06 October 2009 - Socket 754 Turion ML-34 works in an ABIT NV8

My current desktop has served me quite well for nearly four years. Its Sempron 2800+ certainly doesn't compete with Phenoms or Core 2's in terms of performance, but what really bothered me about it was its lack of power management support. By some arbitrary decision, AMD chose to disable Cool'n'Quiet on Semprons <3000+. I've been vaguely interested in upgrading the processor for a while, but options are rather limited. It's not worth it to upgrade to a faster Sempron. Socket 754 Athlon 64s use quite a bit more power and mobile Athlon 64s still cost well over one hundred dollars. Socket 754 Turions exist, but I couldn't find any mention of compatibility with my ABIT NV8. I figured for eight dollars it was well worth the gamble, and bought a mobile Turion ML-34 on eBay to give it a try and to give my desktop a final upgrade.

So the specifications of the two processors are

Sempron 2800+ Turion ML-34
Frequency 1.6 GHz 1.8 GHz
L2 cache 256 KiB 1024 KiB
Power consumption 62 W 35 W
Power management No Yes

Being mobile processors, Socket 754 Turions don't have a heatspreader separating the die from the heatsink. To allow my Scythe Ninja heatsink to make contact directly with the core, I removed the black heatsink mounting equipment from the motherboard and shaved down about 2 millimeters from the bottom. After some adjustment it fit, and the heatsink made good contact. Once this was set, I fired it up. The BIOS even recognizes the Turion by name.

No benchmarks unfortunately, nor have I had a chance to test power consumption with my Kill-a-Watt. I can say that the CPU runs about 5 ℃ cooler. Linux also is able to change the CPU frequency on the fly between 1.8 GHz, 1.6 GHz and 800 MHz.

So I can confirm to any Socket 754 users left out there that Turions do work in the ABIT NV8. It's probably the most satisfying upgrade Socket 754 users as well.

Tags: hardware