View Full Version : Marvel G200-TV and Promise Ultra66

6th September 1999, 18:58
Marvel G200-TV audio recording is distorted when recording video to an ATA66 Hard Drive connected to a Promise Ultra66 PCI IDE controller with audio quality set to 44kHz stereo.

When I record video with audio quality set to CD-quality (44 kHz stereo), the sound is garbled and has ticks and pops. If I remove my Promise Ultra66 controller and connect the hard drive to the onboard ATA33 IDE controller, the sound records fine, but the video has dropped frames (when recording highest quality video). I have tested the Promise Ultra66 controller and it appears to be working perfectly (other than this problem).

My system configuration is as follows:
MB: FIC PA2013 rev. 2.0 w/ VIA Apollo MVP3 chipset, 100 MHz FSB, 2 MB Cache, Socket7
CPU: AMD K6-2 400 MHz
BIOS: Award (date: 06/99)
OS: Windows 95 OSR2 (with latest updates)
Sound: Diamond Monster MX300 PCI
HD: Western Digital Expert 18GB, 7200 RPM, 2 MB cache, ATA66
Video: Matrox Marvel G200-TV AGP
Video Drivers: beta 5.15
Video Tools: beta 1.5
Marvel G200-TV BIOS: 1.6-20
Software: Avid Cinema 1.0 for Marvel G200-TV
IRQ: Marvel G200 at IRQ5. There are no IRQ conflicts.

I tried Matrox video driver 4.33 with video tools 1.21 and still had the same audio recording problem. I tried Avid Cinema'a audio patch, but still had the problem. Since I observe the problem with both the Avid Cinema and the Matrox Video Tools, I do not believe that the problem is software specific. I would settle for recording at TV-quality audio since the problem is not noticeable at this audio quality, but the Avid Cinema software uses QuickTime 3.0 and records audio only at 44kHz stereo.

Any suggestions?


6th September 1999, 20:14
Gosh Darn it!!! Mine are arriving tomorrow!!!!

Well I guess I'll try it out and see if I have the same probs. If I find a fix I'll post it here and please post a fix if you find one.

Best of luck,

6th September 1999, 20:18
Oh yeah I forgot:
My specs are VERY similiar to yours except I have a 350Mhz K6-2, different but similiar motherboard, IBM 9.1 GB HDD, and SB Live. I also use Premiere 5.2. It might possibly be quicktime causing the problem, but like I said my stuff is arriving on the 7th so I won't know for sure.

7th September 1999, 02:39
Hi Tony,
I think you got the same problem i got this Year in May with the Promise Fasttrak, but my one was present only if my SCSI adapter AHA2940 was also connected to the system. Do you have any SCSI adapter connected to the system? If yes, try to disconnect it, you can also try to change the PCI slot (suggestion form Promise) and get bios upgrade for both MOBO and Ultra66.
But... to save time... change MOBO and CPU and use an Intel chipset!
Is not a joke i lost a lot of time. I found there is somethink does not work properly with DMA access and MVP3 chipset (with the onboard controller the problem is solved decreasing the performance, your Hard Disk connected to MOBO should be able to get AVI at two time full resolution and more!).
Here is my story:
I added a Marvel and 8Gb IBM UDMA-33 HD to my system (Epox MVP3, AMD K6-2 350 and 2x3Gb Quantum UDMA-33 HD) in January, no way to get AVI file from Marvel without dropped frames (at full resolution). I decided to by a Fasttrak from Promise, i used the 8Gb hd for the O.S. and the two 3Gb with Fasttrak. Yes i was able to get no dropped frames but i started the second endless story with the audio glitches problem.
To finally solve all problems, in june i changed MOBO and CPU (Asus P2B-F and PIII-450).
After that i was able to get no lost frame also with the operating system and the AVI file (full resolution) in the booting partition of the same disk! With the Fasttrak raid i checked a decrease of the CPU usage from 40% with MVP3-AMD350 to 3% with IntelBX-PIII450.

Sebastiano - Italy

7th September 1999, 03:32
Hi Sebastiano !

What soundcard did you use when you had those problems ? PCI or ISA ?

For me it looks as if the VIA-chipset has problems with handling multiple PCI devices at the same time.

