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gabe28
01-16-2003, 08:18 AM
OK, I've been trying to build a new AMD system for the last two days but I've failed to get a working machine. Here's what I'm trying to assemble:
AMD Athlon XP 2000+
KD7-E Abit motherboard
512 MB of Kingston 2100 RAM
ATX 350 tower and power supply (http://www.newegg.com/app/Showimage.asp?image=11-182-001-10.jpg/11-182-001-11.jpg/11-182-001-16.jpg/11-182-001-12.jpg)

Those are my new parts. I'm also these 'old' parts:
Leadtek Winfast 2300 PCI video card
10 gig Western Digital hardrive 5400rpm
24x Creative CD-Rom Drive
standard floppy drive

The PCI video card is temp until my new Geforce 4 4200 ti that I ordered arrives. I found out from Abit that my new motherboard does not support AGP2x so my Geforce 2 card will not work (I know, I'm unlucky enough to own one of the only Geforce 2 cards that is not agp 4x capable).

I have other cards (sound, scsi, network, etc.) but I haven't gotten that far yet so I won't mention them.

Basicly, I don't know why my setup is not working. Yesterday I had it working so-so but it kept on powering down. I got windows installed but the machine kept shutting off. then it wouldn't start at all. I reset the bios buy switching the cmos jumper and was able to get the computer to start again. But it still kept dying and would sometimes not start at all. I discovered in bios that my cpu was running around 100C so I took it off and replaced the heatsinks thermal tape that it came with with some CPU/heatsink greese. This cooled down the CPU to about 52C while idling. I thought all was well but after reinstalling Windows, all the problems started happening again. Now I can't get the mother board to post at all. It will power up and the fans come on but no text appears onscreen. I've checked, rechecked and tripple checked the assembly. Everything seems to be in place and plugged in snug. I simply have no idea why my setup is not working.

So.... here are some wild guesses....

1. I'm using the wrong wattage powersupply (where the hell do you find out what watt power supply you need?!?!).
2. Trying my 2x Agp card might have damaged my MB in some way?
3. Trying to run my computer (however briefly) while the CPU wasn't adequately cooled damaged it and/or the motherboard.
4. Bad stick of RAM?

Anyhow, those are just guesses. Can anyone please help?! Thanks.

Solesurvivor
01-16-2003, 08:48 AM
at first sight it seems your power supply is the answer, it only delivers 10A on the 12V rail, that's way too much, you should get around 18/20A if you want an up-to-date/stable system. I advise you should check out the antec power supplys, very good, very quiet :)

Those damn power supply builders, I got a q-tec at home, a 440watt, which only delivers 12A on the 12V rail. My brother has an older 250watt A-Open powersupply, which can give you 13A on the 12v rail, go figure:shrug:

Solesurvivor
01-16-2003, 08:52 AM
after second reading of your post, it's very likely that you have killed your cpu, would you tolerate 100°, ouch that hot:eek:

Don't know anything about the 2x agp cards, can't help you with that, be sure to check on that powersupply, i'd might help...
If you want to know how to choose a powersupply, do read this article, clears up a lot of things... link (http://firingsquad.gamers.com/guides/power_supply/)


the best of luck :thumbsup:

gabe28
01-16-2003, 09:29 AM
As much as I dread the 'you probably fried your CPU' answer I think you may be right.

Do you know if the damage is likely isolated to the CPU only or is my motherboard also likely to be damaged?

GregHess
01-16-2003, 03:34 PM
One of the reasons the nforce2 and certain kt333 (A7v333 for ex) boards are recommended so much, is due to their auto cpu shutoff mechanisms...unfortuantly I don't believe your board had this feature.

Damage for Athlon CPU's usually begins around 75C. If the Temp gets too far past that temperature, it can damage the circuitry beneath the socket, damaging the board as well.

I'd suggest picking up a cheap replacement cpu, like a duron 600, for 15 dollars to check to see if the board is still functional.

