The board is very quirkey. The first thing I noticed was that it took a very long time to post, both from the onboard ATI Rage card, and from the Gloria III I was suing in it...
Then, when it did post, the CPUs (a pair of Athlon 1200 MHz MP chips) posted at 1066 MHz... Strange since the chips had a 9 multiplier... So I used the 'post boot summary screen' BIOS option and discovered that the chip was actually being run on a 120 MHz FSB... Weird huh?
There were also a whole series of strange error messages.
So I did a BIOS flash, to version 2.06. That seemed to take care of the error messages, but not the FSB timing issue. I've now got a lead, thanks to a helpful chap at AMDMB.com who has found that by booting several times in a specific order, enabling and disabling the on board video, the problem can be solved.
I have yet to try the method (I'm a very busy guy, and this was only a guinnney pig/demo system anyway) .
But the 2000 install went flawlessly, and the drivers, and software. It has now been through some excruciating real world apps, like 3dsmax, Soft, Maya, Form_z, Photoshop, Premiere, etc. I've yet to see it crash.
Anyway, in the course of getting the board functional, I did quite a bit of research and have to admit that I'm in the middle ground. Lots of problems, but they aren't too serious (most were fixed by the BIOS flash), great stability, and I have to brag a bit here, even at 2x1066 MHz, performance to die for.
Never the less, the BS I had to go through to get this board operational was simply absurd, and I'm pleased to note that in my research I have come across some information regarding AMD and Tyan's responce.
Tyan, dispite their great repution responded with thre BIOS fixes in one week, and then took a long vacation, literally. I'm not too happy about that, and their tech support doesn't seem interested in talking to me.
AMD, on the other hand, seems to realize what it at stake for them. They did briefly pull their recommendation, and handed Tyan a list of parts to upgrade or replace, including, among other things, the very sticky, and difficult to unclip ZIF sockets. As far as I know, Tyan has complied.
If you are interested in buying this board, I suggest waiting for the version AMD forced Tyan to fix to become more available. I know some people have recieved then from Tyan by doing RMAs. They can be spotted by their plastic ZIF levers, rather than steel. This is the most noticable difference to the human eye. They will come with BIOS version 2.06, and so far, everyone I've talked to who has had one of these later versions is pleased.
My opinion is that Tyan should do a recall on all the first release boards. If the fix I have been told about works, I personally would not send the one I have back, however I know of serveral people who would.
Now, my advice about buying this board... wait. AMD is pressuring Tyan pretty dramatically, I've heard, and that should get the newer boards through the channels quickly. But I wouln't mail order the board for at least a month, since it is impossible to know which revision you're getting. If you buy at fairs or shows, look for the plastic ZIZ levers. They are indicative of the later model.
Hope this helps someone!
feel free to email me with any specific problems you might have. Use my RPI adress: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Well, well, well. It appears Mr. C0ck-up has entered the building
I personally am extremely interested in this board, or more precisely other AMD MP boards. Am I right in thinking that both ASUS and ABit are now releasing boards based on the same 760MP chipset? In this case, the chipset itself has presumably been through 3 separate testing stages, which would indicate to me that it might be OK, it would be rather extraordinary for all 3 (plus presumably other manufacturers) to all miss any problems with it.
As for Tyan, I'm pretty surprised they would be responsible for such a poor release. They were presumably picked as launch partners by AMD because of their reputation and the high-end market their boards are often aimed at. It would be extremely unfortunate if AMDs reputation were to be soured by a bad launch board for an otherwise OK chipset and MP setup. However, I can't believe AMD would let the board go to market recommended without thoroughly testing it themselves either.
If anyone dealing with this board gets any more information, I for one would like to see it posted in this thread if possible.
What does this button do?
You wouldn't believe the number of different configs we've tried on our board, without succes, and I can assure you we know how to setup a system properly. I sent the following email to my contact at AMD and he would fwd it to the people at Tyan, unfortunately I haven't heard back from Tyan yet.
I have come across a few problems with the dual Athlon MP platform and am hoping you can help me, or at least give some pointers. Let me give you a breakdown what our testsystem looks like first and then get to what problems I've come across.
