one more heat issue question...


M

Matt

I was having strange heat fluxuations in the bios with my CPU so I called in
some favors and got my hands on another one and it didn't have these issues
so I RMA'ed my processor, installed and everything seemed fine in the BIOS
temps. But then I loaded windows & drivers and went to install a game...
about 30 minutes into the install my computer shuts down again due to heat.
Now I'm not doing anything taxing to the system but I'm still having heat
issues... I haven't made any changes to my default bios settings (and it is
the latest available) and I've made sure cool & quiet is running but nothing
seems to help. I even pulled the side of the case off and put a box fan on
high blowing directly onto the system but that only gets me about 20 more
minutes before everything overheats (the room is also cool). I'm really
thinking that my motherboard is faulty at this point, but I'm just
guessing... I have seen a few others via google having heat issues running
similar gigabyte boards and these processors... but nothing like what I'm
experiencing, they're overclocking before they're experiencing anything like
the heat issues I'm getting just from running windows. I am running a stock
CPU cooler, but I've installed my video card as far away from the CPU as
possible and I have good fans on the case but all in all I don't think I
should get these overheating issues just from basically running windows.

Does anyone have any other ideas? I really don't want to go out and spend
$100 on additional cooling if I have other issues going on.

GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 (F4 BIOS)
AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop
KingstonKHX1600C9D3X2K2/4GX DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 x2
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB x2 (RAID 0)
ATI Radeon HD 5770
LiteOn iHAS424 - DVD±RW
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W
Windows 7 64
 
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S

SC Tom

Matt said:
I was having strange heat fluxuations in the bios with my CPU so I called in some favors and got my hands on another
one and it didn't have these issues so I RMA'ed my processor, installed and everything seemed fine in the BIOS temps.
But then I loaded windows & drivers and went to install a game... about 30 minutes into the install my computer shuts
down again due to heat. Now I'm not doing anything taxing to the system but I'm still having heat issues... I haven't
made any changes to my default bios settings (and it is the latest available) and I've made sure cool & quiet is
running but nothing seems to help. I even pulled the side of the case off and put a box fan on high blowing directly
onto the system but that only gets me about 20 more minutes before everything overheats (the room is also cool). I'm
really thinking that my motherboard is faulty at this point, but I'm just guessing... I have seen a few others via
google having heat issues running similar gigabyte boards and these processors... but nothing like what I'm
experiencing, they're overclocking before they're experiencing anything like the heat issues I'm getting just from
running windows. I am running a stock CPU cooler, but I've installed my video card as far away from the CPU as possible
and I have good fans on the case but all in all I don't think I should get these overheating issues just from basically
running windows.

Does anyone have any other ideas? I really don't want to go out and spend $100 on additional cooling if I have other
issues going on.

GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 (F4 BIOS)
AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop KingstonKHX1600C9D3X2K2/4GX DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 x2
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB x2 (RAID 0)
ATI Radeon HD 5770
LiteOn iHAS424 - DVD±RW
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W
Windows 7 64

If you don't already have it, download and install CPU-Z http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html . On the first
(CPU) page, look at what the Max TDP is. It's possible your stock cooler isn't drawing off enough heat.

In your BIOS, under Advanced BIOS Settings, is an option to turn cores on or off. Set it to Manual and turn off cores 4
through 7. This will basically make it a quad-core AMD, but should reduce your heat. Try it for a while and monitor
those temps. If it runs cool enough without overheating, add two more cores and see what the increase is. If going to
six cores causes a tremendous jump in temp, disable one core and enable a different one; i.e., disable 4 and enable 7.
If going through all the combinations doesn't change anything dramatically, I would hazard a guess that the stock cooler
isn't enough.
 
