Suitable ATX motherboard for FreeBSD server

Alex Ingram alex at
Sat Apr 27 19:44:35 BST 2002

In message <27205.1019931817 at>, Paul Civati <paul at> 
>I would steer clear of AMD processors for a server, and go with Intel.
> did an interesting test on AMD and Intel processors, 
>highlighting that AMD processors do not have good thermal shutdown 
>compared to Intel, so if your processor heat sink/fan fails then your 
>AMD CPU will melt down, quite literally.  Intel CPUs simply slow down 
>or shut down safely.

Too much has been made of this.

One, the test they did involved unclipping the fan and using 
motherboards that used no thermal protection of their own whilst running 
the system under high load (quake 3).

It looks cool, but remember two things. One, most motherboards monitor 
the fan speed of the CPU fan and will shutdown if it reaches too low a 
value. Mine, also monitors under the CPU and if that reaches 60 then you 
also get instant shutdown.

When was the last time a hand reached into your case, removed the fan 
leaving it attached to the motherboard and ensured that the motherboard 
would not shutdown as they watched waiting for the CPU to pop? It's not 
exactly an everyday occurrence is it?

At the end of the day, for a low end server, the premium for Intel 
boards and chips probably out ways the average cost of replacing a 
failed CPU. If there were user problems with reports and evidence of 
this occurring in the wild it would be OK, but to be honest Tom's 
Hardware is a site of dubious bias.

Also, the most recent Athlons are IIRC now supporting or will be 
supporting the same thermal protection technology as Intel as an _extra_ 
safeguard (not checked lately and thanks to NTL not got the bandwidth to 
do so, but Tom's did their tests sometime around September 2001), and 
that is it's only real value, as a final fail safe that you hope works.
alex @  | Everybody dies
------------------------| frustrated and sad | and that is beautiful

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