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Just swapped my Northwood core P4 [sL6WJ] for a Prescott core [sL7E6] and system has shutdown on me twice now already.


I noticed a few differences in BIOS, doesn't seem to be very significant.. but the differences are:

Fans running slower (even though set for 100%), CPU temp higher, SYS temp (I assume north bridge) lower, and some voltages readout a fraction higher or lower as compared with the old northwood CPU.


I've installed CPU-Z and it shows fluctuation in Vcore voltage, not a lot.. but fluctuation none-the-less.


Also installed SpeedFan... but it shows all temperatures within safe operating levels. Though, I am a bit confused as to what each temp is.. seems to show 2 readouts for GPU, but only have 1 graphics card. Then it shows 2 system readouts but neither one matches to what BIOS reports and neither one seems to be for CPU.


Posted this yesterday



Then I came across this site http://extreme.outer...n.com/index.jsp

Seems maybe my 350 watt PSU is not quite enough.


If that's the case, then how is it the system is under powered and yet at the same time gets hot enough to go into thermal shutdown?


Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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Seems to be caused by CPU-Z, but could be low power PSU as well. I've got AOpen SilentTek v5 installed (fans calibrated and all), everything shows just fine. Also have SpeedFan 4.44 installed and CPU-Z.


System shuts down only with CPU-Z running, and only after it's been open for a few minutes or longer. That's when SilentTek starts warning me of a problem and then seconds later the system powers down. I was able to catch details just before it shut off.


SilentTek shows Vcore voltage spike to well over 1.5v .. +3.3v rail drops to below 2.5v .. and 5VSB drops to below 4.25v

Temperatures also jumped up at least 20 degrees on CPU and System.


Quickly exiting CPU-Z brought all the voltages back to within spec and prevented a system shutdown.


I'll probably just remove CPU-Z


Posted Image

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  • 2 months later...

I did a bit of searching about for other versions of the SilentTek utility and found an older one. Gave it a try and the warnings had stopped. Figured it was just the last version could be buggy or incompatible with this board. Realized the older version only controls CPU fan and only about half as much of the voltage sensor(s). Decided to put the latest version back on and check things again.

Can control all fans, and all voltage readouts show... but the stupid alarm keeps going off.


Hmm, maybe could be the -5v rail that is causing the problem? Maybe due to the fact that PSU does NOT even have a -5v on the 20+4pin connector?



And here all this time I thought there was a malfunction :lol:

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Prescott processors ran hot from the time of the release and under powered would contribute to the problem. Personally none of my P4 systems have less than a 500 watt power supply. Very likely the problem is the 12v rail is not getting the steady minimum of 12v.

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It's currently running on a 650 watt power supply. I even tried a 250 watt Dell and a 350 watt SunMax, both have same result as this one. 12v rail shows at 11.71v whereas the -5v is what is flashing (under warning) reading out at only -2.38v. I can only assume that is due to none of them have a -5v wire on the 20 pin connector.


CPU temp is currently 28C, SYS temp is currently 23C.. even under full load I've never seen CPU temp go higher than ~45C


I now have 4x512MB of Samsung DDR400, all 4 sticks are matching.. were recycled from an older Dell machine that died. They tested out just fine and so far haven't seen any blue screens or any other type of crashes.


Changed the RAM from 3 sticks of DDR333 and 1 stick of DDR266. The timings changed a hair from CL 2.5 up to CL 3.


Only thing else I've noticed is the 3.3v rail used to be a bit under at ~2.8v and now it sits right on 3.3 almost steadily.


I did have some troubles with the PCI slots a while back, but stopped using them. Maybe there is a short in the mobo somewhere? Bad capacitor, fried voltage regulator..


I was hoping to keep this system in good running condition so as to donate it when I get a new build up and running, hopefully soon.

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The 12v rail is should be at 12v or slightly over my experience with P4s both Northwoods and Prescott have been they are very sensitive to voltages being below specs. What is the suggested power supply for your video card? If it's drawing too much power that could cause a thermal problem.

Edited by mouse
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250 watt with a minimum 18 amp rating on 12v rail.



Not sure how acurate that is, though, as I've heard others say this card wants 350 watt minimum.


This power supply is labeled as 35 amp on the 12v rail.


Graphics card gets its power from the AGP slot, there's no power connector on the card.


CPU voltage flucuates between 1.24v and 1.28v, which, is within spec.


Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 550 supporting HT Technology (1M Cache, 3.40 GHz, 800 MHz FSB)
Status Launched
Launch Date Q2'04
Processor Number 550
# of Cores 1
# of Threads 2
Clock Speed 3.4 GHz
L2 Cache 1 MB
Bus/Core Ratio 17
FSB Speed 800 MHz
FSB Parity No
Instruction Set 32-bit
Embedded Options Available
Supplemental SKU No
Lithography 90 nm
Max TDP 115 W
VID Voltage Range 1.200V-1.425V
Tray 1ku Budgetary Price $289.00
Package Specifications
TCASE 72.8°C
Package Size 37.5mm x 37.5mm
Processing Die Size 112 mm2
# of Processing Die Transistors 125 million
Sockets Supported PLGA775, PPGA478
Halogen Free Options Available No
Advanced Technologies
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology
Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x)
Intel® Trusted Execution Technology
Intel® 64
Idle States No
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology
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  • 4 weeks later...

