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Help with an overheating P4

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February 26, 2006 10:25:34 PM

System Specs:
Pentium 4 Northwood Socket 478 2.4Ghz
1gb Kingston 168pin SD Ram
ECS P4VASD2+ Motherboard
120gb Maxtor Hard Drive
Geforce 4 Mx 440 64mb AGP

Note: Hey I know it's not great but it's gotten the job done

Anywho, recently I've had random freezing with one of my computers at random times and I've pretty much narrowed it down to the heat of the processor. The processor used to idle around 60C but after a slight fiddling with the heatsink by adjusting the levers to make it level it dropped a few degrees. In doing so I've bought myself some Arctic Silver and intend on clearing out the heatsink and fan to improve my cooling solution. My question truly lies in what materials/important tips do I need to proceed with removal of the heatsink and applying arctic silver 5? I'd appreciate any help I could recieve as it's my first time.

Thank you.

More about : overheating

February 26, 2006 11:22:43 PM

Hi, Yep, sure sounds like you need to remount that heat sink... 60C is way too hot for idle!

So the basics are this; be sure to ground yourself whenever you're rummaging around inside your box. Pop the two levers and pry the hooks out on one side and rock the HSF assembly to the other side to disengage the hooks on that side and lift up to remove the HSF assembly.

Clean whatever thermal pad material is left on the bottom of your HSF being careful not to scratch the surface. I use a little lighter fluid to clean it up. Vacuum any dust out of the fins of the HS.

You'll also need to clean up the CPU as well. You can carefully wipe it down while still installed in it's socket, or you can carefully remove it to clean it. If you remove it, be very careful not to bend any pins. And again, be SURE you're grounded.

Next while the CPU is installed in the motherboard, apply a SMALL amount of paste to the top of the CPU and spread it around evenly into a thin layer. I use a clean finger, but you just want to make sure you don't get any lint or anything in the paste.

Also apply a thin layer on the Heat sink bottom and again smooth it around evenly. Next, I do a "fit check" where I install HSF temporarily but don't clip it down... gently push the HSF down, then remove it to see how well the contact is with the CPU. I look for voids where the two are not contacting then add a little paste to the void areas and do the "fit check" again to make sure the HSF is making good contact. Just don't put so much paste in there it's slopping over the sides... that wouldn't be a good thing :wink:

Once you're satisfied snap it all down and make sure the fan is plugged in. And that's about it!
February 26, 2006 11:52:15 PM

Do I use a special cloth for the wiping?
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February 26, 2006 11:55:12 PM

Quote:
Hi, Yep, sure sounds like you need to remount that heat sink... 60C is way too hot for idle!



u rkiddin right?

when my system starts up its at 58C and when its on load its like 67ish

i got a P4 2.0 Northwood
February 27, 2006 12:30:46 AM

Okay, this thread needs a few corrections.
1 Never use lighter fluid to remove old TIM. It leaves a powdery residue, that is a good insulator (very bad) Rubbing alcohol is best, 90% solution if you can get it, 70% household type will do.
2 Never use your finger to spread TIM. The natural oils on all body parts, can contaminate the TIM
3After loosening the clamps, you must use a side to side wiggling motion to break the bond between TIM and chip. If you dont do this, the chip will pull out, when you lift the HSF.
For the correct installation methodology, download the video from AS website.
February 27, 2006 12:40:09 AM

soo my CPU is really overhaeting?
February 27, 2006 1:39:17 AM

Will the isopropanol in a CD cleaner work fine? Any suggestions for a "Lint Free" cloth?...Sorry if I seem to be over thinking this but hey I feel like if it's going to get done I'm going to do it right, better to go through the hassel now then later.
February 27, 2006 2:07:17 AM

may i suggest some dry ice in a plastic bag over the heatsink i've seen it work really well :D 
February 27, 2006 2:12:27 AM

lol
February 27, 2006 2:24:09 AM

you don't have any rubbing alcohol in ur place?

I'm w/ endyen on this- do not use lighter fluid or your finger. i usually use a razor blade to spread the thermal paste. for removing old thermal goop, use rubbing alcohol.

as for a "lint free cloth" you can waste time and energy trying to find or buy one to "do it right" if you'd like. i personally use papertowels. as long as you can't see lint of the cpu or heatsink- you'll be fine.

-mpjesse
February 27, 2006 2:26:56 AM

Yeah I'll pickup some rubbing alcohol tomorrow, thanks for all the help guys.
February 27, 2006 2:40:07 AM

Let me do some translating for you Isopropinal in real english is Isopropal alcohol. You could use the cd cleaner stuff, and conversely you could buy a litre/quart of isopropal alcohol for the same price as that 4 oz/125ml bottle of isopropinal. They are interchangeable.
February 27, 2006 2:56:27 AM

Whaddya mean?
February 27, 2006 3:01:56 AM

Haven't we had this discussion before? Major deja vu going on behind this keyboard...

-mpjesse
February 27, 2006 3:03:11 AM

Yes, your system is overheating. When was the last time you cleaned out all the dust?
Your fan on the heatsink is getting old. I have seen quite a few of the northwoodc hsfs on sale lately. They should fit your board, and cost about $10. They will get your temps into the 30c-35c range on idle, mid 40s at load. A good investment.
February 27, 2006 3:33:13 AM

Ummmm... don't think so...
February 27, 2006 4:13:52 AM

My 3.0 C runs at 30-45 degrees. So you're definately overheating.
Unless of course you got an E? My dad just got a prescott, and it sizzles at boot w/ AS ceramique.

