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What Happens when CPU overheats?

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July 25, 2006 9:06:08 PM

I have a Pentium 4, 3GHz CPU on an Asus P5P800 motherboard. What I experience is the computer locking up while playing a game (Uru), and some sort of system buzzer or alarm sounding. The only way to get the computer back is to hit the reset switch. Sometimes even that won't work, and I have to pull out the power cord. Could this be an overheating problem? The computer runs perfectly except when running the game.

I never knew there was such a thing as an overtemp alarm, but it's mentioned in another thread here and a man at a computer store told me that the PC will shut down if it gets too hot. Is there really an overheating alarm? Is it part of the motherboard?


As an aside, the man at the computer store also said that Intel chips will shut down, but AMD will just keep running until something melts. I have no idea if that's true.

Thank you.
--LC

More about : cpu overheats

July 25, 2006 9:32:38 PM

well idk what that guy was talking about but cpus expload when they get hot.
looks kinda like this .
July 25, 2006 9:34:13 PM

Toms Hardware has a video of a Intel and AMD CPU with the HSF removed. Go check it out! :D 

And yes, Intel machines will "shutdown" when its way too hot.
Related resources
July 25, 2006 9:49:02 PM

I had heard just the opposite, that AMD chips would shut down and that Intel chips would just heat until something melted. Probably has more to do with the motherboard and how the BIOS is set up as far as heat shutdown. Bad thing is that if you've been running until the heat crashes everything out and you have to set the reset button is that the cpu and/or other components might already have taken damage.

Get some proper cooling fast, and also go into the BIOS and try to set it so that there is an automatic shutdown in case of overheat. I keep the warning buzzers and shutdown on my computer about 10 degrees less than the actual rated heat capability just to aviod potential problems. Even so, because I keep things cool enough, I never have a problem with a buzzer going off.
July 25, 2006 10:08:31 PM

Quote:
well idk what that guy was talking about but cpus expload when they get hot.
looks kinda like this .


Good shot. Maybe cpu companies should test out their products on the Nevada Test Range. We already got a few things that glow in the dark. What's a few overheated cpu's going to do to change things?
July 25, 2006 10:33:43 PM

Don't they throttle themselves to a reduced clock speed? Would make sense.

Anyways... pure speculation, but the cpu would probably start glowing, melt itself off the motherboard, ionise the air around it, burn through the bottom of your case, then the carpet which will catch alight, carry on going through the floorboards, by which time a warning message may or may not appear on your screen saying something about a temperature threshold being exeeded.
This would be a good time to shut down your computer, so you can deal with the China syndrome your cpu has created beneath your house.
July 25, 2006 10:44:52 PM

I think that just mobile chips reduce their clockspeed.

As to your speculation: I think Wal-Mart is testing melting through the Earth's crust to China. It will be a direct route to/from all of their suppliers. :p 

As to Intel chips: They do shut down when overheated. I must of knocked the CPU fan connector loose when changing memory once. :oops:  Had the same experience as LordChaos. Can't say what happens with an AMD, however. I haven't done anything that stupid to my AMD system (yet). :p  8O

Edited because, believe it or not, I couldn't spell "it" correctly. Where are the Knights of Ni when you need them? :oops:  )
July 25, 2006 10:56:41 PM

Ostensibly, all modern (or demi-modern) CPUs would shut down when overheated. It's happened at some point or other with all of the AMD CPUs I've had. Heck, my current system, during hotter summer days, ofter shuts off from over-heating. (actually, it appears to be a case of the motherboard's heat sensors going berserk)

I think that this might have more to do with the motherboard and its BIOS, rather than the CPU itself. Some will also throttle down if they get too hot; as I recall, this was one of the things that tipped THG off to the fact that those 3.8GHz Prescotts were way to hot.
July 25, 2006 11:28:46 PM

Quote:
Heck, my current system, during hotter summer days, ofter shuts off from over-heating. (actually, it appears to be a case of the motherboard's heat sensors going berserk)


Don't you run the A/C in your house?
July 25, 2006 11:39:10 PM

Interesting... so the motherboard also has heat sensors on it. Might explain why, when the computer has stopped, it has done so with two different sounds. One is a piercing, louder one, and the other is lower and more of a buzz.

