More MSI Findings

The good news is I ran the system at spec for a week, and had zero real or even minor real problems (it also ran fine the last few days I had it overclocked).

The maybe not-so-good news is why I was running it at spec.

I’m getting very high temperature readings from the CPU. This is a water-cooled CPU using an in-line pump.

Running at 1133Mhz, at a “real” 1.75V, I’m getting temperatures of about 52-53C.

Running at 1425Mhz, at a “real” 1.90V, the temperatures are more like 62C.

If you’re wondering, “Is this under load or not?” the answer is it doesn’t seem to matter. I’ve taken a cold machine, with mobo temperatures of
16C, just booted into BIOS, went to the monitoring section, and watch the temperature climb rapidly to that 62C. Then it pretty much stays there
for routine tasks. You can understand my reluctance to really stress it out under the circumstances.

There are two idiosyncracies of this board which will lead to higher temperatures than you might normally get from another mobo.

  1. The in-socket thermistor is better placed than most mobo sensors, and people are reporting somewhat higher temps coming from the MSI than from
    other boards.

  2. Up to now, there isn’t a tweak in the BIOS (or one yet discovered to my knowledge), that cools the CPU down when it’s idling. My experience seems
    to confirm that big time.

That being said, though, for a water-cooled setup running at over 1400Mhz, we’ve normally seen temperatures under load more like 44C on systems wired to Joe’s fancy thermometers. The water coming from the radiator is a more than a bit warm to the touch, but hardly hot.

This temperature could well be inaccurate for a number of reasons. The thermistor could be screwy, the CPU may run abnormally hot; there’s some inefficiency in the cooling system.

If one of those turns out to be the case, we won’t find that too big a deal. What we are really concerned about is if that temperature is more-or-less accurate.

If there is a real hot spot on the Athlon that the MSI thermistor is catching, but previous temperature measurements have not, that could spell trouble.

We might find that this is a particularly hot spot for any mobo that doesn’t have that cooling tweak mentioned above. In that case, you’d probably want to use that cooling tweak if available, and maybe not want those boards where that’s not available.

We might find this is just a hot spot, period, in which case, we may need to rethink cooling.

If I had to bet, I’d bet there’s some sort of inaccuracy, or that the CPU just pumps a lot of heat. But we want to make sure that something more serious isn’t happening.

Within the next few days, Joe will come down with his gizmos, and we’ll wire this up more than a patient in the ICU

In the meantime, if somebody’s found a BIOS tweak which serves to cool an AMD760 mobo when the CPU is idling, please tell me.

The temperature issue is the last barrier to me really liking this particular board, and actually wanting to keep it in the work machine.

But will your experience be the same?

A Differing Opinion

It so happens that another site just did a review of this board, too.

I just have to scratch my head when I look at it. Maybe some of it is due to a bad board.

I don’t get all my BIOS settings wiped out when I unplug the board. Then again, I didn’t unplug it for an hour or two. Maybe it only happens then. Maybe that’s a problem with the board. I more strongly suspect it’s due to MSI using a cheap, weak CMOS battery.

Maybe some of it is due to the reviewer not taking certain actions, or unrealistic recoveries from absurd BIOS settings. I certainly crash boards a lot probing the limits with extreme BIOS settings, but I don’t get mad when it gives me the finger then. I get mad when it gives me the finger using normal settings.

I suspect a lot of it was due to his using a very high speed 100Mhz CPU. If we swapped CPUs, it may be likely I’d be having these problems, and they wouldn’t. Maybe the lesson to be learned is not that the board is bad, just don’t buy a high-speed 100Mhz CPU for it.

Have no idea why he’s having problems with 3DMark2001; I’m not.

May be a combination of some or all of them. But I don’t know for sure.

But let’s assume for argument’s sake that there is something wrong with that board. He’s having problems; I’m not. In the past, the shoe’s been on the other foot, too; I’ve had boards just as bad, and most others have not.

What do you, the prospective buyer, do?

Email Ed

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