Phenom Exposed! Shipping with flaky 3rd cores.

ragemonkey

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I think THG should investigate this issue, it is popping up in forums everywhere.

There has been much speculation over why AMD has not released Phenom parts of speeds greater than 2.3ghz. The going perception was that the TLB errata was a big contributor, and possibly an immature manufacturing process. Unfortunately, the problem is actually much deeper than that. Thanks to the release of the Phenom 9600 Black Edition, the problems with Phenom have become painfully obvious. Plainly stated, AMD is selling a busted chip, and many people are getting ripped off, and I think places like THG and OCguide need to call them out on this. Look around the net... it is a huge problem... and one I wouldn't be suprised if AMD eventually got sued over. This problem will also explain the true reason as to why AMD is going to release a Tri-Core chip.

The problem may seem trite, as purchasing a 9600BE is a gamble. But the problem is not just with the Black Edition, but with all current B2 Phenoms. Most of them cannot be overclocked, yes, this is true and a well-known fact. However, there is also a growing number of Phenom buyers who cannot not run stable even at stock clockspeeds.

I recently took a chance on one of these chips and have had the same experience that many others on the internet are having. Here is my experience;

My configuration is:

AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition cooled by a Zalman 9700
Gigabyte GA-MA790X-DS4 Socket AM2+ motherboard
4GB Gskill 5-5-5-15 DDR2-800 Memory (4x1GB Sticks)
3x74GB WD Raptors in RAID 0, Primary Drive
500GB Seagate PMR Hard Disk
eVGA 8800GTS 320MB
Vista Ultimate 64bit

My Phenom experience:

Upon installing the Phenom in my system, it booted up fine without a problem. I have not OC'd the chip at all at this point, simply running it at stock settings. Once it booted into Vista, I played around with it for a bit with no issues. I then decided to do the first real test, which was to see what the Vista rating on the processor was. I clicked on the "refresh my score" link... and the testing began. During the test I got my first BSOD. The details read...

"A clock interrupt was not received on a secondary processor within an allocated time. Error 0x101"

I rebooted the system and tried again. This time the rating completed without a hitch and showed a glowing 5.9 rating for the processor. About 20 minutes later, the same error happened again.

This happens at stock speed. Any attempts to overclock either results in the BSOD or Vista wont finish booting at all.

Over the next two days I fought with this problem to no avail. I tried bumping the Vcore, the NB voltage, tried setting the RAM down... everything I could think of. Nothing.

I then did some research online and found some interesting info on the subject...

http://forums.amd.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=319&threadid=90533&enterthread=y&STARTPAGE=1

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=175878

...a simple search, just google "BSOD clock interrupt Phenom", there are no shortage of hits...

Upon researching this problem I found that many Phenom users are having this same problem. Many only when trying to overclock... but also... many when trying to just run their chip at stock speeds. The problem points to one thing... a partially or wholley defective third core. Apparently, many people have had to use AMD Overdrive to purposely *underclock* the 3rd processing core (Core2, no pun intended) by lowering the multiplier specifically for that core, in order for the chip to run stable. The rest have had to do so in order to get any sort of stable overclock beyond 2.4 ghz. Does this sound familiar?? It should, as it is the frequency above which all Phenoms were yanked by AMD. The truth appears to be coming out... AMD doesn't have Phenoms above 2.4ghz available because one of the cores is flawed and won't allow for a stable chip at or above 2.4ghz. The errata appears to be more spin than anything... let the masses feast on the errata as the underlying issue when the real issue that is the manufacturing process being quite flawed at this point.... tries to fly under the radar. If AMD didn't want this flaw to be exposed, as I'm sure they didn't, they should have never released the 9600BE.

I tested this for myself and came to the same results. Whenever I tried to raise the multiplier on cores 0,1 and 3 I could go past 13 with no problems at all on stock voltage. The very instant I tried playing with core 2, BSOD. So my problem was the same as all the others... a bad 3rd processing core. But mine won't even run reliably at stock speeds...

I then decided to lower multiplier to see at what frequency the 3rd core will actually run reliable at. I first lowered it to 10.5 from the stock 11.5 (a freq. of 2100) and all stability issues seemed to vanish. I played with the system for the better part of a day and had no issues whatsoever. I stressed it rather intently with some video encoding projects and not a problem to be found. I then decided to push a little bit farther and raised the multiplier for the 3rd core to 11 (freq. of 2200). Unfortunately at this speed the random BSODs made a re-appearance rather quickly and I promtly re-adjusted the multi back down to 10.5. The bottom line was that the 3rd core can only run stable at or below 2.1ghz while the rest of the chip was capable of 2.6+ on stock voltage.

So for the money I spent, I got a functional and overclockable tri core cpu with an additional crippled core. This leads me to believe that the tri-core cpus will be capable of 2.6-3.0 speeds quite easily. Considering this issue is becoming more well-known by the day, AMD is facing a ticking timebomb in terms of when the major sites like THG will have a field day with this.

Bar None... AMD should not have released Phenom, much less the 9600 Black Edition.

It seems this problem is known by newegg already, as they appear to be granting RMAs rather unconditionally with these chips. I am RMAing mine currently, and hoping that the next one I get won't have the problem so severely. The word needs to spread and people need to not get ripped off. Hopefully this will inspire THG to do some investigating...
 

