MSI PM8M3-V rev. 1 - unstable gaming only

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by trodas, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
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    I working with computes since 1991 and there is not much that I cannot understand, but this MSI mobo is challenging me. So, the mobo in question is a MSI PM8M3-V with PCB rev. 1.0 and latest bios v1.4 used.

    Board: MSI PM8M3-V (VIA P4M800) PCV rev. 1.0
    Bios: Version 1.4
    VGA: PNY 6800GT 256MB DDR3 350MHz/1GHz
    PSU: Enermax Liberty 620W PSU (replaced caps to quality ones!)
    CPU: 2800MHz Celeron D 336 (133x21) 1.350Vcore
    MEM: 2048MB OCZP4001G 2.5-3-2-7 200MHz 2.60V
    HDD: 500G Western Digital 16MB cache (WD5000AAKB)
    COOLER: Intel box cooler, checked, AS paste applied, cooling good (slowing all the way down to 1000 rpm in reality)
    OC: NONE! (tried FSB 133 -> 138 and it get unstable even in Firefox, lol)
    OS: Windows 2000 SP4 Czech

    More info:
    19" iiyama ProLite E1980SD 1280x1024 75Hz DVI
    DVDRW NEC DV-4551A (16x DVDRW)
    IDE 100MB zip
    floppy with 7+1 USB2 reader Mitsumi FA404
    Using PS2 mouse (Logitech MX510 red)
    OkiPage 14ex laser printer
    NetGear WGR614 fireWall / 54MBi WiFi - OFF

    The Cause
    --------------
    While the mobo is perfectly stable in normal usage, gaming is a problem. I working hard to make the mobo stable, it is not stable in 3D games. In the end of making it stable it is not stable even in 2D Windows... lol.

    To cut long story short - at first, it was just a mobo full of known bad caps that sometimes refuse to boot and losing clock AND bios settings when power is cut off. Sometimes it also crash during SoF2 _LOADING_ (never gaming), but that it is. Very rare crash.
    [​IMG]

    So I replaced all the caps, put even these that aren't there back in action and used hi-grade caps. For example the best polymers that even exist Nichicon LE for Vcore and for voltage supply there are Nichicon HZ caps - the best elyte caps even made - king in terms of ripple current, only Samxon GA is "par to par" with them, but that it is. Sourced from Digikey, so, originals.
    [​IMG]

    Result - still not stable. So I blamed the Radeon 9100 with questionable caps and added 120mm fan blowing on it.
    Still no help, rare crashes of game. Fast Writes disabled, AGP 4x (R9100 cannot go faster), 1 WS Write/Read used, Calibration ON.
    So I replaced the Radeon 9100 with GeFroce 6800GT, that have only 3 caps (Chemi-con polymers) and worked well for me before. Truth is a years ago... http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189594

    Problems get worser. Even exiting SoF2 or Quake3 is impossible now. It always freeze on exit...! It get reasonably stable for playing, yet try save screenshot and it crash ASAP. So I try lower the AGP rate (allow me to choose only 8x or 4x), disable Fast Writes, disable AGP Master 1 WS Write/Read and even disable AGP 3.0 Calibration Cycle (one by one). No help.
    So I toyed with the voltage, raising from 1.55 to 1.70 and no help either.

    Another thing that I added a huge nice heatsink on the NB, because the original one was pretty small and useless. And I discovered beneath it, that there was just a dip of white paste widely off center and that was it. Most of the heatsink did not even have contact with the chip...!
    So I tought - I got this! Laped a BIG heatsink, Arctic past used and screwed it tight on the NB... and again no help.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So the last thing to toy with is the AGP Driving Value. It can be changed from 00 to FF, defaut on Auto show DA.
    Dunno what will happen, but I run out of ideas right now.

    Therefore I'm open to ideas. About the caps - there is one about 10uF SMD cap at the very end of AGP port. This cap I did not replaced. Could this be the culprit? Any suggestion about the Driving Value? I think - try 0 (00), 32 (20), 64 (40), 96(60), 128 (80), 160 (A0), 192 (C0), 224 (E0) and 255 (FF) and see, witch of these values give the best stability?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire R9100 250/200MHz
    memtest:
    [​IMG]

    7 hours straight w/o a error.

    [​IMG]

    Prime 95 memory test at the tightest timings the rams can handle - that means CL2!
    (2-3-2-7)
    And I would very much recommend them the stability, because there are damn good caps used for rams now:
    [​IMG]


    Prime 95 CPu test
    [​IMG]

    I improved the Vcore output flltering. Before bad 680uF Ost caps:
    [​IMG]
    ...and now a polymer Nichicon LE 820uF 2.5V supercaps:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. StewieTech

    StewieTech Chuck Norris

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    I find amusing your passion for caps.

