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Thread: Anyone who has had SDS with DFI nF4 please respond

  1. #1
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    Question Anyone who has had SDS with DFI nF4 please respond

    Ok, have spent quite a few nights and 24 of the last 32 hours at my bench looking into the DFI NF4 M/B, sorting it out and looking into among other things possible issues that could explain SDS (sudden death syndrome), Vmem issues, and VCore peculiarities. Have sorted the hows of the MB fairly well, got a ton of data and notes, and a few "hunches".

    In the pursuit of answers, I need some input from anyone that has been through the SDS syndrome with this MB. A "questionare" follows below. Your help in the form of answers to the Qs would be greatly appreciated. Once I finish this up and get it organized, I'll be posting what I've found. Hopefully along the way save some people some problems.

    One tidbit I'll provide now is I would suggest you do NOT use any Vmem setting that is closer than 0.2V to your 3.3V supply rail in the 3.3V jumper config (i.e. if your 3.3V rail is 3.3V, don't go above 3.1V, if tweaked to 3.4V+ the 3.2V setting is ok, if it droops to 3.2V under load, don't use above the 3.0V setting, etc.).

    I would kindly ask that posts be mostly limited to the questionaire responses Thanks in advance!


    Questionaire

    1) In or Out of a chassis? (If in chassis, type of standoffs)

    2) 4 lights or 3 lights on when dead?

    3) 5V or 3.3V Vmem jumper position?

    4) What was Vmem set to?

    5) What was Vcore base voltage set to?

    6) Were you using VID special? If so, what % setting?

    7) What was Vcore startup voltage set to?

    8) Type of memory used at the time? (TCCD, BH-5, UUT, etc.)

    9) FSB setting at the time?

    10) Multiplier in use at the time?

    11) Processor type in use at the time (i.e. 3200+ Winnie or FX-55 or 3200+ NewCastle or Venice or ???)

    12) What was the last thing you did just before it croaked? (Changed VMem, Vcore, lost your lucky rabbits foot, ???)

    13) Did you notice if the Vmem good LED was lit (between DIMM slot 2 and 4-pin 12V cnx)

    14) Air, water, or phase-change on the CPU?

    15) MB jumper position settings (any you remember)

    16) What else was hooked into your system (PS2 mouse, USB this, PCI that, Gfx card)

    17) Power supply make/model being used?

    18) Did you notice if the Standby Power LED was lit after it died (just to the right of the diagnostic LEDs)

    19) Did you have all of the MB power connectors hooked up?


    [/end of questionaire... do you feel like you just took a test? ]

    Short form answers are fine (even better). If there are things you don't remember or didn't notice, no sweat, but the more complete the better Even if you only remember half of them, half full is better than empty!


    Example answer:

    In, 3, 5V, 3.6V, 1.6V, 110%, Auto, UUT, 250Mhz, 14x, 4400+ Venice (lol), Changed setting xyz in BIOS, On, Air, ???, PS2 KB & 74G Raptor & 6800U, Zippy 650W, the what?, just 24p & 4p.


    Oh, and if you've had some other unusual experience regarding Vmem or Vcore post it up... same Qs to answer, just add a brief "When I do this, everything tanks".


    Thanks for all answers and condolences on the losses.