Either way, its about time to change that thermal paste, and clean out the heatsink.
a b à CPUs
February 27, 2006 11:00:28 AM

58C at idle is indeed warm for a NW core...
February 27, 2006 1:53:11 PM

Quote:
lol
what you think i'm kiddin i bought a pound of dry ice for 20$ put it in a plastic bag taped it onto my heatsink and boom temps went down by 5c god i wish i still had the p3 so i could show you
February 27, 2006 1:55:22 PM

I would have to agree.

I run P4 2.66 northy... I reset speed to normal, sitting 41-42 idle on stock. If over clocked to 2.9, it idles 44C stock.

I'm using AS5 as well. I must admit that I really don't see much of a temp difference from reg thermal grease, but I think, it does cool down faster, after the load is off the CPU.
February 27, 2006 2:09:13 PM

Northy 3.2C clocked at 3.6Ghz 35 idle, 55load, so yeah at first glance it looks like your overheating.

However, its still rather odd that your getting freezing up problems. P4's auto throttle when they overheat, so they should just slow down when they get too hot, and not totally freeze up.

One thing thats definatly worth checking on is the motherboard capacitors. I had 2 ECS boards, and after around a year both were unstable. On inspecting the motherboards virtually every capacitor had failed.
February 27, 2006 2:14:29 PM

Do not use 70% Isoproply, the water (The trace elements in the water) can cause some weird stuff with epoxies, and silicon. AMD reccomends 90% or higher, I'm not sure what Intel reccomends. (I personnaly prefer the 99.9% stuff you get for wounds and such at a drug store)

An old soft tooth brush who's bristles are really worn and soft works really well for removing any debris/left over TIM, and if you use 99.9% iso, the left over alcohol will dry off quickly, and just use a peice of cotton cloth to wipe the rest off.
February 27, 2006 2:48:52 PM

Old credit card works good. For spreading AS.
February 27, 2006 2:51:45 PM

Quote:
Old credit card works good. For spreading AS.


Hehe, I agree.. though I used a new credit card.. still has the sticker to call the 800 number to activate it.. :roll:
February 27, 2006 2:54:23 PM

Quote:
Northy 3.2C clocked at 3.6Ghz 35 idle, 55load, so yeah at first glance it looks like your overheating.

However, its still rather odd that your getting freezing up problems. P4's auto throttle when they overheat, so they should just slow down when they get too hot, and not totally freeze up.

One thing thats definatly worth checking on is the motherboard capacitors. I had 2 ECS boards, and after around a year both were unstable. On inspecting the motherboards virtually every capacitor had failed.


Say, just wondering what heatsink your using. Thats nice temp for northy OC to 3.6.. 55C load. I'm assuming it isn't a Stock HSF. :wink:
February 27, 2006 3:34:21 PM

Hi this is my first post, ima computer systems manager for a large construction company.

Anyways, im running a prescott 3.0GHz on a Stock HSF.

At first i used the TIM that came in the box with my processor (the white stuff) and i noticed that my cpu would idle in the 60's C and top out about 70C. and when i inspected the cpu with the HS off the thermal paste looked like cement and it had only been on for a couple weeks! so i switched to some arctic silver 5 and reseated the stock HSF. now it idles around 38*C and doesnt get above 50*C at full load. you should be aiming for temps around these or lower with a northy. even tho you followed the directions for the HSF sometimes it takes a couple tries to get it perfectly seated. so if its running hot, try try again.
February 27, 2006 4:01:37 PM

Yeah, sounds like an overheated P4. I would remount the heatsink, but clean it (and the processor heat shield as well) with the purest running alcohol possible (>90%), and be sure to use a lintless wipe to remove the old paste (will probably ruin the cloth, but oh well). Lens cloth's work well, the type used to clean glasses and CD's. Also, a utility knife razor blade will work well for spreading the thermal paste over the CPU heatshield, just don't get any inside of the pins on the bottom of the CPU. Use only a rice-grain sized drop of paste and spread it evenly. It helps to prep the heatsink as well, but don't spread it over the whole surface on that piece. Simply put a rice sized drop on the heatsink, and use the cloth to "polish" it onto the surface until it can't be seen. it will fill in the microscopic gaps and ridges on the H/S and make it more efficient when pressing against the top of the CPU.

good luck...
February 27, 2006 7:37:09 PM

Quote:
Yes, your system is overheating. When was the last time you cleaned out all the dust?
Your fan on the heatsink is getting old. I have seen quite a few of the northwoodc hsfs on sale lately. They should fit your board, and cost about $10. They will get your temps into the 30c-35c range on idle, mid 40s at load. A good investment.


yeah, that's unlikely with a cooler at that cost. I have a prescott 3.2ghz with a zalman 7700cu, and with the fan at max. voltage (12v), it idles at 35, 58 at load. I guess the prescotts run hotter, though.

Anyway, the higher the % of alcohol, the better-- water is a conductor and doesn't evaporate. less % alcohol=more % water= more potential for conductivity and damage. Go for 99.9%, which might be harder to find, but safer... So there is a diff. between that cd cleaner stuff and the higher percentage isopropyls.
March 1, 2006 3:07:32 AM

Hey guys thanks. I applied the arctic silver and found that the rubbing alcohol worked like a charm (91% Alcohol). Everything went very smooth and I've learned something new. Anywho, it's just a matter of waiting a week or so for it to get going fully. These boards have been great.

Again, thanks all.
March 1, 2006 5:03:59 AM

it sound like the CPU gets a little overheated but i'm not sure that
over heating is the resone for the freeze.
:idea: did u check the voltage, most of the time a faulty power supplier can cause most of these problems. You can try and install a system monitor with logger to check for extreme voltage and temp. levels
!