    How do you know the problem is in the motherboard? Have you tried gpu stress and stability?
     
  4. Megabiv

    Megabiv Master Guru

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    OS/HDD corruption possibly? I can't help too much since i can't read the error message. Also I agree with StewieTech you passion for capacitors is remarkable.
     

  5. Lain

    Lain Master Guru

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    Why do you think it is a hardware issue? most of my hardware problems didn't give an windows error. A BSOD when I was lucky.

    And that fixation on caps is indeed... remarkable.
     
  6. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
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    HDD tests did not reveal any problem:

    [​IMG]

    ...so I think we can rule HDD or HDD cabled problem out of the question. Also I would noticed HDD errors, and they are nonexistant.



    ...but I suspecting the one cap that I did not replaced yet, because I did not trust caps at all after some failures. I would like to mention that the PC did not started correctly today. After a post it ended in endless loop with just the flicking lene char from dos "_" in the top left corner. Failing to enter the VGA mode once again. Reset fix that, but you know I suspect the cap:

    [​IMG]

    (the small, 10uF 16V (?) one that I did not yet replaced, the rest are replaced with quality Nichicons)
     
  7. Megabiv

    Megabiv Master Guru

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    Do you have another hard drive you can put Windows on and test with to see if its the OS that's actually got the problem? Windows does have the ability to self destruct if it gets an incompatible update or driver.

    I'm almost certain that replacing that other capacitor is not going to fix your issue, but if you really feel the need to then why not :D.
     
  8. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire R9100 250/200MHz
    Well, I will try reinstalling and could (if that not help) try another HDD later, true. But how can a winblows affect the starting issues?
    The answer if pretty simple - it cannot. It did not even get to have any action, so this starting issue point to a HW problem, where changing from DOS to VGA mode is a problem. That point to only one thing - problems with videocard. And since the card itself is fine and can play 3D game four hours... then what else that this last cap can be the culprit?

    I see no way in hell that anything else could be blamed there, but feel free to try suggest anything, yet backup the claim with the most important WHY you think this or that component is failing.

    To damaged windows/drivers are actually pointing only one thing - the inability to run Furmark! This is unexplainable, since the HW does support OpenGL 2.1 and so does (or it should?) the Forceware 61.76 WHQ drivers. Or I'm wrong?

    [​IMG]

    After two hours of gaming the PC finally crashed (at first, it took two crash attempts to get SoF2 working, but once it is working, then things go smoothly - no more crashes in loading, as with Radeon 9100) and I took the oportunity to diassemble it right away and check temps and then voltages.

    Temps
    CPU Vcore regulators are lightly mildly warm, as if there is nothing going on. Clearly good surprise, they obviously benefit from the quality caps and even under load stays cool. Great.
    GFX card - cold, well cooled.
    But NB chipset cooler (and now it is a BIG one) is relatively warmer that expected. It is not like hot, but clearly I expected lesser temperature. So my idea that a better cooling is necessary might not be far off the reality what is need. That is why I get the Thermalright SI-128 SE... but the damn bottom scews are missing, so I cannot use it :(
    Rams are about the same temp, as the NB heatsink. Well warm, not hot, but warm.

    Voltages
    3.40V, 5.11V and 12.01V on the wires from PSU to HDD/GFX card. Directly on the GFX card connector there is a 11.99V, so the cables and connection give 0.02V drop. Not bad at all.
    Vbattery is 3.56V.
    But what I see as definitive BAD NEWS is the voltage I measured on the last not exchanged cap. And that is precisely 1.55V.
    Ring any bell? Yeees, this is the AGP voltage set in bios! So clearly this cap have something to do with the AGP and it is not at all impossible, that it could be the culprit behind the crashes.

    Because to me it seems that everytime the GFX card should change it's mode of operation (from TXT mode to VGA mode, from 2D to 3D...), then it is very likely to crash.
    Actually todays 4 times it hang on TXT mode to VGA mode switch, during all the resets and powering on and on again...

    Bottom line - dunno if this is caused by the exchange of GFX card or not, but time and bios settings are lost once again, even I put a new battery there.
    (I have to use small GFX card (old good Riva :) ) to be able to measure the voltage on the small SMD cap.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  9. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire R9100 250/200MHz
    Before reinstaled, I installed the NETframework. Version 2.0 works, just install of v2.0 SP1 does not. But in both cases then the testing tools failed miserably:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So testing tools that require way too much are out of the question.


