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VNF4ULTRA's Dual Core AMD CPU Install guide.

By vnf4ultra ยท 25 replies
Mar 10, 2006
  1. I just bought a dual core amd cpu, and received it today. So I put it in, installed a new zalman CNPS7000B AlCu heatsink/fan, and have been having fun ever since. So I'm going to make a little "upgrading from a single core to a dual core" guide. It will likely be a work in progress. I think many other users may be considering a similar upgrade and might like a nice little guide to help clear some confusion.

    Note that I used an existing install of Windows XP Home Edition.

    My first step was to research online, which I'd suggest doing if you're considering the upgrade.

    I then waited until the cpu was on sale(which is optional btw), and bought it. In my case I got an amd socket 939 opteron 165, which is a 1.8ghz dual core cpu with 1mb l2 cache per core with a stock 9x cpu multiplier. I chose this because it was the cheapest dual core, and it's reportedly a good overclocking chip. My previous chip was an amd 939 athlon 64 3000+ winchester core.

    I then installed the latest bios for my motherboard that included support for dual core cpus, in my case, I installed the V5.0 bios for my Chaintech Vnf4/Ultra.


    Next, Once I got the cpu, I backed up my data (always a good idea before any project), and then rebooted my pc and entered the bios and set the bios to "failsafe defaults," since my single core cpu was overclocked, and I didn't want to take any chances of not booting with the new dual core cpu.

    I then saved the changes to the bios, and let it boot to windows again. Then, I shut down the pc, switched off the power supply(but left it plugged in to help ground me) and opened the case. I then made sure to ground my self to the case by touching bare metal to discharge any static. I then habitually would touch bare metal on the case through the install process to further reduce static build up, which can kill electronic parts.

    I then proceeded to remove my motherboard, since my zalman cooler requires motherboard removal for installation. If you use a heatsink that uses the standard amd heatsink mount shroud, then you can save yourself some time.

    I then took the old cpu out(which was difficult, my heatsink was very tight on the cpu, and then once it was off the cpu, the cpu was tight in the socket as well, and yes, I did release the cpu lever).

    I then put my new cpu in the socket, noting which direction the gold triangle was in relation to the socket. At this point I applied thermal paste in a thin layer on the cpu and mounted the heatsink. After mounting the heatsink, I plugged the fan into the "cpu fan" header on my motherboard.


    At this point I replaced my motherboard into the case, and reconnected the cards, and wires, which is only necessary if you removed the board (duh, lol).


    Once making sure everything seemed ok, especially that the heatsink was making proper contact and the cpu fan was plugged in, I switched the psu power switch on and pressed the power button. I then made sure that the cpu fan and all other fans were working properly, and that it wasn't making any beeps or other noises out of the ordinary and hit the "del" button to enter my bios (you can't take too long looking at the fans or you'll boot to windows and miss the bios).

    Once in the bios, I made sure the settings seemed right, and rebooted, this time noting the hardware detected at POST. It correctly read Opteron dual core cpu, 2cpus, so I knew the bios had correctly identified the cpu. It then booted to windows and came up with a hardware detection message. The message was something like "acpi multiprocessor pc detected, installing the new hardware." It then said I had to reboot to make the changes take effect. I then rebooted. This time, upon opening dev. manager in windows, it displayed the "computer" field as acpi multiprocessor pc instead of the usual acpi uniprocessor pc. I also noted that under the "processors" field, it listed two cpus, one for each core.


    I then opened task manager, and noticed that it had two cpu usage graphs. I then knew windows had detected the cpu was dual core, instead of single.


    I then opened up my av scanner and prime95 and ran both at the same time, and it runs both very fast now. Before, I could only do one intensive task at a time and have reasonable performance. So far all seems well, and I'm impressed by the speed. Currently installing the amd x2 cpu driver and the win xp hotfix for dual cores. Update to follow and also I will post some pictures as well.

