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A Word of Caution for Potential Ti4400/4600 Buyers...

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This applies strictly to VIA chipsets only. If ever there was a card more finicky card in a VIA system, the GF4 is it. This is certainly not to nVidia's fault, but VIA's.I have been futzing around with my new Leadtek Ti4400 for the past 3 days trying to find the familiar, yet elusive, stability that my old GF2 GTS once offered me.After installing every nVidia/VIA driver under the sun and systematically dismantling my system one component at a time (in vain, I might add), I chanced upon some info in a newsgroup that will be of interest to you should you decide make the jump to the GF4.The GF4 is a power guzzler. Make sure you have AT LEAST a 300W power supply - preferably more. Your MB should support the AGP 2.0 standard and supply a strong steady 3.3v. Bad voltage regulators will doom you to failure (as I experienced on an older ASUS motherboard with my GF2).The GF2 and 3 do not natively support sidebanding (although you could enable it with utilities like NVmax). This was news to me. The GF4 however implements full support of sidebanding and fast writes. This is a death formula for VIA users. Despite my BIOS settings, these features were silently enabled by the drivers on startup (WHQL 28.32 et al). It used to be tools like NVMax or Powerstrip were required to turn sidebanding on; now its a given. Neither of these features have ever given much in the way of performance, but have brought much pain in the past - and they have reared their ugly head (silently, I might add) in the GF4.If you own a VIA, do yourself a favor - download NVMax, GeForceTweak, or Powerstrip and turn this **** off.Additionally, while this may not apply to all...it is worth noting that enabling the VIA AGP 4x option reduced my performance by 1/3 over running this card at AGP 2x. I had not observed this behavior on my GF2, but its very evident on my new card. Not that it should matter, considering the Ti4400/4600 pack an insane 128MB of DDR-RAM.Lastly, if you're sitting on the fence between the 4400 and the 4600 - let me mention that the Leadtek comes with an absolute behemoth of a heat sink and dual fans (even has lint filters!!!) which allow the 4400 to easily sail right past the 4600 specs without breaking a sweat (I O/C'd to 300/650 and the heatsink was mild to the touch...some reports have this card up to 320/680 and beyond; nuts! That translates to a ~15% increase in most of my GPU-bound D3D titles.). Nearly $100 less than the 4600, it was a no-brainer for me.My only regret is that my CPU's (dual 1Ghz) are hopelessly inadequate for this card (next MB will be an Intel i845G - no more funky VIA hacks n patches). I could double my CPU speed and still have the CPU as the bottleneck! This Leadtek GF4 is just wicked fast.Seeing is believing...check this out:http://www.tbreak.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=8766JPS. BTW, the above cleared up my infinite loops problems also.

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It's amazing how everybody has such different experiences with VIA chipsets. Sure wish they could get to the level of intel chipsets, in stability and ease of set up. It's a crap shoot setting up your system to be stable. I read where some people just load and go, to trying ever imaginable tweak or setting. Just think how good AMD would do with a top notch, stable, and patchless (for lack of a better term) chipset. I run two ASUS A7V133's (this board uses the KT133A)and each one has it's own personality. One I have to run a hybrid of jumperfree mode and jumper setting mode to get it to boot up where the other is completely jumperfree (think this is more a ASUS issue than VIA) One system I can't get my zip drive to run properly but its fine on the other. As far as video cards I have a geforce 2 and a geforce 4 and they both run fine with AGP 4X and sidebanding on. The main peeve I have is that no matter what I try I can't get the sound to be totally clean in either system. I use Sound blaster Live's in the both systems (that is half the problem), but still I try the latency patches, change the PCI slots, you name it I have tried it. Pretty much have given up on the idea of good clean sound in FS2K2 with the combination of hardware that I have. So in closing I feel for ya in the quest for a stable, properly running system.Scott...