Scarchunk

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So I did what you said and googled "BSOD clock interrupt Phenom" and sure enough there's alot of pissed of people (even on AMD's website forum) with the same problem. Interesting...
 

xnamerxx

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i dont want to be rude but did you even research the problem. did you try disabling cool and quite as it doesnt work correctly with phenom. If this was was a problem on a specific core did you try to stress that core by setting a program such as prime95 affinity to that core. Its possible it can be a htt issue as well. It could also be possible that core is running alot hotter then say the others ones and isnt stable at those temps. Im not arguing that your wrong im just giving you more options to test.
 

jimmysmitty

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Read the second link he posted. The guy explains that without C'n'Q, it will not run at the rated 11 multi. He goes into detail that it is core 2(the third core) that is causing all of the stability problems, FSB limits and such. His could only get to 2.05GHz stable where as the OP got his to 2.1GHz stable and the rest higher.
 

buzzlightbeer

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my phenom only goes to 2.4 i tried doing the same thing you did lowering core 2 then i put my others to 2.6 work for a little while then frooze :/ but my memory does go to 1066

and what psu do you have ragemonkey?
 

mrmez

Splendid
Im not suprised at all.
In a rant awhile back i said AMD would eventually have to pay the price for NOT having its own production facilities.

Intel took a massive financial hit and built its own.
Now they are reaping the rewards.

Sorry AMD, i agree with everyone else. U guys fkd up.
 

mrmez

Splendid
^^^
Not 100% sure TBO.
I remember hearing all their fabrication of cpu's was outsourced.
They may have their own facilities, but i doubt they produce commercial quantities from them.

I also believe AMD should be punished for spreading BS and misleading the public.
 

ryman554

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Hate to say this, but you are mistaken here.

AMD has two production fabs currently. (one of which offline for retool for 45nm).

It's the *development* fab which they don't have. Replace that word in your above criticism and I agree wholeheartedly.
 

Mathos

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Well, all I can say is I had the same problem to begin with. Ended up having to reset the bios, since I had originally had an Athlon x2 4200+ installed. And I had to reinstall windows, before that AOD kept causing those errors, and ended up corrupting the boot files.

Unless your using v2.0.10 or 2.0.14 of AOD don't even bother using it, it will cause that every time you mess with a processor setting, and even with those versions its likely to happen. The ONLY way to stably oc is through the bios, if you have a board that can support the thing properly.

Other than finding OC limits, and a weak rail on my PSU I have had zero problems. And yes, part of the time I had instability was at stock settings.
 

ragemonkey

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I am running a Antec Neopower 550w
 

homerdog

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Thanks for the analysis ragemonkey. I'm sorry to say that I'm not surprised. AMD's processor division is no longer running a legitimate business.
 

computertech82

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Pretty good read. Very interesting. does explain the "tri" cpus coming out a bit better. That really make AMD look bad (like the OLD intel issue of the math-co error or the p4 3ghz overheat issue). But I have to give Intel credit, at least they owned up to those issues and replaced them.
 

function9

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I don't read xsystems that often, but damn I think they have more tools over there (at least in the AMD section) than this place ever did.
 

Zephyn

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I read this forum more then I post but I figured that the virtualization issue was a cover up for a bigger issue; it really sucks because its going to hurt AMD more in the eyes of the public. On the plus side at least AMD knows which cores to zap; not that that's much of a good note. I really hope that AMD gets their act together and puts out a good 45nm product, the only thing that was really considered good at 65nm was the 5000+ BE.
 

bombasschicken

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Have you guys considered what would happen to the market if AMD was taken out of the picture? Who would fill that spot? Mortorola? IBM? All well and good but not really suited for the mainstream market...

Any Idas?
 

ragemonkey

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^ I agree with you here. I was very suspicious when AMD kept making a big deal about the TLB errata because in all seriousness, there is nothing "big deal" about it at all... at least in a consumer setting. I always thought there was more to it than that. Sadly enough, AMD has been all about misdirection and misinformation over the past year plus. I am just very surprised that AMD allowed the BE to be launched... did they not think the enthusiast would figure out what is really going on?

What was even more suspicious was the recent pushback for B3. I am guessing at this point, B3 cures the errata but not the defect in the manufacturing process that is causing the Core 3 defects hence still no steady crop of Phenoms above 2.3 ghz.

 

ragemonkey

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Via still makes processors, although they specialize in the Small Form Factor and ultra low power chips these days.

http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/processors/isaiah-arch/

As for IBM, AMD's current quest for 45nm is actually an ongoing joint venture with IBM. So the tech is definately accessible by them as well as AMD.

http://www.playfuls.com/news_05502_IBM_and_AMD_Offer_Details_about_Revolutionary_45nm_Chips.html

 


Yes, we know. Intel will go back to the P4 era of sitting on their a$$es because what they have out is "good enough". Not really the point of this thread though.

Anyone else with a 9600 that would like to add to this?
 

jimmysmitty

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There is no reason to want AMD to be put out of business. But with them covering this up with errata that doesn't effect anyone kinda makes you wounder if you can trust them. If anything I am sure a company will come. Motorola is out as their FAB out in the pacific(can't remember what country) was destroyed during a typhoon hence why Apple switched to Intel CPUS since IBM cut theirs off which were produced at that FAB and now IBM only makes their processors for their servers.

I don't want AMD out but either they fess up to a bad manufacturing process and replace all Phenoms currently sold and in the market since they can't tell which have this problem and which do not or be made a fool when this hits the fan. It is possible that it may not show in some Phenoms now but after time might which is why they should bite the loss and replace them with known good parts. We can also tell its not specific to any one type. I saw people posting with 9500's that had the problem so I guess we can say it is just quad core related hence the manufacturing process is fubared.

Boy it seems that AMD has dug themselves in deep. I just hope something doesn't happen for their tri-cores. If so it wont be that good.
 

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