VOGONS


First post, by PTherapist

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Can anybody recommend particular stable driver versions for both the nForce 2 chipset & ATI Radeon 9000 series in Windows XP?

I've tested 2 Radeon cards on a recent Socket A Athlon XP build (MSI K7N2 motherboard) - a 9200SE & 9600 and both crash in some games after a short while and occasionally in 3DMark, with the fault always seemingly pointing to the Radeon driver.

The Catalyst drivers I tried so far were:

3.7 (crashes back to desktop with an error dialogue after gaming for a short while, also 3DMark 2001 & 2003 sometimes fail - but not very often and 99% of the time they complete successfully)
6.2 (BSOD within minutes, 3DMark fails)

Also tried different nForce chipset drivers, but they made no difference, versions 3.13 & 5.10

I've checked other obvious things like bad PSU, bad RAM or overheating CPU. Everything checks out fine there. The motherboard also appears to be in general good condition, no failing capacitors etc.

For reference, I've only tested 3 games so far: Quake III Arena, FIFA 2004 & Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. Quake III was absolutely fine, whilst the other 2 crashed.

Reply 1 of 16, by _UV_

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As i remember most trouble free drivers for this generation of Radeons was something like 6.10-6.12, but i was on intel platform, so that's mostly in terms of visual glitches, missing or garbage textures, general ability to work with semi- and professional software. Q3 is OpenGL, others i assume D3D, so they probably use AGP texturing, play with AGP mode 2x-4x and aperture settings in range 32-128M, i suppose you have at least 512M RAM.

Reply 2 of 16, by nd22

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I use the following combination of software and drivers and never had any BSOD:
Athlon XP3200; Corsair 2*1gb; Abit AN7/NF7-S2G/NF7-S 2.0; Abit radeon 9600xt 256mb; SATA HDD; IDE DVD; 21.3 inch monitor with 1600*1200 resolution. nforce 5.10; catalyst 6.2 for Windows 2000 that installs just fine on XP; Windows XP SP3 POS2009 fully updated. Never had any crashes and the video card is in most games fully utilized according to MSI afterburner.

Reply 4 of 16, by nd22

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I never tried Omega drivers because the official drivers work just fine! Strongly recommend checking PSU first and make sure you have good brand name one with a strong 5V rail before starting further investigations!

Reply 5 of 16, by Standard Def Steve

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I've had a couple of R300/350 generation Radeons suffer from stability issues when driven at the full 8x AGP rate, no matter what chipset. I've tried them on NF2, NF3, and 865. The cards that were fully stable at 8x, however, would not overclock nearly as high at 8x.

Reducing the AGP speed to 4x resulted in 100% stability, plus much better overclocking potential. There's no real reduction in speed, as the R300/350 GPUs aren't really fast enough to take advantage of the extra bandwidth provided by AGP 8x. FWIW, my X800 and x1950 cards have been perfectly stable and very overclockable @ AGP 8x.

As for drivers, my personal favourites for R300 based cards are 4.12 (nice low CPU overhead), 5.6 (adds WMV-HD acceleration and still well-optimized for R300 cards), and 7.3 (slightly better performance and/or compatibility with newer games).

Ten Gigahertz
5 Groovy GHz: Ryzen 9 5900X | GTX 1080 Ti | 64GB DDR4-3600 | 2TB NVMe, 8TB HDD | Win 10
5 Troll GHz: AMD FX-8350 | Radeon R9 Fury | 16GB DDR3-1866 | 500GB SSD, 2TB HDD | Win 8.1

Reply 6 of 16, by The Serpent Rider

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I think you have general system stability problem. Nforce 2 has no issues with Radeon cards.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 7 of 16, by PTherapist

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Yeah I think you're right, this motherboard seems to have issues. I tried various BIOS settins, several driver combinations, 2 different Radeon cards, as well as switching to AGP 4x. Also switched CPUs, changed power supplies (including 1 with 30A on the 5V line) & also swapped out RAM. Nothing helped. So despite looking absolutely ok, I'm beginning to suspect the motherboard might be bad.

Reply 8 of 16, by fool

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I'm having exactly the same problem with my MSI K7N2 Delta-ILSR and 3200+ Barton.
I have so far tested Radeon X850 Pro, HD2600 Pro and three different RAM sticks (Corsair XMS3200, Kingston 400, Buffalo 400. 3DMark 2001 crashes in some of the game tests. If not total lock, then BSOD of 0x0000008E.
Just passed 3DMark with 100MHz FSB. With 200MHz something whines badly on the board, could not locate it. Capacitors look good but I think those will be replaced with new ones soon!

