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VIA pc1500 motherboard
VIA pc1500 motherboard




Add usefull information to install Gentoo on the VIA pc1500 motherboard.

This board has some simmilarities with EPIA CL10000 and EPIA PD10000

The VIA pc1500 motherboard is a reference design, as stated in VIA's website.

A few relevant facts:



Install the Openchrome drivers to obtain video hardware acceleration

S.M.A.R.T. monitoring

Q- My IDE hard drive supports S.M.A.R.T. function but I see "HDD S.M.A.R.T. capability is disabled" when system posts. How can I enable it? I don't see this option in BIOS.

A- S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) is an advanced BIOS feature. To enable it, please press Ctrl and F1 keys in BIOS main menu and find it again under Advanced BIOS Features.

Hardware Spec

Processor Family: CPU Centaur VIA Nehemiah stepping 08 1GHz 133/100MHz FSB
Form Factor: Mini-ATX (4 layer) 170mm x 170mm
Chipset: North Bridge: VIA CLE266 Digital Media IGP Chipset, South Bridge: VIA VT8235M
System Memory: 1 DDR DIMM slots (266MHz), up to 1GB memory size
VGA: Integrated VIA UniChromeTM IGP graphics with AGP interface, 64/32/16MB shared system memory, Hardware MPEG-2 decoding acceleration:
Expansion Slot: 1 PCI slot
Onboard IDE: 2 UltraDMA/IDE 133/100/66 connectors
Onboard LAN: 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet RTL810C PHY
Onboard Audio: ALC655 6-channel AC'97 audio codec
Super I/O: ITE Super I/O IT8705
Onboard I/O Connectors: 1 USB 2.0 connector (for 2 additional USB 2.0 ports), 1 Front-panel audio connector (mic and line out), 2 Fan connectors: CPU/Sys FAN, 1 ATX Power 20-pin connector
Back Panel I/O: 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 RJ-45 LAN port, 3 Audio jacks: line-out, line-in and mic-in, 1 PS2 mouse port, 1 PS2 keyboard port, 1 LPT (parallel) port, 1 COM (serial) port, 1 VGA port (D-SUB 15-pin)

The GA-PCV2 comes in at least two variants identified by a sticker on the motherboard corner closest to the PCI slot. The "DSI" has the 1GHz Via Nehemiah CPU. The "CSI" has a 800MHz Via Samuel 2 CPU.

Configuration (work in progress!)

Make system

NOTE: If you have the Samuel 2 800MHz processor, you must build with -march=i586. The Samuel 2, while an i686 processor, will not run with code built for an i686 instruction set. Adding -mcpu=i686 is safe and may improve performance.

File: /etc/make.conf
# Please consult /etc/make.conf.example for a more detailed example
CFLAGS="-O2 -march=i686 -pipe"

# HW decompress
# cle266    - used by xine
# xvmc      - used by xine, mplayer, mythtv
# unichrome - used by mesa, DirectFB, mythtv

USE="alsa oss fpu mmx mmx2 sse cle266 v4l unichrome xvmc xv rng rng_en ace ace_en X alsa nls oss aac* adplug* arts* chardet esd* flac jack lirc mad modplug* musepack opengl* pulseaudio sid* sndfile* timidity* tta vorbis* wavpack* wma* samba"


# An attempt to get HW mpeg2 decompress.

INPUT_DEVICES="keyboard mouse"



gcc 4.1.1 does support -march=c3-2.

Kernel Configuration

NOTE: If you have the Samuel 2 processor, you *must* build using the Cyrix III/VIA C3 or the 586 processor family. The kernel will not function on pre-model 9 processors if you use the VIA C3-2 (Nehemiah) instruction set. You can check your processor model by issuing a `cat /proc/cpuinfo`.

Linux Kernel Configuration: pc1500
Processor type and features  --->
  Processor family  --->
    VIA C3-2 (Nehemiah) 
  [ ] Symmetric multi-processing support 
  Local APIC support on uniprocessors
Device Drivers  --->
  ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support  --->
    <*>         VIA82CXXX chipset support
  Networking device support  --->
    Ethernet (10 or 100Mbit)  ---> 
      [*] EISA, VLB, PCI and on board controllers 
      <*>   RealTek RTL-8129/8130/8139 PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter support
  Character devices  --->
    <*> Hardware Random Number Generator Core support 
    <*> VIA HW Random Number Generator support 
    <*> /dev/agpgart (AGP Support) 
    <*> VIA chipset support 
    <*> Direct Rendering Manager (XFree86 4.1.0 and higher DRI support)
    <*> Via unichrome video cards      
  Multimedia devices  --->
    <*> Video For Linux
    [*]   Enable Video For Linux API 1 compatible Layer 
  Graphics support  ---> 
    [*] Enable firmware EDID
    <*> Support for frame buffer devices 
    <*>   VESA VGA graphics support
            VESA driver type (vesafb-tng)  --->    
  Sound --->
    Advanced Linux Sound Architecture  ---> 
      PCI devices  --->
        <*> VIA 82C686A/B, 8233/8235 AC97 Controller
  USB support  --->  
    <*> Support for Host-side USB 
    <*>   EHCI HCD (USB 2.0) support 
    <*>   UHCI HCD (most Intel and VIA) support  
    <*>   USB Printer support  
    <*> USB Human Interface Device (full HID) support  
  I2C support  --->
    <M> I2C support
    <M>   I2C device interface 

Advanced Cryptography Engine (ACE)

Linux Kernel Configuration: pc1500
Cryptographic options  --->
  [*] Cryptographic API 
  Hardware crypto devices  --->
    <*> Support for VIA PadLock ACE
    <*>   PadLock driver for AES algorithm

Mainboard sensors

The mainboard sensors in the southbridge of the VIA pc1500 boards are supported by the it87 driver which can be used by lm_sensors. This driver is included as standard in kernel versions 2.6.19+.

Kernel versions 2.6.19+

The new 2.6.19 kernel adds support for the it87 sensors for the 2.6 series. Add the following options to your kernel, rebuild & restart:

Linux Kernel Configuration: Mainboard Sensors
Device Drivers  --->
 I2C support --->
  <*> I2C support
  <M> I2C device interface
  I2C Hardware Bus Support --->
   <M> VIA 82C596/82C686/82xx
 Hardware Monitoring support  ---> 
  <M> Hardware Monitoring support
  <M> ITE IT87xx and compatibles

Xorg configuration

I observed these characteristics with the board running BIOS F5 and Ubuntu 7.10. I have no reason to believe they wouldn't also be observed running Gentoo. Perhaps different BIOS versions will behave differently.

None of this seems to matter terribly much EXCEPT MythTV gave very poor performance (jerky video and audio) that improved when the Xorg configuration was changed to specify 16MB video memory (to agree with the kernel fb driver). See for more details.

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Last modified: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 08:47:00 +0000 Hits: 7,608