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NF4 SLi-DR won't work with AMD64 3800+

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The MBD that you see in my specs will not work with an AMD 64 3800+ rev.E (Venice core). The sequence of events so far is as follows:


After installing the board and the 3800+, I can go into the BIOS without a problem. After ensuring the floppy is first boot device and the HDD second, I insert the BIOS floppy created using the executable I downloaded from DFI's site, namely NF4LD310.exe, and then reboot the machine to flash the BIOS so that the board will recognize the 3800+ rev. E in accordance with instructions on DFI's site.


When the flash procedure commences, I'm presented with a grey field where I can change the name of the file from NF4LD310.bin to something else if I want to (and which I chose to ignore). Within about 10 secs, the flash procedure commences and messages appearing at the bottom of the screen warn me not to reset or power off the machine. The white graphic countdown subsequently completes and a message appears advising me that the flash procedure was successful and to remove the floppy. I then do a CTRL+ALT+DEL to reboot. What happens next is that all three diags on the board light up red indicating that the board is not recognizing the CPU and the monitor powers itself off after a few seconds. The PC remains running and I'm forced to power off since I can't see anything on the screen. I tried clearing CMOS at this point, but to no avail.

When I restart both monitor and PC (in that order) a message appears on screen that states: "No signal check", all three diags light up red once again and the monitor eventually powers itself off again. Clearing CMOS again doesn't seem to help either.


Now here's the strange part. If I remove the 3800+ and insert an old 3000+, I can boot up, no problem. But there is just no way that the 3800+ will work in this machine with the latest BIOS installed.


This is the second board of exactly the same type, second 3800+ rev.E CPU I've bought and I've also tried two differerent sets of dual channel memory. Under EU law, I'm entitled to claim a refund if a component doesn't meet the standards that it purports to be able support and I've done that with one of the boards this afternoon. But I'm still debating whether to do that with both of them or not. I don't really want because I like the board and see a great future with it. But it's beginning to cost me money now and I can't go on buying CPUs, memory etc., indefinitely.


DFI's European HQ is located in the Netherlands and I've spoken to an engineer there this afternoon. What I wanted to clarify was whether or not I was supposed to change the name of the BIOS file from "BIN" to "ROM", but from our phone conversation, I gathered that I had in fact followed correct procedure and that no user intervention is necessary before the flash procedure initiates.


There is just one other odd thing and that is the date of the BIOS file that appears on screen just before the flash procedure commences. It's 01/25/2005. I put that down to somebody typing the wrong date in when they programmed the flash utility(?).


Any ideas anybody?

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A couple of observations here which might be helpful to some.


The diags indicators on the system board are not very accurate. In my particular case, all three LEDs were on when the 3800+ was installed giving the impression that the board wasn't detecting the CPU. Had that been the case, then it should have been impossible to update to the latest BIOS version v.615 since the floppy drive is way down the line as far as detected components are concerned.


Another item of interest is the BIOS memory tester. When I inserted the BIOS floppy to update to v.615, it immediately executed Memtest. At 80%, the utility terminated and indicated that somewhere in excess of 63 Trillion (it's a 21 figure number) errors had been detected. It proved a little difficult at that stage to get the board to recognize the BIOS upgrade on the floppy even and I only managed to do that by loading "Optimized Defaults" several times. After flashing the BIOS, the automatic Memtest no longer ran and I was able to install XP without any further mishaps.


This leads me believe that the memory tester in the BIOS doesn't report errors correctly because the memory multiplier is located on the CPU (Athlon 64 series) now. Therefore any errors reported by Memtest are related to the incorrect BIOS for the Venice core and not to the memory itself. ;)

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