V

VanguardLH

Matt said:
I was having strange heat fluxuations in the bios with my CPU so I called in
some favors and got my hands on another one and it didn't have these issues
so I RMA'ed my processor, installed and everything seemed fine in the BIOS
temps. But then I loaded windows & drivers and went to install a game...
about 30 minutes into the install my computer shuts down again due to heat.
Now I'm not doing anything taxing to the system but I'm still having heat
issues... I haven't made any changes to my default bios settings (and it is
the latest available) and I've made sure cool & quiet is running but nothing
seems to help. I even pulled the side of the case off and put a box fan on
high blowing directly onto the system but that only gets me about 20 more
minutes before everything overheats (the room is also cool). I'm really
thinking that my motherboard is faulty at this point, but I'm just
guessing... I have seen a few others via google having heat issues running
similar gigabyte boards and these processors... but nothing like what I'm
experiencing, they're overclocking before they're experiencing anything like
the heat issues I'm getting just from running windows. I am running a stock
CPU cooler, but I've installed my video card as far away from the CPU as
possible and I have good fans on the case but all in all I don't think I
should get these overheating issues just from basically running windows.

Does anyone have any other ideas? I really don't want to go out and spend
$100 on additional cooling if I have other issues going on.

GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 (F4 BIOS)
AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop
KingstonKHX1600C9D3X2K2/4GX DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 x2
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB x2 (RAID 0)
ATI Radeon HD 5770
LiteOn iHAS424 - DVD±RW
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W
Windows 7 64

CPU fan running?
Did you apply thermal paste to the heatsink?
Do you gob on the heat paste or apply a very thin translucent coat?
Is the CPU fan blowing into the heatsink or sucking out of it?

Is it a messily cabled case so that cables obstruct air flow through the
case? Are there any flat cables (IDE)? If so, are they 90-degrees to
the airflow or 0/180/360 degrees with it (so air can move past the flat
cables instead impinging on and getting redirected by them)?

Does the PSU have 1 or 2 fans? If it has 2 fans, and since the 2nd fan
(at the intake side of the PSU and closest to the CPU) is probably not
spinning until the PSU gets hot), where is the airflow away from the fan
and heatsink on the CPU? Is there a case fan on the backside of the
case to suck out the CPU-heated air if the 2nd PSU fan isn't spinning
(and not supposed to until the PSU gets hot)?

What's the case temperature? Cooling only works if there is a
differential in temperatures and they're only be a differential in
internal case temperature if there is air flowing through it. Despite
having a PSU and case exhaust fans, they can't move air that doesn't
first get into the case through the intake areas. When you used a
duster can to blow out the case (dust is a thermal insulator), did you
also blow out behind the front panel so the intake area was clear of
dust bunnies? If you have a front case fan, is it spinning or not? If
it's not spinning (because to thermal control), is there enough intake
area elsewhere and through the non-spinning fan?

Do you have any filter meshes over any of the case fans? If so, tried
removing them and retesting? Tried cleaning them (they might be
washable)?

A common mistake I've seen with folks that mod their case or have one
with the opening in the side panel is to install a side panel case fan
that is blowing in the opposite direction of the CPU fan. Despite the
original airflow design of the ATX case, some folks have found better
CPU (and case) cooling by turning around the backside case fan so it's
an intake rather than exhaust. This would have a short path of over the
CPU and get sucked into the PSU to exhaust so it mostly just helps with
the CPU temperature. If you do that, monitor temperatures for hard
disks and memory since now the airflow through the case won't include
passing air over those components unless you have a front fan as intake.
Also, some cases result in lower temperatures if you remove a couple
card blanks at the bottom of the backside of the case. You have to
experiment to see what works best for you.

That you take off the side panel and direct a large fan into the case
(supposedly blowing into the case instead of trying to suck out of it)
but that doesn't help but delay the overheating, I'd start looking at
the heatsink for dust in and on its fins, lack of thermal paste between
heatsink and CPU (or way too much of it), or that the CPU fan is even
spinning (something you didn't mention but most BIOS'es will see zero
RPM and do an immediate shutdown).