All drivers/bios and patches are the latest as found on the AMD and Tyan websites.
For some reason I cannot get the system up and running stable. It crashes frequently during bootup, while running apps or simply when not doing anything. I've checked everything with the manual and I also tried running it with default BIOS settings and an IDE HD and CDROM with onboard video enabled, with the same instability.
I've also swapped out all of the components for different brand/models one at a time trying to track down any compatibility issues, but it wouldn't run stable. I have replaced the HD, the memory and the PS already, with the help of the nice people at Quantum, Crucial and NMB. The most stable setup was with the onboard video and the Quantum Atlas 10K II plugged into the onboard SCSI controller but it still couldn't finish a single run of a more stressing benchmark such as SYSmark 2001 or Sciencemark.
Symptoms included BSODs, hard lockups, freezes, reboots and the occasional inability to boot after pressing the power switch. I've rechecked all of my settings twice and have had someone else double check the settings too to make sure. To my impression my motherboard is defective, or isn't doing what it should do. Unfortunately the distributor who got me the motherboard doesn't have any more samples to hand out so it is all I have to go by.
Unfortunately, at this time, I don't have a contact at Tyan that could swap it out for a new one, or give me some pointers. I'm hoping you can either give me some suggestions or get me in touch with someone at Tyan to see whether the problems are motherboard related."
If I read through the other two threads all I can say is that Tyan has either released a pre-production design, that wasn't thoroughly tested, to manufacturing. Or there's some problems with the components mounted or the layout of the motherboard. I'm 100% sure my motherboard is acting up and whatever I try I cannot get it up and running stable. I'd be interested to learn who else has been having problems and what their configs look like, or whether the only working configs are the ones that AMD demo-ed and sent out to a number of editors?
Sigh, anyone getting that Yogi Berra "deja vu all over again" feeling? Reminds me of the problems found early in the Athlon's release with boards using substandard power supplies. What really bothers me is that the power supply being used (NMB) is listed as a recommended supply right on the Tyan web site!!!! So even if it turns out to be the power supply at fault, shame on Tyan for not catching this earlier!!! It sounds like something that would be brutally apparent in testing.
Brandon, are you using the NMB PSU? If so, have you tried the Delta PSU? IIRC, DieU on the amdmb.com was not able to get a hold of one where he lives. And I did notice that the few people who mentioned having working systems were using the Delta.
Sander, do you guys still have the board in your possession? If so, could you get a hold of the recommended Delta PSU listed on Tyan's site and see if that solves any of the problems?
For the record, as well as for those who are aware of my pro-AMD feelings, even if this should be just a PSU issue I am in NO WAY absolving Tyan from this mess. To me, Tyan was always one of the mobo manufacturers I'd look to for a completely stable platform. We used to use them when I was with a company that built workstations all the time as our boards of choice. Considering stability was supposed to be their trademark (performance never was), SHAME on them for not catching this in testing no matter what the issue may end up actually being.
Oh, I tried a whole variety of different powersupplies, as the Tyan board simply uses a WTX power connector, so just about any WTX powersupply goes. Even a 300-watt WTX powersupply wasn't able to power the motherboard with just the two CPUs and the memory, it wouldn't even boot properly.
Unfortunately the Delta powersupply seems to be even harder to come by than the NMB. Keep in mind though that I also talked to the people at NMB about this problem and they sent me a new powersupply, so if its powersupply related wouldn't you think NMB is aware of it and would've swapped it out for a working one, or at least would've looked into the matter?
On a different note, I've been using a NMB 460-watts powersupply on my own workstation featuring Iwill's DCA-200N motherboard for the past four months now. Powering an dual Xeon, and an array of 10K SCSI disks and I never had any stability issues whatsoever. So if its the powersupply, I'm not sure how much power the Tyan motherboard requires, but it sure is more than that dual Xeon with the disk array. As that very same powersupply behaved no differently than the new one I have here, same stability issues.
I'm actually still waiting for a reply from Tyan, my contact at AMD said he would fwd. my email to the people at Tyan. So I should be getting a reply any day now, or at least thats what I expect.
