Liquid cooling CPU overheating. fixable?

August 18, 2011 at 04:55:13
Specs: Windows XP, amd athlon 64x2 dual core 4200

Let me just start by describing my situation and what I've done to fix it, time and time again, although this time I am unable to fix it. I know for a fact its my CPU overheating, coretemp reports my CPU at about 110+ degrees Celcius before it shuts down, it only gets that hot when I'm gaming for 20+ mins. GPU sits at about 50 degrees C.

Anyways, I've had this problem for last month or two, and have fixed it time and time again, I cracked case originally a little bit and put desk fan on CPU and big room fan on the whole computer, fixed. Then two weeks later it would overheat again, I cracked case open more and moved big room fan pointing into computer, fixed. Now despite what I do it still overheats after 20+ mins of gaming, before when it was overheating, I at least got 1 hour+ of gaming, now only 20 mins. Removing case and putting room fan directly on whole computer doesn't help, if anything it seems a little worse. Making small movements to how cracked my case is and where deskfan and room fan are make no difference. I am just lost on what to do to see what is causing the problem.

I have a case fan, liquid cooling mastercooler aquagate mini on CPU, PSU fans, desk fan and room fan. The system is old, about 5 years, but I was able to fix it before, why am I not able to fix it now? Please at least point me in the direction of finding out what might be failing or what I can do to lower temparatures. Any extra information I will be glad to provide. Thanks ahead of time. AMD Athlon 64x2 dual core 4200 CPU, 2gb ram. All fans are working and have been recently dusted, again and again.

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August 18, 2011 at 05:08:34

The vast majority of the world cool their CPUs with standard air cooling & do NOT have the problems you're having. It should be obvious that putting a huge room fan next to the case isn't a "fix". Remove your liquid cooling setup & throw it on the garbage. Then take the stock AMD heatsink/fan (assuming you still have it) & install that in it's place. Make sure the top of the CPU & bottom of the heatsink are 100% clean, then put a tiny dab of thermal paste (about the size of a grain of rice) in the center of the CPU. Do NOT spread it around! Once the dab is in place, simply set the heatsink on top of the CPU & lock in position. That's all there is to it! Then go play your games & enjoy.

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August 18, 2011 at 05:25:33

Thanks for the reply, and yeah I'd imagine 95% of the world is not using liquid cooling, which is why I came here to post. So you seem to think its my liquid cooling failing, even though I have fixed this problem a few times before? Is there any way to tell if its for sure failing, or anything I can do to fix it? And I do not have a heatsink, my computer did not come with one :(.

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August 18, 2011 at 05:29:50

Blowing external air into the case is NOT fixing it, it was only delaying the inevitability of needing to properly fix things.
Your manual:
Make sure your radiator fan is blowing OUT of your case
Make sure your coolant pump is connected to your CPU fan terminal
Make sure your radiator fan is connected to power supply with included adapter and that the fan speed is adjusted correctly
Finally, if these do not help, remove the water block from your CPU, clean off all thermal paste from the water block and CPU and apply the correct amount of thermal compound. Look at:
IF these all do not help, you may need to have the cooling system refilled (possibly at the factory?).

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

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August 18, 2011 at 06:02:17

Interesting, well I know for a fact the radiator fan was working today, I always check on that damn fan because of how loud it is, but it is not working today. And also when it was working, I did not feel any air blowing out of the back of my computer. I'm going to assume that is where the problem lies, at least for now. Can someone please recommend a fan for my radiator? Thanks

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August 18, 2011 at 06:27:00

Ok, after further inspection of the radiator fan, a wire just seems to be cut a little bit which is probably why it died. But I just have another question, since it was working earlier and I was unable to feel air blowing out the back, do you think replacing the fan will fix my problem? And do I need a specific fan for radiator fan or do I need to put it on a certain direction so hot air goes out?

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August 18, 2011 at 06:37:01

"you seem to think its my liquid cooling failing, even though I have fixed this problem a few times before?"

Fixed it a few times before? What does that mean? If it was working correctly and/or installed properly in the 1st place, there would be nothing to have to fix. That fact that you've had to do this several times means you're not doing something right. And I question that 110C temperature reading. There's no way the CPU would get that hot. It would shutdown long before reaching 110C.

What do you think you've gained by using liquid cooling & why did you feel it was necessary? Do you have your X2 4200+ overclocked to the extreme? Is it even overclocked at all? Go back to air cooling like "95% of the world" uses, you'll be much better off.

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August 18, 2011 at 20:01:55

If you are not doing extreme overclocking, especially if you are not really tech oriented, then you would do much better with an air cooled heat sink and a case exhaust fan instead of this set up.
If you insist on continuing to use it you just need to bring the old fan to a local computer shop and purchase a replacement. When you install the fan, make sure that it is blowing the air OUT of your case AND across the radiator at the same time. This means that the radiator needs to be against the rear of the computer case and the fan needs to be attached to the radiator on the inboard side of the radiator and the direction of the flow will take the air from the case and blow it across the radiator and out of the case. This way you are not keeping the warm air inside the computer's case.
If this is not enough to bring your temperatures down to around 30C idle and 40C loaded, then reseat the waterblock to CPU with clean surfaces and fresh thermal compound (see above links).
While I understand the self contained liquid cooling systems (I studied a few of them when considering the option for a while), I do not use them. I do overclock my systems (not extreme though) but I use Intel stock heat sink/fans. To this point these are sufficient for my systems and my temps run in the 40C to low 50's Overclocked (30's to 40's before OC'ing). If I decide to push them any harder, I will just purchase a higher performance air cooling system for probably a 10 degree or better temp drop.

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

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