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PC overheating and noisy - troubleshoot fan, upgrade AMD Athlon CPU (from 2 to 3/4 cores) or both?

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September 6, 2013 10:43:52 PM

Hi everyone. Appreciate any recommendations!

I have an all-in-one HP Touchsmart running Win7 that is increasingly heating and noisy (mainly during browsing with videos or Flash multimedia).

I opened up the machine and blasted compressed air to clean from dust but the issue persists.

Happened to be at BestBuy for something else and spoke to one of the sales reps (an x Geeksquad) who said that it may the fan or the heatsink - he recommended bringing it in to have the fan inspected or replaced which would be $100+ and I thought that maybe it's worth upgrading from the current dual core CPU (AMD Athlon II X2 240E) to a stronger one.
The computer specs are here:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&lc=en...

I am limited to a number of AMD models that are compatible with AM3 and TMP of 45W but these are hard to come by (mostly the used Athlon II X4 605e or 615e on eBay).

Aside from upgrading RAM which is easy will increasing the cores help? Or should I really focus on the fan like the guy at the store suggested.
The machine is pretty good otherwise (did cost me $1000 or so 3 years ago) so I'd like to squeeze more life out of it.

Thanks in advance!

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a c 120 à CPUs
September 7, 2013 3:39:55 AM

Before deciding whether a different CPU would help, what are the most intensive tasks you do with your computer?

I'm going to refute BB's diagnostics here and suggest replacing the thermal compound for the heatsink - I've not gotten into an HP all-in-one but I'd suspect it isn't too difficult to access the heatsink. Although there are usually youtube videos on DIY thermal compound replacement for your computer, in this case I found none during a quick search. But you might check it out, see what you think.
I will also suggest the use of a 'real' computer repair shop and not the BB geeks for future repair/diagnostics work. (because of liability concerns, BB severely restricts what the GS is allowed to do or look at). A 'real' repair shop should also be able to advise on upgrading the CPU depending upon your needs/uses
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September 7, 2013 9:13:22 PM

Thanks for your advice C12Friedman.

The thermal compound was mentioned as a possible culprit and I agree, wouldn't consider GS as a first choice for repair but I think any shop I take it to will charge me almost as much to open and look at it as replacing the CPU altogether. Maybe I'm wrong.

This machine is primarily used for browsing, videos (Youtube) and lightweight gaming (Flash) - all in all not that intensive yet even now with nothing more than browser (switched to Opera from Firefox as the main browser) and skype running I can start to hear the fan. CPU temp is 45 Centigrade and both cores are averaging about 40% load.

C12Friedman said:
Before deciding whether a different CPU would help, what are the most intensive tasks you do with your computer?

I'm going to refute BB's diagnostics here and suggest replacing the thermal compound for the heatsink - I've not gotten into an HP all-in-one but I'd suspect it isn't too difficult to access the heatsink. Although there are usually youtube videos on DIY thermal compound replacement for your computer, in this case I found none during a quick search. But you might check it out, see what you think.
I will also suggest the use of a 'real' computer repair shop and not the BB geeks for future repair/diagnostics work. (because of liability concerns, BB severely restricts what the GS is allowed to do or look at). A 'real' repair shop should also be able to advise on upgrading the CPU depending upon your needs/uses

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a c 120 à CPUs
September 8, 2013 8:25:37 PM

Looking at a different tack here - what does the fan do when you open task manager? Specifically, does it get noticeably quieter?
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