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3Ghz C2D w/ Zalman 9500 running too hot?

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April 11, 2007 7:22:05 AM

I've had my 6600 since December, and have chosen to keep it at a relatively mild 20% OC (from 2400Mhz to 2880Mhz). I never downloaded any utility to monitor core temp because, frankly, I wasn't concerned about it. (I know, I know... give me a break.) My reasoning was -- I have a great cooler in the Zalman 9500, a case with good airflow (3D Aurora), a mild OC, and a totally stable system, so what's there to worry about, right?

Well, today I decided to push my C2D a little further, but decided if I wanted to go beyond the 3Ghz mark, I'd need to monitor temps a bit more closely. So I downloaded Speedfan 4.32 and pushed the FSB up to 333MHz, resulting in a 3001MHz clock speed.

When I ran Speedfan, I was surprised to find the Core0/1 readings to be 40C at idle. When put under load with 2 instances of Prime95 for 15 minutes, temps peaked in the 62-64C range.

I know this falls within the acceptable operating range for the processor, but it's certainly on the high end of it, and given my cooling solution, I expected it to be lower. I can't find anything very directly comparable in this forum or elsewhere.

Does anyone know if these temps are normal with my hardware at this speed? Am I going to have to try reseating the hsf? Such a pain in the...

Again, here are the vitals:

Tcase = The "CPU" reading in Speedfan seems a little screwy -- it's higher than the Core readings by about 15C at idle and 8C under load...
Tjunction = 40C idle/64C load (note: CoreTemp reports same Core #0, Core #1 temps)

Ambient = 17C
Chipset = 975X
C2D = E6600
CPU Cooler = Zalman CNPS9500 w/ Zalman STG1 thermal grease
Frequency = 3001MHz
Load = 2 x Prime95
Motherboard = Intel D975XBX rev. 304 w/ OC Debug mod
Vcore = 1.138V (according to CPU-Z)

Other points of interest:
Case: Gigabyte 3D Aurora with 1 x 120mm intake and 2 x 120mm exhaust
GPUs: 2 x X1900XT in XFire at stock speeds (could this be the cause? the cards get fairly warm even at idle...)

Any thoughts are welcome. Thanks in advance!

-Rev
April 11, 2007 8:23:57 AM

I personaly dont trust any programs that read the temps. Try a different one. I use everest. Speedfan gives about 10C more in my opinion.

Is your zalman hot to the touch. Can you hold your finger on it?
If you can then it's all right, unless you didnt seat the hsf properly but is doubtful.
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April 11, 2007 8:52:35 AM

The gigabyte 3d aurora case... nice looks, too many exhaust fans and not enough intake. That case has issues, my dads c2d e6600 dropped in temp by around 7C after he cut a hole in the perspex side panel and added a spare 80mm fan. He had a psu with a 140mm fan too, so 3 exhaust fans and 1 intake initially. Problem is the drive bays are perpendicular to the intake fans airflow, blocking most of it. So not enough air can get in to replace the air being pulled out. To determine if this is the case (pun not intended) with you, feel how much air is coming from the 2 120mm exhaust fans. If its very little, then the vacuum effect is possibly your problem. Try opening the side panel a few centimetres and see if your temps drop, airflow may be all you need.

EDIT: Remember that if not enough air surrounds the HSF, the heat cannot be effectively transferred from the fins to the air particles, and gets trapped in the HS, increasing temps. Soz I'm in a scientific mood, not that this is really that technical.
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April 11, 2007 9:14:58 AM

What does CPU-Z say about your voltage? It should read fine.
April 11, 2007 10:02:04 AM

nah, your fine, i think if you actually checked around and IF your vcore is accurate (really 1.138 or whatever, which i doubt), i'd say you could probably go as high as 3.6ghz, they are pretty mad if you have low vcore and good cooling.
April 11, 2007 4:43:20 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. When I get home tonight, I'll try testing it again with the case cracked open a bit and see if improved airflow makes a difference. Though I will say that I can feel my rear exhaust fans pushing out air, and it's never very hot air, even under load...

