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another boring "what cpu to upgrade to" thread.

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June 23, 2006 4:10:26 AM

My athlon64 3200+ venice CPU has bit the dust. Faulty PSU took it out.

So I'm looking to upgrade. What socket 939 CPU will give me the best performance for gaming, and also be able to give photoshop CS2 some juice to handle extremly high resolution images? I'm looking at spending no more than $300 or close to it.


here's my current hardware (including the bad CPU):

- Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard
- AMD Athlon64 3200+ venice CPU
- 2x eVGA Geforce 7900gt in SLI
- OCZ 2gb of PC3200 2-3-3-6 DDR400 ram
- Antec 550w PSU
- Ancient Maxtor 80gb IDE hdd, 7200rpm ata133
- Windows XP Home Edition SP2
- Lite-on DVD-RW drive
- Floppy dick drive
- 19" LCD running at native 1280x1024 for games



Ok. So what CPU should I upgrade to that won't cost more than $300? I heard that dual-core is needed to get the most from SLI, but I'm using XP Home edition, which doesn't support multithreading so that sounds kind of pointless.

No matter which cpu I get, I plan on overclocking it to the best of my ability on air.



Besides gaming, I do a lot of photo editing on extremely high resolution (45 megapixel raw files) in photoshop CS2. Right now, the editing is too 'laggy' for my tastes. I know that a dual core CPU would help tremendously here, but like I said, XP home doesn't support multithreading. So what kind of an upgrade besides CPU should I do to improve photoshop performance. Get another 2gb of ram for 4gb total, or get a new SATA 3gb/s HDD which would be like 30x faster then the IDE ATA133 one I'm using now?

thanks for the help.
June 23, 2006 4:48:15 AM

Quote:
SATA 3gb/s HDD which would be like 30x faster then the IDE ATA133 one I'm using now?


a SATA hard drive is not necessarily any faster than your Maxtor 80gb ATA133, thats just the interface speed, a speed that no drive has surpassed, not even ATA133, but i'm sure if you upgrade to a better HD load times will be faster, something with atleast an 8MB cache would be good, like any new WD or Seagate, if you were willing a 150GB Raptor would be one of the fastest hd but it isn't cheap,

Quote:
but I'm using XP Home edition, which doesn't support multithreading so that sounds kind of pointless.


windows xp does support multi core cpus, you will benefit from a dual core because if you have any other programs running in backround the second core would take care of those while your other core would run your photoshop, for the dual core i would recommend this AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ for $297 it should overclock fairly well although an aftermarket cooler would help

for example i usually have atleast a few programs running in backround while i play BF2 like vent, xfire and some other programs, point is it adds up sometimes, and to have a dual core makes me feel a little more confident to know that i have another core to dedicate itself soley to BF2 so i don't have to worry about a CPU bottleneck

last notes:

Quote:
i heard that dual-core is needed to get the most from SLI,


never heard of a dual core getting the most out of SLI, single core would perform no different for games that are not multithreaded and your SLi setup

Quote:
Get another 2gb of ram for 4gb total


as far as 2GB vs 4GB of RAM i doubt your using all of your 2GB so that would almost be pointless to upgrade that, but it never hurts, maybe if you still have this system when Vista comes out will you want the extra RAM
June 23, 2006 4:53:18 AM

XP home supports multicore cpus; it does not support multisocket systems.
Related resources
June 23, 2006 5:06:16 AM

Ok thanks much for the quick replies so far guys.


Quote:
SATA 3gb/s HDD which would be like 30x faster then the IDE ATA133 one I'm using now?


a SATA hard drive is not necessarily any faster than your Maxtor 80gb ATA133, thats just the interface speed, a speed that no drive has surpassed, not even ATA133, but i'm sure if you upgrade to a better HD load times will be faster, something with atleast an 8MB cache would be good, like any new WD or Seagate, if you were willing a 150GB Raptor would be one of the fastest hd but it isn't cheap,

Ok that sucks. 3/gbs transfer speed sounded pretty sweet. Oh well. Would running a raid 0 array be faster then instead of my single HDD?

Quote:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ it should overclock fairly well although an aftermarket cooler would help


I'm using artic cooling freezer 64 pro with artic silver 5:
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1683...