Or just RMA both, and get an nforce2 board as a replacement.

And definitely get a better PSU.

gabe28
01-16-2003, 04:40 PM
Damn, I don't like these answers but they're probably correct. Anyone know if Newegg is cool about returning stuff?

gabe28
01-16-2003, 05:13 PM
well, all is good. I just got immediate RMA approval from Newegg. Props to them.

This has been really frustrating since I was really excited about this upgrade. Oh well, I'll just have to wait a few more days than I expected. This time, though, I'll make sure the cpu has adequate cooling compound before turning it on.

webfox
01-16-2003, 07:40 PM
I feel for ya, man. My friend and I nearly put together a system without the thermal compound one time. I asked if there was any and he said it didn't come with any so it must not need it. (It was only my second computer assembly and he was the IT in training, so I deferred to his reasoning.)

Just before we were about to start it up for the first time, he found a little tube of "something" under a manual on the table and we both just looked at each other and sighed a little sigh of relief for finding the thermal compound in time.

Now that you've got another shot at this, when you put the next processor on the board, don't forget to use a screwdriver instead of the correct tool, so that when you slip, you'll jam it really hard into the mainboard with the full weight of your body behind it. :D

Can one get an RMA on a mainboard with more holes than it shipped with?

:rolleyes:

GregHess
01-16-2003, 08:06 PM
Now that you've got another shot at this, when you put the next processor on the board, don't forget to use a screwdriver instead of the correct tool, so that when you slip, you'll jam it really hard into the mainboard with the full weight of your body behind it.

Use a credit card under the socket. When u slip, you nail mr visa, instead of mr motherboard.

webfox
01-16-2003, 08:16 PM
Cool tip! Thanks. :)

Instead of my CC, I'll use my gym membership card. That way it will actually get used for something.

gabe28
01-16-2003, 08:17 PM
Now that you've got another shot at this, when you put the next processor on the board, don't forget to use a screwdriver instead of the correct tool, so that when you slip, you'll jam it really hard into the mainboard with the full weight of your body behind it.

LOL!!! I thought a screwdriver WAS the correct tool!! Holy shit, I have no business building my own system. I should have just called Dell.

elvis
01-16-2003, 10:18 PM
Originally posted by GregHess
Use a credit card under the socket. When u slip, you nail mr visa, instead of mr motherboard.
in australia we have plastic driver's licenses. Much nicer to nail one of those than your visa and not be able to use it in a machine the next day.

Video-store IDs are good too. :)

gabe28
01-18-2003, 12:30 AM
*sigh* As an added bonus I managed to cook my scsi card too which controls no less than three of my devices (cd burner, scanner and Zip 250 drive). This economic upgrade is starting to get pretty expensive. I went with AMD to save money, but since the damn thing overheated so easily looks like my money would have been better spent on an Intel. What a week!

MadMax
01-18-2003, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by gabe28
*sigh* As an added bonus I managed to cook my scsi card too which controls no less than three of my devices (cd burner, scanner and Zip 250 drive). This economic upgrade is starting to get pretty expensive. I went with AMD to save money, but since the damn thing overheated so easily looks like my money would have been better spent on an Intel. What a week!


Operator error is not a reason to say the AMD wasn't a good way to go.

It's not hard to ask questions and make sure you are setting up properly right from the start.

ANY CPU, AMD or Intel should have proper cooling setup and thermal grease applied before you turn it on.

I haven't looked up your motherboard, but I know it's a cheapie option. However, newer boards do not take older cards due to voltage differences. put the wrong card in and instant fried.
Doesn't matter if it's an Intel or AMD.

