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Old 03-22-04, 11:00 PM   #1
jhiller
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Default GeForce FX 5200 reporting wrong RAM size after reboot

Hi.

Just got a 128 MB AGP GeForce FX 5200 (eVGA.com product), and been using it about a month. Just noticed that when I reboot using either reboot or CTRL-ALT-DEL, when the card BIOS POSTs next, it reports 64.0 MB instead of 128.0 MB. This does not appear to happen if I use down (shutdown -h) as opposed to reboot, or on initial (cold) boot, or if I use the system reset button on the case.

I'm not doing anything special to make this happen - just boot the box, log in, and then reboot, and it happens.

System is: Tyan S2460 dual processor AMD Athlon MP with AMD-760 MP chipset; the referenced eVGA.com video card, video BIOS version 4.34.20.27.00; and, at the moment, linux-2.6.4. It also was happening with 2.6.5-rc1-mm2 and 2.6.5-rc2-mm1. It may have been happening with 2.6.2 and 2.6.3 and the various -mm patches, but I hadn't noticed it at the time I was using them. I also was using sysvinit-2.84 and it was happening, so I just upgraded to sysvinit-2.85, and that didn't change the results.

Any thoughts anyone might have on what could be causing this, how to identify it, or how to fix it would be appreciated.

Also, I've tried a few times booting and rebooting Win2000 Professional to see if a similar behavior occurs. So far, I've not been able to generate it, but I haven't tried a lot either, so I can't yet say it's not an issue there. But it doesn't appear to be.

thx,
jbh
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Old 03-22-04, 11:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: GeForce FX 5200 reporting wrong RAM size after reboot

this happened with my old geforce 256
was randomly showing up as having 16mb instead of 32mb at times, a reboot fixing it
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Old 03-23-04, 04:00 AM   #3
jhiller
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Default Re: GeForce FX 5200 reporting wrong RAM size after reboot

Hi.

Thanks for posting! Please note, however, that I mentioned that a hard reboot brings back a correct size report. However, your problem was "random" as you said - this is very clearly tied to a particular trigger. Also, I'm looking for information that could lead to an actual solution, rather than just a workaround.

thx,
jbh
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Old 03-23-04, 09:45 PM   #4
LordMorgul
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Default Re: GeForce FX 5200 reporting wrong RAM size after reboot

It might be alot of filesize to attach, but perhaps you could post the XF86Config (making sure it didn't change between boots.. drake has a tendency to do this), and the /var/log/XFree86.0.log in each condition (128mb and 64mb identified). You could diff the logs if they are very similar.

Does your config specify the video ram size?
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Old 03-23-04, 10:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: GeForce FX 5200 reporting wrong RAM size after reboot

Hi.

Thx for posting! I could send config and log files from X, but believe it doesn't matter. Reason is that this happens without any use of X. I'll recap my precise sequence here:

Power up; video BIOS POST; reports 128 MB; motherboard POST; kernel boot; I log in as root; issue "reboot" (aka shutdown -r); init invokes runlevel 6; reboot starts with video BIOS POST; POST reports 64 MB.

I have also verified that this happens when I issue CTRL-ALT-DEL within linux, such that init captures it and goes to runlevel 6. If I issue CTRL-ALT-DEL outside the init context (say, after shutting down with shutdown -h now, and then doing the CTRL-ALT-DEL), I get a normal reboot - the video BIOS POST reports 128 MB.

Since my first post, I have run several other tests to nail things down further. I did in fact start X when the kernel booted after the 64 MB was reported. I started X with no XF86Config, so it then does a probe of the card and logs the results in the xf86 log file. That shows that X is seeing just 64 MB when this condition exists, so the effect is real, and not some kind of ghost.

I was beginning to think that in some odd way it had something to do with either the kernel or with init/shutdown, so I rolled back to 2.4.21 booting off a CD-ROM. Same problem. Then I did the same thing on an older Tyan S1590 board with the card - no problem! So I'm now thinking that it has something to do with the chipset (AMD 760 MP) on the S2460. Note that this chipset was only ever integrated with this particular board, so it doesn't have a wide field of use.

If I can provide any more data, or if you poke holes in my analysis so far, please let me know.

thx!
jbh
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Old 03-23-04, 11:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: GeForce FX 5200 reporting wrong RAM size after reboot

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhiller
Hi.

