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Overheating P4 at stock speeds -- help please

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February 22, 2006 7:53:58 PM

My computer is running a P4 rated at 3.4 Ghz at stock speed, and the processor seems to be putting out an inordinate amount of heat. The computer is in a 12.5 by 14 foot bedroom, and if I leave the door to the room closed while the computer is at load, the room will heat up to over 80 degrees within a half-hour. This is with near freezing temperatures outside and with the rest of the house at around 68 degrees.

The temperature monitor reports around 60 degrees (celsius) at idle, and under full load, the CPU will reach 70+ within a couple of minutes. I am using the stock cooler, and Arctic Silver 5, and I have followed the installation instructions to the letter (and I have installed CPUs several times before with no problems). I also remounted the heatsink recently after a thorough cleaning with alchohol to try to fix the problem. The stock fan seems to be working correctly (although it does get loud when it jumps to higher RPMs under load).

The case temperatures are being reported at just over 40 celsius idle and 50 celsius at load. The system has a 120 mm case fan in the front and an 80mm in the side pulling air in. There are two more 80 mm fans in the back pushing air out, as well as three fans in the power supply. I have checked and they are all running and in the correct direction, and there are no cables or anything in the way to impede airflow. I have a 7800gt in the computer, and it stays quite as bit cooler than the CPU in both idle and load, even though it's factory overclocked by around 15%.

I just can't imagine why the CPU seems to be putting out so much heat. I have another computer with a P4 2.8 Ghz, and it can probably run at 3.4 Ghz cooler than the CPU that's rated for it. Anyone know what I can do?
February 22, 2006 7:59:15 PM

Well... the room temp is going to basically suffercate the CPU from any cool ventaltion. But since you close the door, and that room warms up to 80 degrees F, I can only think of 3 things.

1.) Leave the door open to the room.

2.) Crack the window open to let in cold air from out side, if you leave the door closed.

3.) Might consider a water cooling solution. I can't advise anything since that is one thing I haven't done.

You have allot of heat sources... CPU - 7800 - PS that are justing going to make it tough to keep cool on stock cooling solutions.
February 23, 2006 2:35:57 AM

Yes, your best bet is to crack open the window or crack open the door. I've got a similar situation, and my room will heat up very quickly as well. I can't crack the door otherwise I have to listen to people complain about me while I'm on TS.

Honestly, your temps aren't really out of proportion for a P4 3.4GHZ. Under load and in a high temperature room, it's gonna heat up in a hurry. Putting a bigger cooler on your CPU may help lower temps, but in reality it will just push the heat in the room better, and probably heat the room up even more.

I'm not sure if this is still true or not, but from an old article, it says the max case temp should be 38C. http://www.tomshardware.com/2004/11/14/the_p4/page3.htm...
Related resources
February 23, 2006 2:59:28 AM

Do the temps drop if you leave your case panel off?
February 23, 2006 9:00:01 AM

Depends on the PC Case design.

Usualy Cases that have poor air flow, will do better when the side/planel is off.

But even good cases with lots of airflow are great heaters for the winter time. :lol: 
February 23, 2006 10:18:57 AM

Which P4 3.4GHz is it?
February 23, 2006 11:05:55 AM

Quote:
Which P4 3.4GHz is it?


My guess is Prescott just from the heat problems (silly intel lol). My advice is to check out newegg andgrab al Zalmann CPU cooler of there for abotu $50-60 and slap it on. They are really good air coolers and thier cooling performance is on par with some of the most basic water cooling solutions (not the good ones we use here hehe). I used to have a P4 Northwood that could heat my little bedroom like a furnace and it helped when i changed over to water cooling, but for most people thats out of the question. Not to call your bedroom small but when you put an air cooled PC in a enclosed space its not a pretty picture. I only totaly solved the problem when I moved and ended up in a loft.
February 23, 2006 6:49:53 PM

See the thing is, I can not only leave the side of the case off, but I can even take a regular house fan and turn it on high and aim straight into the computer. I don't really think it's a ventillation problem, because that will drop the case temps a little (probably because the probe has air blowing straight on it), but the CPU still runs around 70+. I've tried opening a window in the room some, but with it close to freezing outside, my power bill went up $60 when I start doing it. And that won't help much in the summer when it's 80+ degrees outside.

I keep my house pretty cold all year (around 68F), and the computer is in a decent sized room, so I can't believe this is really normal The other computer in the room has almost no effect on the temperature, and it's a P4 too (a think a Norwood at 2.8ghz). I'm thinking the new one is a Prescott; it is LGA775 if that tells you.

It has to be the CPU itself, because even before I installed the 7800GT, I still had this problem. It's in a larger mid-tower with seemingly good airflow. I guess I will buy a better HSF for the CPU, but I'm not sure I want to spend over $50. How do you feel about this one for $35 from Arctic Cooling:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683...

Also, my PSU isn't great (it's not generic and it says it's 480-watts (yeah right) with dual 12v rails and 3 fans, but it was only $60 on Newegg). The voltages aren't rock stable, but they don't seem too bad most of the time. Usually they have around a 1.5%-3% deviance on most rails, which doesn't seem terrible to me. Is it possible that could be the problem though?

