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Thread: [ HELP ] Crash on X startup with AMD 3870 and 8.3 drivers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    23

    Default [ HELP ] Crash on X startup with AMD 3870 and 8.3 drivers

    Hi,

    I got a really annoying issue ... I built a new comp based on an asus P5E mobo with an intel Q6600 and 4Gigs of crucial tracer ballistix PC-2 8500.

    The first Graphical card I bought is a saphire HD3870-X2.

    After installing the latest ati linux drivers, the X server ain't starting, the graphical card ain't recognized ...

    Thus, I thought "ok, people on phoronix are using a 3870 and it seems to work fine for them", and bought one (Gigabyte 3870 with 512 Mb).

    Now, when I start the X server, the screen is like switching res, then turns off, and the pc reboots ! :X (even if I'm not using a super user ...)

    My linux distibution is a Slamd64 (64 bits version of the Slackware) with all packages installed.

    The logs of the Xorg startup tells me that the gpu is recognized from an unknown constructor or something (I'll provide this thread with logs when I'll be at home tonight).

    Since I don't have windows, I've not been able to test this card and it may be defective ...

    Is there some steps required to make this card work ?

    Please help ...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    90

    Default

    Basically you built a new system from scratch and the first card that you got a little bit of output on leads up to a spontaneous reboot?

    In my book that could be anything hardware related, including, but certainly not exclusively, the fglrx driver.
    Did you bench / test the memory and/or CPU at all before you started swapping the VGA cards?

    Think broken (new DOA) hardware, badly seated hardware, misconfigured or accidentally overclocked BIOS CPU, voltage or DRAM settings, lacking driver support in the kernel for an Intel quad-core (I'm a bit guessing here but I hope you get the train of thought), etc. etc. etc.

    AFAIK the PCIe version of that card ought to more or less work with the bog-standard Catalyst 8-3 Linux driver installer completed and maybe a reboot thrown in.

    That's the problem with shiny new systems: they tend to be rather complex beasts if you think it through and one really ought to take it step-by-step adding one piece of hardware at a time (okay, mobo, vga card, cpu and memory is the bare minimum but maybe start with one memory stick at a time?), testing it properly (the memory test included on many Linux distro install / Live CDs is a good place to start) as you move along.

    -edit- One other thing I thought of: the behaviour you describe is that of a PC with a power-supply that is lacking in capacity.
    E.g. it has enough Watts to keep the quad-core, hdd and memory running all the way to where it loads gdm or whatever window manager, but collapses as soon as the graphics card start to suck power.
    Did you think of upgrading the Power Supply Unit along with the mobo, memory and most of all the quad-core?
    Those puppies suck watts by the hundreds and the 38xx GPU isn't far behind either.
    Last edited by Swoopy; 03-10-2008 at 04:27 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    23

    Default [ well ]

    Thanks for your reply,

    it's a complete new system, with a new seasonic s12 650W PSU which should be good enough for this system.

    I've tested the computer using KDE and apps using VGA with no accel (standard xorg conf after the linux install) for hours, the system is stable.

    I've tested it overclocked (Q6600 2.4@3.6GHz with the FSB@402 MHz) but since I've installed the ati drivers, I've put the fsb back to it's standard frequency (233 MHz) to check if that was the cause of this behaviour ...

    I'm planning to lend my new gfx card to a friend using windows to know if it's working or not ...

    Wait & see.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    23

    Default [ Well ... ]

    Well, I just tried to remove 2 gigs of rams using the latest ati drivers.

    Finally, I achieved to get xorg to start ... BUT, as soon as I put back the 4 gigs the computer freezes on x start-up ...

    I'll try to update my mobo bios but I don't think that will help me ... I really don't wana be limitated to only 2 gigs of rams just cause I'm using unsuported linux hardware (atm I really consider ati to be unsuporting linux, since there's no support for 3870x2 yet and their 3870 support is like buggy ...)

    I keep hope (at least that's free ...) to get a solution to this issue ...

    To be continued ...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    23

    Default [ finally ! ]

    Damned, that was tough of a journey to get this new comp working as it was supposed to !

    I just updated my mobo's bios (asus p5e) to the latest one. Xorg started with 2 gigs, froze with 4 ...

    Then, I made a simple check typing dmesg | grep -in mb to see what was going on about memory ...

    I found out that fglrx was telling something like

    [fglrx] Maximum main memory to use for locked dma buffers: 38xx MBytes.

    ( in fact I don't remember the exact value, was around 3800 Mbytes )

    I wonder "how comes that dumb driver to think he can allocate that much of memory ??? why not the whole part then ?

    Then, I rebooted and entered the bios looking for anything about memory ... I found nothing but a simple thing that was enabled : Enable PCI memory relocation (or something like this)

    I disabled it, saved / reboot and now I'm there !

    The new dmesg message from fglrx is now :

    [fglrx] Maximum main memory to use for locked dma buffers: 3116 MBytes.

    And no freeze anymore (at least for now).

    In fact, I'm not sure my comp is using the whole 4 gigs of ram at the moment ... I'll try to check it and tell you later.

    To be continued ...

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