It's supposed to be a very good heatsink/fan combo. But the bad thing is, my motherboard the A8N32SLI-Deluxe is notorious for having really high temps. Then again, all if this is completely new hardware I haven't even used yet (because a friend has my computer right now and I just put all this new stuff together 3 days ago) so I'm not sure how the temps work for me.



Quote:
never heard of a dual core getting the most out of SLI, single core would perform no different for games that are not multithreaded


From what I understand, it uses some cpu power for the 2 SLI video cards to 'talk' to each other. So dual core is supposedly better because that extra 'talking' is done on the 2nd core while the 1st core is tied to the gaming.

Another thing, one of the games I play called oblivion, there is a tweak which can be optimized for dual core processors. But that's only one of the 20+ games I play so it's no biggie if single core is the better processor for me right now.

Quote:
as far as 2GB vs 4GB of RAM i doubt your using all of your 2GB so that would almost be pointless to upgrade that, but it never hurts, maybe if you still have this system when Vista comes out will you want the extra RAM


Ahh ok. Well actually the laggyness in photoshop was with my old hardware. Just yesterday I got this new OCZ 2gb dual channel 2-3-3-6 platinum ram. My old ram was valueram which 3-4-4-8 timings or something like that. Will the quicker timings make a difference? Like I said, I haven't been able to test out this new rig yet.


Quote:
XP home supports multicore cpus; it does not support multisocket systems.


This is where I heard it:
http://www.planetamd64.com/index.php?showtopic=15497
a c 159 à CPUs
June 23, 2006 5:15:04 AM

If you have a spare pc, I would wait for x2 prices to drop in about 1 month when conroe is released.
June 23, 2006 5:23:19 AM

Quote:
My athlon64 3200+ venice CPU has bit the dust. Faulty PSU took it out.


What PS was it? What are you replacing it with?
June 23, 2006 5:34:48 AM

Quote:
XP home supports multicore cpus; it does not support multisocket systems.
This is where I heard it:
http://www.planetamd64.com/index.php?showtopic=15497Tha... person is wrong. What I stated is the truth. Want to use a Conroe or X2 in your next build? XP home can hanldle that. Want to use AMD's rediculous 4X4 platform? You're gonna need XP Pro for that. See how it works? :wink:
June 23, 2006 6:06:51 AM

Quote:
That person is wrong. What I stated is the truth.



Quote:
Fast performance


Multithreading. Right now the most sophisticated games require computers to complete many different processes at once. This is known as multithreading and as games evolve multithreading will become more and more important. Windows XP handles multithreading more intelligently than previous operating systems. For now, any game that requires execution of multiple tasks within its own process will benefit from smoother graphics and some overall speed gains.


you better take that up with Microsoft, otherwise i will stand on the fence for now

Link


Quote:
Want to use AMD's rediculous 4X4 platform? You're gonna need XP Pro for that.


by the time AMD 4x4 comes out he'll have Vista SP2, which is a long time away :p  :lol: 


Quote:
Would running a raid 0 array be faster then instead of my single HDD?


Yes it would most likely be faster than any single HD, although i would not recommend it as the price/GB is terrible and there is a chance that the array could fail and you could lose all your information on both your HDs, go the simple route and get a 250GB Seagate

and that new ram will do you good, tighter timings is always good, just make sure there actually running at 2-3-3-6, cause you might have to manually set it that way
June 23, 2006 7:03:27 AM

your quote from the microsoft website makes no point. What are you attempting to prove?
June 23, 2006 1:05:49 PM

Yes I very much need a cpu asap since it's my main work machine, only other thing I have is my laptop but I can't really do my work or play my nice games on it.

It really sucks that AMD is cutting prices in half next month, but I guess that's how things usually work out for me. Maybe if I'm lucky I can pawn off my cpu on ebay a few days before the price drop (but I'm never lucky so probably not).

I had a Rosewill 520w PSU and an Epox 9-HEAI motherboard before. After 2 weeks of use the thing wasn't booting up into windows. After another day of trying to get it to boot up, it completely failed and the fans wouldn't even spin. So I replaced the PSU with the Antec 550w TP2-550. When I hit the power button, the epox motherboard caught on fire and one of the black square things on the motherboard melted near the CPU. I guess it was probably one of the voltage controls for the CPU.