Iīm very interested in this problems, because Iīm using a FIC VA503+ mainboard with VIA-MVP3 chipset and I have ordered a Promise Ultra66 controller too.

So far I bought AMD-CPUs and mainboards with non-Intel chipsets, because I didnīt want to sponsor Intelīs monopol.

But during the last months I have seen lots of problems with those combinations.

My AMD-K6-III 450 MHz seems to be a fast CPU, but the memory throughput is only the half of a compareable Intel-system.
My Maxtor UDMA33 drive works with the VIA-onboard UDMA controller only in the old DMA-Mode 2 without crashes.

If my system will have problems with the Promise controller, I will give it my 8 year old son for gaming and I will buy a Intel-based system.

Bye, Uwe.

7th September 1999, 08:45
Uwe is 110% correct on the Super7 boards. The K6-x processors are great the the MVP-3 and AladdinV chipsets have some major bugs in them.

One of the major bugs that could be affecting you is a busmastering problem that is present on all Super7 boards. ATA66 could be killed by this issue.

The only fix is to replace the motherboard with one using an Intel BX or better (is there one better?) chipset.

I love my Abit BH6 but the BX6 is also good. Plug in a Celeron466 and you're in business. As a plus you get SoftMenu which allows you to set up the "jumpers" in software. Great feature.

As for your Marvels installation:
uhhh...guy, change that IRQ for the Marvel. It's supposed to be on either 10, 11 or 12.

First I'd get the new VIA drivers (released just a week ago) and install them. Then I'd remove all the other cards and reboot with just the Marvel in the system. It should go to 11 by itself.

Also you want to avoid it sharing an IRQ with any drive controllers or the audio hardware.

Now try capturing again. If it's still doing it then call back ;-)

Dr. Mordrid

[This message has been edited by DrMordrid (edited 09-07-1999).]

7th September 1999, 21:55
Thank you everyone for your replies. I am quite impressed at the many responses that I received. This is an excellent forum with an outstanding support team.

It seams to me that the responses and my observations lead to one hypothesis:

The problem is related to the number of bus mastering devices in my system. My Diamond Monster MX300 PCI sound card, my Promise Ultra66 IDE Controller, my onboard PCI IDE controller, and my Matrox Marvel G200-TV are all bus mastering devices.

Other observations of interest:
1) When I remove the sound card, my Matrox returns to IRQ11 (from IRQ5) and the Promise Ultra66 is at IRQ10.
2) There are currently no IRQ conflicts in my system; however, if I put any PCI device in PCI Slot 1, the PCI Slot 1 device and the Matrox Marvel G200-TV AGP share IRQ5. I am not using PCI Slot 1 for this reason.

Any thoughts about whether changing sound cards to a non-busmastering card would make a difference?

Also, if I interpretted correctly, one response suggested that I should be able to capture highest quality video (without dropping any frames) with an ATA33 drive connnected to my onboard IDE controller. Is this true?

If not, I'm inclined to agree with the solution that suggests a switch to Intel. This would be disappointing, since I had a lot of faith in the AMD chip.

Thanks for all your help.

8th September 1999, 10:49
Hi Tony,

Well we don't actually have a support staff. All contributions are from users just like yourself, usually those who have lived thru the pain of having to work these problems out.

As far as PCI devices are concerned, I guess that the more you have, the more likely you are to get clashes. I'm not aware of any specific problems with the Diamond Monster, although your problem sounds very similar to problems reported with the SB Live early in the year - a new driver release from CL sorted that out.

Your best bet is to try combinations of cards to see if you can eliminate which one is causing the problem. I'd start by trying a cheap soundcard personally. If this doesn't fix the problem, then it could well be the BM drivers supplied with your Mobo - I had a hell of a time setting up an AMD K6-2/300 with a VIA based motherboard and eventually found that the W95 drivers worked better than anything else.

As long as you devote a single UDMA (ATA33) HD to AVI capture you should have no problem capturing at full rate. The required datarate is just over 3Mb/s, and you should be able to get between 5 and 7Mb/s with a dedicated AVI drive.


