Add newer PCIe card support

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Hlafordlaes
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Add newer PCIe card support

Post by Hlafordlaes » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:39 pm

Hello,

I have an ASRock 4CoreDual-VSTA board with which I am quite happy. I have been using the modded BIOSes from pc-treiber-dot-net in order to upgrade to newer processors and RAM, plus access additional options in the BIOS settings.

Their most recent BIOS for my board (2.39a) added support for the ATI-AMD 4000 series. The board has a Gen1.0 PCIe video card slot. My understanding is that newer cards from NVidia and ATI would require a BIOS update to support them, providing they are Gen1 backwards compatible.

Can Wim's provide the added VGA card support I am seeking? (Yes, I can send a copy of the BIOS I now have in use for modding purposes.)

Thanks,
Hlafordlaes

edwin
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Re: Add newer PCIe card support

Post by edwin » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:30 am

Nobody can provide support for the newer cards because there is a limit to the HARDware on that board. I think it's already extremely amazing the HD4xxx series are supported given this isn't an official PCIexpress slot. Your board is a hybrid in many ways, designed to run a bit longer with the newer stuff at the time. It was not meant to jump into the future...
edwin/evasive

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Hlafordlaes
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Re: Add newer PCIe card support

Post by Hlafordlaes » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:01 pm

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I know the slot is only 4x, but that barely affects performance, altho granted the impact is higher the better the card. But what hardware limitation are you referring to that precludes additional vga support, if not 4x?

edwin
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Re: Add newer PCIe card support

Post by edwin » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:44 pm

Despite the additional power connector on many of the higher end cards, they still draw more power from the slot itself than it can deliver. And then there's this bit:
I cannot give you a 100% guarantee on this, but from everything I have read so far, nearly all graphics cards with a *true* PCI-E 1.1 compatability mode in their bios seem to work just fine with any of the "Dual" series socket 775 motherboards, as long as you set the PCIE Downstream Pipeline and PCIE VC1 Request Queue to Disabled in your BIOS before installing the card. Note that I don't even see the latter setting in the PDF manual for my 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0, but the former seems to apply across the board (no pun intended) for all PT880 motherboards bearing the "Dual" moniker. At least one user has reported that the settings could also be retuned to "enabled" for select ATi cards without issues, as well.

This is reportedly because the PCI-E graphics slot on these boards is, electrically, a PCI-E 1.1 standard 16x graphics slot running at 4x speed, but some newer cards may have BIOSes programmed exclusively for 2.0 compatabilty. Many cards with "standard" bioses from ATi, in particular, seem to have no problems with switching modes, whereas some models of the nvidia 8x00 series were notoriously hit-and-miss for 1.1 mode (depending on the specific designation of the chip used it could either work without a special bios or only work with one), and said issue seems to have been corrected in many latter (i.e. several 9x00 and most recently, the GTX 460) cards - again with the caveat that it could depend on the manufacturer's bios implementation for non-reference designs.

I am not sure about the protocol on this site regarding posting links to outside forums, so if you would like to see a related thread on tested/compatible gpus, you can send me a PM for the URL (unless I have them disabled without knowing it, lol).

In any case, I would advise you to be sure to check the specifications of the particular brand of card you have in mind, as well as user reports where applicable, for more specific information on PCI-E 1.1 compatability before you take the plunge on any untested GPU, and good luck! :)

Your mileage may vary but there is a report of a HD6850 on this board:
http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/947 ... r-place%29

That is about the best cost/performance ratio card you can get at this moment. You do need to check your power supply for the additional power connector on the card though.

Best of luck.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...

Hlafordlaes
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Re: Add newer PCIe card support

Post by Hlafordlaes » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:55 pm

Thank you very much for that nice chunk of excellent info. Will follow links and so forth.

I am, out of pure curiosity, left with the general question of BIOS support for vid cards. That is, I know the BIOS is updated commonly to support CPUs, but never had heard of a BIOS code block doing anything non-generic to the PCI space vis-a-vis the vid card. Not wishing to ask much more of your kind attention, perhaps you might have a link to the general BIOS - vga support question? It's odd and new to me, so I'd love to learn more.

Regardless, my main board-related question has been answered to my complete satisfaction, and thanks again for that.

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