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      /  Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
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sg2 
Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 14-Oct-2004 22:44:06
#1 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 16-Jun-2004
Posts: 223
From: Lyon, France

Hello,

1 - si680ide
=========
There seems to be some confusion about how to use a si680 board. Here are a few hints :

- make sure that in UBoot menu, under the PCI features item, interrupts are set at 9, 10, 11, 7 and all trigger methods are LEVEL (and not EDGE)

- make sure you use a *kernel* version >= 51.15

- make sure you read each word of http://s.guillard.free.fr/OS4/si680ide_dev_relnotes.txt in depth, all sections. If there is something you don't understand, please ask me.

- make sure you stick to my cabling and partitioning advices. In particular, make sure you use a fresh 80 wire UDMA cable, and that your master drive is AT END OF CABLE, wether there is a slave or not.

- you noticed that si680 does not enable UDMA modes without you forcing it to do so (either using the sil_xfer uboot envvar, or using idetool to switch between xfer modes). So don't expect any speed improvement by just installing the si680, in fact currently its PIO code is even slower than the VIA PIO (because I did not enable prefetch buffers in the si680 yet).

- UDMA is currently completely disabled for ATAPI devices (CD|DVD readers|burners), this is because it could not be made safe for a1ide, and this limit was not removed yet in the si680 code. In other words, as of now, your ATAPI devices will only get PIO modes. But no worry, it will come soon for si680.

- in order to find out which UDMA modes are supported by your harddisks, use "idetool -u si680ide.device n" where n is the unit number from 0 to 3 (0 is primary master, 1 is primary slave, 2 is secondary master, 3 is secondary slave). Of course this also works with a1ide.device but a1ide.device will only report PIO modes.

- idetool reports/uses transfer modes as numbers, while the sil_xfer UBoot envvar takes letters. The match is as follows :

a - PIO 0 ( 3 MB/s, modeid 8)
b - PIO 1 ( 5 MB/s, modeid 9)
c - PIO 2 ( 8 MB/s, modeid 10)
d - PIO 3 ( 11 MB/s, modeid 11)
e - PIO 4 ( 16 MB/s, modeid 12)
A - UDMA 0 ( 16 MB/s, modeid 64)
B - UDMA 1 ( 25 MB/s, modeid 65)
C - UDMA 2 ( 33 MB/s, modeid 66)
D - UDMA 3 ( 44 MB/s, modeid 67)
E - UDMA 4 ( 66 MB/s, modeid 68)
F - UDMA 5 (100 MB/s, modeid 69)
G - UDMA 6 (133 MB/s, modeid 70)

- when enabling UDMA, first start at 'A' (or mode 64 if from idetool). Validate that you have no problem for a few days, then raise to next mode etc. Anyway, si680 wont allow you to set a mode that your drive does not support. But we have seen some drives which would not behave well at their max supported mode, in this case lower the mode to n-1.

- for normal use, the only sil_* envvar you should set is sil_xfer. Let si680ide find out by himself for all other things.

- a1ide uses the exact counter parts of sil_* uboot envvars, prefixed with 'ide_' instead of 'sil_'. This has one drawback : UBoot only knows ide_maxbus, wether you told him to use the VIA IDE (no 'ide' envvar) or the si680 IDE (setenv ide sii). Example : if you want both UBoot and si680ide.device to ignore the secondary IDE port of your si680 board, you have to set both ide_maxbus and sil_maxbus to 1, while a1ide would need only setting ide_maxbus.

- if you want to boot completely off the si680, at UBoot prompt, enter 'setenv ide sii' and then 'saveenv'. This way, UBoot will use your 2 si680 IDE ports as if they were the VIA's.

- this does not mean that OS4 is restricted to the si680, in this configration :
o OS4 will use the si680 ports if si680ide.device is in your kicklayout,
o OS4 will use the VIA ports if a1ide.device is in your kicklayout,
o si680ide.device and a1ide.device can work together without problem.

- if you dont have anything connected to the VIA IDE ports, or just dont want OS4 to use whatever is connected here, just drop a1ide.device from your kicklayout.

- same applies for the si680 IDE ports and si680ide.device.

2 - idetool
========
Enter 'c:idetool' and make sure you read the command templates, if you wonder why idetool does not do what you expect it to do.

