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Guest Max Cowgill

Computer Goes *Poof*

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I had another scare with my computer last night... I was messing around with my VCore settings and moving my RAM to different slots, trying to see how far I could push my FSB... I got to 155MHz and then POOF! Display goes out and I couldn't see anything on my monitor until I got into Windows. Ok, not a big deal, just bring the FSB back down to the (previously stable) 152MHz and reboot, right? Right, or so I thought... The monitor started acting a bit funny on me, clicking on and off several times before finally turning on (upon bootup) so I thought I would bring the resolution and color depth down and see if that helped. Here's where it REALLY got fun :) Reboot and... Nothing. Couldn't see anything in Windows. Couldn't even get throught the Win98 installation to re-install Windows either! I was starting to suspect something may be wrong with my video card and perhaps my monitor (the monitor's built-in messages were garbled). After messing around with my BIOS settings (when I could even get the monitor to display the BIOS) I determined that it wasn't a CPU or RAM issue, since I was running at the fail-safe defaults (100MHz FSB, most relaxed RAM timings) and it made no difference. I decided to call it quits for the night, despite the fact that I had two other video cards and another monitor lying around that I could try.When I woke up this morning I tried my old 15" OEM monitor and it seemed to work somewhat, but not enough to be usable. I decided it was time to try one of the other video cards I had lying around. The problem with this is that both of these video cards may be fried (from my last system that I burned up) so I was a bit reluctant to try them out. Fortunately my fears were unwarranted, as one of the two video cards (GF2 GTS 64MB) worked just fine :) I didn't go about uninstalling my old video card/installing the new one properly though, so I'll have to do that as soon as I'm done downloading the 29.42 WHQL Det's. The only problem I seem to have now is that I occasionally get BSOD's for the file "cmaudio.vxd" which is the driver for my onboard audio. I noticed once last night (before my video went out for good) Windows seemed to be frozen (so I hit ctrl-alt-del on a hunch to see if it was an app freezing up Windows) and the same file was hanging up Windows so I stopped the process and Windows booted normally after that. I'm thinking I may have damaged the onboard audio and may need to replace my mobo, but I'm going to fiddle around some more and see if I can't fix it ;)BTW, for anyone who's wondering, I found out the max overclock of my CPU last night (w/current hardware anyway) to be 1705MHz :) I think some faster RAM and better cooling may allow me to sustain such an o/c so I shall purchase such tomorrow and let you all know how it goes (I may also switch to a KT333 mobo so I can run 166MHz FSB without harming my PCI/AGP components).Max Cowgill

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Hi Max,Sorry to hear about your Frankenstein experiments gone haywire. ;-)This post is just another confirmation to not mess with a system that is running just fine. The only thing I have OC'd is my GeForce 2 GTS Pro 64mb a little here and there. Left the 1.2ghz Athlon alone.Another ironic analogy:"If it aint broke, don't fix it, cause you most likely will go broke fixing it"Thoughts to ponder... :-)Regards,Joe :-wavePS - I am hoping to keep my current system for at least another year, then I will probably build based on whatever is a notch or two below best technology at the time. ******************************Picture Gallery of My Flight in a 1945 SNJ-6 on June 1st, 2002Joliet, Illinoishttp://home.attbi.com/~jranos/FrameSet.htm******************************.http://home.attbi.com/~jranos/mysig.jpg http://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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Ahh Max, you should spend time at HardOCP. They occassionally give out Athlon keychains that they burn up from overclocking. There was also a recent article out about breathing in the fumes of a burned up computer component. The PCB has bromine in it and is liberated when burned. Bromine apparently messes one's immune system up. (I guess I should know something about that seeing as I'm an immunologist, but...)Anyway, overclocking is fun. I was only ever able to get my PIII 800EB up to about 900 MHz with a basic HSF. I guess if I tried harder and had a better cooling system, it would have gone higher, but what's the use. I never saw any significant difference. I still overclock my GS2, but leave the CPU at standard rate.

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I used be into the overclocking scene myself. I never pushed quite as hard as Max, so I never had this much trouble, but I was always a bit concerned about the inherent overclock in the subsystems like the ide devices and the pci bus...I did a chart during this last computer upgrade that showed the cpu clock against the fsb with the percentage relative overclock of the pci bus and the agp bus.Then I made additional copies of the chart with higher multipliers, which reset the overclock of the pci/agp to 0 at the next higher rated cpu performance.With the cpu prices copied from pricewatch, I could compare the extra cost of the cpu to the ability to reset the pci/agp bus.I decided to just buy close to the performance I wanted and gently o/c after the system is prooved stable.Bob B

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>Ahh Max, you should spend time at HardOCP. They >occassionally give out Athlon keychains that they burn up >from overclocking. Ahh Ken, but I do spend time at the (H) (brackets don't work here ;)) I've been going there for at least 3 years (probably longer). The (H) has been and continues to be one of my favorite hardware news and reviews site, along with Anandtech, Guru3d, VR-Zone, and x-bit labs, just to name a few.Max Cowgill

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