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SAA7134 card with AMD chipset - combo from hell?

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:54 pm
by unclerichy
I've been running an 8-chip 8-port BTTV card from for almost two years now on an Intel Q9550 in Dom0 of a Xen server and that's run with no problems at all. I've just put together an AMD Phenom X4 840 based OpenVZ/KVM server and this time it's a SAA7134 based 8-chip 8-port card ( 5008). I initially wanted to use the AMD's IOMMU function to pass through hardware to KVM (and maybe Xen, later) which I can't do on the Intel board as my chipset supports VT but not VT-d.

OpenVZ/KVM aside I'm having problems running the card without it spitting out "WAR: Capture failed. Signal failure?" type messages and suspect this is some kind of annoying 'quirk' that only happens on AMD kit.

I've done a search through all the SAA7134 posts on these forums plus Googled high and low but can't seem to find a definitive "yeah, SAA7134 on AMD is flakey; on Intel it's fine". There are plenty of posts describing the same problem (capture works, then black screen + red status, then starts then stops ad nauseum) but nobody is being clear on what hardware they have.

Is anyone else on here running a multi-port SAA7134 successfully on an AMD based system without the signal failure message every few minutes? I'm running Debian Squeeze x64 on an 890FX based board with 16GB DDR3 for what it's worth. I've also tried in on an old Sempron 2800 based box and that has similar problems.

My next step will be to pull down the Intel box from it's place in the loft and try swapping the cards. All a PITA since that box is my CCTV server, fileserver, AD server amongst other things :(

Re: SAA7134 card with AMD chipset - combo from hell?

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:31 am
by unclerichy
Bit of an update on the off-chance that someone searches for similar problems...

After many many rebuilds including various version of Linux I think I've narrowed it down to the video card. When speccing the server I bought the cheapest PCI-E I could find, a low-level NVidia one.

After stripping everything out apart from the CCTV card with little success I swapped the video card for an old Matrox Millenium PCI card (which harks back to my first PC build some 14 years ago!) and since then it's proven quite stable. I've had the occasional "Capture failure, possible signal loss?: Input/output error" warning but it recovers in a second or so without taking down the machine.

Currently I'm using 1.25.0 in an OpenVZ container on Debian Squeeze 6.0.3 amd64, with an old 80GB SATA-I drive, my Matrox video card, and the 5008 PCI-E 8-input SAA7134 card. That's running one test camera at 25FPS in Modect mode.

It's an AMD Phenom X4 840 plus an ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 motherboard and 16GB DDR3 (4 x 4GB 1333Mhz)

My next step is to rebuild as the final server (500GB SATA-II primary drive + 2x2TB SATA-III drives as RAID1) and do some further confidence testing. Wish me luck!

Re: SAA7134 card with AMD chipset - combo from hell?

Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:00 pm
by unclerichy
Final update on this one - I've had stability problems with the memory (though it memtest'ed ok for two days) and I had to clock it down to 1067 from 1333. I suspect there's something that the CPU/MoBo doesn't like about all 4 slots being populated. I may need to tweak the BIOS settings and take them off Auto. What a PITA...

That still hasn't helped with the SAA7134 though so I've given up on that and I'll keep the old hardware (an Intel Quad Core that's never skipped a beat), dedicate that to ZM and use this new AMD box for my VMs.