You say you tried a whole variety of different power supplies but there are only two that are approved for use with the Tyan board in question. And you are incorrect in your assumption that all WTX power supplies (or all power supplies of any given form factor/wattage rating) are equal. This was a lesson learned when the Athlon came out along with the GeForce cards which were power hogs. There was an excellent article on Anandtech about a year back or so in which he tested a wide variety of power supplies. The eventual winner at the time was the Antec PP-303X 300W unit. It was shown to give the cleanest current and handle the highest load of all the PSU's tested. Sadly, even it is no longer up to handling the power needs of the newest Athlons. The new favorite seems to be the Enermax 431W.
I have no clue as to why you would even bother to try a 300W supply in the unit no matter how stripped down it was. It proves nothing considering the dual cpu/mobo combo calls for more power than that as it is.
As for the Delta PSU being very hard to come by, you're not the first person that has stated such. You should check in with other review sites and see if they've had any luck obtaining one. Maybe they'd be willing to lend you one or at the very least point you in the right direction as far as where to get one.
Your logic regarding the NMB-460 is faulty though. If there is a problem specific to NMB unit being able to supply a clean enough load to the mobo, replacing one NMB unit with another isn't going to solve anything. Saying that the 460 works in another workstation with a different configuration doesn't apply either since it's power requirements are going to obviously be different.
Once again, let me set the record straight, I BLAME Tyan for this mess even if it is simply a matter of the NMB PSU not being adequate for its needs. They are the ones who determine what is a valid PSU for the motherboard in question. They are the ones who should be QC'ing this. Simply put, whatever the problem may be, the fact that it got out into production with the problem means they dropped the ball.
I'm sorry, but your logic is faulty. I'm not saying every WTX power supply is identical, I'm just stating that I tested it with a number of different ones trying to find out whether they WOULD work. They didn't, which is either due to their lower wattage, 300-watts, or due to some issue with the motherboard. I'm not saying it is either one, just saying it didn't work, you draw the conclusion I blame the motherboard.
I tried different powersupplies hoping to determine whether the NMB could be the cause for the Tyan's instability, they didn't work, thus I still haven't ruled out that option, it was worth a shot though. Mind you that WTX powersupplies are nothing like normal ATX power supplies and your comparison to power requirements for a AMD Athlon only go so far.
A motherboard and 2 CPUs and some memory normally shouldn't draw more than approximately 100...150-watts so my guess would be that a setup stripped down to these essentials should be able to post, with a 300-watts power supply. Which it didn't, thus either the powersupply hasn't enough power, or it is simply not compatible with the motherboard. Either option is possible and its impossible for me to decide without further investigation, so I'm not drawing any conclusions.
The one thing I am certain about though is the fact that the NMB power supply is a real powerhouse, it powers my workstation which has a lot more power hungry hardware than just a motherboard and some CPUs. So I think it is rather strange that a powersupply that is able to power such a setup is not able to supply enough power to a motherboard, 2 CPUs, some memory and a harddisk. These are still just assumptions though, not conclusions. I'm just stating that the NMB works flawlessly in a setup that draws a lot more power than the Tyan motherboard, 2 CPUs, some memory and a harddisk.
And quite frankly, the only compatibily issue I can think of when dealing with a powersupply, IF it adheres to the ATX or WTX standard fully, is that it is either unable to deliver a sustained amount of current at a given voltage or is able to deliver a sustained amount of current at a given voltage but with a very high ripple. In the first case the power supply will either quickly overheat and/or deliver a voltage which is lower than desired, for example, 10-volts instead of 12. In the second case the average voltage could be 12-volts, but we could have peaks as high as 14-volts and dips and low as 10-volts. In both cases we will not meet the power, or rather voltage vs. current, requirements of the motherboard and cause for instability. The third option is that the power supply's slew rate, or rather its ability to deliver the needed power within a certain timeframe, is too limited. This basically means that when the CPU, or any other parts draws more power, the powersupply is unable to supply that power quick enough.
Naturally the motherboard has its own switching power supplies to power the CPUs and other components. There could be issues with those too, as these are no different than the switching power supply that powers the system, thus all of the above applies to the motherboard's power supplies too.
