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AMD

AMD: No Grease For You! 660

bahamat writes "In a surprising turn of events, this article over at Xtreme Tek explains that the official stance from AMD is that you will void your warranty if you use any thermal grease or if you're not using the heatsink provided with your CPU. Sucks to be you if you buy a defective AMD CPU and put a Zalman on it for the first boot." AMD, the article says, doesn't want you to use anything "other than Shin Estu G 749."
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AMD: No Grease For You!

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  • Two words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jack William Bell ( 84469 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:12PM (#5830679) Homepage Journal
    Rubbing alcohol! They'll never know.
    • Re:Two words... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by skroz ( 7870 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:15PM (#5830699) Homepage
      Actually, they could very easily know. All they have to do is put some kind of alcohol-soluble, UV ink mark on the chip. It doesn't even have to be visible in UV... that's just if they want to be sneaky about it.
    • Rubbing alcohol! They'll never know.

      Of course then they'll nail you for not using any thermal compound at all...

    • Re:Two words... (Score:5, Informative)

      by alexburke ( 119254 ) * <alex+slashdotNO@SPAMalexburke.ca> on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:07PM (#5831027)
      Rubbing alcohol! They'll never know.

      No, try again. Ever tried getting Arctic Silver (or el-cheapo white thermal paste) off a CPU with isopropanol and a Q-Tip? You won't get all of it off.

      So what is the secret sauce you need to soak that Q-Tip in, you ask? Acetone. Gone without a trace every time!
      • by DaedalusHKX ( 660194 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:31PM (#5831153) Journal
        I should know I've installed several dozen and got pissed at using various custom substances so a qtip dipped in wd40 along with a soft tissue dipped in likewise and one piece of toilet paper (to wipe off that nasty ass gasoline smell it leaves behind and the greasy looking stains you'd otherwise have left on it).

        And voila, looked like new, took a new coat of thermal paste/grease and... ran like new, all my servers still running after 2.0 years :)

        That's my 2 cents.

        JOKE: And to boot I bet it will never squeak either. Plus WD40 cuts through roughly any household thermal grease, including the vaunted Arctic Silver II stuff. The silicone paste comes off with water if anyone's worried. A moist towelette type thing will work just fine including the Staples/Radioshack anti static wipes. Hope that helps.

        -Daedalus

        PS - Arctic Silver 2 is good stuff, but not really much more effective than say... radioshack 1.99 tubes of thermal goo... the only rule is that you should use SOME form of evening compound to fill in gaps and uneven surface finish between cpu and heatsink... any paste will usually do, even thermal pads are better than nothing, unless that ONE degree difference from Arctic Silver II REALLY means much to you... in general all the silver compounds do is react to temperature changes more quickly... but unless you're running a superspiking cpu, you won't have an issue, and I have never had a cpu that spiked so fast and so hard that the thermal paste made a difference. Oh and to add, I've never had a CPU fail. It is all about cooling and how often you turn them on and off. Much like diesel motors...
      • It DOES work- and well. But I've found that "Goof Off" and "Goo Gone" do an equally adequate job and don't have anywhere near the flash point acetone does...
      • Re:Two words... (Score:3, Informative)

        by Wolfier ( 94144 )
        Acetone = good call :)

        One easy way to obtain acetone is from nail polish removers.
  • by metalhed77 ( 250273 ) <andrewvc@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:13PM (#5830684) Homepage
    AMD doesn't have the time to figure out whether or not your cooler actually works. Use the default heat sink for a few hours, and if it breaks send it back. To expect AMD to be liable for 3rd party improperly made heatsinks is ludacrist
  • Seems reasonable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pres. Ronald Reagan ( 659566 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:13PM (#5830685)
    AMD doesn't want to be responsible for people using too weak of heatsink/fans or too much thermal grease. What is the problem here?
    • What is the problem here?

