Archive for the ‘CPU’ Category

Inception, Part 3…

Posted: January 23, 2011 by jellymann in computers, CPU, inception, linux, ubuntu, virtualisation

… and probably the last one. I tried again this week with Virtual PC and I ran into similar problems.

the reason, I think, is because my fail processor doesn’t support this kind of hard-core virtualisation, so I might have to wait until I get a Core i# with Hardware Virtualisation before I consider part 4 at all.

Anyway, thanks for the interest 🙂 All I got accomplished so far was install five different operating systems inside one: Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Fedora, Windows XP and Windows 7. My computer is going to die soon, I guess…

Looks it, too

Overclock a Dinosaur

Posted: October 2, 2010 by jellymann in computers, CPU, firsts, GPU, motherboards, overclocking, tech

Since I messed up my computer with the whole cpu cooler fiasco, I’ve had to go back to my old PC. The specs are as follows:

Processor: AMD Sempron 2500+ @1.5GHz (166MHz * 9.0)
Motherboard: ASRock K7VM3, Rated FSB: 333MHz
Memory: 2x 1GB DDR @200MHz
Graphics: Inno3D GeForce 6600 @300MHz, 256MB @500MHz
Hard Drives (2): Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 200GB + 80GB (P-ATA IDE)
Optical Drive: LG Super Multi DVD re-writer
ISO 300WSwitching Power Supply
Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3

For the technologically challenged: it’s crap. These days you can get a fridge with more processing power than this thing. (ok I’m over exaggerating, I’m actually writing this blog post on it within Firefox 3.6.8 while playing music through iTunes 10)

Being used to my “reasonable” Core 2 Duo and HD4870 I was extremely dissatisfied with the above setup. Tests showed a very sad eight frames per second (average) on lowest graphics settings in Crysis @800×600, and less than one frame per second when blowing up buildings with the rocket launcher, physics set at medium. Enabling shadows halved the average frame rate to around four frames per second. Dropping screen size below 800×600 did not make much of a difference, the issue of pixel count giving way to other factors such as shaders and polygon count that may not rely on screen resolution (as far as I know, just speculating here).

Since this old brontosaurus of a pc isn’t really of much value to me (besides sentimental value. I wouldn’t sell it to anyone, although I doubt I’ll get anything for it if I did) I thought I might take a stab at this whole overclocking thing. I’ve overclocked my HD4870 before, but this is the first time I’ll be overclocking a processor.

To all you folks out there who think overclocking is a fun experience (actually it isn’t very fun) and a quick way to get more power without buying new hardware, make sure know what you’re doing before you do it, or just don’t do it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Since this old rig (oil rig?) is old, none of it’s components really output an impressive amount of heat, giving me good headroom for bumping the hertz up a little bit. Even with really lame stock coolers, the processor usually didn’t go higher than forty under load, and the GPU stuck around the sixties, also not changing much under load. I didn’t burn my fingers on the GPU like I always did with my 4870 every time I stuck my hand in the case.
(Temperatures are in degrees Celsius, for all you Americans reading this, convert!)

the Overclock:

The ASRock K7VM3 has a feature they call Hybrid Booster “safe” overclocking. This allows for easy changing of the bus speed within BIOS. Over-enthusiastically I took a huge leap from a bus speed of 166MHz to 233MHz. NOTE: This is a stupid thing to do! Always overclock in small increments, like 5MHz, and every time rebooting and checking up on how the computer does under the new speed. Thankfully ASRock’s “safe” overclocking did not allow my idiotic jump, and promptly reset the bus speed.

I still didn’t quite take the 5MHz advise very well (and by no means am I encouraging this behavior) and increased it in 10MHz steps. And I don’t know if the Crysis CPU Benchmark constitutes as a CPU stability test, but it definitely allowed me to see that the overclocking was working.

The K7VM3 uses jumpers to set the CPU multiplier. The manual shows, in a rather confusing way, where to put the jumpers to get the desired multiplier. By default (with no jumpers) the multiplier is at 9.0, and can be increased (or decreased) in steps of 0.5, up to a whopping 24. I set it to 10.0 and very excitedly switched it on and… It didn’t work…. it still showed 9.0 no matter what I did. Sadly, this specific processor is locked to 9.0 and cannot be changed without possible mutilation. I’m not going to try that!