Sounds like you need to do some RMA's and then ask for help here before proceeding.

gabe28
01-19-2003, 04:11 AM
Operator error is not a reason to say the AMD wasn't a good way to go.
You have a point there but I think Intels are less prone to overheat as quickly and easily. I did use the thermal tape that came with the cpu, it just wasn't completely cover the chip. Maybe an Intel would have fried too, I don't know.
It's not hard to ask questions and make sure you are setting up properly right from the start
I wasn't that reckless. I read 4 or 5 tutorials on line about safely installing AMD's and I've put together 3 or 4 computers before. I just made a dumb mistake. And in my defence, it was really hard to tell which way the heat sink was supposed to be turned. It fit great facing either direction. But, yeah, ultimately I made a dumb mistake that could have been avoided.
I haven't looked up your motherboard, but I know it's a cheapie option. However, newer boards do not take older cards due to voltage differences. put the wrong card in and instant fried.
It's a new Abit. As far as I know Abit's are still considered decent buys. It wasn't that cheap either and the reviews I read on it were favorable. The current MB I have is Abit and it's always performed like a champ so I thought I made a fairly good decision.
Sounds like you need to do some RMA's and then ask for help here before proceeding.
Definately. The RMA's are already done and I've mailed back my hardware. Hopefully, sometime this week I'll get my new computer parts and will be ready to do things right.

MadMax
01-19-2003, 07:13 AM
Originally posted by gabe28
You have a point there but I think Intels are less prone to overheat as quickly and easily. I did use the thermal tape that came with the cpu, it just wasn't completely cover the chip. Maybe an Intel would have fried too, I don't know.


Actually that is more fairy tale than reality. AMD's are only slightly hotter running. However, and follow along here, this is for everyone:


NEVER EVER USE THERMAL TAPE!!!!!!!
NEVER EVER USE THERMAL TAPE!!!!!!!
NEVER EVER USE THERMAL TAPE!!!!!!!
NEVER EVER USE THERMAL TAPE!!!!!!!
NEVER EVER USE THERMAL TAPE!!!!!!!

That said, use artic silver III easy to get, you won't regret it.



And in my defence, it was really hard to tell which way the heat sink was supposed to be turned. It fit great facing either direction. But, yeah, ultimately I made a dumb mistake that could have been avoided.


Look at the bottom of the heatsink, the groove along the edge is a dead giveaway.


It's a new Abit. As far as I know Abit's are still considered decent buys. It wasn't that cheap either and the reviews I read on it were favorable.


Abit's have not had had the best reputation lately. Cheap parts, and RMA problems. I still use Abit boards so I guess I don't worry about that too much.

However, the downside is that board is a KT333 VIA chip. I have a policy of preferring horrendous death by flaying and then covered by red ants before buying a VIA product.

You'd be FAR better off with an nForce2 board. I see the Abit board you got was around 80.00, there are nForce2's that are only slightly higher than that and would serve you MUCH better.

elvis
01-19-2003, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by MadMax
That said, use artic silver III easy to get, you won't regret it.
you will if you get some on your PCB! :p

gabe28
01-19-2003, 01:30 PM
For some reason I was having a hard time finding an nForce motherboard that supported USB 2.0 (one of the features I wanted in this upgrade). I'm sure they're out there but I couldn't find them on any of the sites I went to.

I guess I hadn't realised that Abit wasn't as reputable anymore. When I got my last board they were really popular. I guess these things change quickly. At any rate, since it's ordered I think I'll still give this Abit a chance. If it doesn't work out I can always get another mainboard, as they're not really that expensive.

GregHess
01-19-2003, 03:05 PM
All nforce2 motherboards support usb 2.0. Some of the "ultra" or deluxe versions support Firewire, Raid, and Serial-ATA as well.

Heck I think the asus nforce2 has something like 6 USB 2.0 ports for the vanilla version.

The KT333 chipset wasn't too bad, the problem is you got one of the KT333 boards WITHOUT the cooling protection. Had you purchased an Asus KT333 (A7v333) the system would have shut off or throttled the speed before damage occured. Make sure to read about your motherboard before purchasing...saves alot of heartache.