On a side note, I got this CPU through the Intel Retail Edge program to try to convince retail workers (I used to work for the Geek Squad) to recommend Intel. I find that ironic, as I can safely say I'm not convinced by this (not that I would be anyway).

And thanks for the advice guys.
February 23, 2006 6:57:34 PM

I'm willing to bet you have a CRT Monitor? that would heat up the room more than the CPU would...
My P43.4 never gets that hot, even when gaming my load stays under your idle, if I were you I would get a non-stock cooling solution!
February 23, 2006 7:20:53 PM

This is a known problem... The intels are soooo close to the reference cooler design that if it's not perfect it's roasted cpu time...

First, if you have removed the HSF and reseated it with normal silicon (White) thermal grease, even if you have seated the cooler perfectly it WILL overheat. The TIM pad that comes with the stock cooler is BARELY able to maintain sub 70 temps. If this is the case I would go grab a tub of AS5 or comperable silver based TIM.

Secondly, the Reference HSF or any of the coolers that use the clips are notorious for "migrating" somewhat and loosing proper thermal contact.
Make sure the HSF is seated properly once and a while, or like other people have said opt for an aftermarket solution like the zalman, TTK Big Typhoon as these both have backplate/screw down mounting methods.

I'm sure one of these is the case with your system (the closed room is elevating the ambient temp enough that the reference HSF cannot keep up.) AS5 will most likely keep it running but barely, whereas one of the coolers will work flawlessly. But a MAJOR tripping point is proper installation and intels are VERY finiky.
February 23, 2006 7:27:23 PM

No, I have a 19-inch Viewsonic gaming LCD. The second computer does have a 17-inch CRT on it, but I actually physically turn it off with the button when it's not in use (which is 98% of the time). The LCD does put out a little heat, but I have checked the top of the CRT a couple of times when the room heated up, and it wasn't the slightest bit warm (since it was turned off).

I realize the stock cooling may not dissipate heat that well, but I would expect it to at least keep below throttling threshold for the CPU it was designed for (I think 72C). Plus even if the heat were dissipated from the CPU, it's still that heat has to go somewhere. It just almost seems like the actual processor itself is just putting out way too much heat to begin with, so I kind of wonder if it's defective. That's why I mentioned the PSU though, as I though maybe the slight voltage deviance might cause it to innately put out more heat.

I'll probably at least try a new cooler like the one I posted above to see if that somehow helps. I also kind of wonder if heat production is on a non-linear basis, i.e. if the processor is hotter it might put out even more heat.
February 23, 2006 7:56:27 PM

Quote:
No, I have a 19-inch Viewsonic gaming LCD. The second computer does have a 17-inch CRT on it, but I actually physically turn it off with the button when it's not in use (which is 98% of the time). The LCD does put out a little heat, but I have checked the top of the CRT a couple of times when the room heated up, and it wasn't the slightest bit warm (since it was turned off).

I realize the stock cooling may not dissipate heat that well, but I would expect it to at least keep below throttling threshold for the CPU it was designed for (I think 72C). Plus even if the heat were dissipated from the CPU, it's still that heat has to go somewhere. It just almost seems like the actual processor itself is just putting out way too much heat to begin with, so I kind of wonder if it's defective. That's why I mentioned the PSU though, as I though maybe the slight voltage deviance might cause it to innately put out more heat.

I'll probably at least try a new cooler like the one I posted above to see if that somehow helps. I also kind of wonder if heat production is on a non-linear basis, i.e. if the processor is hotter it might put out even more heat.


That's the problem, the stock Intel heatsink can in OPTIMAL conditions. In anything less than optimal... Not so much...

As for ambient temperature... The room you pc is in can dissipate the heat build-up... Today's computers are effective heaters, the p4 you have has a TDP of 115 watts, in a short period of time with high airflow that can heat a small room.

The two coolers I mentioned can handle 115 W of heat fairly easily, and your Load temps shouldn't be more than 20-25 degrees above ambient. So even though the room hits 30, the cpu shouldn't break 60.

*edit: I missed the last part... *
The Heat output will be linear for the same settings. If it's putting out 110W of heat at full load, it's going to produce that wether it's -20 or 40 in the room.

Heat isn't linear in relation to frequency or voltage, but with ambient heat there's no effect.
February 23, 2006 10:37:49 PM

Quote:

That's the problem, the stock Intel heatsink can in OPTIMAL conditions. In anything less than optimal... Not so much...

As for ambient temperature... The room you pc is in can dissipate the heat build-up... Today's computers are effective heaters, the p4 you have has a TDP of 115 watts, in a short period of time with high airflow that can heat a small room.

The two coolers I mentioned can handle 115 W of heat fairly easily, and your Load temps shouldn't be more than 20-25 degrees above ambient. So even though the room hits 30, the cpu shouldn't break 60.

*edit: I missed the last part... *
The Heat output will be linear for the same settings. If it's putting out 110W of heat at full load, it's going to produce that wether it's -20 or 40 in the room.

