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  1. #1
    Joined
    Feb 2002
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    85

    New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    Getting ready to build 2 systems for my sons using this mobo. (This is not my first build, but is the first with this mobo.)

    Each system will have:

    A64 3700+
    eVGA 6800GS (no sli for now)
    WD 250 GB SATA (no raid for now)
    1 GB Corsair TwinX
    NEC DVD Burner (3550A)
    XP Home w/ SP2

    Anybody got any tips, tricks, suggestions for a pain free build? Any gotcha's out there I should keep an eye out for?

    Which is SATA controller is the best to use, the nforce 4 or SI? Will I have to do the F6 routine?

    TIA
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  2. #2
    Joined
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    38

    Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    hmm.. my raid is offboard with a promise card so my answer is NEITHER


    still, i think the onboard raid will function w/o the F6 but i wouldn't know, just try it... beyond that, i believe its drivers first, then mess with the chipsets


    on that board, with my case, i bolted it to the slide out plate, put the cpu, heatsink and ram together outside the case, then slid it all in as one piece since dicking with the little back panel overlay plate whatever for the atx hole needs like 3.5 hands.. past that just take yer time routing cables, go easy on forcing stuff in, and it will go together nicely


    oh and my other rule is if yer still assembling at 4am... stop

  3. #3
    Joined
    May 2005
    Age
    52
    Posts
    153

    Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan05
    Getting ready to build 2 systems for my sons using this mobo. (This is not my first build, but is the first with this mobo.)

    Anybody got any tips, tricks, suggestions for a pain free build? Any gotcha's out there I should keep an eye out for?

    Which is SATA controller is the best to use, the nforce 4 or SI? Will I have to do the F6 routine?

    TIA
    Use the NF controller for a single drive, use port 1 and make sure to disable the other controller and ports in BIOS, you do NOT need to pre install the drivers with a floppy during the XP installation process (F6) that only pertains to setting up a raid.
    I built one recently which was actually my second A8N-SLI board (first one is a deluxe 2nd is the Premium) and both are flawless.
    I had ZERO problems when integrating my premium, ZERO problems installing the OS.
    Of course since you are putting a 250gb drive in make sure your boot (XP) cd is the SP2 version so you dont have to mess around with partition sizes and such.
    DO not install the Asus firewall thing that comes up when you install the drivers, you dont need that.
    Also it would be wise to download the latest drivers from nVidia and burn those to CD in case the ones that come with your mobo are dated a bit.
    Read my system specs to see what I have currently running and note that for me these particular drivers are completely stable with the bios I have running right now.
    Also I have a habbit of installing drivers individually as opposed to using the install cd to do it. I just feel better about doing it that way for some reason so thats the way I have been doing it for the last few years, that way I can be sure that nothing I dont need gets installed, I am a stickler about that.
    I also follow THIS . guys guide for tweaking XP and am really really happy with the results, see what you think.
    Other than that like I stated I have had ZERO issues with this board or the build, I think your sons will love the systems.
    Install the audio drivers via device manager with the CD in the drive also, I have heard of other people having issues using the automatic method, mine works fine, I am just waiting until Creative gets enough new (fixed) cards in the supply chain to buy my new sound card, I didnt want to have to go through returning the card to get it fixed the day after I bought it like so many others have and until then the onboard sound is acceptable for games and iTunes.

    P.S. the system in my system specs is my home system and NOT the Premium mobo so the SB Audigy 2ZS should not be there in the sig, the Audigy 2ZS is in the Deluxe mobo system.
    Last edited by TeamScream; 12-17-2005 at 06:50 PM.

  4. #4
    Joined
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Cornelius, OR
    Age
    68
    Posts
    18,111

    Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    That sounds hopeful! I am building two also. My ABIT AV8 runs well enough, but I have always been luke cool to it since I built it in November 04. The waden wants something faster than her EPoX 8RDA+ and 2600 Mobile. So she will inherit my 3500 Winchester and I will use a ASUS A8N-VM CSM with the integrated video. (I was looking for a NF3 Ultra with AGP but none are instock) finally I realized this may well be a good solution. I did not want to buy another Video card as I needed one for my system. I really wanted a 939 board with gigabit Lan and video was less important (I was going to use a R7000)

    I will use a A8N-E, Opteron 148, 2 x 512 PC3200XL, WD Sata II HD, and for my first departure from AGP and ATI, a XFX 6800GS.

