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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:15 pm 
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Posts: 9551
Location: Arlington, MA
The following is a short list of hardware which is known to cause people needless grief and the known issues with it. This is not to say that people can't and don't get some this hardware working, even more or less painlessly. However there is a saying that goes - "The race doesn't always go to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.". Please avoid this hardware when possible, and save us the trouble of saying, "We told you so."

Let's start out with "the gang of four":
    - Motherboards based on many Via chipsets - known to have DMA problems. This is particularly problematic with the Hauppauge PVR cards. There is no known work around.

    - USB keyboards and mice - known to cause problems booting and to not be recognized during boot. Sometimes BIOS setings can help. You may also be able to unplug the device and plug it back in after booting.

    - SATA drives as your boot device - known to require a manual install and cause problems booting. BIOS settings can help, particularly if your BIOS has a PATA compatibility mode. Manual installation and configuration may work but many people have intractible problems booting from these drives. Success stories are strongly correlated with Linux expertise and the ability to fall into a sewer and come up with your clothes clean and the pockets full of gold and gems.

    [WARNING DOWNGRADED - Most SATA drives and MoBo SATA controllers work most of the time with R5F1 and later. We do get an occasional trouble report, but then again folks still report the occasional odd problems with PATA IDE drive jumpering, cables, controllers, BIOSes, ... too. Do your research and make sure that no one has reported insurmountable problems before picking your motherboard and hard drive.]

    - ATI video cards - known to be difficult if not impossible to get working with video playback and TV-Out. Some ATI cards SIMPLY WILL NOT WORK. Whether a given card will or won't work seems highly variable. This is partially a driver issue, partially an experience and documentation issue, and partially a hardware issue. The last factor may have something to do with more variablity in the design of 3rd party cards using ATI chipsets. Lacking better Linux driver support from ATI there is little hope in sight. I'm going provisionally downgrade this to: "Should work under R5B7 with genuine ATI cards or exact "reference design" clones using Radeon 9xxx series chips or better."

    [WARNING DOWNGRADED - Many ATI card work out of the box with R5F1. On the other hand, there are still a fair number of reports of people struggling with these and it's still generally easier to get an NVidia based video card working and to get help with them. There's simply far more experience and far more documentation available in the forums and on the wiki. Caveat Utor.]

Edited on 3/19/2006 to update on better ATI support.
Edited on 7/13/2007 to update for better SATA and ATI support.


Last edited by tjc on Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 10:48 am 
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Location: Arlington, MA
Hey Cecil, could you make this sticky? Thanks...


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:31 pm 
Here is a good list of motherboard chipsets to avoid when using Hauppauge tuners.

http://www.hauppauge.com/html/lockups.htm#MOMLIST

Andrew Lynch


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:19 am 
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I have a VIA KM266 Pro / VT8235 chipset on my Biostar M7VIG 400 mobo.

I am not aware of any DMA problems with it. It works fine.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:08 pm 
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Location: Nashville, TN
while I have heard a couple of people not have problems with the via266 chipsets I have heard many many more that did have the dma lockup issues, so I would still label it as hardware to avoid.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 4:58 pm 
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Right-o. Like so many others, I had a via board that would boot up 1 out of 3 or 4 times. I replaced it with an N-Force based board and haven't looked back since. ;)

Gonz


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 7:21 pm 
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Location: Arlington, MA
gummybear wrote:
I have a VIA KM266 Pro / VT8235 chipset on my Biostar M7VIG 400 mobo. I am not aware of any DMA problems with it. It works fine.

Congratulations!

However I did title this "Hardware to Avoid" rather than "Hardware That Doesn't Work Ever" and go on to add:
Quote:
This is not to say that people can't and don't get some this hardware working, even more or less painlessly.

The essential point remains that after following the forums for any length of time you will see more folks have more unnecessary trouble with these four types of hardware than with anything else.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:59 am 
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Location: Salem, MA
I had a lot of problems with the Bioware M7VIZ. I could not get the TV-out to work properly with an Nvidia FX5200 on that motherboard. It may have just been me, but when I replaced it with an nforce chipset mobo (Bioware M7NCG) all my problems went away. I just wouldn't risk it.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:04 am 
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See this thread for current info on ATI video cards. http://mysettopbox.tv/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6309 Note that this is working for SOME users with SOME cards. Caveat utor!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 12:09 pm 
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A worthy addition pointed out to me by tjc in another post:

GeForce 6100, 6150, 7800, and probably later video cards are not a good thing to buy at this time, as well as motherboards that have onboard video with those chips (such as the bioware T6100).

The reason is this:

Quote:
From MythTV 0.19 Release Notes
It is highly recommended if you are using the Nvidia binary VGA drivers that you use version 7676 or earlier as later revisions have serious problems with features like XvMC and OpenGL sync which can result in poor performance or lockups. (If you're running a version older than 7676 which provides all the features you need, you need not upgrade.)


Support for the 6100 and 6150 was added in driver version 8174 (see release notes here to see it yourself)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:32 pm 
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My MSI KM2M based on the VIA KM266 worked out of the box, but I will be checking haupage's recomended settings in the bios just to be sure I dont start having those issues. I may also start looking for another board in case one day I do start having issues...

anyone need a micro ATX board that take Sdram and DDR (it's why i bought it)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:47 am 
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I just found out on another thread that the PVR350 is unsupported.

http://mysettopbox.tv/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=10836

It does work for basic TV recording and playback, but that's about it. Fast forward and rewind are broken. There's no sound when doing divx/xvid or DVD playback. And the lack of a maintainer means that the situation probably isn't going to get any better any time soon.

Also, it encodes to MPEG2 which is lossy but a disk hog. Recompressing MPEG2 to MPEG4 is probably not the best idea for quality.

I'd say the PVR350 is ok for a strict Tivo replacement, but not a good choice if you're looking for something more full featured.

(Personally, I'm looking for an archive box. I want all my DVDs plus full seasons of recorded TV all online in an easy access menu. So for me, the PVR350 was definitely the wrong choice.)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:13 pm 
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I wanted to add that nForce chipsets do not currently work well for digital audio via S/PDIF. The word from the ALSA maintainers is that this will not improve until nVidia provides the necessary information.

Analog audio seems to be fine, and for some combinations of motherboard and home theater receiver, S/PDIF can work reasonably well if you don't mind some occasional glitches.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:09 pm 
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Quote:
I just found out on another thread that the PVR350 is unsupported.
http://mysettopbox.tv/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=10836
It does work for basic TV recording and playback, but that's about it. Fast forward and rewind are broken. There's no sound when doing divx/xvid or DVD playback. And the lack of a maintainer means that the situation probably isn't going to get any better any time soon.

Not maintained, maybe, but definately supported.
I don't care about ff and rew, jumping 30s forward and 10s backwards is much faster and more convenient. I get though a 4min commercial break in less than 10s, much easier than trying to ff through it.
And the sound issue you describe is not a 350 problem. Playing sound for divx/dvd doesn't even go thru the 350, it comes directly out of the PC sound card. Sounds like you don't have yours set up right.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:59 pm 
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Location: Fontana, Ca
There is nothing wrong w/ the PVR 350. Folks things that because it offers TV out, it is a video card and it isn't. If you plan to output anything other than MPEG-2, don't expect peak performance.

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