Linux eats i486's

Linux eats i486's

Post by Meghan Nicole Sutherla » Sun, 09 Jan 1994 08:16:14



Hi,

I've been running Linux for the past 3 months and think its the
greatest thing since sliced bread. But I had a bit of a problem
earlier this week, and was wondering if anyone else out there has had
it.

I bought a new motherboard, a 486 sx 33 with 128k cache and
something happened to it. I don't know whether its a software or
hardware problem, thats why I'm posting.

Here's what happened:

I stuck in the new motherboard and linux ripped (16.81 bogomips)
on it for about 6 hours then the machine just _died_. I mean
total died. It won't boot: I don't get the BIOS garbage at
on boot-up (Ie memory check, the "AMI BIOS" stuff). I've tried
clearing the bios settings, changing the memory everything - and I still
can't get it working. I should also point out that I tried all of
the cards, drives, ram etc in another machine and they all work fine.

I beleave the motherboard is working as when I turn it on it
"BEEPS" steadily - not "ticking" but a continous tone (like
a dial tone). I read somewhere what this meant but can't remember
what it means. Anyone?

I would post more information (ie dump, bios date etc) but I
can't get at anything on that machine to see what happened. If
someone can help me and needs more information I'll try to come up
with more!!!

Thanks Very Much.

Sean Watkins

Linux, the choice of a GNU generation.

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by xxmcl.. » Sun, 09 Jan 1994 14:52:39



>Hi,

>I've been running Linux for the past 3 months and think its the
>greatest thing since sliced bread. But I had a bit of a problem
>earlier this week, and was wondering if anyone else out there has had
>it.

>I bought a new motherboard, a 486 sx 33 with 128k cache and
>something happened to it. I don't know whether its a software or
>hardware problem, thats why I'm posting.

>Here's what happened:

>I stuck in the new motherboard and linux ripped (16.81 bogomips)
>on it for about 6 hours then the machine just _died_. I mean
>total died. It won't boot: I don't get the BIOS garbage at
>on boot-up (Ie memory check, the "AMI BIOS" stuff). I've tried
>clearing the bios settings, changing the memory everything - and I still
>can't get it working. I should also point out that I tried all of
>the cards, drives, ram etc in another machine and they all work fine.

>I beleave the motherboard is working as when I turn it on it
>"BEEPS" steadily - not "ticking" but a continous tone (like
>a dial tone). I read somewhere what this meant but can't remember
>what it means. Anyone?

>I would post more information (ie dump, bios date etc) but I
>can't get at anything on that machine to see what happened. If
>someone can help me and needs more information I'll try to come up
>with more!!!

>Thanks Very Much.

>Sean Watkins

>Linux, the choice of a GNU generation.

I once saw OS/2 2.0 smoke a '486/33 CPU....brand new one, too!
I thought it was OS/2 for awhile, something in the software that
detected 'clones' and toasted them! well....it could happen..
OK, it sound like your motherboard is the problem, not the software.
Sometimes you get a series of beeps, that mean something to somebody
not around to hear it. The solid tone may mean something to the mfgr.

Good luck,
Mike

--------------------------------------------------------
My opinions are my own, I don't even attend ISU.
I just live near by. They don't know who I am!
--------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by Kevin W. Coone » Sun, 09 Jan 1994 17:16:14



Quote:> I stuck in the new motherboard and linux ripped (16.81 bogomips)
> on it for about 6 hours then the machine just _died_.

If a machine will die within it's first year of use, the death will
probably occur in the first 24 hours of use.  This is called the
"burn-in" period (some companies put all their machines through a
burn-in period just to be sure what they are shipping won't fail) .
Return your motherboard and get another one.

-Kevin

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by Rennie All » Tue, 11 Jan 1994 02:36:21




>: If a machine will die within it's first year of use, the death will
>: probably occur in the first 24 hours of use.  This is called the
>: "burn-in" period (some companies put all their machines through a
>Speaking of burn-ins: we all know that linux or other unices are more
>'stressful' on memory/hardware than DOS is.  The motherboard manufacturers
>(or the hardware dealers, more likely) should be burning in their
>systems with Linux, and probably that burn-in should be running mpqs,
>too.
>For those of you who don't know, mpqs is the central program to that

I used to work for a company which sold hardware, and we used QNX to burn-in
hardware.  It was simply amazing to me that (at that time - 1991), most of the
low-cost motherboards could not hack it.  Things have improved quite a bit in
the last couple of years, and unless you buy bottom of the barrel motherboards,
they all seem to work (however, there is still quite a variety in performance).

For peripherals, however, care should still be excersised when purchasing for
a non DOS/Windows environment...

