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Old May 1st, 2004, 02:50 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
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P4P800 Deluxe Firewire/RAID Conflict

System Specs:

P4P800 Deluxe motherboard
Intel P4 2.4GHz 800FSB Processor
Corsair XMS Extreme 2x512MB DDR400 2-3-2-6 Dual Channel RAM
GF FX5900 Ultra 256MB DDR Video Card
Hercules Fortissimo 7.1 Sound Card
Quad Seagate Barracuda 120GB 7200RPM in RAID 0+1
Windows XP Professional with SP1
Sony DCR-HC85 MiniDV Camcorder

All of the latest BIOS, drivers and updates for every device installed.

This is actually not a question, but a technical fact for anyone out there with this motherboard. If you plan on using the built-in firewire on the motherboard to transfer digital video and you have your system configured for IDE RAID using the RAID controller on the motherboard, forget about it. I was getting dropped frames and artifacts in video during every capture of DV using every possible program (Pinnacle, Ulead, WinDV, Scenalyzer, etc.) I went out and bought an Adaptec FireConnect 4300 PCI card with 3 firewire ports and everything works great.

It took me a week of rigorous research, testing and troubleshooting to figure out that there is a conflict between the VIA firewire controller and the VIA RAID controller (driver issue?) so I figured I'd share the information and save someone the time and hassle.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 04:44 AM   #2
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Adam,

I have the same MB with 4 hard disks on the VIA RAID controller (2x RAID-0) and I haven't had any problems with this setup when capturing using the onboard firewire. I haven't had a single dropped frame or artifact yet.

My setup:
P4P800 Deluxe (rev 1.2)
Intel P4 2.8C CPU
2x512 Mb Corsair Twinx DDR400
Hercules 3Dprophet 9800 pro (ATI)
Creative Soundblaster Live! Platinum
4 x Western Digital 40Gb (7200 rpm)
Windows XP Pro - SP1
Canon XM-2 camcorder

Transfers were done with Scenalyzer.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 12:34 PM   #3
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That is quite unusual to hear after all the testing I did. Of course I tried everything except messing with the BIOS and IRQ's. I am curious to see your IRQ list. Can you give a quick look and share your results? Also what is the Plug & Play OS and the PCI latency set to in your BIOS. Before I added the Fireconnect card the VIA 1394 was sharing IRQ 20 with my Hercules Fortissimo 7.1 sound card. Now the sound card is by itself and the new TI 1394 controller shares with the onboard LAN at 22. So that adds even more variables. Different IRQ's and different 1394 chipsets. Anyway, $50.00 later and not having to reinstall Windows I am happy with the results.

Thanks for the input.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 01:48 PM   #4
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Here's a screen-capture of my IRQ-listing.
http://www.ravek.net/irq.jpg

P&P OS is set to "No" and I'm not sure about the PCI latency. It's default though, so I think "32".

It will be a hard to nail problem I think. So it's great you got it sorted with a small investment. Have you heard of any other people having similar problems?
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 04:41 PM   #5
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Your IRQ list pretty much matches mine before I disabled the onboard firewire and your BIOS settings are the same. Any further testing would require me to back up 240 gigs of data, reconfigure without RAID and play with BIOS & IRQ settings... probably even re-installing Windows; and I just don't have the motivation, let alone the time, to do any of that at the moment. So, for 50 bucks I'm glad I don't have to bother with it.

The VIA Arena forum is filled with complaints about various VIA chipsets, including some regarding this exact same problem. I am not surprised, as I have had motherboards based on the VIA chipset in the past and experienced many of the same problems.

One particular and very popular complaint that is very disconcerting is that the VIA RAID controller utilizes more CPU processing time than it's own hardware to control the RAID function. As a result, there is little or no performance increase. I haven't done any benchmarks to prove this, though theoretically I should be quadrupling read performance with RAID 0+1. Now I am questioning whether or not that is actually the case.

These days I try my best to stay away from VIA chipsets whenever possible. I should have known better than to buy a motherboard with any VIA technology on it at all. Oh well, I suppose its going to be a Gigabyte motherboard the next time around.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 09:31 AM   #6
 
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FYI...I've got the same config...with no problems at all. You may have a defective mobo.

My setup:

Pentium 4 3.06 gig
Corsair XMS RAM 1 Gig
ATi Radeon 9800 Pro
Mona Echo PCI sound(onboard sound disabled)
3 IDE HD's & 1 CD-RW on IDE channels
2 Seagate SATA HD's on a RAID 0 setup
Win XP Pro SP1
Sony DSR-20 DV tape player/recorder
Scenealyzer
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 09:37 AM   #7
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I've also heard some bad stories about the VIA IDE-RAID controller on that board. For instance a decent driver for Linux is non-existent. Also the performance is below average, but I've still noticed an improvement over normal IDE.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 09:58 AM   #8
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Just out of curiosity, why didn't you select the P4C800-E motherboard?

Not being smug, just curious.

Althought there is, apparently, still a firewire conflict on the C board, the LAN and RAID controllers work pretty much on their own and have few reported problems.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 11:18 AM   #9
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The P4C800 does not do IDE RAID 0+1

It will do RAID 0+1 but only with a combination of 2 SATA and 2 IDE HD's, and I already had the 4 Barracudas before buying the motherboard. The IDE Promise RAID on the P4C800-E only has 1 controller (2 HD's).
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