Socket A Temps: Inaccuracy and Comparison Issues

Main Problems:

I. Socket Thermistors Measure temps at a Secondary Heat Pathway, Which Reflects Only A Portion of CPU Core Temp Change

II.  Compression of Thermistor Readings Explained And Why Socket-A Heatsink Comparisons are often invalid and of little practical use

III. Socket-Thermsitor Under-Reads due to Compression, and Why Compensation in MB Bios Only Goes So Far

IV. P3 Internal Diode Versus Socket-Thermistor Heatsink Tests(in progress)


* Formula for Theoretical Temps is as follows( this is a standard formula)

C/W (rating of heatsink) * W (OF Cpu at Full Load) = C (over ambient case temp)

C/W *W = C (core temp over ambient)


Goals:  My main goal in this website is to provide extra knowledge into the socket a temperature measuring problems, with the end result hopefully being a "big" website doing a proper review.  As of today, numerous "big" and reputable websites, such as Anandtech and Tom's Hardware have published very poorly done heatsink "comparisons".  In this website are reasons why these big websites should not have published their results, and why they should have tried to find a better solution to the temperature measurement problem.  My personal opinion is that big websites have a responsibility to their viewers to provide accurate results to their tests.  Using the excuse of "the test was repeated twice" does not suffice for socket a temps, because the incorrect/compressed results are indeed repeatable.

As a side note, I have attempted to contact most websites that have done incorrect reviews.  For the most part, the response is a cold-shoulder response.  On other occasions, they have replied with the "I did the tests twice, so they have to be correct" response.  To me, I do not believe either answer is appropriate.  To me personally, their unwillingness to change their reviews is one sign that these websites truly do not care about the end-user.

Solutions:  Seriously, there really aren't any. A good stop-gap fix is to buy an external thermistor and mount it so that it touches cpu core edge. You still get some temp change compression, and some secondary heat pahtway effects, but the overall result is a lot better. As seen in some early testing, Socket-Thermsitors appear to react differently to different heatsinks(IE Have different compressions exhibited), whereas an "external" thermsitor would not exhibit this problem.

Some works in progress that are very intriguing include 2coolTek's new test setup, and TrainWrecker's new test setup. While neither of these nor any of the testing Nevin or others have done will truly reflect socket-a results, they will give you a "relative ranking" of heatsinks, so that one can determine which one suits your needs.

Acknowledgements: Nevin House,  John Carcich (both heavily responsible for my limited knowledge of thermodynamics), Clay Autery, Joe Citeralla of for posting numerous new tests into the accuracy and relativity of Socket A temps, Stephen Hoar of Burning-Issues and the countless others who I have tried to learn from.

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