Solved CPU overheating - install water cooling?

Amd / Opteron
June 3, 2012 at 11:28:48
Specs: Windows XP Service Pack 2, AMD Opteron 185 2.6 GHz / 4 gigs
I run my computer on stock cooling. When I play computer games like CoD: MW4 and Tribes Ascend, I use an external fan to blow air into the computer. The motherboard, CPU, and GPU tends to stay fairly low and regular in temperature when I do so, I monitor hardware temperature with HWMonitor. Recently, I was running OCR software on a PDF file while simultaneously watching a 1080p mkv file with Media Player Classic (without the external fan running). I was not running HWMonitor at the time because I did not think it would be a problem, and my computer shut off during the processes (probably because of overheating). Now, when I watch 720p and 1080p media files, the temperature of my CPU can reach above 100 degrees Celsius, sometime after which the computer usually shuts off. I can blow air into the computer using my external fan while watching the media files, but there will still be temperature spikes (above 100 degrees sometimes) and I will still experience power shut off. I've taken the computer, blown out all the dust, unmounted the CPU heatsink and cleaned it and the processor and reapplied thermal paste, but I still experience severe overheating sometimes during certain processes. I've hadn't noticed or had this problem since I ran the OCR software with media file that time. When the temperature outside the house is high, even while blowing the fan into the computer, I cannot reach the Windows start up screen without the computer shutting off. I'm wondering whether it sounds like it's time to buy a new processor or whether my situation can potentially be salvaged by purchasing a liquid cooling system? If not either of these, any other suggestions for what might be going on or what could possibly be done to help would be most greatly appreciated.

My CPU idles around 45-55 degrees Celsius.

Thank you.


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✔ Best Answer
June 3, 2012 at 13:07:34
To cool your system, all you need is one exhaust fan in the rear of the case plus the PSU fan. And of course, the CPU heatsink/fan MUST be installed correctly.

"cleaned it and the processor and reapplied thermal paste"

My guess is you're applying the paste incorrectly. AMD CPUs use the "Middle dot" method.

http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/svco...

http://www.arcticsilver.com/PDF/app...



#1
June 3, 2012 at 11:45:22
U are close to maximum operating temperature which is 65C.
I think u don't know how to apply thermal paste correct. U need to drop a small dot of thermal paste in the middle of heat-spreader. Install the heatsink then u are fine to go.

You know the real meaning of peace only if you have been through the war.


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#2
June 3, 2012 at 12:13:37
What case and power supply are you using?

List typical CPU AND system temperatures.


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#3
June 3, 2012 at 12:46:22
Better cooler or water or refrigeration system.

Hang up and live.


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Related Solutions

#4
June 3, 2012 at 12:54:07
jefro
No need for a better cooler.
Jackbomb is running similar CPU using air cooler at 3.2Ghz(OC) fine.

You know the real meaning of peace only if you have been through the war.


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#5
June 3, 2012 at 13:07:34
✔ Best Answer
To cool your system, all you need is one exhaust fan in the rear of the case plus the PSU fan. And of course, the CPU heatsink/fan MUST be installed correctly.

"cleaned it and the processor and reapplied thermal paste"

My guess is you're applying the paste incorrectly. AMD CPUs use the "Middle dot" method.

http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/svco...

http://www.arcticsilver.com/PDF/app...


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#6
June 3, 2012 at 15:32:12
"I run my computer on stock cooling. "

Are you sure jackbomb is running the same cooler?

Hang up and live.


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#7
June 9, 2012 at 17:34:37
Another thing you might want to check into is see if your bios allows you to undervolt your processor. It doesn't look like this is as easy to do on a desktop as it is on a laptop. See the link below.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/artic...

As previously suggested, be sure you have not put too much thermal grease on as it apparently will cause the grease to act like an insulator and that is not what you want.


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#8
June 9, 2012 at 17:48:46
You don't need water cooling, you can get a better cooler for around £10 to £30, water cooling is pointless unless you are overclocking.
Why don't you put the computer in a freezer then it will never overheat again!!!

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#9
June 9, 2012 at 19:39:44
"I run my computer on stock cooling."

If the heat sink / fan combo did not come in an AMD boxed set with the CPU, it may be inadequate.

The fan on the CPU heat sink MUST blow TOWARDS the heat sink. You must be able to see the entire fan blade with no non moving part in the way when the fan is installed.

" the temperature of my CPU can reach above 100 degrees Celsius..."

That doesn't make sense.
A temp that is actually that high would fry any CPU, and the mboard would likely automatically shut off long before the CPU got that hot.

Third party hardware monitoring programs make assumptions about the readings they're getting from the hardware monitoring circuits on the mboard.
Sometimes the thing connected to inputs to those monitoring circuits is not what the circuits were designed to be connected to, and sometimes the mboard maker has nothing connected to an input - in that case the reading in the third party software, if it assumes the input is connected to something and it isn't, either stays the same, or it's an impossible reading.

The third party software has no way of "knowing" about those things if the mboard maker did not do the expected things.

The hardware monitoring info in the bios Setup is likely to be more accurate, and the bios version has often been tweaked to make the readings as accurate as possible for the particular mboard model.

If the reading in the third party software is different from the reading for the same thing in the bios Setup, it's the latter that's likely right.

In most third party software, you can tweak the readings so they're ~ the same as in the bios, and sometimes you can change which reading is for what to match the bios readings if the mboard maker has not connected something to the expected inputs , but you can't compensate for there being something connected to an input that is non standard.

