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Core i3 boots single core

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October 8, 2011 6:29:21 PM

I am looking at buying a processor off of a friend, he says that the processor will not boot as a dual core instead he has to set it to boot as a single core in the bios. Any ideas?
The processor is a intel core I3-540.

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a c 145 à CPUs
October 8, 2011 10:22:12 PM

if you're buying just the CPU his bios setting will have no effect since that stays with the motherboard and not the processor.
October 9, 2011 8:52:25 AM

its a bios issue, or a windows issue i suppose. there are core restriction options in the bios to only use 1, 2, 4, or 8 cores (depending on your CPU) obviously you have 2 cores with HT so 4 logical.

also in msconfig there is an option where you can select how many cores windows will recognize. if this was changed then in windows you would see 1 core while in the bios you would see them all.

im sure it just a setting some place. on a side note.... i know on 1156 CPU's if you dont seat them right they will only detect half your ram. i have run into this, check to make sure the CPU is seated properly if all your settings check out. my issue was i installed the CPU while the PC was vertical and it fell down against the bottom edge of the socket. this caused the pins to miss match and it showed 8GB of ram instead of 16.
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October 9, 2011 8:59:43 AM

core i3's are an entry level chip. gaming wise they are no worse than a i5 or i7 with a mid range card. they will bottle neck with a high end card or if you multi task alot.

they are budget chips
October 9, 2011 9:21:30 AM

... or maybe the processor is damaged /due to overclocking or power surge one of the cores is fried/...
October 9, 2011 9:27:43 AM

i would be very surprised to see just one core dead with the rest of the GPU and CPU functioning with out a BSOD. my money is on a setting.

either way, test it before buying it.
October 9, 2011 9:38:49 AM

ncc74656 said:
i would be very surprised to see just one core dead with the rest of the GPU and CPU functioning with out a BSOD. my money is on a setting.

either way, test it before buying it.


Nothing surprising at all, actually. It's usually the weakest link breaks first, and it's just one link, one element, then the computer goes down immediately, so may have no other damages. And then the startled owner never tries this kind of overclocking again /or at least for some time :) /. + due to imperfectness of the cooling solution, thermal grease layering or just an asymmetry in the actual CPU design /like the memory controller is on the left and the buss controller is on the right/, one of the cores may have not perfectly the same temperature as the other /usually they differ with a few degrees on quads/.
October 9, 2011 9:43:31 AM

sure the thermal compound can cause a hot spot but for a CPU to have a single core fail and function for any period of time with no other ill effects... that seems a bit much for me to accept, i would need to see that one to believe it. considering the cores are sandwiched between the memory and PCI-e controllers... heat would bleed through to something else.

i could accept a factory defect but, after the fact having such a failure due to an OC or improper goop spreading...
October 9, 2011 10:15:40 AM

As you may know /or probably not/ there is a positive feedback between the temperature and the resistance of the semiconductor /higher temperature creates higher resistance resulting in even higher temperature - the effect may cascade/, so near the edge on a catastrophic event temperature spikes fast with no time to spread. And the manufacturing is never perfect. And it usually kills only one element - like one single bit in a RAM module, or just one core in a multycore processor. And yes, I may show you, but unfortunately we are probably at a distance from each other
October 9, 2011 10:26:24 AM

i know about the link between temps and ohms, as far as the most common way for a PCB or resister to fail... i know ESD can cause partial damage to a connection resulting in failure down the line but thats about it.

I have not encountered a CPU that has ran for extended time with only 1 bad core. but i suppose if teh core died iwth otu taking anything out when it died then there is no more heat being generated so nothing else to die.
October 9, 2011 10:58:34 AM

Thank you for the replies :) 
So basically it could just be an incompatiblity issue with his motherboard? Or is there anyway it could be a problem with the core?
I will find out which motherboard it was installed in later today.
October 9, 2011 11:01:39 AM

as our... debate.... has stated. it could be as simple as a setting issue in teh bios or OS, so a simple change and fix.

it could be a bad core wich would be a bad cpu. the way you would check this would be to search the bios for settings that might be limiting the # of cores and to check the msconfig option under the boot tab and advanced settings.

i doubt its a MB incompatibility, if the MB was not compatible it shouldn't boot as all 1156,1155 boards are fully compatible with there respective CPU socket i3's

yes it could be an issue with the core, but the issue with the settings is much easier to check/test than replacing the cpu.
October 9, 2011 11:05:08 AM

Okay thank you :)  he says that he manually had to set the processor to run as a single core or the computer would not boot?
October 9, 2011 11:11:43 AM

bad cpu, pepe2907 was right and i was wrong

i would still put a i3 in there to test the MB but i suppose you dont have one of them lying around to test with.
October 9, 2011 11:16:40 AM

Thank you for your help :)  much appreciated!
And no, unfortunately I don't
October 9, 2011 11:19:24 AM

i keep at least one of each socket type CPU to test with going all the way back to Pentium MMX's for exactly this reason.
a c 145 à CPUs
October 10, 2011 1:46:25 AM

I'd be willing to bet he upgraded his single core system and reused his old windows without reinstalling which left him stuck witha single core HAL and no boot with a multi-core cpu. Considering that even booting with 1 core it should show up as two thanks to hyperthreading and doesn't, this seems like the most likely cause IMO.

I've never seen just 1 core of an intel cpu die but I suppose it could happen.
October 10, 2011 1:56:42 AM

i have also seen people upgrade CPU's with out reconfiguring windows. i had forgoten about that tho, perhaps. either way this can be tested by running any diag software in dos or linux to check it. or downloading bart PE
!