Thermal paste is used only to fill the microscopic gaps which result in
air gaps between the mating surfaces of the heatsink and CPU heat plate.
Thermal paste has a better heat transfer rate than air but it doesn't
come anywhere close to metal-to-metal contact. You want as much of the
metal on the mating surfaces to contact each other. You don't want to
insulate the metal surfaces with paste. I'd say the vast majority of
users (even techs) putting together a host end up slathering way too
much thermal paste on the heatsink which results in insulating it from
the CPU. Not only do you want a thin and translucent layer of paste,
you want to apply pressure and twist the heatsink onto the CPU to make
sure the paste is where it is needed and not where it isn't. The
pressure of the retaining bracket/screws holding down the heatsink
against the CPU plate will squeeze out some more unneeded paste (if it's
of low viscosity enough to squeeze out) but it doesn't compensate for
putting on way too much paste. You need to thoroughly clean the mating
surfaces and apply a thin translucent layer to one surface only. Then
push and twist the heatsink onto the CPU, and then clamp it down.

In fact, some users will even lap the mating surfaces to make sure they
have as much metal-to-metal contact as possible (so the paste is used to
fill as few microscopic air gaps as possible). Many heatsinks are
rather rough and won't mate that well and rely way too much on paste or
pads to compensate (it might look shiny to your eye but that doesn't
mean it is smooth for best surface mating nor that it is flat). You get
a plate of glass, 3000 grit sandpaper (wet), and rubbing compound to lap
(polish) the surfaces flat so they mate as best you can. That takes a
lot more work than most users are willing to expend. Sometimes when you
use paste without lapping the surfaces, you can take them apart to see
entire areas where the surfaces never met. Not only might one surface
be uneven but it could be cupped. This means instead of filling
microscopic air gaps in the surfaces that you can't see, the paste is
instead filling a rather large pocket of dead space betweeen the
surfaces. While lapping takes time, it's easy to do for the heatsink
but you have to be careful when lapping the CPU plate since it is thin.
It's also possible the hold-down mechanism for the heatsink results in
uneven pressure of the heatsink against the CPU plate.

If you were using thermal pads, remove and clean them off and replace
with thermal paste (and not what came with the heatsink but some better
qualify stuff but you don't necessarily need the Artic silver stuff).
Pads are used to circumvent lazy and oafish users that haven't a clue on
how to properly use paste. They are designed to change state (phase
change) upon pressure and heat and if used just once they can be as
effective as paste used by noobs that don't know how to apply it. The
pad melts under pressure and heat (so it gets better over a burn-in
time). It changes state because it's paraffin based which mean it melts
to do under pressure and heat what the paste is supposed to do yet pads
always seem to be thicker even after months of pressure than is paste
plus the pad is always there whereas paste will move out under the most
pressured areas which is where metal wants to contact metal. Under
ideal conditions, you have full metal-to-metal contact and don't need
anything to fill the gaps (but I've yet to see where CPUs were
manufactured with a heat plate that was instead a heatsink). Next best
is to have the best mating surfaces available and fill the microscopic
gaps with something that has a heat transfer rate far better than air
(but which will never be as good as metal). Lowest is use of a pad
since it never goes away so it's always between the surfaces. See
http://support.amd.com/us/Processor_TechDocs/26951.pdf.
 
P

Paul

Matt said:
I was having strange heat fluxuations in the bios with my CPU so I called in
some favors and got my hands on another one and it didn't have these issues
so I RMA'ed my processor, installed and everything seemed fine in the BIOS
temps. But then I loaded windows & drivers and went to install a game...
about 30 minutes into the install my computer shuts down again due to heat.
Now I'm not doing anything taxing to the system but I'm still having heat
issues... I haven't made any changes to my default bios settings (and it is
the latest available) and I've made sure cool & quiet is running but nothing
seems to help. I even pulled the side of the case off and put a box fan on
high blowing directly onto the system but that only gets me about 20 more
minutes before everything overheats (the room is also cool). I'm really
thinking that my motherboard is faulty at this point, but I'm just
guessing... I have seen a few others via google having heat issues running
similar gigabyte boards and these processors... but nothing like what I'm
experiencing, they're overclocking before they're experiencing anything like
the heat issues I'm getting just from running windows. I am running a stock
CPU cooler, but I've installed my video card as far away from the CPU as
possible and I have good fans on the case but all in all I don't think I
should get these overheating issues just from basically running windows.

