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Thought I'd start a thread for A8V owners to chat about the board.
Mine arrived yesterday, and although I won't be putting it together until my new video card arrives, I did read the manual thoroughly. Some questions:
(1) Regarding the Promise controller with the two SATA ports and one IDE port... the manual states "you can use the RAID feature to set up a disk array and to support additional IDE devices."
This made me pretty happy, because of my setup:
2 x 36GB Raptors in RAID 0 for OS / Apps / Pagefile 1
2 x 74GB Raptors in RAID 0 for Games / Data / Docs / Pagefile 2
1 x 200GB IDE Seagate for backup and additional storage
1 x IDE CD-RW drive
1 x IDE DVD+/-RW drive
I was assuming that I'd have to put the 200GB IDE drive on the same cable as one of the optical drives. After reading this in the manual, it sounded like I could put it on the Promise IDE channel.
Moving along, the manual then states "By default, the RAID connector is set as RAID. If you want to use an independent drive, set the Operation Mode to IDE Mode under Advanced menu of the BIOS." This sounds like additional confirmation that the IDE port can be selected for use with a regular stand-alone IDE drive.
However, I get to the BIOS section, and under the Promise Controller options it says "Operating Mode - Configuration Options: RAID Mode or IDE Mode - This items sets the onboard Promise controller operating mode." Earlier chapters referred to this option as being an option associated with the CONNECTOR, but this says its associated with the CONTROLLER. So I'm thinking there are two possibilities here:
(a) BIOS and manual wording are a bit misworded, and the operating mode refers to how the IDE port is configured, and the controller will still provide SATA RAID either way, or,
(b) Choosing IDE mode disables the SATA ports, so that you get either SATA RAID and/or IDE RAID in RAID mode, or just non-RAID IDE in IDE mode, but no way to get SATA RAID and non-RAID IDE out of the controller at the same time.
Finally, moving to the Promise RAID configuration section, the screen shot has a line item for RAID array plus another line item for spare drive, so I'm hoping that option (a) above is the correct one. Anyone have any experience with this, either on the A8V or on another board with the Promise SATA/IDE RAID controller?
(2) Some BIOS options that I've not encountered before:
(a) Bank and Node Interleaving...default is disabled...but it doesn't say which would be preferrable for performance.
(b) Lots of memory tweaks above and beyond the main 6-3-2-2 values I'm used to seeing...I'm assuming those I'm not familiar with I should just leave on Auto.
(c) 2T Command...auto or enabled. Kind of a silly way to word the option. If I choose enabled I obviously get 2T...but what does it toggle between in auto? 1T and 2T? 2T and 3T? You would think that if the board had any chance of handling 1T, that the option would be entitled 1T command...auto or enabled, and that the 2T enabled therefore corresponds to the performance setting. But I'd like to be sure.
(d) Under graphics, there's Search for MDA Resources = Yes. No idea what this is.