    MSI PM8M3-V bois v1.4 (+ unlocked v1.4) and v1.5 (+ unlocked v1.5):
    http://www.mediafire.com/?9npsvnsc8pmzhx1
    http://dfiles.eu/files/z5ar3lnbl
    http://www.uloz.to/xKAgfX51/MSI+PM8M3-V+bioses.zip


    But now I have the C (Win partition) backup w/o any drivers at all (no VIA 4+1, no sound driver and no Forceware driver) and after that installed. And the reinstall really helped. Call of Duty (1), Quake 3 or the cursed SoF2 not crashing on exit anymore!
    Hoooray!

    ...yet still they crash during longer gaming, witch I blame on the cap and overheating of almost everything inside. Mainly the GPU VRM (71°C with just small ATItool cube!) and the NB. The NB I plan to fix using the Thermalright SI-128 SE cooler (just get the missing female screws for P4) and the GPU VRM? Well, I don't know why it overheat that much. But maybe the Chemicon 330uF 16V SMD d10 polymers are not as good as they should be and a replacement of the TWO input caps on the card (the third and last cap on the board is 100uF suxxka) could help?
    Or add another caps for the voltage filtering of the 12V input?
    Or add a serious cooper custom made heatsink on the GPU VRM?
     
  10. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire R9100 250/200MHz
    Prime95 overnight CPU torture test - 7h 8min
    [​IMG]

    No errors. Claims, that the machine is unstable in terms of CPU are dismissed. It must be the gfx card and/or it's powering.
     

  11. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
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  12. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire R9100 250/200MHz
    Well, the more recent drivers worked and now the card support OpenGL v2.0 and hence - it run FurMark :clap:

    Got a very low score of 547:
    http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/score.php?id=adf68965f6a7ce8c0abbafb8ba784250

    ...but the problem is, that the FurMark did not crashed for about TWO hours straight MaxBurn test...

    [​IMG]

    I was somewhat confused, that the image on screen did not update, but that it probably because FurMark is checking for bugs in the image, right?
    Never the less, I have complain. On screen it write this:
    Renderer: GeForce 6800 GT/PCI/SSE2

    Obviously I have a problem with the "PCI" part, because the card is AGP and given some of the slow-downs it really looks like as it run on PCI speed, not AGP 8x...

    No idea what this cause, but probably some wrong initialization of the card. Regardless if this works as I supposed right, then the card seems to be stable.

    There are minor annoyances too, tough they are not new at all. First at all - opening overlay took for the first time eternity. (1 - 2 minutes) Dunno why that happen, never seen that in my life, but it does happen with different Forceware frivers (61.76 WHQ, 77.72 WHQ) as well, as with different VIA Hyperion 4in1 drivers (v5.24a, v5.11a, v5.04a). So it have to do something with what the card seems to initialize.

    ALSO I cannot get the AGP page back in the drivers. It was there:

    [​IMG]

    ...and now, even I add to the registers the coolbites:

    Code:
    REGEDIT4
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak]
    "CoolBits"=dword:0000000f
    "NvCplEnableHardwarePage"=dword:00000001
    "NvCplEnableAdditionalInfoPage"=dword:00000001
    "NvCplEnableAGPSettingsPage"=dword:00000001
    It is just not there.
    Also a minor problem is, that the gamma value in nVcpl can be set only between 0.5 and 3.61 - too sensitive, no way to set better value or get back to 1.0 :(

    Kinda bad that FurMark run slow, yet not fail. I did not dare to take a screenshot of the "PCI", but the slow-downs in SoF2 looks like something is wrong with the speed...
     
  13. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire R9100 250/200MHz
    Replacement CPU arrived (a HUGE thanks must go to OC AU user Datsun 1600 for creating the missing screws for the Thermalright SI-128 SE and giving me great P4 CPU for neat CPU upgrade! http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=1097986 ), so I went gaming and... again the PCI/AGP troubles, slow performance, etc. And it crashed during my gaming once again :( Same way as before. Changed box cooler to Thermalright SI-128 SE (greatly temps get reduced) and also now the 120mm fan is blowing to the NB heatsink - yet still no help at all. Crashing. New CPU at least feel much faster now:

    Old MSI PM8M3-V (VIA P4M800) board, new Pentium 4 540 (3.2GHz, 1MB L2) CPU :) Faster a "bit" - 45sec compared to a 72sec with Celeron D suxxka :)

    [​IMG]
    http://valid.canardpc.com/uv65p3

    old: http://postimg.org/image/s85ao8vqv/

    So it is definitively NOT the CPU. The CPU might be dead-slow, yet worked just perfectly. No help in sight, except maybe replacing the last cap with something good, like 10uF elyte change to 47uF tantalum cap?
     
