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Topic Title: Can processor performance degrade?
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Created On: 04/28/2005 04:30 PM
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 04/28/2005 04:30 PM
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12heineken
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Is it possible for microprocessors to loose functionality (speed) steadily over time or abruptly? I have an AMD-equipped desktop that is much slower than it should be. Forget windows issues, this thing takes over 2 minutes to get to the BIOS setup menu, and booting a DOS setup disk takes close to 4 minutes. No system mods (RAM/PCI cards etc.) have been done to this computer. I even tried disconnecting the hard drive, and using different (compatible) RAM just to see if it would boot from a floppy any faster - no dice. The XP OS will load and run, but it's slow and choppy. any suggestions?
 04/28/2005 04:42 PM
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MD - Moderator
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I doubt it...

the other components ie power supply, are suspect though...The lower the power output of the power supply, they longer the drives take to spinup..the longer it takes for any OS or floppy to get things going...

Eventually the supply may not even supply enough power to spinup any drives...

MD

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 04/28/2005 04:56 PM
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12heineken
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Thanks, will try a power supply swap. I had a P3 laptop do the same thing not too long ago - would the external power supply be suspect too?
Somebody once told me that heat kills processors. Is it always an all-at-once kinda thing? Seems to me that if a processor has x-million "transistors" on it, they could die like brain cells from a fever, and still have a few million left in tact.
 04/28/2005 11:45 PM
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Mime
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I'd say it's all or nothing. If there was some damage to the processor you'd probably be experiencing system crashes or other things like that rather than a weird slowdown.

Sometimes, if a processor is damaged in just the right way, you'll be able to use it for some things, but not for others. A while ago I noticed that an AthlonXP I had around here would boot into an OS just fine, but any application that involved the use of floating point numbers(in this case it was the Folding@Home client) would crash almost immediately. I looked at the processor core and found a small chip in it that corresponded to where the floating point unit was located(or at least where most of it should have been.... ). Again though, that's the difference between the processor either working or not working at all, rather than a general slowdown across the board.

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 04/29/2005 06:53 AM
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eddaweaver
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You don't have L1 cache disabled in the bios menu by any chance do you?
 04/29/2005 09:14 AM
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12heineken
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This processor/board combo is factory HP gear. The BIOS options are very limited, so I couldn't enable/disable the cache. It's a Pavilion with a K6-2 500 and an Asus P5S-VM board. Could it be something on the board? My kid's P1 233 beater runs circles around this thing.
 04/29/2005 11:46 AM
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MD - Moderator
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HP mainboard...

Check the ppower supply section of the main board to see if the "Bad Capacitor fairy" paid it a visit one evening...

I'm serious, I've thrown out 2 HP mainboards with bad Caps and FET's this month...

Failing caps cause untold weirdness all by themselves...If unsure of what to look for try www.badcaps.net

MD

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The opinions expressed above do not represent those of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.

Physics? Ha! This is clearly magic and devilry at work. Prepare firewood! We have witches to burn!


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 04/29/2005 04:37 PM
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12heineken
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Thanks for the tip (I think). After checking out the badcaps website I am now forced to uncontrollably dismantle everything in my house that uses capacitors. Oh well, it'll take my mind off of other annoying conspiracies. Anyway, thanks truly, I hope I find my gremlin - wish me luck.

p.s. do you think a bad cap could cause a hang during the installation of an old USB 1.1 PCI controller? Happens every time I try to install it. Old board - bios has been told to enable USB functionality, and no IRQ conflicts. I know this is a processor forum, so If it's a waste of your time I understand.

thanks again
T
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