Examples :
- to switch si680 primary master harddisk to UDMA100 (alias mode 69 or 'F'), enter 'idetool -x si680ide.device 0 69'

- to see what modes your primary master harddisk support and currently use, enter 'idetool -u si680ide.device 0'

Play with other commands, like putting your harddrive to sleep with 'idetool -p si680ide.device 0 2' (dont worry it wakes up automatically at next access). If you don't mess with -0, -1, -2 and -9 commands you cannot do much harm. Idetool can do many other things (including examining any PCI device, and patching its configuration in real time) but don't try that except you *know* what you are doing.

3 - VCORE
========
It appears that many A1's run with a wrong VCORE (the CPU core's supply voltage).

This affects stability (but lowers heat). It is a mistake on an information note that was given to Eyetech by the manufacturer, and it slipped through.

The stability issues are sometimes very rare and odd (ie they can appear only in OS4 and not in Linux, sometimes only with very recent kernels because recent kernels introduced the dynamic power management of the PPC). The only way to make sure that you wont face them, is to set your VCORE properly.

VCORE should be set as close as possible (but always below, never above) to nominal value as per Motorola / FreeScale specs for the exact processor model as written on the silicon die. The ONLY way to make sure what processor model you have is to remove the heatsink and fan, and look at what is written on the CPU silicon die.

Given that there is an exponential relationship between VCORE and heat, you have to make sure that you have adequate cooling before changing anything. Read below for what I did myself.

I take no responsibility for whatever consequence of your acts, beware, you can FRY your CPU if raising VCORE without adequate cooling, even if staying well below spec. Of course, NEVER go higher than spec.

The VCORE can be changed by setting the 4 dip switches next to the ATX Power Supply connector on the motherboard, and the JP17 jumper close to this dipswitch pad. Nothing is to change on the CPU daughterboard. Read that again.

The table below defines the VCORE from the setting of the 4 dipswitches and the JP17 jumper (taken from the MAI XE user manual) :

1 2 3 4 JP17 VCC_CORE
Off Off Off Off Short 1.34
On Off Off Off Short 1.39
Off On Off Off Short 1.44
On On Off Off Short 1.49
Off Off On Off Short 1.54
On Off On Off Short 1.59
Off On On Off Short 1.64
On On On Off Short 1.69
Off Off Off On Short 1.74
On Off Off On Short 1.79
Off On Off On Short 1.84
On On Off On Short 1.89
Off Off On On Short 1.94
On Off On On Short 1.99
Off On On On Short 2.04
On On On On Short 2.09
Off Off Off Off Open 1.244
On Off Off Off Open 2.14
Off On Off Off Open 2.24
On On Off Off Open 2.34
Off Off On Off Open 2.44
On Off On Off Open 2.54
Off On Off On Open 2.64
On On On Off Open 2.74
Off Off Off On Open 2.84
On Off Off On Open 2.94
Off On Off On Open 3.04
On On Off On Open 3.14
Off Off On On Open 3.24
On Off On On Open 3.34
Off On On On Open 3.44
On On On On Open 3.54

I will now only speak for the 7455/933 G4's, on the die of which is written XPC7455RX933PC, because I only know the values for that chip, I leave that to whoever to compile a list of the correct- and factory-set VCORE for all PPC's used on A1's . Appearently, all of the 7455/933's were delivered with a 1.59V VCORE, while the processor theoretically needs 1.84. This explains by the fact that there is another 7455/933, with a 'LC' suffix, which needs 1.6V.

If you have a XPC7455RX933PC (again the ONLY way to make sure is to remove the heatsink and fan, and look at what is written on the G4 die), you probably have the dipswitches set like this :

On Off On Off Short 1.59

In theory you should set them like this :

Off On Off On Short 1.84

My strong advice is to set them like this :

On Off Off On Short 1.79

Why just one step below ? because there is an exponential relationship between VCORE and heat, and our processor cooling equipment is weak.

On this topic, I strongly advise the G4 owners, to consider using an adequate cooling device for their processors. Some time ago, I compiled a few notes on what I did myself, find that at http://s.guillard.free.fr/OS4/Cooling/


4 - Stability
=========

We developpers have been trying to help ourselves, then the betatesters, and now the broad community of earlybird owners, to fix stability problems.

It very often (more than you can imagine) comes down to those things, in high- to low-occurence order :

- incompatible memory stick. Symptom : whatever random behaviour. Solution : change for a memory stick delivered by an approved A1 dealer. Kingston buffered sticks seem to be a common working model.

- use of two memory sticks. Symptom : whatever random behaviour. Solution : remove all but the 1st.

