Shuttle XPC Heat Problem


N

nikoli

Howdy everyone! I've got a shuttle XPC small form factor and it has some
heat issues.

Here's a diagram of how the cooling pipes work if you're interested...
some neat stuff.

http://sys.us.shuttle.com/Why_Inside6.aspx

and this is my actual machine...

http://us.shuttle.com/specs_access.asp?pro_id=285

Short explanation of what's going on. The BIOS has a feature that speeds
the fan up when the CPU core reaches a certain temp. Well, I'm not sure
how effective this "feature is" because the fan turns up for litterally
1 second at a time... and it does this over and over. I wish it would
just stay on until the darn thing turns ice cold. This little bugger
heats up badly even when the computer is idle... even when just sitting
at the BIOS screen!!! So with little to no CPU activity, it's
overheating!!! This leads me to believe that it's the Power Supply
that's the culprit. When I open the case, that thing is read hot. (not
litterally)


I'm just wondering if anyone has a suggestion as to how to cool this
machine better. Is there a product to cool the power supply that will
fit into a small form factor? Any suggestions would be cool ~~~punn~~~

-nikoli
 
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D

dslr

nikoli said:
Howdy everyone! I've got a shuttle XPC small form factor and it has
some heat issues.

Here's a diagram of how the cooling pipes work if you're interested...
some neat stuff.

http://sys.us.shuttle.com/Why_Inside6.aspx

and this is my actual machine...

http://us.shuttle.com/specs_access.asp?pro_id=285

Short explanation of what's going on. The BIOS has a feature that
speeds the fan up when the CPU core reaches a certain temp. Well, I'm
not sure how effective this "feature is" because the fan turns up for
litterally 1 second at a time... and it does this over and over. I
wish it would just stay on until the darn thing turns ice cold. This
little bugger heats up badly even when the computer is idle... even
when just sitting at the BIOS screen!!! So with little to no CPU
activity, it's overheating!!! This leads me to believe that it's the
Power Supply that's the culprit. When I open the case, that thing is
read hot. (not litterally)


I'm just wondering if anyone has a suggestion as to how to cool this
machine better. Is there a product to cool the power supply that will
fit into a small form factor? Any suggestions would be cool ~~~punn~~~

Are you sure you fitted the heat sink properly?

I've just built a Shuttle SN41G2 v2 with an Althlon XP2600 Barton and I
can't get it to exceed 49 degrees even during a couple of hours constant
video conversion. I didn't use the heat sink compound that came in the
Shuttle kit, but Arctic Silver (v2) and it seems to be doing the trick very
nicely.
 
N

nikoli

dslr said:
Are you sure you fitted the heat sink properly?

I've just built a Shuttle SN41G2 v2 with an Althlon XP2600 Barton and I
can't get it to exceed 49 degrees even during a couple of hours constant
video conversion. I didn't use the heat sink compound that came in the
Shuttle kit, but Arctic Silver (v2) and it seems to be doing the trick very
nicely.

Yes, I'm positive on that. My friend (computer building guru) helped me
make sure I got it right when I put the machine together. And mine
didn't come with any compound... I had to buy it from CompUSA. Don't
remember what I bought but I remember asking for the good stuff.

I'm almost positive that it's the power supply that's causing me
problems. Does yours get really hot in there? Mine is untouchable at the
end of the day. I think the fact that the CPU core doesn't stay hot for
longer than a couple seconds proves that it's the power supply heating
things up. If it were the CPU, then the fan would stay on for longer
than a couple seconds at a time. In other words, the fan comes on and
cools the CPU down right away because it's idle and not the source of
the heat.

Do you know of any products that cool power supplies?
 
J

John McGaw

nikoli said:
Howdy everyone! I've got a shuttle XPC small form factor and it has some
heat issues.

