Slow down and excessive heat -- some questions


A

Adam Dawes

I recently replaced my GeForce4 Ti4200 graphics card with an ATI Radeon
9800. Shortly after doing this I noticed that after my PC had been on for a
little while (up to about 30 minutes) the graphics performance started to
drop noticeably.

For example, I've been running a bot-match in UT2004 with the FPS display
on. Initially the game runs at 50-75fps. After 5-10 minutes this drops to
30fps, and after 20 minutes it's down to 15fps, which is unplayable.

My PC does appear to be running very hot indeed and I've been experimenting
with ways to keep it cool. With the case all closed up I was experiencing
temperatures of 59C on the CPU (AMD 2400XP). It's been suggested to me in
the alt.comp.periphs.videocard.ati newsgroup that this is unlikely to be a
problem with the graphics card overheating (as that would likely manifest
itself as graphical corruption or crashes) but more likely with the CPU
throttling in order to stop itself from overheating.

My questions are therefore as follows:

1. Does my CPU have the capability of doing this or is this a red herring?

2. Should I be worried about these temperatures? Running with the case open
it drops to 44C which seems a bit more reasonable (we're having a bit of a
heatwave at the moment so the ambient room temperature is probably not much
below 30C).

3. While trying to determine where the heat is coming from with the case
open, I noticed that the power supply itself seems to be getting extremely
hot -- almost too hot to touch. As the new graphics card requires a power
source from the PSU (unlike my old card) I wondered if the heat could be
caused by excessive drain on the PSU? (I know little about electronics so
don't know how likely this is). The PSU was sold to me as being able to
deliver 300W. I currently have it powering the motherboard (EPoX 8RDA+), two
hard drives, a DVD writer, floppy drive and the graphics card. Is this
possible? Should I consider getting a more powerful PSU?

I currently have a PCI "exhaust blower" on order which I'm expecting to take
delivery of any day, but I don't know how effective this is really likely to
be.

I'd be grateful for any other suggestions anyone has as this is proving very
frustrating at the moment.

Many thanks,
 
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D

DaveW

You didn't say what brand or how many watts your power supply is rated at,
but I'd be willing to bet that your overtaxing the power supply because it
is too small/unstable. And get a good quality one; this is not the place to
save money.
 
C

Cuzman

" I'd be grateful for any other suggestions anyone has as this is proving
very frustrating at the moment. "


I'd recommend the following:

- Arctic-Cooling VGA Silencer http://snipurl.com/6hk7
(check here for revision compatibility http://snipurl.com/6yuq )

- Evercool PCAC http://snipurl.com/6k3h

I'd also recommend you ditch the PCI exhaust blower. They never were that
good anyway, and the last place you want air to exit from is near the bottom
of the case.

It could also be that your PSU is taking a battering, particularly if it is
a generic type. However, you would normally suffer a crashing system during
intensive 3D useage if that was the case. It really does seem more of a
heat issue, particularly with those CPU temps.
 
O

Oenone

Cuzman said:
I'd recommend the following:

- Arctic-Cooling VGA Silencer http://snipurl.com/6hk7
(check here for revision compatibility http://snipurl.com/6yuq )

I looked at this product a couple of days ago but the installation
instructions looked way beyond what I'm comfortable with. Anything that
involves taking bits off the graphics card PCB is too much for me. :(

This is interesting -- have you seen one of these "in the flesh"? The reason
I ask is because all my 5.25" bays are in use, but two of them just have IDE
hard drives in (for reasons too boring to go into here). Could I install one
of these in front of the drive without any problems do you think?

Thanks for your help and suggestions,
 
O

Oenone

DaveW said:
You didn't say what brand or how many watts your power supply is
rated at, but I'd be willing to bet that your overtaxing the power
supply because it is too small/unstable. And get a good quality one;
this is not the place to save money.

The PSU is rated at 300W, I've no idea what brand it is but probably a
rubbish one (it came pre-fitted into a very cheap and nasty PC case that
I've regretted buying ever since).

If I were to change the PSU, what wattage would you suggest I go for?
 
