Increasing CPU speed?

Hewlett-packard / Pavilion a800n
January 24, 2009 at 20:35:33
Specs: Windows XP, Athlon XP 3200+, 2 GB DDR400 RAM
Hey, I've currently upgraded my PC with a new graphics card, RAM, PSU, and DVD drive and I've been having some problems with 1 game, F.E.A.R. Combat. Most games I have tried work perfectly, but for some reason, this game causes temperature spikes in my CPU that cause the system to crash. Readings from speedfan appears to be consistent with this. I have increased fan speed a bit, and that appears to help the problem. Tmperature readings are lower and crashes are far less common.

However, I am afraid of the wellbeing of my fans. I cannot give you the specifics on the CPU fan since when i looked up my exact computer, the specs on the fans were absent. However, I can tell you that the default setting of the CPU fan is 2000 RPM or so, which is 40% its capabilities (meaning it can go up to 5000 technically). However, I have heard people say that increasing fan speed is not a good idea and that it could damage the fans. I really only turn the fan speed up when playing fear since otherwise, the increase is unnecessary and the computer does not crash. Ive tried the game with as high as 4000 RPM (which is a bit excessive, but I have settled upon 2700-2800 RPM or so, or 55% capacity). Is this safe? At what speeds is it safe to run my fan at? I dont want to break my fan any more than I want my processor to overheat. Increasing fans speeds does appear to work. For every 5% increase, the temperature under load (gaming) decreases by about 1C. I wouldalso like to know whether I have any breathing room to increase the speeds further. As you know, it is winter, and come summer, I may need to push the fans a little more to keep the system cool. Also, for all I know, i could have an occasional overheat at this setting and may need to push it to 60% or possibly more.

PS, realize the message title is a little inaccurate, sorry, didnt realize until after i posted. Really wondering about the fan, not the CPU itself.

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January 24, 2009 at 21:09:28
Why are you concerned about fan speed? What you should be concerned about is CPU temp.

If you're asking about the Pavilion a800n, it's fairly outdated. It would help if you'd list the upgrades you made.

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January 24, 2009 at 21:17:04
I agree, I am worried about the CPU temp, but I also dont want to kill my fan over it. And Ive asked some other people and someone said that increasing fan speed is a bad idea. As for upgraded specs, to be specific:

HIS ATI Radeon HD 3650 AGP
2 GB (2x1 GB) DDR 400 RAM w/ heatsinks
Antec 350W PSU
DVD+/-RW, 8x record, 20x play i think.

When not under load, fan2 (motherboard fan, as opposed to the smaller fan in the back of my comp) picks up temps in the mid 30s. Under some load (watching a video or loading something), in the low 40s. Gaming at the default 2000 RPM is at a steamy 54C, with fluctuations (which are the real problem). 1C decrease when gaming for every 250 RPM i increase the fan speed.

I know I should be worrying about the temps of the CPU, but I am also worried about the risk of breaking my fans.

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January 25, 2009 at 06:35:15
My PC a 2.8GHz DualCore proccessor 3GB DDR RAM has been running hotter then it usally does ,it was getting up around 55C-56C ,when it use to stay at 50C or so? The PC tower is big and has plenty of room for air flow and a very good cooling system with a large intake fan at the front a huge heatsink and proccessor fan and two good size fans at the rear of PC to blow out the hot air. Well yeserday I opened my tower and using compressed air carefully and a soft dusting cloth I cleaned out the inside of my tower . This is something I usally do every 2-3 months however I have slacked off and not cleaned the interior of the tower for 6 months or so ! Well today after the cleaning yesterday my PC is reporting 46C and holding steady ,this is while on the internet with TV in a small screen via my ATI TV Wonder Elite PCI card. I also have RSS aggragator LCD 3"x5" display showing curent news events in real time ,stocks ,wheather and PC stats ! So Iam convinced now more then ever that keeping those fans and the interior of your tower clean from dust bunnies makes a diffearance in your overall temps. By the way,I monitor my CPU,Graphics card and case temps thru a EasyWatch fan controller,temp monitor backlite display mounted in a extra empty 3.5" bay !
Take Care, Nick

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January 25, 2009 at 06:53:48
Yeah, but does increasing the fan speed damage the fan? That is really what I am trying to get at.

Overall, most games do not crash like this unless I decide to run games at higher settings than I am recommended (which is asking for trouble). It just F.E.A.R. I am trying to play at low on 640 res as to not tempt fate (not min tho, since it looks like doom at minimum). At lower settings crashes happen when loading the game (normally right at the end of the loading). And at low settings, crashes are sporadic in the sense that sometimes they happen, sometimes they don't. I am just trying to knock the CPU down a couple degrees to prevent this when playing F.E.A.R.

Athlon XP 3200+ is a hot CPU. In the bios at startup, it reads 55C. Believe it or not, this is what it is supposed to get at idle from what I can tell. Gaming can get as high as 65-70C from what i read for reviews of this processor. The fan temps I get in speedfan are lower (since it does not pick up the CPU itself, but still show an increase when gaming. Higher fan speeds seem to work. I have tried it and I actually get results from using them. The problem is whether these fan speeds can hurt my fan.

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January 25, 2009 at 08:17:33
I wouldn't worry to much about the fan, you will get a little more noise but thats about all. If increasing the speed cools the CPU do it. Thats what it is there for.

If it is a good quality fan with ball bearings instead of sleeve bearings it will last for ages. Even if it does break they are cheap enough to replace, a lot cheaper than a fried CPU.


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January 25, 2009 at 09:53:41
Like I said, you should be concerned about the temps, not the fan speeds. You're obsessing over the wrong thing. 55C is too hot for an Athlon XP at idle. It should be in the 30's. Make sure the CPU HSF (heatsink w/fan) is installed correctly or as Nick alluded to, it may be dust clogged.

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