Solved Athlon II X4 640 CPU overheating unusually

November 16, 2012 at 03:37:59
Specs: Windows 7, Athlon II X4 640/ 4GB

When I first got my CPU it was running at a nice 32C temperature. After a few PC cleanings its never been running exactly as cool when it was fresh from the box. I have 5 fans installed on my mid tower.

I have the back fan blowing out. The 2 top fans blowing onto the CPU since it has a dust cover. The side fan blowing out and the front fan blowing in on the bottom. Are my fan's not positioned right? I haven't dusted out my heatsink in awhile either. I read somewhere that vacuuming the heatsink could help drastically in temperature. Is it safe?

I was told to put the Thermal Grease onto the processor and to take the grease off of the heatsink. Something sounds fishy with that too.

When im playing any sort of game the CPU jumps from 50C to 70C and its quite scary. I don't overclock my cpu and Id like to get it running back cooler like it used to be. What do you recommend?

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November 16, 2012 at 04:44:34
✔ Best Answer

AMD processors use the 'middle dot' method. Look here for details:
Clean both surfaces with a quality rubbing alcohol (high % Isopropel content) and use a 'grain of rice' size dot of compound at the center of your CPU, but follow the direction on the link to be more clear. Too much is as bad or possibly worse than slightly not enough.

Your fan arrangement is not correct. You should have a rear exhaust fan (out) as mandatory. If you have a bottom power supply in your case you have the option of one or two top fans, if used these need to also be exhaust to remove the heat. This should be more than enough but if you like a front fan (low in the front) can be used to blow air directly onto hard drives and graphics card(s) without causing problems. You want the air to FLOW smoothly THROUGH your case from low in the front and up through all of your components and out high in the back. Side fans disrupt this flow so they reduce the overall cooling efficiency. Most people use side fans to blow into the case, but either direction is bad since it breaks up this flow and makes 'dead' spots or 'eddies' in the flow.

Cleaning should be done with a can of Dust Off or similar compressed gas. You should not remove the heat sink unless you need to remove the CPU or fix an issue with the heat sink. Vacuuming is NOT safe since normal metal and plastic vacuum hoses can carry a static charge which is dangerous to your critical components and the hose itself can be dangerous to wires and components as you bump into them or suck them outwards.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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November 16, 2012 at 04:54:56

Excellent explanation by Fingers. +1

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November 16, 2012 at 05:25:58

I was thinking of taking the heatsink off and vacuuming it. That couldn't transfer charge to the Heatsink could it?

Thanks for explaining everything else so clearly. Much appreciated.

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November 16, 2012 at 20:38:53

Every time you remove the heat sink you need to clean off all thermal compound and reapply it so it is not advisable unless like now when you may need to remove it anyway to properly apply the thermal layer.
Once the heat sink is outside of the computer, it will not matter if you decide to use a vacuum since it is less likely that static would build up and that would dissipate through to a table of counter top. You could always touch the heat sink to a metal faucet to make sure, before you clean the mating surface with alcohol just before assembly.
For the future, stick with the compressed 'air' cans for cleaning.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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