Coffeehouse Thread

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Ack! I think my computer's motherboard is overheating.

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  • User profile image
    alwaysmc2

    Whenever I encode video with Movie Maker in Vista the internal speaker of my computer beeps.  I'm guessing this is because it is overheating. Sad

    Anyway, I turned up the fan speed, but I would like a program that monitors the CPU temperature.  I know they are out there, but where?

    Here's my board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813121035

    Intel BOXDP965LTCK

    Thanks, niners!

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    SpeedFan's the standard-issue program out there, but it isn't the best (since there's no standard interface for mobo HW gauging so it has to guess)

    The best software is the one from your motherboard MFG, in this case Intel. But Intel doesn't build HW monitoring into all of its products, I've only really seen it from the smaller MFGs (Asus, Abit, etc) who appeal to overclockers and the like.

    But it might not be overheating, the chips on mobos are more resiliant to heat than the CPU, for instance. And if a CPU is overheating dangerously then your system would shut down immediately anyway.

    There's a quirk on some motherboards where some components make odd noises when certain operations are carried out, for instance my motherboard emits a screetching-like sound during the mission planner for MechCommander Gold, but nowhere else.

  • User profile image
    Ang3lFir3

    besides speedfan which i personally perfer over the manufacturer tools (which testing has proven to be often inaccurate) there is the option of hardware thermal monitoring. some choices can be seen here. As an overclocker I personally prefer hardware based thermal monitoring. There is also the option of using some of the customizable LCD controls that support thermal sensors but that is a little off topic.

    on a side note my personal mobo makes funny sounds at strange times as well when performing some tasks. its just a strange thing that happens (im not sure why).

  • User profile image
    amd_duron

    This sounds exactly like the capcitors next to the CPU. If they are not properly shielded (the copper wire wrapped around them), they emit such sounds. I have seenmore and more of the high end motherboards just putting huge amounts of copper wiring, and some are seeming to use other mehtods now, I think it may be a ferrite core, but I am not sure. I am NO EE, so if an EE is on the board I am sure they can explain it more, and what altrtives to the copper may be.  

  • User profile image
    ckozlowski

    I would be very wary of using hardware temperature monitoring. Most use a sort of diode to measure temperature which needs to be placed as close to the part as possible. For processors, this can be tricky, as placing it between the heatsink and the chip's heatspreader will break even contact with the heatsink and actually cause temperatures to rise. Placing it on the outside will give you an idea of the surrounding temperature, but count on the actual core temp being 10-15C higher. If there's a sudden cooling failure, your chip will shut off long before the bay solution picks it up.

    When I was working for an OEM we discussed thermal issues with our Intel rep often. Starting with the Prescott core the intel motherboards and software would measure directly from the onboard thermal diode built into the chip. This is really as close as you can get, and we found it to be very reliable.

    The other solution would be to use a thermal diode, but with some variations. To ensure we were still geting optimal contact with the CPU, we would carve a channel into the heat spreader deep enough for the diode to sit flush with the heat spreader. This would run from the edge of the chip to the core. We'd then epoxy the diode in place and hook it up to our monitor for thermal validation. This was a very tricky and dangerous process, as there was a very high risk of drilling too deep into the heat spreader and damaging the core.

    I'm guessing this is a little overboard for your needs (and certainly mine!) but I would give a utility such as Intel's Active Monitor a try.

    Hope this helps!

  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    Sometimes a good 'old can of air helps. Take your computer outside and blow all the dust that accumulates inside of it.

  • User profile image
    eagle

    It’s normal for CPU usage to pin at 100% the entire time you’re encoding a video file, there's a lot of processing going on.  


    Your system will shut down before any damage is done; my laptop shut down last week after I made a video, encoded it and then continued recording another video directly to my HD, but I did save the files.

     

    What is the room temperature where the PC sits? 

    You must be aware that heat also comes from the power supply, GPU and the RAM

     

    Have you tried turning off your PC for an hour before you encode a video file?  

  • User profile image
    RichardRudek

    I just did an upgrade of one of old (toy) servers, last week. Upgraded from an old Duron 800MHz to a Pentium D 915. I found it necessary to rework the cooling systems, to both keep it quiet and "cool".

