ITE or Super I/O - How to know what to use

Only for programmers and BIOS gurus with technical questions.
Ritchie
BIOS Guru
Posts: 761
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:17 am

I have noticed that BIOS upgrades for some boards, such as the PC Partner Socket 7 MVP3 878DS board, have a choice or image file to flash when downloading the BIOS update - in this case ITE or Super IO upgrade.

In such cases, can you flash either version, and in this case, what is better to use? If the board requires a specific type, how do I identify which type the board requires - the difficulty I had with this board is that one thing was printed on the board itself while the BIOS boot screen had the alternative listed, so I really was unsure what to use.

Any enlightment appreciated.
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6275
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

The list inside the bios is what should be followed.

The ITE/UMC/SMC bit is the I/O chip which is used on the board, the chip listed for the bios and that chip should match.

There's another thing which is the clock chip used, same applies there.

If it's inconsistent with what you have now you should verify if you got the right upgrade in the first place.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
NickS
BIOS Bodhisattva
Posts: 3145
Joined: Fri May 03, 2002 10:34 am
Location: Thames Valley, UK

Ritchie wrote:I have noticed that BIOS upgrades for some boards, such as the PC Partner Socket 7 MVP3 878DS board, have a choice or image file to flash when downloading the BIOS update - in this case ITE or Super IO upgrade.
Just to make clear - Super I/O is not a make. The companies Edwin lists above are the makers of various "super I/O" chips. You need to check the chip on the motherboard to be sure.
Tested patched BIOSes. Untested patched BIOSes.
Emails *will* be ignored unless the subject line starts "Wim's BIOS forum"
Ritchie
BIOS Guru
Posts: 761
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:17 am

I am thinking of reflashing again with the correct flash now that I know to follow the information on the BIOS screen rather than on the chips. Although last time I probably used the correct flash by default as I do not remember the two binary file options available when I last downloaded and flashed.

However, now there is no information on the BIOS screen indicating Super I/O or ITE. The chip on the mainboard is an ITE chip, so logically the information on the BIOS screens would have said Super I/O last time since I remember conflicting information. I think I remember Super I/O being near the top of the BIOS boot screen near/above the CPU information.

The other thing is, maybe the last flash changed what was displayed in the BIOS regarding Super I/O or ITE so that the original information is no longer available to be followed. It would actually make sense to me that the mainboard chips would be correct, that the BIOS if flashed correctly would contain the same as the mainboard chips, making both an accurate source if the BIOS flash was correct and the mainboard chips a more accurate source assuming that the BIOS flash could be wrong.

So whether I should now be using an ITE or Super I/O flash is not clear to me, however I might try Super I/O as that is what I remember using last time and the system is working almost flawlessly. The main bug in the system is that even with a clean Windows installation, either Notepad or Wordpad (I cannot remember which) displays text corruption under certain valid display modes compatible with both the adaptor and monitor. The only other problem was that the downloads for the chipset drivers caused problems when installed but at the time I did not think this might be because of a wrong BIOS flash - I thought they were simply badly written drivers. So after going with the Super I/O flash, if evaluating that these problems still exist, I might try the ITE flash and see if it resolves the problem. A friend of mine who gave me the system said that the text corruption problem was due to some corruptness that got onto the hard disk (which I also have) which required a low level format to get rid of, but I don't believe that this is the problem, although I will try another hard disk anyway.

Anyway, I guess I could go with either ITE or Super I/O - Since I cannot remember for sure which was flashed last time either flash could be wrong. And since the flashes are at least for the correct model board, I don't think I will make the system inoperable. If so - nothing really lost as this came to me as a freebee anyway.
ajzchips
El cheapo dude
Posts: 3048
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2002 12:41 pm
Location: Madrid, Spain

@Ritchie, before typing your essay, did you bother to read NickS' two lines?
Ritchie
BIOS Guru
Posts: 761
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:17 am

Hi AJZ - Yes I did read both Edwin's and Nick's responses before posting my essay!

What I understood from their responses was that ITE was a type of Super I/O chip. However I also remembered the BIOS upgrade offering me a choice between Super I/O and ITE and this was what was confusing me - I thought if I wanted to reflash I still had to make a choice between Super I/O and ITE.

However my memory was not clear, as I downloaded the BIOS upgrade once again just now to take a look and there is a choice between two types of Super I/O - ITE or SMC. So sorry about that.

Given that the BIOS screens do not mention Super I/O detail, is it safest to assume ITE since this is what the chip on the mainboard has printed on it? I am wondering if I remember ITE on the BIOS screens before the flash - I think I do but could be wrong here as well. However I do not remember SMC. However the good news is that I think I still have the BIOS before the flash saved which I could go back to to take a look at the BIOS screens (although this may not be the safest either as it may not be the original BIOS and therefore could still be wrong).
NickS
BIOS Bodhisattva
Posts: 3145
Joined: Fri May 03, 2002 10:34 am
Location: Thames Valley, UK

If it says ITE on the chip, use the ITE BIOS. :)
Tested patched BIOSes. Untested patched BIOSes.
Emails *will* be ignored unless the subject line starts "Wim's BIOS forum"
Ritchie
BIOS Guru
Posts: 761
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:17 am

Thanks - Especially as there was nothing on the screen, I was thinking of going the way by the chip too.
Ritchie
BIOS Guru
Posts: 761
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:17 am

To update, I flashed to the original file which I still had backed up, curious to see if this displayed ITE on the screen or not. I could not see anything there, so this must have been my imagination. I then taken the advise of using the information on the chip and reflashed using a fresh ITE download from PC Partner's web site (I thought I had flashed ITE last time round, also).

