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Is my cpu dying ?

By coldcuttin ยท 32 replies
Jul 14, 2006
  1. Hi,

    I've had to turn my 2 year old AMD Athlon 3200+ cpu down from 2.20 GHz to 1.83 GHz, because my monitor kept turning itself off when playing games & the only way to get it back on was to restart...also games were crashing all the time.

    anyway it seems to be stable now,although it's a bit slow :(
    so i just wanted to know if its on it's way out ?...
    or is there a way to turn it back up without my monitor keep turning off ?

    cheers for any help.

  2. TypeX45

    TypeX45 TS Rookie Posts: 142

    Have you tried just turning down the graphics accelorator
  3. coldcuttin

    coldcuttin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    no,what's that something in bios?
  4. TypeX45

    TypeX45 TS Rookie Posts: 142

    Its a setting: Right click desktop and go to the properties. From there go to the setting tab. In this tab click advanced on the bottom. In this window there is a tab for troublshooting. Click that tab and you can lower it here. It might help out.
  5. coldcuttin

    coldcuttin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    its turned up to full,so what sould i do turn that down & my cpu back up ?
  6. coldcuttin

    coldcuttin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    just tried that & put a game on,the monitor turned off within 5 mins.
  7. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Evangelist Posts: 541   +59


    I have the same processor (Athlon XP 3200+) and am doing the same thing (underclocked it to 2800+) to keep it from crashing due to overheating.

    What are your symptoms?
  8. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 550

    Have you cleaned out the dust recently? If not, remove the side panel and use a "can o' air" and blow he dust out. Make sure you do not touch any component inside the case unless you have grounded yourself (using a wrist strap or touching an interior metal support will ground you). If sounds like you have an overheating problem and cleaning the case may help.

    You can also leave the side panel off and try running the computer with a fan blowing into the open case.
  9. coldcuttin

    coldcuttin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    just the monitor turning off really & games cutting out,if im not playing games its ok at 2.20 GHz..its just started happening in the last few weeks,i tried everything(format,different..graphics card,HD,memory,drivers..before i thought of turning down the cpu too.
  10. coldcuttin

    coldcuttin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    well the side panels have been off for about a year now to help with gpu overheating :rolleyes: ..so i guess it could be that..it aint full of dust or anything tho.
  11. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 550

    Just out of curiouosity, what are your system specs?
  12. coldcuttin

    coldcuttin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    asus a7n8x-e deluxe motherboard
    geforce 6600gt graphics card
    2gb memory
    Sumvision 500w power supply
  13. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 550

    Hmm... To me it sounds like a graphics card overheating issue, but you say that you have tried a different card. I suppose it could also be a power supply issue, but it really sounds like either your GPU or CPU is overheating.

    Have you tried removing the heatsink, cleaning the cpu, applying some new thermal grease and reseating the heatsink?

    btw - is your 3200+ a Barton core? Barton's tend to run pretty hot.
  14. TypeX45

    TypeX45 TS Rookie Posts: 142

    Yeah I am thinking power supply to.
  15. coldcuttin

    coldcuttin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    no,have'nt got that far yet & i dont think its a Barton.

    i've also tried a different power supply,same thing happens the monitor just cuts out.(while gaming)
  16. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 550

    Can youpost your CPU temps for us to look at? You can check that in BIOS or download a utility to check (I am at a loss at the moment for the name of the utility).
  17. coldcuttin

    coldcuttin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24


    That's running at 1.83 GHz..
  18. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 471

    CPU@50c underclocked at idle. I believe your problem is overheating.clean all the dust out of your case.If you have a stock Heatsink/fan on the CPU irecomend you replace it with a high performance model.If you already have a good CPU cooler clean off the old paste apply artic silver and reseat it.If you have open fan ports in your case you may want to add more fans.A slot cooler for the video card also wouldn't be a bad idea.
  19. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 550

    Yes. 50C at idle is way too high. I can only imagine what the temp get up to when you are gaming. You will want to take dmill89's advice and look into a different heatsink/fan combo. It also looks like your voltages on the 5v and 3.3v rails is running a bit low, but may still be within tollerances.
  20. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Evangelist Posts: 541   +59

    High temps

    That 50'C... is that the "on die" temp of the cpu, ambient chip temp, or case temp?

    If that is the ambient chip temp (the temperature around the cpu) at idle, that is the high point of "normal". Your cooling will vary this by a degree or two. My (damaged?) 3200+ is ideling at 49'C as well right now (I previously idled at 41'C-48'C before this started). If it's the die temp, you're fine. The on-die temp (the temp of the chip itself is usually the temp reported in your bios but not from any Windows app) is typically 10'C higher than its ambient temperature.

    If the CPU, underclocked, is idealing at 50'C, I don't think your problem is dust/ventillation (I assume you've already checked that). Your (our?) chip is likely damaged.

    However, did you purchase this CPU new in the original AMD box, or is it an OEM you bought cheap? When I first bought my 3200+, it was six months before I figured out it was actually a "modified" 2800+... an EXTREMELY common rip-off because it was so easy to do (just solder away two or three traces on the chip). Incredibly unstable at 3200+ but fine at 2800+.

