Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

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Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby vetz » 2016-4-17 @ 14:51

So I've gotten myself one of these dual PCI-e and AGP boards from Asrock (see offical page). It's a interesting board with Windows 98 to Windows 10 support, but let me go through my experiences with it so far. Hopefully some more members here can chime in with their experiences.

Image

CPU support:
The Intel Core 2 Duo E7600 is the fastest CPU you can install (3.06ghz) stock wise. It is also a very cool running CPU and it's very easy and cheap to get hold off. The board will boot with this CPU installed with any BIOS, but it will cause all kind of errors getting it booting on any floppy, USB or harddrive. Installing the latest unofficial BIOS from PCtreiber (see attached) is a must. From an OC perspective the Core 2 Extreme X6800 is the best, more on OC in the section below.

GPU support:
The board features both AGP and PCI-Express support. The AGP works with any 1.5V and 0.8V (4-8x) AGP card and I've had no problems with bridge based cards. There is a setting in the BIOS to set which type is the primary video, meaning you could in theory have three videocards installed at the same time, AGP, PCI-Express and PCI.

The PCI-Express support is a bit wanky, especially in the earlier BIOS'es. With the PCTreiber BIOS support have gotten a bit better, and even GTX480 works. I've tested the following PCI-Express cards with success:

-7950GT
-8800 Ultra
-GTX285
-GTX480
-X800
-HD3850
-HD4890

I've also tested dual GPU cards, the HD4870x2 and the GTX295, none works. So far it seems single GPU cards only.
The main problem with PCI-Express is that it is limited to 4x generation 1 speed, meaning newer cards do get bottlenecked with a quick CPU. By overclocking the PCI Express bus from 100mhz to 108mhz I increased the 3DMark 2006 score by around 1000points, from 12800 to 13800!

In Windows 10, there can be an issue installing drivers for a PCI-Express, but just run the following command and you're good to go:
Code: Select all
    Open the start menu and type cmd in the search box
    Right-click on cmd.exe and select Run as administrator
    In the command window, type bcdedit /set pciexpress forcedisable
    Reboot your computer


In any Windows version, if you have problems installing the PCI Express graphic card drivers (I had to do this with the GTX480), go to BIOS and change the following settings:
PCIE Downstream Pipeline to DISABLE (Auto is default)
PCIE VC1 Request Queue to DISABLE (Auto is default)

Memory support:
Supports both DDR and DDR2 memory (only one type at the time). I've had no problem using 2x2GB DDR2 memory with low timings in dual channel mode. Maximum addressable memory is 3.3GB due to chipset limitation! Other users report no performance difference between DDR and DDR2. Since the board have both DDR and DDR2 support, the BIOS memory section is quite difficult to figure out in my opinion.


Harddrive and I/O connections:
The board only features 2x 150mb/sec VIA SATA RAID connectors, which can be too few depending on your intended use. The main problem with the board is the location of the IDE connectors. If you have a large PCI-Express video card install you can't have anything in the IDE connectors, or else the video card won't fit! That means you either need to use AGP, a smaller card, install a PCI ATA-133 card or just use the SATA ports.
The VIA Hyperion Prodrivers is needed for Windows XP, but is included in Windows Vista and above

Overclocking
The board is a bad overclocker. I can only get the FSB from the standard 266 to 276! Other users are reporting the same and it's a miracle if you get above 290! Same goes with the PCI Express bus, anything above 110 creates problems. You can't control the CPU voltage and the DRAM voltage can't be specified. You can change the CPU ratio, but only downwards if the multiplier is locked. Here is why the X6800 CPU probably is the fastest CPU you can get as it allows the multiplier to be changed in both directions. This allows greater overclocks than 3.2ghz (which is the maximum I can get through FSB with the E7600).