      The problem is, their past CPUs have been known to be about 4 degrees hotter than the Sun. Maybe I want something better than what they want me to have.
    • Re:Seems reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

      by deadsaijinx* ( 637410 ) <animemeken@hotmail.com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:37PM (#5830839) Homepage
      uh, because with their thermal crap and the defauult fan, my proc ran over 130F. With artic silver and an aeroflow [vantecusa.com] fan from vantec, my proc runs at 105F (115F under heavy load). Seems to me they are just trying to save a few bucks, afterall, the german economy has taken a hit lately. That is the problem here
    • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:56PM (#5830958)
      AMD doesn't want to be responsible for people using too weak of heatsink/fans or too much thermal grease. What is the problem here?

      Let me explain the problem with a simple example. And this has nothing to do with those who want to overclock their CPU or otherwise soup up their system.

      The fan on the "stock heatsink" they talk about is less than quiet, but more importantly is poor enough that in many cases it will not even last the life of the warranty on the CPU. And the phase change material is "one use", you can't remove the heat sink and reapply it again with the same strip of heat sink material and have it function properly. When my heat sink fan died some months after I started using it (as detected by the BIOS seeing it slowing down considerably and a reelated increase in CPU temperature), I went to the local CompUSA and got a replacement copper fan. The "stock heatsink" just isn't always available. The replacement heatsink does a far better job, but I had to use a non-conductive thermal grease to install it. By this proclimation, I would have voided my warranty in two ways, using thermal grease and a better but non-standard heat sink.

      I much prefer AMD over Intel, but if AMD is going to do this they need to consider some real world situations. As far as I know they don't warranty the heatsink fan, and even if they were to start it would not be reasonable for them to expect a user to not use their computer for the time it takes to ship back a bad fan and get a replacement. If they were supplying a fan and heatsink that would never need replacement, they might be on a more moral high ground, but having a stock fan that dies easily and then claiming you void the warranty if you correctly replace the heat sink isn't user friendly. And, of course, there are some people wo have a problem with the noise the stock fan makes, and while the argument is not as strong as the one I just made, I think they should be able to replace the stock haetsink and fan with a quieter one if they want, as long as they follow good technical procedures. I certainly don't have a problem with AMD stating they will not be responsiable for problems caused by conductive thermal grease, but this policy does seem to go too far, particularly given the fan they supply on that heatsink.

      • by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:31PM (#5831156)
        The fan on the "stock heatsink" they talk about is less than quiet, but more importantly is poor enough that in many cases it will not even last the life of the warranty on the CPU.

        Ummmm...lets think about this for a minute. The fan fails while under warranty. The whole point of a warranty is to cover failures within the warranty period. You don't want to make a warranty claim and would rather resolve the problem yourself without involving the manufacturer. I don't see the problem here, as it sounds to me like you have no interest in invoking the warranty.

        • You don't want to make a warranty claim and would rather resolve the problem yourself without involving the manufacturer.

          It would depend on how AMD is going to resolve the warenty on the fan. Do they require shipping it back? How long does it take to replace the defunct unit? It may very well end up being quicker and cheaper to get a superior part on one's own.

          Now - a replacement CPU. That's a far more expensive part. Price will likely outweight many people's time requirements.

        • I had to deal with this yesterday. I went and bought a new system, put it all together and discovered a memory problem. Further inspection showed it to be a motherboard issue.

          In order to get my CPU out so I could exchange the board I had to remove the heatsink. In order to put the CPU / heatsink in my new board I had to use thermal grease as you are not supposed to use the pads twice.

          It looks like I know have no CPU warranty. Nice.

  • This is news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s20451 ( 410424 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:13PM (#5830686) Journal
    You do something that could potentially damage the processor (read the article), the company is perfectly well within its legal and moral rights to void the warranty. The warranty is not insurance against malice or stupidity.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:13PM (#5830688)
    State Law mandates a 1 year parts and manufacturing warranty irregardless of OEM status or not. Say what you will about Calif. but we do look after the consumer, except for the power consumer that is...
    • This isn't necessarily a good thing, especially when you fuck over businesses in order to do it. If you don't agree with the business' stance, and want to use a different heatsink while keeping your warranty, but Intel. If you think it's worth voiding the warranty, by all means, go for it. Don't force companies to cater to idiots who don't know how to install hardware properly.
  • That...intresting... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashikiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:13PM (#5830690) Homepage
    So what does that say? Either too many people are either applying the grease too thickly, or people are using heatsinks and OCin' their processors too much.