  14. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire R9100 250/200MHz
    [​IMG]

    Now every software claims that the card run in PCI - the damn card must changed the slots by itself, and just forget to tell me about it :D


    After all it more and more looks like a HW issue related to the capacitor AND mosfets around the AGP. Usually when instability happens, increasing voltage fix the problem. In this case, increasing voltages = increasing prblems. The mobo is now fairly stable - that does not mean it is not crashing anymore, it does crashing, but not that much often - (even in light gaming like SoF2, CoD (1) and Quake 2 (KMQuake port with 300MB of hi-res textures) when I use the lowest AGP voltage possible.
    That lead me to believe that the capacitor is the culprit, that overheat the mosfets and they might even need resoldering to the mobo... So next step - obtaining a replacement cap. I think that tantalum 47uF 10V cap ( http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/10TPE47MAZB/P16230CT-ND/4146673 ) would be a good and suitable replacement. Plus maybe adding some little heatsink on the little mosfet?

    Should be also noted, that I increased the FSB a lot from 133 to 200Mhz!
    http://valid.canardpc.com/73iuwi
    http://valid.canardpc.com/uv65p3
    And it does not affect the instability of any way. If the problem is the chipset, being unstable for FSB 133, then it would go VERY bad when raising the FSB to 200MHz by using full P4 CPU in the place of Celeron D crap. But it did not happen. Therefore the chipset it cleared from any wrongdoing.

    To show my appreciation I give it a great laped heatsink AND fan blowing at it now:

    [​IMG]

    So there is no more excuses for the crashes that could be attributed to the chipset.
     
  15. CrazY_Milojko

    CrazY_Milojko Ancient Guru

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    From my experience (I have computers since '87, first PC in '95) motherboards with VIA chipsets VIA KT400 and newer can act weird unstable if you use more than one DDR400 RAM module @ DDR400.

    One DDR400 RAM module @ DDR400 = stable
    Two or three DDR400 RAM modules @ DDR333 = stable
    Two or three DDR400 RAM modules @ DDR400 = ustable here and there

    So try to lower RAM speed to DDR333 with same Cas Latency (2.5-3-2-7, 1T or 2T?) and if it helps try with a little bit agressive Cas Latency timings like 2-3-3-6 (2T, if it is stabile try with 1T).

    Edit
    OK, now I see from CPU-Z screenshot that you are driving RAMs @ 2T DDR400 CL 2-3-2-7
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013

  16. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire R9100 250/200MHz
    Well, not only that - I cannot set 1T at all. In bios, there is 1T and 2T Command Rate settings, but in any case, it end up 2T.

    Don't ask me how or WTF. I don't know. Probably a bios bug.

    As for the stability - I must stress once more that the machine is 100% memory and CPU and HDD stable. Never there are case of any, not even slight, failure. The AGP access, in the other hand, that is TERRIBLE.

    It is not the chipset, because the chipset is now running with P4, witch means much faster FSB and so on... and yet, it is still ROCK stable. And it get more stable, when I lower the AGP voltage from default 1.55V to 1.50V...!
    Interesting.

    All it all it point to the one last unchanged cap :( It must be it.

    Other caps are changed to quality ones already:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire R9100 250/200MHz
    As for the 10uF d4 SMD cap, I will replace it (shortly, fingers crossed) with a 220uF 4V Tantal-polymer KEMET cap, so that should fix the problem. If it still fail, then the NIKOS poor mosfet is up to the blame and ... what replacement to choose for it??? Anyone?



    Replacement suggestions?

    The AGP regulator seems to be: NIKOS P3055LDG
    http://products.niko-sem.com/images/product/127605182145127.pdf

    This is, in short:
    TO-252 (DPAK) 25V, 50mOhms, 12A, Gate charge 15nC, Gate treshold 1.2V

    ...so, what better with same gate charge/treshold and possibly lower resistance when opened (50mOhms are a bit HIGH IMHO) could anyone suggest?
     
  18. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire R9100 250/200MHz
    Looking at the IPS1011RPbF,
    it have 6V input (max. step down 28) witch is fine (input is 3.3V) but a 10mOhms, should do 18A and the rise time and shutoff time are simply uncomparable with 50uS and 330uS, compared to the 6nS and 20nS :)
    NIKOS owned!