If CPU-Z doesn't reliably report voltage, is there some other program that does? My BIOS cpu voltage is set to "Default", which is why I reported the CPU-Z voltage in the original post.

Also, CoreTemp displays the same temps as Speedfan, so the readings are consistent, at least. However, a strange thing happens whenever I run CoreTemp -- it puts my one of my cpu cores under approx. 40% load. So I think I'll stick with Speedfan.
April 11, 2007 5:44:07 PM

Ask and you shall receive...

Today AnandTech has a review of the new Scythe cooler, and, lucky for me, one of the coolers it's compared to is the Zalman 9500. At stock speeds with a X6800 (2930MHz -- quite comparable to my 3001MHz speed) and a 9500 in a mid-tower, they report the temps to be 30C idle/39C load.

My temps are 40C/64C! Yikes.

Perhaps I really should consider remounting...
April 11, 2007 7:15:01 PM

If it makes you feel better, my E6400 idles at ~ 44C with the case open. This is a bit of a compromise - there's a little more noise coming from inside but I don't have to run my Zalman at full throttle to maintain a 60% overclock. It's fairly quiet at 2000 RPM and it's a comfort knowing that I can crank it up if neccessary. Also, the chipset and hard drives get plenty of cool air that way.
April 11, 2007 8:02:49 PM

Hey there,

I'd say your tems are high, I got an almost identical set-up as you with regards to CPU and cooler but a higher overclock and vcore (see sig).

I run my zalman at the slowest speed (~ 1300rpm) and temps are 25*c - 28*c idle and never above 55*c at full load as measured by intel TAT (typical gaming load never above high 40's). My case is an antec sonata with only one 120mm exaust fan.

Methinks a reseat is in order :wink:
April 11, 2007 8:10:43 PM

Quote:
I run my zalman at the slowest speed (~ 1300rpm) and temps are 25*c - 28*c idle and never above 55*c at full load as measured by intel TAT


Mid 50's at 1300 RPM is a downright amazing result. Really, really amazing!
April 11, 2007 8:11:01 PM

That does make me feel a bit better, however, you are running at 3.4GHz as opposed to my 3.0GHz. If we go with the rule of thumb that temps increase ~3C with every stable ~100MHz cpu increase, that would put you at approx. 30C idling at 3.0GHz, right?

As for possible over-application of the thermal grease, I suppose that could be a possiblity. The Zalman grease I use is quite different from, say, AS5. The SGT1 is much thinner and applied with a small brush, like nail polish. I've used more conventional thermal paste in the past, and the application process for SGT1 is definitely different. The instructions say to apply a thin layer to both the CPU and the heat sink, which seems like a lot, but it is quite thin. So I don't know... maybe I should just try again. Anyone else out there use the Zalman grease?

I hate having to reseat this cooler... I always feel like I'm gonna snap my mobo...
April 11, 2007 8:13:35 PM

Quote:
I run my zalman at the slowest speed (~ 1300rpm) and temps are 25*c - 28*c idle and never above 55*c at full load as measured by intel TAT


Mid 50's at 1300 RPM is a downright amazing result. Really, really amazing!

Wow... Ok, mobo be damned! I'm reseating this bad boy tonight.
April 11, 2007 9:40:33 PM

Quote:
I run my zalman at the slowest speed (~ 1300rpm) and temps are 25*c - 28*c idle and never above 55*c at full load as measured by intel TAT


Mid 50's at 1300 RPM is a downright amazing result. Really, really amazing!


:wink: why, thankyou very much!

Maybe I'm just lucky. What I will say is that I'm quite anal when applying thermal grease (ahem - as opposed to quite thermal when applying anal grease 8O ). I use AS5, although I've heard that shinettsu makes the best stuff these days, and I apply it the old way - ie a VERY thin, even layer across the whole surface of the cpu case.