The basic rule; spend a reasonable amount of dollars on hardware, and buy
"brand-name" perhipherals (i.e. ATI, Adaptec, etc.) still holds, especially
when we're talking Linux (since you saved a lot on the OS :-).  This doesn't
apply if you've time to burn, like mucking about with driver code, and don't
really care if it turns out that it can never be made to work correctly....


QUICS: rgallen (613) 591-0934                 34 Riverstone Rd.
Voice: (204) 339-8005                         Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R2V 4B2
Fax:   (204) 488-5943

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by Michael David Hende » Mon, 10 Jan 1994 23:20:59


Quote:>If a machine will die within it's first year of use, the death will
>probably occur in the first 24 hours of use.  This is called the
>"burn-in" period (some companies put all their machines through a
>burn-in period just to be sure what they are shipping won't fail) .
>Return your motherboard and get another one.

When I first got my machine I just about went out of my mind when
they told me it had to burn in for 72+ hours.  It was a friday
and I wanted it right NOW :)  However, after hearing some horror
stories I am glad they did it, I wonder however how some
companies (esp. mail-order) can ship a computer next or even
same-day and not have many returns.

Mike Henders

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by Michael David Hende » Wed, 12 Jan 1994 15:01:13


Quote:>low-cost motherboards could not hack it.  Things have improved quite a bit in
>the last couple of years, and unless you buy bottom of the barrel motherboards,
>they all seem to work (however, there is still quite a variety in performance).

This is starting to get off topic, but my motherboard is a true
486dx50.  It has 8 layers instead of 4, and 45 degree angles
instead of 90.  I was told that the extra layers helped remove
static and improved reliability (both of hardware life and data)
and the 45 degree angles helped prevented the circuitry from
'snapping'.  Is this actually a much better motherboard than most
or was the salesman giving me the run-a-round?

Mike Henders

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by Brett Re » Fri, 14 Jan 1994 04:59:07



Quote:>Hi,
>I've been running Linux for the past 3 months and think its the
>greatest thing since sliced bread. But I had a bit of a problem
>earlier this week, and was wondering if anyone else out there has had
>it.
>I beleave the motherboard is working as when I turn it on it
>"BEEPS" steadily - not "ticking" but a continous tone (like
>a dial tone). I read somewhere what this meant but can't remember
>what it means. Anyone?

Ahh, this is normally a memory error.  Try reseating your memory.
If you have 8 simms, try running with first 4 and then the other four.
Make sure your video card is securely seated.  If this all fails
get a new board.

>I would post more information (ie dump, bios date etc) but I
>can't get at anything on that machine to see what happened. If
>someone can help me and needs more information I'll try to come up
>with more!!!
>Thanks Very Much.
>Sean Watkins

>Linux, the choice of a GNU generation.

--

cheers,
brett.

+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

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|                                                                            |
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by Matthew Rhot » Sun, 16 Jan 1994 14:36:01




>>I beleave the motherboard is working as when I turn it on it
>>"BEEPS" steadily [...]
>Ahh, this is normally a memory error. [...]

Beeping death at power-on time can also mean other things, like, eg,
you just put a new q00l bus-mastering VESA card in your box and your
motherboard doesn't support bus mastering. (At least that's what my
motherboard did.) It can also mean something as simple as some part
being loosely seated. Memory is certainly a great place to start
looking, though.

 -matt
--
Matthew Rhoten - his .signature, his opinions.

"I'm not sure I remember HOW to sleep."
 -Dan Sommerfield

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by Brett Re » Sat, 15 Jan 1994 15:28:13



Quote:>>If a machine will die within it's first year of use, the death will
>>probably occur in the first 24 hours of use.  This is called the
>>Return your motherboard and get another one.
>When I first got my machine I just about went out of my mind when
>they told me it had to burn in for 72+ hours.  It was a friday
>and I wanted it right NOW :)  However, after hearing some horror
>stories I am glad they did it, I wonder however how some
>companies (esp. mail-order) can ship a computer next or even
>same-day and not have many returns.

Simple.  They either run up the separate components before assembly, or they
build up the systems and test them before they are sold.  Now there is an
unusual concept .....

>Mike Henders


--

cheers,
brett.

+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

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|                                                                            |
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by Kevin Sande » Tue, 18 Jan 1994 02:32:34



>Simple.  They either run up the separate components before assembly, or they
>build up the systems and test them before they are sold.  Now there is an
>unusual concept .....

This may not even be enough, given the current myriad of operating system
choices now available.  I've seen several machines which would run DOS and
Windows just fine, but choked on any version of Unix.  Fortunately, a
machine which chokes on Linux will probably also *on NT, so that
gives us some leverage against broken systems (assuming you buy from a
vendor which has a copy of NT for testing).

