Question about Acer Aspire™ T180 PC Desktop

2 Answers

ACER 180 (AMD 64 3800+) upgrade

I've recently been looking into upgrading the processor to maybe a AMD 64 6000. Are there any restrictions that you know of with the Motherboard or this pc that would prevent me from doing this? Also, what about the BIOS. Is the current version - Phoenix Technologies R01-A2 - OK?

Thanks

Mark.

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  • 17 more comments 
  • TheWacoKid Oct 27, 2008

    erm, that's not true. Here's what I now know.



    1).

  • TheWacoKid Oct 27, 2008

    ooo this add a comment page needs some working on. lol (tab space = 'post it' wtf)



    anyways...as I was saying dbluedragon2,



    1). T180 cpu voltage is fixed at 1.25V (true to27/10/08 BIOS R1-B4).



    2). Some of the later AMD X2 cpu's require a rail voltage of 1.3-1.4V.



    3). The 65nm X2 6000+ (89W, 3.1GHz version) only requires between 1.1-1.4 V, where as the 90nm version (125W 3GHz) requires 1.35-1.4V.



    4). These are both (the final???) AM2 socket versions.



    hope this helps



    TWK



  • TheWacoKid Oct 27, 2008

    Hi dbluedragon2,

    Thanks for your reply. I can confirm my pc is an Acer T180, with an AMD 64 X2 3800+ cpu. It's initially provided BIOS was R01-A2. I am thinking of upgrading to a AMD 64 X2 6000+.

    I have already upgraded the BIOS to R01-B4 (the latest available version). This still shows the cpu core voltage as 1.25V. Are you saying that this will automatically change to match the cpu's required voltage if I change cpu?



    This is not my understanding of the situation. I received this recently from Acer Support:



    "Depending on the voltage requirement of the chip, it should support it just fine. The BIOS will not allow you to overclock it though. They will still be fixed values in a newer version."



    This leads me to believe that I need to select a cpu that is rated at the same voltage as that generated by the BIOS. There are versions of Phoenix Award BIOS that have variable cpu and DIMM voltages as settings within it, just as the clocking frequency. I thought that the BIOS upgrade would include this as a feature, alas it doesn't.



    I don't think I'm prepared to take the risk when there is a version available (65nm, 3.1GHz, 89W) that I know will work in this machine.



    Thanks



    TWK

  • TheWacoKid Nov 04, 2008

    Hi kimberlyj595,



    I haven't performed the upgrade yet; the chip's supposed to arrive tomorrow. I have upgraded the BIOS already to R01-B4.

    I have read that others needed to update the BIOS to get their machine working with 64 X2 cpu's.



    I used this link for the BIOS:



    ftp://ftp.work.acer-euro.com/desktop/aspire_t180/bios/



    A) Download the 3 ZIP files - (winphlash is a different program to winflash). I can't remember just now if The BIOS's aren't already contained in the Winflash file.

    B) Make sure you go through the BIOS flashing procedure correctly - or you'll be left without a working machine. Basically the form is - go into BIOS and un-protect the BIOS, flash the BIOS using Winflash then reboot and re-protect the BIOS. Here's a helpful link that explains this more fully with pictures using the Winflash program:



    http://us.dfi.com.tw/Support/Download/bi...



    C) If you are using VISTA you must run Winflash as Administrator, or it wont run - says something like 'write protected' or 'not AWARD BIOS' or something. Anyway, bear that in mind.



    The RAM should be OK as long as they are rated at the same voltage as the ones you had before - probably 1.8V. There are some new ones about that need 1.9-2.0V (usually called hyper-X or somesuch). Also be sure not to mix different RAM speeds.



    Think that's about it. If you need anything else, ask away



    Good Luck,



    TWK

  • TheWacoKid Nov 05, 2008

    Hi,

    Yeah, that's about all there was to it.

    It had me worried too - I had read dozens of comments from people who had tried to upgrade and left there machines in a useless condition. Most of them, at a guess, had not unprotected the BIOS first before attempting the upgrade. It seems to allow the BIOS to be erased but not over-written.

    The blurb about bootdisks etc seems to be for when you unluckily get to this point, either by using a corrupt BIOS, or not using the correct procedure.

