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Thread: CPU Temperature

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    5 Star Lounger PaulB's Avatar
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    CPU Temperature

    I run an AMD Athlon XP 1900+ retail (CPU, heatsink and fan) on an ASUS A7V266-E MB. I came across some advice suggesting that Athlon processors run best at no more than 50-55 degrees Celsius. This prompted me to turn on the ASUS monitoring S/W. I found that during the colder months, the MB ran at 40C and the CPU at about 60C. During the warmer months the MB ran at about 43C and the CPU at 65-67C. This is despite an air conditioned environment. Temperatures are for an idle CPU. Some applications get the CPU temp. up to 76C. The fan speed adjusts to the temperature.

    The AMD site indicates that the max operating temp for the Athlon is 95C.

    My question: should I be concerned about this and, if so, what should I be doing about it?
    Regards,
    PaulB

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    Re: CPU Temperature

    In addition to Fish's advice....

    Make sure you have the latest BIOS revision. I had that board's sister, an A7A266 - the only difference is the chipset. The A7A266 ran very hot also. Asus told me that was "normal" but strangely, every other AMD board out there runs about 10c cooler. Oh, yes, and don't let me forget, after the Asus tech told me that it was normal behavior, a BIOS revision came out that allowed the chip to run a few degrees cooler. Can you tell I was miffed with the company? <img src=/S/innocent.gif border=0 alt=innocent width=20 height=20>

    If that chip is running at 65c or higher, you are not going to have it for very long - if it goes past that temp, shut it down.

    And yes, Fish, you're correct - Athlons don't live very long without a fan to cool them off, once they've reached operating temperature.
    -Mark

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    5 Star Lounger PaulB's Avatar
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    Re: CPU Temperature

    Mark:

    I downloaded the latest BIOS revision (ae1010.awd) for this MB from ASUS and applied (flashed) it. Does not seem to have any affect on the situation. Current MB=42C, CPU=64C, Fan=5720 rpm.

    Fish:

    I used to run ASUS PROBE, now use MBM5 and, no, I'm not overclocking. I want to talk to the people that built and sold me this puppy about how they put it together. Strangely, I have an acquaintance with an almost identical machine (Athlon XP 1800+, same MB) that runs slightly hotter than mine. He did not buy it at the same shop as me. My machine has been running this way for 9 months, his 10. I've only had one problem with this system, a bad memory stick that was replaced under warranty.
    Regards,
    PaulB

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    Re: CPU Temperature

    I would strongly recommend two products that will help (in addition to talking to the folks that built it):

    The 2CoolPC is a product that will force air directly over the CPU. This has lowered my AMD's operating temperature consistently by about 5C. This is a rare gem!!

    The other is a copper heatsink. I purchased a ThermalRight SK-6 heatsink and it lowered the temperature by approximately 3 degrees C. If you replace it yourself, make sure you don't slather on too much thermal compound or you will cancel the intended effect. Less is more; it's purpose is to fill in the tiny gaps between the CPU and heatsink. Lighter fluid will take it off nicely.

    You've got a hot motherboard. All that you can really do is to improve airflow inside the case - these two items are fairly simple to implement and are well worth the effort. If you really want to go all out, make sure that you have an intake fan in the front, and something on the back to draw air out, preferably near the power supply. Don't leave the side of the case off; it will actually raise the temperature by disrupting airflow. You could even go so far as to add rounded IDE and floppy cables so that you aren't blocking the air. All told, it would cost you a little up front, but contrast that with replacing a CPU prematurely or the entire board - suddenly it's not so bad.
    -Mark

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    Re: CPU Temperature

    Mark, Fish, thanks for the input. Just out of curiosity, what are the temps for your MB(s) and CPU(s)?
    Regards,
    PaulB

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    Re: CPU Temperature

    My now-dead Asus board (with an Athlon 1.2GHz processor) ran as follows, with no overclocking:

    <font color=6495ed>Stock, unmodified BIOS and no additional cooling measures:</font color=6495ed>
    CPU, 65C to 68C, followed by forced shutdown and alarms at 70C. Motherboard - 35C.
    I couldn't do anything intensive - Photoshop for example, and games were out of the question. The heatsink and fan were AMD approved and shipped with the mainboard/CPU combo.

    <font color=6495ed>Updated BIOS, new heatsink/fan and 2CoolPC added:</font color=6495ed>
    CPU 60C, Motherboard 35C (averages).

