[mythtv-users] Re: Building a myth box, wanna look over my components?

Mike Isely isely at isely.net
Wed Dec 15 07:58:39 UTC 2004

On Wed, 15 Dec 2004, Derek Gathright wrote:

> NForce2 is bad?  Wow, really?  That what I've had others suggest to
> me.  Anyone else wanna chime in?

I wish I was wrong.  Really I do.  But I have personal experience over 6
months of time working on this board and I have not been happy with it at
all.  It might not be nforce2 in particular but this particular ASUS
board.  I can't be sure.  But I decided to stay away from it for future
systems at least for now.  Google around for more info.  Here's an entire
site about nforce2 problems, though the info is somewhat dated:


Also just poking around now I ran into some review posts on zdnet from a
few rather po'ed people having to do specifically with the ASUS A7N8X-E
Deluxe board.  For example:


When I first put my nforce2-based system together I was getting hard Linux
kernel lockups on the order of every day or so.  At the time I was running
the 2.6.5 kernel and had just attributed the problems to kernel
instability - at the time I was also seeing lockups with that same kernel
on a Dell laptop.  However the kernel is far better now, and the laptop
I'm running simply has never locked up with the 2.6.9 kernel yet I
continue to have problems with the nforce2 system.  Following information
gleaned from the first URL above, I disabled use of the APIC / LAPIC on
the system and things got a lot better.  Now my system hard locks only
once every few weeks, unless I'm trying to burn CDs in which case it locks
and/or reboots about once every 15 discs or so.  I have other parts in
this system (e.g. 2 additional PCI IDE controllers) and it's possible that
I may be getting had by multiple problems.  I have been very slowly ruling
out causes.  So I can't say I have the smoking gun evidence which proves
that the board is lousy or that with this "one magic jumper change" it all
works perfectly.  All I can say is in 10 years of running Linux on
put-together PCs this particular problem "feels" a lot like a low level
instability on the motherboard.  (And yes, I've already tested the memory
with a 30+ hour session using memtest86 without even one single hiccup.)

I for one would love to hear of others who have this board and don't have
problems - because I'd like to figure out what's different so I can
stabilize my system.  In the mean time, I can't in good conscience
recommend anything built around nforce2 and especially not this particular
motherboard.  The Shuttle system I just got not withstanding, the last 3
mainboards I've purchased have all been ASUS.  I had some problems with
the previous ASUS board too - though I managed to solve that headache
within the first 2 weeks (bad dram voltage setting - conflicted with the
factory default and had arrived from the vendor that way).  I'm not so
keen about ASUS anymore, unfortunately.

> I read through everything else and I thank you for your
> suggestions/experiences.  The "wife-proofing" and WAF will be a big
> factor, though not for me, but rather my dad, as this will be his box.
>  Which brings up the other question... while I've heard many people
> say their wives loves their myth boxes, has anyone has bad experiences
> with the novice of the house unable to ever grasp Myth?  I've had a
> partially functional myth box and it seemed extremely easy, but like I
> said... looking for maybe some other input here.

I can't answer a question like that.  At least not yet.  I only got hooked
on mythtv a few weeks ago.  So far the wife hasn't tried to use it - my
first HTPC system is still on my workbench as I learn the ropes and
meander through various issues.  I hit some nasty problems with
transcoding in 0.16 (seemed to randomly crash) and so I'm running a CVS
snapshot from Saturday now.  After one train wreck Sunday night I seem to
have gotten the CVS snapshot working pretty well now.  I had to take a
side trip off to learn more about mysql in order to get past the Sunday
foul-up...  I still have lots of things to set up here.  It's been quite a
learning experience.


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