AGP won't stay set to 8X!

  Gaz W 23:14 01 Oct 03

I can't get my ATi Radeon 9600 Pro to stay set on 8X speed AGP! Here are the specs of my PC:

Abit AT7-Max2 Mobo
AMD Athlon XP 2600+ (333MHz FSB version)
512MB DDR333
Powercolor ATi Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB AGP TV Out
Windows XP Pro

This is connected to a very old monitor made in 1994, but the is OK with 800x600 or 1024x768 at 72Hz and 60Hz refresh rates respectively (which is rubbish I know but it's only temporary!)

The problem is that every time I go into Display Settings (right-click Desktop) and click Advanced, then click the "SMARTGART(tm)" tab, I find that the AGP Speed is set to 4X and Fast Write is set to Off. If I click Retest All, FastWrite goes to On. If I then move the 4x up to 8x and click Apply it asks me to restart, but when look after restarting, it's all back to square 1. Fast Write is set to Enabled in the BIOS, and I just set "DBI Output for AGP Trans." to Enabled from the default Disabled. According to the manual this only appears when an 8X AGP card is installed. However, I think it's causing some problems because menu transitions in Windows XP Pro are now very slow, so I'm going to change it back!

By the way I am running the drivers that came with the card and Windows XP is completely up to date.

  Gaz W 23:20 01 Oct 03

Sorry about the long post above, but it couldn't be explained in one sentence!

Anyway I can confirm that enabling "DBI Output for AGP Trans." in the BIOS causes the menu transitions to be slower, so now it's back to Disabled.

  mark500 23:21 01 Oct 03

Check the voltages in the bios

4X (1.5V), 8X (0.8v)

  Gaz W 23:42 01 Oct 03

I couldn't find any reference to voltages anywhere in the BIOS. However, the fact that the BIOS has detected it as being 8X (because that option I mentioned above has appeared), would suggest that it has sorted the voltage out for itself.

  hugh-265156 01:27 02 Oct 03

smartgart will test and maybe set to x8 but when you restart the computer it will be reset again.the reason for this is normaly due to your motherboard not supporting fastwrites.smartgart will disable any features it "thinks" will make the system unstable.

you can remove smartgart click here (see bottom of the page)
and force x8 or fastwrites via click here or click here
i would leave it alone as x8 over x4 you will not see any improvment in speed and the same goes for fastwrites.

  hugh-265156 01:30 02 Oct 03

try updating your drivers to 3.7 click here but as above leave the fastwrites alone.

  Gaz W 00:35 03 Oct 03

I think I'll leave the drivers alone for now, at least until I can back up my system.

My motherboard is supposed to support Fast Write, or at least it's in the BIOS and mentioned in the user manual, and whenever I get it to retest, it always makes it Enabled, but won't let it stay enabled!

I did wonder whether it could be a problem with the power supply. When I built this system the case actually came with a 350W PSU, and I bought a 550W model that I was going to fit straight away. I didn't ever fit it, but maybe I'll try that if you think it could be the problem.

  hugh-265156 00:47 03 Oct 03

the power supply is not the problem.

leave the fastwrites off as you will not notice any speed above the only way to do what you want is to force it using the method above and i would not recommend you do this.your system may become unstable.

as for the x8,if your mobo and graphics card are capable of this then i dont know why smartgart is not letting you enable it.check your bios settings are set as such.x8 over x4 again will show hardly any improvement if any in speed.

  hugh-265156 00:49 03 Oct 03

ps,why leave the drivers alone? smartgart is part of the drivers,the latest 3.7 may just fix the problem.they are easy to install too.

  Gaz W 21:19 03 Oct 03

I think I'll try upgrading the drivers and see if that works. I'm not at that computer at the moment but I'll let you know what happens.

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