Turion CPU Desktop mobo problems: DFI K8m800-MLVF & MSI K8MM3


Sep 2, 2004
I'm building a silent energy effecient SFF desktop based on the Turion cpu in a Microfly enclosure. I converted my AXP 2800+ to a server and moved all the key parts into this setup. Essentially the Audigy, the AGP vid card and 2GB of ram were used to cut down on cost. I prefer to keep these parts until good DX10 cards come out and SP1 for Vista comes out :-P The current plan for this system is to last about 18+months then convert it into an energy effecient storage server by dropping in 3 x PCI SATA controllers and a dozen hard drives.
After some research, I went with a DFI K8M800-MLVF mobo and a Turion MT-32 that I had lying around. The mobo POSTs and will boot into Linux/Windows, but it powers off if I do something intensive.
So I'm in diagnostic mode. I stripped it down to basics, pulled the cards and pulled the mobo out of the case and onto the box it came in. Current config is as follows:

Turion MT32
Thermaltake Venus 12 Passive
1GB Patriot PC3200 DDR
Seasonic M12 500w

Generic 8X DVDRW
XFX 6800GT AGP w/dual DVI
SB Audigy
Ultra Microfly Black Window Case
2x Sony 23inch LCD

It boots into UBCD 4 Windows and Knoppix Live CD. So the mobo does work and recognize the CPU. I can change the CPU multiplier in the BIOS, but touching the voltages kills the mobo and I have to reset the CMOS. The BIOS has no monitoring of anything other than the battery voltage and the fan rpm. It does have overheat protection and will autoshutdown if it gets too hot.
Using AMDs Cpu monitoring, CPUZ and WCPUID I can see the voltages being misreported. They range from .90 to 2.3v which seems to be consistent with other users experience found through google. So I can't touch the voltages and I am running it on default voltage settings. I have tested the CPU multiplier at all settings and the system will POST and boot into knoppix. I can sit on the desktop, surf the web and even listen to music. It will work. If I try to load up a game or enable visualisations or play cpu intensive videos, it will power off and the Power LED will blink at me in defiance. My hunch is the mobo overheat protection is kicking in and shutting down the board cuz it thinks its overheating. But I have no way of testing or proving that. I looked for a BIOS update, but the BIOS on my mobo is newer than the one on the DFI website. Aside from this major annoyance, the mobo is fine. It has all the basics and even firewire to boot.

After 5 days of playing with it, I ordered the MSI K8MM3-V from newegg hoping it would solve my problems. It has roughly the same specs and official? Turion support from the MSI website found here

Well I stuck the Turion in it and fired it up. Lights come on, and I see a brief glimpse of the starting BIOS, then the system powers off and the Power LED blinks @ me. I'm stunned and feeling cursed.:confused: I power off the PSU using the power button on the PSU, randomly count some numbers and power it back on.
Same thing. I try and retry this w/minor variations. New ram, AGP card, no card, even pulled a Turion ML cpu from my laptop. Same thing. I tested this for 2 days before giving up and using the DFI, which does POST and does boot into knoppix.:mad:

So I'm thinking the mobo is bad or not reading Turions correctly. If the mobo is bad, then I just have to RMA and get a new one from Newegg. If its not reading the Turion correctly, then I need another s754 cpu to update the bios or setup the mobo, and I don't have a spare s754 to test. So I would still need a new mobo.:(

So before I plop down another 50$ and RMA both these boards, I just wanted to see if anyone had any other ideas or has played with such a setup. Is there another mobo that has been tested to work out of the box without any playing fooling around w/other CPUs?
I have heard the Bioforce T6100 will work and some other PCIE mobos will work.
However, I prefer not having to swap out new ram or vid card due to cost concerns, but if I have to I shall. In which case, I'll have a nice agp vid card and 2GB of matched Patriot DDR Ram for sale. If no one has any other ideas, I'll just try another K8MM3 and hope this one was just a dud.:(

Thanks for reading and let me know if theres a better place to stick this thread.