So I'm hoping that the faulty PSU here was the rosewill and not the antec, and the antec still works and won't fry my new motherboard and CPU. So far it seems to work with my new motherboard, the fans and everything spin but the computer just doesn't boot up because my CPU is dead.

I'm taking my computer down to best buy today though because they have machines that can test each hardware part and see what works and what doesn't. I'm 99% sure though it's my CPU that's dead, but I just want to doublecheck to be sure.

If my antec PSU is actually faulty too I'll probably end up getting the OCZ 600watt Adjustable PSU. It's got pretty good reviews and is SLI-ready and actually rated at 700w.


As far as CPUs go, how does the opteron 165 perform?
June 23, 2006 1:11:58 PM

Quote:
So I'm hoping that the faulty PSU here was the rosewill and not the antec, and the antec still works and won't fry my new motherboard and CPU. So far it seems to work with my new motherboard, the fans and everything spin but the computer just doesn't boot up because my CPU is dead.


Good thing you're taking it to a tech for a checkup. Make sure they specifically test the PS. If the Antec is the problem, it wouldn't be the first time one killed a mobo.

Quote:
If my antec PSU is actually faulty too I'll probably end up getting the OCZ 600watt Adjustable PSU. It's got pretty good reviews and is SLI-ready and actually rated at 700w.


Yes, excelent.

Quote:
As far as CPUs go, how does the opteron 165 perform?


Great overclocker, even at stock voltage on air.
June 23, 2006 1:17:03 PM

Quote:
My athlon64 3200+ venice CPU has bit the dust. Faulty PSU took it out.

So I'm looking to upgrade. What socket 939 CPU will give me the best performance for gaming, and also be able to give photoshop CS2 some juice to handle extremly high resolution images? I'm looking at spending no more than $300 or close to it.


here's my current hardware (including the bad CPU):

- Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard
- AMD Athlon64 3200+ venice CPU
- 2x eVGA Geforce 7900gt in SLI
- OCZ 2gb of PC3200 2-3-3-6 DDR400 ram
- Antec 550w PSU
- Ancient Maxtor 80gb IDE hdd, 7200rpm ata133
- Windows XP Home Edition SP2
- Lite-on DVD-RW drive
- Floppy dick drive
- 19" LCD running at native 1280x1024 for games



Ok. So what CPU should I upgrade to that won't cost more than $300? I heard that dual-core is needed to get the most from SLI, but I'm using XP Home edition, which doesn't support multithreading so that sounds kind of pointless.

No matter which cpu I get, I plan on overclocking it to the best of my ability on air.



Besides gaming, I do a lot of photo editing on extremely high resolution (45 megapixel raw files) in photoshop CS2. Right now, the editing is too 'laggy' for my tastes. I know that a dual core CPU would help tremendously here, but like I said, XP home doesn't support multithreading. So what kind of an upgrade besides CPU should I do to improve photoshop performance. Get another 2gb of ram for 4gb total, or get a new SATA 3gb/s HDD which would be like 30x faster then the IDE ATA133 one I'm using now?

thanks for the help.



FOr $300 there's only the X2 3800+. It's as fast as the 900 series from Intel and will OC ~50%
June 23, 2006 2:13:50 PM

Quote:
your quote from the microsoft website makes no point. What are you attempting to prove?


Quote:
Fast performance


Multithreading. Right now the most sophisticated games require computers to complete many different processes at once. This is known as multithreading and as games evolve multithreading will become more and more important. Windows XP handles multithreading more intelligently than previous operating systems. For now, any game that requires execution of multiple tasks within its own process will benefit from smoother graphics and some overall speed gains.


