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Worthwhile changing heatsink/fan?

by chow_yee / July 1, 2004 12:29 AM PDT

Hi. I have an AMD Athlon XP 2000+ processor, which I just installed almost a week ago.

According to the temperature readings on my ASUS motherboard, the CPU temperature is consistently more than 60 and less than 73 C (I do mostly normal tasks on my computer, like word processing, surfing the net, music, CDs and VCDs). The motherboard temperature is around 37 C. For your information, I'm in Malaysia, where the temperature is quite hot and humid. I did not use my computer in an air-conditioned room. And the HSF that I'm currently using is provided with the processor when I buy it that day. It looks to me as generic (it's not AMD's). I did ask the shop if they have the original AMD's HSF, but they say all AMDs in Malaysia are OEM packaged. In fact, the AMD processor was not packaged in the original AMD box.

I was wondering, will going out to find a better HSF help? Or do I have to resort to more drastic cooling solutions? Or I can just leave it alone, like now?


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Re: Worthwhile changing heatsink/fan?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 1, 2004 12:37 AM PDT

Here's a test. Leave the case cover off to see if your heatsink is just in need of more air.


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It cooled down to 55 C
by chow_yee / July 2, 2004 2:25 AM PDT

Hi Bob,

I opened the casing as you said, without any additional cooling (i.e. no table fans around), and the CPU temperature dropped to around 55 C.

My casing is a Pentium III casing (but with Pentium 4 power supply), and I have 2 additional fans in addition to the PS's. One of the additional 2 is blowing out, and one is sucking in.

So, what should I do? Do I have to change the casing? And is 55 C ok (AMD says around 50 is ok, but I heard others got around 40?)


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Re: It cooled down to 55 C (Which is great!)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 2, 2004 2:35 AM PDT
In reply to: It cooled down to 55 C

That's good enough. Now consider what skills and tools you have to ventilate that case cover. Since I recycle a fair bit, I take the case cover and drill some BIG holes in the area of the CPU then fit a case fan to either exhaust right above the CPU or to bring fresh air right to the CPU area. That's your choice on the design, but you've proven you have a case air flow problem.


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Does it warrant a new casing?
by chow_yee / July 2, 2004 4:04 PM PDT

Hi Bob,

I don't think I can really do all those drilling. So, will a new, bigger casing be a good idea? Or will it be just a waste of money?


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Re: Does it warrant a new casing?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 2, 2004 9:53 PM PDT

You answered that question with your test.


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Re: Worthwhile changing heatsink/fan?
by rogleale / July 2, 2004 2:50 AM PDT

Hi Chow Yee,
Did you install the HSF with the blue plastic heat transfer pad usually supplied by AMD?
If you did, you should remove the HSF, clean the blue residue off the CPU and the HSF mating faces, and re-assemble them using one of the propriety thermal transfer compounds based on a silver compound. Doing this dropped my CPU temperature by 12

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Re: Worthwhile changing heatsink/fan?
by sunsound / July 3, 2004 4:33 PM PDT

Hello Chow Yee

As Grif suggested, you really do need another case, but until you get one, here's something that you could try. Take your PSU out of your case and mount it on the outside on back. I have my RaidMax 350W on the outside on my ATX MidTower. It's too bad that you cannot use a dremel to cut holes for case fans. That is really your best bet with the case that you have.

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Re: Worthwhile changing heatsink/fan?
by chow_yee / July 3, 2004 5:54 PM PDT


Currently I'm eyeing for an iCute casing. The one that I had in my mind now is a bit bigger than my current one, with 2 fans on the PSU (450W) and 1 large fan (I think is the 8 inch one) at the back, sucking out air, and also a empty space for me to install another 8 inch fan on the front (but there is no openings on the front though). There is also no holes on the side.

Do you think will this casing help much to correct the CPU's temperature? I will install the additional fan on the front, but I'm just wondering will this provide enough air for the HSF.

By the way, is running the CPU at about 65 C dangerous to the CPU, as in it will shorten the life span of the CPU?

Thanks a lot.

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Yes. heat is bad.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 3, 2004 10:30 PM PDT

Just keep repeating it until you understand it.

You have a ready solution of leaving the cover off to avoid overheating not only the CPU, but all the lovely MOTHERBOARD CAPACITORS which also are going to age more quickly.


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Re: Worthwhile changing heatsink/fan?
by rogleale / July 4, 2004 4:33 AM PDT

Chow Yee,
Is this 65

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Re: Worthwhile changing heatsink/fan?
by sunsound / July 4, 2004 5:03 PM PDT

The iCute is a fairly nice box.
I will try and explain what I did to my ATX Mid-size and hopefully it'll give you some ideas.

1st...I am running an AMD 1800+ w/Win XP Pro. I use a
dremel, which is perfect for cutting curves in metal. I made templates for
120 mm's and 80mm's since that's the best choice for cooling. I cut a 120mm
hole in the back, a 120 in the front at the bottom, 2 120's on top, and 2
80's on the side. I also drilled 49 dime-sized holes on the Mobo outer
panel for natural dissipation. I then added a ThermalTake Volcano 9 that
came with an 80mm, and used Arctic Silver. Ok...The 120 in back is blowing
IN...the 120 in front is blowing IN, the 2 120's on top are sucking OUT, and
1 of the 80's on the side is blowing IN on 1 Gig of RAM and the other is
sucking OUT. I mounted a 350w RaidMax
OUTSIDE on the back. THAT's 30% of your heat! It was only one connector
short for all 6 fans, so I used a Y-connector. Plenty of power. My VGA is
a GeForce MX400 and I installed a blower below it. My Mobo is a Shuttle
Spacewalker, and since the ATX is a 5-bay, that left room to add the 120 at the lower bottom in front
which was perfect because it blows about 1/2 way across the WD 120Gig HDD. I
found a prog utility called Motherboard Monitor (FREE) ( http://mbm.livewiredev.com/ ) and it sits in my sys
tray and shows my mobo and cpu temps in Realtime/Farenheit and I set it to change
every 3 secs. My mobo runs from 78F to 80F (ambient), and my chip is from
85F to 95F, with room temp of 80F. I was at CompUsa and was asking all the water-cooled techs what
they were running and they were no way near as cool as mine is!

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