I also have (not so interesting) Abit NF7-S2G and Epox EP-8RDA3G which I'm going to test if similar issues occur.

Reply 9 of 16, by quicknick

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GA-7N400S + Barton 2600+, cannot test any Radeon card - crash & reset after a few seconds of 3DMark2k1SE Lobby scene. Haven't investigated further (I don't own many Radeon cards 😁 ) but plan to build a second testing platform, maybe Intel-based.

Reply 10 of 16, by PTherapist

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Hmm, that is very interesting. So there does appear to be issues with Radeon cards + some nForce 2 based motherboards at the very least, if not necessarily every motherboard with that chipset.

What OS & Service Pack combination were you both using? I had the issues with XP SP2, didn't really try a different OS.

I didn't update this topic since my last post, but the same motherboard I was struggling with is now working absolutely great with a GeForce FX 5700 AGP instead. There was some instability at first, but I'd been tweaking the BIOS trying to get the Radeon cards to work and once I'd set things properly I had absolutely no more issues with the FX. 3DMark scores also increased quite a bit with the GeForce FX installed!

I've since installed around 50 games on this PC with the GeForce FX and it has handled everything perfectly. Also the main Radeon card I was testing, I put into a P4/Intel 865G motherboard where it is working absolutely fine. So the card was certainly not faulty.

Very odd indeed.

Reply 11 of 16, by chrismeyer6

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Have you tried the Radeon card in another system? I would be surprised if the Radeon was flaky those cards ran hot and ATI didn't use great coolers and alot of those cards cooked to death sadly.

Reply 12 of 16, by DosFreak

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For my A7N8X I used

Nforce drivers v5.15
Audio Driver (v4.62) WHQL
Audio Utility (v4.51)
PreNRM Ethernet Driver (v4.36) WHQL
NRM Ethernet Driver (v50.11) WHQL
GART Driver (v4.36) WHQL
Memory Controller Driver (v3.38) WHQL
SMBus Driver (v4.67) WHQL
Sata/Pata IDE Driver (v5.21) WHQL
Sata/Pata RAID Driver (v5.21) WHQL
RAIDTOOL Application (v6.63)
Installer (v4.46)

with a Radeon HD 4670 AGP
or
9700 w/driver 8/15/2002, 6.13.10.6166

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 13 of 16, by fool

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Replaced MSI K7N2 with ABIT NF7-S2G. At the same time I inspected Barton core under microscope and yes, there is a tiny crack/pit what might cause some issues.
So I just hooked another (unborken) 3200+ Barton and X850Pro on ABIT and powered up. Luckily Windows XP was fine with the replacement and I got it tested quite quickly. There was still issues with Catalyst v10.2 causing 3DMark2001 to crash on game 4 or advanced pixel shader tests, every time. Next I upgraded XP SP2 to SP3 and downgraded catalyst to 6.2 -> 3DMark has ran just fine afterwards.

It seems like there was issues with this current MSI K7N2 and/or cracked Barton, as well as Catalyst 10.2. Version 6.2 seems to be very popular and for a reason, it works!

ABIT NF7-S2G is much better than I expected. It does not allow to change multiplier, but that doesn't matter with 3200+. SATA works without RAID drivers and additional USB header is a good thing. Board has even better design than K7N2 for my taste.

Reply 14 of 16, by chrismeyer6

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Abit made great motherboards I wish they were still around today. I've had my Abit kt7a-raid for many many years and that system is still rock solid and my son gets a ton of use out of it.

Reply 15 of 16, by matze79

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Here my nforce 2 system

i have tight power budget, this is shuttle FN41G, 200W PSU
So a lowend Radeon HD Series was chosen.
And i changed CPU for Athlon Mobile, it runs 1,9Ghz @ 1.4 Volts
A OCZ Vertex 3 on a SATA2IDE Converter Module with Micron Chip as Disk.

Attachments

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 16 of 16, by PTherapist

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A HD 3450 on an nForce 2 board, that's interesting. I do have a couple of AGP HD3450 cards myself, might be fun to play around with if I find the time.

Years ago I tried to get a HD 2600 working on a "Gigabyte GA-7N400 L" motherboard. It wouldn't work properly and I even tried some kind of BIOS APIC patch, which stopped it from crashing Windows but still wouldn't initialize the drivers properly. In saying that though, in light of that motherboard now being plagued with bad capacitors, it was probably just bad caps stopping that particular card from working.