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Motherboard Upgrade, March 2005

For my Windows-XP machine (built in July of 2000--see §15.10 below), I replaced the motherboard with a Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI motherboard, choosing an Athlon 3200+ processor and 1GB of DDR-400 main memory. The exact board choice was driven mainly by a sale at, but it is close to what I would have chosen. The SLI feature, however, forced me get a new SLI-compatible graphics card, so I picked up one with the NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT chip on it. I rarely utilize this much graphics compute-power, but it's nice to have the capability. This can be considered an ``intermediate'' single-chip graphics-processor choice, since the 6800 XT was the top-of-the-line at the time. I do not plan to use the SLI feature (two graphics cards linked together for parallel computation), but I suppose it's nice to have the upgrade option.

The main snag I hit with this upgrade was that the ``NVIDIA CK804 ADMA Controller (v2.7)'' (a motherboard driver for the Silicon Image 3114 SATA disk controller chip) was incompatible with my Plextor PX-716SA/SW RT DVD drive. Enabling the 3114 SATA chip in the BIOS caused Windows XP to hang just after loading ``Mup.sys'' (which is the last thing you see before having to hard-reboot the machine). After much fooling around, the solution was to ``Roll back to previous driver'' (or just delete it) and let Windows XP use its default driver for that device. I tried to email a bug report to, but it bounced because I was not signed up in some way for tech support. Plextor tech support was great, and they had me fixed up in a couple of quick emails. I could not find a way to report the problem to NVIDIA.

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``My Computers'', by Julius O. Smith III, Web document.
Copyright © 2015-11-29 by Julius O. Smith III
Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA),   Stanford University