Does anyone have any other ideas? I really don't want to go out and spend
$100 on additional cooling if I have other issues going on.

GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 (F4 BIOS)
AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop
KingstonKHX1600C9D3X2K2/4GX DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 x2
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB x2 (RAID 0)
ATI Radeon HD 5770
LiteOn iHAS424 - DVD±RW
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W
Windows 7 64

Maybe the BIOS has set VCore too high ?

Other than that, you own a 125W processor, so you need a
125W cooler.

Paul
 
M

Matt

CPU fan running?
Did you apply thermal paste to the heatsink?
Do you gob on the heat paste or apply a very thin translucent coat?
Is the CPU fan blowing into the heatsink or sucking out of it?

Is it a messily cabled case so that cables obstruct air flow through the
case?  Are there any flat cables (IDE)?  If so, are they 90-degrees to
the airflow or 0/180/360 degrees with it (so air can move past the flat
cables instead impinging on and getting redirected by them)?

Does the PSU have 1 or 2 fans?  If it has 2 fans, and since the 2nd fan
(at the intake side of the PSU and closest to the CPU) is probably not
spinning until the PSU gets hot), where is the airflow away from the fan
and heatsink on the CPU?  Is there a case fan on the backside of the
case to suck out the CPU-heated air if the 2nd PSU fan isn't spinning
(and not supposed to until the PSU gets hot)?

What's the case temperature?  Cooling only works if there is a
differential in temperatures and they're only be a differential in
internal case temperature if there is air flowing through it.  Despite
having a PSU and case exhaust fans, they can't move air that doesn't
first get into the case through the intake areas.  When you used a
duster can to blow out the case (dust is a thermal insulator), did you
also blow out behind the front panel so the intake area was clear of
dust bunnies?  If you have a front case fan, is it spinning or not?  If
it's not spinning (because to thermal control), is there enough intake
area elsewhere and through the non-spinning fan?

Do you have any filter meshes over any of the case fans?  If so, tried
removing them and retesting?  Tried cleaning them (they might be
washable)?

A common mistake I've seen with folks that mod their case or have one
with the opening in the side panel is to install a side panel case fan
that is blowing in the opposite direction of the CPU fan.  Despite the
original airflow design of the ATX case, some folks have found better
CPU (and case) cooling by turning around the backside case fan so it's
an intake rather than exhaust.  This would have a short path of over the
CPU and get sucked into the PSU to exhaust so it mostly just helps with
the CPU temperature.  If you do that, monitor temperatures for hard
disks and memory since now the airflow through the case won't include
passing air over those components unless you have a front fan as intake.
Also, some cases result in lower temperatures if you remove a couple
card blanks at the bottom of the backside of the case.  You have to
experiment to see what works best for you.

That you take off the side panel and direct a large fan into the case
(supposedly blowing into the case instead of trying to suck out of it)
but that doesn't help but delay the overheating, I'd start looking at
the heatsink for dust in and on its fins, lack of thermal paste between
heatsink and CPU (or way too much of it), or that the CPU fan is even
spinning (something you didn't mention but most BIOS'es will see zero
RPM and do an immediate shutdown).

Thermal paste is used only to fill the microscopic gaps which result in
air gaps between the mating surfaces of the heatsink and CPU heat plate.
Thermal paste has a better heat transfer rate than air but it doesn't
come anywhere close to metal-to-metal contact.  You want as much of the
metal on the mating surfaces to contact each other.  You don't want to
insulate the metal surfaces with paste.  I'd say the vast majority of
users (even techs) putting together a host end up slathering way too
much thermal paste on the heatsink which results in insulating it from
the CPU.  Not only do you want a thin and translucent layer of paste,
you want to apply pressure and twist the heatsink onto the CPU to make
sure the paste is where it is needed and not where it isn't.  The
pressure of the retaining bracket/screws holding down the heatsink
against the CPU plate will squeeze out some more unneeded paste (if it's
of low viscosity enough to squeeze out) but it doesn't compensate for
putting on way too much paste.  You need to thoroughly clean the mating
surfaces and apply a thin translucent layer to one surface only.  Then
push and twist the heatsink onto the CPU, and then clamp it down.

