Subject: RE: nForce4 (was: RE: a very slow 2.2Ghz amd64)
To: None <>
From: De Zeurkous <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 10/07/2007 14:17:18

On Sat, October 6, 2007 19:23, Dieter wrote:
>>> viaide0 at pci0 dev 6 function 0
>>> viaide0: NVIDIA nForce4 IDE Controller (rev. 0xf2)
>>> [snip]
>> Your very problem, right there. The nForce ATA controllers are
>> complete crap. Known issue, go bug 'NVIDIA' about it...
> What, exactly, is wrong with the nForce controllers?

Dunno the specifics, but on all OSes I've used (Windoze 2000 (don't ask
:X), Slackware Lunix 10.2, and NetBSD-3.1/i386) with nForce boards
performance has been horrible. If both Unices in that list and my sense of
balance are to be believed, its a gratuitous interrupt junkie. nVidia has
tried to fix this issue in their own drivers for 'various' (i.e. Windoze,
Debian, Hed Rat) platforms, but it seems they decrease overall system
stability. I've heard similar reports from all over the Internet -- a
quick web search should turn up interesting results....

> My only beef is that, AFAIK, none of the BSDs support NCQ.  :-(

If you're really that insistent on performance hacks liek *CQ, you'd
better take SCSI in the first place.

> Some brands of SATA disks don't play well with nf4, but that
> is easily avoided.

Strangely enough, that seems to be 'cause the nForce SATA controllers are
actually implemented /properly/, and some on-peripheral controllers don't.
Perhaps they wanted to 'encourage' lusers to switch to SATA?

>  Neither of these problems apply to PATA.

Well, the issue with all kinds of viaide(4) (especially the (original?)
Pentagram ones from, well, VIA) controllers has a long history, from not
supporting DMA on the second controller to actually /shorting out/
interrupt lines when accidently connecting cables in reverse (especially
back then, when PATA connectors often weren't keyed). It brings a sense of
order and stability to my world to see that all viaide-based PATA
controllers continue to suck arse.

The moral of this story: if you're forced to go with cheap crap, it's
always the minor things that'll inhibit progress.


De Zeurkous

Friggin' Machines!