I currently have no hard evidence to back any of this up other than my own findings with the motherboard. And as I'm still waiting for feedback from Tyan/AMD I'll refrain from drawing any conclusions. As soon as I hear back from them or I can get my hands on a different power supply, I'll be repeating my testing. I'm just as eager to see this new platform up and running stable and perform as expected. But I do think we should address issues, especially if there's apparantly more people affected than just a handful.
"Oh, I tried a whole variety of different powersupplies, as the Tyan board simply uses a WTX power connector, so just about any WTX powersupply goes. Even a 300-watt WTX powersupply wasn't able to power the motherboard with just the two CPUs and the memory, it wouldn't even boot properly"
Funny, that first line to me sounds as if you are stating that all WTX are created equal. You state that the Tyan uses a WTX power connector thus any WTX PSU is valid. That is not true. There are only two that are certified for use with the board, not all WTX supplies. And the 300 watt units are explicitily below the power requirements so even trying them means nothing. That particular test is invalid for anything more than a moment's amusment.
Interesting post on the 8th page of that amdmb.com forum you guys referenced. I quote again:
"I just got a call from Brandon @ TYAN.
As I posted yesterday Brandon asked me to ship him
overnight my weird acting board together with my 4x256 RAM,
PSU, CPU heat sinks etc.
He got it today and he was able to replicate all this problems.
He changed power supply and guess what?
As of Brandon at TYAN-------- all problems gone!
He shipped it to me overnight I will have it tomorrow.
I'll let you know.
Hopefully the problem is allocated.
...some false NMB PSU's ?
Paul the Greek"
I would love to know what brand of PSU Brandon at Tyan used.
And again the disclaimer.....I hold Tyan to blame for this mess, not AMD, not NMB. They are the ones who are supposed to run Quality Control on the boards.....ESPECIALLY with the components they list as approved. Incompatibility with this particular board does not make the NMB PSU a bad product, it makes it an incompatible product.....no more or less bad than putting a 300 watt unit into the system were it not for Tyan's seal of approval.
That's right. While I have not had time yet to try the whole AGP swapping rigamarole to deal with the wierd FSB speed issue, everything else had performed well. The system has not crashed even once yet.
I am using the NMB PS BTW, and it seems to work flawlessly. I have to agree that Tyan simply missed something with their implimentation. One thing I have seen mantioned is that the board is very picky about SCSI cards. It might be advisable to try booting sans the Adaptec Card.
Te system I've been working with is using the on-board SCSI exclusively. One of my people found a new version of the board at bzboys.com. We are ordering it now, and should be testing it in a week or two. This time we intend to use a RAID controller...
Considering the number of problems people have reported with version 1.0 Thunder K7 and RAID controllers, it should be interested in seeing what the new revision look like.
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Thunder K7 (S2462) FAQ
Why can't I use my Adaptec 3200 Raid card on my motherboard?
There were 2 root causes to the problem.
1) The Adaptec card must have a firmware revision of 3607. This enables BBS support for the card.
2) The IBM Ultrastar drives also have a compatibility issue with the Adaptec raid controller. IBM has a firmware update that can only be obtained by calling their tech support directly. You must request firmware update S96H.
What is the maximum memory supported?
The maximum memory qualified at time of print is 2 gig
What memory is supported?
The board supports Registered DDR Ram. Ecc or non-ecc both are supported.
Is the onboard video AGP or PCI?
The ATI chip is on the PCI bus. All specs for the ATI chipset can be found on ATI's website.
What is the option in the Bios "Use PCI Interrupt Entries in the MP Table"?
This option allows the user to use IRQ 16-19 provided by the southbridge.
Why does my system not get video after I enable ECC or ECC Scrub?
The system must first write zeros to all memory before it displays video. This may take up to several minutes. A new Bios update will be available in the future.
Why does my system display the wrong processor speed?
Double check your jumpers. Pay especially close attention to J52 and J53. These jumpers are easy to confuse.
Why can't I flash my bios?