As far as i can determine that more or less says Windows XP handles multi threading, no where does it say that Windows XP Pro ONLY handles multithreading
June 23, 2006 3:40:39 PM

if you can wait..but who can wait months when they want to game! 8)
Get the x24800 or a fx60..maybe that 60 will hit around 500 bucks with the price drop coming..if it does i might consider it..If ya got 300 bucks now and can earn 200 in a month id wait a bit and get that 4800 or the 60..Im in the same boat with the 939 socket elimination and might as well max out your system for awhile till ya need something new like a conroe in a couple years
June 23, 2006 5:35:44 PM

well the place I took it to (best buy - geek squad) they couldn't test anything. They don't have any socket939 equipment anymore so they can't test my processor.

He said it's probably my processor though that's not working so I should just order another one and if it still not work then just return the processor back to the store.

every other computer repair shop I called around here can't test it either, they all have intel processor machines and no amd64's.

So right now I'm torn between getting the opteron 165 or just going with a single core for now until the price drop in july.
June 23, 2006 7:53:40 PM

even if you only run single threaded apps your still benefit from the 3800 X2 although saving your self some money and overclocking the 3200 is not a bad idea
June 23, 2006 8:06:41 PM

I think his PSU pwned it.
June 23, 2006 8:18:59 PM

Quote:
So I'm hoping that the faulty PSU here was the rosewill and not the antec, and the antec still works and won't fry my new motherboard and CPU. So far it seems to work with my new motherboard, the fans and everything spin but the computer just doesn't boot up because my CPU is dead.


Good thing you're taking it to a tech for a checkup. Make sure they specifically test the PS. If the Antec is the problem, it wouldn't be the first time one killed a mobo.

Quote:
If my antec PSU is actually faulty too I'll probably end up getting the OCZ 600watt Adjustable PSU. It's got pretty good reviews and is SLI-ready and actually rated at 700w.


Yes, excelent.

Quote:
As far as CPUs go, how does the opteron 165 perform?


Great overclocker, even at stock voltage on air.

The opteron 165 overclocks like a dream and totaly eats heavy data compression and manipulation like it wasn't there.

I personally have an opteron OC to 2.4 GHZ (i don't i have enough watts left to go higher ) btw. thats on default voltage and the stock cooler.

i would defiently get the 165 when paired with some quick ram it rocks.

for media encoding X.264 runs at around 30-40 fps in virtudub, Divx 6 around 50-60 fps :D .

for gaming, it rocks as well. here is my current setup

Opteron 165 @ 2.4GHZ
1GB OCZ GT XTC PC3500
Asus A8N32-SLI
ATI X1900XT 512MB
320GB Segate 7200.10 SATA II

i run FEAR with the following settings

1680x1050
everything maxed out except for Soft shadows and Detailed Something or other.
FSAA at 4x

Framerates dip down to around 29fps but usually sit around 30-45 and max out around 140 :D .
June 23, 2006 9:07:31 PM

Quote:
*SNIPPED BECAUSE IT WAS A REALLY LONG POST*

Opteron 165 @ 2.4GHZ
1GB OCZ GT XTC PC3500
Asus A8N32-SLI
ATI X1900XT 512MB
320GB Segate 7200.10 SATA II

i run FEAR with the following settings

1680x1050
everything maxed out except for Soft shadows and Detailed Something or other.
FSAA at 4x

Framerates dip down to around 29fps but usually sit around 30-45 and max out around 140 :D .



Well I just ordered the opty 165. I decided to go dual core that way I'm "protected for the future", so to speak.

One thing that bothers me is that I have been reading that opterons aren't the best for gaming since their memory controller is designed for running server stuff and not games. Kind of like how nvidia makes that weird video card that looks like it would kick butt, but it really isn't great for gaming.

But either way, it should still be better than the 3200+ I was running now.

I noticed you have the same motherboard as me. How does your opteron run on it as far as temps go? Reviews say that this motherboard gets pretty hot.

What about bios? I noticed you have to have v702 bios or something like that in order to use the opteron 165, I'm not sure which bios came installed with my motherboard when I bought it last week.

And is the overclocking easy to do with this board? I heard it's very easy, but again I can't use this board yet without a CPU, lol :lol: 
June 23, 2006 10:25:37 PM

Quote:
*SNIPPED BECAUSE IT WAS A REALLY LONG POST*

Opteron 165 @ 2.4GHZ
1GB OCZ GT XTC PC3500
Asus A8N32-SLI
ATI X1900XT 512MB
320GB Segate 7200.10 SATA II

i run FEAR with the following settings

1680x1050
everything maxed out except for Soft shadows and Detailed Something or other.
FSAA at 4x

Framerates dip down to around 29fps but usually sit around 30-45 and max out around 140 :D .



