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Was my CPU stolen? P4/1.8MHz Northwood

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New Member
Mar 16, 2002
I just purchased a P4/1.8MHz 512KB L2 cache, Northwood. And a socket 478 mobo: MSI 645 Ultra, together with a PC2700 512MB RAM chip. It turned out something was wrong - i couldn't get past the logo of the boot screen, and was not able to initiate the BIOS screen.
Got another RAM chip to test with - same error. The shop (komplett.no, Oslo) asked me to return the whole mainboard WITH CPU and RAM. Which i did. They then found the same as I: It didn't boot. So I got my money back for the mainboard, a bag with the pieces for the boxed CPU, and the RAM.

I noticed that they had given me a 64MB PC2100 RAM chip, which they immediately replaced with the correct type, the 512MB PC2700 chip. But - and here comes the interesting part: As i unpacked the CPU, i noticed that the surface was very much "matter" than it used to be, the corners were rounder, AND: There was a tiny hole in one of the corners that i hadn't noticed before.

Actually... when i installed the original CPU, i remember I wondered about which way to insert it - and i did NOT notice any hole, which would have been a very clear hint of course.

Am i remembering totally wrong here? Or am i right? Are there P4/1.8A 512 L2chips made without that "corner" hole on top?


Jul 17, 2001
Denver, Colorado
welcome to the forums rkaa!

All Intel chips that have an integrated heat spreader (IHS) protecting the core have a little tiny hole in one corner. This includes all P4 CPUs, and all Tualatin CPUs as well.

The hole is there so that the glue that holds on the IHS can release a bit of gas as it cures.

Take a look at the CPU- there is a chance they gave you a Tualatin instead of your P4, they look a lot alike if you are in a hurry.


New Member
Mar 16, 2002
no, it's a P4/1.80A..

The CPU i got back is of the same type, not a Tualtin. It also has the same batch number as on the box label, still visible on top. If they all have a hole on top, then I'm simply mistaken and plain paranoid. Not without a reason though - the same shop sold me a "Boxed" Intel CPU once, consisting of a no-name cooler and a loose CPU in an antistatic bag. They also sell "new" HD's ...*with* data on them :) Lots of fun going on there, and catching the eyes of the local PC magazines lately. They're just so darn comfortably close to home - 3 blocks away.

All they acclaimedly tested now was whether the mobo would boot or not, and then tested the CPU and RAM on one other board, to check that they were good. But the CPU looks like it's been in a war-zone. The cooler too - hardly any "black gloss" left on it. Well well. I'll rub it all off and apply some cooling....stuff - before installing on a new board. Thank you for quick replies!