    Basicly what it sounds like is, people are cooking their CPU's from either/or...and AMD is tired of floating the loss because of idiots.

    • by deadsaijinx* ( 637410 ) <animemeken@hotmail.com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:32PM (#5830810) Homepage
      well, i can attest that people do use too much grease, i know i did when i first put on my own fan. I corrected the mistake, and the proc has been fine since. my question is, if you can't use grease, what do you use. that foamy pad stuff? it doesnt work nearly as well. Either way, i'll stick with my after-market fan and arctic silver, warranty be damned.
    • Either that or some nebbish of a middle-manager got a little over excited and made a new rule in order to justify his presence on the payroll. If this policy gets retracred or at least heavily watered down in the next couple of weeks, that'll mean one less nebbish on the payroll.
  • by astrashe ( 7452 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:14PM (#5830695) Journal
    As a person who really hates noisy computers, I can't help but wonder how this will affect my ability to build a quiet box.

    How loud are the official fans?
    • I have a new AthlonXP 2400+ which is quiet as, well, something quiet with the default heatsink/fan. The old AthlonXP 1800+ I had before it though was another story.
    • by sebi ( 152185 ) * on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:35PM (#5830829)
      It seems as if this ruling don't affect your ability to build a quiet box at all. What I understood is that the ruling affects the usage of thermal paste (especially because some brands seem to be conductive and thus able to short-circuit the processor). If you replace the fan on the heatsink with a model you expect to run more quietly than that should be okay. Breaking of the supplied heatsink and spreading paste onto the processor is not.
  • by I_am_Rambi ( 536614 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:19PM (#5830732) Homepage
    AMD has had this stance for awhile. Even with the XP series, the warrenty was void if you used a different heatsink. Though, on the other hand, it wasn't void if you used a different thermal compound.
  • by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:19PM (#5830734) Homepage
    if you use any thermal grease

    Well jeez, I can't help it if the chip produces it on its own...
  • Well printer companies already do this with their "official inks" and every other company does this so that you use more of their stuff.

    Is it good business? Maybe. See below:

    Is is going to make customers like you? Hell NO!
    • How did the parent get modded "Insightful"? This is not at all like printer manufacturers forcing you to buy ink from them. Tell me--how many replacement heatsinks do you typically buy for your CPUs during their useful lifetime? Zero? One?

      As other people have pointed out, this is AMD's way of covering their asses from all the [H]ardOCP morons that will slap the HSF of the week on their new chip then complain when it breaks.

  • AMD does not have the legal right to prevent you from using 3rd party heatsinks as long as they're designed for the AMD CPUs. This is the same as saying using 3rd party ink in the printer will void the warranty. In both cases, the company is still legally obligated to honor the warranty, but fighting them in court for it is another matter.

    Jason
    ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]
    • In both cases, the company is still legally obligated to honor the warranty

      I doubt it.

      If you buy a car, then try to run it with a non-standard radiator, do you think the manufacturer is going to honour *that* warranty if your engine overheats?

      AMD has no way to test every 3rd-party heatsink out there to make sure it cools CPUs well enough. They include one that works just fine, and IMO that is the extent of their liability.

      If *anyone* should be held accountable if your CPU overheats with a 3rd-party coo
    • You are correct. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mindstrm ( 20013 )
      They can't *prevent* you from doing it.....

      Any warrantee beyond the implied one usually required by law (fitness for a particular purpose, etc) is OPTIONAL, and they don't have to offer one at all; and if they DO, it can be under whatever terms they like.

      So... if you take it home and it's busted out of the box, yeah, they have to do something about it.. because that's the law.

      IF it breaks in six months, but had a 12 month guarantee on it saying you had to use the original cooler.. and you used another on
  • gotta cover your ass, can't be too careful.

