17 Replies Latest reply on Sep 29, 2018 5:05 PM by monkeyman_stones

    Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?

    monkeyman_stones

      I own a pair of GizmoSphere Gizmo 2 SBC's and with the first I also bought an AMD GX-420CA 4-Core, 2Ghz processor and more recently I purchased 5 (but only need 4 of them) Micron MT41K256M16HA-125E DDR3 RAM chips.  I'd like to install them all, but I want to make certain that I will not have an issue after having made such changes.

      I know that GizmoSphere had intended to install 2GB of RAM chips from the start (but for $ savings did not), but I've seen no evidence that the 4-Core AMD GX-420CA 2Ghz processor had been intended, yet it's power usage is close enough to the AMD GX-210HA they did use that it should be fine so long as I don't overdo the use of the additional PCI slots through the High Speed Connector.

       

      1) So, will the GizmoSphere Gizmo 2 work just fine and display all of the RAM of the 2GB RAM chips, or "No!"

      2) Will the GizmoSphere Gizmo 2 work fine with the AMD GX-420CA, or is it too power hungry (or otherwise) to allow function of the SBC?

        • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
          shabaz

          Hi David,

           

          You should check with Gizmosphere directly if you can, but the answer for (1) was 'no' last time I checked the documentation or website - it stated somewhere that the board was capable of extra RAM, but it wasn't just a case of installing more (and I presumed this means other parts may need to be added too, e.g. capacitors). It isn't intended for user-modification to this extent anyway.

          For (2), I don't know the answer.

           

          EDIT: this is the text from the documentation (user guide) that I recalled:

          This is a manufacturing option only. It is not recommended that users attempt to remove or resolder the BGA memory components.

            • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
              monkeyman_stones

              It requires flashing the BIOS for the 2GB RAM to work. There's a source out there in which the user had already installed and created a BIOS file to flash for 2GB of RAM (it may have been through GitHub, perhaps). The RAM is no problem whatsoever. Viewing early docs for the board they clearly had intended to make it a 2GB bearing board (but a single, internal memo which mentions a change to 1GB would increase profit margins from within GizmoSphere is out there).  Your answer is reversed. 2GB RAM is no issue at all (so long as also Micron made DDR3 of the same [excluding memory capacity] type there is no problem with the install of Micron 256Gb DDR3 chips for 2GB, once BIOS flashed).

              The portion you had no answer for was the important portion of the question (the RAM was $35, but processor was $123 with shipping).

              I'll edit this post to give a link to the 2GB RAM BIOS file once I find the bookmark in Chrome, Chromium, Firefox, Midori or Opera.

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                • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
                  shabaz

                  Can you show a link where someone installed 2GB DRAM and had it functioning? If it was no issue at all, others might wish to try it, as would I.

                  But I'd like to read up on it to confirm that someone successfully installed 2GB and had it functioning.

                    • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
                      monkeyman_stones

                      As I stated above: "I'll edit this post to give a link to the 2GB RAM BIOS file once I find the bookmark in Chrome, Chromium, Firefox, Midori or Opera." The problem is my device keeps taking me away from doing as much (forcing me to start from the beginning yet again) because my screen keeps flashing and showing me notices that there were replies here.

                      I am looking for it, but an online search is no longer useful because it is flooded with "GizmoPal" even when search line includes -GizmoPal and -gizmopal and others. It still shows those pages which were specifically asked to be ignored. I have a bookmark in one of the almost half dozen browsers, but which requires my trying each of the thousands of bookmarks in each browser until I find it. But again, I am forced to respond to the screen and LED's flashing, plus the annoyingly loud and unpleasant noise each of the 5 devices give when a response to this post comes in.

                      I will post it when I find it and I am certain it exists.

                  • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
                    balearicdynamics

                    When I got the Gizmo2 for a project of a client I had a lot of issues (violet helped me a lot) managing the options supported by the board. In the same period I have also explored with the guys of the GizmoSphere about the possibility to add memory easily but they told me that it was not needed - at least in theory - any extra hardware (the design includes the 2nd 1 GB RAM) but that they discovered unstability in the bios with more memory so decided to start the product with 1 Gb only. That's all what I know and it is a while I am not using this board (but I have in mind to use it in the near future for some local small server managing 3D printers.

                     

                    Enrico

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                  • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
                    monkeyman_stones

                    This is becoming exceptionally frustrating... Every search term so far has been a flood of 60+ Google pages about OTHER SBC's (and my search term included "Gizmo 2", meaning "The words between these quotation marks MUST be included in all results" but after page 2 very few of them do).  There are now so many Single Board Computers that it may take me 4 months to find what I am referring to.  But I cannot block out all the other SBC's because if there is an ad for any of them then Google won't show that page to me.

                    The page exists (or, existed as the site it was on may be dead) and I will continue to look for it.  I'll post it here once I am able to get through all the nips of my hands, feet, arms, legs, face, ears, neck and other parts by the many hundreds of others of SBC's. I'll find the page or at least the BIOS flash file for the functional 2GB of DDR3 RAM in the GizmoSphere Gizmo 2.