    /me grabs a cup of java and heads back to dungeon

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    1) In or Out of a chassis? (If in chassis, type of standoffs)
    BOARD #1: In Lian-Li PC-65 case with stainless steel stand-offs
    BOARD #2: Out of case, flat on DFI Ultra-D box
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    2) 4 lights or 3 lights on when dead?
    BOARD #1: 4 lights
    BOARD #2: 3 lights
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    3) 5V or 3.3V Vmem jumper position?
    BOARD #1: 5V
    BOARD #2: 3.3V
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    4) What was Vmem set to?
    BOARD #1: 3.6VDIMM
    BOARD #2: AUTO
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    5) What was Vcore base voltage set to?
    BOARD #1: 1.550V
    BOARD #2: AUTO
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    6) Were you using VID special? If so, what % setting?
    BOARD #1: Yes. 10%
    BOARD #2: No. AUTO
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    7) What was Vcore startup voltage set to?
    BOARD #1: 1.550V
    BOARD #2: AUTO
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    8) Type of memory used at the time? (TCCD, BH-5, UUT, etc.)
    BOARD #1: OCZ PC-3200 Gold VX (2x512MB)
    BOARD #2: OCZ PC-3200 EL Platinum Revision 2 (2x512MB)
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    9) FSB setting at the time?
    BOARD #1: 10x271MHz
    BOARD #2: AUTO (11x200MHz)
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    10) Multiplier in use at the time?
    BOARD #1: CPU=10
    BOARD #2: CPU=11
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    11) Processor type in use at the time (i.e. 3200+ Winnie or FX-55 or 3200+ NewCastle or Venice or ???)
    BOARD #1: AMD 3500+ Newcastle
    BOARD #2: AMD 3500+ Newcastle
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    12) What was the last thing you did just before it croaked? (Changed VMem, Vcore, lost your lucky rabbits foot, ???)
    BOARD #1: Same settings as listed in #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #9, #10
    BOARD #2: Same settings as listed in #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #9, #10
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    13) Did you notice if the Vmem good LED was lit (between DIMM slot 2 and 4-pin 12V cnx)
    BOARD #1: LED was on at time of death
    BOARD #2: LED was on at time of death
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    14) Air, water, or phase-change on the CPU?
    BOARD #1: Air-cooled (Thermalright SLK-948U + Sunon 92mm)
    BOARD #2: Air-cooled (Thermalright SLK-948U + Vantec Tornado 92mm)
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    15) MB jumper position settings (any you remember)
    BOARD #1: Default factory-set
    BOARD #2: Default factory-set
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    16) What else was hooked into your system (PS2 mouse, USB this, PCI that, Gfx card)
    BOARD #1: PS/2 Keyboard, USB Mouse, XFX GeFORCE 6200 256MB, DVD-R
    BOARD #2: PS/2 Keyboard, PS/2 Mouse, XFX GeFORCE 6200 256MB, DVD-R
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    17) Power supply make/model being used?
    BOARD#1: OCZ PowerStream 520W
    BOARD#2: Zippy 6700P 700W
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    18) Did you notice if the Standby Power LED was lit after it died (just to the right of the diagnostic LEDs)
    BOARD#1: LED was on at time of death
    BOARD#2: LED was on at time of death
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    19) Did you have all of the MB power connectors hooked up?
    BOARD#1: All power connectors were utilized, including floppy and Molex connectors
    BOARD#2: All power connectors were utilized, including floppy and Molex connectors

    I hope that helps. My third board will survive. I refuse to have another Ultra-D die out on me.

  3. #3
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    Actually it does Thanks Conrad (although I do have to take off 5 points for your answer to Q #12 re-read it ) Best of luck with the 3rd board... just don't forget to talk to it and tell it how great it is (sorry, tad silly from the long hours lately)

  4. #4
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    With regard to question #12, I did nothing but reboot my computer. After reboot, death happened.

    Anyway, my third board is getting a lot of attention. I'm prepping it for some cold temperatures.

  5. #5
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    I'm sure you'll have great results this time Conrad! Again, sincere thanks for the info bro Just remember - cold is your friend

  6. #6
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    my board didn't have a sudden death, it had a slow death, worked like a champ for the first couple weeks, then it would just randomly reboot. was very close to sending my GSKILL to OPB, but tested it in an AXP rig and it worked fine. and so it would only work with dimm3 and only dimm3 populated. and the Nforce4 NIC died also.

    problems started with air cooling. at 320HTT, but continued even with 200HTT, and 320 with a 1:2 divider. had it at 1.45 with 113%. dram at 2.9-3.1 tried everything.

    ran it for its last days under a machI. it worked okay with this one memory as long as it ran at less than 160MHZ, even though it should be able to run 200mhz. got my CAA2C to 3.18ghz. and now finally its completely dead.

    will be RMA'ing my board to newegg tomorrow. they are very quick.
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  7. #7
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    Hope your next one lives long and OC's well Sincere thanks for taking the time to provide the info Skip Wish coulda gotten my hands on it for 10 mins lol

  8. #8
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    Im with Skip, my first board died a slow death with new small symptoms peeking up every few days. I was phase change cooling, no condensation or anything and it slowly died. I was at 280htt 1:1 with a 10x multi and then the overclock was slowly was reduced to under stock clocks because of stability problems. Then the board refused to post. This took place over about 2 weeks. I'll fill out your survey tomorrow, im off to bed right now.
    Last edited by babalouj; 03-22-2005 at 11:27 PM.

  9. #9
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    Looking forward to your input babalouj Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip
    well it is gonna fly through fast, cuz i second day aired it yesterday, with early AM delivery, so they will have it tomorrow morning. so if i'm lucky, they'll have it shipped friday, which if my previous newegg RMA's are any indication, they will have it shipped by then. So i should have it back in my hands by tuesday maybe.