Here's a diagram of how the cooling pipes work if you're interested...
some neat stuff.

http://sys.us.shuttle.com/Why_Inside6.aspx

and this is my actual machine...

http://us.shuttle.com/specs_access.asp?pro_id=285

Short explanation of what's going on. The BIOS has a feature that speeds
the fan up when the CPU core reaches a certain temp. Well, I'm not sure
how effective this "feature is" because the fan turns up for litterally
1 second at a time... and it does this over and over. I wish it would
just stay on until the darn thing turns ice cold. This little bugger
heats up badly even when the computer is idle... even when just sitting
at the BIOS screen!!! So with little to no CPU activity, it's
overheating!!! This leads me to believe that it's the Power Supply
that's the culprit. When I open the case, that thing is read hot. (not
litterally)


I'm just wondering if anyone has a suggestion as to how to cool this
machine better. Is there a product to cool the power supply that will
fit into a small form factor? Any suggestions would be cool ~~~punn~~~

-nikoli

If it is getting really hot while sitting at the BIOS screen and the fan is
turning at even the lowest speed then you probably installed the heatsink
block to the CPU improperly or the heatpipes are all defective. I am typing
this on a Shuttle SB65G2 which has a P4 3.0 and it has never gotten to even
60C when running at 100% on CPU-intensive applications like CPDN in a warm
room. This was running the fan in the "auto" mode which resulted in the
temperature remaining more-or-less stable at 56-57C while the fan switched
among the various speeds (letting the system run idle dropped the fan to the
lowest or lowest+1 speed and left it there). I finally decided that the
shifting speeds were more annoying than a continuous drone so I set the fan
to the medium speed in the BIOS and find that the CPU remains at 54-56C
running CPDN. I don't know your BIOS but it seems likely that it has a
similar feature to lock the fan speed.
 
N

nikoli

John said:
If it is getting really hot while sitting at the BIOS screen and the fan is
turning at even the lowest speed then you probably installed the heatsink
block to the CPU improperly or the heatpipes are all defective. I am typing
this on a Shuttle SB65G2 which has a P4 3.0 and it has never gotten to even
60C when running at 100% on CPU-intensive applications like CPDN in a warm
room. This was running the fan in the "auto" mode which resulted in the
temperature remaining more-or-less stable at 56-57C while the fan switched
among the various speeds (letting the system run idle dropped the fan to the
lowest or lowest+1 speed and left it there). I finally decided that the
shifting speeds were more annoying than a continuous drone so I set the fan
to the medium speed in the BIOS and find that the CPU remains at 54-56C
running CPDN. I don't know your BIOS but it seems likely that it has a
similar feature to lock the fan speed.

Please read my reply to dslr.

I do suppose I could try to reseat it... but I'm pretty sure it's not
the culprit in this case.

Does your power supply get hot?
 
J

John McGaw

nikoli said:
typing
snip...

Please read my reply to dslr.

I do suppose I could try to reseat it... but I'm pretty sure it's not
the culprit in this case.

Does your power supply get hot?

No, the PS doesn't get noticeably hot. My model uses the Shuttle 220W PS and
the INPUT to the supply is <180W so the output is definitely within range.
The air exiting the tiny fan on the PS is probably (just guessing) around
45C. Good luck with your problem!
 
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N

nikoli

John said:
No, the PS doesn't get noticeably hot. My model uses the Shuttle 220W PS and
the INPUT to the supply is <180W so the output is definitely within range.
The air exiting the tiny fan on the PS is probably (just guessing) around
45C. Good luck with your problem!

See, mine gets ridiculously hot. The air coming out of the fan of it is
every bit as hot as the air coming out of the main fan.

Do you know of any products that could help me cool the PS?
 
N

nikoli

The PSU is an exhaust system for the whole collection of components
inside the case, consider then that whilst the PSU feels hot it's only
the radiator for the engine.

Not sure if that's true in the case of SFF shuttle xpc.

Any / all computers are always hottest in the BIOS screen, it's only
after POST that other factors play to suppress CPU activity cooling
the CPU.

Well, it's getting hot no matter where it's at... booted, idle, BIOS.
You seem to be describing a ' case cooling ' problem as the root cause
of what you feel is an overheating problem.

Ok, not sure of the difference... but I'll roll with that idea.
How are you measuring hot, what ºC is the case temp in relation to the
room [ ambient ] temp - it should be 10ºC + (ish )


Let's just say that the PS is untouchable at the end of the day. It's
WAY too hot. The case is WAY WAY WAY hotter than the room temp.

Also, this problem seems to be magnified by the humidity. I don't think
it's a coincidence that it's acting up now that we're in mid-summer.
(I'm in the US) The room isn't terribly hot though and my house is air
conditioned. And this problem is not exlusive to the summer months
anyway... it's just a little worse than usual.
 
