Temperature monitoring on old desktop - Dell OptiPlex SX270?

Jeremy Chadwick koitsu at FreeBSD.org
Sun Aug 3 03:19:12 UTC 2008

On Sun, Aug 03, 2008 at 01:50:53AM +0200, Torfinn Ingolfsen wrote:
> The bios on this machine is from 2004, and that might be the cause. I
> couldn't find a newer bios than version A06, release date 09/29/2004.
> Does anybody know about a newer bios for thios machine anywhere?

The first questions to ask are: 1) does this machine even have a H/W
monitoring IC on it, and 2) is it enabled/wired to thermistors and

> Or does anybody know how to fix the DSDT in the bios to enable thernal
> reporting?

I don't think this is possible.

> Or perhaps there is a way to read the temperature off the cpu, like the
> coretemp(4) driver?

What processor is in it?  Not a Core2Duo.  I'm guessing since it's circa
2004, probably a Pentium 3 or 4, or possibly an older AMD.  None of those,
to my knowledge, have on-die temperatures -- they all rely on external
H/W monitoring.

I just checked http://tingox.googlepages.com/sx270 and sure enough, an
older P4.  coretemp(4) won't work with this.

> For those who wonders: yes, I have tried mbmon, lmmon from ports, but
> they didn't report anything useful as far as temperature goes.

healthd, lmmon, and mbmon/xmbmon are all fairly "old", and expect the
H/W monitoring IC to be in a specific place, and that the tie-ins exist.

> Any good hints will be gratefully accepted. 

I would start by booting the machine into Windows and install
SpeedFan.  If that thing is able to detect and provide thermal data,
then we can continue from there.  Otherwise chances are there's no H/W
monitoring IC on the board.

P.S. -- If you look at the mainboard and see a Winbond chip, that does
not guarantee there's H/W monitoring capabilities.  Many of the Winbond
ICs provide Super I/O (legacy stuff: floppy, LPT, ISA/PCI interface,
etc.), and it's entirely up to the board engineers which IC they use,
and if they bother implementing H/W monitoring tie-ins.

| Jeremy Chadwick                                jdc at parodius.com |
| Parodius Networking                       http://www.parodius.com/ |
| UNIX Systems Administrator                  Mountain View, CA, USA |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.              PGP: 4BD6C0CB |

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