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hvengel
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree about the P150 case. My stepson has one and it is a great case. The really neat feature is the hard drive suspension system that will holds up to three harddrives in a rubber suspension system. Silent PC review says this is a better overall silent case than the Sonata. The only issue is that early models had some PSU problems. Antec appears to have these sorted out now.

My stepson has a Winchester 3500 in it and the stock heatsink fan is clearly audible and is much louder than anything else in the system. Now I am not saying that this is a loud CPU cooler but rather in a system that is setup to be very quite (near silent) like the one being considered by the OP then it will be far an away to loudest component in the system.

I also have a SI-120 on my 4800+ system. I had the stock cooler on the system while I was waiting for the SI-120 to arrive. The SI-120 lowered CPU temps by about 10C AND with a Yate Loon fan produces way less noise. It makes less noise at full speed then did the stock unit at the lowest speed I could get the motherboard to run it at. The difference is clearly audible. The SI-120 is a great heat sink that I highly recommend. It is light enough not to exceed the normal 450 gram upper limit yet has very good perfomance. In addition, if the fan is mounted to blow down all of the components around the CPU socket will have at least some air flow even with a low speed fan.
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hoka
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an owner of an A8N32 I feel like I should say something here. AFAIK there are no major hardware issues with the board, mine has been running stable (2.6.14) for over a week, the only problem being that one of the gigabit nic's (ske2 or something?) is still heavily experimental. Forcedeth works fine and seems to work at gigabit mode. I'm not overclocking, or using the onboard SATA, but the onboard ATA seems to also work fine (I've had some issues that I believe are related to my dvddrive, it was fixed by manually configuring hdparm). I'm using the Stacker 830 case which is nearly full of fans, but when I didn't have the side rack filled the whole system was very cool. The layout of the A8n32 is sketchy btw, so if you plan to run heavy duty SLI you will be limited in what you use. With an Areca 1220 + 7800GT I have access to (I think) 2 PCI slots. I've yet to throw in my Audigy to make sure it fits but I don't expect any problems. Supposedly the stock coolers on the X2's are kind of crappy, whereas the Opteron 1xx's have a better heat piped design.

That ram is QVL if you didn't know btw.
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hvengel
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The stock cooler that came with my 4800+ X2 has a copper base and 4 heat pipes. It is actually an OK cooler. Just not in the same class as the high end after market units like the SI-120. It sounds to me like this is the same unit as your Opteron cooler.
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widan
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hoka wrote:
Supposedly the stock coolers on the X2's are kind of crappy, whereas the Opteron 1xx's have a better heat piped design.

There are a variety of Athlon 64 stock coolers. There may be more, but those are the ones I've seen mentionned:
  • Single-core cooler. This is used on all single-core Athlon 64s, and also on the X2 3800+ :evil:. I have two such coolers. The fan is a quite noisy 70mm Delta, thermally regulated (so if the air inside your case ever gets a bit hot, it spins even faster and is even noisier :twisted:). If you get this one, plan on getting some aftermarket unit if you want a quiet machine.
  • X2 cooler. With heatpipes. Reviewed here, they say it is "really quiet". Seems to be provided with all the higher-end X2s.
  • Dual-core Opteron cooler. Heatpipes here too, but in a different configuration. Reviewed here.
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hvengel
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cooler that came with my 4800+ is the same one as the Opteron cooler review. So it appears that AMD is packaging this same cooler with at least the higher end X2s.
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bexamous2
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually in that review they say for the new heatpipe heatsink
"A: So far from what we can tell from user experience these new heatsinks come with Athlon X2 above 3800+ and any Opteron S939 Dual Core Chip."

I think its replacing the other heatpipe cooler but I'm not sure... is there even X2s below 3800+?
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widan
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bexamous2 wrote:
is there even X2s below 3800+?

No. What they mean is that the X2s higher than the 3800+ have the heatpipe cooler, but the 3800+ has the standard cooler (like the one for the single core CPUs).
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felicehome
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are wrong widan!! I recently purchased a 4200+ X2, which also comes with a non heatpipe stock cooler, but keeps my CPU quite cool, even though it is overclock at 2500MHz. (2200 is stock speed). I use it in combination with the Gigabyte GA-K8N Pro-Sli, which also has a non heatpipe passive cooler on the nvidia chipset. I run this overclocked combination for a month now. Rock stable no problems so far.
The Gigabyte GA-K8N has a really nice price compared to the ASUS boards. Well the Gigabyte has no heatpipe, but this doesn't seem to hurt much especially if you have a well cooled case. Mine has a 80mm fan in the front and a 120mm fan at the back. Highest CPU temp I get with this overclocked configuration is 48 degrees celcius (running 2 instances of cpu burn for 2 hours). Max CPU temp I get in realworld scenarios (e.g compiling for over 2 hours with both cores used) is 38 degrees celcius. Idle temperature is about 20 degrees celcius. I think this is pretty amazing with just the non-heat-pipe AMD stock cooler and the CPU overclocked by 300MHz.
So if you don't plan to overclock you're definitely on the safe side with the AMD stock cooler and a passivly cooled chipset (even non-heat-piped).
I think my system also shows that the 4200+ X2 has a great overclock potential and is the best X2 processor you can get for your bucks! Think about it!!! As others already mentioned the 512KB L2 cache doesn't slow down performance in most cases. And I was able to get a higher CPU frequency than you get with the much more expensive 4800+ and all that with simple air cooling!! My advice: Get that CPU!! It's really worth the bucks! And if you don't plan to overclock excessively don't worry about extra cooling because this CPU is already quite cool!!
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widan
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

felicehome wrote:
I use it in combination with the Gigabyte GA-K8N Pro-Sli, which also has a non heatpipe passive cooler on the nvidia chipset.

