Memory Time, Inc. has developed an interesting tool to assist integrators and resellers with setting the proper CPU voltages on their motherboards. This simple tool plugs right into the CPU connector and gives a readout of both the I/O voltage and the Core voltage. Only the power plug needs to be connected to the motherboard (no memory or video card needed).
By using this tool, the user can make sure that the voltages are set correctly before plugging in the CPU, thereby preventing any inadvertent damage to either the motherboard or the processor. The product we tested was the AT-PRO, which fits into both Socket 5 and Socket 7 connectors. With the Processor Protector, we were able to verify the voltages for a number of motherboard/CPU combinations very quickly.
We also checked out a couple of motherboards with known voltage problems, which this tool immediately identified. In one case, no matter which jumpers were set, the core voltage remained at 3.7v, which could have caused some damage if the problem had not been detected before it was used in a system. Weeding out these problems up front is an essential step in reducing costly RMAs.
While you may be able to determine this information with standard electronic test equipment (and a good knowledge of the motherboard layout), the beauty of this tool is that no special training or knowledge is required, and it is 100% accurate even in the hands of a complete novice. For those vendors who pre-install processors, build bare-bones systems, or even sell complete systems this is a great tool to have around. It takes less than 1 minute to setup and use, so it could even be used as the first step in an ‘assembly line’ operation.
Memory Time also makes a Slot 1 version of this tool, which we did not test. Currently there is no Socket 370 version, however it should be available in the near future. If you are interested in this product, visit the Memory Time web site at http://www.sdram.com.
Be the first to discuss this article!