    (There's a re-set link on the motherboard to reset the BIOS should you need it.)

    Anyways I couldn't figure out how to make a bootdisk - turns out the option is not available in Vista, so I went ahead and just did the upgrade.



    As for the link to the acer site, it seems to work OK if you copy and paste it into the browser but not directly - how odd! Directly clicking seems to add bits to the address.

  • TheWacoKid Nov 05, 2008

    **their

  • TheWacoKid Nov 05, 2008

    Well if you've changed the CPU and RAM yourself this is a walk in the park.



    Power up the pc.

    Press and hold the 'Delete' key until you hear one or two bleeps.

    Let go.

    You will be presented with the BIOS Menu first page.

    Move the down arrow until you get to 'Advanced Bios Features'. Press 'Enter'.

    Move the down arrow until you get to 'Bootlock Protect' (its the last feature).

    Press 'Enter'.

    Change to Disabled.

    Press F10 (to save the setting)

    Exit BIOS



    You can now safely modify the BIOS.



    After modification remember to return to the BIOS settings to enable 'Bootlock Protect'.

  • TheWacoKid Nov 05, 2008

    With regard to the instruction about 'AP files' - ignore that. If your using a standalone pc just make sure that you've not got anything else running whilst you do the upgrade. Its a safety precaution, - you wouldn't want some program or other messing up the upgrade.

  • TheWacoKid Nov 06, 2008

    thanks teknowolf,

    I fitted the X2 6000+ cpu yesterday and can confirm what you say about the BIOS voltage settings. The core voltage for this device varies between 1.1 and 1.4 V, as it says in AMD's blurb. Because I was unsure of this when I started out I stuck to the 89W, 65nm version - which is fine, I bought some RAM recently and cautiously went for the 1.8V version - where I could have maybe bought the hyper-X version (rated at 2V). Still, its a hell of an improvement on what I had - so I'm pleased.



    Whilst you're on....



    I noticed after I had changed the cpu that various bits of windows Vista programs are not working as they should eg Media Center, it no longer detects the Freecom device that I have installed. I know its OK because I can run the tele via another player that I have installed. I am thinking that I'm gonna have to re-install Vista. I can't do a repair because I used the free upgrade disk that came with the XP machine, and that doesn't have the 'Repair Windows' facility on it. Any ideas?



    Thanks



    TWK

  • TheWacoKid Nov 06, 2008

    thanks teknowolf,

    I'll reload Vista. Not sure what you mean with regards to the second core - I was running a dual core before, but I'll take your word for it.

    As for installing the foxconn BIOS - I think I'll give that a miss. Not that I'm wary of it, I just think that now, all those 20, 30, 50 etc quids would be better off being saved for a bespoke pc in a couple of years. I'm getting good bench test results using Sandra already.



    thanks again

    TWK

  • sabrook Nov 08, 2008

    Hi everyone.

    I have recently upgraded my T180 to an Athlon X2 5400+ from the original 3800+. I have also updated the BIOS to R01-B4, which I believe is the latest release available. All has gone smoothly - thanks to guidance from this post..

    My issue is that there is no visible performance improvement, and
    CPUMark is returning similar results as before. I'm concerned that the locked Mobo is not capable of exploiting the new CPU's capabilities to the full.

    Can anyone confirm that this CPU should work optimally in this mobo at this BIOS level, please? If not, does anyone know of a 3rd-party BIOS which will deliver the flexibility to exploit it?

    Thanks in advance. Steve


  • TheWacoKid Nov 08, 2008

    hi teknowolf,



    I have reloaded Vista and am glad to say everything seems ok.



    I'm getting benchmark results using Sandra that show it well in front of an X2 6400+. No complaints!



    Thanks again



    TWK

  • TheWacoKid Nov 08, 2008

    Hi sabrook,



    I've been chatting to someone on another site who has a 5400+ installed using (I think) R01-B2 and his machine is working fine, so I doubt its the BIOS causing the problem.



    Other problems that I have read about regarding this upgrade have been psu wattage capability - causing crashing and locking up (the VERY first Acer T180 units had 400W psu rated 250W, whereas the later ones had a 250W rated 250W psu), and bottlenecks due to insufficient/slow memory chips.

