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[AnandTech] NVIDIA Data Corruption

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
This is part of a larger editorial piece. These are preliminary remarks on an upcoming review: http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3279&p=4

Quote:
However, none of that compares to the data corruption problems we are seeing intermittently on the 790i and 780i platforms. We honestly thought NVIDIA had solved these problems back in 2006 on the 680i platform. Since the MCP has not changed, it is disconcerting to us that this problem seems to be rearing its ugly head again. This time, the data corruption problems appear contained to memory overclocking, especially on the 790i boards. We are not talking massive overclocks here, but apparently hitting the right combination of FSB rates around 400 and memory speeds above DDR3-1600 seem to trigger our problems. Also, we have been able to reach higher DDR3 speeds with absolute stability on the 790i than on the X48 during extreme overclocking, so this problem is even more perplexing to us.

On the 780i boards, the magical combination is right above 400MHz FSB (1600 QDR) and memory unlinked anywhere from DDR2-900~1200. Our 780i problems have been minor for the most part, but the underlying problem is that after the systems recover from a BSOD, we typically have stability problems or gremlin behaviors until we reload the system. This same problem can occur on Intel or AMD chipset boards, but it is extremely rare in our experiences to date unless we absolutely pushed the memory beyond reasonable settings.

....
Other problems

We share test notes on an almost continual basis with each other when testing boards. We thought some of the test notes from our upcoming roundup would be interesting. In all fairness to NVIDIA, we are including our X48 thoughts as we wrap up testing.

790i test notes:

a) CPU multiplier likes to changes at will, causing an inability to POST after changing BIOS options. (Problem is likely linked to bad NVIDIA base code).

b) Poor memory read performance above 475FSB unless you enable “P1†and “P2†which NVIDIA refuses to document operation of or provide information about.

c) EVGA/XFX (NVIDIA reference design) lacks support for tRFC tuning - high density DDR3 configurations often refuse to work unless the module SPDs are tuned from the manufacturer. (This makes them needlessly slow in low-density configurations.)

d) The chipset does not do a very good job of balancing read vs. write priorities with respect to memory access - copy scores lower than X38/X48.

e) Regardless of what NVIDIA says, we think PCI-E 2.0 (and 1.x) implementation is still better on Intel’s Express chipsets - give us SLI on Intel to prove it!!!

f) Possible problem with NVIDIA reference design: sustained overclocked operation at >~1.9V for VDIMM may cause critical failure of 790i (Ultra) SPP. This does not seem to affect ASUS S2E design and is the most critical issue facing the board; we need to verify before making recommendations.

g) Possible HDD corruption issues. (We lost the two 74GB WD Raptors so far…)

X48 test notes:

a) Chipset defaults to tRD values that are excessively loose and are not competitive with NVIDIA’s new 790i. The problem is most MB manufacturers do not allow this to be specifically tuned in the BIOS.

b) DMI interface (x4 PCI-E link) is sloooow….X38/X48 should have been paired with ICH10(R), which will be PCI-E 2.0 compliant on the link interface.

c) Haven’t found an Intel X48 board yet that will handle 8GB of DDR3 properly, even though this is a major bullet for chipset support - board or memory makers? (We need to test this on the Intel DX48BT2 that just arrived.)

d) Chipset runs HOT…might even be hotter than 790i. Intel should have shrunk this thing long ago!
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post #2 of 20
WOW,nvidia is so screwed.
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post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox_Smash View Post
WOW,nvidia is so screwed.
The X48 issues aren't that good either....
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post #4 of 20
Is it wrong for me, even as an nvidia fanboy, to be slightly happy that nvidia has been making some bad headlines lately? I think its because I feel as though it will give ATI the extra time to pull ahead of nvidia... essentially bringing back real competition to the market.
post #5 of 20
i had these problems on my 680i board as well... got sick of it and got rid of it. will never get another nvidia chipset board again
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post #6 of 20
My friends PC with a EVGA 780i is experiencing graphics driver corruption problems. The whql drivers for the 8800GTS(G92) got corrupted twice and did not work after several installations. But i was surprised to see that the beta drivers worked fine. I am not sure if it is the mobo problem or the video card, hope they release some better drivers fix these issues.
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post #7 of 20
Reminds me of Ntune & Nvidia's firewall.

Took me 4 reformats to get my rig to function properly. (all kinds of data corruption caused by the firewall from skewed images on sites to all downloads being unusable)
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEddie View Post
Reminds me of Ntune & Nvidia's firewall.

Took me 4 reformats to get my rig to function properly. (all kinds of data corruption caused by the firewall from skewed images on sites to all downloads being unusable)
We dint even bother to install the Nvidia firewall for the 780i. Got to agree with u, they are not good enough.
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post #9 of 20
I guess I'm one of the lucky ones, I haven't had any problems with my 780i. (knock on wood) However, I don't use any of there software either.

SLI on Intel chipset FTW!
    
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post #10 of 20
This could explain blue screens that pop up randomly or make the board startup in safe mode when there's an OC....
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