    I have rarely not had some trouble on initial setup, but we'll see!
    There are advantages to being retarded...and I'm taking advantage of all of them.

  5. #5
    Joined
    Feb 2002
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    85

    Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    TeamScream,

    Thanks for the info. Glad I won't have to mess around with the F6 crap. Sounds like everything should go just fine. I have XP w/SP2, so the 250GB drive isn't an issue. I always burn the most current drivers to a CD so I don't have to mess around with d/l-ing them onto a new system, especially since I'll be building two. The link you provided looks like it has lots of useful information, thanks.

    Thanks for you time.

    Regards,

    Ivan
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  6. #6
    Joined
    May 2005
    Age
    52
    Posts
    153

    Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    No Problem Ivan,
    I have found this site to be extremely usefull, I have had members here call me on the phone from other states when I was desperate and looking for a solution.
    I have found more helpfull information here than any other site on the net when it comes to the A8N-SLI mobos so I try to share my experience whenever I can.
    Good luck with those systems bud.
    Also, I will add that I am still on BIOS 1009 on the Premium board, I have not and generally do not use beta BIOS builds, I let others do that and then I read about it here .

  7. #7
    Joined
    Feb 2002
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    85

    Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    Nope, I'm not one to use beta BIOS's either.

    Merry Christmas,

    Ivan
    Last edited by Ivan05; 12-21-2005 at 04:39 PM.
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  8. #8
    Joined
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MO-USA
    Posts
    1,265

    Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    This is a great board, i upgraded to one from an abit AV8(excellent board also). I have it oc'd just like i was running before and am using the latest beta version bios also. The only problem i had was the difference in the bios compared to what i was use to. When you get the board if you have any ?'s on how i have things set in bios just ask. I didnt overclock with any program went old school and did everyhting in the bios.
    Asus A8N-SLI Premium
    A64 4000+ @ 2.80ghz (255x11)
    XP-90/AS5/92mm Tornado
    Corsair twinx2048-3200c2pt
    Evga 7800GTX KO @ 500/1350
    WD 74gig raptors (raid 0)/ WD 160gig external
    Plextor 708A
    Audigy2 ZS Platinum
    Klipsch 2.1/Grado SR60
    Sennheiser PC155's
    PC Power & Cooling 510 deluxe
    Cooler Master ATC-201
    Windows XP Pro Sp2
    Dell 2005FPW


  9. #9
    Joined
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Cornelius, OR
    Age
    68
    Posts
    18,111

    Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    I don't have the SLI, I have the E, I also just switched from a AV8, this board was so easy.
    There are advantages to being retarded...and I'm taking advantage of all of them.

  10. #10
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Detroit-ish, USA
    Posts
    466

    Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamScream
    Use the NF controller for a single drive, use port 1 and make sure to disable the other controller and ports in BIOS, you do NOT need to pre install the drivers with a floppy during the XP installation process (F6) that only pertains to setting up a raid.

    I just ordered the A8N-SLI Premium as well, but plan to install dual 10K Raptors in a RAID-o array. Is it recommended to use the NF controller or the SI? Also, does the needed RAID drivers come with the Asus software so I can F6 'em?

    Cheers!

    • A8N SLI Prem rev 1.02, BIOS 1009, Forceware | A64 X2 4400+ (clocked to 2.4 Ghz), 2 Gigs Corsair TWINX2048-3500LLPRO | GeForce 7800GT | 2 X WD Raptor RAID-0 74 GB SATA Prim OS | Prim Mstr WD1600 160 Gig ATA100, Prim Slv Maxtor 80 Gig 6Y080L0 ATA133 | Sec Mstr NEC 2010A DVD-/+R ATA33, Sec Slv NEC 3500A DVD-/+R ATA33| Aud 2 Plat, Driver v5.12.1.383 / Hauppuage PVR250 | Kingwin RemBay with 250 Gig SATA WD250 Caviar (Ghost backups)

  11. #11
    Joined
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    21,105

    Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    In RAID O, I think I would always use the integrated chipset controller if possible. Haven't seen a block diagram, but I assume that the SI controller is on the PCI bus.