    The biggest improvement was had by drilling an array of holes above where the CPU fan draws it air, and gluing ~90mm round "duct" from the side cover (where the holes were drilled) down to the CPU. The idle temp dropped from ~50 Degrees C and 2600 rpm, down to ~44 Degrees C and 1900 rpm. On CPU burn test (Sandra) the temp tops out at ~54 Degrees C (Can't remember the fan speed though.

    You can see an example of what's needed on page 6 of [this document]. Unlike what the document suggests (no I haven't read it), my CPU duct is attached to the side panel, along with a stopper screw, so when I slide the cover off, the duct isn't pried off.

    I was thinking about writing the up the upgrade, but I'm not really motiviated at this point. Perhaps later after decent holiday/rest.

  • User profile image
    Ang3lFir3

    richard you are quite right that "ducting" as its refered to in the modding community does drasticly improve cooling performance. By gaining the ability to cool the CPU with the cooler air from outside the case thermal transfer can be achieved more readily. you can see some commercial examples here however they can just as easily be made with dryer hose. You can even buy newer cases with the ducts already in  place however I've alwasy prefered to do my own on cheaper cases (if you have an Antec P180 you know better than to start cutting Tongue Out ).

    Anyways this is an excellent fresh air mod however I would suggest filtering the entrance (some old pantyhose or used dryer sheet works great) to protect the cpu cooler from unnecesary dust.

  • User profile image
    alwaysmc2

    Thanks, guys.

     

    There is a fan in the top and back that blow out of the case, as well as a fan in the front that blows in.



    The front has two washable filters on it.
     

    I took the heat sync and fan off of the processor and blew it out.  There was a lot of dust!  In addition I thinned the layer of thermal paste on the processor.  I also turned the fan speeds of the back and top fans from medium up to high, and the front fan's speed from low up to medium.  I encoded a video with no grief from my computer's internal speaker, however I haven't put the side panel back on yet, so that could have something to do with it. Wink

    I won't worry as much anymore, though, because now know that the computer would shut off before any real damage is done.  That is comforting. (I must protect my precious baby!)

    Thanks again!

  • User profile image
    ckozlowski

    Richard,

    Nice find! The CAG were actual requirements case manufacturers had to adhere to for Intel systems. We had to upgrade our entire line of chassis to meet Intel CAG requirements, and it did make a difference. Before we recieved our new chassis, I was burining up Prescotts on my test bench because they ran so hot. Putting any sort of high load on them instantly send them throttling.

    Of course, as "eagle" pointed out, Intel's chips shutdown after hitting a certain temp (I still believe it's 75C) so there's little risk of burning up a chip. I was very critical of AMD for many years for lacking this feature, including losing one mission critical mail server after a heatsink fell off the socket and fried the chip in the process. Fortunitally the new A64s added this feature.

    I wonder how critical this is nowadays that AMD and Intel are both using very power efficient designs. The Core2 only displaces a little over 60w peak, and I believe the AM2 is in the same range.

    I asked an Intel rep once if this meant that the BTX chassis design was no longer needed. "No comment" was the reply...=)

    Still, as "eagle" mentioned, the memory and graphics card put out alot of heat, the latter increacingly so, much to my alarm. I read on The Inquirer a few months ago that ATI and Nvidia have seen this and will be working on their own power efficient designs in '07. But until then I see a real problem in cooling some of these massive graphics cards, especially with the heavy coolers required, which puts added stresses on the slot.

  • User profile image
    RichardRudek

    alwaysmc2 wrote:
    


    There is a fan in the top and back that blow out of the case, as well as a fan in the front that blows in.

    Talk about over-engineered. I think you'll find that the two case fans near the CPU will be starving/fighting the CPU fan.

    ie the CPU fan will have to spin faster than otherwise, to compete.


    I think placing a duct over the top of the CPU, at least a partial one, or one with a 180 degree shape to it (half pipe, tapered), should prevent the two case fans from starving the CPU fan too much. ie air flows in from the front, into the top of the CPU, and the case fans exhaust the CPU's and other devices' (hot) air, baffled by the cpu duct so it they draw air from around the sides of the CPU, rather then across it.