    Gaming Test.
    With my original athlon 64 3000+ and 7800gt, I'd get 6907 in 3dmark05, but now with the dual core(at stock, no oc'ing yet), I get 7139, nice!

  2. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390


    I see you got yourself a Dual Core CPU =] Good little guide. It will certainly help those who have no experience with CPUs. Let us know if when you OC this lil pup. I want to see the results =]

    When are you getting some quick ram?
  3. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    I got it to 2.6ghz, but it wasn't 100% stable, so it seems 2.55ghz is my max at 1.45v. I guess I could try 1.5v to get 2.6 stable. Anyway, it's running at nearly fx-60 speeds for like 1/3 the price, so I'm happy, who wouldn't be with a a 750mhz oc?

    I'd like to get a nice 2gb kit of ddr500 ram, either g.skill or ocz, but the cpu already blew the budget for a while, so it'll have to wait a while.
  4. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    crazee guy.. what divider did you use to achieve that OC?
  5. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    I'm at 284x9=2556mhz. Htt multi at 3x. Htt bus speed at 3x284=852mhz. 133/200 memory divider so my ram's underclocked a bit at about ddr365. If I'd get some ddr500, then I'd run a 166/200 divider and have a final memory speed of ddr465.
  6. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    did you up the voltage on your CPU? how are the temps?
  7. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    I'm at 1.45v now, stock on an opty is 1.35v, so I upped it by 0.1v. Temps are ok, my cpu under dual prime 95 runs at 48-49C.
    It passed 8hrs of dual prime, so I'm thinking it's stable.

    The cool thing is my system is now faster than a stock fx-60 in super pi at least.
    I got a 1m run in 33.828 seconds, while a stock fx-60 seems to be 35.188 seconds, at least according to this site.

    The single core opterons can (generally) oc better than the dual cores with many people getting 2.8 or 3.0ghz, which is crazy fast. But dual core is very nice.
  8. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    yea, I guess my next upgrade will be a dual core system. so far, im fine with what I have. I just wish my memory could be OC'ed but thats ok. I might be gettin a 7600GT when my tax refund cheque comes in =]

    btw, did u apply AS5 on ur heatsink? i guess that zalman cooler u have is doing a fine job cooling ur CPU.

    btw, I lapped my CPU HSF and GPU HSF, I think i did it ok. temps dropped a degree or two (the GPU went down around 3 degrees and like 5 underload.. nothign too drastic)

    just last night, when i was running memtest for like 6 hours, and then i booted up my PC. the CPU temp was 54.. n dropped to 44 after idling for 2 minutes. so i ran prime95 and 30 minutes later, my temps are 63C.. ive never seen my CPU go that hot. I might have to reapply the TIM =[
  9. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    No, I used the included thermal paste with the zalman heatsink, I really wanted to use as5, and even bought some, but then I lost the tube(they make them too small, lol), and had to resort to using the cheap stuff. Idle temps are only like 28C or so, so pretty good.
  10. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    what case are you using? fans? hows ur airflow? Im so jealous that your getting MUCH lower temps on your system than mine >_< Im struggling to get my temps as low as I could while keeping everything quiet.

    I got a couple of tubes of AS5 for $5, i dont know why cuz the small tube is like 10.99$ CDN here but the guy gave it to me for half that. I wanted to buy 5 , but err..

    so let me know how your set up is and gimem some suggestions willya?
  11. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    I'm using a slightly modified antec 1650b case. It has one back 120mm fan, a 80mm intake, and I modded it so it also has a 120mm intake as well, which cools the hd rack. Today was really cold, and I was able to oc better, since my cpu kept cooler. My idle temp today was only like 15-20C! Load is 42C @ 2.6(fx-60). I booted windows at 2.75ghz, and windows didn't crash, but it wasn't stable, just barely stable enough to get a super pi 1m reading of 31.98s.
    I also got a really nice aquamark 3 score of 93,819 (my single 7800gt is still at stock), the max I could get with my 3000+ oc'ed was ~76,000, so that's a very nice score IMO.
  12. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    Thats really cold. the coldest i got my CPU was like 29C and the room temperature then was like 17C I dont know of its my CPU HSF but my airflow is good. my Chipset lies idle around 29C and barely cracks 35C when everythings under load.. *sigh* have u ever tried using the stock HSF AMD provides? if its my HSF I think im gonna look into investing one of those Zalman HSF =[

