View Full Version : Have you ever cracked a core?

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09-20-02, 11:54 AM
I need some honest responses here folks....Let me know if you've ever cracked the core of an AMD processor...

Let us know the tragic story with all the gory details.....what model, was it RMA'd.......did you replace it......

There is a reason behind all of this that I will share a bit later...


09-20-02, 11:58 AM
I'll kick-this poll off and get things started...

A year or so back, I purchased an OEM AMD 1.33GHz processor...Well, I installed the heatsink, went to power the system on....and nothing.......no beeps.....no power....nothing....just a fan blowing on a cooked CPU.....

I took the processor out and saw ( to my horror ) that the outer edge had been chipped!

After a few calls and emails, AMD offered to replace my 1.33GHz with a 950MHz processor with no charge....I figured, something was better than nothing and I accepted the trade...

Since then, I have religiously used a CPU-shim and have never had a problem...I learned my lesson....


09-20-02, 12:39 PM
ummm...errr... I once took an Intel 486sx chip, removed all the pin, and punched a hole thru it for a fantastic key chain! :D

09-20-02, 12:49 PM
Did you crack that 1700 you have listed? How about you post your answer in the poll eh?



09-20-02, 12:53 PM
Originally posted by pelly
Did you crack that 1700 you have listed? How about you post your answer in the poll eh?



nah, I never cracked my 1700. Surprising too because I have a Thermalrite AX7 which is pretty darn heavy. And considering the number of times I've changed my HSF and then switch from generic thermal compund, to artic silver 2, to artic silver 3... it's really a wonder I haven't damaged my little chip :rolleyes:

Anyway, I went ahead and voted no. Happy now? :D

09-20-02, 12:56 PM
That made my day.... :p


09-20-02, 01:24 PM
Im on my third AMD chip now.. from 1ghz, to 1.33ghz, to the 1900+... Ive probably switced hsfs on them more than a few dozen times while cleaning out the heatsinks (I smoke, and keep an open case) and never had a problem.

I do have a semi related story that I still laugh about to this day. Back when I was doing computer tech work, during the race to hit 1ghz first... The very first day the 1ghz Athlons hit retail, a guy came in asking why his pc didnt work.. He had just gotten the 1ghz chip and was pretty upset that he couldnt get his system to work.

Soon as he set it on the table I could smell burning... So, I checked to see that the fan was plugged in on the Heatsink, and then turned it on... it was on for maybe a few seconds when I noticed that smoke was coming out of the cpu socket.... So, I turned it off, and took off the heatsink, and low and behold... This clown didnt take off the sticker that covers the thermal compound on his heatsink.

I tried hard not to laugh, but I just couldnt help myself... Needless to say the guy was pretty pissed off. Didnt even get to use his new chip for 5 minutes before he burnt it right out.

09-20-02, 01:25 PM
When i first got my 8k7a+, Athlon 1.4Ghz setup going with a Dragon Orb 3 i tried some overclocking. Ended up killing the Ram trying to post at 170Mhz FSB hehe.... But i didn't know it at the time. When i tried to boot i kept getting a Bios Rom Error and thought since my other machine had the same MB i would swap Bios Chips, well i didn't have the right tool and after trying with tweezers for 20min i gave up and tried booting the system again, this time all i got was the fans.

So i took the whole thing apart and gave all the peices to back to the reseller i got them from for testing. He called me back the next day saying BOTH sticks of Memory are dead, the MB is dead and the CPU core is cracked. Im pretty sure he is the one who cracked the core by just resting the Dragon Orb on the CPU while testing but we'll never know, maybe it happen when i took it apart after killing it....

Anway im happy with OC'ing the Vid card and sometimes running a 140Mhz FSB. Learnt my lesson the hard way.

09-20-02, 05:12 PM
hmmm.. I just bought a new 2.4 Ghz P4b and I am not going to buy a better HSF or fan for a while, cuz I am happy with what I have, just slap on some artic silver III and it works great. Haven't installed it yet tho, so I hope I don't crack the core...:eek:

09-20-02, 05:18 PM
I came very, very, very close to cracking the core of a Duron 800 about 2 weeks ago. I was installing the HSF but I had the case rotated 180 degrees (so the the latch clip was closest to me) and when I reached about 18 pounds of pressure, there was a PLING! as the screwdriver slipped and the HSF rattled slightly off the socket. :p It's a wonder that I didn't crack the core or pop a capacitor off!! Thank God that AMD puts those 4 pads on the corners otherwise it would've been a goner!

I slapped myself in the bald pate, rotated the case 180 degrees so that the latch was FARTHER from me (which is how I usually do it) because it gives me more leverage and with the dead weight of my upper body hovered over the case, it helps to slowly ease the clip down.

09-20-02, 05:39 PM
Wow all that sounds complicated. All I have to do is set the HSF on top of the core with AC III applied on both, line it up and then I flip a few levers and I'm done.:D

09-20-02, 07:36 PM
I almost cracked the core of a p3 500. The damn intel heatsink had one of the most uncoperative clips I've ever seen. I've since switched heatsinks on that cpu and when I took off the intel one, there was noticable damage on side of the core. Thankfully it's chugged along just fine ever since in a family members pc.

09-21-02, 04:17 PM
Wow, the poll seems to show some good results, most of the voters (myself included :D) didn't have their core crushed! Well, not yet anyway. ;)
Well i myself have been carefull from day one, thanks to reading THG at the time (over 3 years ago now). Placing the HSF on the cpu is the most delicate process of building a pc, so i always take my time no matter how many times i've done it before.

