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Sound crackling - NF7-S Soundstorm

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John G

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Hi guys, I built a new PC a little while ago.

However, after running Warcraft 3 for an hour or more, the sound starts to crackle a bit and get a little erratic.

I'm using the optical output and running it to a home theater receiver (ebay!)... Sounds great and works perfectly until its under load playing sound for a good while and starts the crackling.

I've read a bit that it sounds like putting a heatsink and/or fan on the southbridge could help. Is anyone able to say pretty definitely that this would work or has worked for them? And...when it "worked", did it just reduce the problem or make it go away totally? Also, is a passive heatsink and thermal tape sufficient?

Thanks... :)

John G
 

jlin453

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Location
Austin, Texas
Putting a heatsink on my completely solved my crackling problem. I used one of the memory heatsinks and cut it in half. Sorry for the quality of this picture, hand was shaky because of the awkward position :)

P1010015.JPG


As you can see, it's passive. I don't know about thermaltape's because they never worked effectively for me. I used Arctic Alumina adhesive.
 
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John G

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Cool, thanks. I think I'll give it a shot, then... Anyone else have experience with it too?
 

jlin453

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Location
Austin, Texas
A good test is to actually put your finger on the SB while you're playing music,etc. For me, I couldn't keep my finger on there very long becuase it got very VERY hot.
 

HousERaT

Senior Air Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Location
Imladris
do like jlin453 said and stick a heatsink on your southbridge..... NF7 and others with onboard sound have a tendancy to crackly after prolonged use on hot days..... :burn:
 
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John G

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
jlin453 said:
A good test is to actually put your finger on the SB while you're playing music,etc. For me, I couldn't keep my finger on there very long becuase it got very VERY hot.

Yep, I'd done that after it had started crackling once and it was painfully hot. Kinda makes me wonder why Abit didn't stick something on the chip themselves. Surely they'd tested enough to know it could happen, or received enough feedback from the market to know. Maybe they were afraid that if they put them on in later revisions that it would be admitting a problem and people would send their boards back if they were still under warranty? Who knows... :)
 

jlin453

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Location
Austin, Texas
John G said:
Yep, I'd done that after it had started crackling once and it was painfully hot. Kinda makes me wonder why Abit didn't stick something on the chip themselves. Surely they'd tested enough to know it could happen, or received enough feedback from the market to know. Maybe they were afraid that if they put them on in later revisions that it would be admitting a problem and people would send their boards back if they were still under warranty? Who knows... :)

Not everyone overclocks, and if I've read correctly this is only a matter on overclocked NF7-S
 

Docta_Z

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2002
Location
Canada
Same problem here - where did you get a heatsink of the proper size guys?

I have an old zalman northbridge cooler heatsink avaliable - but it's far too big, perhaps I could cut it down to size with my dremel...
 
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John G

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
jlin453 said:
Not everyone overclocks, and if I've read correctly this is only a matter on overclocked NF7-S

Hmm...well, I'm only running my FSB at 200mhz. XP Mobile is running at 2000mhz @ 1.55V. Trying to run cool, quiet and stable for the time being.
 
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John G

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Docta_Z said:
Same problem here - where did you get a heatsink of the proper size guys?

I have an old zalman northbridge cooler heatsink avaliable - but it's far too big, perhaps I could cut it down to size with my dremel...

Southbridge stuff seems to be pretty slim pickings for the most part. The most attractive I've seen so far is the Vantec Iceberg VGA/North/South kit in aluminum or copper varieties. I'll probably get the copper kit myself. If the VGA cooler or Northbridge heatsink will fit, I'll probably put them on, but it'll probably end up being the little Southbridge heatsink.
 

d4rr3n

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
I picked up a microcool southbridge heatsink. Haven't had a chance to install it yet, but it looks pretty good. I'm surprised i haven't experience any of these crackling problems people get even at my highest overclocks.
 
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John G

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Hmm... Like I said, I am running just 200mhz FSB. I had my dividers set to "Auto". Thought, "Maybe it's running 5/5 and overclocking it after all." So, I set it to 6/6 and the problem seems to have gone away so far. :) Maybe that was it afterall.
 
