Preparing For a Dual-Processor PC
Know what you're getting into...

By, Marco “BigWop” Chiappetta
1 / 11 / 2001

Hello Folks.  Today we’re doing something a little different here on H.H.  We normally focus on straightforward hardware reviews but while working on my most recent project…a review of the Abit VP6…I hit a little speed bump.  As most of you probably know by now, the VP6 is Abit’s newest Dual-Processor motherboard.  Last week I sat down to install our review board and about an hour into checking it out my system went dead.  I had killed my power supply!  What a bummer!  It was a decent 300-Watt unit that came with my case.  It had been operating properly for over a year, powering a system that was always packed with the newest high-end hardware. 

We Killed it!

I realized that there are certain things that as a hardware reviewer I occasionally take for granted.  As someone who is constantly installing, uninstalling and tweaking my hardware, I find that sometimes I do things without thinking…like second nature if you will.  I decided to outline some of these simple things to insure your next upgrade goes smoothly and gives you an extended period of reliable use. Unlike my latest fiasco. :-)

The first area we’ll be focusing on is power.  Abit’s VP6 is capable of running dual Intel Pentium III Processors at speeds beyond Intel’s current flagship, the 1.13GHz model. Running processors at these speeds requires a constant flow of clean power. Something my previous power supply was not capable of doing.  A single 1.13GHz PIII consumes approximately 50 Watts of power.  Double that, add the power requirements of your RAM and the motherboard itself and you’re already well over 100 Watts before you’ve added a single peripheral!   When our generic PSU (power supply unit) died, we knew we had to call in the big guns.  We contacted our friends at Outside Loop and had a 431 Watt Enermax unit sent in to power our rig…


Oooh, look at all those connectors!  Also notice the dual fans mounted in our new power supply.  That brings us to the second point we’d like to make when contemplating the move to a dual processor system.  With double the amount of processing power in your case, you’ve got double the amount of heat to dissipate.  The exhaust fans installed in this Enermax PSU are a good base to our ventilation scheme but there are a few more steps to take.  Another fan mounted at the top of our case will be used to exhaust some of the hot air that rises from our hardware.  That makes a total of three fans pulling hot air out of our case. 

Supplying cool air to flow over our other hardware is also another top priority.  As the hot air rises and gets expelled from the top-rear of our case, we’re going to utilize two intake fans to pull cool air in through the lower-front of it….


These two Sunon units mounted at the lower front and mid-rear of our case should supply an adequate flow of air to keep our hardware cool and insure there are no "dead zones" where the air is not circulating.

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