(Just type into google.com) Blah blah reviews. (Blah blah = motherboard designation)

MadMax
01-19-2003, 05:22 PM
Yep, I'll back Greg up on that. As far as I know ALL nForce motherboards have USB 2.0 on them. Even the older nForce boards.

The Asus A7N8X has a ton of the things, and as Greg mentioned, you get firewire, Serial ATA etc. and thermal protection.

Also the nForce2 has dual channel memory architecture. Provides a very nice performance boost.

If you check the reviews, nForce2 is hailed as the best platform for AMD processors.

gabe28
01-19-2003, 11:54 PM
OK, OK, already. Sheeeesh... yeah... looks like I bought the wrong board. I'll see if it's too late to switch the Abit for an enforce Asus board. Hopefully it's not too late.

Thanks for the really good info guys. Sorry if I was a little stuborn but damn I hate making a bad upgrade decision.

loop29
01-20-2003, 03:39 PM
I hate thermal tape !!!

gabe28
01-24-2003, 04:41 AM
Well.... I'm happy... my new parts are in the hands of FedEx now. I have to give NewEgg major props for making my RMA's so hassle free. I'll definately be a repeat customer.

As for my CPU and Motherboard: I decided to stick with the Abit board. I just wasn't happy with the few Nforce boards I saw on the Newegg site. The Abit I got does have temperature controls but they are not on by default. I simply have to turn them on in Bios, which I intend to do immediately upon posting. Also, no more thermal tape for me. Grease all the way. Probably Arctic Silver (but only if I'm confident I can apply it without getting it on any exposed circuits).

Anyway, needless to say, I'm very nervous. I plan to be very, very careful this time around. Hell, I'm tempted to bring it in to a computer shop and let someone else do it.... but that would cost more money so I guess I'll brave it one more time.... Goddamn it! The last 3 computers I bought had cartridge style cpu's and I didn't have to worry about this heatsink, thermal transfer BS!! Damn it!!!! AAARRRGGGG!!!!!.... hehe.... OK, I'll quit whining now. I'll post back when I'm done assembling my new PC or when I've run into a problem I could use some advice with.

Thanks again for all the help.

singularity2006
01-24-2003, 05:37 AM
Originally posted by elvis
you will if you get some on your PCB! :p

I've got a lot of arctic silver 3 on my PCB... so far all is A-oK! =D

my soyo dragon platinum KT400 ultra matches the silver at least... so u can't really tell. :thumbsup:

elvis
01-24-2003, 07:57 AM
Originally posted by singularity2006
I've got a lot of arctic silver 3 on my PCB... so far all is A-oK! =D

how did you manage that? unless you are heavy handed, or slightly inept, it shouldnt be too hard to keep the AS3 on the actual chip surface.

remember that too much thermal compound is just as bad as not enough. it's there to fill the gaps, not totally engulf the chip!

GregHess
01-24-2003, 12:04 PM
Elvis is completely right. Thermal grease should be put on in a very thin layer.

http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm

Thermal paste is used to fill microgaps between the HSF and CPU surface, thus allowing for a 100% thermal contact. Too much thermalpaste and it will begin to act as an insulator, reducing thermal efficency.

Technically if you machine surfaced both the HSF and the CPU surface to a mirror finish and perfectly flat, you would still need the tinniest bit of grease to fill atomical gaps.

elvis
01-24-2003, 12:25 PM
the amount of thermal compound i see some people put on their systems scares me sometimes. as if a non-metal substance between two metals will conduct heat better or something. if that was the case, the whole bloody heatsink would be made out of the stuff!

i think it goes in the "people breaking amd cores while installing heatsinks" bin. taking a bit of extra time and care while putting your system together will improve the longevity of the system both in terms of physical components and day to day stability.

GregHess
01-24-2003, 12:49 PM
I'm at work installing stuff, so I'll be posting alot until a computer user breaks their computer by installing AOL.

A note on elvis's response in regards to manufacturer thermal grease application. On average they either put on too much, or far too little. Its very rare that they get it right on the first round.