Heat isn't linear in relation to frequency or voltage, but with ambient heat there's no effect.


Ok, thanks for your response and the short physics lesson from a legitimate engineer (I always wanted to be an engineer, but I'm just not disciplined enough to make it through the coursework so I admire people who do). I'll probably order one of the better HSFs in the next couple of days, and I guess I'll just have to see if I can come up with a solution to the room getting so hot.

I always heard that the newer P4's were so hot, but I didn't realize how bad it was. It almost seems like they were better off using the Norwood series and just working on increasing the frequency on them. I hope that Intel is able to take care of some of the thermal issues with smaller die sizes, and I know AMD tends to do better in heat output, but I guess CPUs are just going to get continually worse about it for the forseeable future.

Anyway, thanks again to you and everyone else who answered.
February 24, 2006 2:11:45 AM

i would bet you that it is most likely negative case air flow. like say you have an 80mm in the front and a 120 in the back well you would be blowing out more air than you can suck in. that would effect cpu temps big time

no cold air = hot temps

and not only that but your using the stock heatsink which is designed to to keep the cpu from overheating in a well ventalated case.
i would say shoot for a water cooling system that utilizes a cooler outside the case and possibly keep cool air flowing in the room. remember that the cpu cant get cooler than ambient room temps on air and water cooling. good luck and i hope i was of some help
February 24, 2006 4:49:45 AM

Is it a P4 550 3.4GHz SL7KM or SL7J8?

If so forget about another air cooling solution and save your money and go straight for water cooling.

This processor has a thermal spec of 72.8C and a TDP of 115 watts and no stepping. Air won't cool it down that much!

Hope this helps.


__________________

Intel P4 640 3.2GHz
February 24, 2006 6:44:14 AM

I'm going to throw a different option out at you.

Close your heating vents in that room.

My computer was heating up more than I though it should (still safe temps) when i moved it, and it turns out one of the vents in the room was open when it shouldn't have been, causing the ambient temp to go up.

With the vent closed, the CPU and rest of the house should keep the temp more or less inline in the room.

I might suggest changing cases. I like my current case, and in fact got very little out of adding a second 120 MM fan, so I currently have 1 120 MM fan in the PSU, and one 120 MM exhaust fan that came with the case, and it keeps everything quite cool. An extra 120 MM intake fan only droped my HD a few degrees, but so did a cooler room temp, so I'm not worried.

A new Power Supply (one that's more efficient) might help as well. I like the Antec Truepower line for consistant power as well as efficient and silent operation. I've had 3, and all 3 are still running strong (one's at least 4 years old).

Or, as you've said, replacing the cooling fan might help a lot. Good heat disipation I've found also can help keep down heat buildup. I've been looking at the XP-90C for a top of the line cooler, the XP-90 is close if you use a high speed fan and is $30 cheaper. But anything beyond the stock cooler would probably be better.
February 24, 2006 8:39:36 AM

Quote:


But even good cases with lots of airflow are great heaters for the winter time. :lol: 


Damm strait........with the cost of Nat Gas and the like I just shut the door to my room and run my computers....gets nice and toast while the rest of the house is a fridge.....sometimes it gets too damm hot so I just crack my bedroom door and lets some cooler air in......works like a charm
March 5, 2006 11:03:23 AM

I too have the same problems as you. I have an intel P4 630 with intel 945 PSNLK motherboard. im getting readings of 54C-64C. Im thinking of changing to a 3rd party HSF. Just wanna ask you guys what is the temperature range of your Prescotts (630 running at 3 ghz). And what HSF would you recommend. Thanks

Intel P4 630
Intel 945 PSNLK
1 gb DDR2 533
Ati Radeon 1600XT 256mb GDDR3
March 6, 2006 2:54:50 PM

Intel stock fans sucks. i installed a 3.2 ghz p4 (last rev) and changed the fan with a coolermaster hyper 48 unit link to the cooler

it runs my p4 at 30C so i overclocked it with asus N.O.S. to 3.85GHZ and it runs at only 42C!!!! the pc is totally stable (and the cpu fan runs only at 1800-1900 rpm that is the MINUMUM speed (very quiet) and it does not never kick in...
March 13, 2006 1:06:30 AM

I have the same P4 630 and when I first installed w/ stock hs/f about two months ago I was idleing at 50C up to 67C load. Drove me nuts. Tried artic silver 5 and 2 higher output 120mm case fans and got me to 39C-40C idle and 56 load. Also much louder. Finally bought an Arctic Cooler Freezer Pro 7 from Newegg and got me to 28C idle 41C load! Was even able to use the fan only connector on my 120mm intake to quiet it down considerably. However, that was when I had a cheesy XFX 6600LE and now that I got my Leadtek 6800GS Extreme my temps have risen. This thing puts out more heat and almost cuts my case in half reducing airflow. Now I idle at 32C-33C and might reach 45C load. Still very acceptable for a Prescott so I'm happy. I still miss the 20's but F.E.A.R. on max settings makes me forget.
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