(This Idiot)

8th September 1999, 11:00

I have only intel chipset experience. However:

1. If you use Intel busmastering feature of win9x, you can easily get very good throughput with any drive that can write at >5 MB/sec sustained.

2. There is actually no difference between 16.6, 33, and 66 MB/sec interface speed if you drive is working properly and is required to write and read at 3.6 MB/sec.

The CPU utilization will be low and everything will work OK.

I tried to enable/disable UDMA33 feature in my bios setup - this does not affect drive performance for video editing at all.

If you run tests, they will show the decrease in interface speed, which is only a speed of data transfer from RAM to disk RAM buffer. The drive itself is capable to write not more than 10-15 MB/sec, so even "very old and slow" DMA 16.6 interface is more than enough for video.

UDMA 66 is by now only a marketing move. There are no drives that have media reading/writing speed higher than 25MB/sec, so the "fastest and newest interface" is completely useless for sequential reading/writing operations.

DMA 66 will work for speed only when the drives become capable to use its improvement.


8th September 1999, 22:34
Problem fixed!

Thanks for all of the responses. The solution turn out to be to disable ATA66 mode on the 18 GB drive so that it is recognized as an ATA33. This mode change was accomplished with utility software available on the Western Digital site. I disabled ATA66 mode on the drive and the Promise Ultra66 card automatically configured itself in ATA33 mode.

As one of the responses noted, the video capture rate is not influenced by high burst rates, so ATA66 was not an advantage. The Matrox Drive Benchmark reports the drive bandwidth at 12 MB/s in ATA33 mode, plenty for the video capture. The advantage of keeping the Promise card in my system is that it provides 2 additional IDE channels (supports up to 4 additional IDE devices) with only one additional IRQ (it is recognized as a SCSI controller by Win95). I have the system configured with CD Drives on the onboard IDE controllers and the Hard Drive on the Promise Ultra66. This way, the CD-R is a master on its own IDE channel, the CDROM is a master on its own IDE channel, and the 18GB HD is a master on its own channel.

If anyone can explain why the Promise card operating in ATA66 mode corrupted the sound, I'm still curious. Disabling ATA66 was the fix, I just don't know why. Now everything is working perfectly. Sound captures perfectly at 44kHz stereo with highest quality video capture and 0 dropped frames.

Note that for some reason, with the configuration that I noted in my original message, the Matrox Marvel G200-TV is assigned IRQ5. It works fine at this IRQ on the FIC PA-2013 motherboard (VIA MVP3 chipset).


20th September 1999, 18:19

Were you able to capture video and sound with ATA66 enabled? I resorted to keeping my system drive at ATA66 and my recording drive at ATA33. Works great this way, but I still never figured out why recording to an ATA66 drive doesn't work. Promise hasn't been much help with this.


System Config:
PA-2013 rev 2.0 E-O036, 2MB Cache
Award BIOS Rev 115I36
AMD K6-2 400
128 MB PC100 RAM
Matrox Marvel G200 AGP with 16 MB RAM
Promise Ultra66 PCI ATA66 Controller
Maxtor 10GB 7200RPM, 2MB Cache HD on Promise IDE1 (ATA66 enabled)
Western Digital 18GB 7200RPM, 2MB Cache HD on Promise IDE2 (ATA33 enabled)
SoundBlaster PCI 512

21st September 1999, 15:32
Sorry for forgeting to reply earlier, but after I installed it I did a total reorganization of files on my HD and then school, and now I'm cleaning out my room! Anyway, I have not tried recording video yet, I will steal an antenna from my parents and plug it in real soon.

21st September 1999, 17:21
Tony, I just tried it and I get the audio distortion too. I will have to see if IBM has similiar software.


25th September 1999, 12:02
ATA/66 controller. All I can say is WOW! Figuring out how to set up the board with minimal IRQ sharing was a challenge, but the results were worth it. I tried doing the same setup on an U/W SCSI set up on the same machine, also with good results. Recording at max resolution in MJPEG format with no dropped frames or sound degradation. I just wish my camcorder was up to the potential of this card (Marvel G200-TV).