Well I just ordered the opty 165. I decided to go dual core that way I'm "protected for the future", so to speak.

One thing that bothers me is that I have been reading that opterons aren't the best for gaming since their memory controller is designed for running server stuff and not games. Kind of like how nvidia makes that weird video card that looks like it would kick butt, but it really isn't great for gaming.

But either way, it should still be better than the 3200+ I was running now.

I noticed you have the same motherboard as me. How does your opteron run on it as far as temps go? Reviews say that this motherboard gets pretty hot.

What about bios? I noticed you have to have v702 bios or something like that in order to use the opteron 165, I'm not sure which bios came installed with my motherboard when I bought it last week.

And is the overclocking easy to do with this board? I heard it's very easy, but again I can't use this board yet without a CPU, lol :lol: 

1. Temps

the temps are going to be higher than normal in comaprison to other nforce 4 sli32 borads becuase teh chipsets are passively cooled, mine is sit around 32-45 degrees

the cpu, well it depends since my case ambient temp is around 32+ degress my cpus temps are a little high but at full load it usualy sits around 51 degrees.

BTW thats all in celsius

2. Gaming

Honestly i went from gaming on a A64 3000+ (S754) and a 6600 GT and WHAT A FREAKIGN DIFFERENCE. I went with the opteron for 2 reasons.

Reason 1: It's fairly decent at gaming but it rocks at everything else so it's a very multipurpose chip

Reason 2: It's a server chip, so the Testing and QA is much more strict than the desktop chips X2.

3. Bios

my bios version is i think the latest 1205 it came loaded with somehting like 1023.

4. OC / Tweaking

Over clocking is very easy, but this board has a quirk, since you already have had a A64 i assume you know about keeing your HTT speed in check and not to let it go over to far. The quirk is this board has 2 HTT Multipliers i usualy just keep them in sync with each other. Also this board has a setting called PEG link diasble it.

for overclocking settings, there are too many to list here. But to help you get started you need to go to the jumperless section on the bios and change the cpu vid/fid to manual then you can force the multipler for the cpu.

Honestly to get my system up to this speed it took around 20 minutes. just remember that if you want to hit the 2.4 GHZ you need to scale your HTT multiplier down to 3 or you'll go over the 1000MHZ and get an unstable system.

I hope i answered your questions, if you have any more feel free to ask, also make sure your PSU is BEEFY as oc'ing eats up wattage FAST.
June 23, 2006 11:48:14 PM

Oh okay, I see. I think you're a bit confused on the difference between the terms multithreading and SMP support. Virtually any OS can handle multithreading, as that is usually program-dependant (most encoding apps, photoshop, and a few games are multithreaded). SMP support, or more appropriately, multi-socket support (think server mobos, dual PIIIs, etc) are not recognized by XP home, only XP pro. I said nothing about the "multithreadedness" of XP.
June 23, 2006 11:52:45 PM

amd 4000 san diego, its 300, and its a BEAST at games and i can imagine its a beast at photoshop! and u prolly dont wanna wait until july 24th, so yeah 4000, becuase if u wait to july 24th u might as well get an x2 4200 or x2 4400 , i think both cpu's will be under 300
June 23, 2006 11:55:55 PM

i know u wont wait until july, so DONT get an x2, the 3800 will drop to about 160 in 1 month, thats why i say 4000, single core!
June 23, 2006 11:57:10 PM

Quote:
[One thing that bothers me is that I have been reading that opterons aren't the best for gaming since their memory controller is designed for running server stuff and not games. Kind of like how nvidia makes that weird video card that looks like it would kick butt, but it really isn't great for gaming.
That's an old wives' tale. The opteron 165 performs on par with the 3800 X2 in games, with the 3800 X2 sometimes besting the opteron because of its higher clock speeds. Clock-for-clock though, the opteron has the advantage in all apps because of its larger L2 cache.
June 24, 2006 12:23:35 AM