However, i believe much more people actually simply fried their cpu than crush it. I bet if you asked about burned cores in a poll, the results would be very different! :)

09-21-02, 07:40 PM
Hey, I am about to buy a new Air cooling thang, eh, I am gonna buy a Thermaltake Volcano 7+ for P4 Socket 478. I have a 2.4 Ghz Pentium 4b Northwood, is that a good HSF for it? or is there any better?

09-21-02, 08:34 PM
i heard the coolermaster are better

09-21-02, 08:56 PM
I almost did.

A friend came over with his comp parts so i could build for him.

Anyway, we got to the point of installing ths stock hsf on his Palomino 1800+

I had only limited experience with flip-chip cpus... My indestructible Pentium III. ( I am SO negligent when installing hsfs on it, surprised it hasn't cracked!)

Anyway, i had read all about horror stories, so i explained what we were gonna do. We figured a way to use both of us to install it. One tries to hold it properly and steady while the other tries to fit the clamp in. I was holding, he was pushing.

It was going well. The clamp was about 1/4 into the socket nub when suddenly:


The screwdriver slid right off and the clip snapped into place. Our hearts sank. We had no idea whether we had killed the cpu or not. anyway, we kept putting stuff together hoping the cpu was ok.

We shut the case, plgged in KB/mouse/monitor, and crossed our fingers

We slowly pushed the power button on the case, and then....



Then i saw the ATX cable sitting in my lap.

09-21-02, 09:15 PM
lol, dang thats scary. Wow, eh, I am getting a pretty big HSF for my Pentium 4, but I have read from many places that the Pentium 4, even the new little ones, haha, are really tough. The surface area is larger than that of a Athlon and they look more solid. All I am gonna do is apply the arctic silver 3 to the cpu and to the copper part of the volcano and maybe have my dad help me or something and hopefully I'll be fine. I didn't pay $192 to break my core, haha.:p

09-21-02, 09:26 PM
i came close twice i guess? i didn't know your suppose to use a screwdriver to clamp tight on the fans to cpu. so i used my hands to clamp on a volcano 3 to a amd tbird 1ghz and a volcano 7 to an athlon xp 1.4 ghz. i remember using quite a bit of force lol.

09-22-02, 01:15 AM
eh, what is a cpu shim? I Know my volcano is coming with one, errr, only if I knew what it was, I probably do, but I just don't know it by that name, what is it?:confused:

09-22-02, 08:38 AM
It's a thin strip of metal that lays on top of the CPU and increases the resting surface area of the processor. Since AMD doesn't do heatspreaders or P4-style HSF hookups, having a shim is a good idea, especially for the Thoroughbred processors cuz of their small cores.

CPU Shim (http://www.tcwo.com/cgi-bin/webc.cgi/st_prod.html?p_prodid=2322)

09-22-02, 11:52 PM
Hey thanks for your help, I also ordered some Arctic Silver III and I am thinking about ordering a Thermaltake Crystal Orb for my northbridge. I heard that it tends to get pretty freakin' hot for SIS 648. And all it comes with is a heatsink, so I will be taking that out and putting a crystal orb in. The only thing is, what do I do with that pretty green heatsink that says "AGP 8x" on it?:D

09-23-02, 02:38 AM
I've never personally cracked a core, but I've seen more than a few that have been cracked. Usually I end up troubleshooting these systems (after my noobish friends attempt to build them), working on them for sometimes hours before I finally yank the HSF off and discover a chipped corner or crack. Nowadays, it's one of the first things I do when I get a comp that doesn't POST.

I have 3 dead soldiers, all 1400 Tbirds, sitting right in front of me, from people who improperly installed them or used the wrong HSF. Can't tell you the number of times I've seen a TT Golden Orb crush a Socket A CPU. Ok, I can. 3.

I personally don't use shims; they can actually inhibit contact between CPU and HS. This happens when they are not perfectly flat and the exact height of the die. As long the foam pads are intact, I don't worry.

09-23-02, 08:12 AM
Does anyone use a CPU shim?
If so, which brand/model do you use?

I've used some from Cooler-guys before with luck...but I've really been looking at the ones from Tweakmonster for my newxt CPU...Head over and check it out...there's no inner material to short the bridges.....


09-23-02, 09:20 AM
Guys I accidentally voted no. Take one away from "no" and palce it into "yes". I destroyed a Pentium 2 cpu to get the permament heatsink I placed on. Got it off with pliers and destroyed the cpu. No other way to get the heatsink off :)

09-23-02, 03:10 PM
Shim? I don't need no steenking shims! :D

I've yet to destroy an AMD CPU by cracking the core. I thought I came close, though with my very first Athlon, an 850 MHz Athlon-A (bringit on the 200 MHz fsb, w00t!).

I made the mistake of buying a Thermaltake Chrome Orb to cool that processor. Little did I realize what a total and utter pain in the flange that bugger of an HSF would be to install. Upon fighting it to get it on the clips, I thought I heard a cracking noise. Instantly my blood pressure surged, but I managed to finish the job. I plugged the fan into the header on my KT7A motherboard and powered it on. It would power up and after about 5 seconds shut down. WTF, I played around with it and after about 15 minutes of profanity I found out I had the fan plugged into the wrong header. Oopsie doodle! I switched it to the right header and powered up my new PC where I was welcomed by the BIOS setup screen. The CPU and HSF were both fine. :)