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Athlon Socket A Motherboard/AMD 1.0 GHZ CPU Clocks at 750 MHZ

Posted on 2001-08-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have had this problem recently on many different socket A motherboards (MSI, Epox, Shuttle and Gigabyte to mention a few). I install an AMD 1.0 GHZ processor on the motherboard, set jumpers and BIOS parameters to correct settings (I believe), and the motherboard only "sees" a 750 MHZ CPU. On the MSI, I never COULD figure it out. The Epox, flashed the BIOS, and didn't see correct speed until I remembered to "Load Setup Defaults" (duh!), then worked on next boot. Set the Shuttle system bus speed to 133Mhz and it worked, but CPU ran about 50 degrees C which I feel is fairly hot.

The current question is my Gigabyte GA7ZXR motherboard. I have a known good 1.0 GHZ CPU which worked fine on an Epox 8KTA3 before I upgraded to this raid board. Ever since the first boot, it's never seen any more than 750 MHZ. I have flashed the BIOS with every version to the earliest, the latest two do not show "Load Setup Defaults" as an option, rather "Load Optimized Defaults" instead. Tried that to no avail. Loaded the "F4" version (three versions back) which allows for "Load Setup Defaults", but that didn't work either. This board has dip-switches to set system bus. If I set it to 133 (to get full 1.0 GHZ), it locks up tighter than a drum. Not sure what else to try. I will be trying some tech support areas today, but I figured I'd try you good folks at the same time.

Is there some standard flash switch I can use to get the "Load Setup Defaults" back, or will it even matter?

I know of several other builders who have had similar situations and not been able to fix it, I've been fortunate enough to find a few answers. I figure I've heard of this happening enough, that there is probably something that I am doing wrong.

Thanks in advance.

- Jim
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Question by:jmfairchild
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RoadWarrior earned 200 total points
ID: 6380355
The board should have a clear CMOS jumper or pair of pads to short to restore defaults, this does more than the software one, it does a complete clear, whereas the one in the setup prgram just restores some values. It is wise to short this jumper every time you set a new board up, or change the CPU. All kinds of things can happen to a board in transit, electrical storm in the air etc, than can have EMP effects on the RAM that it wasn't designed to survive etc, so clear it when you get it, clear it if it's been sitting around for months, clear it if it starts to behave funny.

50C is about normal for an Athlon, they are usally specced to 75 I think though there many be a few that are 70C and most of the Durons are 65C. So if you set your temp alarms up for 60C it should be fine.

regards,

Road Warrior
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by:jhance
ID: 6380420
>>CPU ran about 50 degrees C which I feel is fairly hot.

That would indeed feel hot to you if you touched it but it's not hot at all for the CPU.  The correct operating temperature for a CPU is not based upon "feeling" but rather on objective things.  AMD says that 70C is the maximum operating temperature.  50C is well within the acceptable range.
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by:pbessman
ID: 6380531
Check here for full details on the Athlon chips you can find the Durons as well here.  http://www1.amd.com/athlon/config

Are you sure it is supposed to be set at 133?  AMD makes some 200Mhz FSB 1000 chips as well as 266FSB/ 1000 chips.  Was it ever working?

Even after you setup defaults you may have to configure the proper FSB and multiplier ratings for your processor and board combo.  Do you have any literature on your CPU?  There should be some identifiers on it if you purchased an OEM unit.  I would look here for info on identifying exactly what you do have and its compatibility with the motherboards you're using:  http://www1.amd.com/athlon/mbl
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by:pbessman
ID: 6380573
I don't see that GA7ZXR on any of the AMD recommended lists.  It was built for AMD systems but perhaps not running the speed you want.  The vendor may support it but until AMD recommends a board I would wait for the right release to match the board you are using.
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by:pbessman
ID: 6380603
Here's some specs on that board.  In case the others are interested in checking this out.