C

Cuzman

" This is interesting -- have you seen one of these *in the flesh*? The
reason I ask is because all my 5.25" bays are in use, but two of them just
have IDE hard drives in (for reasons too boring to go into here). Could I
install one of these in front of the drive without any problems do you
think? "


I bought one from eBay UK ( http://snipurl.com/6yxz ), as my case didn't
have any exhaust fans (apart from the PSU). It stretches 58mm into the case
at the edges, and 27mcm in the centre ( see http://snipurl.com/6yxm ).

As to whether you can fit one in with what you already have is for you to
calculate, bearing in mind that it would be most effective in the top drive
bay. A hard drive caddy would need to go into the case a little, and might
impose on your RAM.

Evercool PCAC review: http://snipurl.com/6yxq
Arctic-Cooling VGA Silencer installation: http://snipurl.com/6yyg
 
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K

kony

I recently replaced my GeForce4 Ti4200 graphics card with an ATI Radeon
9800. Shortly after doing this I noticed that after my PC had been on for a
little while (up to about 30 minutes) the graphics performance started to
drop noticeably.

For example, I've been running a bot-match in UT2004 with the FPS display
on. Initially the game runs at 50-75fps. After 5-10 minutes this drops to
30fps, and after 20 minutes it's down to 15fps, which is unplayable.

My PC does appear to be running very hot indeed and I've been experimenting
with ways to keep it cool. With the case all closed up I was experiencing
temperatures of 59C on the CPU (AMD 2400XP). It's been suggested to me in
the alt.comp.periphs.videocard.ati newsgroup that this is unlikely to be a
problem with the graphics card overheating (as that would likely manifest
itself as graphical corruption or crashes) but more likely with the CPU
throttling in order to stop itself from overheating.

My questions are therefore as follows:

1. Does my CPU have the capability of doing this or is this a red herring?

No your CPU does not, but it WILL change speeds if the motherboard has
that feature. Investigate the motherboard feature-set, there may be a
setting in the bios as well (or they could hide that setting, a
manufacturer may do what they like).

2. Should I be worried about these temperatures? Running with the case open
it drops to 44C which seems a bit more reasonable (we're having a bit of a
heatwave at the moment so the ambient room temperature is probably not much
below 30C).

Clearly you need more case airflow. No worry, just get more air in there.

3. While trying to determine where the heat is coming from with the case
open, I noticed that the power supply itself seems to be getting extremely
hot -- almost too hot to touch. As the new graphics card requires a power
source from the PSU (unlike my old card) I wondered if the heat could be
caused by excessive drain on the PSU? (I know little about electronics so
don't know how likely this is). The PSU was sold to me as being able to
deliver 300W. I currently have it powering the motherboard (EPoX 8RDA+), two
hard drives, a DVD writer, floppy drive and the graphics card. Is this
possible? Should I consider getting a more powerful PSU?

First priority is to reduce case temp with increased airflow. Heat kills
components gradually too, even if you now reduce the temp, some parts may
not last as long as if they'd ran cool all along.

With increase in case air intake, the PSU will also run cooler. Even so,
with a 300W generic you should also replace it. A 400W name-brand like
Antec or Fortron, etc, should be more than sufficient.

I currently have a PCI "exhaust blower" on order which I'm expecting to take
delivery of any day, but I don't know how effective this is really likely to
be.

It may reduce temp of video card.
Do you have a case fans exhausting under the power supply, on rear wall of
the case? It is benefical to have one, with either no grill on it or only
a wire grill (like the chrome types but now they are sometimes in
different colors as well).

Then focus on air intake. Maybe that means adding a fan, or maybe you
don't have room for the fan, but either way the front metal wall of the
case needs examined as well as the effect of the plastic bezel, how well
air flows though those areas, cutting or making other modifications as
needed.

I'd be grateful for any other suggestions anyone has as this is proving very
frustrating at the moment.

When altering case airflow, pay attention to the hard drives... if they
are also running hot, take care not to further reduce airflow past them,
which can happen when introducing new air inlet points to the chassis.

Also keep an eye on the present power supply's fan, it's likely a
sleeve-bearing model that could be subject to seizure after running at
elevated temps, it would be good to lube it with a drop of heavy oil (but
don't if it's a ball-bearing fan).
 

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