Cocoon Culture No.47



Some notes from the upgrade of MB/CPU

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Installation of the new processor and motherboard (Celeron 700 / ABit 133-BX)

I forgot to save my original hardware settings in a windows HW profile. I also forgot what a mess it becomes when windows all of a sudden starts finding new hardware, mission old etc. But after some messing about, the change was done in about an hour.

The major problem was the detection of the "problem child" soundtrack 97 PCI from hoontech. After messing around for a LONG time, messing about with BIOS settings, doing the search engines, trying to figure out whether the soundcard actually worked under a BX chipset, possibly if there was somekind of drive update etc.etc. the problem disappeared as I gave up.

As a last chance just to be sure, I tried the card in a third PCI slot ... and guess what ! the sun started to shine, and music streamed out of my system. Happy happy :)

Some minor problems where also experienced with installed programs missing DLL's, but taking into account that this is MS and windows the transition was smooth. (It took less than a working day to get the changes done).

Installation of MB went smooth. Some minor changes of fitting bolts etc.

Observations made

Boxed CPU fan : The mounting of the Boxed CPU fan was rather messy though, but clicked on after a while. As suspected, the fan generates quite a lot of vibration. Running at 4300 r.m.p's on top of the CPU mountain. With time this vibration will wear it out, and gradually make it more and more noisy. The remedy will be to improve the MB fitting under the CPU area. Make it more firm. Also need to reduce the r.m.p.'s down to a reasonable level.

Performance : (CPU & MB default settings): Better. But I'm not blown away. GUI somewhat faster. But nothing impressive. However, manage to run more effects at a lower load level than before. Example song : "perfect error" used to be clipping, and was impossible to run smoothly even at 100 % load, now runs easy at 20 % load.

Noise level : I'll drop this. BAD. But not as bad as expected. There is hope. Very whiny kind of noise from the CPU fan. And the effect of the cabinet damping made a wonderful difference. The good news is that the PSU HF noises have dropped dramatically. I was really excited about this, hopes where high and fulfilled. This shows that MB's are a factor in the generation of HF PSU noise.
A quick measurement of the noise level from the cabinet front : +38 dBA /  +45dBC

Motherboard HW monitoring features : Paradise. Amazing. I've mounted the extra thermal probe into the HD noisebox, and set up an alarm for the critical level in the accompanying winbond program. Great. A particularly neat feature of the MB BIOS was the ability to automatically shut the system down on a critical CPU temperature (min. 75 C). This adds safety for the future incase some of my experiments fail (assuming the alarm works as intended).
The resolution for temperature measurement is limited to 0.5 C steps, but high enough.

Default system measurements :

Quick initial measurements : CPU (43C), Cabinet (33C), HD-noisebox (38C), Vcore (1.7Volts). No software cooler. HD idle. System load approx. 20 %.
Running waterfall * drops CPU temperature below cabinet temperature easily on light load (31.5C) . Note ! This is with CD-RW Floppy drive power on. Ambient temperature at the time 22.0 C.
* From this point on all measurments are made running waterfall for cooling, unless otherwise mentioned.

Second opinion : Another day : Typical : Ambient temperature 20.0 C. Approx. system load 10 % . CPU (26.0C), Cabinet (30.5C), HD-noisebox (34.0C). A typical, but not an idle state.

Open Cabinet : Idle measurment (HDD constantly on, waterfall running, noise-killer @6.0 V on CPU-fan) : MB(Cabinet/sytem1) (29.0 C), HDD-NoiseBox (38.0 C), CPU (23.0 C).

Problems :

  • HD powerdown. Can't get the HD to powerdown, this leads to an increased cabinett temperature and noise level. As well as a higer than necessary HD-noisebox temperature.
    A: This is how the highpoint controller works at the moment. Can't use it. Disabled in BIOS.
  • ACPI/APM trouble : A combination of hardware and OS trouble. Disabled in BIOS.
  • Floppy-Drive (1) errors. Doesn't work properly. Drive fucked ?


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