http://www.giga-byte.com/products/7dxr.htm
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by:1175089
ID: 6383930
I think that your problem is with FSB. 1G Athlons comes in two flowers 10x100=1000MHz and 133.3x7.5=999.75MHz.Probably you use 133MHz FSB Athlon with 7.5x multiplier with 100MHz FSB. 100x7.5=750MHz
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by:jmfairchild
ID: 6386118
Roadwarrior - It seems that this is one of the boards without the pins for clearing the CMOS. I have tried a flathead screwdriver across the two "pads", a bent paper clip, and even pulled some old pins from an old video card (that needed to be scrapped anyway) and placed them in either side of a jumper and placed it on the pads (nobody ever accused me of not being creative). None of these have worked to clear the CMOS. I believe you have the right answer, but how do I accomplish this short (no pun intended) of a soldering gun and some pins?

jhance - You're completely correct that the temp is within an acceptable range. I was trying to be thorough. (Guess I should have left out the "...I feel..."). BTW, I STILL have a small rectangle on my index finger from the first time I "tested" what I though to be an overheated At5hlon a while back. I may be creative, but sometimes VERY stupid. Thanks.

pbessman - I should have stated that this is a 1.0GHZ/266 FSB flavor of AMD Athlon Socket A CPU (so much for thorough).

1175089 - You're on the right track, I believe it's stuck at 100x7.5, but I also believe that if I can clear the CMOS...

Thanks all.

- Jim
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by:pbessman
ID: 6386322
What board are you attempting to clear the CMOS on?  You mention several possibilities.  If you can't get into your BIOS to make changes in the BIOS, refreshing it will do little as most still require you to set up the processor.  For Example I have a system that uses an AWARD BIOS and by pressing my delete key I can enter SETUP.  Oncve I am there, there is an option titled SoftMenu III setup.  Under this entry I set my CPU operating speed.

Despite the fact that boards are now jumperless they still normally have a jumper to clear the CMOS?  If all else fails, remove the battery for a few second but you will need to reenter time/date and such.  Most BIOS I know allow you to set the speed of processor under the setup ,depending on the brand of board or CMOS you can try pressing the DELETE or F1 key to get in to it.  Do you know how to get in and set up your BIOS?  I believe that I have stated the issue of the clocking already as well.  
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by:pbessman
ID: 6386336
BTW after I do BIOS updates I still have to go in and make these changes to CPU speed and FSB.  When it first boots after clearing the CMOS it says I have a 300Mhz Processor with a 66 FSB.  I have a 1000 at 133.  Perhaps your AMD system has similar settings causing your grief.  
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by:jmfairchild
ID: 6386875
It is a Gigabyte GA7ZXR (see my question: "The current question is..."). Many boards now are jumperless for "Clear CMOS". I've run into it before, but usually can short the "stubs" with a flathead screwdriver. Not here. I CAN get into BIOS, just can't clear CMOS. I also removed the battery, seems to maintain settings. No CPU speed or FSB settings in BIOS setup, just dip switches.

- Jim
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by:RoadWarrior
ID: 6386925
On some boards just making the connection on the jumper or pads is enough (flat bladed screwdriver is usually fine on pads) On some others however, you need to power the board on briefly while the connection is made, now, this would seem unlikely if you just have the pads, you'd think they'd have spent the 10c on a jumper for that, but, you never know.
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by:ehrrngtn
ID: 6390562
Have you looked into the possibility that the dip switches are bad? you can test them with an ohmmeter to make sure they are opening and closing as the should.
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by:jmfairchild
ID: 6418705
Looks like the board is screwed up. Also tried a 1.2/266 which only clocked to 900. Seems it will ONLY recognize a CPU at 200 FSB. Can't clear CMOS or change system bus speed. Dip switches give different results when changing speeds, none of which are good. Going to go ahead and award the points to RoadWarrior since if the problem were on a good board, I believe that clearing the CMOS would have eliminated the problem. I will be exchanging this board today for an Abit raid board. Thanks all.

- Jim
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