We're still attempting
to use the Zino 400 as our daily HTPC, but it's been pretty brutal over the past few weeks & months. Netflix has been off-sync, computer crashes (no blue screen; directly to reboot) in WMC & even using MCPHC.
BUT...I may have finally
stumbled upon a solution.
I've always thought the computer was not having 1, but 3 types of problems:
1. Too much heat.
2. Weak power supply.
3. Bad HD controller, possibly exacerbated by 1 & 2.
I've always wondered why the hell the 3250 didn't have Cool'n'Quiet enabled with stepping. I recently started researching this and found some conflicting information. AMD says it has it, Dell says it doesn't (http://en.community.dell.com/support.../19317855.aspx
). From AMD's perspective, it wouldn't make any sense to cripple CNQ in this processor.
I am a true tech geek, but I've never delved too far into overclocking/underclocking since it seemed mostly like a waste of time for most of my projects. In this case, though, I started wondering if there a way to deal with #'s 1 & 2 up top. Obviously, Netflix under the current Silverlight environment is VERY demanding on our processors (please make Hardware Accelleration work!!!), so we can't afford to underclock the procs, but we CAN undervolt!
I found a great tutorial on undervolting here:http://forum.notebookreview.com/hard...ing-guide.html
After following the instructions and finding a stable voltage level (I think it was .8 or so on mine), I found I was able to reduce the proc temps under load from 73 to 67! There was a significant reduction in perceived heat coming out the Zino's tail end. Idle temps dropped a bit, but not by much. After stressing the processor and watching the voltages and clock speeds in the RMClock CPU Info window, I noticed something odd. When Orthos stopped, the processor's clock dropped from 1.4999 to ... 0.999! The processor scaled!!!!!! Upon noticing that (and doing my best Patrick Flatley impersonation), I decided to go the next step and see if I could change the voltages at the bottom step. Wouldn't you know it? I was able to drop the voltage for the first step even further down to .725. My new idle temps were now down to about 58c from 62c. Considering this was done without opening the box at all, that's a pretty significant change.
My wife and kid wake up every morning and put on Thomas & Friends on Netflix. Netflix has been out of sync for months now. The PC has crashed every morning this week, sometimes twice...except for this morning. No crashes, no sync issues. There was a bit of stuttering, but overall, she said it worked perfectly.
I won't know for sure if it's fixed until we get a few more days in, but for now, I am hopeful that I've stopped the excessive crashing and inability to watch netflix due to syncing issues. Cross your fingers folks! I'll come back in a day or two and report how the PC is responding.
Wish us luck!
Win 7 Home Premium (x64)
1 TB Caviar Green
3 GB RAM
Athlon 64 3250E
Radeon 4330 graphics
USB-based SPDIF stick