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XP3200+ running very hot & extremely underclocked

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January 25, 2005 6:07:35 PM

Hey friends --

I salvaged some parts to make a new system. Since student loan payments prevent me from joining the A64 club right now, I had to do the best I could afford. It consists primarily of a Radeon 9600 Pro I got as a gift, a Barton 3200+ 200Mhz my friend gave me, and an VIA KT600 chipset with an MSI mobo. Many of you are aware of this already, but I left out major problem..

I have no cooling fan, so I used the one that was formerly on my overclocked Coppermine 933. Since Socket A and 370 have the same mounting brackets, I simply used the old fan until I can get a new one (which will likely be a Panaflo 92mm UHO mounted on a Swiftech MCX462-V).

The old one is a Thermaltake DragonOrbIII. It has a very heavy copper base so I figured I could run the XP3200+ a little slower with that cooler until I can get the new cooling solution. However, the system appears to have underclocked itself (this on the very first boot-up) to less than half the CPU speed (11 x 100 MHz = 1100)! What's more, at full load, the CPU temperature is 65 degrees. The system doesn't run stably past 1400 MHz right now.

I hope this is due to an inadequate HSF and nothing else. Does the 2nd fastest Barton core put out that much more heat than the 2nd fastest Coppermine? My concern is that there is something physically wrong with the CPU itself, as my buddy did a less than stellar job of packing and mailing it. I mean, 65 degrees at 1100 MHz? That seems bad, even with a silly Thermaltake cooler. Any thermodynamicists out there with some input?

<font color=blue> Be good to each other! </font color=blue>
January 25, 2005 6:21:31 PM

Is a higher than normal thermal output often a characteristic of a bad CPU?

<font color=blue> Be good to each other! </font color=blue>
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January 25, 2005 6:29:23 PM

First off, on that board, a new cpu will auto default to 100 fsb. You have to change it to it's proper setting, but wait till you get a better hsf. Next, your old coppermine put out about 1/2 the heat of your new chip.
If you want a little more headroom untill you get the new hsf, you can use a little elbow grease on the bottom of the hsf.
Find a wetstone (no not the sandra test, a real one) with a flat top, that is very fine. Clean all the TIM off the bottom of the hs. Use a circular motion to get the wetstone to smooth out the bottom of the hs. Apply a nice thin even layer of new thermal compound. About 15 to 20 minutes at the wetstone should help, more is better.
January 25, 2005 6:31:19 PM

It is not a necessarily a bad CPU, some just exhaust more heat than other. You should be able to afford a $ 10,- cooler which will do a good job like a Coolermaster CP5-8JDIF-0L.
If you can't afford it you can always undervolt the chip, that way it'll most certainly put out less heat.
January 25, 2005 6:35:05 PM

What, like prescotts. They may be "bad", but they aint broke. Well okay, so they are morally broke, but well you know what I mean, they still sort of work, and all. (hope the lousy joke took some of the stress off) Your 3200 puts out about 85 watts. Ever touched a 60 watt light bulb that was on?
January 25, 2005 7:11:59 PM

For about 15 bucks, you can buy a <b><A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new"><font color=green>CoolerMaster HAC-L82</A></b></font color=green> specifically to cool your CPU much better, and much and much quieter.
The HSF you've been using is not for your CPU. It also can damage yours. I used to have a HSF (aluminum with copper core) for my old Palomino 1600+ (overclocked to 2200+), and I put it on my Barton 2500+. When I turned on my comp, within 1 or less minute, the mobo's alarm sounded overheat. Check the BIOS, its temp went up ~67C.

:smile: Good or Bad have no meaning at all, depends on what your point of view is.
January 25, 2005 8:04:54 PM

I got an appreciation for thermal output rather early in life, endyen, funny you mention the 60w bulb:

When I was 8 or 9, I wanted to dry my bathing suit quickly out so I took my desklamp and inverted the bulb housing (such that the light was pointing at my celing) and put the bathing suit on the 60w light. After about 15 minutes of watching TV, the fire alarm went off. I ran to my room to find my suit in flames (it had been wet earlier!), and I nearly burned down the house. So you're right -- that sure does put my cooling problem in perspective!

I guess what concerns me is that you can get a very cheap cooler with a cheap aluminum HS and puny fan that meets AMD certification for a 3200+. Amazing how Thermaltake's Flagship product (long ago of course) still can't perform as well as a cheap $8 HSF.

And I will definitely do some HSF lapping. I'll grab some solvents from the lab.. Should probably use some ether (hee hee) or acetone. What are you referring to by wetstone? I only know it in the context of SiSandra. Do you mean to go outside and find a flat, smooth stone literally?

PS -- I think I'll be getting the Panaflo + Swiftech MCX462 and join Wusy's club. I'm getting the HS for $25 and just need to find a cheap fan. I figured that's quite a bit of bang for the buck.

<font color=blue> "Sixty watts! What do you think this is? A tanning salon?!" -Mr. Burns </font color=blue>
January 25, 2005 8:29:49 PM

A whetstone is used for sharpening knives. In this case, you'd want a smooth one to polish the surface of the HS ultra smooth. If you can't get one, you can get very high grit sandpaper (1500 or so) and it will do the same thing, just wrap it around a flat block of plastic, wood or metal so you don't polish waves into your HS.

Use acetone or isopropyl alcohol to clean off any old thermal stuff, polish it as above, then apply new thermal paste - AS5 is best, but any thermal paste is better than nothing.

Mike.
January 25, 2005 8:44:59 PM

Cool, I've got some fine sandpaper lying around here somewhere. I found AS5 to be more soluble in ether than acetone, so I'll use that and probably end up whacked out on the fumes..

Quick (and final) question: I have a tube of AS5 that I use. I used to use AS3. 5 seems to be much thicker, and I've seen a few benchmarks that put 3 just ahead of 5 in terms of performance. Any truth to this? 5 seems harder to work with as well, and I'm not sure what its advantage is over 3.

<font color=blue> Be good to each other! </font color=blue>
January 25, 2005 8:54:06 PM

Check the grit on the sandpaper very carefully. If it's normal sandpaper you'ld use for modeling, crafts or woodworking, don't use it. It's probably 100 or 150 grit, and that will just serve to put deeper scratches on the HS (thereby defeating the purpose of what you're doing). You really need VERY VERY fine grit sandpaper - like 1000 or 1500 grit (yes, one thousand and one thousand five hundred).

Not certain myself about the fine points of AS3/AS5, and I'm pretty sure the differences are pretty small. From my imperfect memory AS5 needs several days of use to break in properly, then its performance improves. Hopefully someone who really knows will pop in and fill us both in.

Mike.
January 26, 2005 2:32:06 AM

I love the diamond wheel in benchwork, but if you dont know a milwork shop, they are very expensive.
!