    PFY gets his hands on a new AMD processor and decides he wants to clock it 2x past where it was ever supposed to run and it dies....

    they're supposed to replace that?

    nah, they cover their butts by saying that you should only use one heatsink and one thermal paste.

    anyone with half a brain could clean off their thermal compound anyway, so who's to know?

    if you're to stupid to clean off your proc. after your overclock it, well then you should probably be using the
  • Relevant info (Score:5, Informative)

    by heli0 ( 659560 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:26PM (#5830774)
    "Sucks to be you if you buy a defective AMD CPU and put a Zalman on it for the first boot"

    AMD Athlon XP(TM) Processor Thermal Solutions [amd.com]

    When selecting a thermal solution for your system, please refer to the following listing of heatsinks evaluated and recommended by AMD for use with AMD Athlon XP(TM) processors. Note, the following heatsinks are recommended for maintaining the specified Maximum die temperature requirement. In addition, this selection is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of all heatsinks that support AMD processors.

    From the article:
    "using a heatsink other than the stock heatsink on a retail chip also voids the warranty."

    So if you pay the $10-15 extra for the retail instead of OEM, they expect you to use the hs/fan that comes with it.
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by LightningTH ( 151451 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:26PM (#5830780)
    Boycott AMD! Oh, wait, I'm already boycotting Intel for making high priced chips with high speeds that have poor performance.....CRAP!
  • first of all, i've seen quite a few systems that use
    just the heatsink and the crappy thermal pad on the heat sink with no grease, and they overheat easily.

    On the 100+ machines (all amd) i've built for clients (including a pile of rack mounted servers), i've always removed the worthless thermal pad, and used artic silver III, and i've NEVER had a overheating problem.

    This is one recommendation from the manufacter i'd encourage everyone to ignore. Instead, read the overclocker sites for how to properly cool
  • The Shuttle SN41G2 requires a user to not use the AMD heatsink, as the box comes with a custom heatpipe to get the heat from the CPU away from the chip, and the insides of the system. Using the AMD heatsink could lead to the system building up too much heat internally, and causing the box to shut down or crash. I'm sure AMD processors are also used in similar custom machines.

    Why is it the consumers fault AMD never integrated thermal protection or a heat spreader into their processors to protect them? Personally, I'm glad I have a P4 in my gaming box that won't fry its self if a fan dies.
  • When I received my AthlonXP 2400+ retail box, the heatsink was missing the covering for the adhesive pad. I had two options: Return it and pay a shitload of shipping and wait a week or two, or get thermal grease. I went with the thermal grease. I think I'll go back to Intel when I have to upgrade again.

    Someone should force AMD execs to sleep in a room with a stock fan/heatsink and see how they like it. I get terrible nightmares if I actually manage to fall asleep from the loud roar.
  • I've been in the electronics industry a long time and have never heard of this phrase. Google hasn't heard it either. I think it was a phrase made up on the spot to impress or intimidate us, like "quantum singularity" or "weapons of mass destruction".
    • Re:Thermal pumpout? (Score:4, Informative)

      by eclectro ( 227083 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:37AM (#5831962)
      Yeah, you learn something new everyday. I've been in electronics for ages and never heard of it before too.

      After doing a little research, it refers to the migration or "pump out" of the grease due to the pressure of the heatsink on the chip and the thermal cycles of turning your cpu off/on. Because the cpu and heatsink are usually different materials they will expand/contract at different rates, and thus will "push out" the grease.

      Then this might create a space between the cpu and heatsink with the "pumped out" grease acting as a standoff, essentially leaving your cpu without meaningful contact with a heatsink. With AMD cpus that normally run very hot, this is deadly and your cpu will melt.

      Thermal Insulating Materials, or TIMs have a much higher viscosity than grease, so that won't happen with them. Though arguably they don't do as well as grease (in the short term) in the thermal transfer of heat.

      On the surface this seems like a conspiracy by those who make TIMs, but one user [slcentral.com] observed "pump out" for himself - using Artic Silver too.

      If the AMD cpus had a heat spreader on them like many intel cpus do, "pump out" may not be so bad. Though it probably would happen to some degree, it probably would not be fatal.

      Given the vast quantity of cpus that AMD (and intel for that matter) crank out, they probably see a steady stream of cpus burned out with grease on them been returned to them. So naturally they want to cut there losses and want people to stick with TIMs to prevent burn out.

      It also could be argued that the socket A design is inherently flawed. Thermal grease as commonly known was not designed to operate under the high pressures that heatsink clamps put on cpus these days.