AMD is cutting prices on their X2 line of processor, yet havent' seen some major price drop. But the X2 series is a very good chip. You should wait a bit more to get that X2 4400 or X2 4600 price more affordable.
June 24, 2006 1:21:01 AM

Quote:
[One thing that bothers me is that I have been reading that opterons aren't the best for gaming since their memory controller is designed for running server stuff and not games. Kind of like how nvidia makes that weird video card that looks like it would kick butt, but it really isn't great for gaming.
That's an old wives' tale. The opteron 165 performs on par with the 3800 X2 in games, with the 3800 X2 sometimes besting the opteron because of its higher clock speeds. Clock-for-clock though, the opteron has the advantage in all apps because of its larger L2 cache.

yup and when it's oc'd to 2.4 GHZ :D 
June 24, 2006 11:23:07 AM

I am going to get the opteron 165 in the mail monday. The model # or whatever is OSA165CDBOX - Retail. Anyone know if that's a good stepping?

The main thing I'm concerned about right now is my motherboard (Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe) though. Other reviewers are saying it gets extremely hot and have actually had to underclock their processors to get temps under 60c full load.

I know it's a bit early for me to talk since I haven't even used the motherboard yet (can't without a processor) but I fear that it will run very hot for me too and won't let me overclock. My case isn't the best for cooling I think, I've had it for like 2 years now. http://www.computerpoweruser.com/editorial/article.asp?...

I could probably max the A/C in my room and that would work but then I would be freezing myself.

Anyone have any ideas what's the best way to cool a motherboard without spending hundreds of dollars for a water cooling system?


and thanks everyone for all the help so far, you guys are great
June 24, 2006 2:08:19 PM

for my self since my room is so warm i just leave the side panel off the side of my case, but even when i had it on the side of the case it really didn't go over 45 degrees.

The case i have it installed in is an antec sonata.

the thing you need to keep in mind is that the mobo is passivly cooled so as long as you have good air circulation in the case you should be fine.
June 24, 2006 3:28:33 PM

Quote:
Oh okay, I see. I think you're a bit confused on the difference between the terms multithreading and SMP support. Virtually any OS can handle multithreading, as that is usually program-dependant (most encoding apps, photoshop, and a few games are multithreaded). SMP support, or more appropriately, multi-socket support (think server mobos, dual PIIIs, etc) are not recognized by XP home, only XP pro. I said nothing about the "multithreadedness" of XP.


hmm yes i see now, after REreading your initial post that lead me to post about xp home i see that you did indeed say that xp home support multithreading, i must've glanced over it and thought i saw you said only xp pro supports multithreading, i just misunderstood where you quoted someone
Quote:

XP home supports multicore cpus; it does not support multisocket systems.
This is where I heard it:
http://www.planetamd64.com/index.php?showtopic=15497

That person is wrong. What I stated is the truth. Want to use a Conroe or X2 in your next build? XP home can hanldle that. Want to use AMD's rediculous 4X4 platform? You're gonna need XP Pro for that. See how it works? Wink

see i actually thought you were saying what you had ALREADY said was wrong :lol:  anyway sorry about that but lastly i understand the difference between multicore, multi socket/multi cpu setups, thx!
June 24, 2006 4:45:58 PM

I am starting to think my problem was not the CPU now. I unplugged my "dead" AMD64 3200+ from the socket and powered on the computer. Every fan spins (including vid card fans) and the light from the motherboard comes on, but I hear no beeps and it doesn't post. I am 75% certain that my motherboard is suppose to beep 5 times when there is no CPU installed. So that means my problem might not be the CPU after all. However I looked at the bottom of the CPU, and near 2 of the pins there are some small black dots that look like they shouldn't be there and looked like they might have been caused by the CPU getting fried. But I'm not sure since the black dots are so small and hard to see.

What is odd is that my case fans are spinning, but they are spinning very slowly and aren't lighting up with their blue-colored LED. Could this mean that my PSU is faulty after all? Or is it because I have the fans hooked into the "FAN_ONLY" molex connectors and the PSU is limiting the power to the fans because it is detecting low temps and will give the fans more power when things heat up?