    A good tinkering exercise... Smiley

    PS: the ducts I've been talking about in these posts are just the middle sections of clear plastic drink bottles, cut up, etc. Not those flexible air-conditioning style ducts. Recycling... Smiley

  • User profile image
    Ang3lFir3

    lol funny how i mentioned the P180 and that happens to be the case you own.

    Richard its far from over engineered. It has been considered one of the finest examples of affordable (if several hundred dollars can be called that ) near silent cases on the market.

    Personally i wouldn't go ducting a P180 its chambered design keeps many of the hotest componets away from each other (the PSU and disk drives are seperated away from the CPU and have their own ventalation path). I would however invest in a better than stock CPU cooler as well as some cable management (round cables are nice but proper management of flat cables can make them disapear). cleaning up the cables should give you better less turbulant airflow and offer better circulation. I would also turn the rear fans to medium and turn up the front fans. This should create possitive pressure in the case and help keep out dust (air will escape from watever cracks it can find to balance the pressure). Also replace the missing brackets from the case they are letting cool air out without cooling anything.

    this or this (with a decent fan) should provide more than adequate
    cooling.

    for GPU cooling im a zalman fanboi tho the artic silencers are great if you can find one for your card.

    of course you can go really really overboard just depends on how much you love your machine. Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    RichardRudek

    Ang3lFir3 wrote:
    lol funny how i mentioned the P180 and that happens to be the case you own.

    Richard its far from over engineered. It has been considered one of the finest examples of affordable (if several hundred dollars can be called that ) near silent cases on the market.

    Personally i wouldn't go ducting a P180 its chambered design keeps many of the hotest componets away from each other (the PSU and disk drives are seperated away from the CPU and have their own ventalation path). I would however invest in a better than stock CPU cooler as well as some cable management (round cables are nice but proper management of flat cables can make them disapear). cleaning up the cables should give you better less turbulant airflow and offer better circulation. I would also turn the rear fans to medium and turn up the front fans. This should create possitive pressure in the case and help keep out dust (air will escape from watever cracks it can find to balance the pressure). Also replace the missing brackets from the case they are letting cool air out without cooling anything.


    Thanks for the heads up on it being an Antec P180 case. I looked at the specs on it, as I've not encountered it before.

    But I still think those two 120mm fans near the CPU are going to starve the CPU of air, pretty much regardles of the direction of their flow (in or out of the case). I mean the case in question looks like it has an additional 120mm fan in the front middle. ie one lower front, one middle front, and two in the top rear corner. That's a lot air flow, and if it's going across the top of the CPU, the CPU fan has to try and divert it down into the CPU heatsink.

    The ducting I'm talking about here, then, is probably better described as a baffle, against the two case fans. In fact, I think that after some tinkering, I'd probably turn off one of them, after attaching an appropriate duct/baffle to the CPU.

    Physically attaching a duct/baffle to the top of the CPU, is perhaps a little risky. But if you use the clear plastic drink bottle stuff, you should be able to whip up something that looks like a rain down-pipe elbow, with insignifiant weight. One end being attached of the top of the CPU (dabs of silicon sealant, probably), and the other end pointed at the front of the case. No side panel stuff, at all, and no need to replace the stock CPU Heatsink/Fan.

    But then again, I have been wrong once or twice before... Smiley

  • User profile image
    Ang3lFir3

    ducting the intake from the front of the case is an excellent idea as well. and you are right that at almost any speed (depending on the fan... a Yate Loon for example would be no problem) there may be a little starvation of the cpu best to keep those fans on med to low. they just need to draft away the heated exhaust from the CPu cooler. Which of course is why your ducting example would work really well. There was a  case (i can't remember exactly which one) that did something similar to great effect.

    a good option as well is to remove the grills on the back on the case that gaurd the fan(s). install some wire fan grills instead to get less noise and more cfm from slower speed fans.

    in the instance of the Zalman CNPS9500 or better the heatsink is designed to pretty much create the effect you are talking about regarding the ducting....... the fan blows the air from the front of the case across the fins to the back of the case. its a pretty effective design tho rather heavy.

    I haven't spent much time in the modding community in awhile.... i kinda miss this stuff.

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