I'm planning to build an affordable HTPC, and I was thinking about building it around an AMD Sempron 140 on an Asrock board with integrated Radeon 4200 graphics. This setup should be enough to have a descent HD capable HTPC I think... Since I want this thing to be as quiet as possible, I'd like to try to run the CPU on passive cooling, that is, removing the fan from the heatsink. I read in some review that the Sempron 140 already runs pretty cool (45W), and that with some voltage tweaks, passive cooling should be possible (given that the processor shouldn't have that much work to do, since the 4200 graphic chipset has the needed video decoding capabilities). Do you think that, given the PC's duties, I might get away without voltage tweaks for passive cooling, or would this be risky? Otherwise, since I'm not very familiar with OC stuff, I'd like to know what voltage settings I'd namely have to tweak, and in what sense...
If you are going to attempt passive cooling with it I recommend two things:
1. Make sure that there is sufficient case airflow
2. Use a good aftermarket cooler that will still be fairly effective without the fan.
For the voltage settings you would lower the CPU voltage settings from stock in the bios and run prime95 to check for stability. You might be able to get it stable at something below 1.3V. I'm not entirely sure what the stock voltage on your processor is.
Experiment. Don't forget to keep an eye on your temperatures. Use prime95 to load the CPU and see what the hottest temperature is. Don't let it get above 60C.
thanks for your reply! The airflow in the case is supposed to be good (I haven't bougth the parts yet). Initially I was thinking about an Intel Atom board. But then I think that the Atom might be too limiting (even if I think that I won't use the PC for much else than video playback and internet), and the Sempron solution even is a bit cheaper... Anyway, once I get the parts, I'll try your recommendations. Thanks!
Thanks for the tip, didn't know there'S a 45W version of the x2 240 The 240e is twice the price of the Sempron 140 though, and I'm trying to stay under 400$ (CAD) for this build. Then again, you can unlock the second core in the Sempron from what I read...
Problem also is, that for now I can't seem to find the x2 240e at retailers here in Canada, even newegg.ca doesn't seem to have it... But then again, I think for what the PC's supposed to do, one core is enough. But, if by the time I build the PC, the x2 240e gets available here, I might consider the option... Anyways, thanks again