      I have always dissed TIMs, but now I'll give it a second thought.
  • by dmadole ( 528015 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:37PM (#5830837)

    Those who bothered to read the article would have found this little gem of a quote from Arctic Silver at the end:

    Look at it this way, if you applied the same criteria to selecting a car, everyone would be driving a low power, fuel efficient station wagon with rain tires and foot-thick rubber bumpers all the way around.

    Yeah, and anyone who takes their under-warranty low power, fuel efficient car and replaces the radiator with an unapproved aftermarket part, and replaces the coolant with something that doesn't meet manufacturer requirements, probably won't get warranty service, either!

    • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:32PM (#5831169)
      Yeah, and anyone who takes their under-warranty low power, fuel efficient car and replaces the radiator with an unapproved aftermarket part, and replaces the coolant with something that doesn't meet manufacturer requirements, probably won't get warranty service, either!

      Actually, your example is true. Japanese automakers will not warranty engines that have had silicate-based antifreeze put in them. German cars typically don't allow phosphate-based coolant.

      Why? Because silicates cause increased wear on moving parts, like water pumps. Water pumps are very often driven by the timing belt. When the water pump seizes, it usually shreds the belt in a matter of seconds, and if the engine is an interference type(ie, the path of pistons and valves overlap, but never hit because of the timing), then you'll bend/snap valves, or worse.

      Phosphates don't react well to water with mineral content(US coolant makers claim it's only a european-water problem, that the US doesn't have "high mineral content" in its water, which is bullshit), aren't friendly with aluminum engine components/radiators, and like silicates, they work by coating all the metal with the stuff(on the theory that, if a metal that can rust is covered by phosphates or silicates, it won't rust.)

      I use the proper coolant that was recommended by my car's manufacturer- it's german-made, and doesn't contain either phosphates or silicates. I've actually seen better operation(less noise from the water pump, for one) since I switched.

      The reality is that if you substitute coolants, and your engine overheats because of it- you're shit out of luck. That said, the manufacturer has to prove(to a certain extent) that your coolant switch caused the problem(which could be as simple as "see this pump? It seized because you used crap coolant.") Auto manufacturers can't just declare the whole vehicle's warranty invalid because, say, you install a non-OEM air filter.

      Maybe it's just me, but computer manufacturers have clung to the "open the case, void the warranty" bullshit. Some invalidate the warranty because you installed, say, a network or faxmodem card. That's bull- just like auto companies, they should be forced to prove the non-OEM component caused the failure.

  • Didn't any of you notice that they only specifically said that Arctic Silver will void your warranty? The reason for this is that Arctic Silver is a Thermal EPOXY... While the text of the article also points out that they don't like the "conductive properties" of (obviously) the minute ammount of silver in it, they also on their "green-list" had a thermal greese that does have minute ammounts of silver. I do not think they are trying to dictate what you use, beyond trying to keep idiots from costing them needlesly large ammounts of money. Face it, just about everyone in the world thinks they know enough to set up a computer, but when they do it, they will completely forget the HS/FAN or use too much thermal greese to the point where it's minute conductive properties cause shorts... It is the idiots they are after, not us... give them a break!
  • Perpective. (Score:5, Funny)

    by SN74S181 ( 581549 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:44PM (#5830885)
    I have my folks here visiting right now from out of state. I decided to peek in and see what's cooking on Slashdot nonetheless.

    Now, if I were to go in the other room and tell my folks that people were ranting and raving on a website about no being allowed to use the heat sink grease of their choice on a computer processor..... Well, regular down to earth real people just wouldn't understand.
    • Re:Perpective. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Blkdeath ( 530393 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @10:30PM (#5831462) Homepage
      Now, if I were to go in the other room and tell my folks that people were ranting and raving on a website about no being allowed to use the heat sink grease of their choice on a computer processor..... Well, regular down to earth real people just wouldn't understand.

      That's funny, because myself, being quite the geek, don't understand when my mother talks about the proper methods of filing a T4 or the odd things people do when it comes time for quarterly reports or when people rant and rave about missing lunch hour at month's end. When my brother in law talks about using six-penny nails when a brad nailer is more appropriate, or running the wrong kind of hydraulic fluid in a bailer, or ...