    Sadly, there is gate treshold 1.7V (a bit too high to replace a 1.2V) and also there is absolutely NO WORD about gate charge :(
    http://www.irf.com/product-info/datasheets/data/ips1011.pdf

    That suxx. Something else is probably necessary :(

    Semiconductor NCV8401
    42V, 23mOhms, 33A, rise time 41uS, shutoff time 164uS
    but gate treshold 1.8V :(
    http://www.onsemi.com/pub_link/Collateral/NCV8401-D.PDF

    Infineon BTS 3142D
    42V, 28mOhms, 30A, rise time 60uS, shutoff time 60uS
    but gate treshold 1.7V :(
    http://www.infineon.com/dgdl/BTS3142_DS_13.pdf

    ST Micro
    40V, 35mOhms, 12A, rise time 350nS, shutoff time 450nS
    gate treshold (forward on voltage) should be 0.8V, witch is pretty good
    gate charge is not listed there, but todal is 36.8nC
    http://www.st.com/web/en/resource/technical/document/datasheet/CD00002219.pdf

    ...that one could be it...?
     
  19. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire R9100 250/200MHz
    I choosen this mosfet as good replacement:

    Vishay SUD50N02-06P
    http://www.vishay.com/docs/71931/sud50n02.pdf
    20V, 6mOhms, 26A, rise time 10nS, shutoff time 24nS
    gate treshold 0.8V, gate charge 19nC

    Even that at 4.5V the resistance is actually 9.5mOhms, then it is still far better that 50mOhms.
    Also the mosfet can operate at 175°C, witch is pretty high.
    While it is a bit slower (rise time 10 to 6, shut off time 24 do 20), the gate treshold 0.8V should compensate that a bit for the original is 1.2V... The slightly higher gate charge 19nC over 15nC should not be a problem.

    I believe I found the perfect replacement, that is better than the original!


    ...however I would prefer that things begin to work, but they do not. I managed to replace the last remaining capacitor on the MSI PM8M3-V mobo - the 10uF d4 SMD suxxka, that have kinda horrible ESR or 3.2 Ohms:

    [​IMG]

    ...with a new SMD tantal-polymer KEMET 220uF 2.5V capacitor T520B227M2R5ATE015
    [​IMG]
    ...with have ESR around 0.015 Ohms :D

    That should be a huge improve. Also I, out of the desperation, resoldered a bit the drain tops of there NIKOS mosfets near the AGP slot.

    And result?

    ABSOLUTELY NONE!

    So it looks like that the mainboard was not up to the blame the whole damn time. It is the videocard that have to be recapped.


    The Radeon R9100 was crashing when new SoF2 level is loading. Given that it run passively cooled on Licon caps:

    [​IMG]

    ...with 60 mOhms ESR one should not wonder. Rest of the caps looks quite similar, so recapping is in order, just waiting for the caps (as usual).


    The PNY 6800 GT failed after a short time to run in AGP mode, going down to PCI mode and crashing after some gaming is played. Now that is serious problem, because there are just THERE caps, two of them polymers on the voltage input filter and they are Chemicon polymers.
    Last one is unknown 100uF SMD cap and that it is for other that ceramic caps! I would be inclined to add some caps in the blank spots too, probably something over 100uF SMD... and I would also like to create a custom effecient heatsink for the mosfets on the card, because they do overheat a lot - GPU VRM temp 71°C: http://postimg.org/image/x9m8pl4sl/


    Should I try recap these graphic cards before I try replacing the NIKOS mosfets? :confused:
     
  20. trodas

    trodas Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire R9100 250/200MHz
    Quick report - after recapping the Radeon R9100, I put it into my MSI PM8M3-V mobo and at first it show ram errors (heartbreaking, after so much work and so many polymers and added caps...) on the screen, so I have to pull it off and check.
    Fortunately, I managed to find the bit of tin, that ended up on one of the bottom ram chips and after cleaning - hoooray, all works like a charm!

    Immediatelly the card go into AGP 4x mode (!) and despite being TAD slower that PNY 6800GT, the system feels notably faster. That is, because, PCI mode DO SUXX BADLY. Therefore it is getting almost sure that the mainboard was NOT for the blame. The bad caps are in the GFX card(s), witch I indent to fix, of course.

    Now is time for a clean win install and then I do more testing - mainly the play testing and longetivity under serious load. Then I might be inclined to see, if I can overclock the card a bit, despite the poor speed to start with :)

    The lesson from all this is too early to draw, but there are only 3 caps on the PNY 6800GT, that are not ceramic: two Chemicon polymers 330uF 16V d10 SMD and one 100uF 16V d6.3 SMD Nichicon UD with 3.4V on it + some empty spaces, but that it is.

    Since I was getting about 71°C on the VRM mosfets ( http://postimg.org/image/x9m8pl4sl/ ) with just the ATI tool cube in small window, then I suspect these Chemicon polymer caps are up to the blame.

    Of course the cooling of these mosfets is poor, but that was unchanged since day one and the card worked well for me before, so...
     

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