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One bad core? or another problem?

Discussion in 'CPUs' started by ALXAndy, 30 May 2010.

  1. ALXAndy


    Joined: 23 Apr 2010

    Posts: 10,702

    Location: West Sussex

    Hello everyone.

    A few months ago a friend of mine based in the U.S purchased a Phenom X4 9950 and a Foxconn Destroyer motherboard from Alienware as a part of Dell's final push to rid themselves of the past and bring out 'custom' hardware.

    The set was cheap, costing him $200 for both which was great as the board retailed at over $250. All was good in the world.

    However when it arrived and he built the system he had trouble getting it to boot and it took quite a few bios clears before the system would even post. After testing he took the test rig apart (Foxconn provide a motherboard stand with the board) and waited for the rest of his parts to arrive.

    Well, when they arrived nothing more happened. After hours and hours of messing around I figured the board was bummy and so he RMAd it with Foxconn. In the interim he grew impatient and purchased an A785 GXH Asrock and decided on a Radeon 5850. He had then decided that he wanted a Crossfire board and so sold off the returned new Foxconn.

    We then built his system (with me helping him via Skype) and all seemed well. He asked me about overclocking and I suggested he simply up the multiplier as it was a BE without tampering with voltages. I didn't want to get into all of that complicated process with him. Well the system immediately became unstable so we reset the cmos (we went for 3ghz).

    Upon reboot the system was completely unstable. Loading a game would immediately cause the system to shut itself down. After hours of hair ripping and trying loads of stuff we finally ran Coretemp and Speedfan as well as Orthos and discovered that as soon as the test began core number four was hitting 130c and shutting the machine down. We tried reseating the HSF (which was a very high end dual 120mm model.. Forget the manu now but it's a U.S only brand) and even the stock HSF but alas, nothing could get this CPU stable. In the end he pulled an Athlon X2BE from his media PC and all was well in the world. He recently put a Sempron 140 in his media PC and unlocked the core and has been sorted ever since.

    However, he recently said I could have some leftover hardware from the build. This includes a drool invoking Asus Xonar D2X PCIE and the Phenom 9950.

    My question is this - is it possible for one core to die? Could it have been down to the Asrock (a setting in bios or a bad VRM or something?) and can I disable a core or two with my Asus Crosshair 2?

    I currently have a Sempron 140 in my Crosshair 2 as I had to replace it with a Crossfire motherboard after recently setting up CF 5770 in my gaming PC, but would like the extra speed the Phenom could give me.

    Thanks, and I appreciate any answers or advice.


    Edit. You know what? I just realised that Orthos does not even use core 4. The plot thickens.. And both of the two cores being thrashed were well within safe limits (38c or so IIRC). Thinking of it now the 130c could have possibly been Speedfan picking up a fan sensor that wasn't used as it's just dawned on me that it does that.
    Last edited: 30 May 2010