OS support
The board supports almost all Windows versions that exist! It officially supports Windows 98, and I had no problem running Windows 10 64-bit on it! So this makes for a great retro system that can cover almost all Windows games that have been released, even up to the modern ones! For WIndows 98 you could have a Voodoo 5 PCI and with swapping the monitor cable (or using a VGA switch) for great Glide experiences, and then on a reboot enjoy gaming in Windows 10 with a GTX480 (or even faster!)

Other versions
ASRock made several versions of this board based on the VIA VT880 Pro/Ultra chipset called Core4Dual. These boards also support Quad core's (not 45nm), but at a cost of -5% FSB. The Core4Dual SATA2 also comes with a 300mb/sec SATA controller, but this controller does not have Windows 98 driver support. In my personal opinion, running quad's is not worth it because of the FSB hit and few of the games supporting quad cores.
Attachments
asrock_775dual-vsta_bios_3.19a_pctreiber.net_.zip
Asrock 775 Dual VSTA BIOS 3.19a
(359.82 KiB) Downloaded 80 times
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby emosun » 2016-4-17 @ 15:54

I owned the 4-core dual sata 2 , and it was SUCH a hunk of junk.

So many bios updates , and none of them fixed the problems the board had. One day the board just up and died. No post , nothing.

These were made back when asrock made diablotek grade hardware. Asrock wasn't always an ok board maker.
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby vetz » 2016-4-17 @ 16:05

emosun wrote:I owned the 4-core dual sata 2 , and it was SUCH a hunk of junk.

So many bios updates , and none of them fixed the problems the board had. One day the board just up and died. No post , nothing.

These were made back when asrock made diablotek grade hardware. Asrock wasn't always an ok board maker.

They were cheap boards back in the days, targeted towards budget users, so yes, you won't get the complete package as a high end ASUS board. Though what makes this board unique is the ability to use so much different hardware and be compatible with loads of games across multiple Windows versions. I can't think of any other board coming close.

A quick AGP vs PCI-E benchmark:
E7600 @ 3176mhz
2x2GB DDR2 @ CAS 4-4-4 1T

HD3850 PCI-E: 10802 3dmark 06, 33192 3dmark 03
HD3850 AGP: 9645 3dmark 06, 31789 3dmark 03
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby emosun » 2016-4-17 @ 16:29

Well other than the novelty of both an agp and pci-e slot. it's hardware compatibility is pretty much the same as other 775 boards. I mean my old q6600 machine will run anything from 98 to 10 and that just uses a more standard gigabyte board.

The biggest issues with these boards is you can't actually use a pci-e and agp gpu at the same time. Now that would be really interesting if you could. But the VIA chipset lets it's down big time with available configurations.
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby matze79 » 2016-4-17 @ 16:31

How did you get 4Gb running ? i had the same Board and throw it out because i couldnt get more then 2gb Ram..
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby vetz » 2016-4-17 @ 16:38

matze79 wrote:How did you get 4Gb running ? i had the same Board and throw it out because i couldnt get more then 2gb Ram..

The 3.19a BIOS along with some OCZ memory. Didn't do anything special.
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby Skyscraper » 2016-4-17 @ 16:38

emosun wrote:Well other than the novelty of both an agp and pci-e slot. it's hardware compatibility is pretty much the same as other 775 boards. I mean my old q6600 machine will run anything from 98 to 10 and that just uses a more standard gigabyte board.

The biggest issues with these boards is you can't actually use a pci-e and agp gpu at the same time. Now that would be really interesting if you could. But the VIA chipset lets it's down big time with available configurations.


What chipset does your Q6600 machine run?

