The AGP stability issue continues even today, despite using
the fastest and most stable 'Cruical' SDRAM combined with appropriately
slotted PCI cards for IRQ's (no sharing etc.) and a compatible
sound card, my Asus A7V continues to hang in games (D3D or OGL)
at random intervals, thus requiring a restart each time. It
also happens on the Soltek and Abit based Tbird systems, each
with different hardware and software set-ups.
it's not just about AGP, graphics are indeed of core concern
to gamers, but you'd be surprised by what can cause a VIA or
AMD K7/Tbird chipset to hang. For example, using an A3D soundcard
is a top way to coax your system into hanging via almost any
game after only a few minutes of play. At high activity a problem
occurs and your system will either freeze or restart itself.
same also happens under Sound Blaster boards, although with
SB it's down to the old SB16 compatibility issues, you just
need to disable SB16 in the system and it should be ok. Beware
that using four speakers with either EAX or A3Dv2 at a high
quality will often cause games to crash.
things such as the lack of different SDRAM memory type support
and problems with the system bus overall give yet more grief.
In fact if you want a completely stable AMD board between the
K7 and Tbird generations, then you'd better be prepared for
hours of PCI switching, bios tweakage and software alteration.