The motherboard manual says nothing about sounds nor shutdowns, but does indicate that the BIOS screen will show a CPU temperature and a motherboard temp. Not much help when I want to know what the temperature is now.

And I never really noticed a correlation between my living room temperature and the computer's shutdowns. I could start the machine and go immediately into the game, and it would crash. Seems to me that a temperature-related problem would take longer to show up, but I'm no expert.
July 25, 2006 11:39:27 PM

Quote:

I never knew there was such a thing as an overtemp alarm, but it's mentioned in another thread here and a man at a computer store told me that the PC will shut down if it gets too hot. Is there really an overheating alarm? Is it part of the motherboard?

As an aside, the man at the computer store also said that Intel chips will shut down, but AMD will just keep running until something melts. I have no idea if that's true.

Thank you.
--LC

It really depends on your motherboard for the most part. Temperature alarms are good because you know something is getting really hot. There are system temp and CPU temp alarms you can set up. Usually your motherboard will come w/ some sort of monitoring software that will sound an alarm. Sometimes the motherboard itself will.
As for the CPU's, when they overheat, they will throttle themselves down first (leading to some choppiness sometimes in games), or if they get really hot, they'll shut down.
AMD's chips USED TO keep running until it started a fire and burned your house down. These days, they'll shut down as well. Tom's has a video somewhere if you want to watch it burn!
You might want to list your case and complete system specs if you're looking for more assistance w/ the heat issue.
July 25, 2006 11:47:39 PM

System specs: (purchased in early spring, 2005)
Pentium 4, 3GHz
Asus P5P800 motherboard
Zalman TNN500AF fanless case with 400-Watt power supply
120GB Samsung system drive, on-board SATA
120GB Samsung drive for programs, data and music, on-board SATA
400GB Seagate drive, IDE, primarily for music
Radeon X800 graphics card

The old setup used two 200GB SATA drives (Samsung) connected to a Promise PCI SATA host bus adapter. The installation was problematic, then more or less started working and remained stable for almost a year, but recently I started having the crash problems again.

Some friends suggested the problem was heat, but I couldn't find a correlation. So, I remembered that I'd had problems with the new SATA installation and took all that out, replacing it with the 400GB IDE drive on the mobo's second IDE port. Since then I've had no problems at all. I'm pursuing the heat issue mainly for education. Eventually I'll need to replace this system, or buy a new, low-power machine to use as a music server, and I'd like to be better informed this time around.
July 26, 2006 12:02:09 AM

Quote:
I had heard just the opposite, that AMD chips would shut down and that Intel chips would just heat until something melted.


rubbish. theremal throttling is a well used thing to stop just that.

www.panopsys.com/download.html

that will show u if ur throttling ur CPU and its getting too hot.
July 26, 2006 12:15:19 AM

Wow... that's a nice case!

Heat is one of those things that is somewhat easy to diagnose... If you suspect it, just put one of those big fans next to your computer and have the air blow in. If the issues stop, its a pretty good chance its heat.

If you're just looking for storage, you could get like a NAS or something simple like that. No need to build a huge computer.

This forum is a pretty good place to get some good info but you have to filter out the people that are fanatics, although they might have some good tips every now and then... :p 
July 26, 2006 12:36:37 AM

Quote:

Nobly: If you're just looking for storage, you could get like a NAS or something simple like that. No need to build a huge computer.

This forum is a pretty good place to get some good info but you have to filter out the people that are fanatics, although they might have some good tips every now and then...


I've thought about the NAS idea, but one of my uses for this computer includes playing music over Teamspeak, and others have tried this with NAS and said it doesn't work well. The music is more choppy than when being read from a directly connected disk. I've not tested Teamspeak with an offboard Firewire or USB drive (other than with a Mac, and it didn't work well there due to problems with the Mac stand-in for Teamspeak) and am thinking of testing that because it would allow me to read the music on any computer I have.

