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CPU Working too hard, Loud CPU Fan even after replacing thermal paste


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#1
Synchrotron

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Hello there,

I'm having some problems with my computer in that the fan seems to be working excessively, or the CPU is working "too hard" / heating up regularly, when only one major process is running.

I initially thought this was due to the thermal compound on the heatsink but have replaced that 2 weeks ago.

In a similar way, the CPU actually seems to be working at over 50% and approaching 100% when there are only a couple of programmes running, or a virus scan running. Could this be related to some sort of clash with an external HDD?

Alternatively, could it be due to an incorrect virtual memory allocation/page file usage?

I'm rid of any Malware, so it is a hardware issue, and in the BIOS Hyper-threading is enabled.


If it's due to the CPU being renown for being a "hot" one, are there any after-market heatsinks/coolers that you'd recommend, as the one featured in this article is the one that is currently in place
Link with picture of stock heatsink currently in place

Any input and help is greatly appreciated.

Here is some info on my system obtained from the "System Information for Windows" tool.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
SYSTEM SUMMARY:

Property Value
Manufacturer FUJITSU SIEMENS
Product Name P5GD1-FM
Machine Type AT/AT COMPATIBLE
Infrared (IR) Supported No
DMI System UUID 00020003-00040005-00060007-00080009
UUID 03000200-0400-0500-0006-000700080009

Disk Space Disk C: 103 GB Available, 186 GB Total, 103 GB Free
Disk M: 774 GB Available, 931 GB Total, 774 GB Free

Physical Memory 2048 MB Total, 1320 MB Free
Memory Load 35%

Virtual Memory 3945 MB Total, 3399 MB Free

PageFile Name C:\pagefile.sys
PageFile Size 2047 MB
In use 50 MB
Max used 53 MB
Registry Size 8 MB (current), 119 MB (maximum)

Profile GUID {0e66c440-6bcb-11da-8c14-806d6172696f}

The system clock interval 15 ms

MOTHERBOARD:

Property Value
Manufacturer Fujitsu Siemens
Model P5GD1-FM
Version Rev 1.xx
Serial Number MB-1234567890

North Bridge Intel i915P/i915G Revision B1
South Bridge Intel 82801FB (ICH6) Revision B1

CPU Intel® Pentium® 4 CPU 3.20GHz
Cpu Socket Socket 775 LGA

System Slots 4 PCI

Memory Summary
Maximum Capacity 4096 MBytes
Maximum Memory Module Size 1024 MBytes
Memory Slots 4
Error Correction None

Warning! Accuracy of DMI data cannot be guaranteed


Additional Spec:

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#2
Digerati

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Your temps are definitley high. Even if your CPU is running at 100%, your temps should be no more than 60°C so you have a problem there. Below is my canned text on applying TIM. Review it to see if you did it right.

There is certainly a heat wave going on in this part of the world - is this computer in an air conditioned room? What are your ambient (room) temps?

You say no malware, how do you know? What have you scanned with? You might try Malwarebytes's Anti-Malware (MBAM).

Is you system free of heat trapping dust and dirt? Do you have good front to back air flow through the case?
*****

An often misunderstood and sometimes overlooked critical hardware component is thermal interface material or TIM. TIM is typically seen as a thermal pad on a CPU heatsink, or in paste form. It may also be called thermal grease, silicon grease, heat transfer compound, thermal paste, heat sink compound, goop, and probably more.

The 4 Most Common Heatsink Fan (HSF) Assembly Mounting Mistakes:

  • Failure to use TIM
  • Used too much TIM
  • Reused old TIM
  • Did not clean mating surfaces thoroughly before applying TIM
The purpose of TIM is to ensure all the microscopic pits and valleys in the CPU die and heatsink mating surfaces are void of heat trapping air, maximizing surface to surface contact. Any excess is too much and gets in the way, and can actually be counterproductive to the heat transfer process.

Materials Needed: One clean plastic shaft Q-Tip (cotton swab), acetone or 91% isopropyl alcohol (note - most rubbing alcohol is 70% and leaves a film, 91% alcohol can be found at your local drug store), clean scissors, can of compressed air, and the TIM. I recommend one of the new generations of non-metallic TIMs such as Tuniq TX-2 or AC MX-2, or the venerable silver based TIM, Arctic Silver 5.

