overheating Athlon?

  keef66 09:49 20 Apr 06

I have acquired my sister-in-law's pc (she's now emigrated), and am giving it the once-over before passing it on to father-in law so he can e-mail and call her on Skype.

Apparently it used to crash occasionally for no apparent reason. I have uninstalled all the unwanted software, cleaned it up using all the available free software, and installed AVG.

While rummaging about in the bios for anything suspicious I noticed it reported the CPU temp as 75c, and this was minutes after starting it up. Downloaded and installed Speedfan, which by then reported cpu temp as 80c and rising. Since this is the only unusual thing I have identified, I am assuming it could have been the cause of random crashes. Temps could easily have been higher than this when the pc was in use and during the summer.

I have removed a quantity of fluff and dust from inside the case, removed and thoroughly cleaned the heatsink and fan, and replaced it using new thermal paste. No difference at all.

The pc is a Hewlett Packard i-media midi tower. Processor is an Athlon 1.3ghz on an MSI mobo of some kind. Is it possible that HP installed a less than adequate cpu cooler in order to achieve near silent operation? It is very quiet.

I have a spare socket A cooler which came with our Athlon XP 2100+ pc, and which I replaced with a quieter Arctic Cooling version. I'll fit that and see if it keeps the cpu any cooler.

  rmcqua 09:56 20 Apr 06

Definitely too hot - in a similar thread I quoted an AMD engineer's opinion that I had seen on this subject. He stated that for a processor of this type, the alarm/shutdown temperature should be set to no higher that 70 deg C.
Given the clean up that you have already done, I can only assume that the heatsink/fan are inadequate for the CPU. I'm betting that you will notice a considerable difference when you fit the XP2100+ cooler.

  goonerbill © ® 12:38 20 Apr 06

fit your other H/S fan, things should run a fair bit cooler. would also recommend fitting a couple of case fans (if none fitted already) one drawing cold/cool air in and one to draw hot air out, this will help to keep thing cool. (one fan at front and one at the rear. only mention this as have seen system that had 2 fans mounted in rear of case, one drawing in, the other drawing out placed above each other).

  garrema 13:22 20 Apr 06

From an aerodynamic PoV you are better off with one 120mm fan at the top back of the case than one front and one back. Too turnulent and spoils the ability of air to flow in a linear fashion over the components i.e. gusts are no good.
Make sure the front vents are clear. If they are underneath don't just stand the PC on carpet.
Hoover carefully all the airholes in the case from front to back.

  Giggle n' Bits 13:27 20 Apr 06

Personally I would replace the HSF and also clean the CPU Core and apply a new application of something decent like Arctic Silver thermal Soloution.

I know in these PC's there very claustrophic so carefull when removing the HSF not ot knock a Transitor or slip with a screwdriver.

  keef66 15:58 20 Apr 06

thanks for the comments. Ticked as resolved, but I'll post back & let you know if the heftier cooler does the trick.
Interestingly there's plenty of room around the socket for fiddling with the heatsink retaining clip. On my full tower pc I have to take out the psu to give enough room to see and get the screwdriver into the clip!

  keef66 20:55 26 Apr 06

wife reminded me I'd chucked out a lot of leftover pc bits, the heatsink included.
Instead I borrowed a Glacialrech Igloo cooler from our 2nd pc (Duron 950) and that's got the temp down to 60c on the Athlon 1.3 and it's still very quiet. I'll see if it's stable at 60; failing that, I'm shopping for a louder socket A cooler

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