As for the fanatics... yes, I've run into them. On many forums. I've developed very effective filters, and have learned not to poke easily angered dogs with a sharp stick. :) 
July 26, 2006 12:54:48 AM

Heres the video I was talking about:
http://www4.tomshardware.com/images/thg_video_1_cpu_coo...
Quote:
Hot Spot: How Modern Processors Cope With Heat Emergencies

What happens if a CPU cooler falls off during transport? AMD's Athlon might overheat in operation. Motherboards that don't poll Athlon's thermal diode can cause this.
July 26, 2006 1:36:55 AM

that video is crazy, nice work in finding that video man
July 26, 2006 1:39:45 AM

that video is crazy, nice work in finding that video man
July 26, 2006 2:40:53 AM

Quote:
Heres the video I was talking about:
http://www4.tomshardware.com/images/thg_video_1_cpu_coo...
Holy Sh!+ thats efin crazy. But I noticed the video was made in 2001. Do the new AMD's have throttling? If they dont there is no way im going to ever buy a AMD in fear that it will burn up in seconds if I knock the heat sink off. Edit: Sorry didnt see that the throttling question was answered by jumping jack.
July 26, 2006 3:14:10 AM

Quote:
Heres the video I was talking about:
http://www4.tomshardware.com/images/thg_video_1_cpu_coo...
Holy Sh!+ thats efin crazy. But I noticed the video was made in 2001. Do the new AMD's have throttling? If they dont there is no way im going to ever buy a AMD in fear that it will burn up in seconds if I knock the heat sink off. Edit: Sorry didnt see that the throttling question was answered by jumping jack.

Yea, that doesnt happen anymore.
July 26, 2006 3:23:00 AM

Quote:
well idk what that guy was talking about but cpus expload when they get hot.
looks kinda like this .


Which CPU makes the most impressive explosion?
July 26, 2006 5:52:34 AM

hmmmm... im not sure, probly a dual core. 2 booms.
July 26, 2006 12:57:49 PM

I was helping my brother install an Athlon XP 2800+ about two years ago. The HSF wasn't secured properly to the mobo and fell off a few seconds after I booted up the computer. Sure enough, not too long after that, the computer shut itself down. The sound of the HSF hitting other stuff was not pleasant but no damage was done. Gotta love auto shutoff. :D 
July 26, 2006 1:42:14 PM

Quote:


Don't you run the A/C in your house?


Amazingly enough, most people in the world don't waste monstrous amounts of energy on Air Conditioning (among other things). :o 
July 26, 2006 7:34:53 PM

Quote:
I was helping my brother install an Athlon XP 2800+ about two years ago. The HSF wasn't secured properly to the mobo and fell off a few seconds after I booted up the computer. Sure enough, not too long after that, the computer shut itself down. The sound of the HSF hitting other stuff was not pleasant but no damage was done. Gotta love auto shutoff. :D 


The fan on my HSF stopped running once (loose power cable to the fan controller) and I didnt realize this until like 20 minutes the later. The CPU was at least 65C to 75C. No damange done, but definitely not good for the CPU.
July 26, 2006 7:42:06 PM

Quote:


Don't you run the A/C in your house?


Amazingly enough, most people in the world don't waste monstrous amounts of energy on Air Conditioning (among other things). :o 

Its cheaper to pay the mexican woman down the street to cool me off using a giant leaf as I ownz0r in Battlefield 2.




This was a joke. Im not a racist! :D 
February 11, 2009 6:54:19 AM

I'm having a similar problem with Windows XP Media Center. My computer will shut off randomly, then when I start it back up an alarm will go off and a black screen comes up that says:
The computer was previously shut down due to thermal issues(overheating). Press the Enter key to continue.

It isn't the fan, because as soon as it started I cleaned out my system, made sure there was no dust or anything, and the fan isn't that old. I believe it's a virus, that McAfee won't delete, so does anyone know how to change the temperature that it will shut off at?
February 12, 2009 7:21:18 AM

well acually both Intel and AMD will shutdown when the max temp is surpassed. Intel will throttle before turning off though.
March 10, 2011 12:08:05 AM

Thorax said:
Don't they throttle themselves to a reduced clock speed? Would make sense.

Anyways... pure speculation, but the cpu would probably start glowing, melt itself off the motherboard, ionise the air around it, burn through the bottom of your case, then the carpet which will catch alight, carry on going through the floorboards, by which time a warning message may or may not appear on your screen saying something about a temperature threshold being exeeded.
This would be a good time to shut down your computer, so you can deal with the China syndrome your cpu has created beneath your house.


Hardy Har Har
a b à CPUs
March 10, 2011 3:11:17 AM

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