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Mine uses the Apollo 133A chipset. It's not so much that VIA makes a bad chip, but the whole concept of "plug-n-go" is completely lost on them. They devote so little to compatibility. I am simply amazed by the sheer volume of customers who, since the debut of the GeForce2 have not been able to get VIA and nVidia to play nicely with one another. Everytime I change hardware on this box, my wife cringes and hides because she knows that I'll be cussing with my head in the case for the next 48 hours as I try to puzzle out the voodoo and incantations required to make this system hum again.I think a pair of Northwoods is going to be my next purchase. I contemplated AMD - a much better bang for the buck, but I can't abide another couple years of pulling my hair up by the roots over VIA's careless slop.The i845G with DDR333 support looks mighty tasty at the moment.J

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I am using a MSI K7T266 Pro motherboard with the Via 266A chipset and the latest drivers. My video card is a Leaktek GF4 4600TI Ultra. AGP 128meg 4X AGP, sideband and fastwrite enabled WITH NO PROBLEMS. Very stable set up using FS2002 with 2x antilasing. 512Meg Samsung DDR Ram. Regards,Andrew

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>Mine uses the Apollo 133A chipset. It's not so much that >VIA makes a bad chip, but the whole concept of "plug-n-go" >is completely lost on them. They devote so little to >compatibility. I am simply amazed by the sheer volume of customers >who, since the debut of the GeForce2 have not been able to get VIA >and nVidia to play nicely with one another. Everytime I change >hardware on this box, my wife cringes and hides because she knows >that I'll be cussing with my head in the case for the next 48 hours >as I try to puzzle out the voodoo and incantations required to make >this system hum again. >I think a pair of Northwoods is going to be my next purchase. I >contemplated AMD - a much better bang for the buck, but I can't >abide another couple years of pulling my hair up by the roots over >VIA's careless slop.eh, don't you think you're perhaps jumping the gun a bit? You are, after all, not exactly using the "latest" chipset from VIA... I have a KT266A-based mobo running a 150MHz FSB w/no problems (as of yet) 100% stable. I installed the 4-in-1 drivers that came w/my mobo (4.37) and haven't looked back since. Of course, this is just my own personal experience but the newer VIA chipsets have proven to be much more stable/compatible w/other hardware than earlier chipsets, without a doubt. Max Cowgill

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I have two machines (home built), one for the wife and my gaming PC. Both have Via chipsets and GF4s and I have encountered no problems at all. Both systems are overclocked, highly tweaked and use AGP 4x with fast writes. Specs are below. Note that Nvidia drivers have a refresh rate bug and after you have selected the highest refresh rate available for your resolution in Display Properties - Settings -Advanced - Monitor, you must place the same setting on System Info - DirectX - More Help - Override, so your games run at same refresh as Windows. If you do not do this FS2002 will drop to 60hz no matter what chipset you have!FL_Flyer"Frame rate is life"Gaming System-Jetway V266B (Via KT266A chipset) Via 4.39 pre-release drivers overclocked to 280 FSB-AMD Athon XP 1900+ (1600 mhz overclocked to 1680 mhz)-Volcano 6 cooler (40c idle, 45c @ load)-512 mb Corsair PC-150 SDRAM @ 140 5-2-2-2 w/ 4 bank intrlv -Allied 350 watt PS-Abit Siluro GF 4 Ti 4400 with Nvidia 28.32 drivers overclocked to 280/560 1280x1024x32 with 19" monitor @ 85hz V -CL Soundblaster Live X-Gamer-Maxtor 40gb 7200 rpm HD ATA 133, Toshiba DVD and Zip 100-Windows XP tweaked to minimum servicesFS2002, Dream Fleet 737-400, Simflyers Scenery for all airports flown, Radar Contact for ATC, FSAssist for pushback, ADVDisplay, FLTCrew Wavs, FSUIPC, APLC32, run with scattered clouds, high cirrus, winds, turbulance, etc. All sliders maxed, all options on, max visibility, FPS locked at 20, getting 14 on ground with gates, service vehicles, etc, 17 on taxi, 20 on takeoff roll and in flight.Wifes System-Iwill KK266 (Via KT133A chipset) Via 4.39 pre-release drivers - AMD Athlon T-Bird 1.2 unlocked @ 1404mhz with Vantec 62540D -Visiontek GF4 MX420 64 MB with 19" monitor 1024x768x32 @ 85-256mb PC-133 Mixed Generic-300w PS-CL SBLive MP-3-Scanner, Digital Camera interface, Web Cam, Palm Pilot, etc full multimedia-Dual WD hardrives ATA66 (20gb & 13gb for DVD ripping) CDRW and DVD-Windows XP with lots of business software and Black & White game my wife currently plays.