    btw, nice OC.. is that under 1.55v? hows ur ram doing? lol i think i remember u saying ur ram isnt an OC ram. hope thats not holding ur CPU back seems like ur about to fly that thing haha
  13. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    2.75ghz was at 1.5v, I'm currently running at 2.6 at 1.475v(testing with prime to see if it's stable). I also tried 2.65 and 2.7 at 1.475v, and it booted, but wasn't quite stable. So unless I want to run at 1.5v, then I probably will stay at 2.6ghz(if it proves stable).

    I used the stock amd sink on my 3000+, but since I got an oem opteron, I had to get a aftermarket heatsink. I thought the zalman seemed nice, and was a reasonable price. I've heard the thermalright xp90 is better though, but you have to buy the fan separate. The zalman cnps9500led is nice too, but a lot of cash. The heatsink that comes with opterons(retail ones), is supposedly pretty good, since it has heatpipes.

    My chipset can run hotter than my cpu at times though, My heatsink fan is trying to die as well(intermittantly stops), but the fan is one I added(40mm) to the original heatsink, plus I'm thinking cool case temps will help keep the chipset cool enough. The board had no fan on the chipset heatsink from the factory, but has a large heatsink, so I think it should be ok w/o the fan.
  14. dado023

    dado023 TS Rookie

    ocing opt165


    found this forum on goog and registred................10 minutes ago
    now lets see......i have almost the same parts(same bios) as u do....but i have some glitches:

    my rig:
    vnf4ulra, opt165,ram2x512@433, 6600gt, sblive, 3xhdd, 3xodd, psu antec true power 430w & bog typhon TT 6heat pipes.

    i bought this mbo last year, before opt165 i was using a643200@2.64ghz w/kingmax433 and that worked perfectly.........

    two days ago i got an opt165 and installed(alredy got a new bios before with venice) it.

    with ocing i can go up to 2.7ghz(1.45v,3xhtt,multiplier9(stabe in win,prime)), but i set it @ 2.6ghz just to be on the safe side, but the next day when i turned(it was pluged out of the wall socket) the machine on my bios reseted for not known reason.
    so i tried to emulate the situation again and pluged main cable out of pc, and when turned on same thing happened.....this is really wierd coz if i after ocing go to windowsXP everything is ok but when i turn off the damn thing of it screws up bios somehow

    i was thinking , maybe the psu is a problem coz on 12v rail is to much load

    your comments please
    thanks in advance
  15. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    Hello dado023, welcome to Techspot!

    Which bios are you using?
    When I was using v5.0 with my single core cpu, the bios was a little screwy, for example, it wouldn't let me set a 1t command rate, and wouldn't let me change more than one thing in the bios before saving/exiting, or else the it would reset to failsafe defaults. On the dual core cpu though, this bios works well for me.
    There's also a newer bios, available on the taiwan site too.

    Sounds almost like you got a bad bios flash or something.
    You might try to flash your bios again(or try the 7/19 bios), I'd recommend using the floppy method, and not using the windows flash utility.

    Your psu seems like it should be enough.

    Hopefully we'll get this fixed for you!
  16. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Wouldn't the loss of BIOS settings be related to a dead battery of some sort ? If it only happens when the main power chord is unplugged, it could simply be that the motherboard's battery is dead.