There are not many other Core 2 capable chipsets other than the VIA PT880Pro/Ultra with full Windows 9x support. Intel 865 is the only I can think of but that's an AGP and DDR1 only chipset and you are probably still stuck with ASRock when it comes to support for both the Q6600 and Windows 9x.
Main PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6ghz, Evga - SR-2, 48gb memory, Intel X25-M g2 SSD and a Nvidia GTX 780 Ti.
Retro PC #3: K6-2 450@500mhz, PC-Chips m577, 256mb sdram, AWE64 and a Voodoo Banshee.
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby F2bnp » 2016-4-17 @ 17:07

I have a love hate relationship with weird, Frankenstein-like, experimental motherboards from Asrock and the like :lol: . It's usually what gave them a bad reception, ASRock has deteriorated from that path since many years ago and as such is viewed much more favorably nowadays.
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby ratfink » 2016-4-17 @ 18:32

I have had a few of these types of boards:

- alivedual-esata2 was fine in xp but i eventually realised it was bottlenecking my phenom ii [can't recall the details... hyper transfer speed i think was the issue]. No other problems. this used pci-e cards and 4gb ram no problem other than giving relatively poor benchmarks.

-a 4core-sata2 and a 4core-vsta, one of which my son used for a few years without trouble [other than he killed gfx cards but that's entirely different]. And one of which i used with a pentium 640 for a few years for videotape transfer and processing, dosbox and world of warcraft. I used an agp card [fx5950 ultra], a couple of pci sounds cards and a firewire card. No issues as I recall. This would all have been with XP and 2000. No driver issues certainly.

Seems I tried windows 7 with a 4core board but I have no idea why as I was on better stuff for my main PC when I bought them, unless it was as a stopgap due to other hardware failing.

I did once try to install 98 but that was a right PITA for drivers, so I gave up.

Never had any reliability problems with any of them with 2000 or xp, nor with an older asrock a7s8x athlon board I ran for years as my main pc. The general heft and feel of the "dual" boards is/was much better than the cheap and flimsy feeling athlon board.

Only other thing to add: the 4core boards were limited to 2gb according to the asrock site. Slightly interesting if you can run with 4gb though [only slightly as 4gb isn't enough to do much with either :pppt:].
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby clueless1 » 2016-4-17 @ 19:21

I have the 4coreDual-vsta and it was my daily driver for years. I still have the board, but it's not in use. It overclocks much better with 200Mhz FSB cpus. They can typically get up to 266-270 (depending on the cpu). I flashed it with PCtrieber's unofficial bios about 5 yrs ago and run with 4GB (3.3GB). Pretty stable board when you find the right BIOS settings, but it underperforms clock-for-clock compared to most other 775 boards. CPUs I've used:
E4300
E2180 @ 2.7Ghz
Q6600 (board automatically underclocked it by about 5Mhz FSB)

Graphics cards I've used:
6800GS AGP
8500GT PCIe
8800GTX PCIe

I did measure about a 2% faster performance with DDR2 vs DDR. The memory timings are very picky. I can't remember now, but there is a particular BIOS setting that needs to be relaxed for stable performance.
The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby agent_x007 » 2016-4-17 @ 22:17

I own both 775Dual-VSTA, and 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0 boards.
Beta BIOS will "broke" Pentium 4 EE Gallatin support on former board.
Here's video that confirms "Gallatin" support on it : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdz-q2YErTI (kinda old, but it's still amusing :))

Few benchamarks with QX6850 (highest CPU 4CoreDual-SATA2 supports from 65nm, I heard it can work with Yorkfield, but it isn't stable with it - VRM section isn't good enough) :

Radeon 5770 1GB (highest performance that's still OK on PCI-e 1.0 x4) :
3DMark06 :
3DMark 06 mini.png

3DMark Vantage (P) :
3DMark Vantage P-Score mini.png

3DMark Vantage (X) :
3DMark Vantage X-Score mini.png


Radeon 5870 (ref.) - Overkill, and limited in lower detail level by PCI-e x4 :
3DMark Vantage (P) :
3DMark Vantage P-Score mini.png

3DMark Vantage (X) :
3DMark Vantage X-Score mini.png

CPU was overclocked with stock Intel cooler (standard height).
CL timing = "4" in all tests (CPU-z can't detect DDR2 memory installed for some bizzare reason).
Vdroop and Load Line Calibration does not exist on this board.
Vcore can drop to 1,136V with QX6850 I was using.
Good thing about this ?
Low Vcore = Low CPU temps :)