B

borolad

See, mine gets ridiculously hot. The air coming out of the fan of it is
every bit as hot as the air coming out of the main fan.

Do you know of any products that could help me cool the PS?

The PSU is an exhaust system for the whole collection of components
inside the case, consider then that whilst the PSU feels hot it's only
the radiator for the engine.

Any / all computers are always hottest in the BIOS screen, it's only
after POST that other factors play to suppress CPU activity cooling
the CPU.

You seem to be describing a ' case cooling ' problem as the root cause
of what you feel is an overheating problem.

How are you measuring hot, what ºC is the case temp in relation to the
room [ ambient ] temp - it should be 10ºC + (ish )

BoroLad

N.B. no experience of SFF's
 
M

~misfit~

John said:
If it is getting really hot while sitting at the BIOS screen.......

CPUs *do* get hot just sitting in BIOS. They run cooler when the operating
system is running and supplying 'halt' commands to the CPU when it's not
being used. Sometimes the hottest temperatures you'll see are with the
machine just sitting at the BIOS screen.
 
B

borolad

Not sure if that's true in the case of SFF shuttle xpc.

Alloy is it's own radiator, any other is a hole with a fan in it. This
is true of all puters big, small towers, etc. Without getting into
positive / negative pressurized cases ;

- how many inlet fans ?
- how many exhaust fans ?
- are you using a non onboard MOBO video card ?

and :

- How are you measuring hot, what ºC is the case temp in relation to
the room [ ambient ] temp - it should be 10ºC + (ish )

and :

- what BIOS revision are you using ?

ditto
Any / all computers are always hottest in the BIOS screen, it's only
after POST that other factors play to suppress CPU activity cooling
the CPU.

Well, it's getting hot no matter where it's at... booted, idle, BIOS.
You seem to be describing a ' case cooling ' problem as the root cause
of what you feel is an overheating problem.

Ok, not sure of the difference... but I'll roll with that idea.
How are you measuring hot, what ºC is the case temp in relation to the
room [ ambient ] temp - it should be 10ºC + (ish )


Let's just say that the PS is untouchable at the end of the day. It's
WAY too hot. The case is WAY WAY WAY hotter than the room temp.

Also, this problem seems to be magnified by the humidity. I don't think
it's a coincidence that it's acting up now that we're in mid-summer.
(I'm in the US) The room isn't terribly hot though and my house is air
conditioned. And this problem is not exlusive to the summer months
anyway... it's just a little worse than usual.
 
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K

kony

Howdy everyone! I've got a shuttle XPC small form factor and it has some
heat issues.

Here's a diagram of how the cooling pipes work if you're interested...
some neat stuff.

http://sys.us.shuttle.com/Why_Inside6.aspx

and this is my actual machine...

http://us.shuttle.com/specs_access.asp?pro_id=285

Short explanation of what's going on. The BIOS has a feature that speeds
the fan up when the CPU core reaches a certain temp. Well, I'm not sure
how effective this "feature is" because the fan turns up for litterally
1 second at a time... and it does this over and over. I wish it would
just stay on until the darn thing turns ice cold. This little bugger
heats up badly even when the computer is idle... even when just sitting
at the BIOS screen!!! So with little to no CPU activity, it's
overheating!!! This leads me to believe that it's the Power Supply
that's the culprit. When I open the case, that thing is read hot. (not
litterally)


I'm just wondering if anyone has a suggestion as to how to cool this
machine better. Is there a product to cool the power supply that will
fit into a small form factor? Any suggestions would be cool ~~~punn~~~

-nikoli

An AMD CPU in a board that doesn't implement bus-disconnect
suport will easily idle hotter than an Intel chip, and likewise
this power consumption is seen as system PSU outputting more,
creating more heat.

Often those small form-factor PSU have a heat sink, sunk to the
outer (power supply) casing so the entire casing helps to remove
heat. This will make the casing feel hotter than on a full ATU
PSU. Even so, small PSU may easily run hotter due to higher
thermal density and lower flow fan. There isn't much you can do
about that... consider that if it was the optimal design,
everyone would've been using tiny systems all along. What you
can do is cut out the metal fan grill and (if possible) enlarge
the intake/exhaust points on the PSU. If the PSU fan were
excessively noisey (bearing noise or wobble) that might be a
sign that it's needing replaced, or if the RPM seems
significanlty lower than previously. You provide no indication
of that though.