In fact, some users will even lap the mating surfaces to make sure they
have as much metal-to-metal contact as possible (so the paste is used to
fill as few microscopic air gaps as possible).  Many heatsinks are
rather rough and won't mate that well and rely way too much on paste or
pads to compensate (it might look shiny to your eye but that doesn't
mean it is smooth for best surface mating nor that it is flat).  You get
a plate of glass, 3000 grit sandpaper (wet), and rubbing compound to lap
(polish) the surfaces flat so they mate as best you can.  That takes a
lot more work than most users are willing to expend.  Sometimes when you
use paste without lapping the surfaces, you can take them apart to see
entire areas where the surfaces never met.  Not only might one surface
be uneven but it could be cupped.  This means instead of filling
microscopic air gaps in the surfaces that you can't see, the paste is
instead filling a rather large pocket of dead space betweeen the
surfaces.  While lapping takes time, it's easy to do for the heatsink
but you have to be careful when lapping the CPU plate since it is thin.
It's also possible the hold-down mechanism for the heatsink results in
uneven pressure of the heatsink against the CPU plate.

If you were using thermal pads, remove and clean them off and replace
with thermal paste (and not what came with the heatsink but some better
qualify stuff but you don't necessarily need the Artic silver stuff).
Pads are used to circumvent lazy and oafish users that haven't a clue on
how to properly use paste.  They are designed to change state (phase
change) upon pressure and heat and if used just once they can be as
effective as paste used by noobs that don't know how to apply it.  The
pad melts under pressure and heat (so it gets better over a burn-in
time).  It changes state because it's paraffin based which mean it melts
to do under pressure and heat what the paste is supposed to do yet pads
always seem to be thicker even after months of pressure than is paste
plus the pad is always there whereas paste will move out under the most
pressured areas which is where metal wants to contact metal.  Under
ideal conditions, you have full metal-to-metal contact and don't need
anything to fill the gaps (but I've yet to see where CPUs were
manufactured with a heat plate that was instead a heatsink).  Next best
is to have the best mating surfaces available and fill the microscopic
gaps with something that has a heat transfer rate far better than air
(but which will never be as good as metal).  Lowest is use of a pad
since it never goes away so it's always between the surfaces.  Seehttp://support.amd.com/us/Processor_TechDocs/26951.pdf.

I'm not a pro builder or anything but this isn't my first.. I say that
because I did cover the basics...I did use the stock fan with the cpu
and the stock thermal paste (normally I clean this off and put my own
on there, but usually a system will at least run windows with the
stock thermal paste)... I have tied off all power cables in the case
so that everything is open... all of the fans are spinning... all of
the equipment in this system is new so there is no dust on any of the
fan blades, and my fans suck heat away from the cpu. I've not tried
going into the bios and shutting down cores or messing with any of the
voltage settings yet... nor have I tried anything but the stock cpu
cooler provided by AMD.

But all in all I don't feel like I should need to make any bios
changes or require anything but the stock fan just to run windows.
I've seen others with heat issues when running this mobo/cpu combo but
they are all overclocking.. I'm just trying to run the OS at stock
settings... I find it extremely hard to believe that AMD would ship
out this CPU if the provided stock fan wasn't enough to cool it just
to run windows.

I'll try messing with the cores tonight.. maybe that will tell me if
it is indeed a heating issue and not the motherboard. Thanks for the
suggestions.
 
P

Paul

Matt said:
I'm not a pro builder or anything but this isn't my first.. I say that
because I did cover the basics...I did use the stock fan with the cpu
and the stock thermal paste (normally I clean this off and put my own
on there, but usually a system will at least run windows with the
stock thermal paste)... I have tied off all power cables in the case
so that everything is open... all of the fans are spinning... all of
the equipment in this system is new so there is no dust on any of the
fan blades, and my fans suck heat away from the cpu. I've not tried
going into the bios and shutting down cores or messing with any of the
voltage settings yet... nor have I tried anything but the stock cpu
cooler provided by AMD.