PS. This boards DOES NOT support Kepler GK110.
I checked both boards with GTX 780 Ti I own, and they will not POST (regardless of BIOS/CPU used).
It will support GT 440 GDDR5 with no additional PCI-e plug (checked, can upload screens if needed).
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby vetz » 2016-5-30 @ 14:49

Just tested the Radeon HD7970 and the Radeon R9 280X, none of them would post. Most likely GTX 580 is the fastest card that will POST with these boards.
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby Rhuwyn » 2016-5-30 @ 15:18

I wonder if the hack to get a Socket 771 Xeon running n a 775 board will work with this board.
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby Mamba » 2016-5-30 @ 15:34

Rhuwyn wrote:I wonder if the hack to get a Socket 771 Xeon running n a 775 board will work with this board.


Nope.
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby agent_x007 » 2016-5-30 @ 16:17

Scores for HIS HD3850 AGP IceQ3 card (not OC), with 4CoreDual-SATA2 :

3DMark 03 - 32211pkt : http://www.3dmark.com/3dm03/6527861
3DMark 05 - 17645pkt : http://www.3dmark.com/3dm05/5537373
3DMark 06 - 10734pkt : http://www.3dmark.com/3dm06/17882223

3DMark Vantage :
P4650 : http://www.3dmark.com/3dmv/5446542
X1574 : http://www.3dmark.com/3dmv/5447264
Last edited by agent_x007 on 2016-6-08 @ 20:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby Carlos S. M. » 2016-5-30 @ 18:11

One of the class PCs i used has an Asrock 4CoreDual-SATA2 with a Pentium D 925 and 2 GB RAM, videocard was a Geforce 7100 GS on the PCI-E x4 slot. It was a decent PC though
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby Imperious » 2016-6-07 @ 14:02

I had the board volt modded and also my HD3850 AGP. It gave up the ghost eventually, or only randomly started up. It had a weird issue
related to the onboard sound in COD4 only, in that it would throw you back to the desktop regularly, never fixed that but other games were fine.
Here's my 3dmark 06 result I got with it.
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3dmark06.JPG
Abit KT7-RAID,Athlon XP-M Barton@450-2400,512mb Sdram,Quadro FX3000,Voodoo1,Vortex 2 and SB16 CT2740,Win98
Lucky Star LS-486e,Intel 486dx2-66,64mb EDO,S3 Trio64V+,AWE64 value,Win95
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby agent_x007 » 2016-6-20 @ 21:40

I checked how SATA2 works on 4CoreDual-SATA2 (R2.0) with something better that HDD...
Results : LINK
In short, it tops around 250MB/s.
I used GoodRAM Iridium Pro SSD (SATA3), and RAID mode/driver in Windows XP SP3.
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby jordi » 2016-6-20 @ 21:51

sorry for the old thread revive i have with this motherboard Asrock 775Dual VSTA and i installed bios 3.19a
i use the ati hd5770 and it runs great and also an ssd that made the system really smooth
for processor an e7600 3.06ghz i have windows 10 but when i had win7 this was my rating
ram is 3.3gb not 4gb, also i heard you can installed a xeon 5410(with mod ofc) and it works as quad but it
wont be at 2.33ghz probably less that 2.0 due to 1333fsb of the cpu.
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Last edited by jordi on 2016-6-30 @ 16:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Asrock 775Dual VSTA & Core4Dual thread

Postby feipoa » 2016-6-20 @ 22:45

Were these ASRock boards really a hunk of junk? I am using an ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 as my main computer now. The gaming performance benchmarks from Anandtech were pretty good. Anandtech reviews seemed pretty decent too. It uses the ULi chipset and also has AGP + PCI-E. It has this funny AGP-like AM2 CPU slot, but I use a standard socket 939 Opteron 180. I had to recap the motherboard recently as all the caps were starting to bulge one by one.
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