If in doubt about the heatsink to CPU mount, remove and reinstall
it. Often when using silicone based compound on a small core,
high heat CPU, there will be diminished thermal transfer as time
goes by. Generally a system run at spec speed might benefit from
replacing silicone compound every 12 months... less often for
lower speed or heat CPU, more often for highly o'c CPU.

Since the fan noise from RPM change bothers you, consider
connecting fan to a fan controller and PSU connector instead of
motherboard header. You could just connect it straight to PSU
connector with an adatper but no fan controller, which would also
help cool chassis (IIRC the way the fan cools the radiator by
expelling air from case), but also louder operation all the time.
As with the PSU fan, if the fan is signficantly louder than it
was originally, you'll have to judge when it's due to be
replaced. If it's 80mm fan a good replacement might be a Panaflo
FBA08A12M, though they often don't have correct wire connector,
you might have to buy a "tail" separately or splice/solder the
old connector to new fan.
 
N

nikoli

kony said:
An AMD CPU in a board that doesn't implement bus-disconnect
suport will easily idle hotter than an Intel chip, and likewise
this power consumption is seen as system PSU outputting more,
creating more heat.

Often those small form-factor PSU have a heat sink, sunk to the
outer (power supply) casing so the entire casing helps to remove
heat. This will make the casing feel hotter than on a full ATU
PSU. Even so, small PSU may easily run hotter due to higher
thermal density and lower flow fan. There isn't much you can do
about that... consider that if it was the optimal design,
everyone would've been using tiny systems all along. What you
can do is cut out the metal fan grill and (if possible) enlarge
the intake/exhaust points on the PSU. If the PSU fan were
excessively noisey (bearing noise or wobble) that might be a
sign that it's needing replaced, or if the RPM seems
significanlty lower than previously. You provide no indication
of that though.

If in doubt about the heatsink to CPU mount, remove and reinstall
it. Often when using silicone based compound on a small core,
high heat CPU, there will be diminished thermal transfer as time
goes by. Generally a system run at spec speed might benefit from
replacing silicone compound every 12 months... less often for
lower speed or heat CPU, more often for highly o'c CPU.

Since the fan noise from RPM change bothers you, consider
connecting fan to a fan controller and PSU connector instead of
motherboard header. You could just connect it straight to PSU
connector with an adatper but no fan controller, which would also
help cool chassis (IIRC the way the fan cools the radiator by
expelling air from case), but also louder operation all the time.
As with the PSU fan, if the fan is signficantly louder than it
was originally, you'll have to judge when it's due to be
replaced. If it's 80mm fan a good replacement might be a Panaflo
FBA08A12M, though they often don't have correct wire connector,
you might have to buy a "tail" separately or splice/solder the
old connector to new fan.


Wow, thank you kony for the detailed reply! I'm starting to agree that
SFF is not the way to go. I think you're right that all computers
would've been SFF in the first place had it been the best route. But
they are kind of cool looking and serve a purpose in the regard.

Any how, I'll try reseating the heatsink once again just to make doubly
sure that it's right.

The fan in the PS seems to run fine. It doesn't do anything out of the
ordinary at least. It just gets really hot. I wish I could just stick an
additional fan inside the case and point it at the PSU and call it
good... but there's no room in the thing :^)
 
J

John McGaw

nikoli said:
Wow, thank you kony for the detailed reply! I'm starting to agree that
SFF is not the way to go. I think you're right that all computers
would've been SFF in the first place had it been the best route. But
they are kind of cool looking and serve a purpose in the regard.

Any how, I'll try reseating the heatsink once again just to make doubly
sure that it's right.

The fan in the PS seems to run fine. It doesn't do anything out of the
ordinary at least. It just gets really hot. I wish I could just stick an
additional fan inside the case and point it at the PSU and call it
good... but there's no room in the thing :^)

I can only say that there isn't anything inherently bad about the design of
Shuttle's small systems -- there are just too many of them out there working
successfully month after month. I'm fairly certain that my P4 3.0 is
dissipating about as much heat as your AMD and the processor runs
consistently under 60C under the heaviest possible loads and in a warm(ish)
room. Once you figure out what is going on you might want to consider
cutting out the stamped aluminum grille that covers the fins on the heatpipe
assembly. It was only good for a degree or so of improved cooling but it did
cut down the air movement noise a bit. As for your PS heat problem, it is
possible that yours has some defect which is causing the extra heat. Also,
does your PS have the two fans? (one blowing in and one sucking out). Any
chance you can get your hands on a different PS for testing purposes? Good
luck...
 