Thanks for posting! Please note, however, that I mentioned that a hard reboot brings back a correct size report. However, your problem was "random" as you said - this is very clearly tied to a particular trigger. Also, I'm looking for information that could lead to an actual solution, rather than just a workaround.

thx,
jbh
it wasn't linux specific afaik

was a long time ago tho :\ ~1 year now
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Old 03-23-04, 11:16 PM   #7
jhiller
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Default Re: GeForce FX 5200 reporting wrong RAM size after reboot

Understand. When I made my first post, I was having a hard time believing it would be a linux-specific issue, but since I couldn't generate the problem under Win2K, I couldn't make many other guesses. With the info I've collected since and just posted, I'm beginning to think it has to do with the mobo chipset, either alone or possibly exacerbated in some way by some state that linux and/or its reboot leaves some bus (PCI or other) in when it retires.

Still grasping here...

thx,
jbh
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Old 03-24-04, 01:22 AM   #8
LordMorgul
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Default Re: GeForce FX 5200 reporting wrong RAM size after reboot

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhiller
Hi.
Power up; video BIOS POST; reports 128 MB; motherboard POST; kernel boot; I log in as root; issue "reboot" (aka shutdown -r); init invokes runlevel 6; reboot starts with video BIOS POST; POST reports 64 MB.
I did misunderstand before, thinking that it was in fact miscommunication between the kernel and X, but that does look like a quirk of the hardware. This is a 'shot in the dark':
Have you fiddled with agp aperature and/or agp settings in the bios and determined if the same thing results? Does windows indicate the wrong video ram size when switching from linux directly to windows--sounds like you tried this, but the POST should occur independent of which OS you're headed to.. does the incorrect ramsize show up or does windows ignore the POST and determine the ram size later?

And... have you tried duplicating this using a live-cd linux to rule out distro/config specifics that might be there? This is the latest mobo BIOS as well? (you might take a look at the revision notes for that to see if any thing agp related changed)
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Old 03-24-04, 11:07 PM   #9
jhiller
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Default Re: GeForce FX 5200 reporting wrong RAM size after reboot

Hi!

Good questions all. Here are hopefully good answers:

AGP aperture twiddling: Was at default, 64 MB. Changed to 128. No change in behavior.

Other AGP settings: Only one other one in the BIOS. I forget what it's called, but it's a cache setting, and the current value is the default, "Fast Write Enabled."

Linux-to-Windows: Executed the sequence to get the 64 MB V-POST; then booted Win2K and checked Display Properties -> Settings -> Advanced -> Adapter. Result: 64 MB reported. Side note: If the card thinks it has only 64 MB, methinks there's no way for Win (or linux) to ignore it and find something else. Even when I did this with the X server and its probe feature, it reported 64 MB.

Boot from linux CD: Yes, did this, both with the card in a different board, and in the offending board. On different board, could never get the 64 MB outcome. On the offending board, always got it (after a reboot action). Even got it when the ISOLINUX image couldn't get read off the CD due to errant fingerprint, and thus linux itself hadn't loaded off the CD.

Motherboard BIOS: Tiger MP 1.05, flashed when I received the board 9 months ago. No further releases since then. Have to find the release notes, will do that. But suspect no issues will be found, mainly because this board was marketed for server apps - probably very few used as desktops with 128 MB cards, which were $100's when the board was in its prime. So, probably not a very wide user base.

Anything else you can posit, please go for it. Still grasping, reaching end of mental paths on how to diagnose/identify.

thx,
jbh
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Old 03-24-04, 11:21 PM   #10
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Smile Re: GeForce FX 5200 reporting wrong RAM size after reboot

Just a thought, but, have you updated to the latest motherboard BIOS?? I run the Tyan S2466N-4M (Next model up). And I don't get that problem. (Running MSI GF FX 5950 Ultra 256MB)

http://www.tyan.com/support/html/b_s2460.html

It might be worth a shot.

Wolf
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Old 03-24-04, 11:41 PM   #11
jhiller
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Default Re: GeForce FX 5200 reporting wrong RAM size after reboot

Hi!

As in previous post, am running 1.05. If there's a newer one, I'm not aware of it (reviewed the link you provided, and it provides links to 1.02-1.05).

thx,
jbh
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Old 03-24-04, 11:55 PM   #12
Wolfman [TWP]
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Default Re: GeForce FX 5200 reporting wrong RAM size after reboot

Sorry about that... Hmmm... Can't think of what else might cause that problem. I don't remember seeing any problems with AGP on that chipset. Only in relation to USB. (The MPX chipset fixes that issue).

You have pretty much checked everything else, that I can think of. Except that it may be possible that the video card is a little suspect. Which maybe a possibility.

Wolf
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