If you have a retail mboard model, there is almost always hardware monitoring software provided on the CD or DVD that comes with the mboard, or it can be downloaded from the manufacturer's web site, from the downloads for the specific model, or from elsewhere on the web site.
E.g. Asus has Probe hardware monitoring software.

If you have a brand name system, usually the mboard was not made by the brand name - it was made by a major mboard maker and supplied to the brand name system builder. For desktop mboards you can often easily determine who actually made the mboard. The mboard maker's hardware monitoring software is likely to be more accurate that the generic third party software



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#10
June 11, 2012 at 13:36:49
Hi Guys,

Sorry for the late reply, I've been busy with work the last week or so! I read over your responses to my query. Thank you, really, for all your input, I think there's quite a bit more that I understand due to your help. I thought the heatsink may not have had enough contact with the CPU like suggested, and so I tipped over my tower and did a temperature check with HWMonitor but I still experienced overheating and temperature spikes. The suggestion that the thermal paste was applied incorrectly was the next thing I looked into. I removed the heatsink and the CPU came off with it because I had lined the processor with a good amount of paste. That caused the processor prongs to get bent so I spent over an hour realigning some of them with an ID card and tweezers. After that, I removed the existing thermal paste with rubbing alcohol and applied new paste using the "middle dot method". After booting up the system, I did a temperature check using HWMonitor and the processor was idling around 37 degrees Celsius. I played a 1080p mkv file and the temperature did not break 67 degrees Celsius. It seems the main culprit was the fact that I had applied the thermal paste incorrectly previously. The temperatures I'm reading now do not spike and are much closer to what I remember them to be. The issue seems to be resolved, thank you all again!!

Tubesandwires: Thank you for the added bit of information, I will look into better hardware temperature monitoring software!


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#11
June 11, 2012 at 15:43:30
If you even need to straighten pins again try a mechanical pencil without any lead in it. Those pencils come in various lead sizes measured in millimeters. A .6 MM pencil should fit the pins just right.

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#12
June 12, 2012 at 14:17:43
"I removed the heatsink and the CPU came off with it because I had lined the processor with a good amount of paste."

What you are supposed to do is unclamp the heat sink, press straight down HARD on the heat sink, directly towards the cpu, and wiggle the heat sink back and forth until the bond to the cpu breaks loose !!

If you unclamp the heat sink and pull straight up on the heat sink WITHOUT having done that , the CPU will ALWAYS be stuck to the heat sink, and you're pulling the CPU out of it's socket without it's ZIF socket lever having been released - doing that can break off some of the pins on the bottom of the CPU, or damage the ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) socket, or both !
........

Heat sinks for CPUs
- come with a thermal pad - sharply defined definite edges, a consistent thickness of thermal material - it's already stuck onto the heatsink - you remove protective paper or plastic on the bottom of the pad itself just before you install it on the cpu.
- or - come with a capsule of thermal compound or thermal grease, that the installer applies a small amount of
- or - the installer may have re-installed the heat sink and used thermal compound or thermal grease, or have chosen to use thermal grease or thermal compound the new heat sink did not come with.
(Replacement thermal pads are relatively hard to find.)

If a thermal pad or thermal grease was used between the heat sink and the cpu, the heat sink WILL come unstuck from the cpu, when you unclamp the heat sink, press straight down towards the cpu while you wiggle the heat sink back and forth.

If thermal paste (a.k.a. thermal compound) was used, the kind that has additives in it, sometimes it hardens over time and it's as if it was crazy glued to the cpu - when you attempt to remove the heat sink, the heat sink may be stuck very strongly to the cpu, and even if you unclamp the heat sink, press straight down towards the cpu while you wiggle the heat sink back and forth, it may NOT come unstuck from the cpu !

I've encountered several heat sinks I could not remove from a cpu because thermal
compound (that has additives in it) had been used.

I had no choice except to pull straight up on the stuck together heat sink / CPU assembly. Thankfully no pins on the CPU were broken off, and the ZIF socket was not damaged.

"That caused the processor prongs to get bent so I spent over an hour realigning some of them with an ID card and tweezers. "

I know from those experiences that the pins DO NOT get bent unless you didn't pull straight up, or unless you hit something else while removing the heat sink / CPU stuck together assembly.

I could not get the cpu off the heat sink in those cases even after I removed the assembly, at least not without destroying it. I even tried (carefully) hammering several single edge razor blades between with one assembly - I broke the razor blades. The strength of the bond of the heat sink to the cpu was much stronger than the force required to pull the whole assembly straight up out of the locked zif cpu socket.

I've had no problem so far removing a heat sink when a thermal pad was used, or when thermal grease (that has no additives) was used, when I unclamped the heat sink, then pressed down towards the cpu while twisting the heat sink back and forth to break the bond to the cpu. Thermal grease is a lot easier to break the bond of.

Of the three ways, I recommend using thermal grease (pure silicon grease; no additives in it, translucent whitish, almost clear in a thin layer) - it never hardens, can always be re-used, at least, that of it that is not contaminated with dust or whatever.
.......

In my cases of the thermal compound having hardened such that the CPU could NOT be removed from the heat sink, it still conducted / transferred heat well enough that the CPU was NOT overheating.

It sounds like either....

- similar thermal compound was used in your case but it was NOT conducting / transferring heat properly after it had hardened.
If so, I've never heard of that before - another reason to NOT use thermal compound !

- or - A LOT more liklely - the heat sink was NOT sitting flat on top of the CPU.

It's difficult or impossible to visually see whether it's sitting flat on the CPU when the mboard has been installed in the case. That's the reason you're always supposed to install the heat sink BEFORE you install the mboard in the case .

Applying too much thermal grease or thermal compound would NOT cause your severe CPU overheating problem !


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