      To them, it's a big deal. To their colleagues, it's topical and interesting; often even a topic of great heated discourse over a ${BEVERAGE}. Everybody's career / hobby has its own set of idiosyncrasies (and esoteric dialog). In that regard, we're not unique or unusual. Really.

  • OT: Cooler reviews (Score:3, Informative)

    by yem ( 170316 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:45PM (#5830889) Homepage
    The ultimate cooler review site: http://www.dansdata.com/coolercomp.htm [dansdata.com]

    Just a good one to bookmark :-)
  • So what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by extrarice ( 212683 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:47PM (#5830903) Homepage Journal
    I don't see a problem with this. AMD will only guarantee its equipment with parts they provide. Use your own parts, and you're responsible for damage. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
  • by willith ( 218835 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:49PM (#5830924) Homepage
    I've installed my last three heatsinks, including my current Zalman CNPS6000AlCu, with pink TIM wax pads. TIM pads are cheap, neat, and don't require you to get crap all over your hands during application. I'll never go back to the goop game.

    Since it doesn't make a difference what the hell you use to stick your heatsink onto your CPU--hell, toothpaste works just as well as AS-3 [dansdata.com]--I'll stick with the easy stuff.
  • AMD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlgUSF ( 238240 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:55PM (#5830950) Homepage
    I am one of those people who assemble a PC, and don't touch it except to clean it out. I bought a retail AMD processor applied the HS/Fan that came with it, and have never had to take it off.

    AMD only warranties RETAIL CPUs, OEM CPUs are usually warrantied by the retailer, usually if you buy a HS/Fan from them. So, if you buy OEM CPUs this doesn't apply to you. If you intend on using arctic silver / Zalman, then buy a OEM CPU (tcwo.com warrants them for a year with a HS/Fan purchase). If you want your warranty backed by AMD, buy a Retail procassor and use the included HS/Fan.
  • Optimized Code (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RWarrior(fobw) ( 448405 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:59PM (#5830976)
    It's well known in some circles that using processor-specific optimized code causes the processor to heat up.

    I have two AMD Athlon MP 2000+'s in on a Tyan Tiger MPX motherboard, and a gig of ram, in a full-tower case with four intake fans -- one on the bottom front, one on the side middle over the cards, and two in the middle back under the power supply. The exhaust fan is the PS, of course.

    When running Windows 2000 on this machine, the operating temp as reported by the BIOS runs between 50c and 60c.

    When I run Gentoo Linux [gentoo.org], set up from a stage1 install and compiled specifically for the Athlon MP, the machine crashes as the temperature rises to 75c.

    I'm using the retail processors that came with the fan. It's plain that they're installed correctly, but the thermal pad on the bottom (even with the adhesive backing removed properly) isn't capable of dissapating the heat.

    Does this mean I'm prohibited by warranty terms from running optimized code? AMD really needs to answer this question. If they want to they could easily come up with a recommended list of approved grease, or contract with someone to sell "official grease" for situations like mine.

    • Re:Optimized Code (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Cid Highwind ( 9258 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @10:21PM (#5831422) Homepage
      I have two AMD Athlon MP 2000+'s in on a Tyan Tiger MPX motherboard, and a gig of ram, in a full-tower case with four intake fans -- one on the bottom front, one on the side middle over the cards, and two in the middle back under the power supply. The exhaust fan is the PS, of course.

      First problem! You need at least as many exhaust fans as you have intakes, maybe one more if you are counting the PS fan as an exhaust. Turn the two in the back of your case around, and I bet the CPU temperatures will drop 10 or 15 degrees.

      When running Windows 2000 on this machine, the operating temp as reported by the BIOS runs between 50c and 60c.

      When I run Gentoo Linux [gentoo.org], set up from a stage1 install and compiled specifically for the Athlon MP, the machine crashes as the temperature rises to 75c.


