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  1. #1
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    Question Change ailing cpu in acer aspire 3620

    I have an Aspire 3620 LAPTOP with: 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron M 380 CPU; socket 479 mPGA; 64 Kb L 1 Cache; 1M L2 Cache (not found); 2G DDR2-400 soDIMM Ram; Motherboard Main Chipset i915GMS/i910GML; 60 GB ATA HDD; Video subsystem Intel GMA 900 integrated/ Win 7 Home Premium 32bit/ System Bus Speed 400 MHz FSB

    When I run Everest diagnostic tool, and click Motherboard - CPU, it says " No CPU L2 Cache found. This may cause performance penalty."
    It does have a performance problem; under light moderate loads the CPU usage often hits 100% and freezes there for a couple of minutes. The RAM usage is usually around 40%, rarely over 50%.

    Could the failed L2 Cache in the CPU be causing this?

    - Is the Aspire 3620 an easy CPU change or is it one of those that has to come completely apart?
    - Would I replace the CPU with an identical unit or is it possible to put something a little better in there? I don't need to hot rod it; just getting it back to it's stock capabilities would be OK; I heard that certain Pentium M CPUs have worked well... see here: http://forum.notebookreview.com/hard...pentium-m.html
    and here: http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=105792
    - Where can I find a cross reference or that indicates other chips that will work in there, or does someone have personal knowledge/experience on this one?
    Last edited by tinkering; 05-30-2014 at 04:41 PM.
    tinkering

  2. #2
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    Re: Change ailing cpu in acer aspire 3620

    Hmmm.. I'm not sure if the L2 cache can fail without the whole CPU failing, at least in a way that would allow the machine to continue to function even somewhat normally. Still odd that Everest wouldn't be able to detect the cache. What does CPU-Z say?

    Not sure about the Aspire 3620 specifically, but the Celeron M 380 comes in multiple packages, a PGA (socketed) and a BGA (soldered) package, so you may or may not be able to even replace the CPU. Chances are that its socketed. Barring any concrete evidence about compatibility I would think that your best bet would be to find a Pentium M of the same generation (Dothan core, 400mhz FSB, 21W TDP), like the pentium M 725, 735, etc.

    That said, it seems like a lot of effort for a very old laptop. Even best case your performance is going to be very poor. Your performance might simply be limited by the fact that the Pentium/celeron M's are single core in a world where dual core is the absolute bare bones minimum.


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  3. #3
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    Re: Change ailing cpu in acer aspire 3620

    I just bought an:
    Intel Pentium M Processor 745 2M Cache, 1.80 GHz, 400 MHz FSB, SL7EN, Laptop CPU for $10! Is it going to fit the socket? It should work according to the two links I posted in my OP.

    Will this one work too? Intel Pentium M PM 745 /PM745 SL7EN 1.8/2M/400 CPU What is a 'Dothan' grade designation again?
    tinkering

  4. #4
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    Re: Change ailing cpu in acer aspire 3620

    Quote Originally Posted by Activate: AMD View Post
    Hmmm.. I'm not sure if the L2 cache can fail without the whole CPU failing... Still odd that Everest wouldn't be able to detect the cache. What does CPU-Z say?

    That said, it seems like a lot of effort for a very old laptop. Even best case your performance is going to be very poor. Your performance might simply be limited by the fact that the Pentium/celeron M's are single core in a world where dual core is the absolute bare bones minimum.

    I have never used CPU-Z. I will try to download it and give it a try. I am interested in what it says.

    Does the unit I bought look like it meets the requirements as a replacement?

    You are so right. This little old thing might not meet the bare bones minimum of today. It's a labor of love, a good thing to practice on, and I am also being frugal at present. I hope to get another year out of it.
    Last edited by tinkering; 05-30-2014 at 02:51 PM.
    tinkering

  5. #5
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    Re: Change ailing cpu in acer aspire 3620

    I consulted CPU-Z. Is it ever slick and intuitive. It as well as Everest does not indicate any L2 Cache present.
    CPU-Z does not seem to have a temperature sensor feature.
    The specs I came across has the max operational temp of this CPU at 35 deg C. Everest shows the present CPU temp at 46 deg C; The temp of this CPU is sometimes twice that. When (if) I take this apart for the upgrade, I will clean up the heatsink cooler real good, and make sure there is good paste on the new install.

