Athlon II Passive cooling?
Hi everyone. I'm building a media center with the following components:
Motherboard: ASUS M4A785T-M
CPU: AMD Athlon II 235e (TDP 45W)
RAM: 2x 2 Gb kingston 1066 Mhz DDR3
Case: Antec New Solution NSK2480 -EC
In order to get a quiet system, I would like to limit the number of fans (especially smaller ones which are louder). So I wonder if I can use the stock Phenom II 940 heatsink I have (without fan) to cool the CPU. The case has two 12 cm fans, which should create a good airflow. Also the box won't have an hard disk (PXE boot).
Is this possible? May it damage the CPU?
Thanks in advance
My guess is that it should work, but there's no way to be sure except if you try out.
Your CPU will definitely not get damaged (at least not immediately), as it's going to clock itself down automatically when the temperature gets critical.
Just monitor the temperature with lm-sensors, if it stays below 60°C under load you should be safe (more is probably ok as well, but I start to feel uncomfortable with more than that).
Thanks! I'll try as soon as I receive the last pieces and post here.
If possible, undervolt the Athlon; current AMD procs come with higher voltages than required to run, and so generate more heat than necessary.
Originally Posted by kbios
I have an 45W TDP 4850e (the predecessor I'd say) and I have all besides the PSU and 2 ultrasilent casefans passively cooled. The CPU, the Radeon HD 3870 passively, the mainbaord chips. It is possible.
I use the BTF-95 cooler (Butterfly, copper, looks nice and is still affordable). The cooler was also specified for much warmer (more TDP) CPUs at that time. It had a broad socket compatibility, came with mounting equipment for AMDs as well as intels. Installation was okay, though it needs some space.
B.t.w. it is cold as ice on top. Even during compiling it stays cool (but the 4850e isn't a real hothead anyway). When I touch it now (during idling most of the time) the top feels like room temperature.
So there are reserves left.
I guess that one should also be able to cool a 65W TDP Athlon2.
If you already have one that can cool a Phenom it should also be able to handle an Athlon.
@all: thanks for your replies!
@curaga: thanks; however I've read somewhere that heavy undervolting may kill the CPU. Do you thing it is safe to try 1.2 - 1.15 V?
@Adarion: thanks, but I'm already far out of budget, so I would try not to buy anything else. In the worst case, I'll keep the Phenom heatsink with a fan, which should be quieter than Athlon's one.
Last edited by kbios; 01-26-2010 at 09:28 AM.
1.25 should be on the safe side, enough to run any Athlon II IMHO. Lower might work, but would need testing to be sure.
I'm pretty sure you can't really kill a cpu by undervolting. You will start getting errors and crashes if you go to low though.
You could probably also use software fan control via fancontrol to shut down the fan completely below a certain temperature.