66MHz 3.3V PCI Graphics cards?

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Tue Jun 18 05:10:25 PDT 2002

On Mon, 17 Jun 2002, Nicholas Brealey wrote:

> Hello
> Does anyone know of any 66MHz, 3.3V, 32 or 64 bit PCI graphics cards.
> Or even a 33MHz, 3.3V, 32 or 64 bit PCI graphics card?
> A have just got two test Tyan Tiger S2466N-4M motherboards which
> I want to be able to put into 2U rackmount cases. They would not
> get to the BIOS setup with a 5V 32bit 33 MHz PCI graphics card
> in a 33MHz slot. They worked fine with an NVIDIA based AGP
> graphics card. I am looking for a card I can use to get into
> BIOS setup so that I can enable console redirect so that I
> don't need a graphics card. I am intending to build a cluster
> with 16 boards in 2U cases.

This cluster is "just like" the one I'm building.  What we did is take
the case top off, put a card like an ATI Rage or a Matrox Millenium in a
32 bit slot, and boot it up into the BIOS.  "Most" PCI graphics cards
(and there are still a number out there) will work on this motherboard,
but really old ones (I tried one of my manifold 4 MB S3's -- maybe a
Trio64) do not work.

Once in the BIOS, remember to set the keyboard to ignore error on boot
as well as set your comm parameters in the advanced/console section.
Then minicom suffices to control the system, with luck.  The one
"problem" one faces is that one cannot do a three-finger salute-boot (it
boots the wrong system:-) -- you have to hard boot the case any time you
want to start over.

We have had the best luck with the console in vt100 mode and minicom in
ANSI mode, both 115200 N81.

We have had a very indifferent experience thus far with these systems.
Of the maybe twelve I've tried to bring up and install so far, three
blew power supplies on a powerup, one isn't working and I don't know why
yet, and two boot up into the BIOS but cannot seem to find the PXE chip
(and yes, I've checked the jumpers) -- one BIOS indicates two CDROM's in
its boot list, the other two removable device entries, where neither
system has either CDROM or removable device.

Sure, these are diverse causes -- maybe -- but it is a lot of "bad luck"
if nothing else, and sometimes bad luck like this indicates a marginal
design, and combined with our experiences with 2460 systems I'd have to
say that this is a very marginal design.  Be prepared to "mess" with it
to get it installed and working.  The (7) nodes that have made it
through the install phase and a few days of burnin seem stable and are
working away nicely, though.  Inshallah I will have the other 9 going in
a day or five.


> Nick
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Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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