WARNING: Keep yourself grounded with the case to ensure there is no static buildup and discharge that might destroy any electrostatic discharge (ESD) sensitive devices. It is important to realize that the "threshold for human awareness" for a static shock is higher than the tolerance of ESD sensitive devices. In other words, you can shock and destroy a CPU, RAM module, or other sensitive device without even knowing there was a static discharge! Use an anti-static wrist-strap or frequently touch bare metal on the case to maintain your body at the same potential as chassis (case) ground.

Preparation: Power off and unplug the computer from the wall. Cut off one cotton swap near the end. Bend the plastic shaft about 1/2 inch from the cut end to make a nice little hockey stick. This is the working end of your TIM application device. Clean the die and heat sink mating surfaces with a soft, lint free cloth dampened (not dripping wet) with acetone or 91% alcohol. Do not let any fluids run down the sides of the CPU die. Clean skin oils from the working end of your applicator with the alcohol dampened cloth. Blast the surfaces with a quick blast of compressed air to ensure the surfaces are dry and no lint or dust remains behind. Do NOT touch the CPU die or heatsink mating surfaces, or the applicator's working end from this point on.

Application: Apply one "drop" of paste on the corner of the die and spread it out across the die with the applicator, like spreading icing on a cake. Spread the paste as thin as possible while ensuring complete coverage. It is easier to add more than remove excess. Remember, too much is counterproductive.

Note 1: Depending on the type of TIM used, some, such as the silver based compounds, can take 2 - 5 days or longer (depending on the power/heat up-cool down cycles) for the TIM to cure and reach optimum effectiveness. A 2 – 4°C drop in average temperatures may be realized after curing.

Note 2: A new HSF may come with a thermal interface pad already applied. Those pads consist of mostly paraffin, which is supposed to melt and squirm out of the way when the CPU heats up for the first time. Thermal pads are certainly better than no TIM at all, but they are not as effective as silver or ceramic based compounds. Do not use a sharp or metal object to remove the pad. A fingernail will work fine, removing any residue with acetone or alcohol.

Note 3: Do not reuse a thermal pad or paste. Always remove the old, cured TIM, clean the mating surfaces thoroughly, and apply a fresh application of new TIM.

Note 4: Thermal adhesive is a specific type of TIM used to permanently or semi-permanently glue heatsinks to devices that have no other heatsink mounting mechanism. Thermal adhesive is NOT intended to be used between a CPU and the CPU heatsink.

Note 5: TIM is also used to ensure maximum heat transfer to the heatsink from graphics processor units (GPUs), chipsets, graphics card memory modules, and other devices. Adhesive TIM, as mentioned in the note above, is often used on these devices as many do not have mounting brackets or holes to support a clamping mechanism. When mounting a heatsink to one of these components, the idea is the same; apply as thin a layer of TIM as possible, while still ensuring complete coverage.

See Benchmark Reviews 33-Way TIM Comparison or TweakTown TIM Review for additional information.
***********


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#3
Synchrotron

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Hi, many thanks for the swift response!

The standard temperature whilst im browsing online with a few tabs open is in the mid 50's (which im lead to believe is to be expected of this particular cpu which gives off lots of heat?) but then spikes to those values quoted above often when other processes are run simultaneously.

I removed all dirt, and also cleaned the remnants of the old paste off using isopropyl alcohol before applying the new paste in a thin-ish layer.

I assure you there's no heatwave back in Manchester, England! The room temperatures are relatively normal.

There is no Malware as i've just run scans such as DDS, TDSSKiller, MBR Check, GMER, Combofix and been guided through them.

I think I have good airflow, but i'm not entirely sure. It's certainly dust free in the case, as when I removed the heatsink previously, I cleaned it and the fins with compressed air.
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#4
Digerati

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Well, you want good front to back air flow. I prefer a fan in front drawing cool air in, and a fan in back (not counting the PSU fan) exhausting hot air out. If you have any EIDE or floppy flat ribbon cables, replacing them with round cables might help. Mid 50s is fine, the 79°C is not, so you need to watch that.

Did someone guide you though with combofix?
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#5
Synchrotron

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Well, you want good front to back air flow. I prefer a fan in front drawing cool air in, and a fan in back (not counting the PSU fan) exhausting hot air out. If you have any EIDE or floppy flat ribbon cables, replacing them with round cables might help. Mid 50s is fine, the 79°C is not, so you need to watch that.

Did someone guide you though with combofix?


There's a small fan on the one side of the case which seems to act as the one drawing air in, and there's the CPU heatsink and fan on the opposite side.