Sometimes its worth the trouble before installing a motherboard to remove the chipset heatsink on the motherboard chipset, by flipping the board over and CAREFULLY using a pair of needlenose pliers to pinch the tabs and lightly press them through the board. (Scratching the underside of the pcb = BAD). If you do this make sure to be very careful, and practice safe anti static behavior. (No felt robes please).

Here's some quick shots of normal chipsets and their thermal grease/tape application.

Oops. Their all 300k files. Well I'll upload these in a sec.

These type of applications usually mirror themselves on video cards as well. Sometimes problems with hardware can be solved just by removing the original applications, and using a retail solution like artic silver instead.

Here we go! First image is a A7M-266D.

http://www.3dluvr.com/crossbow/incoming/Photos/Computers/board1.jpg

Second is a Abit KR7A-133

http://www.3dluvr.com/crossbow/incoming/Photos/Computers/mboard1.jpg

Here's a pic of the push pins...or lack there of once removed.

http://www.3dluvr.com/crossbow/incoming/Photos/Computers/boardbottom.jpg

gabe28
01-24-2003, 01:56 PM
On average they either put on too much, or far too little. Its very rare that they get it right on the first round.

Damnit! Just when I'm getting the courage to try this whole thing again, you guys start scaring me!!

Well, the first time I did the thermal grease (see thread beginning) I got very good results. Too bad it was too late.

Here's a few questions. Once the grease and heatsink are applied what temp should the CPU core run at while idle? What's recommended as safe? And when I set my motherboard for emergency hi temp shutdown what temperature should I set for the cutoff?

GregHess
01-24-2003, 02:02 PM
Idle should be in the 40C's.

CPU shutoff should be around 65C.

MadMax
01-24-2003, 03:12 PM
sorry multiple post.

MadMax
01-24-2003, 03:14 PM
Ok, the thermal grease is EASY to deal with.

Put a small glob on the core.

Then, take a credit card, drivers license, ATM card or something with a sharp edge like that and gently pull it across the surface of the core, spreading the Thermal compound.

It HAS to be thin. we're talking like almost being abe to read the printing on the core thin.

Trust me here, this isn't hard to do.

Have a Q-Tip and a bottle of Alchohol nearby. A bottle of rubbing alchohol for cleanup would help as well. :)

IF you make a mistake, you use the alchohol to steady your nerves, then the other to clean up and try again. Ok, just kidding there. Don't drink while doing this...........

after you get the goop spread on the core and you think it looks right, you can use the Q-Tip to clean around the edges if you have any little bits of overage.

GregHess
01-24-2003, 03:40 PM
If you keep having trouble spreading the grease around, try using latex gloves (without the powder) to spread the grease evenly on the core. Then smooth it out and scrap off the excess with a cc or other cardlike structure.

Never tried the qtip, I usually use chem wipes and acetone...but i guess not everyone has access to that :).

MadMax
01-24-2003, 03:48 PM
Q-Tip has GREAT control. dip it, twist off the access alchohol by pressing it against the edge of the bottle and turn it.

When cleaning the edge, just drag and gently twirl it and everything comes off 100% neat and clean.

GregHess
01-24-2003, 03:57 PM
Cool, thanks for the tip max.

elvis
01-25-2003, 07:24 AM
Originally posted by MadMax
When cleaning the edge, just drag and gently twirl it and everything comes off 100% neat and clean.

yeah, i was gonna add make sure there's no cotton left behind. the "q-tip" (american brand-word ahoy) method is what i prefer over using your finger. no matter how clean your hand is you'll always get the body's natural grease in the thermal paste, which can reduce the thermal conductivity quite a bit.

it's been suggested to me in the past to put the thermal paste directly on the chip, and then run a flat razor blade across the chip to spread it evenly and thinly before placing the heatsink on top. razor blades scare me a little (chip scratches are like bad, man), so a thin piece of plastic can do a similar job.

