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CPU overheating question


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#1
lpchris85

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the past few days i have noticed my CPU overheating and causing random shut-downs. this is a new build i recently completed:

AMD athlon 3800+
3gb ram
EVGA 8800GTS 320
120 GB HDD
Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit

in the first week the CPU showed (in SPEEDFAN and in Health settings through BIOS) to be at 36C, i noticed later when i rechecked it had risen to 44C however it did not seem like a big issue.
now when i play my games, even ones such as CS: source, it will sound my alarm at 75C and will crash at 90C. i had this problem before this build with the same processor and a standard AMD heatsink.
this is a brand new heatsink made by thermaltake and has a copper-base. so im not sure as to why this is overheating like it is, my question is could it be that the processor is damaged?
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#2
vally

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Is the heatsink sitting properly? When you set it did you add thermal paste or sticker...?
What are the speeds of the fans?
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#3
lpchris85

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i actually put thought into thinking i might have not properly set the heatsink. so i took off the side of my case and ran the ntune stability test to make the processor work while i put my hand on the heatsink. typically the heatsink is supposed to get hot when trying to cool the cpu, i felt a change in warmth but not enough to make me think it had to work very hard.

and yes i did add a significant layer of thermal grease to both the cpu and heatsink. im using the Zalman thermal grease (if thats any good i do not know.) frys was out of Arctic silver.
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#4
vally

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and yes i did add a significant layer of thermal grease to both the cpu and heat sink

Too much is not good.
The purpose of the thermal grease is to improve contact. If you put too much it falls on the sides and heats up. You need to put the minimal amount to improve contact. If you put it on the cpu and heat sink I think you added too much. I would take of the heat sink clean them and add a thin layer only on the cpu.
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#5
The Skeptic

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Could you tell us the model of the heatsink + fan unit?
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#6
lpchris85

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hello again, i apologize for the long delay of response. i have been under the weather the past few days.
anyway i took your recommendation and cleaned all the the thermal paste off from the cpu and the heat sink and only re applied an amount a little larger than a dime to the cpu, and none to the heat sink. it does seem to be running cooler now and has not overheated while gaming. i also took a snapshot so maybe someone might could tell me if this is a good place for me to be at, thanks again.

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#7
The Skeptic

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Temps look good. A good way to test overheating is to run an antimalware program, Spybot for example, and keep the diagnostic program open during this time. Take temp reading after about 10 minutes.

If you play games and overheating returns consider a better performance cooling unit. There are many, reasonably priced, on the internet.
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#8
lpchris85

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thanks guys! and Skeptic i took your advice and ran Spybot while checking the temps, it peaked around 63C which isn't too bad i suppose. i got this heatsink at Frys because it was affordable ( approx. 38.00 when i bought it) and it was made by thermaltake. Ive always had great luck with their power supplies so I expected the same quality.
what is your opinion on the larger heatsinks that dont use fans and just use the cooling pipes? they are fairly higher but i hear that they are worth spending more on.
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#9
The Skeptic

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First of all: 63 degrees is too high for a computer running Spybot. It's very possible that it will go higher when you run games.

Water cooled system are good but they are expensive and cumbersome. I have seen lately 12 centimeter heatsinkks with fan, made by Zalman, costing around 50 dollar where I live. There are many other products. If you buy one make sure that it's compatible with the cpu socket.

There are other options:

1: Install an extra fan in the box. If possible, install a 12 centimeter one.

2: If the fans in your computer are 8 centimeter replace them, if possible, with 12 cm fans.

3: Depending on how the side cover of the computer is made you may be able to install another fan attached to the inside of the cover, at a direct line above the heatsink. If you do this make sure that the fan takes air from the outside and blow it inside.

4: Fans that are attached at the back side of the box should take air from the inside and blow it out. Fans that are attached to the ftont side should take air from the outside and blow it in.
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#10
lpchris85

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hmmm that could most def be my mistake. i have 2 12mm fans on my case and 1 80mm side fan that lines up over the cpu+heatsink and they all blow air outside of the case.
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#11
The Skeptic

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This way they oppose each other, reducing cool air volume. Usually the situation should be like this:

1: Cpu fan: Blows air into the heatsink
2: Side fan: pushing air from the outside into the computer creating air stream of the same direction as the cpu fan, assisting the latter.
3: Back fan: Pulls hot air from within the box and push it outside.
4: Front fan: pulls cool air from the outside and push it into the box.
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#12
lpchris85

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i see, thank you for that Skeptic. I re-arranged my fans to the correct positioning. I also added a funnel to the side fan hoping to concentrate some of the air onto the heatsink.
I then ran another Spybot scan and used the Everest program which i now prefer. my cpu temperature avg. was approx. 57C throughout the scan, it did however peak at 61 for a split second but then fell to 52. the system now performs normal tasks such as web browsing and word processing around 48C which is ok to me at least. Playing CS: Source i have not had any overheating problems as of yet, seeing as i set my mobo to alarm me if it reaches 70C and to automatically shut off at 75C.
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