N

nikoli

John said:
I can only say that there isn't anything inherently bad about the design of
Shuttle's small systems -- there are just too many of them out there working
successfully month after month. I'm fairly certain that my P4 3.0 is
dissipating about as much heat as your AMD and the processor runs
consistently under 60C under the heaviest possible loads and in a warm(ish)
room. Once you figure out what is going on you might want to consider
cutting out the stamped aluminum grille that covers the fins on the heatpipe
assembly. It was only good for a degree or so of improved cooling but it did
cut down the air movement noise a bit. As for your PS heat problem, it is
possible that yours has some defect which is causing the extra heat. Also,
does your PS have the two fans? (one blowing in and one sucking out). Any
chance you can get your hands on a different PS for testing purposes? Good
luck...

Unfortunately I don't have access to a PS that'd fit in there. Would be
very nice.

And the PS only has 1 fan.
 
B

borolad

Unfortunately I don't have access to a PS that'd fit in there. Would be
very nice.
And the PS only has 1 fan.

Don't suppose you have the xpc stood on a floor / tablecloth / carpet
do you - it draws clean air in through the base / bottom.

Cutting the perforations from both PSU-out and radiator-out would
probably make a significant overall internal temp.

Fan noise from RPM change is easily cured by raising the settings in
the BIOS.

BoroLad
 
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N

nikoli

Don't suppose you have the xpc stood on a floor / tablecloth / carpet
do you - it draws clean air in through the base / bottom.

nope... it's on my wooden desk
Cutting the perforations from both PSU-out and radiator-out would
probably make a significant overall internal temp.

I'm thinking about buying the newest replacement PSU for the shuttle
systems...

http://us.shuttle.com/specs_access.asp?pro_id=409

$70 USDA... I looked it up on pricewatch too and that's the cheapest it
gets.
Fan noise from RPM change is easily cured by raising the settings in
the BIOS.

BoroLad


No settings have made a difference. The fan works in the 3 stages (I'm
sure you know this...)

1. low (2000 RPM)
2. middle (3000 RPM)
3. high (4500)

My machine stays on low for about 2 minutes after boot and then it
changes to middle. Middle is a little loud but it's bearable. It's just
when it turns to high that it gets annoying. I used to set the BIOS to
turn to high when the temp reaches 52 C. Well it gets to 52 C (the
highest choice) pretty quickly, but it also drops back down quickly. So
it turns up and back down constantly when it's hot. If it would just
stay on high for a couple minutes, it wouldn't be annoying at all. But
it turns up and down and up and down... AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Drives me nuts!!!

So I figure if it's gonna get to 52 C relatively quickly, why not just
put it on the lowest setting (40 C) and get it cooled down quicker? So
that's where it's at right now.
 
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M

~misfit~

Don't suppose you have the xpc stood on a floor / tablecloth / carpet
do you - it draws clean air in through the base / bottom.

Cutting the perforations from both PSU-out and radiator-out would
probably make a significant overall internal temp.

Fan noise from RPM change is easily cured by raising the settings in
the BIOS.

I've seen PCs suffering from poor ventilation due to the fact that the
inlets are blocked by dint of being on carpet. I'd never do such a thing
myself, it's asking for dust anyway. With my PC case I've actually taken a
hot knife (soldering iron with a flat blade I don't use for soldering
actually) to the inlet grille under the front plastic panel and cut a lot of
plastic out. It made a big difference to temps. If the air can't get in then
it doesn't matter how many fans you have trying to push it out.

Also, (bearing in mind I've never had a "Shuttle" style PC) if you're
competant with a screwdriver and a soldering iron and comfortable opening a
PSU (Leave unplugged for a few minutes first, then try to turn the machine
on unplugged, then dismantle) you could put a gruntier fan in the PSU maybe.
The comments about removing stamped-out grilles is a good one, you can
always fit a chrome wire finger guard if you're concerned that your pet
gerbil may get minced.

Good luck.
 

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