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Coolest mainstream processor

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March 2, 2005 4:48:14 AM

Hi.
I'm building an information kiosk that all the time runs a Flash application with fullscreen flash videos. The problem is that the hardware we currently use (AthlonXP 2000+) gets EXTREMELY HOT inside the kiosk. We have tried several cooling solutions but it's still running too hot. Part of the problem is that the cpu is always running at 100% load during 16 hours, and it reaches 80° C. So one of the solutions we considered is a procesor/mb change for a cooler one, because I heard that the cpu we are currently using tends to work very hot and it's always at full load. So my question is, what processor could be the best for this system? Our tests were made with a Pentium 4 3.0ghz C and it runs about 50° C at most, and the cpu load don't go more than 40%. But that processor is still very expensive for what we need, so we considered a Sempron 3100+, Celeron D 2.8 Ghz and P4C 2.4 Ghz. First one is a powerfull one and costs same as P4, Celeron is a bit slower and heater but have a better heatsink, and P4 2.4 is good but more expensive than celeron and is the slowest one (well, sempron runs at 1.8 ghz but it's architecture is different). So, wich one of this processors could be the coolest and fulfills better our requirements? Of course, If you consider another cpu options not mentioned that are among those prices that could be better, they will be considered too.
I'd really appreciate your help.
Thanks in advance
C. Moore
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2005 5:16:36 AM

Sounds like you don' have great ventilation in/out of the kiosk. Running it at those temps will likely fry the chip. I have an Athlon XP 1500+ that runs 24/7 at 100% usage and my avg temp is just over 50C. Are you sure the HSF is mounted properly on the CPU? How do you move air thru the enclosure?

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March 2, 2005 6:51:02 AM

Does anyone know anything about the new AMD Palermo core? It's on the market now to replace the paris core. I believe that the Palermo would run very cool, it's supposed to be 90nm and the slowest version clocks in at 1,6 GHz and has only 128 kb L2. Haven't seen any benchies but it should be faster than the 2000+ I would say.
March 2, 2005 11:59:15 AM

Assuming that 2000+ is a Palomino, its safe to say its not the coolest processor around, but it should never hit 80°C if you have a decent HSF and you installed it properly. So my first advice would be to check the HSF, thermal compound and airflow.

If you are looking for a new mb/cpu combo anyhow, most of the cpu's you listed should work, I would just avoid the Celeron D. A sempron would give you plenty of bang/buck at moderate temps, a P4C (if you can find any) ought to work well too.
I just saw a post here that said 90nm Semprons have been launched, maybe that is a perfect match for you ?

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 3, 2005 12:45:13 AM

Thank you for your kind response.

Yeah, one of the big problems was the poor ventilation of the kiosk. To solve that, we put a 120 mm fan in the front side of the kiosk to introduce air and another fan in the rear to get the hot air out. It lowered about 15°C the average temps, but we don't want to take risks, and of course neither our client do. The heatsink is mounted properly, I personally checked it, and the fact is that with the kiosk completely open, the temperatures seldom reach 60°and actually works around 56°. We're working with the kiosk ventilation issue, but, as I said before, we don't want to take any risk.
About installing the XP-m chip, well, it may be cooler, but will it be faster? Also, the problem with the Abit motherboard is that the client don't want to buy an additional gpu, so he wants integrated video (a big no no for me, but you know, you should do what the client say).
Also, is it available the palermo core now? We are under pressure, so we'd like to solve this asap.
We put for client's consideration those 3 chips, and P4C and Sempron systems were priced around the same. The Celeron was about 35 usd cheaper, so the client told me that he's currently working under budget and that if the chepest chip (in this case the celeron) works fine, then he'll go for that option. So, what do you people think? Go for Sempron 3100+? We don't want to keep the current chip, I think is a Tbread, so we want to change it not only for a cooler one, but also a more powerful, in case that we would need to implement more demmanding applications.
Thanks in advance.
C. Moore
March 3, 2005 4:48:24 AM

Sempron3100+ is what u want..
March 3, 2005 11:25:50 AM

A64 3000+ (90nm) preforms little better and runs cooler than Sempron 3100+. Moreover, Sempron 3100+ doesn't have x86-64

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March 3, 2005 2:01:33 PM

The coolest processor is going to be the one that uses the least power.

Your current processor, the Athlon XP 2000+ (Palomino) produces runs at 1.75V and produces 70W of heat! You need to reduce that.

A P4 3.0GHz 0.13µM Northwood is even worse, 100W of heat and the 0.09µM Prescott is no better.
Athlon Sempron is heading in the right direction, 62W but that's still not much better than what you have right now.

What you need is to step into the world of low-voltage, low thermal output processors. Okay, you can't get your hands on an ULV PIII, 7W thermal output! but you can easily get the next best thing, a Pentium-M (Banias) or XP-M.

Depending on which model you get, you can get a Mobile Barton 2400+ which will produce only 45W thermal output, getting better eh? If you don't need 2400+ speed, and I doubt you do just for a flash video get a 1800+ which will produce a chilly 25W thermal output. Even better would be a Pentium-M which at 1.4GHz produces only 22W and will play flash videos till the cows come home.
March 4, 2005 2:35:14 AM

but cost more?
March 4, 2005 6:12:03 AM

Well, yeah, A64 3000+ does perform better (and difference is not so little, actually). The problem is that price difference is also very significative. I don't think I need 64 bit support, so that's why we don't contemplate A64 as an option, mostly because of price.
Now, about the current processor, I couldn't identify if it is a Palomino or what (the kiosk is in a different city right now, so I couldn't use cpuid or something to check it). But motherboard monitor and AsusProbe readings (wich are sent to me by email by the client) tells me that the processor runs at 1.576V. The motherboard is an Asus A7V400-M. It has CPU overheating protection, but what it does is to shut down the system in case of excesive heat, not to reduce throttle, and that has happened twice or so. CPu is paired with Kingston pc3200 ddr's, running at 333 mhz.
Previous tests with Northwood P4c 3ghz give us temp readings of no more than 50°C, compared to 56°C of the Athlon in an open case scenario. sjonnie said this processor should be worse than the Athlon, but I assume that the improvement on the temp readings could be because the better stock hsf of the P4.
Sempron produces 62 W of heat, but if it's not running at 100% load, it could be cooler than that, isn't it? So, another question. How good is the stock hsf of the Sempron?
Now, that's the propossal of using mobile chips. I'm not convinced about using them, for several reasons. First, that no motherboard manufacturer give stability warranty of using them, and stability is a mayor issue here. Second, all the mobile chips are sold OEM, with no hsf, a fact that can make
more expensive the whole system because I will need to buy an external hsf. Third, because manufacturer only gives 90 days warranty in an OEM chip, instead of three years in case of a retail cpu. And finally, pentium-m and a64-m are priced far more expensive.
Now, believe it or not, the current processor (Athlon XP 2000+) has proved not to be enough for fullscreen flash video. It's running all the time at no less than 90% load, and in some cases, it goes to 100%, and actually demands more power, fact that is proven with several frame drops when it reaches 100%. So yep, we need a more powerfull chip, so the mobile 1800+ won't help, sadly.
I like socket 754 Sempron's because those, like the intel ones, have a thermal plate that covers all the chip size and not only the core, wich allows more heat dissipation. Now, the question is if the retail stock hsf is good enough. Celeron D one, for example, is a beauty, with copper core and a nice design, mostly because it should fight the huge heat dissipation of the chip. Is it the same with the Sempron? Or the stock hsf isn't good enough?
Thanks for your multiple responses, they have been very valuable.
C. Moore
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