I stopped at a bus speed of 200MHz, resulting in a substantial CPU clock speed increase of 300MHz to 1.8GHz. Very happy I tested it on Crysis and saw an increase of one frame per second in the CPU benchmark! w00t! 🙂

To overclock the GPU was much easier, but unfortunately not as fantastic. Using RivaTuner, I was able to push the core clock speed by 17MHz (yippee….) and the memory frequency by 14MHz (wow….). Not all that great of an overclock but an overclock nonetheless.

However, I am a little concerned about the current stability of the system. Since the overclock, Firefox has randomly quit (which it never does) twice and earlier the computer reset without warning, Windows later telling me that there was a serious error and had no explanation as to what happened. I’m glad nothing has happened while writing this blog…

I will do some tests with Prime95 soon and will post the results. I don’t know if I want to see the results…

Other tools used: CPU-Z and GPU-Z

WARNING!! Dangerous Temperatures.

Posted: September 28, 2010 by jellymann in computers, CPU, tech

I feel like such a nOOb. Ok, I am such a nOOb. Especially with hardware. Sure I know what the difference between a GPU and a CPU is and how to put RAM in my MOBO. meh…

When it comes to cooling, I’m a fail at it. My PC is HOT! And no it isn’t such a great PC, I mean my CPU usually runs at 45-50 C on a cool day. Now it’s summer it nearly gets to 60. Ouch! My ATi HD4870 runs between 70 and 80. So sad…

I’ve never changed my cooling system. Always stuck with stop, because so far that’s kept me going. Since my latest computer I’ve constantly been thinking about getting a Thermalright heatsink for my processor and graphics card. The problem is that I never really had too much money, and thought it wasn’t really worth it… until today.

Some month or two ago a friend of mine’s computer just stopped working, and today he gave me his processor to test (just in case maybe his motherboard was at fault, not his processor). It’s a Core 2 Quad Q6600, which for me was a nice “upgrade” I was hoping to have for maybe a few days. Sure the processor works fine, but having swapped it out a little too hastily, I made a fatal mistake. (well, almost fatal)

For those of you who don’t know, there is some substance between your processor and it’s cooler. That stuff is called thermal paste. What it’s made of, I have no clue, but it doesn’t matter because it’s absolutely necessary (Just don’t brush your teeth with it). If you put a heatsink or some other kind of cooler on your processor, graphics card, northgate, or any other chip that gets hot, there has to be some thermal paste in between the surfaces. Without it, the cooler is a big piece of metal with a fan on it, blowing air and dust all over the place (i.e. not useful).

Silly me: when I swapped the processors, I neglected the whole thermal paste thing and just popped off my cooler, stuck in the new CPU, and popped the cooler back on. Simple right? Wrong! After switching my PC on with the new Core 2 Quad installed, I watched as the temperature slowly increased… 53… 66… 75… 89… oh crap that ain’t right!

I’m glad I switched it off before it frizzed (My friend would have literally killed me if I returned him a dead processor).

So, if you’re getting a new cooler or a new processor, always remember your thermal paste! 🙂

P.S. If you’re getting a new cooler, always… I repeat always buy Thermalright. Nothing else. And while you’re about, grab yourself some Arctic Cooling thermal paste. You can buy the stuff from The Prophecy Shop. You can’t go wrong.

Well, long ago when I still played games on my parents computer, I had saved up enough money to buy myself a PC. It would have very reasonable part: AMD Phenom II X 2 550 Black Edition (unlocked) 3.1 GHz, ASUS M3N 78-VM motherboard and a Nvidia GeForce 9600 GSO. I drove to the outlet and when I got home, I connected all the parts and turned it on. YAY! It works, but wait there was no image, help me.

I then went to another friends house and placed my chip in their motherboard, nothing. The chip was fried but there was still a warranty, I returned the computer. A few days later hey sent me an email, they claim it’s working, thank goodness. Arrived back home didn’t switch on, this conflict went on for a few days, maybe even 2 weeks. I got very impatient, they then replaced my chip for the upgrade, AMD Phenom II X2 555 3.2 GHz, it worked! I was exceptionally happy that I didn’t have to deal with the those guys but to ruin everything my friend was working on the PC (he fixes them and is very knowledgeable with the subject) and fried the motherboard by touching the wrong pins.
He offered to buy me a new motherboard, and I anyway needed more RAM and a better power supply. We disagreed to buying from that shop, we tried prophecy shop, the shipping for the parts cost me nothing. They delivered after two days and the help from the members was incredible. I just wish that all internet computer suppliers were like that.