    How long have you been having this trouble?
  21. coldcuttin

    coldcuttin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Yeah...i bought the cpu new boxed up about 2 years ago & it's been running fine at 2.20 GHz until a few weeks ago..
    so,hopefully it's not a 2800+ in disguise.
    here's the processor info: [​IMG]

    I aint got a clue Mugsy..that's all the info asus probe is giving me..is there another way to check it ?

    I've just turned the cpu back up to 2.20 GHz to check the idle temp & it's running the same 50'C.
    Also i played on Pray for an hour last night on full setting's & high res & the cpu temp only went up to 53'C..so that dont seem too bad,that's at 1.83 GHz tho.


  22. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Evangelist Posts: 541   +59


    If you bought the CPU "boxed", then it is probably fine. The remarking and modification of OEM Barton Core 2800+'s into counterfeit 3200+'s was SO prevalent, AMD actually had to change their manufacturing process because of it. A *flood* of fake "3200" Athlon XP's hit the streets and ruined the reputation and sales of legitimate 3200's.

    But this applies to OEM cpu's only (loose chips sold unboxed w/o the heatsink/fan), which you say yours wasn't, so you're probably fine there.

    With poor ventillation/cooling, a good 3200 XP idles in the upper 40's (48'C/49'C). It wasn't really designed to run for long periods above 52'C, and mine usually crashes around 54'C-56'C. In my case, a damaged Power Supply fried it. It still runs, but overheats too easily. Under heavy use, I may switch down to 2800 to minimize overheating.

    The big question here is we have not figured out WHY your CPU might be damaged. Possible causes are:

    o Like mine, power damage (spike/surge from psu that by-passes any surge protector you may have),

    o Frequent overheating and crashes to the point where the cpu has been damaged,

    o Improper cooling: bad heatsink/fan, poor ventillation,

    o Or it may not be the CPU at all but something else.

    Give me the rundown on things/tests you've tried. Why do you suspect the cpu?
  23. coldcuttin

    coldcuttin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Well.. i tried:

    Formatting my HD
    a different HD with fresh copy of xp
    a different graphics card
    different system memory
    a different power supply
    a different monitor
    & different graphics card drivers..
    non of which stopped my monitor from turning off while gaming...

    as a last resort i updated my motherboard bios for the first time,this automatically dropped my cpu to 1.83 GHz & it worked fine..i tried turning it back up to 2.20 GHz
    & the monitor started going off again.

    ...so im thinking it's gotta be the cpu.

    I was testing it at 2.20 GHz last night & my monitor turned itself off while i was editing some movies,so i aint just while im gaming either.

    Is this how cpu's die...gradually losing power or do they just go pop like i thought they did ?

  24. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Evangelist Posts: 541   +59

    New BIOS defaults to 2800? Hmm.

    You updated the BIOS and it defaulted back to 1.83MHz? Hmm. Very interesting.

    CPU's don't die "gradually". I have an old K6 266 that I overclocked to 300 that has been running rock steady for nearly a decade. I had an 1800+ that went poof (literally!) in a puff of smoke when it overheated (heatsink goo squirted out the sides under the heatsink and onto the MoBo. And my current 3200+ was damaged after two internal power spikes (now running hot but okay at 3200 if I don't push it).

    If *by default* your BIOS is recognizing it as a "2800+", you've got a "2800+". It might have been a 3200+ when you bought it (which I now question), but the damage has permanently disabled it back to "2800+".

    There isn't much difference between the "2800+" and the "3200+" Athlon XP cpu's. Both have the Barton core with 400MHz FSB. Every one of them came off *the same* assembly line. Then they stress-tested them. Those that were stable with a 16x200MHz multiplier/FSB became 3200's. Those that couldn't handle more than 16x166MHz were turned into 2800's. Waste not, want not. And I've always susected some "borderline" 3200 XP's tested okay then but didn't "stay" stable.

    Download "CPU-Z" (free) and see what it thinks you have. Have your system set for "3200". The software will say you have a "2500" even if you have a "3200" if you run the program while "underclocked". But if you are "overclocked", it'll know it. It "should" be able to tell you whether of not you have a true 3200 or just an overclocked 2800.

    Of course, as a last resort, you might end up needing to *physically* inspect the cpu (I know. Putting the heatsink back it a major pain and if not done right... *poof*) but it might end up being the only way to *truely* know if you have a "real" 3200. However, if at the default settings your BIOS is saying you have a 2800, then you have a 2800... no matter what it was when you bought it. :(

    Here is my own thread on this very subject almost exactly one year ago right here on TechSpot. As it turned out, my "3200" was indeed a fake and I was lucky enough to have returned it in time for a replacement.

    Here is about the only surviving thread on the subject of counterfeit 3200's that I can still find with photos, and fortunately, the photos are very good.

    Fake 3200 (brown PCB).
    Fake 3200 (green PCB).
    A *real* 3200.

    You can identify a "modified" 2800 by the black soldier marks on the L3 and L12 bridges in the upper left corner. L5 is a bit tricker to distinuish since even *real* 3200's have a black "burn" stripe on them.

    I've recently learned that just because you bought the 3200 "boxed", if you bought it online, it may still be a fake. Apparently, some unscrupulous vendors repacked and sold counterfeit 2800's as 32's (today AMD's marks all boxes with a hologram sticker, IIRC).

    Hope this helps.
  25. coldcuttin

    coldcuttin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Here's what CPU-Z is showing while im running at 2.19 GHz:

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