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Well, certainly there is merit to any notion that older technology may never play well with newer technology. This particular system has been problematic from the get-go, whether it be memory incompatibilities, SoundBlaster buffering issues on the PCI bus, or proper AGP 4x support. One would hope things would improve with time. However, after having spent several days perusing newsgroups, it's fair to say that a large majority of those experiencing GeForce4-related problems owned VIA-based systems - many of which were the newer 266 series. I'm not implying these systems can't run stable, mine was running hunky-dory with the GF2 for months without a hitch - but it took some work to get there. I am finding that everytime I introduce something new, beit a new sound card, memory, video, etc...the VIA system has to be coddled significantly.Conversely, I have an old ASUS P2B which is based on the insanely succesful Intel 440BX - maybe one of the best chipsets ever made. This is my wife's system now and she gets all the 'hand me downs' from my sadistic flight sim hobby :) This system simply works with whatever's thrown at it.Anyway...it is not my intent to snub VIA here, but to advise users that do own VIA systems and are making a switch to the newer GF4 series that *potential* and common issues can and do exist. A quick survey of the newsgroups show I am not alone in the VIA bubble. There are, however, remedies abound(albeit, the magic formula seems to vary from one system to the next) which can be employed. It was my intent to save someone some time by pointing out the things which worked for me - not to diz your new-fangled VIA hardware :)J

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Re: Changing monitor refresh rate etc.You suggest also changing the setting on "system info-direct x-more help-info"...How do you change the setting / where on the system allows the change?My system is Windows XP Pro.Thanks.

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I'll second that. Anyone out there that can spell this out more clearly? I thought I had a good grasp of what can be tweaked, but I'm at a loss on this one. I have heard of the refresh problems, and I'm also aware that the newest beta drivers are supposed to fix this problem. So if anyone can walk the less knowledgeable here through this minefield, it would be much appreciated. In the meantime, I'm going to continue searching the archive to see if I can find any additional posts regarding this topic.

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DavidWith the grateful help of a computer 'techno' friend of mine, I believe I've found how to do this check/change. In the Start-Run dialog box, type 'dxdiag' (enter)You should see a new Direct X box with the usual options at the top.Select (pull down) 'More Help'.Select 'Override'.It's there where you can de-select 'default' and set the refresh rate to be the same as is set under your Monitor settings.Toni.

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It's a fairly simple change:Start, Run, Dxdiag.Go to the More Help TabClick the Override ButtonSet the Override value to whatever you want (within limits of your monitor!)WARNING WARNING WARNING!!!INCORRECT CONFIGURATION OF REFRESH RATES BEYOND THE MONITORS MAXIMUM SUPPORTED FREQUENCY WILL DAMAGE YOUR MONITOR!!! I AM NOT KIDDING HERE SO KNOW YOUR EXACT MONITOR SPECS BEFORE FORCING THIS OVERRIDE, IT CAN BE A ONE WAY TRIP TO THE REPAIR STORE TO GET YOUR FLYBACK REPLACED AT 1/2 THE PRICE OF YOUR MONITOR! THIS VALUE WILL BE APPLIED AGAINST ALL RESOLUTIONS SO JUST BECAUSE YOUR MONITOR DOES 120HZ AT 640X480 DOESN'T MEAN IT WILL NOT SMOKE WHEN 120HZ IS APPLIED AT 1280X1024.WARNING WARNING WARNING!!!RayPS: don't say I didn't warn you ;-)

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Thanks Ray and Toni,While I was away, I found a very good thread entitled "Can't run at 1600 x1200 in XP". I would post the URL, but bookmarks aren't working for me right now, and I don't know any other way to get at the URL. I do highly recommend that anybody else with questions regarding monitor resolution read this thread (and make sure you at least read Elrond's posts in that thread).Edit - thanks for the warning about refresh rates. I'll be careful, I promise ;)

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