Thursday, December 14, 2006

A64 Temperatures

Interesting differences:

The PcChips mobo which properly manages the Athlon64 temperature has a Zalman-clone "cyclone" style copper cooler. It runs at about 2200 RPM and is fairly quiet. The Athlon64 idles at between 75 and 79 degrees F. When pressed to high load it will be running in the 85-87 degree F range. In rare situations I've seen it hit the low 90's. Not bad for a modern CPU. The Speedfan utility can query both the mobo's view of CPU temperature, as well as the AMD K8 CPU offers direct PCI access into the CPU's view of it's own temperature. The direct K8 value tends to be within 2 degrees F higher or lower than the mobo. This gives me fairly good confidence in both values.

In contrast the Asus mobo with the same Athlon64 CPU always saw the temperature at 70 to 73 degree C - and was always running the CPU fan of the CoolMaster copper cooler at minimum RPM of 1400. Direct SpeedFan access to the K8 via PCI put the temperature in the 100 to 110 degree F range. This is a worrying difference - but given my room temperature was in the 72 to 74 degree F range it's rather hard to believe the CPU was really running COLDER than room temperature. So the Asus has to go - I RMAed it back to newegg.

I ordered as replacement an interesting Jetway mobo with an Nvidia chip-set and a mix of PCI, AGP anf PCI-Express slots. If it works with my NVidia 6800 AGP card, this mobo (with 2 PCI-Express slots) will make a good server that can still be in use 3 or 4 years from now.

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