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                    • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
                      monkeyman_stones

                      Here: https://github.com/coreboot/coreboot/tree/master/src/mainboard/gizmosphere/gizmo2

                       

                      If you replace the Micron_MT41J128M16JT.spd.hex file with one specific to the Micron MT41K256M16HA such as Micron_MT41K256M16HA.spd.hex then there is no problem with the 2Gb chips.  They had intended it to have 2Gb from the start, but for the sake of profit margin dropped it to 1Gb.

                       

                      https://mail.coreboot.org/pipermail/coreboot-gerrit/2013-November/004302.html

                       

                      https://mail.coreboot.org/pipermail/coreboot-gerrit/2013-November/004198.html

                       

                       

                      • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
                        monkeyman_stones

                        Think I found part of it (many, many thanks to Enrico Miglino above for the "Gizmo2" post which made things so very much easier), at least the Coreboot bios update info about it:

                        From -

                        https://mail.coreboot.org/pipermail/coreboot-gerrit/2015-May/027085.html

                         

                        "commit 1d9c7c5da78f7c3680c2a30093dab0883b3881dd Author: Fabian Kunkel <fabi at adv.bruhnspace.com> Date: Mon May 25 17:08:17 2015 +0200 mainboard/bap: Add support for BAP ODE E20XX Adding new board based on AMD Kabini. Most of the code is copied from gizmosphere/gizmo2 Board is developed by BAP - Bruhnspace Advanced

                         

                         

                        BAP ODE E20XX has 2GB ram soldered down on the Q7 + +# 0 Number of SPD Bytes used / Total SPD Size / CRC Coverage +# bits[3:0]: 1 = 128 SPD Bytes Used +# bits[6:4]: 1 = 256 SPD Bytes Total +# bit7 : 0 = CRC covers bytes 0 ~ 125 +92 + +# 1 SPD Revision - +# 0x10 = Revision 1.0 +12 + +# 2 Key Byte / DRAM Device Type +# bits[7:0]: 0x0b = DDR3 SDRAM +0B + +# 3 Key Byte / Module Type +# bits[3:0]: 3 = SO-DIMM +# bits[7:4]: reserved +03 + +# 4 SDRAM CHIP Density and Banks +# bits[3:0]: 3 = 2 Gigabits Total SDRAM"

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                        • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
                          monkeyman_stones

                          The biggest problem with having to upgrade/update the BIOS is that the Gizmo 1 and 2 require the use of the Sage SmartProbe which means you have to have the software for it's use. It's available here in a Gizmo 1 kit: Gizmo Explorer Kit - Gizmo 1 Explorer Kit

                           

                           

                          But the problem is (having purchased 2 of them there) that the USB drive including that software is NOT provided. So you end up with a device which you absolutely must have, but absolutely cannot use because semiconductor superstore lost all of the DVD's (which the software originally came) and USB Flash drives. So buying it serves no purpose. Here's what was provided in the first one I bought: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oKd2MQ9wpa9auuvi3xaWMLQEb7AWwmpFaQ/view?usp=drivesdk

                           

                           

                          As you can see, no DVD and no USB Flash drive.  They require you download it from http://marketing.se-eng.com/ which is (was) the SAGE website which had closed down completely a number of months before I bought the Gizmo 1 kit. GizmoSphere also directs you to download a trial version of it, but their link is also dead (because SAGE killed all of their company when they closed, including all software, so even if you got ahold of the GizmoSphere Trial version you could never pay for nor buy the full version: http://www.gizmosphere.org/blog/sagebios-bsp-turns-gizmo-into-most-open-source-x86-diy-board-available/ )

                           

                           

                          You have to know someone who already own the full, paid for version of the software as well as the SAGE SmartProbe in order to update the BIOS of your Gizmo 1 as well as your Gizmo 2.

                            • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
                              balearicdynamics

                              Hello David,

                               

                              in this case I can't help you. Just a question, the guys of GizmoSphere no longer exists too? Maybe the worth to contact them.

                              Maybe that e14megan can help you with some contact as Element14 was (is) distributor of Gizmo2 boards.

                               

                              Enrico

                              • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
                                edwardalick

                                Hello David,

                                    I got the board of gizmo 2 last month. I am sad that the sage Electronic Engineering have closed and the sage_bsp or sage_edk cannot be downloaded. David , how do you debug your bios of gizmo 2 now?Do you find the software?

                                  • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
                                    monkeyman_stones

                                    Jiabin,

                                           I have found no place from which to download the Sage software. The former owner of Sage responded to me once on Facebook, but never responded to my 2nd message asking him where to find his software. I even offered to pay him for a copy of his software for the Sage SmartProbe but he never responded nor wrote anything else from his account.  I even created a Craigslist post asking for anyone with a Sage SmartProbe and software to update the BIOS of my Gizmo2, but no one replied. In addition I posted an ad all over UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Springfield College and Our Lady of the Elms College, but no one replied. I even left voicemails on the lines for all of those college's computer science professors, but received 0 replies.

