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ecs 848P-A + 3 ghz P4 - Fry's Sale

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October 15, 2004 9:45:28 PM

I want to put a new PC together to replace my old 440bx PIII, which is going to my grandson for kindergarten games
(see my earlier post). Fry's has a sale on through the 19th where you get a boxed 3ghz P4 (with fan) and an ECS 848P-A motherboard. I have looked around some and it seems that this might be a good deal at their price of $169. Any thoughts? I have my own hardrives and cd/dvd, but I will need memory and a video card - anybody have any "gotchas" for me to watch for?
I have a couple of extra 300watt power supplies, but, I wonder if maybe I will need a new one anyway? I haven't put together a PC in a couple of years so I am all ears for any advice anyone has. I use it mostly for PC video, but also CAD and C programming (NO PC GAMES). Littleberry

More about : ecs 848p ghz fry sale

a b V Motherboard
October 16, 2004 12:58:37 AM

Depending on the age of your supplies, they might not have the 4-pin square ATX12v connector P4 boards have used since the beginning. You don't expect the board to be great, but since it's free you can't complain.

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October 16, 2004 1:49:33 AM

I would bet that is a scotty (prescott) chip. You cant even buy just the chip for that price. I suggest people dont even try.
Scotties are great space heaters, so if you are planning on using this in a cold room ...
ECS boards are rather fragile, so be carefull with it.
It really is too bad that board doesn't support dual channel memory, take a 10% performance hit.
Since the board is basicly free, see if they will give you a couple of spares, as that's usually what it takes to get one system running.
Dont scratch, or mark the board, otherwise all waranties are off.
ECS rmas cost $20.
In other words, aside from the board and chip, it looks like a good deal.
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October 16, 2004 3:22:38 AM

I take it then, Endyen, that you wouldn't recommend this option - right? I confess I am a little worried, since so much has changed after the 440bx (which I got good at). What kind of case would be appropriate for this board? Other than the 4-pin connector, and being extra careful with the mboard, what else should I look out for? The salesman told me I would get the motherboard in a sealed box, and, then, at the checkout counter, they would present me with the sealed CPU (with fan). He assured me it would be a 3 gigahertz pentium 4 - that is all he could say, and,
I didn't know what else to ask. I've got until Tuesday to decide. By the way, the ad said "One per customer", and, he DID go to the trouble to check his computer to make sure I hadn't already bought one, either at that store or any of the others in this metroplex. Surely someone on this board has got some hands-on experience with this motherboard?
Should I look for an extra wattage power supply, since you say the P4 is a space heater? How much? 400 watts? I feel so much in the dark here. Littleberry
a c 435 V Motherboard
October 16, 2004 4:25:44 AM

I got that board for $149 with a 2.8c, and it ran at 230 fsb. Not bad for a free board. But I switched to a better msi 865 board, and it now runs at 267 (3734). But for your needs, stick to the free 848p board. Try your 300w ps first before getting a new one. The P4 adapter for older power supplies is available if you need it for about $3. I use a 300w sparkle with my setup, and it works fine.
October 18, 2004 2:23:35 AM

I went ahead and got the board (w/CPU) and the rest of the components I will need - BUT, I was wrong about the CPU - it came BARE and I had to also buy a heatsink/fan combo. I wonder if there is anything special I need to do BEFORE I apply the thermal grease and attach the heatsink. What I plan on doing is to insert the bare CPU into the slot on the board (with the little socket handle lifted), and then close the little handle (which I suppose will hold the CPU firmly in place). Then I plan on applying a thin film of thermal compound to the HEAT SINK and the press it against the CPU as I attach it to the plastic mount that surrounds the CPU socket like a picture frame.
AM I WRONG? Is my plan missing something?
I'll check the board in the morning before I get started to see if anyone has any pointer for me. littleberry
October 18, 2004 5:50:15 PM

I got it installed with floppy only and I tried to boot to the win98 startup disk. Post reports a 3 ghz p4 at 200X15 and the correct 512m of ram, but then says "warning - cpu has changed" and recommends I go into setup and update the CMOS. I didn't see anything to edit about the CPU - does anyone know what this is all about? It also reports the cpu temperature to be 80 C (177 F). Is that normal??????
That sure does seem HOT to me! Then when I go head and try to boot (F1), it goes through all the steps but before it starts to read the floppy, it shuts itself down. Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Littleberry
October 18, 2004 6:09:16 PM

