Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

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I have an Athlon 64 3500 that runs a little warmer that I would like
it to with the stock cooler. The maximum temp range for this model is
listed as 45 to 65 on the AMD website.

My CPU temp used to be in the 40s at idle, but now, after a recent
BIOs update, idle temp is around 50 to 60. I ran a stress test with
Prime95 for about 4 hours last night, and the CPU temp was topping out
at about 70.

So, I would like go ahead and get a new CPU cooler.

As I was looking at the Zalman website, I noticed that there were
disclaimers that 939s should have coolers that weight more that 350
grams. Is that really a limit that I should strictly adhere to?

The only 350g Zalman was the CNPS8000, but I read a review that
claimed that the 2-part mounting bracket was crappy and caused great
difficulty when trying to get the cooler to mount flush with the CPU.
So, I don't think I want to fool with that one.

So, what's a decent cooler that you would recommend for a socket 939
that could be had for about $30?

Oh, by the way, my motherboard is an MSI, MS-7093 .

Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

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The AC Freezer 64 works really well. I've got one on a San Diego 4000+ at
2.8Ghz. $20. It cools better than the monster Zalman unit I have the same
unit, and I thought the Zalman was good.

Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

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You mean this one?

It weights 528 grams. So that brings me back to the question of weight
restrictions. How much is too much for a socket 939?

If I install a 500g cooler, am I going to have to start carefully
handling to PC like it's a vial of nitroglycerin? lol

BOOM! The contents of my wallet get blown to smithereens!

Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

this one weighs in at 370 gm ... ==

add your choice of fan.
or a little heavier

I have used thermalright products for a long a google and you will
find them in the top 3
a lot of times #1 against heavier bulkier louder units

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Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

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Your post make absolutely no sense. Zalman makes Socket 939 coolers that are
over 2 Lbs (the S7700 Cu on my Opteron 185 / A8N-E for example). There's
zero problem with the weight of the cooler installed and running. It's a
shipping or moving the installed CPU cooler when installed on the mainboard
when it's a potential issue. It can be gently carried from one room or
place. But if you ship it, bang it, drive it around or other g-force
generating activity, these large mass of the cooler/fan can damage the PCB
and related CPU brackets and socket.

This is copied from the Zalman site:

"The maximum weight for a cooler is specified as 450g for Intel Socket
775/478 and AMD Socket 754/939/940. Special care should be taken when moving
a computer equipped with a cooler which exceeds the relevant weight limit.
Zalman is not responsible for any damage that occurs when moving a

Clearly, the warning refers to possible PCB, retaining bracket and related
damage that MAY occur when MOVING a computer.

Why would Zalman market and sell 600-900 gram coolers specifically designed
for these and other units?

Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

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I don't know anything about it. That's why I ask.

I guess more recent motherboards with newer sockets for faster, hotter
processors are built to better handle a higher-weight cooler.

Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

OK, now I have a new problem. The BIOs on my motherboard are extremely
limited and do not allow me to disable to RPM monitoring of the CPU
fan. I think this will result in my BIOs preventing my computer from
starting in I install the fan that comes with the AC Freezer 64 Pro.

That's too bad, since I was reading a lot of positive reviews, and I
was looking forward to using it.

So, in light of this limitation, what cooler would you recommend?

I just used SpeedFan to push my CPU fan to 100%, and the RPMs topped
out at about 5600. So, I guess I need something that can do at least

Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

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Your presumption that the BIOS will prevent the PWM version of the ACF 64
Pro from running  is wrong. You simply have a non-PWM m/b. Buy the non-PWM
version. The PWM version will work too, just runs at full speed.

Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

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The reason that I assumed that it wouldn't run is due to the
impression that I got from the AC website. They seemed to imply that
the only way to resolve the problem was to modify the BIOs settings.

=46rom their site:
"The Computer switches off after a couple of seconds
The BIOS of some mainboard manufacturers compares the speed of the fan
with a specified value. If the fan speed does not match the specified
value, either the PC emits a warning or switches off. Contrary to the
temperature control, the RPM control is of no importance, since fan
speeds will be between 500 and 7000 RPM depending o=ADn the type of fan.
This RPM control can de deactivated in the BIOS settings. Please
consult your mainboard manufacturer for more information regarding
these settings.

