I beleive the problem is that many athlon users like to tweak their systems for maximum performance. There are more adjustments possible on an athlon board than say, a new Intel board. Intel severely limits any adjustments on it's own motherboards. If you want fewer problems, simply set your motherboard to the default settings.
You also need the appropriate hardware too.
I own a 1.4 GHz Tbird and I've overclocked it to 1575 MHz by simply running the Front side bus at 150 MHz. Now for this to work I have a nice motherboard (Epox 8K7A+) and a nice Heat sink fan that has arctic silver (Swiftech mc370 plus black label delta fan). My temps are 50-55 degrees celsius according to the Via hard ware monitor and I run rock stable. I think if you use any Via/SiS/Ali chipset you won't get the same stability of the AMD 760 chipset, logically you'd expect the Processor maker to provide the best chipset for their CPUs.
My system also has all name brand parts inside, if you put generic stuff in your system it can screw it up. I have Corsair memory (supposedly the best) Hercules sound card (game theater XP) Netgear FA-310 10/100 NIC card and a Pinnacle systems firewire card. If you simply put crappy ram in your computer trying to save $20 that could cause the entire system to run shaky, or a crappy HSF could make your system run hot and thus unstable.
In short an AMD system is a super system at any level, you need high quality parts. Its not like Intel where you can put in shitty parts and still get moderate stability.
I've always wondered at the level of experience of some of those with problems. Just because a person can assemble a computer doesn't mean that person should. <g> I am not belittling anyone, but many of the problems reported here seem to have the same themes, primarily heat issues. I've posted a few of my own questions here and this is a good place to get meaningful answers.
Should you get an Athlon 1.4? At this price how can you not. Will you run into problems? Possibly. Make sure you have a proper heatsink and fan (and get someone to install it if you're not comfortable with that task - it's not hard, but it must be done correctly). Even the stock unit will work if you have good case airflow. It's no secret the Athlon line runs hot. A front intake fan and a rear exhaust seems to work for most people. I added an Enermax 350 to my system because it had the extra exhaust fan which sits just over my CPU (definitely made a difference with cooling). The power supply is another issue. If you're going to run 7200 rpm HDs, CDRW, DVD and a fast video card, you might want to avoid the 185W power supplies. Athlons are also power hungry.
You can put together a good AMD system for a lot less money, but you become the troubleshooter. Self-assembling an AMD system means you put a little sweat equity into the equation. If you're comfortable working on systems, jump right in. Someone here can probably help if you run into problems. The bottom line is that if you're really uncomfortable about the Athlon 1.4 platform, buy Intel.
"Athlon 1.4 User...Proud owner of half a dozen heatsinks!"
September 17, 2001 2:43:00 AM
I gotta go with the flow here and agree that when you hear peeps in here talking about system wierdness, it is usually because the system is getting tweaked.
I am completely satisfied with the 1400/266 Athlons I have. I run them on ABit KG7-Raids. When I leave them alone and let them run with the settings for which they were designed, they are solid as a rock!
But that's the fun... I wanted to get them acting like that at 1600... but alas, had to settle for 1564
The trick to tweaking is to ask the questions, hunt down the answers, then tweak only what you understand.
As to stability, if you run AMD like they tell you to (your MoBo manual) they are champs!
My 1400 running 1575 (150 MHz FSB 300 double pumped) is rock stable. On my Epox 8K7A+ I have it tweaked to the max, my DDR ram runs 2-2-2 and I think the other settings are 8-8-6 but I'd have to double check that. My Windows 98 (4.10 - 2222) uptime - 4d 6h 21m 31s.
Well, spoken Edison. The Athlon is the "Harley" of PC's. Harley owners seem to always piss & moan about the tweaks they have to do on their bike, but after you've ridden a well tuned Harley you don't want nothing else.
Amen... I'm a firm believer in getting the darn thing running correctly before I make any major changes. I may overclock in time, but if the next generation of processors is cheap enough, I may skip that process completely.
When my K6/450 started getting a little long in the tooth, I put together an Athlon 850 system (two notches down from the top at the time) on an ASUS A7V. I have put together a few systems over the years, but this was my first Athlon. Luckily!!! I checked the message base here first or I would have cooked my 850. I later picked up a 1300 on an A7V133, but I (let me emphasize "I")destroyed it testing a no-name HSF which wasn't up to snuff. I know what I did and I know what happened. I reinstalled my 850 and ran it until the 1400 dropped into my price range. My 1.4 did not intially run at the correct speed on the A7V133, but users here gave me the settings to make it run correctly. There's a wealth of knowledge here if you can weed through the chaff.
My son is salivating right now. He knows he'll either get my 850 Athlon, or my 1.4 if I can get a Palomino cheap enough. Either way he wins. <g>
"Slide rules...for true hands on computing."
September 17, 2001 6:05:14 AM
yo that's funny i always thought of amd as the rice burners that everyone wants to show off more or less (fast, cheap and hot)and the p4 as the big harleys (slow, expensive but sturdy with a nice cruising speed!) hehe.
both users of these are always tweaking, but i must say i envy intel users because of theiir easy tweaks, we bitch and moan because of our cheap 'harder to tweak' substandard amd equipment, sorry.
OK, serious now.
Athlons are NOT unstable. Unstability is caused in most
cases by Microcrap's Windows.
Second, some older mobos don't support 1.4 GHz, because
of their BIOS. That can be fixed by installing the latest
BIOS. Check what Tom said about that in the conclusion
of his article on 1GHz Duron.
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