burning smell only when playing games

here we go....i have a pentium 4 2.6 with 512mb ram and a geforce 5900 xt card.

I ve had the side panel of the case off for a while now and it accumilated alot of thick brown clumps of dust in the fans and componants (the graphics card fan is facing down so i doubt there would be much there). Recently with the newer games ive been playing ive been noticing a strange burning smell, its unlike the smell of the power supply when the fan breaks, its more of an electrical smell, and this happens only with 3d games. I have cleaned it as best i could today with high powered streams of air from an aerosol can and got quite a bit off. The processor is the main problem.. the fans still rotate fine but some clumps remain behind the fan.

I can feel the heat through the side panel (i put it bk on) about 10 mins after playing a game and the burning smell is still there. Does it sound like the fans arent working properly and the componant is over heating, or is it the dust thats heating up, or is it that a piece of hardware needs replacing? Finaly do u think its the processor, graphics card or power supply thats making the smell and heat??

sorry about the essay :-s Thanx

I just ran a test.. in 3 mins my gpu temp rose to 82 degrees playing virtua tennis 3. My mother board is upside down compared to most set ups.. the power supply being at the top of the tower rather than the bottom. The heat thro the case accumilated from the half way mark upwards... between the cpu and the power supply... would a power supply heat up when playing games?? hmmm
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  1. 1. check temps through your bios cpu average approximatly between 36 - 46 degrees celcius

    2. Make sure the pc case isn't a small one. make sure its a mid tower atx case

    3. The 82 degrees is very bad. pls specify 82 degrees ferinhiets or celcius that make a difference. IF celcius make sure the fan is spinning also make sure the heatsink is making contact with the gpu. well u may also require to reaply the thermal paste on the video card. if u remove the heatsink its a must to reapply the thermal paste.

    4. it could be the power supply is working at its maximun (some of the pc's i use at my college, the psu makes so much heat that u could actually fry eggs and bacon).

    well if u get the same high temps when the side panel is open i don't think its the fans

    hope that helps
  2. Ty for the reply.. i had a look and its in celcius and in the nvidia control panal it says that the slowdown threshold is 127 'c and the ambient temp is 44 'c. My tower is about a foot high, normal size. My power supply was replaced about2 yrs ago.

    Whats the best way/program to monitor the cpu temp on the desktop so i can log the results while playing a game and check it??

    Im starting to think it might be the cpu as the heat on the panel is in that area.. towards the top and to the back, as i said b4, where the power supply and cpu are situated. I think ur right about the fans.. those 'clumps' of dust have taken their toll... that will teach me a lesson.

    Thanx again for the reply
  3. That system sounds old enough that maybe the thermal compound has deteriorated. You might try removing the heat sinks, cleaning them off with 91% isopropyll alcohol, putting new compound on, and remounting them.
  4. somthing we didn't mention is that it could also be your chipset which is heating
  5. Probably the PSU. Happend to me a few weeks back too. Smelled like burned plastic but only while gaming. Then, after i checked every component, it popped a few days later. I didn´t open up the PSU, not that it would´ve helped.
  6. My old power supply was overheating which caused everything else to overheat without proper case fans. It eventually caused the mobo to fail. I suggest a new ps with a large 12 or 14cm side fan. Even some enermax ps come with them now.
  7. well what is the brand of PSU u have and what is its total wattage ?
  8. Ouch..sounds rather toasty to me. Well, I'd be tempted to have another stab at cleaning the cpu and graphics card coolers, though I seem to recall reading that the 5900 can get quite warm when gaming (around the 80s...so I wouldn't really like a build up of anything flammable round there!). Not sure what fan design it has i.e. vents to the outside of the case or not, but it'll likely be drawing air from the inside of case that may already be warm.

    What's the ventilation like in your case? You didn't say if you if you had any extra case fans apart from the one inside your power supply, if not and there are cutouts for them, at least put one on the back sucking some of the hot air out. Ideally if there is a cutout in the front stick one in there too, pulling cool air into the case, the aim to be getting a nice through-flow of air.

    Might be worth carefully removing the cpu cooler and giving it a clean, cleaning off and renewing the thermal paste if you do. A couple of fans and thermal paste should amount to only a few dollars/pounds whatever.

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