Someone did guide me through, yes.

Would something like the Zalman CNPS9500 AT Aero Flower allay the problem?
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#6
Digerati

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So, besides the fan in the power supply, there is no rear fan? If so, that is not enough. Not sure what you mean by a fan on the opposite side. Opposite of what?

The Zalman is a great cooler, but I think now your priority is to get the hot air OUT of the case, not just blow it around.
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#7
Synchrotron

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So, besides the fan in the power supply, there is no rear fan? If so, that is not enough. Not sure what you mean by a fan on the opposite side. Opposite of what?

The Zalman is a great cooler, but I think now your priority is to get the hot air OUT of the case, not just blow it around.


The fan sitting atop the heatsink in place.
Posted Image


There is a smaller fan on inside the grill on this side of the case:
Posted Image

and this is the grill on the outside of the larger fan sitting atop the heatsink, pictured previously, which is on the opposite side as such.
Posted Image

Edited by Synchrotron, 11 August 2010 - 08:01 AM.

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#8
Digerati

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Well a grill is just a vent. It still looks like the only case mounted fan is that little one in image 2. It looks like there is a place to mount another fan on the rear of the case, shown to the right of the CPU fan in image 1.
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#9
Synchrotron

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Well a grill is just a vent. It still looks like the only case mounted fan is that little one in image 2. It looks like there is a place to mount another fan on the rear of the case, shown to the right of the CPU fan in image 1.


Yes, there is a small case mounted fan by the small vent.

So you would recommend I attach an additional fan by the CPU fan?
Should it pull air in, or out?

What does it plug into?

I'm thinking of changing the heatsink/fan cooling system too, and with some of them (e.g the Zalman CNPS9500) will that not alter the airflow into the direction of the grill at the back.

Posted Image

Would that mean that any additional case fan would attach to the grill on the side?

Edited by Synchrotron, 11 August 2010 - 10:10 AM.

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#10
Digerati

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As mentioned above, you want good front to back air flow. So fans in the rear exhaust hot air out.

You connect to power by connecting to a motherboard fan header, if available, or to a spare connector from the PSU.

As noted, Zalman's are good but you need flow through and out the case first. I think your current fan is good enough. As far as the direction the Zalman blows, that depends on how the motherboard's CPU socket is oriented, and there is no standard for that, so I don't know if it will blow to back vent for your board. And if you note, that illustration has a case fan the Zalman is blowing into. And just so you are aware, you also need to remove the motherboard to mount the Zalman.

That said, this has nothing to do with your CPU running at 100%. AV scans can run it up but that should settle down once the scan is complete. And indexing a hard drive can consume some resources too, but again, that should settle down once the initial indexing is done. So, in addition to dealing with case cooling, you should be watching Task Manager to see what is running, or use Process Explorer.
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#11
Synchrotron

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As mentioned above, you want good front to back air flow. So fans in the rear exhaust hot air out.

You connect to power by connecting to a motherboard fan header, if available, or to a spare connector from the PSU.

As noted, Zalman's are good but you need flow through and out the case first. I think your current fan is good enough. As far as the direction the Zalman blows, that depends on how the motherboard's CPU socket is oriented, and there is no standard for that, so I don't know if it will blow to back vent for your board. And if you note, that illustration has a case fan the Zalman is blowing into. And just so you are aware, you also need to remove the motherboard to mount the Zalman.

That said, this has nothing to do with your CPU running at 100%. AV scans can run it up but that should settle down once the scan is complete. And indexing a hard drive can consume some resources too, but again, that should settle down once the initial indexing is done. So, in addition to dealing with case cooling, you should be watching Task Manager to see what is running, or use Process Explorer.


So I'd connect something like an 80mm Antec Tricool fan to the back vent to flush hot air out?

You think the current heatsink and fan is still ok? It's been in use for many years now and seems to not be as efficient as the CPS9500. However, your knowledge is much more then my own. Alternatively, I can add the additional case fans to regulate air flow where you suggest, and then replace the cooler also with the superior Zalman? Either way, I'll look to take your advice!?

I've been monitoring my processes for a while now, but it's not just any one process that can cause it to run up. There are minimal processes running on startup, and startup speeds are great. It's just that any kind of excessive use, be it even watching an online video in fullscreen, will cause it to run up and temperatures to escalate.

I've just installed DiskKeeper 2010 which runs to continually degrag files in the background to see if that will help.