      Are you playing UT2k3 in Windows, or using Office? Compiling code (something gentoo does *a lot* of!) taxes the CPUs and generates quite a bit of heat, writing a letter in Word doesn't. That might explain the difference in Windows and Linux operating temps. Also, make sure you have "make CPU idle calls when idle" option set in your kernel config, and check this thread [gentoo.org] in the gentoo forums about enabling halt-cooling in the chipset. It doesn't specifically mention your board, but it has links to sites that might.
  • Same with my P4 (Score:4, Informative)

    by essdodson ( 466448 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:08PM (#5831039) Homepage
    I recently bought an Intel retail boxed P4 and they strongly urged you not to use thermal grease. They said instead to use the thermal tape that came on their heatsink, and I did. Their reasoning is that the grease dries and it makes it impossible to remove the heatsink from the chip and you'll damage the chip.
  • Heatsink? (Score:5, Funny)

    by SecretAsianMan ( 45389 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:17PM (#5831091) Homepage
    What's the big deal? Just take the heatsink off. I did, and there haven't been any pr%L:``
  • Kinda interesting how these kinds of decisions are based on nothing technical. The basic reason everyone's been able to figure out for no grease on XPs is that:
    1) using grease means you are DIY with 3rd party stuff, which means it's easier for you (or the 3rd party suff you have) to screw up and
    2) using grease *improves* thermal contact, making it easier to overclock, which of course voids your warranty anyway.

    Now compare the XP's "no grease" tag like to this from the AMD Athlon(TM) 64 Processor Thermal Design Guide [amd.com] (from page 22, secion 2.6.6):
    The heat sink makes contact with the top surface of the processor package utilizing the thermal interface material between the processor lid and the heat sink.
    AMD recommends using a high-performance grease such as those listed in Table 6. AMD does not recommend using phase-change materials between the heat sink and the processor. Phase-change materials develop high adhesion forces between the heat sink and processor when the material is in the solid phase. This strong adhesive force may cause the processor to stick to the heat sink. During heat sink removal, this strong adhesive force may cause the processor to be removed from the socket while it is locked, and this action can result in damage to the socket or to the processor pins.
    For those that don't know, the gum-paste stuff that comes on all XP heatsinks is "phase-change material." Seems the 64 is the *exact* opposite of the XP.
  • by kidlinux ( 2550 ) <duke&spacebox,net> on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:43PM (#5831219) Homepage
    This is a very inexpensive, easy to implement overclocking deterrent.

    Think about it. If it's a poor heat sink and fan that AMD requires you to use, then overclocking is out of the question because there's no way the HSF could regulate the temperature.

    See, overclocking voids the warantee, but there's no way for AMD to tell if you were overclocking. This way they do know (or it's easier for them to tell) - assuming you used a different HSF while overclocking. I wonder what they'll do when hot cpus start failing in poorly ventilated cases, or in hot climates.

    Personally I don't like it, because a crappy HSF... just sucks. I don't overclock, but I still want a half decent HSF. You could probably get away with using a different fan though. Watch, soon you'll see "heat sink extensions" that you lock on to AMD's required sink, and it extends the surface area of that heatsink.

    Though given some of the crazy cooling solutions that have been posted on /., I can understand why they'd do this. There's no way for them to tell if you weren't using a HSF on their approved list.

  • by Lord_Slepnir ( 585350 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:44PM (#5831225) Journal
    So i got my brand new athlon XP 2200. I plug it in, put the fan thingie on, and it runs perfectly. Then I noticed the CPU was running at about 70 degrees. A week later, I heard a loud clunk and my computer went dead. It seems that the fans they make are so craptastically made that one of the blades bent enough to get itself jammed.

    Why exactly would I be voiding my warrenty by switching to something better?

  • by dargaud ( 518470 ) * <slashdot2 AT gdargaud DOT net> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:11AM (#5831879) Homepage
    THis is a shameless plug, but still on topic: I have 23 AMD heatsinks + fans for sale, without the processors. Anyone interested contact me...
  • by Henry Stern ( 30869 ) <henry@stern.ca> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:56AM (#5832646) Homepage
    It's too bad that AMD has taken this stance with their warranties. Comparatively speaking, there can't be that many people who go nuts with the thermal grease and heat sinks, and even less so the number of people who actually mess up their CPUs.

    For customer relations' sake, it seems that their move was imprudent. Had they just decided to quietly replace a few CPUs and not make a fuss, they would have looked better as a "corporate citizen."

    They may be saving a few dollars down the road but the bad will that their move generated may have repercussions later. Slashdotters, are you mad enough to actually switch to another vendor?

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