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TechZone Heading
3D Studio MAX FAQ
Added on: Tue Apr 16 2002
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 

F. Cooling/Stability (cont.)

It looks like my power supply can't even power my portable alarm clock. How much power should my system have?
Here's the formula I use for workstations.

Start off with a 300 watt power supply…for any speed system.

If your going to be using an Athlon XP, extra hard drives (two drives and two room's, or a Geforce 4, add 50 watts. (350 now)

If you're going to a dual system, add another 50. (400)

If it's a dual system, running a SCSI raid array, A Geforce 4, multiple secondary video cards, video editing equipment, a bazillion case fans….add 50 watts and a whole redundant power supply system.

So basically as a minimum requirement, I'd say a 350 Watt name brand power supply, from a company like Antec, Enermax, Chieftech, or Sparkle.

My processor is running at 70C. Is that too hot?
Yes. That would be beyond the specifications for damage on most cpu's. The temps you should be running at. For an Athlon XP+:

@$!!% -10-0C
WTF!!!! 0-10C
Holy mother 20-30C
Fantastic 30-40C
Good 40-45C
Ok 45-50C
Getting warm 50-55C*
Instability is my friend 55-60C*
I run windows 95 60-65C**
Fire is fun 65-70C**

*=instability can start to occur in extended rendering.
**=instability will occur.

Basically with any cpu, you should try and keep the load temp below 50C. This will extend processor life, and increase stability under a variety of conditions.
The best way to lower your temps is to purchase a nice heatsink, with some artic silver thermal paste, and rearrange your case innards to provide better airflow.

What heatsink should I look at for a socket 462 system?
The most effective heatsinks I've found for a socket A system are….

Thermalright AX-7
Thermalright SK7
Thermalright SLK800

All three of these heatsinks are in the top rankings of Socket A performance, and work nicely with 80mm fans. (Enermax adjustable rpm fan’s are great. Low noise and performance!)

You’ll notice that I removed the other competitors offerings. That’s cause they just plain suck in comparison to the thermalrights.

What heatsink should I look at for a socket 478 system?
Northwood's have different thermal requirements then socket A systems, and usually don't require the same ridiculous levels of cooling.

With that in mind….

Intel’s Retail Cooler. (It actually works great!)
Sunflower A7V
Vantec Aeroflow VP4-C7040 (38 db makes it a bit loud, but very effective!)

I'm all wet and excited about water cooling. How do I do it? Where's a good place to get parts?
First dry yourself off. You won't do your machine any good dripping water on it. Then head over to for some great deals on equipment, and links to setting up a system. 3dluvr will have a review on how to setup a water cooling system, and its advantages and disadvantages in the coming month, so watch out for it!

If you're still encountering issues, or additional problems, please feel free to visit 3dluvr’s COLLOQUY forum.
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