Anyway, I ordered the power supply tester like suggested. But it won't be here until wednesday of next week and I'm not waiting that long to test the power supply before I fire everything up. So I am crossing my fingers and hoping that the power supply won't fry my new opteron when I power it up monday :o 
June 24, 2006 10:26:02 PM

i just ordered an OCZ 700w power supply too (OCZ600ADJSLI), I'll get it monday or tuesday.

So ill put those in to eliminate the PSU and CPU. I'm not sure which one I should put in first, probably the PSU incase my antec is bad and doesn't fry my new processor too. Ff it still doesn't work then it must be a problem with the motherboard or the bios on the motherboard.

so my elimination process is going to look like this:

CPU -> PSU -> CASE -> BIOS -> MOTHERBOARD.



So to explain my elimination process better... I am going to put the new Opteron 165 cpu in first. If it still doesn't boot, then I'm going to put in the OCZ 700w power supply. If it still doesn't boot, then I'm going to try taking the motherboard out of the case and powering it up in a cardboard box to see if it could be a grounding issue. If it STILL doesn't work, then I'll have Asus send me a new bios chip for the motherboard since the bios could be bad. If it still doesn't work, then the board is going to get RMA'd and I'll buy a spare one while I'm waiting for the RMA, and when I finally get the RMA back I'll ebay it.

That should cover just about everything, right?
June 26, 2006 8:28:13 PM

well I got LUCKY. Popped in the new opteron CPU, and it booted right up into the bios. So it looks like my old CPU is indeed dead and my antec power supply seems fine so far.

Only thing I'm concerned about is my volts in the bios from the antec PSU seem a bit low. 11.90 for the 12v rail and 4.90 for the 5v rail but it just might be that the 550w antec is a bit too little power to handle the SLI 7900gt config I have.

Now the only problem is windows won't load (not even in safe mode), but that's normal for a new motherboard. So looks like I'm going to have to copy the data off my hard drive with my friends computer. I just ordered a new WD Caviar SATAII 7200rpm 250gb hard drive to replace my 6 year old IDE Maxtor 80gb hard drive I have now.

You guys think it's safe to flash the bios now, or should I wait until I get the 700w OCZ PSU and windows installed tommorow?

As far as everything else goes, my temps seem OK in the bios. 42c idle for CPU and around 41c idle for the motherboard. But that's in the bios, I imagine it will be a bit higher in windows and definitely higher when I overclock this processor.
June 26, 2006 8:34:48 PM

i would personally wait for the 700 watt PSU that way you won't have to worry about some bizzare power spike that could take it down. personally i just use the windows flash utility and never have any issues.

Glad to hear about the chip man, enjoy.

in regards to the volts my 12v sits around 11.95 and the 5 is around 5.03.
June 26, 2006 9:55:21 PM

Quote:
personally i just use the windows flash utility and never have any issues.


where can I get that? I searched the Asus website but couldn't find it.
a c 96 à CPUs
June 26, 2006 10:42:51 PM

That is merely an ad to get people to buy XP Pro instead of Home. XP Home can handle >= 2 cores, as long as they are all in one socket. I have worked on a computer that was a Pentium D 820 that ran XP Home and both cores showed up in the task manager. XP Pro can handle two sockets and at least 4 cores (however W2K Pro only handles 2 cores total- a dual Xeon HT box proved those two.)

As to the maximum amount of cores that XP Home or Pro can handle, I'd ask MSFT. I'd be willing to bet that it's no more than eight as that is what Server 2003 Standard handles. Enterprise or Datacenter or some other edition can handle 64 cores. Most Linuxes out of the box can handle up to 8 cores on a stock SMP kernel and 128 if you compile the kernel yourself. Above that you need a patched kernel.
June 27, 2006 1:00:39 AM

Quote:
personally i just use the windows flash utility and never have any issues.


where can I get that? I searched the Asus website but couldn't find it.

it's on the cd that came with your motherboard.
June 27, 2006 3:04:51 AM

ahh ok well I just used the flash program that is built into the motherboard, I found that out after reading the manual.

Seems to work good, I'm running the latest bios now and can get into the bios screen and windows attempts to boot up as usual. Of course windows fails to boot though becuase obviously the drivers for my old motherboard are installed and conflicting with this new one.

