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 Post subject: KT7A + Athlon XP-M = Fast, cool and quiet
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 1:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 1:29 am
Posts: 118
Location: London, UK
Just wanted to share a success story with you all, as I've picked up so much knowledge from here over the months.

I used to have an old Athlon TBird 1.4Ghz running at 1Ghz 1.5v that could be cooled reasonably with an AX-7 and a 5v 80mm YS-Tech "silent" fan (not sure of the model number). Load was about 56-58C.

I know I should get a new motherboard etc. but my KT7A has been good to me over the years, I'm tight and I also don't enjoy rebuilding Windows, so I've stuck with it.

I had a dig around Google, it seemed that a few people still running old boards like me were having success with XP-M's. So, I thought I'd give it a crack. At worst, if the XP-M doesn't work, I can send it back or sell it. I went ahead last week and purchased a (Barton core) XP-M 2400+.

Now, my KT7A is an old v1.0 board, so I wasn't too sure of success. First few boot attempts were a bit dodgy and I'm still not sure why - the only thing that seemed to make a big difference was the 3.3v setting which (oddly) defaults to 3.4v - knock this down to (really) 3.3v and all is well...! I also get "Unknown CPU Type" in the BIOS but wcpuid recognises the chip OK.

The main issue I have is with multipliers - I can only get up to 12x - I think I need to do a wire-trick mod on the socket to get higher ones, but I'm not really bothered... 12 x 133 = 1.6Ghz which is a big leap up from a 1Ghz TBird; that's plenty of performance for me and I'd rather keep the heat down. I also think that the larger L2 cache can't do any harm considering the slower memory my board has in comparison to more modern machines.

Voltage wise, I've only got it down to 1.35v at the moment (at 1.6Ghz) but haven't had much time to try and go any lower. The really good part is that at these settings, my temps are now just 42C under load and sub 40C idle (according to the socket thermistor, anyway), which I am very pleased with. I've taken a 75%+ performance increase and my temps have dropped by 15C! :P

In noise terms, this hasn't made that much of a difference to my machine. The only noticable change is that my Nexus PSU fan isn't ramping quite so high, but it was pretty low before so the difference isn't huge. I can't really lower my CPU fan anymore as it's already at 5v, but perhaps I could remove it and duct the CPU heatsink to the case fan? Noisiest component is still clearly the HD.

Overall, I am very impressed with this upgrade - the chip only cost me around £65 and has given my long-in-the-tooth machine a new lease of life!

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XP-M 2400+ 1.6Ghz 1.35v AX-7 80mm YS-Tech "silent" 5v | Abit KT7A passive | 512Mb | Sapphire 9600Pro Ultimate | 60Gb Barracuda IV ZM-2HC1 on foam | Superflower SF-461T1-BL 120mm Nexus 5v exhaust | Nexus NX-3500 PSU


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:32 am 
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I'm very impressed that this works; I never got an XP1800 to POST on a KT7-RAID. Good job getting maximum value from your KT7A!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 1:48 pm
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Location: Sydney, Australia
I've got a KT7A (RAID) v1.0 too, and I've managed to get it running fine with an Athlon XP 2400+ (T'bred) with no hardware mods at all. There is an excellent (and very long) thread on OCforums here on how to do it and what multiplier settings to use. It's well worth a read.

It comes up as "unknown processor" but works at stock voltage and speed perfectly (for 6 months+ now). Not had much success undervolting though, I get errors in Prime95 if I try. Doesn't bother me though.

Lifecycle, you may be able to change the multiplier settings to run faster from the info on that thread.

It's enabled me to extend the life of this excellent mobo by a year or so. 8) 8)

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Pangit's PC silencing project "on the (not so) cheap"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 1:36 am 
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Location: London, UK
Quote:
I'm very impressed that this works; I never got an XP1800 to POST on a KT7-RAID. Good job getting maximum value from your KT7A!


Thanks - I'm impressed too! It was more having good advice to work from really, and then just hammering all the BIOS settings until she stopped her bitchin' :lol:

Quote:
There is an excellent (and very long) thread on OCforums here on how to do it and what multiplier settings to use. It's well worth a read.


Yeah, I had a good read of that before I bought the new CPU - it is a great thread and there are some invaluable tips there. I probably wouldn't have had the confidence to try it without finding that info first.

I was going to try a TBred a few months back, which looked good but then I found out about the XP-M and just it seemed too good to be true: Barton at 133fsb 1.45v stock... now, I couldn't pass that up :D

Quote:
It comes up as "unknown processor" but works at stock voltage and speed perfectly (for 6 months+ now). Not had much success undervolting though, I get errors in Prime95 if I try. Doesn't bother me though.


Same here.

Even at stock voltage and slightly underclocked, it's still a big step up thermally and in horsepower from something like the old Thunderbird Athlon I had in there before.

I've not had a chance to play much with undervolting, so I don't really know how low it'll go. Like I said before though, one thing (for me at least) that seemed to have a big impact was the 3.3v setting. I don't know why this is. From what I hear though, these XP-M's are supposed to be fairly decent undervolters (although even better overvolters).

Quote:
Lifecycle, you may be able to change the multiplier settings to run faster from the info on that thread.


Yeah although I think it requires a socket wire trick for me to get multipliers over 12.5x. Again, OC Forums has the goods on this one. I'm pretty busy lately and don't really have the time to take the whole machine apart again to do this, as I need to keep it running. Besides, it's plenty fast for me at 1.6Ghz 8)

No doubt, I will get bored at some point in the future and try it then, though... hmmmm 2Ghz+... just try and stop me :twisted:

Quote:
It's enabled me to extend the life of this excellent mobo by a year or so.


Yep, me too. My KT7A is three and a half years old ... I'm hoping to get it up to a magical 5 years old before getting a new board and retiring it :P

Me and my KT7A have been through a lot together... 8)

_________________
XP-M 2400+ 1.6Ghz 1.35v AX-7 80mm YS-Tech "silent" 5v | Abit KT7A passive | 512Mb | Sapphire 9600Pro Ultimate | 60Gb Barracuda IV ZM-2HC1 on foam | Superflower SF-461T1-BL 120mm Nexus 5v exhaust | Nexus NX-3500 PSU


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 2:44 am 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Lifecycle wrote:
My KT7A is three and a half years old ... I'm hoping to get it up to a magical 5 years old before getting a new board and retiring it :P


Mine was second hand when I bought it nearly three years ago, so maybe I'll match that! Then get a cheap second hand NF7-S as a replacement! Nothing like keeping up with the bleeding edge eh? :wink: :wink:

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Pangit's PC silencing project "on the (not so) cheap"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 3:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 1:29 am
Posts: 118
Location: London, UK
Quote:
Mine was second hand when I bought it nearly three years ago, so maybe I'll match that! Then get a cheap second hand NF7-S as a replacement! Nothing like keeping up with the bleeding edge eh?


To be honest, I can't actually remember exactly when I got my KT7A - I do remember that I bought it new only a few months after it first came out (hence the v1.0), so I do keep up with the bleeding edge... of about 4 years ago, anyway. :P

One day, I might move to DDR and bus speeds over 133Mhz... :lol:

_________________
XP-M 2400+ 1.6Ghz 1.35v AX-7 80mm YS-Tech "silent" 5v | Abit KT7A passive | 512Mb | Sapphire 9600Pro Ultimate | 60Gb Barracuda IV ZM-2HC1 on foam | Superflower SF-461T1-BL 120mm Nexus 5v exhaust | Nexus NX-3500 PSU


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