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Old 03-21-07, 02:00 AM   #1
xwred1
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Default Nforce 680i driver questions

I bought an Nforce 680i board last weekend, and I'm running nothing but Linux on it. Part of my decision to get it was that from researching a bit, it looked like all the stuff is now driven by open source drivers.

I've been having a certain stability problem, however: it looks like my sata controller drops out sometimes. I'll be using the system, and for no reason other than me randomly accessing it, anything wanting disk io blocks forever. I think I might be suffering from this problem: http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/11499

My board is the Abit IN9 32x-Max and it deviates from the reference design though. I'm running the newest Abit bios from March 7th, and it still happens.

Is there any info on this from the nv people?

Even further, this has been making me think about the oss drivers for the things on this board in general. For example, how good is forcedeth? I'm using it now, and its ok in casual use. But I'm wondering if it might be a hack job that performs way worse than say Nvidia's Windows driver, for example?

I'm wondering the same for the sata driver. I'm using sata_nv as comes with Ubuntu 6.10. According to linux-ata.org, newer Nforce chipsets use ahci. But it seems the kernel still uses sata_nv. According to this, this chipset actually DOESN'T do ahci.

I don't mind using the sata_nv driver if its ok -- but is it? Does it implement NCQ and all that nice stuff?

This post is kind of broad, but in googling and searching these forums, I haven't found satisfactory answers to my questions. Thanks!
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Old 03-21-07, 06:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Nforce 680i driver questions

I dunno about the SATA driver, at the very least you have no NCQ, which is a pain when you want to turn the write cache on the disk drive off.

I can tell you, however, that recently (for at least 9 months or so), the forcedeth driver works very well for me. Both as in is fast and efficient and as in doesn't crash my box.
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Old 03-21-07, 09:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Nforce 680i driver questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by xwred1
I bought an Nforce 680i board last weekend
Hmm. If you're able to return it, then you might want to consider doing so and getting an ~equivalent board from ASUS or Tyan. The reason is that, at least from my perspective, those two vendors are very responsive to Linux customers. However, I can't confirm that first-hand, since I don't have any boards made by them presently. Ask around.

Quote:
I've been having a certain stability problem, however: it looks like my sata controller drops out sometimes.
It looks like you have a Silicon Image eSATA controller onboard. Unfortunately, that won't provide a non-nForce internal SATA alternative. If you keep the board, then you may want to pick up a PCI[e] SATA controller card.

Quote:
My board is the Abit IN9 32x-Max and it deviates from the reference design though. I'm running the newest Abit bios from March 7th, and it still happens.
Contact Abit. Stress that you want prompt attention if you're considering returning the board.

Quote:
Even further, this has been making me think about the oss drivers for the things on this board in general. For example, how good is forcedeth?
IME, it's fine, but I'm only using 100Mbit max. Also, avoid NAPI (new kernel API).

Quote:
I don't mind using the sata_nv driver if its ok -- but is it? Does it implement NCQ and all that nice stuff?
No NCQ, last I checked. I'm using an onboard JMicron 20360/20363 SATA controller instead on my board, which does work with NCQ and the ahci driver on Linux.

Good luck.
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Old 03-21-07, 11:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Nforce 680i driver questions

running Ubuntu 6.10 no probs
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Old 03-22-07, 01:48 AM   #5
xwred1
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Default Re: Nforce 680i driver questions

Quote:
Hmm. If you're able to return it, then you might want to consider doing so and getting an ~equivalent board from ASUS or Tyan. The reason is that, at least from my perspective, those two vendors are very responsive to Linux customers. However, I can't confirm that first-hand, since I don't have any boards made by them presently. Ask around.
I can't return it.

I don't see what difference it'd make, unless Asus made a plain better board. Its not like the board manufacturer has anything to do with the drivers. I'd likely be using the same possibly shoddy drivers.

The first time I was writing this post, my system hardlocked again

I guess you are suggesting Abit will be unresponsive if I personally email them about this sata problem I'm experience in Linux, while Asus would be responsive and release a bios?
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Old 03-22-07, 05:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Nforce 680i driver questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by xwred1
I don't see what difference it'd make, unless Asus made a plain better board. Its not like the board manufacturer has anything to do with the drivers. I'd likely be using the same possibly shoddy drivers.
The problem is not necessarily "shoddy drivers," although that is likely with Linux + new hardware. Of course, it could also be some BIOS bug(s), damaged hardware, or a combination of issues. If it's a hardware quirk fixable in the BIOS, then yes, the board manufacturer does have something to do with it.

Quote:
I guess you are suggesting Abit will be unresponsive if I personally email them about this sata problem I'm experience in Linux, while Asus would be responsive and release a bios?
No; for all I know, Abit might be very responsive and helpful. I was making suggestions under the assumption that you could return the board. Since you can't, it doesn't matter--you're stuck with Abit.

Anyways, check your PMs.
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Old 03-22-07, 04:14 PM   #7
xwred1
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Default Re: Nforce 680i driver questions

I caught the kernel error when sata dies on a console last night:
ata1: command 0xea timeout, state 0x50 host_stat 0x0

It repeats for ata1 and ata2, where my drives are, and the command hex code changes as well as the host_stat. I googled it.. seems like some people on nforces with high activity across two disks get this. Anyone here got it, or fixed it even?
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Old 03-22-07, 06:36 PM   #8
xwred1
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Default Re: Nforce 680i driver questions

So when I googled it earlier, alot of people were reproducing it consistently on various nforce chipsets by hitting two drives.

I've been using a raid1 setup, so it makes sense that I might hit that too. Strange though that resyncing the array after each reboot never induced it, but just piddling around in openoffice or nautilus would.

I'm posting this from a feisty herd5 livecd w/ a "cat /dev/sdX > /dev/null" going on each individual drive, no problems so far. Its been going for several hours.
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