I have already tried experimenting with the overclocking settings. Running into problems here. I used the AI Overclocking just to screw with it and set it to 10% overclock. That would bring my Opteron 165 up by 180mhz if my calculations are correct. It should easily handle that at stock voltage and my temps are only 39c idle CPU and 42c idle for motherboard.

But it didn't work. After I saved and exited the bios, I just got a blank black screen. So I turned off the computer and turned it back on and thankfully this motherboard has the CPR feature which detects when overclock fails and automatically loads the defaults back in.

Any idea why my overclock could have failed? Do you think I did something wrong? Everything is on [AUTO] except the AI Profile which is set to 10%. Also I manually changed the cas latency of my ram to 2.0 because it was detecting it as 2.5 which is wrong. Also I changed from 2T command rate to 1T.

And yeah I know it's way too early to start overclocking this thing, but I just wanted to test it out and I'm a bit disappointed it couldn't handle a 180mhz increase off the bat.
June 27, 2006 4:18:03 AM

it's probably something in your memory timings. As a rule i don't use the percentage for over clocking.

when overclocking all A64 based systems you must keep the HTT frequncy in spec for this mobo it's around 1000MHZ so if you stray to far it won't work.

i am currently running quite happily at the following settings.

fsb 266MHZ x 9
HTT x3
Ram 2-2-2-5 1T (i have high performance ram)

you could try setting the ram speed to 2t and see if that helps. Your opteron should be able to do more than a 180mhz boost.
June 27, 2006 4:45:41 AM

Quote:
it's probably something in your memory timings. As a rule i don't use the percentage for over clocking.

when overclocking all A64 based systems you must keep the HTT frequncy in spec for this mobo it's around 1000MHZ so if you stray to far it won't work.

i am currently running quite happily at the following settings.

fsb 266MHZ x 9
HTT x3
Ram 2-2-2-5 1T (i have high performance ram)

you could try setting the ram speed to 2t and see if that helps. Your opteron should be able to do more than a 180mhz boost.


Well I just tried manually overclocking it myself and successfully took it up by 200mhz to 2.0ghz with the vcore set to 1.385. I think the motherboard automaticlaly ads around 0.0625 to whatever vcore you set so in reality my vcore is 1.44 or something liek that.

But wowzers, the temps... 51c idle motherboard and 49c idle CPU. And that's just in the bios let alone windows or playing a game.

the high temps might have something to do with me turning off my Air conditioner in my room, but it's only been off for like 15 minutes and I doubt the room got that much warmer that quickly since I have a huge room...

argh. so what's a good way to cool off a motherboard permanentely without using water cooling, lol?
June 27, 2006 4:49:24 AM

try lowering your vcore also are you using the stock HSF on the cpu. Because all i know is that my system idles around 38 mobo and 41 cpu and hits aroudn 47 mobo and 51 cpu at full speed.
June 27, 2006 7:58:28 AM

Quote:
try lowering your vcore also are you using the stock HSF on the cpu. Because all i know is that my system idles around 38 mobo and 41 cpu and hits aroudn 47 mobo and 51 cpu at full speed.


my HSF is Artic Cooling Freezer 64 pro. Is that better or worse then the stock opteron HSF? I noticed the stock opteron HSF is pretty good, it has heatpipes and everything but I just figured mine would be better. I also used the artic silver surface cleaner liquid on the heatsink before putting the artic silver 5 thermal compound on it, so that shouldn't be the problem.


I have noticed that my case fans are spinning very very slow (hardly blowing any air on my hands when I put my hand in front of them) and also the LEDs on the fans aren't lit up. I think it's because I have them plugged into the Antec PSU's "Fan_Only" connectors. But I'm not 100% sure, and I don't have any other molexes to test with (they are all plugged into my hard drive(s) and cd drive(s).


But anyway I'm getting the new OCZ 700w psu on the 27th (which is tommorow) and hopefully that will run my fans much faster because the OCZ PSU doesn't have any "fan_only" connectors, all the connectors are 4-pinned and fully powered I think.

So that could be why my temps are so high is because I'm not getting a huge amount of airflow... But we'll see
!