How hot does the chipset get ? People have tried replacing (very noisy) chipset fans on Asus boards with a small Zalman chipset heatsink (NB47), and some have reported the heatsink getting too hot to touch...
felicehome wrote:
Idle temperature is about 20 degrees celcius.

And what is the room temperature ? Because my room temperature is about 20 C, and keeping a CPU at room temperature is not easy (even in idle), especially with stock cooling.
felicehome wrote:
And if you don't plan to overclock excessively don't worry about extra cooling because this CPU is already quite cool!!

The problem about the stock cooler is not that it does not cool well enough (after all, if AMD ships that one, it means it's probably enough), it is the noise it generates when the air in the case warms up a bit.

Edit: Also, the X2 4200+ did come with a heatpipe cooler at one time. Look at the X2 cooler review, the guy that reviewed it got his with a 4200+. Maybe AMD changed it to the standard one when they realized it was good enough (and probably cost less).
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felicehome
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@widan

The Chipset temp is reported at about 67 degrees and stays there quiet stable. The highest temperature I got so far was 71 degrees. It doesn't change much on stress-tests. A can touch it without burning my fingers. But indeed it's hot, but not too hot to touch it.
My alarm clock reports 18 degrees room temperature. I should mention, that I have a coolermaster Centurion 5 case, which maybe cools my case more effectivly than others. The case has a plastic pipe which sucks cool air directly to the cpu.
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hvengel
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have the same motherboard and even though the heat sink on the chipset does get fairly warm it does not get hot enough to not be able to touch it. So far my system has been very stable and I am running a quite system with low speed fans. But I have also worked at making the internal air flow very efficient. So the chipset heat sink has good air flow across it's surface.
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widan
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it seems the passive heatsink is enough. I feared the worst when I saw a photo of the board with its ultra-low-profile heatsink, and I had some doubts than any significant airflow would reach it. Also I remembered a review of another passively cooled nForce4 board where the chipset died during overclocking tests (I have to admit they were pushing it, but this board has a chipset fan now).
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Treborius
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i got an

AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+ "box" 2x512kB, 200 MHz FSB, S.939

here, so with the stock cooler, while compiling i never ever got above 55°C
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Monkeh
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think 20C idle with a pair of cores at 2.5GHz is highly unlikely. That sounds like the same cooler I have (3700+, and thus 2.2GHz), and I idle at about 36.

I admit it could be cooling better (I had to pull the heatsink off a new times until I got it to fit, so the thermal paste isn't perfect, and I couldn't fit the wind tunnel my case comes with), but I find that a little odd.
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Aynjell
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The alltime quitest case I've ever used was the Thermaltake Swing. It literally silenced zalman coolers on max (and yes, that's loud). Also, the airflow inside this case is quite good... and the small size helps keep the case out of the way. If I needed another case for any PC, I'd get that.
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felicehome
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Monkeh and all others who think those AMD Dual Cores get really hot:

Here is an article about a 4200+ X2 getting overclocked only with stock-cooling

[url]
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2452
[/url]
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widan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems not all CPUs are equal about thermal dissipation. From this thread on XtremeSystems:
Quote:
What this all means is this: On 90nm manufacturing process, the power leakage of transistors on individual processors differs greatly, this is why AMD implemented TCaseMax.
...
So in a few words, the higher the TCaseMax, the higher the TDP of a processor will be (the transistor leakage is higher), so the processor will run hotter. Several people have reported that the Opterons rated at 71C TCaseMax were pretty hot. On the other side these processors will be able to reach higher clock speeds.
That is why we see that on average processors with higher TCaseMax can usually reach higher CPU speeds when overclocked.

Obviously the program provided in that thread to read the TCaseMax only works under Windows, but you can get the value with this command:
Code:
phuket ~ # echo TCaseMax: $[((0x$(setpci -d 1022:1103 0xe4.L)>>25)&0xf)*2+49] C
TCaseMax: 63 C

It would be interesting to have values from "hot" and "cool" X2s. If there is a large difference in TCaseMax between a hot CPU and a cooler one, it might very well be that different batches can have completely different thermal properties.
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Monkeh
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

felicehome wrote:
@Monkeh and all others who think those AMD Dual Cores get really hot:

Here is an article about a 4200+ X2 getting overclocked only with stock-cooling

[url]
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2452
[/url]


I never said I think they get really hot. I KNOW they can be overclocked very easily (my 3700 will probably reach FX57 speeds on a stock cooler), I'm saying a pair of cores at 2500MHz should produce more heat than a single core at 2200MHz. I find it hard to believe a 20C idle. I'm not saying you're lying, I'm just saying I find it hard to accept.
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Mad Merlin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For posterity's sake, I now have the system, I ended up getting a Big Typhoon CPU cooler however, and swapped the 6600GT out for a nearly identical 6600 as the 6600GT silencer was unfortunately discontinued.