A friend of mine just bought a new PC, and gave the dealer a copy of the
Solaris CD ROM distribution.  His purchase was contingent on Solaris
loading up properly.  Of course he paid big $$ for the system, so those
of us going the cheaper route will have to be sure that the vendor
guarantees the machine for some period of time, and not just for DOS
and friends.  I hope vendors won't give the old "well it works fine here,
must be your software" excuse if some flavor of Unix doesn't run.

                                  _____________
                                 |     ___     |
    Kevin Sanders, KN6FQ         | o o \_/ o o |      Try Boatanchors

                                 |_____________|

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by Jonathan Buzza » Wed, 19 Jan 1994 07:33:16


Quote:>This is starting to get off topic, but my motherboard is a true
>486dx50.  It has 8 layers instead of 4, and 45 degree angles
>instead of 90.  I was told that the extra layers helped remove
>static and improved reliability (both of hardware life and data)
>and the 45 degree angles helped prevented the circuitry from
>'snapping'.  Is this actually a much better motherboard than most
>or was the salesman giving me the run-a-round?

The 45 degree angles are more likely to be for reducing EM
interferance at high clock speeds, particularly as you have a true
486dx50.

JAB.

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by Reimond Romb » Thu, 20 Jan 1994 08:38:49





> Any motherboard that can work at 50 MHz is obviously better than most,
> which only run at 25 MHz (SX/25, DX/25, DX2/50) or 33 MHz (SX/33,
> DX/33, DX2/66).  The whole reason for reducing the sharpness of angles

This is definitely wrong. Please read INTEL databooks on this topic very
carefully. You will find the truth which is: i486DX2-66 is the best choice
for all unixes. If a i486DX3-99 (name correct?) is available this is the best
choice.

--

Aachener Strasse 14             voice +49 2236 82431
D-50389 Wesseling               fax   +49 2236 40075

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by H. Peter Anv » Tue, 25 Jan 1994 14:59:42







>> Any motherboard that can work at 50 MHz is obviously better than most,
>> which only run at 25 MHz (SX/25, DX/25, DX2/50) or 33 MHz (SX/33,
>> DX/33, DX2/66).  The whole reason for reducing the sharpness of angles

>This is definitely wrong. Please read INTEL databooks on this topic very
>carefully. You will find the truth which is: i486DX2-66 is the best choice
>for all unixes. If a i486DX3-99 (name correct?) is available this is the best
>choice.

Thanks for replying to a message without understanding what it was
about.  We were discussing why certain *motherboards* are built they
way they are, and I pointed out that a motherboard built to run at
50 MHz (486DX-50) has to be better (higher quality) than one built to
run at 33 MHz (486DX-33 or 486DX2-66).  The computer with the
486DX2-66 might have a higher performance, but it is irrelevant.

A 486DX2-100 (50 MHz MB) would have a higher performance than a
486DX3-100 (33 MHz MB), but would require a higher quality (more
expensive) motherboard.

        /hpa
--
This message was sent from a system running Linux, the freeware UNIX
clone.  Get yours from tsx-11.mit.edu or sunsite.unc.edu.

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by Jason Matthe » Wed, 26 Jan 1994 13:20:12



: Thanks for replying to a message without understanding what it was
: about.  We were discussing why certain *motherboards* are built they
: way they are, and I pointed out that a motherboard built to run at
: 50 MHz (486DX-50) has to be better (higher quality) than one built to
: run at 33 MHz (486DX-33 or 486DX2-66).  The computer with the
: 486DX2-66 might have a higher performance, but it is irrelevant.

Bah. What tropical plant are you smoking?

When the DX50 was first released many questionable vendors immediately
dropped them into there so called DX/33 system boards.  And actually,
this worked great. No modifications were needed and the system boards were
already available and ready to go...of course there was one problem
(there always is :-]) It was that a typical 33Mhz system board was not
FCC Class B Computing compliant when run at 50Mhz. Of course vendors
tried shielding there cases, and what not, but they could not sell their
system boards seperately because no one wanted to buy a Class A device
for the home (some did unknowingly of course, and I would but I feel no
obligation to maintain my neighbor's television reception anyway :]).

The point is that almost any i486 system board that is rated at 33Mhz
-AND- has BIOS support for 50Mhz can run at 50Mhz indefinitely. Even if
the BIOS doesnt support 50Mhz it only means that you are loosing some
clock cycles somewhere. You will still see an
improved performance *AND* the board should be able to maintain that
speed for the expected MTBF for that product.

: A 486DX2-100 (50 MHz MB) would have a higher performance than a
: 486DX3-100 (33 MHz MB), but would require a higher quality (more
: expensive) motherboard.