    It looks like the socket is a 479 mPGA which means it is not a solder variety; that is good. I have a fear that this Aspire 3620 lappy is a more labor intensive full take down type of CPU access. Does anybody know for sure? If it is facing the bottom cover, maybe I can VERY CAREFULLY cut an access hole to get it out
    Last edited by tinkering; 05-30-2014 at 02:53 PM.
    tinkering

  6. #6
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    Re: Change ailing cpu in acer aspire 3620

    Quote Originally Posted by tinkering View Post
    I just bought an:
    Intel Pentium M Processor 745 2M Cache, 1.80 GHz, 400 MHz FSB, SL7EN, Laptop CPU for $10! Is it going to fit the socket? It should work according to the two links I posted in my OP.

    Will this one work too? Intel Pentium M PM 745 /PM745 SL7EN 1.8/2M/400 CPU What is a 'Dothan' grade designation again?
    "Dothan" is just Intel's internal code name for the core. Kind of like "Haswell" "bulldozer" or "thunderbird". I *think* that the one you bought should work. I make no specific claims or guarantees but I would have probably bought a similar chip if I was in your position (for what thats worth!)
    Quote Originally Posted by tinkering View Post

    You are so right. This little old thing might not meet the bare bones minimum of today. It's a labor of love, a good thing to practice on, and I am also being frugal at present. I hope to get another year out of it.
    Fair enough, I just figured I would at least point out that even an upgrade on the CPU front does not guarantee a big jump in performance... maybe a nice one relative to the old CPU, but you may still have performance issues. I can respect both the labor of love and frugality aspects, a $10 CPU is probably worth the try from that point of view
    Quote Originally Posted by tinkering View Post
    I consulted CPU-Z. Is it ever slick and intuitive. It as well as Everest does not indicate any L2 Cache present.
    CPU-Z does not seem to have a temperature sensor feature.
    The specs I came across has the max operational temp of this CPU at 35 deg C. Everest shows the present CPU temp at 46 deg C; The temp of this CPU is sometimes twice that. When (if) I take this apart for the upgrade, I will clean up the heatsink cooler real good, and make sure there is good paste on the new install.

    It looks like the socket is a 479 mPGA which means it is not a solder variety; that is good. I have a fear that this Aspire 3620 lappy is a more labor intensive full take down type of CPU access. Does anybody know for sure? If it is facing the bottom cover, maybe I can VERY CAREFULLY cut an access hole to get it out
    CPU-Z is really meant as a basic "what is my CPU?" type functionality, and to that end it doesn't have all the bells and whistles. As you noticed though, it is very straightforward and slick to use. 35C is definitely not the max. Intel's information page (here) shows a max temp of 100C, which is definitely more plausible. Cleaning the HSF assembly is still a good idea, you just don't need to be concerned that you're cooking the chip until you're well above 46C!

    Lastly, I looked up the Aspire 3620 and it definitely looks like an involved job to get at the CPU. You'll be taking the entire bottom of the casing off at minimum to get at the socket. I wouldn't cut a hole if you can help it, seems risky. There is a guide (here) on how to take it apart. This looks like a complete disassembly and I'm really not sure how much of this you need to do... you might be able to skip steps and keep certain parts intact, but i'm not sure.


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  7. #7
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    Re: Change ailing cpu in acer aspire 3620

    Quote Originally Posted by Activate: AMD View Post
    "Dothan" is just Intel's internal code name for the core... I would have probably bought a similar chip if I was in your position (for what thats worth!)

    ... not guarantee a big jump in performance... maybe a nice one relative to the old CPU, but you may still have performance issues... a $10 CPU is probably worth the try from that point of view


    ...35C is definitely not the max. Intel's information page (here) shows a max temp of 100C, which is definitely more plausible. Cleaning the HSF assembly is still a good idea, you just don't need to be concerned that you're cooking the chip until you're well above 46C!

