Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3637 mails)

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[SLE] [OT] Athlon Processor

haha.. this is the second email I have recieved so far and I am actually
able to help!!!

As you can tell, I am new to this mail list, and I am also new to running
linux... BUT!!
I am not new to cooling AMD processors.
I would be willing to bet money that your problem is not the processor and
it is not the fan either... It is the way they are seated to each other.
Yes.. that is what I said... two good products that are MADE to fit.. but
they do not.

Personally.. I used the stock AMD processor for a month before I added my
ThermalTake because I was afriad that the "better" HSF (heatsink/fan unit)
would overheat the processor because it would not seat to the HSF correctly.
I had to Lap the fan and the CPU (just dont tell anyone I lapped my cpu.. I
dont want my family to know.. heheh)

Here is what you will need to do.
1. Firstly... remove the cpu and the HSF.

2. Do my special trailer trash CPU test by putting the two back together in
your hand.... now look at the gap between them, pointing the cpu/HSF to a
light source. What you are doing, is seating the cpu and HSF just like they
will be when on the mobo. do you see any light gleaming through the cpu and
the HSF? Now turn the unit 90 degrees and do the same.

The purpose in this, is to find out if the cpu and the HSF are touching 100%
or not. Typically they are not... (mine was way off... glad I never put
that HSF on until I lapped it.)

3. Get 350 grit and 600 grit wet sandpaper and some thermal paste. (can
be found at Home Depot in the paint section) (the thermal paste will be at
your local Radio Shack.. cost ya a buck to two)

4. Find a STRAIGHT surface to put the sandpaper on. Typically, the best
surface is a glass table, but I used my desk.

5. Wet sand the HSF.
You will prolly want to tape the cpu clamps up, so they don't get in the way
of the sanding. Use the 350 sandpaper, lay it on the table/glass and put a
bit of water on it. Start sanding the bottom of the HSF in a circular

First thing you will notice after sanding for about two minutes, you will
see EXACTLY where the HSF surface is beveled. keep sanding until you have a
flat surface on the HSF. then finish off with 600 grit. (same process as
the 350 grit) This process will probably take about 1/2 hour. When done,
clean off that bad boy and admire your reflection in it... hehe. (not
really.. you will get a reflection with 1000 grit but that is just wasted
time IMHO)

6. do the Trailer trash test again. remember to turn the hsf/cpu 90
degrees together and check again.

7. If the two are not seating correctly still, then you are in for a big
decision. You can try and add some thermal paste and see if it will
compensate for the gap between the cpu and HSF,
you can sand the cpu like I did. (keep in mind, this is a uncalculated
risk) I did it with my 850 athalon that cost me 90 bucks... That is a
somewhat expensive risk, that I was willing to take. If you find that you
want to sand the cpu, I suggest doing it with 600 grit on the same section
you sanded the HSF with... (the sandpaper will be alot less gritty there)
and use lots of water.
DISCLAIMER: this is not for the faint hearted... This process can render
your 1.XX gigahurtz cpu into an expensive keychain trinket.

Hopefully you wont sand the cpu and you will do just fine by sanding the HSF
and you will get the results mine did. (using the default HSF, it was
barely touchable because it was sooo hot, and once I had the lapped
ThermalTake I was feeling like the computer was not even on anymore, that is
how cool it kept the CPU... I was amazed)

Anyhow... good luck and let me know if you need any other information or
pictures or what not.. davidg@xxxxxxxxxxxxx


-----Original Message-----
From: Curtis Rey [mailto:crrey@xxxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 11:16 AM
To: Guy Van Sanden; suse-linux-e@xxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [SLE] [OT] Athlon Processor

Steven is right about being very careful about applying the fan to the CPU.
Make sure that the fan is specifically for the Athlon chip you have. I've
heard too many stories about either putting on generic cpu fans and/or using

a little too much force when mounting/setting the fan and then cpu into the
board. Athlons are notorious for cracking the cpu in these instances - they

can be a bit fragile. You can do it as long as your mindful and cover all
your bases.

HTH. Cheers. Curtis

On Wednesday 30 May 2001 08:14 am, Guy Van Sanden wrote:
> Hello
> I know this is off topic, but I just bought a new PC (for Linux), but
> I suspect that the guy who sold it to me isn't completely honest. So,
> I need some help, and I've always found friends here.
> The thing is, my wife has been saving for a long time to give me a
> decent Linux machine (for my birthday, cause my old one was getting
> real slow for what I use it for), and I really don't want it to break
> down in a couple of years.
> My system is an Athlon 1.333 GHZ with a ThermalTake Volcano cooler.
> (- Abit motherboard, to be replaced with an Asus which was out of
> stock - VIA chipset - Award bios)
> It should cool the CPU down to about 30°-40°C (specially when idle),
> but my CPU is constantly running at 56°C - 60°C...
> Even when idle (same on full load). I thought the kapmd-idle thread
> would keep it cool? But that guy claims that isn't so for an Athlon
> (only Intel). He also claims that this temperature can do no harm to
> my CPU, but I doubt that. Searching the internet indicates that
> temperatures like that shorten the life of an Athlon (most of my
> systems run up to 10 years, about 4-5 years with me, and than past on
> to family members), and on many sites, the ThermalTake volcano is
> rated very good (should cool to 30-35° when idle).
> He claims I might be able to get my CPU cooler by running (once) a
> windows utility that can set a register on the chipset to make it run
> idle when not loaded? Does anyone know if this is true?
> I also fear that the CPU might be a lower type (1-1.2, overclocked to
> 1.333), is there any way to check this?
> I'm sorry about posting this topic, but I really need help.
> Thanks for any ideas!
> Guy
> --
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