    Also, it didn't have anything to do with the prom, i always have a stock cooler handy, so i did give it a shot with the stock cooler. But the problems were there before i put it under a prommie. It stopped working with memory clocked higher than 170mhz when it was on air. there were no condensation problems either. But just for my sake, could you post the measuring points? as the only thing i currently do with my voltmeter is just check my powersupply. I'd like to know the readpoints on the board for future reference.

    On the lights: At first, it would hang at 3 lights, then got past that with 1 stick in dimm3 (from CPU). booted fine with the 1:2 divider off 320MHz. Then i got it under the prommie, booted fine again at the same 1:2 divider. but tried my gskill at 1:1. worked fine for like 5 minutes, enough for me to get a 27sec superpi. then stopped working. And refused to work with anything in the orange dimms. never tried yellow, because it would never let me boot with that anyways, gave some warning.

    but when it finally had it, was when i had it in dimm3, and it would start hanging then, right before it was supposed to back up cmos. with 2 stick in, it would hang on 3 for a while, then start over and work, but hang on the post screen. So something was really funky with that board. i hope i get a winner back. I also ordered 4x512MB of the twinmos stuff, not the SP. it was 103$ per GB, i couldn't pass it up!
    Thanks for the input Skip! Hope you don't mind me bringing your post over here

    Don't you just hate those long turn-arounds (well, missing a weekend makes it seeeeeeem long, lol).

    Just an FYI... I would suggest you go into the BIOS and setup the MB with slow clocks (say 2.5,4,4,8 and FSB <= 166Mhz 1:1) when you first get the new MB, then after you've successfully booted up and it has saved the settings in CMOS, *reboot*, go back into the BIOS and turn off the "autosave last bootable settings* in the BIOS. Then as you're going up in your OC'ing, periodically save a setup in one of the CMOS Settings slots with the description fields and set em up to function keys (mine are F1, F2, F3). That way if you run into problems, bad settings, whatever, you have your tweaked settings saved just a Function Key away, plus your "auto restore" setting is loaded with a nice "failsafe" setup (which it loads if you do the "Safe Boot" jumper thing).

    Oh, regarding those measurment points... below are annotated pics showing Vmem, Vcore, & Vtt measurement points... along with others. If you (or anyone else) has their DFI Nf4 croak on them, please measure all indicated points before you ship it off and postie here

    Best of luck and Happy Hunting with your new board Skip

    [edit...ooops, forgot the pics, ]


    [edit...added Chipset Voltage]
    Last edited by EMC2; 05-28-2005 at 06:18 PM.

  11. #11
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    thanks for those tips.

    its possible maybe it didn't die. i could have just totally fried the bios.

    so when i disable those autosave last settings, will it not have that backing up cmos.... Ok whenever i boot?

    i think maybe this could be a problem for people if they crash right when its doing that, its possible it could bork the bios.
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  12. #12
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    No problem on the tips, hope you like 'em medium well

    Possible regarding the BIOS... had mine lock just after completing the update one time during testing, that's when I decided to disable that feature thinking about what could be, lol. (semi-funny side note... after one late night session at the bench, could still see those red LEDs sequencing in my mind's eye when trying to go to sleep... sure sign of too much bench time .)

    No, once you disable the option, it doesn't put the "backing up CMOS" on the screen during boot. Shows "Verifying DMI pool data" and then starts booting from the drive.

  13. #13
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    1) In the chassi at the time it died
    2) 4 lights
    3) 3.3V
    4) 2,8
    5) 1,5
    6) 104%
    7) Auto
    8) Gskill TCCD
    9) 260
    10) 10
    11) 3200+ Winchester
    12) Changed RAM. Tested some bh-6
    13) Didn't notice
    14) Air
    15) Didn't change anything
    16) USB mouse, Logitech z-3, ps2 keyboard, Powercolor x800xl
    17) OCZ Powerstream 520W
    18) Yep, it was lit
    19) Yes
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  14. #14
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    Thank you gamotibana for taking the time to provide the info Sorry 'bout your MB

    Other quick Q... was it immediately after the mem change? and had you unplugged your PS and drained the caps (push pwr switch for a sec) before swapping the mem?

  15. #15
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    1) In or Out of a chassis? (If in chassis, type of standoffs)

    Out

    2) 4 lights or 3 lights on when dead?
    3

    3) 5V or 3.3V Vmem jumper position?
    3.3v

    4) What was Vmem set to?
    2.8v

    5) What was Vcore base voltage set to?
    1.45v

    6) Were you using VID special? If so, what % setting?
    110%

    7) What was Vcore startup voltage set to?
    1.45v

    8) Type of memory used at the time? (TCCD, BH-5, UUT, etc.)
    TCCD

    9) FSB setting at the time?
    250

    10) Multiplier in use at the time?
    9x

    11) Processor type in use at the time (i.e. 3200+ Winnie or FX-55 or 3200+ NewCastle or Venice or ???)
    3000+ CBBID Winnie

    12) What was the last thing you did just before it croaked? (Changed VMem, Vcore, lost your lucky rabbits foot, ???)
    Absolutely nothing. Froze at a game's menu screen. On settings that are stable for gaming. Seems it will never boot again either.