Please be aware when flashing the S2462 BIOS with the Phoenix utiltiy, "Phlash16", you must use a Win98 DOS diskette or newer. DOS 6.22 will not work, the util will hang at "Reading flash ID.
This stuff is making me nervous! I always said i wanted a dual athlon if it ever came out, so i was very interested to say the least when it came. All the sites were raving about it, so i got it. Right now, i have the mobo, the memory and the psu laying on the desk waiting for the cpu's (europe/NL is slow once again, and they are hard to get here) and all these horror stories are popping up. Now all i do is wonder if after spending major $$$ already, if it will ever work decently...
It wasn't our intent to make anyone nervous, and it's important that you go into this assuming everything is going to work out fine. Just forget what we said, treat it as any other normal system, and go ahead with it. Hopefully you'll have a good time with it.
Whether you do or don't, though, make sure you let us all know how it turns out. Don't go looking for trouble, but if you come across some anyway, make sure you let us, and everyone else know.
I bought my board in a batch with 10 other guys and im the last one having to built it. None of the other guys had any problems, and they are all raving the speed and stability.
Nervous was actually nervous with a wink, as i know how things are. I remember the horror stories with the first Abit BE6 boards. I still have that board somewhere, and never once had any problems with it.
Anyways, i will definately let you guys know how and what. I hope it will be a positive contribution.
Anyone who speaks of adequate PSUs solely from the point of view of wattage has only half the picture on what makes a PSU a good PSU.
It isn't wattage only. It's also about the ability to supply the amperage that is required at *any given moment*. Many PSUs fail in this respect and AMD's systems tend to be more critical of this factor than Intel-based platforms.
Interesting post from DieU on the amdmb.com forums. For those who are not aware, DieU has been one of the main people involved in troubleshooting the Tyan Thunder issues.....
"What power supply are you using?
Without waiting for NMB's statement regarding the power supply issue, I will say that they are aware of certain compatibility issues with their power supply.
Essentially, the NMB power supply requires a minimum current for proper operation. In other words, it requires that enough devices be connected to the power supply to establish a load. If one were to setup the machine with little or no devices to draw current, the power supply may not turn on. It was indicated that the power supply was designed to shut down. Though this phenomenon is atypical, its effect is temporary.
NMB and Tyan are also working together to determine some of the voltage issues that may be responsible for system stability. It seems as though the +12V fan connectors may be suspect to system instability. NMB and Tyan are investigating the voltage relationship between the four +12V fan connectors above the processor sockets and between the 8-pin and 24-pin connectors of the power supply. Currently, NMB believes that this problem can be isolated if they determine which of the four +12V fan connectors draws current from either the 8-pin or 24-pin connectors of the power supply. This may be an issue of load balancing if you will, between the 8 and 24-pin connectors of the power supply.
Though much of this may make little sense to the non-engineering/electrical type, NMB is going to release an Application Note on their website on Tuesday. This should help clear up any uncertainty or question you may have.
As more information develops, I will update this information accordingly. "
The whole post was in italics so it may be a response he had gotten from Tyan to whom he had sent out for information.
I bought one of their combo's I saw on Pricewatch.
Came with the Mobo, 1.2gig Palomino's, Volcano II heatsink/fan. They matched a deal for the NMB power supply too, since one of their customer service guy's mistakenly told me they didn't have it for sale there.
On my purchase order it even says "Power Supply 460WT NMB ATX tested OK." Don't know why it said ATX, because it didn't have ATX connectors.
My board didn't have a metal or plastic lever, but rather plastic clip holders on each side that made clipping the Volcano II's very easy dispite the closeness of the capacitors by one socket. You will have to remove the thermal tape and replace with gease, though since you can't overclock this board, you may just want to leave the tape on.
The boards BIOS was v1.07 not v.2.06, so you will want to flash it on the first boot as this will save you a lot of reboots and clearing the CMOS.
The Software did not come with the new BIOS but it did have an AMD 762 northbridge drivers and AGP patch as well as a butt load of LAN drivers and diagnostics for the 3com LAN jacks as well as a utility for booting you system over a network.
