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New AMD CPU Owner FAQ

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May 17, 2001 4:32:26 PM

This is to try to help those new AMD owners find answers to their questions easier.

Please keep replies to the subject matter at hand.

Q: I bought a new AMD CPU and it seems to be running
really hot. What could be wrong?
A: Several possibilities.
You might have an improperly seated HSF. In which case
you should remove the HSF, lap it and then apply some
thermal grease and re-attach the HSF. Or the internal
temp inside the case might be too high, try removing
a panel and see if the temp drops, or you might not
have enough airflow inside the case, in which case you
should add some case fans

Q: What is the max temp for my Tbird CPU?
A: AMD states that Tbird CPU's above 1Ghz have a max
temp of 95C. Your mileage may vary (YMMV)

Q: I bought a CPU >= 1Ghz but its only showing up as
< 1Ghz. What could be wrong?
A: Most likely problem is an FSB issue. Check to ensure
that your CPU is at 133Mhz (for a C core).

Q: When my motherboard beeps what does it mean?
A: RTFM :) . But seriously, it should be in your
motherboard manual. Most makers also have manuals
available on their website.

Q: I can't find my answer in this thread, what should I
do?
A: Start a new topic.

Please post any additional FAQs in thread!

Intel Components, AMD Components... all made in Taiwan!

More about : amd cpu owner faq

Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 17, 2001 5:29:55 PM

Good Idea, here are some
Answers to Questions Raised by the Answers :smile:

Q: What does it mean to "lap" a heatsink?

A: A heat sink must make maximum contact with the CPU to function optimally. If it isn't flat and smooth, you could have insulating air gaps between the heatsink and your CPU.

Lapping a heatsink is the process of flattening & polishing the bottom of the heatsink. You need a hard flat surface. The cast iron top of a table saw works great, some wet/dry sandpaper(300 through 600 grit), and a lubricating fluid (I used kerosene, WD40 or 3-in-1 oil or such will work also).

Place the sandpaper flat on your surface. I started @ 300 grit, because I had a bit of a gouge in my volcano II. You might start higher depending on the initial quality of your surface. Squirt a generous amount of your oil on the sandpaper. Now begin rubbing your HSF on the paper in a circular motion. Be sure to apply even pressure. Now look at the bottom. If only the corners are wearing, your HSF is concave. If only the center, then it is convex. Either way, you'll have to keep it up until it is flat. You might want to occasionally scribble on the bottom with a pencil to make sure you are sanding it evenly.

Once it is flat (and it may be out of the box), and any machining marks have been removed, you can switch to a finer grit paper. Probably not much need to go beyond 600 grit. A little rubbing compound after 600 grit will get you a mirror shine.

Don't forget to use a residue-free solvent to clean up the lubricant before applying your artic silver and installing the HSF. BE SURE THAT THE HSF IS MOUNTED PROPERLY. No Gaps, or it is toast.

>A: AMD states that Tbird CPU's above 1Ghz have a max
>temp of 95C. Your mileage may vary (YMMV)

This is likely the core temp, which you can't measure on the current Athlons. The motherboard thermal sensor is below the chip and will read less then the true core temp. If that sensor reads 95c, you're in trouble! If that temp is greater then about 65 under full load, you might want to examine your overall cooling system (HSF, case fans, etc.)

Kelledin had a good <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&..." target="_new">post</A> a few weeks back on software solutions for monitoring cpu temp & fan speeds. Some motherboards have a monitoring function in the bios as well.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.
May 17, 2001 7:12:46 PM

Good stuff!!! You guys should write manuals! LOL

Just thought of something...why do you have to lap the heatsink? isn't the only part that touches the cpu the very center? As long as that's smooth, shouldn't you be ok?


Are we there yet?<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by kavbear on 05/17/01 03:14 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 17, 2001 7:43:19 PM

>why do you have to lap the heatsink?

Well, you <i>shouldn't</i> have to. But many people discover that their HSF is less then less then perfectly flat & smooth. Remeber that you want maximum contact with the core. If you can see machining marks, it could be better. If you can feel them, you can definitely do better. Thermal grease (artic silver, etc.) helps this situation by filling in those scratches.

>Isn't the only part that touches the cpu the very center?
>As long as that's smooth, shouldn't you be ok

Yes, it only contacts in the center, but if you have a concave or convex bottom, it will reduce the contact area with the core because the curvature is likely pretty constant across the width. By this I mean that, it's not likely that your HSF bottom will be convex or concave overall, yet have a nice flat spot in the middle where the CPU core touchs.

Of course, unless your HSF is <i>really</i> bad, all this lapping stuff is probably just icing on the cake.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ergeorge on 05/17/01 03:45 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 17, 2001 8:20:18 PM

>>Of course, unless your HSF is really bad, all this lapping stuff is probably just icing on the cake.

What would you do if it was really bad? Slice a piece off with a band saw? It could work! I own a really cheap heatsink, but it's very flat, which is the only good thing about it.

Aklein

Life is hard...Live with it.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 17, 2001 8:26:07 PM

>Slice a piece off with a band saw?

If it was bad enough that I had to consider using a bandsaw (or any power tool) to flatten it, I'd send it back!

I've never had a concave/convex HSF (just a Volcano II with a some minor machining gouges), but i'm guessing that I'd send it back if it was off by a good fraction of a mm.


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.
May 21, 2001 7:35:57 PM

Q: Should I use the thermal pad or the buy some thermal
paste?
A: In general the thermal pad should suffice, but for
better cooling performance its generally agreed upon that
nothing beats Arctic Silver II thermal paste. To remove
the thermal pad from your HSF, scrap it off with a razor.
After you do that, and clean off the surface with some
alcohol, apply a thin layer of ASII onto the cpu slug as
instructed here:
<A HREF="http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions...." target="_new">http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions....;/A>


Intel Components, AMD Components... all made in Taiwan!
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 21, 2001 8:16:59 PM

THANK YOU! Now if I had only had this a week ago before I (probably) screwed my system up :p  Sad that all the documentation that came with my components didn't have half as much information as this one little post.
!