My Current System: Win98SE, Abit BE-6 P3 450, 384MB RAM, Matrox Marvel G-200 TV 16 MB (AGP), Adaptec 2940U2W (Slot 1), SBLive! (w/ OD I/O Card) (Slot 4), 3Com 905B-TX (Slot 2), ADS Cadet (ISA Slot 2), 2x WD AC28400 ATA/66 drives (UDMA #1), 2x WD 9.1 GB Enterprise A/V (UW), WD 4.5 GB Enterprise (UW) (Channel #2), Panasonic/ Matsushita CD-R (SCSI2), Nakamichi CD Changer (SCSI2) (Channel #1). Currently Running a Creative/Matsushita 5x EIDE DVD-ROM. (EIDE #1)

Junior Member

27th September 1999, 18:06
Could you give us the specs for the UDMA/66 HDD and what type of processor are you using? Tony's and my system are very similiar with a K6-2 and 7200 RPM, 2MB Buffer HDD and we are getting the audio crackling/slight distortion.

27th September 1999, 18:58
I think there is a Bios upgrade from Promise. Try that out.

27th September 1999, 19:07
I have made some changes to my system configuration that have allowed me to record at highest quality MJPEG with CD quality (44 kHz 16-bit stereo) sound:

Moved my 18 GB drive to IDE2 of the Promise Ultra66 controller and added a 10GB Maxtor 7200RPM ATA66 2MB cache drive connected to IDE1 of the Promise controller. My system drive (with 256 MB fixed Win95 swap file) is located on the 10GB drive (C http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif and I have dedicated the 18GB Western digital drive (D http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif for video capture.

Since I use my Western Digital drive (IDE2 on the Promise Controller) for video capture only, I changed the mode of the drive to ATA33 (UDMA Mode 2). This fixed the sound problem. ATA33 has the same continuous write performance as ATA66, so I did not compromise video recording quality. My C: drive (IDE1 on the Promise controller) is still set at ATA66 (UDMA Mode 4).

I switched sound cards to a SoundBlaster PCI 512 (just because I prefer the card, not because it fixed the problem).

Changed Award BIOS settings to Manual PCI bus settings with IRQ 3,4,5 set as legacy ISA. This forces the Matrox Marvel to IRQ 9 on my system with no IRQ conflicts. IRQ 3 and 4 are for ISA cards in my system and IRQ 5 is used by my SoundBlaster PCI 512 sound card for SoundBlaster 16 Compatibility (even thought I have it set to Legacy ISA in my BIOS).

I disabled the Boot Sector Virus protection setting in the Award BIOS, since I noticed that this actually performs periodic checking that reduces continuous write disk performance (To see this for yourself, try running scandisk with the virus protection on and watch scan disk restart numerous times as the drive contents change. Then run scandisk without the boot sector virus checking enabled. It runs fine without restarting).

I still have not figured out how to enable ATA66 on my video capture drive without causing the sound distortion. I have Promise and FIC stumped as they are still trying to figure it out. Until they do, I am running fine with this system configuration.

My IRQs are as follows:

IRQ0: System Timer
IRQ1: Keyboard
IRQ2: Interrupt Controller
IRQ3: Ethernet
IRQ4: Modem
IRQ5: SoundBlaster 16 Compatibility
IRQ6: Floppy Controller
IRQ8: Clock
IRQ9: Marvel G200-TV AGP
IRQ10: SoundBlaster PCI 512
IRQ11: Promise Ultra66
IRQ12: Mouse
IRQ13: Numeric Data Processor
IRQ14: Mainboard Primary IDE
IRQ15: Mainboard Primary IDE

Note that I have disabled USB, Serial Port 1, and Serial Port 2 in the Award BIOS.

27th September 1999, 22:09
One other configuration change: I bumped my AMD K6-2 400 clock up to 450 by changing the CPU voltage to 2.4 (from 2.2) and changing the clock multiplier to 4.5x. After changing the clock, I reinstalled the AMD Windows 95B patch.

I successfully ran the K6-2 400 at 500MHz (reported as 506 by the motherboard) by changing the CPU voltage to 2.7 and the clock multiplier to 5x, but I backed off from this until I get a better cooling fan (one of those peltier (sp?) effect coolers).

28th September 1999, 16:59
The updated BIOS does not solve the audio problem.