OK, I thought it would be good time to clean out the dust bunnies and all. Also got a notification of new driver update for graphics card, so thought I'd update it just for the fun of it. :P


During the process of cleaning out dust bunnies I found the power problem. The 4 pin 12v connector for CPU appears to be slightly burned up :mrsgreen:

This is the connector that has 2 black and 2 yellow wires. The clear plastic connector itself is darkened a bit and one of the yellow wires has quite visible damage. Looks like too much power flow on too thin of wire.

I'll try to see if I can get a decent photo or 2 if possible.


Needless to say, I pulled that power supply to prevent it dying and taking everything else with it.

Now running a 350 watt one as a temporary make shift until I can get a better one.


The 12v rail is now showing at 12.10 volts but on occassion will drop to 11.97 volts

The 3.3v is showing at 3.23v

+5v is showing at 5.10v

vcore is at 1.28v but does fluctuate a bit mostly when loading or closing programs, especially games or web pages with lots of flash content


Here's a pit test, figured I would run one since it been a while and I've changed some stuff in there.



I have a friend who may give me an Antec TruePower Trio TP3-550. He says its slightly used but still works.

Looks good with 3 +12v rails, but it doesn't seem to have a -5v. Is -5v not necessary? Either way, can't argue free!


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  • 4 weeks later...

Final Update, I have solved this dilemma:


Maybe caused by the 650watt power supply, maybe caused by excessive heat.

Either way, the problem is not due to power supply, it is due to a faulty capacitor on the motherboard.

Maybe a little hard to tell in these pics, but the capacitor I circled in red (quick edit in paint) is bulging on top and bottom.


Posted Image


Posted Image


Posted Image


And here is what the 4 pin CPU power connector looks like on the 650 watt power supply.


Posted Image


Not sure how well these will show, had to take the pics with my cell phone and upload via Bluetooth. The phone is a Samsung R580 "Profile" with 2 megapixel cam, pics are in 1600x1200 resolution. I for one am not impressed.

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The only solution for the bad caps is to either replace them or replace the board. The failing caps will cause all kinds of strange problems, including reboots and crashes

this place states they can re-cap your board


Although I have never used them.

Your best option (imho) is a good time to upgrade your system with new board, cpu, memory and power supply. you can get a cheap board with video already on it but then you are getting a cheap board. They run around $40. on up to better boards. Some of the better boards give you more options but the cheap boards will work o.k. Depends on what you want to do with your pc, a cheap board is good for surfing, writing an email to grandma and shopping on line.


EDIT: I have seen many of those Antec true Power Trio's with bad caps too. They have identical faulty caps in some power supplies too, which gives you voltage fluctuations





Edited by Joe C
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So, have you got a new mobo? Hard to tell but I'd have to say that the capacitor looks to be bulging as you said, also if that 4 pin power plug is "burnt" looking I'd guess that to be a major part of the problem. It's possible that you may be able to get that capacitor replaced. Almost forgot, get a new PSU, one that was recommended. ;)






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If your good at soldering, you can replace the cap yourself, they are very cheap. I have done this and the most difficult thing you need to do is to get the old cap out without damaging the board, some solder skills will help too

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No, haven't got anything new yet. I'm actually browsing about now to start on a new system.


I'll have a look through some old electronics and such that I've got lying around, see if I happen to have a cap with the same values that will fit in that space.


Worst case scenario at this point is I end up with the mobo completely dead. In that case I can always sell the remaining good components on ebay or something.

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The microfarads (uf symbol) must be the same as with the polarity of the bad cap. The voltage can be equal or higher but never lower. You can buy these caps for around $1.00 or less usually. If you can find one at radio shack, they go for even less


What kind of budget do you have planned for a new build?






Edited by Joe C
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I didn't know that Rat Shack still sells electronic components, everyone just throws stuff in the garbage these days.


As far as budget for a new build, I honestly have no idea. Been wanting to build a new system for at least a year now, but never have enough money for everything. Unfortunately, I'm stuck with no option other than to just wing it.


Guess I'm just S.O.L. (sure out of luck) on the matter.

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You do not have to buy everything at once. You can just get a cpu and board to start with. What do you need out of your pc? do you game, or just surf? edit video?

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Right, but I'd also need a good power supply and also memory to go with the board and cpu. Doubt my DDR400 would work in a new motherboard. And the 350 watt supply I'm using now is old and not really high enough power. Also would need at least 1 hard drive too. Currently have 2 old IDE 40GB drives in this system. 1 is a Maxtor and the other is a Seagate, both are only 5400rpm and at least one of them has been making a slight high pitch scratching sound.


The real kick is the monitor I'm using, which, I got for free from someone on craigslist. Needed a monitor and this was all I could get at the time.




It's really not too bad considering it being a big bulky thing. But it has a couple problems too. Dark colors are like a black hole, just absorb light from the brighter colors, making things very difficult to see. And then the whole thing seems to be locked, menu button brings up the OSD in dutch or german.. or well I'm not really sure.


Seems other have the same problem, and there is a suggestion I'm going to try now that I just found here:


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Well I did try the solution posted in Dell forum for this monitor and it partially worked! Got the menus unlocked and I can set the brightness and contrast so I can actually see everything properly. Though, I still can't get it to display in English. Better than nothing until I can get a new monitor.


As far as the rest, I had put together a wish list (for easier ordering later on) at newegg. IIRC, it was a budget build that Bruce had posted about a while back. Looks like a couple of the items are no longer stocked, but shouldn't be too hard to find alternatives. I could just use one of my IDE DVD/RW drives to keep cost a bit lower for now. Maybe possible to lower cost with alternate components even.


Case w/power supply












ODD -- Out of Stock



CPU -- Out of Stock


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