                                    It seems impossible to do not because of the work of changing the RAM chips and processor (a cakewalk as it only requires a heat gun and a self lit microscopic camera to check the pins on 3 corners to ensure the replacement chips/processors are properly positioned before putting the heat gun to them again after pressing them down with a very small metal clamp so that they cannot move out of proper alignment upon heating them to melt the solder), but because there is no way to get the software for the Sage SmartProbe or find and pay anyone with them to do the work.

                                     

                                    To change the processor you only have to remove the self resetting yellow circuit breaker behind the power plug and place a higher amperage one (as easy as easy can be).

                                     

                                    It can all easily be done but the software required to enable the required BIOS updates after the work cannot be aquired.  Do not buy the Gizmo 1 with the Sage SmartProbe from Semiconductor Superstore to do the work because they don't have the required software either (and as a result it does not come with the required software to use it). I purchased the Gizmo 1 kit from Semiconductor Superstore and the software wasn't in the box even though the page from which I bought it and the item's included documentation both claimed it did. They sent me a second full unit after I called to tell them that the "included" software promised was not provided, but their 2nd unit also did not have the software.  They looked into it and stated that all of the CD's and USB drives which had the software were gone. I returned both units (even though I received 2 for the price of 1) and was refunded.

                                • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
                                  lucie tozer

                                  From what I understood when looking deeply into this was that the gizmo's processor has a ram controller capable of handling 8GB of ram, although at the time of launch the only reference to ram capacity by Gizmosphere was the possibility of upgrading it to 2GB explained as entirely possible in their documentation just not recommended as the process to replace the BGA packages is no simple feat.

                                   

                                  The AMD processor family has many pin compatible interchangeable devices, the one featured on the Gizmo2 is one of the lower cost options in the range so I suspect that was the primary reason for choosing that particular processor but another device from that family should work too.

                                   

                                  Power issues are probably going to arise, the ratings you see for the processor are in watts, if we assume that the processors are operating at 1.2V (for simplicity) we can get the following data on the required amps for each processor.

                                   

                                  AMD GX-210HA ----- 9W / 1.2V = 7.5A

                                  AMD GX-420CA ----- 25W / 1.2V = 20.8A

                                   

                                  the power supply that comes with the gizmo puts out 12V at 2A thats only 24W in itself so you can see just by this that the power supply couldnt support that new package. If the power supply was converted to 1.2V using the onboard regulators, even with 100% efficiency it would be supplying 1.2V at 20A which falls just short of what you would need to run that processor alone, not taking into account of anything else on the board.

                                   

                                  Maybe you could use a bigger power source but you really would have to get more data on the power regulation devices that are on the board, you might end up overheating and frying them.

                                   

                                  hope this was of some use

                                   

                                   

                                  edit----------------------------------

                                   

                                  Hopefully to clear up some of the other things. The company Gizmosphere and the Gizmo SBC were formed and created as part of a community project of hobbyists, presumably they formed a temporary company in order to sell their product and have either moved on or never made enough sales to make it a worthwhile business.

                                   

                                  I would imagine that once the community of hobbyists had designed the Gizmo's, the company itself was formed purely by marketing and sales people. Electronics hobbyists probably arent looking to work in sales and marketing and the products probably never made enough money to employ those hobbyists as full time engineers. In this case the most probable outcome is that they split the profits between them and moved on to other projects.

                                   

                                  Also some links:

                                  This one I believe supports the idea of interchangeability of the processors/ram as its the same board used for all design options http://www.seco.com/prods/eu/sbc-992-pitx.html

                                  This one is a .pdf of a tiny desktop computer using the GX420-CA and shows off its maximum potential in its features http://h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=c04312126&doctype=quickspecs&doclang=EN_US&searchquery=&cc=ca&lc=en notice how the 420-CA can support up to 16GB, presumably it has 2 ram controller rather than 1 (its probably internally arranged as 2 dual core processors to form the quad core device and each dual core has its own ram controller supporting 8GB each)

                                    • Re: Can Gizmo 2 use GX-420CA and 2GB chips w/o issues?
                                      monkeyman_stones

                                      lucie tozer - So it sounds as if the 30V, 4A breaker at the front (the yellow thing standing just behind the power input) would have to be changed for something with a higher Ampere trip point.  The problem is calculating that volume from the minuscule records Gizmosphere made available.  I would think that 30V (good luck finding a reasonably priced 30V breaker... Would have to go 32V) 6A could work for the AMD GX-420CA (25W / 1.2V = 20.83... Amperes). But because I also have a 1TB Samsung 960 Pro mSATA SSD and used the PCIe (High Speed) plug for a mPCIe 2.0 port, a Display Port (1.1) and an additional SATA port I think 6A would be too low.  I don't want to take a chance of witnessing the horrible blue smoke, so I really have to be exact about this. Any suggestions for breaker Ampere size for the trip point?).

                                      It sounds from your post as though there are additional breakers on the board specifically for the CPU... Is that so? I don't see as much.