Thursday, February 1, 2007

AMD/ATI finally comes through

Yesterday, on the very last day of the month of January and a day after the official launch of Vista, AMD/ATI released the long awaited Vista x64 device driver for the TV Wonder 650 Pro tuner card.

According to Vista Device Manager, the driver is Version dated 12/16/2006. I couldn't help but notice the date. How come this driver was not released much earlier than yesterday?

Since I am still trying to get the Hauppauge PVR-150 TV Tuner card to work on Nighthawk, I decided to install the ATI TV Wonder 650 Pro in Blackbird where I had it originally installed until it caused Vista to die with the BSOD.

I turned the power off on the Antec NeoHE 550 PSU, waited several minutes, and installed the ATI TV Wonder 650 Pro tuner card. I turned the power back on the PSU and the blue light came on the ASUS P5B Deluxe WiFi-AP motherboard which is running BIOS Version 1004 - the latest version.

With a click of the mouse, I started Blackbird and immediately noticed that the Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 clock speed was set to its default of 2.66 GHz (Blackbird is overclocked to 3.4 Ghz.)

I allowed Vista Ultimate x64 (RTM Build 6000) to boot and it detected the ATI TV Wonder 650 Pro card. Vista asked me whether I wanted to install a driver and I declined. Instead, I installed the ATI driver which I downloaded last night. The driver for the ATI TV Wonder 650 Pro card installed without a problem.

Vista did not require to be restarted, but I restarted Blackbird anyway because I wanted to reset my overclocked settings in BIOS.

I noticed that during the BIOS initialization, the correct overclocked CPU speed was detected. I still selected to go into the BIOS settings to confirm my overclocked settings. All my overclocked settings were in place without me having to do anything.


The sequence I went through when I installed the ATI Wonder 650 Pro card is the same used to recover from an overclock failure. It is almost as if the motherboard decided to restart with the default settings after detecting the installation of a new PCI device. And once it was able to start properly, it automatically restored the original (overclocked) settings at the next restart.

If this is the case, it is a nice feature. But I wonder if it is a problem with BIOS Version 1004.

I went ahead, saved the BIOS settings and restarted Vista. I configured the TV Signal in Media Center, and in no time at all, I was watching live TV on Blackbird after patiently waiting for almost 3 months.

I'll try to get the Hauppauge PVR-150 TV tuner card in Nighthawk working. I was hoping that maybe the cause of the problem was the NVIDIA driver, but installing Version 100.59 did not fix the problem with the Hauppauge PVR-150. Someone has recommended a different download of the same driver I already have from the Hauppauge UK site. I'll try that next.

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