last change: 22.08.2001

since 16.9.2000

A7V Troubleshooting
Why the heck is there a tank ?!?

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Troubleshooting CPU is too hot


I think anything over 60°C at load can be considered "too high", over 70°C can be considered "dangerously high"

AMD Specs show 90°C as maximum allowed temperature for the Duron and Athlons up to 1 Ghz. Above 1 Ghz maximum temperature is 95°C. This is "Die Temperature" (meaning it's measured at the the CPU core. Nothing to do with dying! ). Keep in mind that the Onboard Sensor of A7V 1.02 is on the motherboard, just below the CPU, so theres a few millimeters of ceramic and further millimeters of air inbetween it and the CPU core. The BIOS undoubtly tries to compensate for that by adding a few degrees, but I don't trust the onboard sensor. Even if it was pretty correct, it is still lagging behind actual temperature.

Problem : CPU Cooler is not fitting

Solution :

Make sure that it's a Heatsink / Fan combo DESIGNED for Socket A

See How to select a CPU Cooler

Check that it's seated right. There has to be absolutely NO space between heatsink and CPU core (the square bit in the middle of the CPU)

Problem : CPU Cooler is not having good contact to the CPU core

Solution :

Is the cooler installed correctly ?

Attention : Chrome Orbs / Thermaltake Majesty V have 2 blue plastic sheets covering the pink heat transfer material. Make sure BOTH of the plastic sheets are removed !

How to install the CPU Cooler

Use thermal grease.

How to apply thermal grease

Problem : CPU is overclocked / has overvoltage

Solution :

Double check the Jumpers and DIP Switches. Verify that the processor is at it's rated speed and voltage.

That's min.1,5V / normal 1,6V / max. 1,7V for Durons 600-750Mhz (Taken from AMD Specs)

1,75V (normally) for Thunderbirds as far as I know.

Pages 18 - 24

A more up-to date (corrected and easier to read) version of the CPU jumper settings is at this ASUS page !

Problem : BIOS Version

Solution :

BIOSes 1004 and above are running hotter than 1003 (if CPU is not at full load, verified with Duron).
Further info : "Temperature Issue"

But: 1003's behaviour is less stable. See this article.

Problem : 1003 BIOS : PCI Master Read Caching is set to "Disabled"

Solution :

Enable it. At least with a Duron, this gives you much lower temperature while idle. Full load temp is not influenced much by Bios version.

I don't know for sure about Thunderbird processors, but others say it works for Tbirds, too

But: this reduces stability. See this article.

Problem : Cooling Software : ASUS Probe Soft cooling, CPUIdle, Waterfall or Rain

Solution :

Using these programs will cause 1003's temperature to rise to the one of 1004 and above !

At there is a program that at least doesn't raise 1003 temp. In my case it didn't lower 1004s temp either, but there are reports that it (or to be more precise, ctspd, which includes a .vxd from this program) does. See here or here for details.

There is, however, one program designed for Athlon on VIA chipsets : VCool . Check it out !

Further info : "Temperature Issue"

ASUS Probe Soft Cooling, Waterfall and Rain were tested by other persons.

But: this reduces stability. See this article.

Problem : I/O Voltage is set to 3,5 V

Solution :

As Default, the I/O Voltage (for CPU I/O, RAM, Chipset etc.) is set to 3,5V instead of the standard 3,3V.

To fix this, set the VIO Jumper from 2-3 to 1-2 (Top of the board, behind ATX Power Connector)

It works OK with 3.3 V for me, but I did not verify that this lowers temperature.

3.3V causes no problems for me, though.

Problem : Thermal Sensor readings are inaccurate / slow

Solution :

The A7V 1.02 onboard sensor readings are about 7°C to 9°C too high - at least with my A7V this is the case. I can't comment on other people's sensors. They might be more accurate.

The german c't Magazine says that sensor readings can be wrong by as much as 20°C !

This is the A7V 1.02 onboard sensor

The onboard sensor is very slow, lagging behind the real temperature with a delay of up to half a minute. In my latest tests at high CPU load, it wasn't reporting the maximal temperature at all, it stopped at < 50°C while the actual core temperature rose some °C above that value.

Aditionally, when there is airflow directed at the CPU Socket from the side (such as is created by placing a fan to blow at the CPU cooler from the side), the readings of this sensor are affected very much.

The cooler air seems to flow under the socket thereby cooling the sensor.

My onboard sensor readings dropped by over 10°C when placing a fan to blow at the CPU, while the sensor directly at the CPU core showed no decrease at all. As soon as I put a piece of paper in the way of the air, causing it to blow at the cpu heatsink only and not under the CPU socket, the onboard sensor instantly reported the correct temperature again. So that's supporting my theory :-)

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