- wrong VCORE (see above)

- bad IDE cabling (see si680ide releasenotes, URL above)

- insufficient CPU cooling (see cooling URL Labove)

- trying to use an UDMA mode that a drive claims to support but which it does not really. Solution : try the mode just below.

- motherboard battery worn out (the CR2032). Symptom : random behaviour as early as in UBoot. Solution : change the battery (it costs 5 Euro).

Those sentences are very 'straight to the point', but this is a direct first hand experience return, and every developer ran into at least one of those problems (myself, i had mostly all).

For instance, one reason which held the release of UDMA a1ide for months, was that I sometimes had 1 flipped bit, among more than 5 GB transferred.

I was *sure* that it was a DMA problem, so I chased it for months. In the end, someone suggested me to swap my RAM, I did, and voilà, it never happened ever since (but you know why i cannot release a1ide UDMA either...)

Everything in this mail is stated on my sole behalf, it is in no way an official statement from whoever else, nor Eyetech, nor Hyperion etc.

Hoping this helps,
Regards,
--
Stéphane Guillard

Last edited by sg2 on 14-Oct-2004 at 11:10 PM.

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Bean 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 14-Oct-2004 22:55:41
#2 ]
Super Member
Joined: 4-Apr-2003
Posts: 1225
From: U.K.

@sg2

Excellent. Now someone copy and paste this and put it as a FAQ either here or on Intuition Base.

Cheers,

Bean.

_________________
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RIP my A1XE.. that used to have an appetite for batteries!

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sg2 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 14-Oct-2004 22:55:52
#3 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 16-Jun-2004
Posts: 223
From: Lyon, France

@sg2

Addendum :

- I take no responsibilty to whatever consequence of whatever you do, those words above are only intended as helpful advices,

- raising VCORE up to nominal without adequate cooling can FRY your CPU,

- VCORE has nothing to do with overclocking, it has to be set close (but below and never above) to nominal value from Motorola / FreeScale processor specs,

- again, I only know the XPC7455RX933PC nominal VCORE value, for other PPC cores, find someone with trustworthy information,

- the ONLY way to make sure what PPC core you have is to remove the heatsink and fan, and look at what is written on the G4 die. Every letter and digit matters.

Kind regards,
--
Stéphane


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ikir 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 14-Oct-2004 23:05:56
#4 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2002
Posts: 5645
From: Italy

Please make this thread an article and link it in a news.

_________________
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2GB RAM, 120GB Crucial v4 SSD, 32GB SDHC
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mbilla 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 14-Oct-2004 23:15:56
#5 ]
Super Member
Joined: 25-May-2003
Posts: 1369
From: EU

@sg2

Thank you.
This should be integrated in a FAQ using Amiga1 / AOS4.

_________________
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tomazkid 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 14-Oct-2004 23:16:59
#6 ]
Team Member
Joined: 31-Jul-2003
Posts: 11691
From: Kristianstad, Sweden

Very interesting reading, thanks

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A3000T 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 14-Oct-2004 23:32:36
#7 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 7-Nov-2003
Posts: 633
From: the Netherlands

@sg2

I had already found out some of those things the hard way, but thank you for posting this information anyway. It will save some A1 users a lot of trouble.

Kind regards,

Dennis

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Radfoo 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 14-Oct-2004 23:35:43
#8 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 327
From: Derbyshire, Great Britain!

@sg2
That is all very helpfull, thank you!

Using the above information I have been able to get a bit further with my IDE card. It seems as if OS4 is not picking up the sil_xfer value in uboot despite it showing under printenv. If I set DMA using idetool it works fine, can you think why this could be?

Thanks

Anyone else know the voltage settings for the A1XE-G3?

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gadgetgaz 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 14-Oct-2004 23:45:05
#9 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 31-Jul-2003
Posts: 203
From: Yorkshire, UK

@sg2

THANKYOU Stephane!

This is exactly what a number of us have been waiting for

_________________
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DrBombcrater 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 15-Oct-2004 0:49:44
#10 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Feb-2004
Posts: 1382
From: UK

These are the default voltages for the G3 chips as set out in IBM's datasheets:

750CXe - 1.80v (on-off-off-on)
750FX - 1.45v (off-on-off-off)

IBM specifies that the 750CXe may be run at upto 1.90v and the 750FX upto 1.50v without issues. It's common for the power regulation circuits on motherboards to be rather badly calibrated, so if your processor isn't stable at the default voltage don't be afraid to bump it up a notch or two.

