Can a CPU be overheated by prioritizing a process?

  jasonmatthews423 23:24 03 Jul 14

A few days ago, I was working on my desktop when I heard a bang from the tower, and about 10s later I started smelling smoke. I immediately switched the computer off (it was still functioning as normal), and ended up taking it to a pc repair shop.

I found out that a fan accompanying the cpu had stopped running, causing the motherboard to overheat. I was told by the technician that this was probably due to age (the computer is about 7 years old), and there was a lot of dust within the unit.

However looking back, I remember using Matlab about half hour before the bang/smoke. Due to some memory errors (I was looking at very big files), I had set the Matlab process priority to 'high', to let it access more memory (indeed, this worked).

Could this have contributed to the hardware failure? From what I understand, the cpu has a maximum limit of work capability, and changing the process priority simply directs its focus to a certain process. From this, I can't see how the process priority could cause any problems. In the back of my mind though, I can't help thinking that setting the priority to high, and then a fan failing half hour later, is a direct cause and effect (things in life are rarely coincidence).

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 23:34 03 Jul 14

cpu will only process what you tell it,


too much dust is the cause of your fan failure and overheat.

a replacement fan and possibly heatsink with new thermal paste and a good clean out should be ok as cpu had not burn't out or switched off.

  alanrwood 13:44 04 Jul 14


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