    I now use an Epox 8KHA+ mainboard with an Athlon XP 1700, slightly overclocked just for the heck of it. It runs at a near constant 54C and the board remains steady at 33C. Without any overclocking, the CPU temperature drops one degree.

    One last thought for you Paul - if you have the PC located under a desk, in a corner, in a special computer desk with a place to "hide" the tower.....anywhere where the airflow around it is restricted, it will not vent properly and your temperatures will rise. Athlon chips have a reputation for heat, so anything you can do to reduce the temperature is beneficial. (Personally, I would disable the variable fan speed and let it rip all the time, full blast unless noise is an issue.)
    -Mark

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    Re: CPU Temperature

    This baby is running too hot. You haven't overclocked by some outrageous amount, have you?

    Work through the following and rectify if/where possible:
    - is the CPU fan running at full speed? Check the manufacturers figures on their website and compare with those from your diagnostic s/w (AsusProbe??)
    - have you used some kind of efficient heat transferring compound between the CPU and the bottom of the heatsink? I'm not talking about that nasty piece of bubblegum some suppliers stick to the heatsink.
    - are you putting the heatsink onto the socket the right way round? Make sure it's fully flat on the surface of the chip.
    - is there anything obstructing the airflow of the fan such as cabling, power supply case, etc? Do you have one or more case fans? Are they blowing in/out correctly?
    These puppies will last about a second without a cooling fan, from what I've read.

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    Re: CPU Temperature

    Not being in front of my home machine at present, I'll have a look tonight and get back to you.

    Should be an interesting comparison though - my spec is A7A266 w/XP 1800+ running native.
    And I too had a stick of RAM go west under warranty. <img src=/S/spook.gif border=0 alt=spook width=15 height=15>

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    Re: CPU Temperature

    Another thing that I should've pinned to my last post, how hot do your peripherals run? Are you using some hi-end graphics card? Could you fry an egg on you hard drive? I used to have a Seagate 6.4Gb that would roast anything near it. Now I'm the proud father of an IBM 120GXP 80Gb Deskstar and although warm, it's nothing like as bad as before.

    Just a thought.

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    Re: CPU Temperature

    Hi
    I also run an Athlon (1800+XP) on an MSI motherboard, with case fan. I find that the CPU working temperature depends very much on the weather. On a hot day it will run at 60-61C, and a cooler day around 54C. The default setting for overheating alarm and shut-down is 75C.
    When I first upgraded this system, I had an Asus motherboard. The heatsink supplied with the CPU (shrink-wrapped package) when in place would not quite fit on to the board, because of the slightly wrong position of a small 'step'. The technician I consulted said he could 'make it' fit, which I declined. The motherboard actually developed a fault, so was returned anyway.
    Rgds

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    Re: CPU Temperature

    I'm starting to see a trend here. I had memory cause me grief - but as it turned out, it was one of the DDR sockets that went belly up. I suspected everything from applications to swapping RAM (Crucial didn't ask a single question). Something to keep in mind. I figured it out after I received known good RAM from Crucial and the same problems still occurred; I just used that single 256MB stcik and put it in different slots until I narrowed it down.
    -Mark

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    Re: CPU Temperature

    Verrrrrrrrrry strange. According to my AsusProbe, my MB is currently at 30C and my CPU is 45C. Today's internal temperature chez moi is a balmy 24C and this part of the UK is not really known for it's tropical climate.

    My heatsink/fan is just a bog-standard Cooler Master DP5-6I31C. I have two chassis fans, one in, one out, but this box spends most of it's time on it's side with the panel off - not good for dust accumulation, but convenient. I did apply a carefully measured square of Cooler Master (no, I'm not a shareholder) Premium thermal compound before attaching it last which may help a bit.

    I'll reboot and see what's listed in the BIOS........

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    Re: CPU Temperature

    ...and the BIOS reported m/b 28C, CPU 45C after the system had been running for five minutes. Now here in XP (with the case side panels back on) m/b 31C, cpu 51C.

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    Re: CPU Temperature

    Fish, WyllyWylly, MerC:

    Thanks for all the input. I'm off on vacation for the next few weeks so I'll have to defer action on this until then.

    In the meantime some answers to your questions:

    I have an MSI GeForce 2 type graphic card with its own fan.

    Will check peripheral device temps (2xIBM 40 gig drives, 1xDVD, 1xCD-RW).

    Memory 2x256 MB Crucial DIMMs. Each consists of 2x128 MB banks. One of these banks would intermittently disappear.
    Regards,
    PaulB

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