_________________
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spotUP 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 15-Oct-2004 1:14:20
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 19-Aug-2003
Posts: 2890
From: Up Rough Demo Squad

@sg2

How ironic! Just after giving up finding the correct voltage for my A1XEG3,
and thinking f*** it, i raised my voltage, and discovered that my A1 stopped crashing! :)

Hehe, THEN this thread pops up! VERY intresting read, I have been waiting for this info!

thank YOU! THAAAANK YOU!

AMEN!

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http://www.asciiarena.com
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DWolfman 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 15-Oct-2004 2:54:29
#12 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Jun-2003
Posts: 1436
From: Kansas City, MO USA

@sg2

In the si680 release notes you linked to near the beginning, you mentioned the "diskcache.library" to use with SFS for a major speedup. Where can one find this library? This is the first I've heard of this and I've been using SFS on my A1 since day one with OS4!

EDIT:
Hmm, I found it in my Sys:kickstart folder. Does this mean SFS is already using it?

Last edited by DWolfman on 15-Oct-2004 at 02:58 AM.

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Radfoo 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 15-Oct-2004 8:48:53
#13 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 327
From: Derbyshire, Great Britain!

@DrBombcrater
Thanks! I'll check mine later .

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EntilZha 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 15-Oct-2004 15:06:59
#14 ]
OS4 Core Developer
Joined: 27-Aug-2003
Posts: 1679
From: The Jedi Academy, Yavin 4

@DWolfman

Quote:
Hmm, I found it in my Sys:kickstart folder. Does this mean SFS is already using it?


If it's loaded in the kicklayout, yes.

When booted, start a shell and type "version diskcache.library". If it's loaded, it will report the version, otherwise, it will complain that it didn't find it. Since it's kickstart-loaded, it won't show up if it's not in the kicklayout...

_________________
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All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Hyperion Entertainment

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ikir 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 15-Oct-2004 15:23:18
#15 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2002
Posts: 5645
From: Italy

MOVE THIS THREAD IN USEFULL STUFF

please

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DWolfman 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 15-Oct-2004 15:35:36
#16 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Jun-2003
Posts: 1436
From: Kansas City, MO USA

@EntilZha

Quote:
EntilZha wrote:

If it's loaded in the kicklayout, yes.


Well, I haven't changed my kicklayout, so it should be. Especially as I had looked to see if it was already in there when I found the file last night.

Quote:
When booted, start a shell and type "version diskcache.library". If it's loaded, it will report the version, otherwise, it will complain that it didn't find it. Since it's kickstart-loaded, it won't show up if it's not in the kicklayout...


I'll do the version command tonight to make sure it's loaded.

BTW, OS4 is very stable for me, and I did an upgrade install. I have not rebooted it in more than a day now.

Do we have an "uptime" command or function available somewhere in OS4? I've got something like that for the WinXP boxes here at work as well as on my Linux box at home, and would like to do the same on the A1.

If it's a matter of needing a CLI interface to an ExecSG function, I'd be willing to write up one if need be.

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elwood 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 15-Oct-2004 16:28:44
#17 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 17-Sep-2003
Posts: 3372
From: Lyon, France

@DWolfman

Quote:
Do we have an "uptime" command or function available somewhere in OS4?

Did you look in C: ?

_________________
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Sam460 1.10 Ghz
AmigaOS 4 betatester
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Fraggel 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 15-Oct-2004 17:13:42
#18 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 9-Dec-2003
Posts: 130
From: Norway

@sg2

I got my 7455/933 G4 this spring, april i guess... you or eyetech or someone dont know wich cpu model that's in it.. ?

Dont wanna start messing with the fan and cpu
But I sure as hell wanna know if I'm running according to voltage spec

I have some freeze up's.. but they are once in a blue moon.. like.. almost never !

Never would be even better thow

Cheers

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DWolfman 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 15-Oct-2004 17:18:42
#19 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Jun-2003
Posts: 1436
From: Kansas City, MO USA

@elwood

I will when I get home. I'm at work right now and just happened to think of it, hence the posting.

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Mos107 
Re: Notes about si680ide, idetool, VCORE and stability
Posted on 15-Oct-2004 17:22:33
#20 ]
Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 92
From: London

@sg2

Hi please see PM I sent

I have a few problems with the Sii card and I have already followed the advice you have put above.

regards

Mostafa

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