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    SubjectRe: NForce2 pseudoscience stability testing (2.6.0-test11)
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    Alistair,

    I upgraded the BIOS about a week ago to 1007. I personally found it to be
    less
    stable than 1006. I don't believe it is a problem with my hardware
    combination
    since it has been stable for long periods of time. I was running the SMP
    kernel
    simply because I (wrongly) presumed a) you needed it to get the IO-APIC
    working,
    and b) it didn't do any harm.

    It is clear that the UP kernel is considerable more stable than the SMP
    kernel. This
    is a very useful fact since it suggests that it is not a problem with the
    IDE device
    driver per se. The whole purpose of my testing is to try to determine
    which options
    increased the stability and hence highlight where the problem could be.

    One of the reasons I don't like ACPI is the huge amount of additional
    complexity
    it adds and the amount of stuff it could screw up. Now I have not heard
    that any
    of the VIA KTxxx based motherboards have any problems. If this is true
    then the
    problem does not lie with the LAPIC, since that is in the processor, not
    the MB.
    The fact that it seems to only occur with the NForce2 chipset means it
    could
    well be some interrupt coming into the LAPIC from Interrupt Bus. However
    I certainly don't claim to be an expert on this so I could well be talking
    complete
    crap.

    Conclusion: More testing required.

    Cheers,

    Ross

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ross Alexander "We demand clearly defined
    MIS - NEC Europe Limited boundaries of uncertainty and
    Work ph: +44 20 8752 3394 doubt."




    Alistair John Strachan <s0348365@sms.ed.ac.uk>
    28/11/2003 04:46 p.m.

    To: ross.alexander@uk.neceur.com, "Brendan Howes"
    <brendan@netzentry.com>
    cc: linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org
    Subject: Re: NForce2 pseudoscience stability testing
    (2.6.0-test11)


    On Friday 28 November 2003 15:13, ross.alexander@uk.neceur.com wrote:
    [snip]
    >
    > The conclusion to this is the problem is in Local APIC with SMP. I'm
    not
    > saying this is actually true
    > only that is what the data suggests. If anybody wants me to try some
    > other stuff feel free to suggest
    > ideas.
    >
    > Cheers,
    >
    > Ross
    >

    It's evidently a configuration problem, albeit BIOS, mainboard revision,
    memory quality, etc. because I and many others like me are able to run
    Linux
    2.4/2.6 with all the options you tested and still achieve absolute
    stability,
    on the nForce 2 platform.

    My system is an EPOX 8RDA+, with an Athlon 2500+ (Barton) overclocked to
    2.2Ghz, and 2x256MB TwinMOS PC3200 dimms. FSB is at 400Mhz, and the ram
    timings are 4,2,2,2. One might expect such a configuration to be unstable,

    but it is not.

    I'm currently running 2.6.0-test10-mm1 with full ACPI (+ routing), APIC
    and
    local APIC, no preempt, UP, and everything has been rock-solid, despite
    the
    machine being under constant 100% CPU load and fairly active IO load.

    Also, many others have found that just disabling local apic (and the MPS
    setting in the BIOS) as well as ACPI solves their problem, so I'm
    skeptical
    that SMP really causes *nForce 2 specific* instability.

    --
    Cheers,
    Alistair.

    personal: alistair()devzero!co!uk
    university: s0348365()sms!ed!ac!uk
    student: CS/AI Undergraduate
    contact: 7/10 Darroch Court,
    University of Edinburgh.


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