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ECS GF8200-A Questions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this is a good place for this question, but I'll ask anyway. I wonder if'n anyone else besides me has this board and has fiddled with it a little. I look around and see a benchmark or two using a 125w cpu, and they all seem to hold up. The board is spec'd at 95w, but the board seems to handle OC fairly well. I currently have (as if you didn't look and already know) the 9850BE in it, and have it running @ 2530Mhz. I turned the voltage and multiplier down a little and turned up the clock. I seem to have found a stable little niche here. Calculation tells me that I'm running it around 102w currently, so not too much higher than what the board says it can handle. Stress tests ran for ~30hrs with no problems. It does run a little warm for my tastes, though. Around 39 degrees consistently, though I can drop that to around 36 if it cools off AND I turn the air con on.

I understand that it is typically inadvisable to run a higher TDP cpu on a board that wasn't initially designed for it, but if I don't have any issues currently, and stress tests reveal no issues, can I assume that it should be good for a while?

Also, I'm not 100% on the temps of the FETs (boba or otherwise) but the board reports as about 31 degrees with very little change in the temp over time. There are no sinks on the FETs, though I am thinking of fabbing some up for it. It all depends on if I can find a AM2+\AM3 board for a decent price in the near future. I'm currently funding 4 vehicles and outrageous rent, so near future is something like 6 months for me....lol
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post #2 of 4
The reason the TDP is suggested is because of heat degradation on the board. The higher the TDP, the higher the heat. Also, a board is designed to handle only so much. All of the parts working together are rated for 95w. Does this mean they can't handle higher? No, it just means that anything past that could potentially damage the part. I'm pretty sure you have already thought about this. It's just like overclocking a processor, it is stock rated for a said clock and anything past that is a guessing game. If you have good heat dissipation you could be fine. I personally don't reach for breaking the TDP envelope for a board, but I'm also not a big overclocker.
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post #3 of 4

The above sums it up quite perfectly. As you pass the official TDP rating you risk serious damage because the board components together (but particularly the VRMs, MOSFETs) were only designed to handle those processors. I highly recommend that with a limited-capacity 3+1 phase VRM using very hot-running D-PAK MOFSETs on that part, that you back out of attempting to overclock quad core processors on it. To begin with, making sure the VRMs have cooling should be a minimum for safety. Two benchmarks might not necessarily prove anything (and you should also check whether they were running a 95W TDP version of an otherwise 125W TDP binned chip).

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Very helpful guys, thanx. The review I saw was with the 125w BE, I remember because the tester noted that they had a 95w laying around, but wanted to try the BE in it just to see what would happen. They went about 12% OC on the cpu, everything else running stock speeds. Now, with my GPU already overclocked a little bit (granted OCin a 8800GT still isnt much more than what I originally had) I know that my internals are pretty toasty. That being said, I do have 11 fans bringing and taking out air from my metal case. I'm pretty sure heat is dissipated fairly well around the cpu, considering that air blows off the HDDs, straight into the cpu pull fan, thru the sink, back out the push fan on the other side, and directly out the back of the case. Residual air movement does keep the FETs fairly cool (relative terms of course).

On another note, the ~102w is underclocked and undervolted by quite a bit. I do know that I could take it down even further while still keeping better times and benches than my previous cpu, a athlon 64 x2 5200. I just wanted to keep the stock clock as much as possible while lowering the actual power delivered to the cpu. In an attempt to make it "more efficient". If there is a resounding majority that suggest I downclock it even further, I may do so, as a precaution. I'm 2 for 2 now that say even 102 is too much, so a few more and I may just tone it down some more. OR, buy a better board.....lol

I do wonder though, is the TDP of the board determined primarily by the failure point of the FETs? By the voltage regulation circuit in general? I notice that the first part usually to fail on 98% of MB around here where I am seems to be the regulators and caps for the cpu voltage circuit. So, if I were to increase the cooling capability in that area, could I theoretically take the board further for longer? Or, is it the voltage regulators themselves that fail from just too much current, regardless of heat accumulation? Another question, If I were to replace the regualtors and inductors, and caps with more sturdy versions of the existing hardware (i.e. same specs except heat handling, or greater current handling) could I drag a little more out of it?
\
Keep in mind, though, that for me, replacing parts on a board is actually cheaper than buying a new one. For example, I am currently using a AOC 22" HD monitor as my primary. I got it from the dump (yeah, dumpster diving rules!!!) for free. It retails for 300 dollars. I went to town, 160 miles (us) round trip. I spent 8 dollars in gas, and 21 dollars in parts (only because I needed more solder and wick and flux). Spent about an hour tearing it down replaced about half the power board components (backlight circuit only) and it works perfectly. So modifying a board is next to nothing for me. Another example is my video card. I got it from the trash. I have replaced the caps on it twice already. And I modified the heatsink to be a little tiny bit more efficient.

Anyway, enough rambling. I appreciate the input, and hope others will chime in with their thoughts.
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Hard DriveOptical DriveOptical DriveCooling
WD 1TB HL-DT-ST DVDRRW GSA-H30L TSST Corp dvd/ cdrw Air Cooled 
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Windows Vista Ultimate x64 Windows XP AOC 2230fh k120 Logitech 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Dunno OLD  Logitech Trackman NEVER 
Audio
Creative Audigy z5 
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Hodge Podge
(21 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition GeForce 8000 series NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT  Crucial Technology  
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Crucial Technology  WD 250GB Seagate 300GB WD 500GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOptical DriveCooling
WD 1TB HL-DT-ST DVDRRW GSA-H30L TSST Corp dvd/ cdrw Air Cooled 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Windows Vista Ultimate x64 Windows XP AOC 2230fh k120 Logitech 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Dunno OLD  Logitech Trackman NEVER 
Audio
Creative Audigy z5 
  hide details  
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