    13) Did you notice if the Vmem good LED was lit (between DIMM slot 2 and 4-pin 12V cnx)
    Yes, lit

    14) Air, water, or phase-change on the CPU?
    Air

    15) MB jumper position settings (any you remember)
    Basic stuff. 1x6800GT so those jumpers are default. Debug speaker on.... that's really it. Everything default.


    16) What else was hooked into your system (PS2 mouse, USB this, PCI that, Gfx card)
    Wireless network card, Audigy 2Zs, BFG 6800GT OC

    17) Power supply make/model being used?
    OCZ PowerStream 600w

    18) Did you notice if the Standby Power LED was lit after it died (just to the right of the diagnostic LEDs)
    Yes, on.

    19) Did you have all of the MB power connectors hooked up?
    I didn't thinnk I would need all that crap for 1 graphics card.

  16. #16
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    This is a great thread... i will contribut some of my theorys once i get some time...

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    Thank you gamotibana for taking the time to provide the info Sorry 'bout your MB

    Other quick Q... was it immediately after the mem change? and had you unplugged your PS and drained the caps (push pwr switch for a sec) before swapping the mem?
    No, it wasn't directly after i swapped memory. I ran memtest a couple of times before it died.

    I unplugged the psu but i didn't drain the caps, I just waited for the standby LED to go off. Didn't know the board was THAT sensitive.
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  18. #18
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    --- FireDragon ---

    Maybe that discussion could take place in the "Bugs & Fixes" Sticky thread on the DFI

    --- gamotibana ---

    Thanks for the additional info I don't know that it is that sensitive... but I've always done it for any MB and haven't killed one yet Side note... I've noted that the NF4 "Dram Power LED" stays on when with only standby V applied. If you waited for the standby LED to go off, then it was most likely drained...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    Thanks for the input Skip! Hope you don't mind me bringing your post over here

    Don't you just hate those long turn-arounds (well, missing a weekend makes it seeeeeeem long, lol).

    Just an FYI... I would suggest you go into the BIOS and setup the MB with slow clocks (say 2.5,4,4,8 and FSB <= 166Mhz 1:1) when you first get the new MB, then after you've successfully booted up and it has saved the settings in CMOS, *reboot*, go back into the BIOS and turn off the "autosave last bootable settings* in the BIOS. Then as you're going up in your OC'ing, periodically save a setup in one of the CMOS Settings slots with the description fields and set em up to function keys (mine are F1, F2, F3). That way if you run into problems, bad settings, whatever, you have your tweaked settings saved just a Function Key away, plus your "auto restore" setting is loaded with a nice "failsafe" setup (which it loads if you do the "Safe Boot" jumper thing).

    Oh, regarding those measurment points... below are annotated pics showing Vmem, Vcore, & Vtt measurement points... along with others. If you (or anyone else) has their DFI Nf4 croak on them, please measure all indicated points before you ship it off and postie here

    Best of luck and Happy Hunting with your new board Skip

    [edit...ooops, forgot the pics, ]


    [edit...added Chipset Voltage]


    thx for the pics. It was very usefull
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  20. #20
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    i got a ? about checking the vcore. i know that the + lead from the dmm goes to where it says vcore, does the - lead go to ground or vgnd?? or doesn't it make a difference??
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  21. #21
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    Questionaire

    1) In or Out of a chassis? (If in chassis, type of standoffs)

    In, typical Lian-Li

    2) 4 lights or 3 lights on when dead?

    3

    3) 5V or 3.3V Vmem jumper position?

    5v

    4) What was Vmem set to?

    3.4v

    5) What was Vcore base voltage set to?

    1.325v

    6) Were you using VID special? If so, what % setting?

    120% or so?

    7) What was Vcore startup voltage set to?

    1.325

    8) Type of memory used at the time? (TCCD, BH-5, UUT, etc.)

    Mushkin Blue CL2 (4 sticsk)

    9) FSB setting at the time?

    270-280?

    10) Multiplier in use at the time?

    x10

    11) Processor type in use at the time (i.e. 3200+ Winnie or FX-55 or 3200+ NewCastle or Venice or ???)

    3200 venice

    12) What was the last thing you did just before it croaked? (Changed VMem, Vcore, lost your lucky rabbits foot, ???)