In the case of the PC is not booting or immediately switching off,
attach the plug of the cooler to the auxiliary power of the mainboard
and attach a second fan with higher RPM to the primary power socket.
Now the PC can boot allowing the RPM control to be deactivated in the
BIOS settings. We recommend using a temperature control instead of a
RPM control. The cooler does not need to be removed from the processor
for this procedure."

Also, Wikipedia has a comment on the differring behaviors of various
PMW fans.
"The behaviour of a PWM fan plugged into a 3-pin header (i.e. PWM
signal disconnected) varies depending on model. Intel CPU coolers run
at their fastest speed, as a failsafe (but can be slowed by connecting
pins 4-1); others may run at the lowest speed (but can be operated at
the fastest speed by joining pins 4-2)"

Of course, that also answers my question by giving me a way to "set"
any PMW fan to full speed.

I haven't had any experience with PMW fans before, so this is
something else that I am "just learning about". I thought that the
"rated speed" was the only speed that a fan would actually operate at.

Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

ShadowTek wrote:
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Do you have details, as to what RPM range the motherboard doesn't
like ?

The manual I could find here, for MS-7093, doesn't go into details for
the hardware monitoring. (Apparently, there is more than one motherboard
with that number, and I downloaded this, just to see how bad the BIOS
screens are.)

It almost looks like the CPU fan header is a 3 pin. The AC Freezer 64 Pro
uses a four pin connector (according to the description on Newegg). Which is
not a problem.

         ---------  (Keying tab)         Four pin header

     X   X   X   X
    PWM RPM +12 GND

         ---------  (Keying tab)         Three pin header

         X   X   X
        RPM +12 GND

If you plug a four pin fan into a three pin header, the PWM pin won't
have an electrical connection. A floating PWM allows the fan to
run at full speed, so should not interfere with normal operation.

In principle, a four pin fan should not be fed a variable voltage on
the 12V pin. So you'd want to keep the fan running at 100%, so that
the motherboard feeds 12V to it. (The reason for this, is the PWM
uses a transistor inside the fan hub, and to help keep the transistor
saturated, it helps if the fan is being fed full voltage. The condition
they're trying to avoid, is having the transistor partially conducting,
which increases the internal heat in the transistor.)

The first review on Newegg right now, mentions that the AC Freezer 64 Pro
ran at two speeds for the reviewer. It ran at "450 RPM" and "2400 RPM".
Maybe this had something to do with motherboard fan speed control, but the
comment is a bit strange.

If I was expecting trouble, I'd probably buy and keep handy, a fan power
adapter. What this thing does, it draw the 12V from the Molex disk
drive connector. (You may need to purchase a Y cable as well, to get
enough connectors to plug this in.) There are two fan connectors on this.
The middle one goes to the three pin on the motherboard, and delivers
the RPM signal (to keep the BIOS happy). The right hand one, goes to the fan.
The purpose of using this, is so that the motherboard fan control, cannot
drop the fan speed (and the 12V level). And the fan will run as close to
100%, as it is capable of. That gives you 2400 RPM, and one would hope,
enough to pass the RPM minimum of the motherboard. (I have one motherboard,
where 1800 RPM is the minimum. Modern motherboards are a bit more intelligently
designed, and have a lower minimum than that.)

"Rosewill RCW-311 12 inch Fan Power Supply Cable - Retail"

"APEVIA 1 x 4Pin To 2 x 4Pin Cable" - Y cable for disk drive power

The minimum RPM that the hardware monitor provides, is determined
by the "scaler register". It sets the time base for the speed
measurement. Some motherboards don't crank this to accept low fan
speeds. My motherboard has a couple notches left, which would allow
it to sense a slower fan, if the BIOS had been set up that way.

Speedfan is pretty clever, in how it uses the scaler register.
Speedfan "autoranges", changing the scaler register until the
bits collected in the measurement register occupy a significant
part of the dynamic range of the register.

Other programs are not as clever. MBM5, the Motherboard Monitor
program, doesn't change the scaler, but works with the value
already set. And what that means, is if used by itself, MBM5
might read zero for a fan. Then, when Speedfan is used, it
will get the reading. Then, if you used MBM5 again, suddenly
it would be working (because Speedfan adjusted the register).

Of course, none of what happens in Windows, helps with the
BIOS check of fan speed during POST. The above is just to point
out some of the things that can happen with Windows programs,
versus the hardware monitor chip.

If you wanted to use the AC Freezer 64 Pro, having an adapter cable
handy, may give you an option to help it run full speed. If
it turns out to handle the lower fan speed without a problem,
then perhaps the adapter cable would not be needed.

