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GeForce 256 Tweak Guide (Page 2/6)

Posted: March 7, 2000
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy

Super-7 BIOS settings

With Super socket-7 and possibly Athlon systems, a few settings can cause problems, so disabling them can help stability. Most of the troublesome settings are usually disabled by default, but programs such as PowerTweak can sometimes turn them on. Be careful to check that these are indeed set properly. Remember that the names of the settings you see here may differ from those in your particular BIOS. Just look for settings that are similar in name.

Read around Write - This can cause lock-ups. If you can get away with enabling it, it can increase performance. Try enabling it, and if you experience problems, disable it.

Cache Pipeline Writes - This causes lock-ups in most systems, using GeForce 256 cards, especially MVP3 boards. Disable this setting.

Cache Pipeline Reads - This can cause problems, but generally is harmless if left on. On MVP3 boards, it is best to leave this setting enabled.

AGP Bus Speed

A commonly encountered problem, especially when overclocking a CPU, is an incorrectly set AGP-to-system bus ratio. For example, if you set the front side bus speed from 66MHz to 100 MHz, and if the ratio is not changed from 1/1 to 2/3, the AGP bus will also run at 100MHz. This will in no way benefit your speed (most likely), and can even cause problems and/or damage your card. In a nutshell:

Bus SpeedAGP MultiplierAGP speed
66 MHz1/166 MHz
75 MHz1/1*75 MHz
83 MHz1/1** (2/3 recommended)83 MHz (if 2/3, 55 MHz)
100 MHz2/366 MHz
112 MHz2/3*75 MHz
124 MHz2/3**83 MHz
133 MHz2/3***89 MHz

* This speed is higher than that which the product is designed for. Problems may occur. Try not to use speeds higher than this.

** This speed is much higher than that which the product is designed for. Problems may occur. The lifetime of the card will be significantly lowered. Using a faster bus speed/ratio may "kill" the card.

*** This speed is dangerously higher than that which the product is designed for. Problems may occur. The lifetime of the card will be significantly lowered. This is taking a huge risk and is highly discouraged.

To find your AGP speed, multiply your system bus speed (i.e. - 100MHz) by the AGP/CPU ratio (e.g. - 2/3). For more information, read the AGP and/or CPU configuration section of your motherboard's manual. If you MUST set the AGP bus speed higher than 66 MHz, remember: You have been warned.

There are always exceptions to what we recommend. We can only test these settings on so many systems. However, for the most part, try to avoid higher bus speeds with AGP cards.

Super-7 Compatibility Issues

There were many problems between the TNT and Super 7 systems in the past. Most of the issues have since been addressed with the new versions of the Nvidia reference drivers. There are still, however, occasionally problems, most of them related to the ALi Aladdin V motherboard chipset.

AGP Drivers

The #1 issue with most SS7 systems and Nvidia chips are poorly implemented AGP drivers. With the recent patches and drivers available for the VIA MVP3 chipset, the board should function perfectly. ALi's 1.60 and later AGP drivers have also fixed masses of issues, making it a more stable platform.

For VIA-based SS7 boards:
VIA Driver Page

For ALi-based SS7 boards:
ALi Driver Page

One reader (sorry, I can't find the name) wrote in with this after the original GeForce guide was posted:
ALI recently released an AGP utility to allow full control of all AGP settings on ALI Super 7 boards. This allows the AGP and GAT Modes to be set to 1. The athlon drivers would not fix my Geforce problem but doing this did. It also allowed me to enable AGP support on a TNT2 cards which previously would freeze if AGP was enabled.

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