    I have to say that the most visible improvement between the memory upgrade (1G 3200 to 2G 8000) and the cpu upgrade that I've done has been the memory upgrade.

    You could try using Sandra to measure with, it allows for a direct comparison/overlay with a 3800.



    Hope this helps



    TWK

  • Anonymous Nov 14, 2008

    my oudio not working

  • Anonymous Nov 20, 2008

    R01-B2

  • Kim Jensen May 11, 2010

    Sorry, I'm not sure your last post came through correctly? I've just been on the phone to Acer and they want to charge me $189 to update it! Think I'll try it myself first or take it somewhere else.

  • Kim Jensen May 11, 2010

    Great. I'm actually not that switched on when it comes to techy things so would you mind giving me instructions on how I un-protect/re-protect the BIOS?

    Also in the Winflash instructions it says to Shutdown the network and close all fothe AP files when upgrading the BIOS - what does the AP stand for?

    Cheers



  • Kim Jensen May 11, 2010

    Thanks so much!

    Those are the best instructions I've come across so far. Is that really all there is to it? I've read other website about booting with floppy disks etc so I was going to take it into a computer repair shop and get them to do it.

    Just on thing - I don't seem to be able to open the link for the BIOS? Could be firewalled as I'm on my work comp but could you please double check it for me?

    Cheers




  • Kim Jensen May 11, 2010

    Hi there

    I'm interested to know if you went ahead with the update and if you experienced any problems?

    I've recently updated my computer with 2 x 1GB Corsair Ram and a AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core processor. It was running fine but now it keeps freezing. I've asked around and apparently I should update the BIOS.

    The only problem is that Acer was hopeless with giving me the correct BIOS update. They came back with this link -

    Winphlash link:

    http://www.acerpanam.com/synapse/forms/p...

    BUT on their website I found this update:

    http://www.acerpanam.com/synapse/forms/p...

    I guess I just want to know which to use and if it will fix the freezing problem?



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Any AMD Proc for an AM2 should work fine.

The BIOS should detect the proc's voltage requirement and set them appropriately.

The bios is a proprietary one for ACER and can't be updated to one allowing you to adjust CPU voltage manually, without voiding your warranty.

If you don't mind risking your warranty (For overclocking purposes) then you can find a BIOS to flash onto your MB from FOXXCON. Which is the Company that makes the board for ACER.

If you don't know how to do a 3rd party flash, you should probably do ALOT of research on it before risking your warranty on such a task.

Good luck
Hope this helps
Dave

Posted on Nov 06, 2008

  • David Preston
    David Preston Nov 06, 2008

    TWK,



    Without knowing the details of your sysm I can only offer generalized advice.



    I would start by going to device manager and have it scan for changes, which may trigger it to do a PNP install of any missing or corrupted drivers.



    Then do a windows update.



    If all else fails you may want to Back up Any files you can't live without and try a reinstall of Windows.

    Which wouldn't be a bad idea anyway *** it will allow windows to tune itself to take better advantage of your new CPU (Especially the 2nd core)



    Good luck

    Hope this helps

    Dave

  • David Preston
    David Preston Nov 06, 2008

    TWK



    Glad to hear things are working faster for ya.

    Let me know if the reinstall gets "Everything" up and goin for ya.



    Sorry I didn't know you had an X2 before the upgrade



    As for the bios, yeah I didn't see the need to void my warranty either. But some of the hardcore gamers out there do see the risk as worthwhile just for the few CPU cycles they can eek out of it.



    Take care



    Dave

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  • 47 Answers

Any amd 64 will work. bios should be ok if you stay with just the amd 64 if this is a aspire t180 then you might want to go to a 64x2 which you will have to flash the bios. hope this helps

roduct
Aspire T180 Language
English Model
Aspire T180 Specifications Specifications
Processor
AMD AM2 Athlon 64 x 2 or Athlon 64 or Sempron (940 pin)

Posted on Oct 27, 2008

  • Nathan Scheef Oct 27, 2008

    well can you give me the computer make and model or is the one i said it. If it is the one i said the voltage will change when you flash the bios this is why i said if you upgrade to 64 x2 you will have to update bios.

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