The system works very well overall, the only issue I've had is getting a framebuffer console to work. vesafb is the only option in this respect if you run the NVidia proprietary drivers on a 64 bit system, as vesafb-tng does not work with 64-bit systems and nvidiafb conflicts with the proprietary drivers. I know it works though, the Kororra LiveCD for example can drive the framebuffer and uses the proprietary NVidia drivers (although it might use vesafb-tng, as it's not built for 64-bit systems), I just need to investigate more, currently vesafb gives a mostly black console, regardless of mode selected.

Other notes: The X2 is *fantastic*, so is having 2G of RAM!
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longship
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mad Merlin wrote:
The passively cooled Northbridge is definitely one of the most important features of the motherboard for me, thus I'm essentially narrowed down to the Premium or the A8N32. Right now, the Premium is only $45 less, and that little amount of money saved now means that I'd lose the potential to run SLI in the future, which is something I'm interested in, even if not immediately.

As for the stock CPU heatsink/fan, I've heard from some that it is relatively loud, and thusly would rather go for an upgraded (and quieter) heatsink/fan. Furthermore, the Thermalright SI-120 that I'm now looking at appears to be more suited to cooling the radiator for the Northbridge than the stock cooler, which is probably more of a concern than the CPU itself in this case.

I don't plan to do Windows or RAID, so hardware vs software RAID is a moot point.

I may look into that Lian-Li case, but I suspect I'll stick with the Sonata II.

Also, a final note, I've just noticed that that particular motherboard *does* apparently have SATA II support, rather than only SATA I as I originally thought. This means that I'd do the obvious and choose the SATA II version of the same drive, rather than the SATA I as originally planned. Can anyone confirm that this board works well with SATA II drives?


My A8N-SLi Premium scales down the RPMs for three fans: CPU fan, PSU fan, and one chassis fan. I imagine the A8N32 will do the same.

If you want silence, you don't want the Lian Li case which I suggested above. It's all holes and lets sound out. I don't notice it that much and the case has three big fans, but YMMV.

I highly recommend the Seasonic S12 PSU for quiet. Along with the MoBo control of the fan, it is one of the quietest and efficient PSU's out there. Also, my sensors tell me that it is rock stable under high loads. (I have five HDs and run my CPU full bore 24/7 with two instances of Folding@Home.)

SATA II support is nice, but you won't see much difference, if any. That shouldn't stop you from getting drives with SATA II support, however. I have twin RAID Raptors (SATA 150) and twin RAID Hitachi's (SATA II). As far as I can tell, there doesn't seem to be any substantive difference in speed, and the Raptors are 10,000 RPM vs 7,200 for the Hitachi's. Interpret that how you will.
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longship
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI, my 4400+ came with the same cooler as the Opteron.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:21 pm    Post subject: my actual X2 cooling system Reply with quote

I could just recommand the XP120 radial with a 12cm fan (i use a SilentX 14db / 64 CFM / 1500rpm).

I have an AMD 64 X2 3800+ (2x2000Ghz) overclocked @2x2.2560 Mhz.

@2000mhz => idle=36°c burn=53°c
@2560mhz => idle=36°c burn=58°c

So i'm really happy with this coolling system. I have a green power fortron 400W PSU (12cm horizontal fan) and an extra fan on the side of the case (Silent X 8cm/11db/1500rpm).
My video card is an MSI 6800GT O/C and i stay on minimal speed for GPU fan. And I make you notice that my case is a basic one. Noise is really good, i could listening the box as a good server. ie with no noise at all (at night), i hear it but cannot hear it if there is a bit of noise (day time).

Hope that could help.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

widan,
thanks for your TCaseMax one-liner.

widan wrote:
It seems not all CPUs are equal about thermal dissipation. From this thread on XtremeSystems:
Quote:
What this all means is this: On 90nm manufacturing process, the power leakage of transistors on individual processors differs greatly, this is why AMD implemented TCaseMax.
...
So in a few words, the higher the TCaseMax, the higher the TDP of a processor will be (the transistor leakage is higher), so the processor will run hotter. Several people have reported that the Opterons rated at 71C TCaseMax were pretty hot. On the other side these processors will be able to reach higher clock speeds.
That is why we see that on average processors with higher TCaseMax can usually reach higher CPU speeds when overclocked.

Obviously the program provided in that thread to read the TCaseMax only works under Windows, but you can get the value with this command:
Code:
phuket ~ # echo TCaseMax: $[((0x$(setpci -d 1022:1103 0xe4.L)>>25)&0xf)*2+49] C
TCaseMax: 63 C

It would be interesting to have values from "hot" and "cool" X2s. If there is a large difference in TCaseMax between a hot CPU and a cooler one, it might very well be that different batches can have completely different thermal properties.
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