I've only been building systems since 1995 and am by no means an expert. This is my first dual MP solution and the only problem I had was flashing the new bios, but that was do to my own ignorance as I have never flashed a W2K system bios before.
The only other gripe I've got is that the SCSI runs slower then the ATA100 but I still have to update the new drivers from Tyans website which may fix this.
This system has been extreemly impressive with multitasking and is a joy to watch the MP's splitting the chores in the Task Manager when running multiple Apps. I can even Burn CD's while running UD client in the background, surfing the web and watching the stock market on my tv tuner card, with out missing a beat. The Ram hardly gets used. I have it networked to two other computers as well running Win98SE, Win98, and everything works great.
It looks as though there are some legit issues with the board in one of it's releases.
I set up each component one by one and installed drivers and optimized before moving to next component. Graphics card was last. I used the onboard ATI first.
Make sure your DDR is Registered.
Good Luck All,
NMB 460W PSU
Tyan K7 Thunder S2462UNG
ATX Supercase Full Tower (Not recomended)
AMD Athlon 1.2mhz MP Palomino's X 2
Volcano II heatsink/fans
1024MB Registered Crucial PC2100 DDR ECC(4X256)
Onboard Adaptec AIC-7899W SCSI controller
9.1G IBM Ultrastar Ultra160 LVD SCSI-3 10,000rpm/4MB buffer (Not recommended)
40G IBM Deskstar ATA100/7200rpm/4MB buffer
Chaintech AGP GeForce 2MX 200 32MB SDRAM (Not recommended)
WinGo TV Tuner (Not recommended)
Iomeg 100MB Zip Drive
Acer 52X CDROM
TDK 12x10x32x32 CDRW
SB Live! 5.1 Sound
AltecLansing SurroundSound Speaker System
Teac 3.5" Floppy
Netgear NIC (Just wanted to see if it would work...it does.)
3Com USR 56K Data/Voice/Fax
A butt-load of case fans
Microsoft Natural Keyboard
Logetech Optical Wheel Mouse
Samsung SyncMaster 955df 19" monitor
I just ordered the NG version of the board, w/o onboard scsi, and I'll let everybody know how it goes. I figure/hope it's one of the latest revisions of the board, given that the boards w/o scsi didn't ship until much later.
The 10th of june I bought a Tyan Thunder K7 at a local dealer here in The Netherlands. I don't know what revision it is. It came with BIOS v 2.01 and still has the metal levers on the ZIF-sockets. I took me a couple of weeks to get it running because the PSU was not available. The Athlon-MP is also unavailable overhere so I am using 2 Ahtlon 1200 AXIA. The system is running now for about 2.5 weeks and is completely stable. No issues at all. The only problem I had was that it posted at 1066 MHz. (120 Mhz. FSB) instead of 1200 Mhz. This was my own mistake I interchanged the settings for J52 and J53.
Tyan Thunder K7 BIOS v 2.06
PSU NMB SD025A-460WSW
Memory 2x 256 Mb. Crucial registered DDR PC2100
CPU 2x Athlon 1200 AXIA
Cooler 2x Spire copper 5P53B3 (http://www.spire.nl)
Case Addtronics 8600WTX.
Quantum Atlas V 18.3 Gb.
Plextor Ultraplex 40
Plextor Plexwriter 12/4/32
Asus V7700 Geforce 2 GTS
Soundblaster live player 5.1
Diamond HCF 56K PCI modem
We got a reply from Brandon at Tyan, I sent him all the info requested and also asked whether he could provide us with a new motherboard as we think ours is indeed defective. I'm still waiting for a reply and am hoping he'll be able to discuss some of the problems on the phone.
One thing that puzzled me though is the fact that he mentioned he has read this thread and the news item yet failed to respond on this own. I had to send an email to tech support once more to get a response from them. That, to me, is rather odd, I'd have jumped on the occasion and would've tried my best to help out in every possible way. But thats me, Tyan might have a different perspective.
Following the discussion on AMDmb.com forums, it seems that most, if not all, problems are directly related to the NMB powersupply, and NOT the Tyan boards, so I wouldnt be so sure that swapping the mobo will magically cure your problems, but a new PSU might. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule.