Taming the ClawHammer

AMD's Clawhammer AKA the Athlon 64 was the CPU architecture to have in the early 2000's. I still had mine won from Epics Make Something Unreal Competition where our Star Wars themed Total Conversion Mod, UT 2004 Troopers landed a runner up place.

Great thing about old hardware, I landed a great Gigabyte Neocooler 8 Pro Cooler for the long forgotten Socket 754 for $5.50. The guys down at EYO must have had sitting on a shelf or the best part of a decade. As of the date of this post they even had a few more in stock.



Lord Vader's LED lightsaber illuminating the installation of the CPU Cooler.

The extra long 7800GS, one of the last hi-end cards made for AGP, powered up fine, though I do remember I overclocked her to squeeze a bit more juice out of her, so she may well be in her last legs.

A few quirks came to light with the old girl. I always thought my days of loading Disk Driver prior to a windows install were long behind me. Not the case with the Gigabyte GA-K8NPro in windows 7. After trying one before, my second attempt of The 64 Bit Silicon Image  Drivers managed to get a drive appearing in the Windows & installation. Zip filenames was 3x12_x64_w7_1.2.15.3_logo.zip for those coming here looking for them.

Next, once the OS was installed, there were constant lockups and freezes that I remember plagued her towards the end of her role as my primary PC. I always chalked it up to Windows rot, though the fresh Win 7 install was showing the same symptoms.

Turned out that disabling the onboard RAID on the Gigabyte GA-K8NPro seemed to be the cause. Every time I left the SATA Raid enabled, and just did not set up a array, as opposed to disabling the RAID (setting to BASE in BIOS), the lockup issues disappeared. The old Silicon Image RAID under the N-Force 150 chipset seemed to be much content in RAID mode, even if powering a single drive.

This beast of yesteryear will now live of at a relatives place until being replaced by something an order of magnitude faster likely at a cost lower than what i payed for the Video card alone.

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