    The autorun application installer on the CD has an entry for creating a driver floppy, so just click on that.
    You can also boot to the motherboard driver CD and it will boot up in DOS and write a driver floppy for you.

    See page 118 (pdf) of the manual. Page 5-2 of the paper version.

  12. #12
    Joined
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Melbourne,
    Age
    52
    Posts
    1,092

    Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    'In RAID O, I think I would always use the integrated chipset controller if possible. Haven't seen a block diagram, but I assume that the SI controller is on the PCI bus.

    The autorun application installer on the CD has an entry for creating a driver floppy, so just click on that.
    You can also boot to the motherboard driver CD and it will boot up in DOS and write a driver floppy for you. '

    SP seems to have covered the how/to on raid and which/why controller to use, just make sure u disable ALL unused stuff in the bios...use Nv..

    One thing...if you plan to overclock, do some homework on overclocking Nvidia nforce chipsets and SATA drives...the special chipset drivers, SW, can cause problems, refuse them when you install the nf4 drivers in xp...just my 2c worth..good luck!!

  13. #13
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Detroit-ish, USA
    Posts
    466

    Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    Thanks guys!

    I currently use the integrated SI chipset for my RAID-0 array on my A7N8X and it does run off of the PCI bus. I've always experienced latency issues when running my music software in ASIO (distortion, etc) since shifting to the SATA RAID controller on that board - seems my Audigy 2 always had issue with that.

    I'm looking forward to moving my array "north of the PCI bus" - even if the NV controller gets a bad wrap on occasion. I'm really excited about this board - 1st major upgrade for me a quite a while! WAHHHOOOO!

    • A8N SLI Prem rev 1.02, BIOS 1009, Forceware | A64 X2 4400+ (clocked to 2.4 Ghz), 2 Gigs Corsair TWINX2048-3500LLPRO | GeForce 7800GT | 2 X WD Raptor RAID-0 74 GB SATA Prim OS | Prim Mstr WD1600 160 Gig ATA100, Prim Slv Maxtor 80 Gig 6Y080L0 ATA133 | Sec Mstr NEC 2010A DVD-/+R ATA33, Sec Slv NEC 3500A DVD-/+R ATA33| Aud 2 Plat, Driver v5.12.1.383 / Hauppuage PVR250 | Kingwin RemBay with 250 Gig SATA WD250 Caviar (Ghost backups)

  14. #14
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Detroit-ish, USA
    Posts
    466

    BTW, which revision #?

    For all you current owners out there, what is the latest revision of this board?

    Thanks!

    • A8N SLI Prem rev 1.02, BIOS 1009, Forceware | A64 X2 4400+ (clocked to 2.4 Ghz), 2 Gigs Corsair TWINX2048-3500LLPRO | GeForce 7800GT | 2 X WD Raptor RAID-0 74 GB SATA Prim OS | Prim Mstr WD1600 160 Gig ATA100, Prim Slv Maxtor 80 Gig 6Y080L0 ATA133 | Sec Mstr NEC 2010A DVD-/+R ATA33, Sec Slv NEC 3500A DVD-/+R ATA33| Aud 2 Plat, Driver v5.12.1.383 / Hauppuage PVR250 | Kingwin RemBay with 250 Gig SATA WD250 Caviar (Ghost backups)

  15. #15
    Joined
    Feb 2002
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    85

    TROUBLE - NEED HELP! Re: New Build - A8N SLI Premium Questions

    OK, installed the single HDD on the nVidia SATA controller (Port 1). Win XP won't install. After booting to the XP install CD and the files getting copied to the HDD, the first reboot to the HDD comes back with an "Error Loading Operating System" and halts.

    Any suggestions?

    Do I need to provide the OS with the nVidia RAID drivers? Drive looks OK when put into another systme running Win2K.+
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