Edited by Synchrotron, 11 August 2010 - 12:14 PM.

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#12
Digerati

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So I'd connect something like an 80mm Antec Tricool fan to the back vent to flush hot air out?

Unless it supports a bigger fan, like a 92 or better yet, 120mm.

Old coolers do not become less efficient with age - unless the fan bearings are wearing out, causing the fan to run very slow. But worn out bearings tend to make a lot of noise or vibrations or both. So if the heatsink is clean, your current fan is probably fine. The Zalman is a better cooler and may help a few degrees here and there, but if your case is full of hot air, blowing more hot air on the CPU is not the solution.

I've just installed DiskKeeper 2010 which runs to continually degrag files in the background to see if that will help.

Now why would you do that? Think about it for a second. You are concerned that your CPU is running too much and getting hot so why add yet another program that eats up RAM, runs continually, thus putting even more of a load on the CPU?

If you feel your disk needs defragging, use the one built into Windows instead of one that runs all the time. And note disks really don't get fragmented unless you are constantly installing and uninstalling programs. And even then, they don't need constant defragging - that just works the disk more often - and that adds to drive heat.
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#13
Synchrotron

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So I'd connect something like an 80mm Antec Tricool fan to the back vent to flush hot air out?

Unless it supports a bigger fan, like a 92 or better yet, 120mm.

Old coolers do not become less efficient with age - unless the fan bearings are wearing out, causing the fan to run very slow. But worn out bearings tend to make a lot of noise or vibrations or both. So if the heatsink is clean, your current fan is probably fine. The Zalman is a better cooler and may help a few degrees here and there, but if your case is full of hot air, blowing more hot air on the CPU is not the solution.

I've just installed DiskKeeper 2010 which runs to continually degrag files in the background to see if that will help.

Now why would you do that? Think about it for a second. You are concerned that your CPU is running too much and getting hot so why add yet another program that eats up RAM, runs continually, thus putting even more of a load on the CPU?

If you feel your disk needs defragging, use the one built into Windows instead of one that runs all the time. And note disks really don't get fragmented unless you are constantly installing and uninstalling programs. And even then, they don't need constant defragging - that just works the disk more often - and that adds to drive heat.


I did try removing the fan and blowing a house fan inside to see if that reduced temperatures, but it didn't have any kind of dramatic effect.

Ok, So I'll definitely get round to installing a case fan on the rear, but because of the large funnel on the current fan I cannot add another to the side vent; is that vital? (Though adding one to the side may be possible if that heatsink/fan is changed? ) Also could i attach one to the front, and what would it attach onto?

I installed it because I was given the advice that it would help reduce stress on the CPU and the system altogether. At most I have around 29 processes running, which surely isn't excessive?

I'm sorry if I'm coming across as naiive, but I've little experience in the matter - and i'm trying to piece together some conflicting advice as to where to go from here!

Edited by Synchrotron, 11 August 2010 - 01:19 PM.

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#14
Digerati

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I'm sorry if I'm coming across as naiive, but I've little experience in the matter

Just as everyone was at some point.

I'm not a fan (no pun intended) of side fans. As mentioned, I look for front to back air flow. If your case supports a front fan, that would be good, but not all cases do. And it is likely the funnel will interfere with the Zalman.

Are saying with a desk fan, you were still getting into the 70s?

I installed it because I was given the advice that it would help reduce stress on the CPU and the system altogether.

Well, that was not accurate advice. Defragging a badly fragmented drive will speed up disk performance, but that's it.
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#15
Synchrotron

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I'm sorry if I'm coming across as naiive, but I've little experience in the matter

Just as everyone was at some point.

I'm not a fan (no pun intended) of side fans. As mentioned, I look for front to back air flow. If your case supports a front fan, that would be good, but not all cases do. And it is likely the funnel will interfere with the Zalman.

Are saying with a desk fan, you were still getting into the 70s?

I installed it because I was given the advice that it would help reduce stress on the CPU and the system altogether.

Well, that was not accurate advice. Defragging a badly fragmented drive will speed up disk performance, but that's it.


OK, I'll check to see if I can mount a front fan and then also one on the grill at the rear. The funnel is part of the current fan and would be removed if the Zalman was in place.

Yes, though admittedly it wasn't the perfect test, as it was a tower fan on it's side set to the highest setting blowing onto the heatsink (i'd removed the fan off the heatsink).
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