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Yet another overheating topic - Please help.

by Migmick / July 2, 2010 9:38 PM PDT

Hi everyone,

Ill keep this as short and as informative as possible.
I haven't used my computer for gaming for a couple of months, and now I decided to try this new Prince of Persia forgotten sands game. And 30-40 minutes into the gameplay I started sensing a burnt smell coming from my computer and I noticed it was emitting really hot air from its back fan.
I'm pretty sure that the computer has all system requirements for the game, I just don't know whats causing the overheat since when I opened the computer to see whats wrong I noticed that both the gpu, cpu and power source were hot. The graphics card was specially hot though.

Intel Q9550 @2.83GHz
ATI Radeon HD 4870
4Gb Ram
Windows 7 32Bit

Also, I did a test: I played the game for 30 minutes then checked the temperatures. The cpu was at at an average 50

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(NT) Was game play smooth and responsive ?
by Papa Echo / July 2, 2010 11:11 PM PDT
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by Migmick / July 3, 2010 12:46 AM PDT

Gameplay was smooth as always, graphics were fine, and fps seemed high. The burnt smell causes me most concern tbh.

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Games stress the graphics card and ...
by Edward ODaniel / July 3, 2010 2:17 AM PDT

this causes additional heating. It doesn't sound like the card is overheating (you indicate game plays responsively) but can cause the "burnt smell" (especially if there is any accumulation of dust on the card or heat-sink).

One thing you can do is really concerned is to take the case cover off the computer and direct the air from a 14 to 18 inch floor fan into the case - really keeps things cool for you and eliminates the "burnt smell". Not necessarily esthetically pleasing but effective!

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by Migmick / July 3, 2010 4:05 AM PDT

So the burnt smell is most likely caused by accumulated dust and not really a part that is overheating, right?

If so, how can I fix that?

Your idea of putting a fan is nice but I dont really have enough space to put a 18 inch fan next to my computer. And I cant see how that can solve my dust problem as it would just bring more dust inside.


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I think I got it
by Migmick / July 3, 2010 6:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Okay

I did another test! While running the game and after starting to smell like burnt again. I decided to open my pc case and stick my head inside it (lol). But even though every part is pretty close to each other I felt that the bad smell was coming from the power source, which is creating too much heat I think, therefore heating all the other components. But now Im ALMOST sure that it its the power source that is causing the smell.

What should I do about it and why is this happening?


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by technut81 / July 3, 2010 7:40 AM PDT
In reply to: I think I got it

replace the power supply with one designed for gaming rigs.

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by Migmick / July 3, 2010 8:37 AM PDT
In reply to: ummm

Im willing to do that, but what should I be looking for? What wattage should I need for a gaming computer?

Im not sure about this but the sticker on my power supply says 120W Max. I guess this is too low?

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Not sure
by technut81 / July 3, 2010 11:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Sure

I honestly don't know much about gaming as I play my games on a Wii. However I would recommend that when shopping for a power supply you get one with the highest max wattage available. I think there may be power supplies dedicated to gaming rigs but I may be wrong. Might also want to upgrade the CPU fan. I know my friends that have gaming computers run dual fans and they are pretty powerful (not sure how they rate them though I would guess maybe by airflow).

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under powered supply
by Brechan / July 3, 2010 6:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Sure

A burning smell emanating from your computer is never a good thing; at the very least it could be a fan that's too clogged with dust to perform properly, or a power supply (as in your case) that is grossly underpowered. If not taken care of immediately; you could have minimal damage (your PSU dies and that's all), or severe damage (PSU dies and takes your motherboard with it).

120 watts is pretty much too low to be running any computer these days; your video card alone requires a minimum of 500 watts to run , then you have to consider all the rest of your components (motherboard, hard drive, optical drive, case fans, card reader).

You don't have to break the bank when looking for a new power supply, but look for one made by a reputable company (Antec, Corsair, ThermalTake, Silverstone, Seasonic, Cooler Master to name a few), and forget the 'In House' brands (for newegg it's Rosewill, TigerDirect it's Ultra), these are not what PC'ers consider good brand name (and are usually of lower quality than the brands previously mentioned)

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by Migmick / July 4, 2010 6:30 AM PDT
In reply to: under powered supply

So I need a minimum of 500w only for my video card, plus all the other stuff what should I be looking for? Around 600-800w maybe?

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Corsair link
by Brechan / July 4, 2010 7:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Okay

link to the Corsair Power Supply Calculator I put in my specs and it came up a bit short (in my opinion) for power, so I would add another 100 watts to the lowest watted PSU on the list.

Also; if you're wondering about all the hype of single vs multiple 12 volt rails, here's a poster (in another forum) with an excellent explanation also included in the post " The criteria for buying a PSU "

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