    When it happens, try going back to the BIOS & putting back the date & time. Shutdown the system & unplug the power chord once again. If you get the same problem try changing the motherboard's battery.
  17. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    Hmm i had been wondering about the battery and learned that the battery is on its own when the power is unplugged. so if you unplugged it and your battery probably was low and drained out. Id suggest changing the battery as your first step or maybe its not seated properly? so you can try making sure its on right

    about CMOS batteries (or motherboard batteries):
  18. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    Yeah, replacing the system battery could fix the problem as well. When the bios resets, does it retain the date, or does it just remove the oc settings. Sometimes after a failed oc, my bios will revert back to stock settings, but I don't think it clears out the date/time, I could be wrong though.
  19. dado023

    dado023 TS Rookie

    woooow.....more than one reply....thanks m8s

    iam using bios:Version : V5.0
    Date: 2005/06/03...and it is 2T as u mentioned, and when i had an older version of bios before it was 1T......strange

    i bumped up to that forum few months ago when i had a venice on my mbo but didnt flash with that ver. of bfg bios, and i use a flopy method ALT+F2.

    but if my bios batery(2032) is dead shouldnt that happen every time when i unplug the power cord. in this scenario it doesnt happen for eg. now everything is ok coz it @2.35ghz and memory divider @166( 262x9)
    but when i try to go higher then it fails as i explained in my first post
    so i dont think the batery is the issue here.....at least what i think.
    could u please try this on your vnf4ultra with opt165 and report back:
    set it like this: ldt326X3,fsb:326mhz
    memory divider: 133, or if u got ddr400 set it to 100
    cpu voltage: 1.45 or 1.475

    i would be very greatful i u could do this test........

    thanks in advance
  20. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    I tried the settings you specified, and then my pc wouldn't post, so either the board doesn't like that high of a htt ("fsb"), or my cpu just won't do that setting. So I cleared cmos, and now I have to re-enter all my oc data, etc.
  21. dado023

    dado023 TS Rookie

    i was waiting for your post with my fingers crossed :?

    well i can boot the pc but when i plug the power cord it happens again(similar like your situation).....
    so i assume the mbo is the limiting factor here....it just cant go with these combination of settings.

    althought this article describes diferent case:
    ocing vn4ultra

    thank u very much for your extra effort :grinthumb

    btw: what kind of ddr u have coz i can oc opt @2.6 but my mem is downclocked
  22. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    For some reason, I've always had better luck oc'ing using the stock multi on my cpu than anything lower on my vnf4ultra, not sure why though.
    I'm using just plain old Corsair Value 2x512mb cas 2.5 ddr400.
    My ram's underclocked to about ddr370 I think.

    This v5.0 bios is quirky IMO. After I tried your oc settings, I went and set everything back to how I had it before(exactly the same as before), but it wouldn't post, so I reset cmos, and try again, failed again. Long story short, I could only change 1 value in the bios at a time or else it wouldn't post, and I'd have to reset the cmos and retry again. I finally narrowed the problem down to the memory configuration, it didn't like to have the memory speed(divider) changed at the same time as any other setting or it wouldn't post. It also, didn't like changing from 1t to 2t, but it eventually took the setting, and passes memtest. Needless to say trying to restore my bios settings took about 30minutes, and about 10+ clear cmos jumps. Anyway all is well and back to normal now.
  23. dado023

    dado023 TS Rookie

    this is the same what was happenig in my scenario...i thought it was a fluke.
    i ll see what 2 do next ill probably get some ddr500 and try with it, coz mem divider and fsb multiplier seems to have affect on stable overclock, dunno .....maybe toledo(as opposed to venice) mem controler is not that tolerant to all kinds of mems.

    anyways ill try to push it again to >2.6, for now ill be forced to downclock the mem.
  24. dado023

    dado023 TS Rookie

    I ve done it, now it is @2.61.......htt291x9
    errrrrr but i am, just not satisfied with mem on ~372 instead of 433 :mad:
    i gues iam gready for speed.
    when i get those ddr500 sticks ill report back
  25. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    lol! see what OC'ing does to u?
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