I had the floppy connector in wrong (off by 1 pin), so it now goes ahead and boots up with the win98 startup disk. And it doesn't report the CPU changed message either ( I didn't change anything???). But I am really worried about the CPU temp (177 F). I only spent $15 for this fan - but it did say it was for the p4 3ghz). Liars, I think. They have one at Fry's with cost $40 and is really heavy - maybe I should go back and get that one. This fan's speed is 3400 rpm - maybe that is what I should do. What are you p4 3ghz owner's out there doing for adequate cooling - I will be using this heavily (mpeg encoding, acad math routines - etc), so I don't need to be worried abou the CPU temp. What is your recommedation here? Littleberry
a c 435 V Motherboard
October 18, 2004 7:46:57 PM

You apply the thermal paste to the cpu heatspreader. You don't have to put any on the heatsink. I would use a single edge razor blade to remove the excess paste off the heatsink, and apply the thinnest layer you can to the cpu. The hole is for venting only, and it won't hurt if you get a little paste in it. I place 4 or 5 tiny dabs of paste around the cpu heatspreader, and spread it out with the blade. A credit card will also work, or any thin rigid plastic item. I use an Intel copper heatsink, but it's noisy, so I also use a zalman "fan mate 1" to lower the rpms at idle to about 2500. Try your current heatsink after reapplying the paste. Your temps should drop to about 50-60 celcius. You can remove any old paste with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
October 18, 2004 8:06:39 PM

I just tried that now, O1die, and it still boots up at 84 C.
I scrapped off the excess paste off the heat sink (there was a film there), and spread a teeny bit on the CPU, but I notice that this cheapie fan/ht sink job doesn't want to snap into place easily. And I can kinda move the heat sink around wrt the CPU even after it is snapped in place. What I am thinking is that the mechanical contact from the CPU heatspreader to the heatsink is not under enough pressure,
and it just isnt picking up the heat because the aluminum fins are not hot at all. I need to find one that definitely
makes tight mechanical contact so it can pick up the heat.
I'll take this one back and see what they have - worried - littleberry
October 19, 2004 5:31:49 AM

O1die, is there something I am supposed to do in the BIOS for the ECS 848P-A that would affect the CPU temp? I didn't change anything and maybe there is a voltage or speed paramater somewhere that I am supposed to set? The Intel book says that 84C is the max temp, and so that is probably why it is shutting down. I will try the zalman cpns7000alcu tomorrow, but, I was wondering if there maybe is some jumper or cmos setting I need to be aware of - even with the crappy fan/heatsink, it still seems way to high - I must be doing something wrong here. Did you just run with your cmos "asis" (when you first used the ecs 878)?
any ideas at all? I would hate to have to abandon this now and return everything. littleberry
October 19, 2004 6:11:50 PM

(for any interested who are following this thread)...

I installed the zalman cnps7000a-alcu just now and booted up and went into BIOS to watch the temperature - it started out at 42C and has settled in at 47C (116F). I guess that is normal (????) The room is about 78F (25.5C). It still seems high to me since this is with NO LOAD (just sitting in the bios "health screen"). The one difference with this zalman 7000 is that you can really tighten up the screws and force it against the cpu heatbase with enough pressure to pick up the heat. So, at this point, I don't know anything else I can do to lower the temperature. I plan on installing windows and do some avi-mpeg conversions and see how hot it gets. I notice the fan speed (without the controller - just directly connected to the fan connector on the motherboard) is around 2450-2500 rpm. It says that the cpu vcore is 1.34. I feel like I am in way over my head here because I have no idea if there is something I need to do or not. Anyway, the zalman did fit onto this motherboard OK, with a teeny bit or room to spare.
I am all ears for any advice anyone has... Littleberry
a c 435 V Motherboard
October 19, 2004 8:48:19 PM

Those temps are pretty good for a prescott p4. I would leave it alone for awhile and you should notice a slight drop in temps as the thermal paste cures. My own temps range from 42-65 celcius, depending on the room temp. I don't run the a/c as much as some folks.
October 20, 2004 10:02:20 AM

Yup, that's within 'normal range' for the new Prescott core P4 chips.

If the cheaper heatsink was designed to just about cope with a 3Ghz 'Northwood' core P4, then it probably would not be quite up to the job. Even so, 80C is higher than I'd expect - suggests it wasn't making good contact with the CPU. Did you get a refund for it? May have been defective (if the base was not very flat, or the 'cutout' part that sits over the raised part of the socket was not deep enough)

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