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CPU Overheating?


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#1
Termie

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Hi guys...

I have an old (2003 or 2004) HP Pavilion a450n desktop that I use for work. Over the past year and a half I've noticed that the fan runs more often and a lot more quickly than it used to. I've done the cleanout with an air can and all that, and it helps but not for long.

About back in May 2007 I downloaded SpeedFan to find out what temperatures were running, and according to my notes, I had, on startup, an ambient temp of 31c, "Remote 1" of 44c, Remote 2 of 29c, and HD0 of 34c. If I had anything "highly" graphic on display (such as the firewords you get when you win Spider solitaire), it wouldn't be but a minute before the fan would kick in...temperatures then would be 31, 60-65, 30, and 34.

Come forward to today. I just did another cleanout-not much dust in there as I'd expected. Booted her up and my initial temp readings were 35, 55, 33, and 30. What's interesting...55 right off the bat! She'd heat up to the 60's again (usually the fan would kick in, but that hasn't happened. She's running quiet.) Now, however, after roughly 10-15 minutes of run time, that Remote 1 temp will actually drop to 47. WTH?

I did a search on this site for information, and wonder...is it my processor/heatsink? The up/down temp readings are kind of puzzling. I'm not really having any other problems other than she does seem to be running a lot slower these days and I do get a bit of lag in response. How can I keep this old girl alive? She's a really good machine otherwise, plenty of oomph for what I need.

Thanks for any advice!

Edited by Termie, 06 September 2008 - 09:42 AM.

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#2
123Runner

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Just to verify speedfan, download everest (in signature) and install it.
Look under computer/ sensor to see what it reports. We can verify that its HD, CPU, motherboard.
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#3
Termie

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Thank you for your reply, Runner! I did as you asked...the sensor reports the following:

Motherboard 36-37c (97F)
CPU 46c (117F) - this was after it had been on a while and it usually drops, as I noted above.
Aux 34c (93F)
Maxtor (HD) 36c (97F)

I noted my cooling fans:
CPU at 991 RPM
Chassis at 2508 RPM.

So it looks like ambient must be the motherboard, Remote 1 is the CPU, Remote 2 is the Aux (whatever that is) and HD0 is my hard drive.
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#4
Termie

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I took a reading this morning first thing while the system was still "cold" and got

Motherboard 30c
CPU 56-58c (it jumped up and down constantly)
Aux (looks like graphics? has a display icon by it) 29 c
HD 25c

My fans were running at 960 for the CPU and 2482 for the chassis.

What would make it spike like that first thing? Then it comes DOWN. This is just weird.
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#5
warriorscot

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It will spike when its loading up your OS and apps, that is a high strain situation.

To be honest it sounds like pretty normal behaviour and the temps are high but not dangerously so, if the fan is noisy it is probably just worn down its bearings and needs replaced by a newer quieter fan, if its a standard fan then all you need to order a new one or if you aren't sure take it to a reputable PC repair shop and they should be able to sort you out with a new one of the right size. Your computer probably always did start the fan it just wasn't as loud as it is now and you didn''t notice. A new fan should sort it out as the system if its as old as you say would be due to have them replaced about now.
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#6
Termie

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Thanks for your reply, Warrior. The fans themselves aren't any noisier than when the system was new, actually; it's just when the CPU fan (apparently) kicks in that they're more noticeable, but again, they don't sound louder or different. I was just worried because the CPU fan has been kicking in almost right away on boot, which it had never done before, and when I checked the temp, it was higher than it used to be (and getting higher with passing time, over the course of the last year.) Once I cleaned the innards of all the dust-as I mentioned, there wasn't as much as I would have expected-that took care of the CPU fan kicking in, it seems, but I was still concerned about the CPU temperature as cleaning it didn't seem to help much there. When it does spike higher and the fan does kick it, the whole system becomes laggy. I was wondering if my CPU was dying a slow death or if I needed to regrease the heatsink or whatever it is you call it, and if there was a way you could tell the difference-I'd have to take it in for either one, and I'd hate to bring it in just to regrease it only to find out later that it needs a new processor. Does that make sense? I suppose I could just get a new CPU installed while they're still available...

Edited by Termie, 09 September 2008 - 05:33 AM.

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#7
warriorscot

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Well as the fans age they are less able to develop power, so they have to run at a higher than normal power than was necessary in the past, moving parts are usually the first to go and I doubt it is your CPU they usually last longer than other components.

Certainly re-applying new thermal compound to the heat sink would not hurt, the older lower quality thermal compounds can degrade with time. Its pretty easy to do, get a tube of thermal compound probably arctic MX-2 or arctic silver and remove the old HSF clean it and the CPU heat spreader with some alcohol and cotton wool and then apply the new compound and reseat it. There are lots of guides for it as well so you can get a step by step with pictures if yo search via google.

Also it may not be just the CPU fan, it could be the case fans that have gone and because of the decreased airflow it is making the CPU fan work harder. I am sticking to the fan theory because A. Its the most likely as anything with moving parts is most likely to fail and B. Its the most likely problem in a system that has previously worked well and is otherwise in good condition.

In terms of it lagging, it is related to the heat not in that it is a problem caused by the heat but that the system is under load and therefore produces the extra heat.

If you are ok working with a screwdriver and some cotton buds then I would definately recommend re-applying thermal compound it is something that should be done on most systems now and again anyway and certainly won't hurt. I would also check all the fans and maybe replace any that aren't spinning as fast as the once were or are making more noise than they would have in the past for certain speeds.
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