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100 Amperes On The Switching Regulator: Modifications To The Asus P4C800-E

5 GHz Project: CPU Cooling With Liquid Nitrogen
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According to VRM [voltage regulator module] specifications, the voltage regulator on a modern motherboard is designed for a maximum current of almost 90 amperes. That means that sufficient safety reserves are available for normal operation - even when running the Pentium 4 3.2 EE (based on the Prestonia core in Intel’s Xeon) with heat dissipation of 94 watts.

At a core voltage of 1.525 volts that means a healthy 62 amperes. In our extreme overclocking attempt to over 5 GHz, heat dissipation briefly rises to up to 180 watts - at a CPU core voltage of 1.88 volts. In plain language that means that the voltage regulator is subjected to 96 amperes. To illustrate the enormous voltages bearing down on the regulator on an extremely overloaded motherboard, consider that the mains supply in a single-family home is usually designed for just under 80 amperes - at 230 volts, mind you.

A glance at the voltage regulator on a normal Asus P4C800-EA glance at the voltage regulator on a normal Asus P4C800-E
A glance at the voltage regulator on a modified Asus P4C800-EA glance at the voltage regulator on a modified Asus P4C800-E

View from the side: standard featuresView from the side: standard features
View from the side: modifiedView from the side: modified

Asus made other changes to the CPU socket. The following images show the differences between a regular P4C800-E and our converted motherboard for extreme tweaking.


CPU socket on the serial Asus P4C800-ECPU socket on the serial Asus P4C800-E
CPU socket on the \CPU socket on the "tweaked" Asus P4C800-E
Not standard: reinforced CPU socket baseNot standard: reinforced CPU socket base


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