To rub it in further, my case fan is only running at 50% speed - almost totally silent.

good luck.
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April 11, 2007 10:59:58 PM

64 is warm but will not kill it. As said above, maybe the exhaust fans are starved for air and as such will not work well.

For the lowest temp use speed step and CE1 or what ever it is called. I did note that running CE1 without speed step gave me temps in the low 30s and with it off its high 30's. I found this odd as the speed never changed but the CPU must have been lowering its voltage.

@ the 55 in sonata.....thats impressive. My sonata and sonata II could never do that with the 2 fans @ about 70%, but maybe the 4 hard drives added too much heat.
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April 12, 2007 1:12:27 AM

Have you tried opening the case a little yet?
April 12, 2007 1:36:01 AM

Quote:
Have you tried opening the case a little yet?


Ok, I just tried taking the door completely off the case... running Prime95 (2x) as we speak. Not too surprisingly, this has helped a great deal. Load temps aren't even cracking 50C now...

Obviously it's not a great idea to leave the case wide open all the time. Plus it's pretty noisy, so this can't be a long term solution, though these are certainly the temps I was looking for. Any suggestions? Is reseating the heat sink worth the trouble at this point?

By the way, my version of the 3D Aurora is the one with the clear plastic side panel, not the mesh panel (since I am concerned about noise -- I watch movies on this thing).
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April 12, 2007 1:44:56 AM

Told you it was airflow, my dad has the exact same case with the same (although now mostly fixed) problem. You need to get more intake air into the case to even out the flow. Perhaps turning off one of the back fans may help, but another front or side fan would be better. If only the HDD bays werent at a 90 degree angle.

EDIT: Maybe just leave the side panel a little open, anything helps. And inch or so should go a long way to getting more air inside coz the rear fans will pull the air thru the gap.
April 12, 2007 2:15:31 AM

Ugh... putting the door back on made the temps shoot up back to 63C. Yeah, I don't know... I really don't like the idea of leaving the door cracked, but I do like idea of the 10C reduction. I guess that's the unavoidable noise/cooling tradeoff...
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April 12, 2007 2:18:52 AM

You could get a new case...

How much noise does your rig make?! Mine is a jet engine! If you watch movies you shouldnt really be able to hear it much, except in quiet scenes.

EDIT: Maybe its those x1900xt's, dont know what kind of noise they make. I've got a powercolor x1950 pro which has no fan control, so it runs at a constant 2200rpm! And my case is an open grill at the front!

EDIT2: I dont even have my case in my sig... better change that!
April 12, 2007 2:51:24 AM

Quote:
You could get a new case...

How much noise does your rig make?! Mine is a jet engine! If you watch movies you shouldnt really be able to hear it much, except in quiet scenes.

EDIT: Maybe its those x1900xt's, dont know what kind of noise they make. I've got a powercolor x1950 pro which has no fan control, so it runs at a constant 2200rpm! And my case is an open grill at the front!

EDIT2: I dont even have my case in my sig... better change that!


It’s really too bad the 3D Aurora doesn’t provide proper airflow… I like it – it’s aesthetically pleasing and roomy as hell…

Yeah, the x1900xts get very loud under full load, but that only happens when I’m gaming with the headphones acting as a buffer.

If I wanted to stick with my current case, I guess I could look into getting a H2O cooling solution, seeing as the case is designed to incorporate one… but I don’t know if I’m prepared to make that kind of commitment…
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April 12, 2007 3:19:43 AM

Well at least you know what most of the problem is caused by.
April 12, 2007 3:32:06 AM

Quote:
Well at least you know what most of the problem is caused by.


Yup. I think we can close the book on this one. Thanks for the suggestions!
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April 12, 2007 3:34:00 AM

No prob.
April 12, 2007 3:58:57 AM

My subway sandwhich has pickles on it, yuck.
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April 12, 2007 4:00:56 AM

Heathen child, pickles MAKE the sandwich! They are also good on maccas burgers coz they are the only real thing in them.
!