So now I will assume that I have the correct flash (although asssumptions are dangerous, according to all advise available it seems I now am), and treat the video corruption problem as most likely a problem with the AGP card since (as far as I can remember) it only occurs with the one card. I thought it might be BIOS but apparently not.
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6275
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

It's also possible that card is too beefy for the board e.g. drawing more power than the AGP slot can deliver.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
Ritchie
BIOS Guru
Posts: 761
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:17 am

Thanks for the response Edwin.

I actually have a PCI (Matrox Mill. II) card in at present. I reformatted the hard disk at loaded up 98 SE from scratch today. It appeared to go fine until I got to the System Update scrollbar window just before the final reboot and I got some unusual errors here. After clicking OK to those Windows continued, completed and rebooted; on the reboot the registry was repaired.

After this there were no more errors despite installing various programs. Everything was good until I wanted to degrag. Windows always installs a WININST.400 folder onto the hard disk for this system which is often initially in a corrupt state. So I had to run Scandisk to repair various problems within first (I should have used the delete options but I always chose the default; usually repair option). After this I could defrag, there was a little more space occupied on the disk, but the system continues to run fine.

The more I think about this problem the more I come back to my original conclusion; that this particular board has some weird fault (which I am still prepared to put up with) or that particular model has a problem (which I would have hoped a BIOS upgrade would fix if this were the case).

Thanks for everyone's help on this issue.
KachiWachi
The New Guy
Posts: 1451
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2002 10:32 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Ritchie -

How many MB is that Matrox card (4, 8, 16)? Been looking to check one of those out. If you would...could you download and run CTCM7 with the /VID parameter on it and post the data here (or e-mail me with it). Do this from DOS Safe Mode (nothing running but DOS). You can port the data to a file using >c:\data.txt (or whatever). Thanks.
Ritchie
BIOS Guru
Posts: 761
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:17 am

Hi Kachie

I am pretty sure this particular card is a 4MB version.

I could post that data for you but where do i get the CTCM7 program from to run?
Ritchie
BIOS Guru
Posts: 761
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:17 am

OK Kachi - Thanks to your private messages I got the program and here are the results as requested for anyone who is interested.


*************************************************************

PROCESSOR AND CACHE INFO c't 01/00/ Andreas Stiller V1.7a

Processor Timing : am6k86
Processor CPUID : AuthenticAMD Typ=00 Fam=05 Mod=08 Rev=0C Feat=008021BF
Processor Name : AMD K6-2CXT /AMD-K6(tm) 3D processor, Feat:808029BF
AMD K6 config. : Write Allocation to 32 MByte
Write Combining LFB : disabled, BF-Pins=111 => Ratio= 3.5
Actual clock rate : 350.685 MHz, according to Pentium Timer:350.818 MHz
Primary Cache (L1) : 32 KByte,2way associative
Secondary Cache (L2): 512 KByte,direct mapped
Code Cache (L1) : 32 KByte,2way associative
Video/PCI/AGP-Performance PCI LFB from: DC000000:prefetchable, DD000000:not prefetchable
VESA-BIOS-Extension : 2.0, Matrox Graphics Inc., MISTRAL Rev:00
supported VESA modes : 0100 0101 0102 0103 0105 0107 0108 0109 010B 010C
: 0110 0111 0112 0113 0114 0115 0116 0117 011C 0118
: 0119 011A 011D 011E
Default Video-Modes :
Mode: 0013 : 320x200 256 colors,grafik VRAM: 000A0000
MTRR activ : (UC) Uncached without Write Combining
Mode: 4103 : 800x600 256 colors,grafik LFB: DC000000
MTRR activ : (UC) Uncached without Write Combining
***** Video/PCI/AGP Performance Andreas Stiller feb 00, V.1.7 *****
Video/memory result, video mode:$0013, video memory 000A0000, Size:32K
UC
MOVSB mem (hit) => Vid : 10.2 MByte/s
MOVSD mem (hit) => Vid : 78.3 MByte/s
MOVSD Vid => mem (hit) : 4.7 MByte/s
MOVSD Vid => Vid : 4.0 MByte/s
STOSD Reg => Vid : 78.5 MByte/s
LODSD Vid => Reg : 4.8 MByte/s
FST Q (via FPU) => Vid : 78.8 MByte/s
MST Q (via MMX) => Vid : 78.8 MByte/s

Video/memory result, video mode:$4103, video memory DC000000, Size:32K
UC WC
MOVSB mem (hit) => Vid : 10.2 MByte/s 83.6 MByte/s
MOVSD mem (hit) => Vid : 83.5 MByte/s 94.8 MByte/s
MOVSD Vid => mem (hit) : 12.7 MByte/s 12.7 MByte/s
MOVSD Vid => Vid : 5.9 MByte/s 5.9 MByte/s
STOSD Reg => Vid : 83.7 MByte/s 94.8 MByte/s
LODSD Vid => Reg : 12.7 MByte/s 12.7 MByte/s
FST Q (via FPU) => Vid : 79.1 MByte/s 79.1 MByte/s
MST Q (via MMX) => Vid : 79.1 MByte/s 79.1 MByte/s

*************************************************************


Hope this is of value to you.
Ritchie
BIOS Guru
Posts: 761
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:17 am

Just adding that after thinking the WININST.400 folder problem which I mentioned was a buggy BIOS or faulty main board problem (or possibly vid. card, nw card, RAM or CPU) I have confirmed that the fault is actually in the HDD I was using - either that or a weird incompatibility between the HDD and system which I am still going to check out.

But I won't go into details here - if anyone is interested in details or how I reached this conclusion (which was a lengthy process) they may contact me via private message.
Post Reply