But all in all I don't feel like I should need to make any bios
changes or require anything but the stock fan just to run windows.
I've seen others with heat issues when running this mobo/cpu combo but
they are all overclocking.. I'm just trying to run the OS at stock
settings... I find it extremely hard to believe that AMD would ship
out this CPU if the provided stock fan wasn't enough to cool it just
to run windows.

I'll try messing with the cores tonight.. maybe that will tell me if
it is indeed a heating issue and not the motherboard. Thanks for the
suggestions.

"I don't feel like I should need to make any bios changes or
require anything but the stock fan just to run windows." Correct.

The cooling system should be engineered to take the entire TDP.

The system should remain stable, and at a decently low temperature,
even when Prime95 threads are running on each CPU core. If running
Prime95 causes the system to shut off on a "THERMTRIP", then your
system hasn't been engineered properly. You'd need a better cooler,
or, fix whatever is wrong with the fitment (no paste, no normal force
etc). It could even be, that waste heat is not being moved out of
the computer case fast enough, and the case air temp is shooting
up to 50C over a period of ten minutes.

If VCore is set higher than is necessary, such as an older motherboard
running a newer processor, and using the wrong VID table, then the
overheat can be caused by the motherboard company. There have been
boards in the past, where in retrospect, users eventually figured
out the stupid BIOS was overvolting.

You don't "accept" a system, unless the cooler is handling the worst
case cooling. Run Prime95 for an hour or two, to see if the CPU has
enough cooling, and to see whether the fan on the back of the case,
is removing waste heat fast enough. You don't test the system,
by sitting idle in the desktop, because that's not a "reasonable
worst case" scenario.

You certainly have the option of detuning the system, to reduce power
consumption. But when putting a cooler in there, you don't, on purpose,
use a wimpy cooler. That's only asking for trouble. You wouldn't put
a 35W cooler on a 125W processor, because there is some risk, given
the right set of conditions, that the processor will kick out 125W of
waste heat. Say the end user, resets the BIOS with a "Clear CMOS",
then boots a Linux LiveCD and runs a copy of Prime95. All of your
careful powermiser settings can be blown away, just that easily.

*******

Retail coolers are a mixed bag. When you get a cooler with a CPU,
the manufacturer is supposed to determine that it is adequate for
the purpose. Generally, you don't get the best technology (heat pipes
for heat distribution), in a retail boxed CPU cooler. They try to
cheap out, as best they can.

To give an example, I have a 65nm Core2 Duo, and it is rated at
65W TDP. By measurement, worst case, the max it draws is 36W.
So it's very good on power, and when I had the option of using
the retail in-box cooler, I did not hesitate (I moved that processor
to another system, and since I'd done the measurement with a
clamp-on ammeter, knew there was zero chance of overheating
with virtually any kind of cooler).

On something like Prescott processors, there might have been a
need to switch to an after-market cooler, because the one in
the box wasn't good enough. In some cases, no amount of
tinkering, brought the temps down to within reason (65-70C Tcase).

I've had at least one Intel processor, that ran above TDP value
(by measurement), and that happens occasionally. Those were
the bad old days. That one had an aftermarket cooler on it,
purely by chance.

Paul
 
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F

Flasherly

Does anyone have any other ideas? I really don't want to go out and spend
$100 on additional cooling if I have other issues going on.

Take a deep breath before getting another fan and potentially
pocketing an extra $50?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099

Seriously, there's some serious fan designs around those chips, and,
surprise...surprise, it ain't all so cheap. Bleedin' all over on the
bloody edge sometimes is as bad getting what you paid for. Are you
aware AMD is/has contracted within the cooler industry for an AMD-logo
package, over-market of their stock unit, in line with higher-end
cooling advancements on self-contained water units that have been
kicking around for the past 5 or so years?
 

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