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John G

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
d4rr3n said:
I picked up a microcool southbridge heatsink. Haven't had a chance to install it yet, but it looks pretty good. I'm surprised i haven't experience any of these crackling problems people get even at my highest overclocks.

That microcool southsink looks pretty good... Hadn't seen it yet.
 

roll+call

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Location
ontario, canada
Wow, amazing. I'm having the same problem while playing RTCW: Enemy Territory... Was even considering picking up a used audigy card.
I've got some extra ram module heatsinks lying about so I'll cut it if need be and pop that baby on. I'll keep you guy's updated... would definitely save me the 70$ :)
 

HousERaT

Senior Air Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Location
Imladris
Docta_Z said:
Same problem here - where did you get a heatsink of the proper size guys?

I have an old zalman northbridge cooler heatsink avaliable - but it's far too big, perhaps I could cut it down to size with my dremel...


The vantec Iceberq set works good. The only hs that is copper in the copper set is the northbridge.... all the rest are aluminum with copper color. The soutbridge works good though and will fit underneath a vga silencer.
 

jlin453

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Location
Austin, Texas
John G said:
Hmm... Like I said, I am running just 200mhz FSB. I had my dividers set to "Auto". Thought, "Maybe it's running 5/5 and overclocking it after all." So, I set it to 6/6 and the problem seems to have gone away so far. :) Maybe that was it afterall.

Setting it to 4:4, 5:5, or 6:6 wouldn't matter, it's still 1:1. Oddly though, I have read that some people have better overclockability using 6:6 or 5:5 and not the others, so who knows. As long as its better now :)
 
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John G

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
jlin453 said:
Setting it to 4:4, 5:5, or 6:6 wouldn't matter, it's still 1:1. Oddly though, I have read that some people have better overclockability using 6:6 or 5:5 and not the others, so who knows. As long as its better now :)

I know they all run memory and FSB sychronously, which is good for performance...

But, doesn't 4, 5, and 6 dividers cause PCI devices and such to run at different speeds? I think PCI devices usually run at 33mhz stock.

133 FSB / 4 Div = 33mhz PCI
166 / 5 = 33
200 / 6 = 33

But, if a person were running 200 mhz FSB with a divider of 5, then it would be running at 40 mhz, which is a significant overclock. And, if a NIC or HDD or something couldn't handle it stably, it could limit an overclock.

Or, am I wrong on this? :eh?:
 

Tebore

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2001
Location
Toronto,Canada(I can see you....)
John G said:
I know they all run memory and FSB sychronously, which is good for performance...

But, doesn't 4, 5, and 6 dividers cause PCI devices and such to run at different speeds? I think PCI devices usually run at 33mhz stock.

133 FSB / 4 Div = 33mhz PCI
166 / 5 = 33
200 / 6 = 33

But, if a person were running 200 mhz FSB with a divider of 5, then it would be running at 40 mhz, which is a significant overclock. And, if a NIC or HDD or something couldn't handle it stably, it could limit an overclock.

Or, am I wrong on this? :eh?:

You're wrong on this one, the NF7-S has a PCI lock, all you have to do is set AGP Freq at 66 and everything is nice, 33PCI 66AGP. The dividers are only to set DRAM speed and FSB speed. 1/1 means the FSB and the DRAM Speed is exactly the same. 4/5 on a 200FSB means the ram is running at 250MHZ (200/4= 50, 50x5=250).
 
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John G

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Tebore said:
You're wrong on this one, the NF7-S has a PCI lock, all you have to do is set AGP Freq at 66 and everything is nice, 33PCI 66AGP. The dividers are only to set DRAM speed and FSB speed. 1/1 means the FSB and the DRAM Speed is exactly the same. 4/5 on a 200FSB means the ram is running at 250MHZ (200/4= 50, 50x5=250).

Ah, I see... Um...so, is there any point to having the different 1:1 ratios? Also, does the PCI lock also lock the Southbridge speed?