There is yet another alternative. You can take a separate fan,
and plug it into the CPU fan header, to keep the BIOS happy.
You would then need a means to power the real CPU fan, as the header
would be occupied by an RPM equipped fan, whose purpose was
just to keep the BIOS happy.

(Examples of some small fans that spin fast. The whine from one
of these would drive you bananas. The fastest one here does
8000RPM. I have an older model of their 40mm fan. )


Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

ShadowTek wrote:

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I wasn't aware that it was necessary. I thought the idea was, there
was a pullup resistor in the 4 pin fan, so that if PWM was disconnected
and not driven, the fan would run at full speed.

Also, I'd be careful of that hotwiring advice. As far as I know, PWM
is logic level (5V square wave). Pin 2, at 12V, would be more than that.

OK, one of the Wikipedia articles lists this, an Intel spec for
the four pin fan and PWM. Intel posts specs on their formfactors site.

    "Absolute maximum voltage level: VMax = 5.25 V (open circuit voltage)"

That is the max level for the PWM pin. There is also text there
to suggest Intel is interested in the square wave being only
3.3V, to make it easier to drive directly by SuperI/O hardware
fan controllers.

It would suggest that tying pin 4 to pin 2 = smoke :-)

Well, maybe not (the signal might be feeding the gate
on a MOSFET or something, and maybe it is safe all the
way to 12V), but doing such a butchery would not be my first
choice. If you connect a multimeter to the PWM pin, while
the 4 pin fan is powered, and measure the voltage on the PWM
pin, you might get a clue from that, as to what provision
they've made for a floating PWM signal. I'm guessing you'd
see a 5V DC level.

I don't really see a reason for the design to do anything
other than failsafe and run at full speed. Any other policy
is stupid (i.e. 4 to 2 should never be necessary, for any
company designing to the Intel spec). And this whole concept,
the 4 pin fan, is Intel's stupid idea. It was never necessary
in the first place. The world is a nicer place, with only three
pin fans - fewer tech support issues.

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I happen to have a Molex cable lying on the desk, next to me. The
red wire of the Rosewill cable, goes to the yellow wire on the power
supply. So it is connected to the 12V side of the Molex, and not the
5V side.

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A 40x40x10mm fan is pretty small. And I don't really think it is
necessary. Just make sure the Freezer runs at 100% speed, and
you'll be fine. One way to try to do that, is disable any
fan speed control in the BIOS (if one is offered), as then
you get as close to 12V on the fan header as is possible.
But using the adapter cable, and powering the fan from a
Molex drive connector, eliminates all uncertainty about
whether it gets +12V or not.


Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

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Do you think the reviewer of the connector is full of it? Or do you
have a different model of connector that you are looking at?

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No, unfortunately there are absolutely no open settings for this.

Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

ShadowTek wrote:
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You'll notice he didn't buy the product. What I'd suggest to you,
is grab a Molex from your computer and look at it. The plastic
has two 45 degree angles on two corners, that function as a key
and only allow the connector to be plugged in one way. Now,
look at the picture of the Rosewill cable assembly. You should see
the yellow wire of your computer's hard drive cable, would end
up connected to the red wire on the Rosewill cable. And that
means +12V from the computer, is going to flow through the
Rosewill cable assembly.

The reason they didn't install the +5V and ground pin, is there
is nothing for them to do.

There are adapters like the Rosewill one, but with two Molex connectors.
One a male and the other a female. That kind of adapter is
designed for "daisy chaining". And when daisy chaining, all four
pins must be installed, to have continuity for the 5V and GND.

But when the connector is just feeding the fan, the fan only needs
+12V and GND, so the +5V and GND pins don't need to be present
for the thing to work.

What is a bit disconcerting, is the choice of wire colors. The
problem is, the convention for Molex, is yellow is +12V and red
is +5V. The convention on fans, is red is +12V, black is ground,
and yellow is tacho. So when they design an adapter to join
the two, the colors aren't going to match. That is why the red
on the Rosewill, ends up going to yellow on the Molex of your
computer. Thank goodness they all agree that "black is ground".
At least that is common :-)


Re: Need a decent cooler for a stock Athlon 64 3500.

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Yeah, it's just that my PC is buried inside a cabinet and it's an
ordeal to disconnect everything just to open it up and have a look. I
figured since you already had a cable lying around that it would be
easier just to ask. :)


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