    Just restarting machine after installing windows patch.

    13) Did you notice if the Vmem good LED was lit (between DIMM slot 2 and 4-pin 12V cnx)

    It was.

    14) Air, water, or phase-change on the CPU?

    Water.

    15) MB jumper position settings (any you remember)

    From stock +5VSB for mounted USB.
    5v VDIMM jumper.
    Everything else stock.

    16) What else was hooked into your system (PS2 mouse, USB this, PCI that, Gfx card)

    Razer mouse, Saitek Keyboard, USB scale, UPS, USB hub to Viewsonic VP201b
    X850XT PE
    MCP600 x x2, 4 Panaflo M1A through rehobus, etc

    17) Power supply make/model being used?

    OCZ 600W PSU.

    18) Did you notice if the Standby Power LED was lit after it died (just to the right of the diagnostic LEDs)

    It was lit.

    19) Did you have all of the MB power connectors hooked up?

    YES

    The things that died was just my 4 sticks of Mushkin blue. Never used 5v rail after that and it is running fine with 3.4v... has been for more than a month on 24x7 setup.
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  22. #22
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    I know this is off topic but can anyone lead me to a tread like this with the NF250GB Volt testing points ?thanks

  23. #23
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    anyone ?

    Im real sorry about this being off topic but can someone lead me to were i can find this on a NF3 250GB thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by EMC2
    Thanks for the input Skip! Hope you don't mind me bringing your post over here

    Don't you just hate those long turn-arounds (well, missing a weekend makes it seeeeeeem long, lol).

    Just an FYI... I would suggest you go into the BIOS and setup the MB with slow clocks (say 2.5,4,4,8 and FSB <= 166Mhz 1:1) when you first get the new MB, then after you've successfully booted up and it has saved the settings in CMOS, *reboot*, go back into the BIOS and turn off the "autosave last bootable settings* in the BIOS. Then as you're going up in your OC'ing, periodically save a setup in one of the CMOS Settings slots with the description fields and set em up to function keys (mine are F1, F2, F3). That way if you run into problems, bad settings, whatever, you have your tweaked settings saved just a Function Key away, plus your "auto restore" setting is loaded with a nice "failsafe" setup (which it loads if you do the "Safe Boot" jumper thing).

    Oh, regarding those measurment points... below are annotated pics showing Vmem, Vcore, & Vtt measurement points... along with others. If you (or anyone else) has their DFI Nf4 croak on them, please measure all indicated points before you ship it off and postie here

    Best of luck and Happy Hunting with your new board Skip

    [edit...ooops, forgot the pics, ]


    [edit...added Chipset Voltage]

  24. #24
    Xtreme Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    bridlington
    Posts
    124
    Questionaire

    1) In or Out of a chassis? (If in chassis, type of standoffs)

    both, and just standard ones that came with the case

    2) 4 lights or 3 lights on when dead?

    both

    3) 5V or 3.3V Vmem jumper position?

    3.3

    4) What was Vmem set to?

    2.9

    5) What was Vcore base voltage set to?

    1.55

    6) Were you using VID special? If so, what % setting?

    no

    7) What was Vcore startup voltage set to?

    1.55

    8) Type of memory used at the time? (TCCD, BH-5, UUT, etc.)

    TCC5 - OCZ PC-3200 EL Platinum Revision 2 (2x512MB)

    9) FSB setting at the time?

    225

    10) Multiplier in use at the time?

    x12

    11) Processor type in use at the time (i.e. 3200+ Winnie or FX-55 or 3200+ NewCastle or Venice or ???)

    4000+ san diego

    12) What was the last thing you did just before it croaked? (Changed VMem, Vcore, lost your lucky rabbits foot, ???)

    nothing, just froze while booting up, and in windows, and in several other stages of booting up, including the windows blow lines going across forever, it was 2 hours of it before i realised there was a problem LOL

    13) Did you notice if the Vmem good LED was lit (between DIMM slot 2 and 4-pin 12V cnx)

    it was

    14) Air, water, or phase-change on the CPU?

    Air, XP-120

    15) MB jumper position settings (any you remember)

    standard?

    16) What else was hooked into your system (PS2 mouse, USB this, PCI that, Gfx card)

    usb mouse, keybord, speakers, moniter, webcam, and microphone, also lan

    17) Power supply make/model being used?

    Hiper 580W Modular

    18) Did you notice if the Standby Power LED was lit after it died (just to the right of the diagnostic LEDs)

    no, it wasent

    19) Did you have all of the MB power connectors hooked up?

    one time i didnt, but the others i did


    helpfull?
    Last edited by ionicle; 11-12-2005 at 01:53 PM.

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