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Opteron 165 not stable on DFI Expert


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I recently replaced my DFI SLI-DR Vanilla and 3500+ with a DFI SLI-DR Expert and an Opteron 165 (was just going to get the chip, but my friend agreed to buy the motherboard/chip/heatsink).

 

Anyway, I cannot for the life of me get this thing stable, even at stock clocks/voltages. At one point I managed to be OCCT/Prime stable for 8 hours at 250 * 9, but then the next morning it wasn't even stable at 200 * 9. I've never been able to make it through the "FireFly" test in 3DMark06, it always locks up within 20 seconds, no matter the speed/voltages. My temperatures range from 24C idle to just over 30C under dual core load. The RAM is perfectly stable, I'm able to memtest indefinately.

 

I'll just explain exactly how I have my system set up and maybe you guys can spot some critical flaw in my setup. I'm using the Expert BETA BIOS 3/30/2006, NF4 Expert NF4ED329.ZIP, with all settings at "Optimized Defaults" which I set after doing a full CMOS clear. I have the power plugged into all 24 pins of the 24-Pin ATX connector, I also have all 8 pins plugged into the 8-Pin +12V connector. I've tried it both with and without the extra 5V/12V connector. My video card is in the 16x slot nearest the CPU. My RAM is in slots 1 and 3. I have no DVD-Drives, only one case fan currently plugged in, and just the one hard drive.

 

Please let me know if you think of anything. This weekend I'm going to plug the 3500+ in to see if the problem is the board or the chip. But I'd really like to avoid that as that would mean re-installing a total of 3 chips/heatsinks.

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Are you noticing anything weird like high temps that you can attribute to the crashing.

 

And if you have another S 939 processor, then testing it first would make more sense. Since you know the CPU is good, this doesnt mean for 100% fact it will work without a hitch in your board but it should and if it does that means its the board (or more likely, the BIOS perhaps??)

 

Does anyone know of someone using his board and bios with an opteron 165??

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I would suspect the optimized defaults are not suitable for you. Given the instabilities, did you try the safe settings?

 

I would go into the DRAM settings and set the parameters such that it is tailored to your set up and not some generic "optimized" setup.

 

From what I hear, setting the following will gives the best stability:

Max Async Latency - 8.0 Nano Seconds

Read Preamble Time - 5.5 Nano Seconds

 

For the rest, look here:

DFI NF4 BIOS Memory Guide

 

and here

 

Optimized A64 Memory Timings Guide

 

 

 

Just my thoughts. Good luck.

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I'll try playing with the RAM, but as I said earlier, the RAM is perfectly stable in memtest upto 260 MHz.

 

Can anyone recommend me a good BIOS for the expert board? Preferably one that they've used successfully with a dual core Opteron? Is the 04/06 BIOS safe to use? I've seen lots of people having problems booting windows with that one...

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Some of the settings have an affect on the stability of the CPU/RAM interface, that is on-die memory controller, so you aren't just playing with the RAM when you tweak that stuff.

 

I was at a wall at 275 fsb on my board for a while and asked this community why this was so, since it should go to at least 350. I hadn't reached the max CPU o/c. I made sure I never went over my max memory O/C and had no errors in memtest, yet the answer was still in the DRAM settings. I didn't think that would be it, but sure enough it was there. I had set everything to auto or left it at default thinking it should be stable. It wasn't. The solution was to manually set everything to suit my hardware using the two guides I posted for reference. Now the board is stable up to those extremely high FSB clocks that are advertised.

 

Sure it may not be the problem you are having, but since it solved my problem, I suggest to anyone o/c'ing to not leave the settings at auto and to not use a standard "optimized" or "safe" set, as these may not be the most stable settings for your hardware. It would be best to figure out the best settings for you :)

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Try some of the BIOS and DRAM settings that I have used with my DFI expert and OPTY 165 chip.

 

However I have not Flashed my BIOS to a newer version. Check my sig for screen shots.

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