    Lol, I actually tried it before to confirm the FSB wouldn't magically fix itself (it didn't), then tried to increase the FSB a bit, which caused my system to no longer even POST... >_< Thankfully the BIOS recognized the problem after about 5 reboots and reset everything to default values. :P Oddly enough, when I just tried changing everything back to fixed (albeit stock) values instead of the Autos that I've been running at for a while, the system restarted twice after saving and exiting from the bios, but then seemed to boot into windows a bit faster than usual... Thinking I might be crazy, I ran 3DMark 06 and PCMark 05 to compare to previous values I had saved. Turns out, I must be crazy - the values were pretty close to all prior results. Strangely, though, they *were* all just above the others - by like, 4 3D marks, lol...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 4CoreDual-VSTA and Radeon 5770 - Compatible or not?

    You know, I have been looking at this thread for weeks now and have not replied because I have not been able to make a decision about how to proceed in regard to computer, mobo, gfx card, sound card, etc.

    However, now that:
    1) An Asus EN9600GT/1gb has arrived as a warranty replacement for the 512mb version which the girlie RMA'ed a few weeks ago; and

    2) AMD (ne ATI) has released its mid-range 6870 and 6850 boards, equaling the performance of their high-end 5870 and 5850 boards respectively, for $100+ less; and

    3) I have really had it with not being able to use some of this sophisticated - and fairly expensive - music hardware that I have because of the extremely poor drivers for my Layla 3G which in addition to being extremely unreliable, only support Intel chipsets...

    I have decided what to do! I am going to start by getting a "GigaByte GA-EP45-UD3L Desktop Motherboard - Intel P45 Express Chipset" as they can be had for less than $100 on Amazon, and seem to be highly overclockable, which will enable me to get full use out of the e6600 I have. I will then put the 9600GT in it, along wif some overclockable ram - although I have not yet decided which brand to buy.
    I think that I will use water-cooling, not necessarily because I want to push the cpu to 5ghz, but because it will be quieter, and the heatsink will be much easier to clean when it gets dusty, as it will not be fastened to the cpu itself, but somewhere more accessible. (This place is extremely dusty and the ability to clean parts easily is a real concern.)

    When the new ATI high-end single-gpu parts scheduled for release in November come down in price to c.$330 or maybe $350, I will replace the 9600GT wif one of the Cayman based parts (which I believe will be denominated AMD6970/6950.)

    Personally, I would prefer to avoid a Crossfire or SLI solution; I just do not have real confidence in them. A single-card solution will ultimately cause less headaches than a dual-card solution. A dual-card solution would, I assume, require a somewhat heftier PSU. (The extra cost of a CF or SLI-capable mobo is negligible.)

    I was looking at 5770's for quite a long time, but even when they came down to $125, I just could not make a decision. Now, looking that the initial prices of the 6870 and 6850, I am glad that I didn't buy a 5770: it looks as though I can buy a card with 5870-class performance for less than the price of 2 x 5770. That is tremendous value!

    Oh, and you are quite right: the 4CoreDUAL-VSTA does use a VIA chipset, and not an SiS chipset. Sadly, my Layla 3G is still quite incompatible with the board! But that is actually because Echo Audio writes horrible drivers. I would strongly recommend that anyone considering purchasing an Echo Audio soundcard spend their money on something more reliable (i.e. anything else.)
    Last edited by Fred_Fred; 10-23-2010 at 01:17 AM.

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