MadMax
01-25-2003, 03:58 PM
I always put the grease directly on the chip.

once you've done it a couple hundred times it gets easier and easier.

I could do it in my sleep now. :)

That SLK 800 is a SOB though. talk about a pain to install. And I have to remove the damn thing again Monday to put a new chip on with 512k cache. :)

gabe28
01-25-2003, 05:55 PM
OK, my parts are in a Portland FedEx facility and I'll either get them today or Monday.

But first - I have some very important power supply questions. As I mentioned in the beginning of the thread the power supply I have is the one that came with my new tower case.See it here. (http://www.newegg.com/app/Showimage.asp?image=11-182-001-10.jpg/11-182-001-11.jpg/11-182-001-16.jpg/11-182-001-12.jpg)

1. First question. It was the opinion of a couple people that this power supply blows. I'm tight on cash right now so I'm wondering if it would at least be safe to use this power supply for a while? Can I actually damage my computer hardware by using this? If so, I won't bother powering up my system until I can get a new one.

2. Second question.... and this is going to make me really seem like an idiot... on the back of my power supply is a switch that toggles between 110V and 220V. What is this about and which setting should it be toggled to? I've done an extensive search on power supply info and can't even find a mention of those switches. On previous systems, I always left the switch alone. I think it was always set to the smaller of the two numbers.

3. Thirdly... are Antecs really the way to go? $50 seems a lot to me for a power supply but if it makes a REAL difference I'll get one.

Thanks again everyone for sticking with this thread and providing really good info.

gabe28
01-28-2003, 03:22 AM
OK, I got the parts and I've applied the CPU greese and mounted the heatsink. I think I did a pretty slick job too.

So....

I really really hope someone can answer my previous post regarding power supply. I do not want to screw this up again. Please save me the dispair!!

On a funny note, when I RMA'd my motherboard I sent the mounting screws back with it. I forgot that they came with the tower, not the motherboard. Now I have to wait till tommorow to mount it in my case. Aw, well, this will just force me to hold off until I find some definate answers about my power supply.

Thanks again for all the help.

gabe28
01-28-2003, 08:04 PM
putting... together... system.... scared.... need.... power.... supply.... answer.... trembling....

loop29
01-28-2003, 08:46 PM
Hmm, I think 110 Volt is for US power grid, if you´re in the United States somewhere you should put it to 110 Volt, I think if you put it to 220 Volt there would be not enough electrical power to drive all your devices, maybe you could damage something with 220 Volt. I believe that the power supply is one of the most important parts in your system. I decided to spend more money on the ps than for example I did for the video card and that was good decision cause the image quality on my Sparkle Geforce 4 Ti is great compared to the other video cards I had in the past from other OEM´s. But for the Power Supply I got an Enermax 431 W which had very good reviews in comparison to stability on the different voltage rails in comparison to other manufacturers. I never regret that decision on the power supply.

regards

gabe28
01-29-2003, 05:50 AM
Well.... I HAVE IT RUNNING!!!!

Stable and smooth. I haven't installed all my apps yet but so far she's running like a dream. Very stable.

CPU surface is 43C while idle. Core is 53C. I have it set to shut down if it hits 75C. So far it hasn't but I haven't put it through any torture tests yet. I'll wait a few weeks. Is it true that CPU's run cooler after a few weeks?

Anyhow, I'm very pleased my upgrade finally worked out. Here are the final system specs

Win98 SE (I have Win 2000 and will put that on as soon as I get a bigger hardriver)
Athlon 2000+ XP
512 MB Ram (Kingston)
MSI geforce 4 4200 ti with 64 MB memory
19 inch Sony trinitron
17 inch CTX cheap monitor
The usual drives (cd burner, zip, etc)

I know it's not cutting edge, but it's a far cry better than the PIII 800 I just upgraded from.

webfox
01-29-2003, 10:51 PM
Congratulations! Enjoy your new machine and DON'T look at the new boards/CPUs coming out for at least 6 months.

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