    Lastly, I looked up the Aspire 3620 and it definitely looks like an involved job to get at the CPU...There is a guide (here) on how to take it apart... you might be able to skip steps and keep certain parts intact, but i'm not sure.
    If the replacement CPU just helps keep things away from that 100% usage freeze up state, I will be happy enough. I read a thread where a guy had a similar problem with Everest reporting "No CPU L2 Cache found. This may cause performance penalty." I think he was seeing poor performance too. He changed the CPU and fixed it. I suppose it could have something to do with the CPU temperature increases too? I thought this was rare but on doing a search it showed plenty. Apparently the larger the L2 Cashe on the CPU, the more the potential defects. The dual core CPUs might not be as reliant on large L2 Cashes as the single cores were but I stand eager to be corrected. The link below is good info, and a research experiment. The conclusions are interesting how L2 Cache noticeably affected performance.
    http://www.nordichardware.com/CPU-Ch...n.html#content

    I pounced on that $10 CPU.

    My CPU temp is back up to 85C. All I had to do was play 3 WMA music files. It's been in the 90s before but never broken 100C so that is good.

    Thanks for the 'take apart' link. I have had this thing apart in the past; I just haven't taken the MBoard off. I think the CPU might be under the MB? That's why I was thinking surgery I will post the results.
    Thanks.
    Last edited by tinkering; 05-30-2014 at 04:40 PM.
    tinkering

  8. #8
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    Re: Change ailing cpu in acer aspire 3620

    The Intel Pentium M Processor 745 2M Cache, 1.80 GHz is in there, with new Seven Carat Diamond thermal grease. Unfortunately the L2 Cache is still not found by Everest or CPU-Z. I suppose the problem is in the motherboard? If that is the case, I might just use the laptop the way it is until it bites the dust; it depends on how curious I get about finding the solution to this L2 Cache issue.

    There was a LOT of crud in the rad; I cleaned it up real good. The CPU temp so far is stable at 60 degrees; that is an improvement The replacement Pentium M 1.8 GHz is still a step up from the Celeron M 1.6 GHz, so that might help a WEE bit. So far, my 'CPU Usage Meter' doesn't seem to ride at the 100% level as much as it did before the CPU replacement; that might have something to do as well with the new improved lower operating temperatures achieved by new grease, and restored air flow?
    The overall performance has improved slightly but I am disappointed that the L2 Cache is still not there.

    I did cut the bottom out of the laptop for this job (with aviation tin snips), rather than totally dismantle the laptop as required Although I was completely successful, I wouldn't recommend that procedure for the faint hearted I will attach a picture when I get one. It saved some time and work but it is fatally risky; I didn't really care about this old Acer but if it was a good new unit, I would not have done it. It has become more of a desk top unit and less of a laptop unit because of the operation but I am going to stick a screen under there to help keep some of the cat hair and debris out of the fan.

    This job was fun
    I wish the manufacturers would get off the pot and build the units with access covers on the bottom.
    How do you overclock these units; I can't seem to find any adjustments in the BIOS?
    Last edited by tinkering; 06-14-2014 at 01:29 PM.
    tinkering

  9. #9
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    Re: Change ailing cpu in acer aspire 3620

    Quote Originally Posted by tinkering View Post
    <chop>

    How do you overclock these units; I can't seem to find any adjustments in the BIOS?
    Short answer...You don't


  10. #10
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    Re: Change ailing cpu in acer aspire 3620

    Could it be possible that the problem was in the bios to begin with (L2 cache is simply disabled)? That is the likely culprit as I doubt there is a way that the cache somehow fails in the CPU and simply turns off.

  11. #11
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    Re: Change ailing cpu in acer aspire 3620

    Quote Originally Posted by Pehu View Post
    Could it be possible that the problem was in the bios to begin with (L2 cache is simply disabled)? That is the likely culprit as I doubt there is a way that the cache somehow fails in the CPU and simply turns off.
    I checked the L2 enable/disable setting option way back when this all started but I will look again. Could it be a problem with the program; could doing an update check or a BIOS reinstall help?
    Last edited by tinkering; 06-16-2014 at 11:55 AM.
    tinkering

  12. #12
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    Re: Change ailing cpu in acer aspire 3620

    Quote Originally Posted by tinkering View Post
    I checked the L2 enable/disable setting option way back when this all started but I will look again. Could it be a problem with the program; could doing an update check or a BIOS reinstall help?
    I checked BIOS setup; there is no L2 Cache option in there; it does not even list the L2 Cache. The Bios version is V1.06. Where can I check to see if there is a Bios version update available, other than on the Acer site. They don't seem to have much listed in the way of updates for older units.
    tinkering

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