My New MCE Doesn’t Like AMD Cool and Quiet

I upgraded from my last little box to a new monster of a thing (that I’m really going to have to work out how to cool more quietly).

This involved going from a P4 3.2 HT socket 478 to an Athlon64 3500+, probably pre-Venice core, and an Nvidia 6600 PCIe from a Radeon 9550.

Everything is seemingly fine, most of the time. But add a little too much load, and stuff starts going wrong. Playback of Recorded TV gets little artifacts. Changing the channel on the second tuner (Avermedia A16A tuners) sometimes causes a recording to jump at that point. Motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-K8N, and I installed the Nvidia Nforce4 IDE drivers along with the chipset stuff. While I’m asking – is it just me, or are Athlons on Nforce weaker for IO than Intels?.

AMD reckon it should work – their tech note is mainly about synthetic benchmarking (PDF). But if Task Manager gets confused easily, I’m thinking other apps might too.

With Always On set, it works pretty damn perfectly, all the time. With Minimal Power Management, if the box gets a little stressed, it doesn’t “warm up” fast enough to cope.

Now it might be that the decoders or codecs or whatever else has a problem with CnQ… at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. Perhaps Windows Vista will allow me to configure the power profile before recording a show…

pinkjoint, media center, mce, mce 2005, spongbo

2 thoughts on “My New MCE Doesn’t Like AMD Cool and Quiet

  1. I’ve got an AMD 64 3000 with MCE and NVIDIA 6600 and I do fine with cool and quiet. It heats up for a short time during encoding tasks and that’s about it.

  2. Dammit. (thanks for the data point).

    Mine was struggling while recording 2 hi-def shows and watching another; one glitched a bit, and developed visiual artifacts during playback. The other seemed to do OK, but switching to Always On, no problem since.

    Might buy a round of driver updates and see what that nets me…

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