Questions about healthd and mprime

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at
Thu Aug 7 20:09:00 UTC 2008

I recently got close to burning up my shiny new Athlon64 processor.
(Wire got tangled up in the heatsink fan.  Thankfully, I caught it
in time, before the processor was fully cooked.)  On and off, I was
watching the BIOS system hardware monitor screen at the time,
which is how I managed to catch it.  (Processor went to 101c before
I did.)

So anyway, now all of a sudden, I'm interested in the topic of what
exactly would happen to my server if I'm out of town for a few days
and the fan on the heatsink fails.  Obviously, I would like it if
my processor _didn't_ just sit there and bake itself to death.

Researching this issue, I learned that on Athlons, the CPU will shut
itself down, but _only_ after it reaches 125c!  Yikes!  That's like
above the boiling point of water!  (As I understand it, this specific
processor, LE-1640B, should be kept under 65c.)  So now I set about
looking for something that will do a clean shutdown of FreeBSD sometime
well before that, say at 100c.

I pretty quickly found healthd, which looks like it ought to be
helpful... although it obviously will need to be wrapped inside
of some sort of script that will initiate shutdown.

Problem is: documentation of healthd's output is almost non-existant.
OK, so when it prints those three temperature numbers, which one stands
for what?  And if, as I surmize, the last (and highest) one is CPU
temp, then why doesn't it seem to change at all?  I'm guessing that
I just need to create some artificial load, yes?

OK, so _now_ I've looked around and found out that a lot of folks
these days heat up their CPUs by running the "mprime" thingy.  Swell.
But I don't know diddly poo about this program.  So can somebody please
tell me the set of "best" command line options for the thing if your
only goal is to stress your CPU?

Thanks in advance.


P.S.  Please reply on-list.  My spam filters are re-diculous, and you'll
probably never get past them if you send to me direct.  Thanks for your

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