Yes a DX2/100 would have better preformance than a DX3/100 simply because
the system board is running 51.51% faster than the DX3 counter part.

But it would not necessarily mean that a 'superior' system board is
needed to accomodate these speeds.

--

<>--------------------------------------------------------------------------<>
<>                                                                          <>
<> Following his arrest, it was estimated that his little scam netted him   <>
<> $6,000 that year. He is on probation, his equipment confiscated, but if  <>
<> you asked him why he hacked he still sighs: "It's the greatest thing in  <>
<> the world man."                                                          <>
<>                                                                          <>
<>      (>---> Approaching Zero                                             <>
<>                                                                          <>
<>--------------------------------------------------------------------------<>

 
 
 

Linux eats i486's

Post by Zhahai Stewa » Thu, 27 Jan 1994 08:57:02




>: Thanks for replying to a message without understanding what it was
>: about.  We were discussing why certain *motherboards* are built they
>: way they are, and I pointed out that a motherboard built to run at
>: 50 MHz (486DX-50) has to be better (higher quality) than one built to
>: run at 33 MHz (486DX-33 or 486DX2-66).  The computer with the
>: 486DX2-66 might have a higher performance, but it is irrelevant.
>When the DX50 was first released many questionable vendors immediately
>dropped them into there so called DX/33 system boards.  And actually,
>this worked great. No modifications were needed and the system boards were
>already available and ready to go...

The peripheral chips (chipsets) like DMA controller, interrupt controllers,
DRAM controllers also have speed ratings - just like CPUs and memory chips.
Do you waste money on 70 ns DRAM when 100 ns is cheaper, just because the
specs call for it?  Some chipsets are rated by their manufacturer for less
than 50 MHz processors.  If you run it faster, you push the margins.  This
is compounded by the fact that higher frequences make the motherboard design
trickers - stray capacitance or signal coupling problems get worse (this is
very much RF design, being in the low range of broadcast TV!).

When you push the margins, sometimes it will work and sometimes it will not.
When the supply voltage drifts up or down a tad, or the temperature
changes, or the cards you put in change the capacitance, or even the
components age - sometimes it may flake out on you.  This varies from
motherboard design to motherboard design, chipset to chipset, and even
between supposedly identical motherboards.  If it works for you to clock
a 486DX40 at 50, great.  But that doesn't mean that it will be reliable
for everybody.  Likewise 33 MHz motherboards clocked at 50 MHz, even with
a true 50 MHz CPU.

Quote:>The point is that almost any i486 system board that is rated at 33Mhz
>-AND- has BIOS support for 50Mhz can run at 50Mhz indefinitely. Even if
>the BIOS doesnt support 50Mhz it only means that you are loosing some
>clock cycles somewhere. You will still see an
>improved performance *AND* the board should be able to maintain that
>speed for the expected MTBF for that product.

The BIOS is mostly irrelevant.  One can run 50 MHz with a BIOS that has
no idea what the speed is, or plug a BIOS that has some speed options into
a motherboard that can't handle 50 MHz.  One does NOT lose some clock cycles
here and there like spilled gasoline from a bad fuel line; if you "lose" a
clock cycle, you just corrupted your data and things are going to go bad in
a way you won't like.

The MTBF or lifetime of the motherboard could conceivably be a concern only
if the chipset was overheating.  This is not typically the problem.  The
problem is occassional unreliability.  Unexplained hangups or bus errors.
When you over-do it, sometimes you will get by with it, sometimes not.  It's
fine for people to try to push the clocks, but they should know the true
tradeoffs, and not be misled about the nature of the risks.  If you want to
run an old motherboard faster than it's rated, check the chip temperatures,
carefully.  Unless they are very hot, your only risk is unreliability.
         Z

Quote:>: A 486DX2-100 (50 MHz MB) would have a higher performance than a
>: 486DX3-100 (33 MHz MB), but would require a higher quality (more
>: expensive) motherboard.

>Yes a DX2/100 would have better preformance than a DX3/100 simply because
>the system board is running 51.51% faster than the DX3 counter part.

>But it would not necessarily mean that a 'superior' system board is
>needed to accomodate these speeds.

>--

><>--------------------------------------------------------------------------<>
><>                                                                          <>
><> Following his arrest, it was estimated that his little scam netted him   <>
><> $6,000 that year. He is on probation, his equipment confiscated, but if  <>
><> you asked him why he hacked he still sighs: "It's the greatest thing in  <>
><> the world man."                                                          <>
><>                                                                          <>
><>      (>---> Approaching Zero                                             <>
><>                                                                          <>
><>--------------------------------------------------------------------------<>