Pentium 4 3.0 GHz getting to 75-80C

Hi guys. I helped a friend build a computer awhile back. He's had nothing but trouble with it due to a bunch of bad hard drives. Recently, I reformatted the PC and all seemed great. I then checked the temps. The idle temps seemed around 42-45, so no biggy. I then prime95'd it, and they jumped as high as 82C!

I reseated the stock heatsink 3 times using arctic ceramique (just using a little less than a grain of rice blob in the center). The best I could get it to perform is 38-42C idle and 75C load. This is awful, and I don't understand. That is roughly a 35C jump! I'm pretty sure that it is a Northwood because of a small hole drilled in the heat spreader. I'm not a complete monkey, as I've done this a number of times. My brother's computer has a 3.0 pentium 4 as well, and his doesn't exceed 62C full load (I cleaned off his heatsink a few months ago).

Here are the catches. The top fins of the heatsink have a 1-2mm coating of dust in them. I didn't remove the fan to try and rectify this. The case has pretty poor airflow as well...but I get these numbers with the case on its side and the side panel off...Also, the ceramique that I used is close to 2 years old. Still, even with those factors, I dont' see how a processor can jump from 40-75! When I removed the heatsink to reapply the thermal compound, there was alwas a nice thin circle (like you see in pictures).

It would at least make more sense if the idle was like 55C. His stock voltage is something like 1.525 I believe. The heatsink gets pretty warm to the touch, so I'm pretty sure that its doing its job and making good contact with the processor and sucking up heat correctly. Do you guys have any suggestions? Would cleaning the dust really make a huge difference or no?
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  1. Wow, that is super high. I have seen P4 3.0ghz be like 70, never ran prime this may be right. But it is scary. They are rated to handle higher high though. Don't know exactly how high though.
  2. my friend had his at 105c(prescott in his case) so beat that.....

    either way that was throttle country....

    clean up as best as you does not take allot of dust to make a heatsink not work well...
  3. 105°C, SPECTACULAR! Did you get a fireworks show with it?
  4. Wouldn't hurt to take the HSF completely off and clean off all the "caked on" dust, and then reseat with one of the Arctic Silver solutions.

    Running this hot with a Northy could indicate more serious problems - bad caps, or if the cpu has been overclocked, electron migration across the traces. Check the following web site:

    Good Luck!
  5. Pentium 4 cpu's under the prescott core generaly consume small power plants entire energy source's, and are enough to heat your room nicely in winter without having the heating on and enough to make you install air conditioning and open all the windows in summer.

    80C isnt to bad for a pentium 4 if im totally honest,

  6. again, i'm pretty sure that this is a "northy." the cpu has never been overclocked.

    is there a more definitive way to find out if this is due to "bad caps" on a motherboard? i hope this isn't the case, since my friend does not currently have any cash for a new mobo.

    again, can i assume that the heatsink has good contact with the processor, if it is idling at a respectable temp of 40C and if when it does get as high as 75C the heatsink gets pretty warm to the touch? i just find it very strange for there to be that much of a difference between idle and load.

    thank you all for your replies
  7. When caps go bad they tend to budge out allot and leak....i have seems some....

    why not run cpu-z to see what cpu you have(northwood...ect)? post the screen here.... - get cpu-z from here - upload the image here or just type the important stuff to us....

    @ KyleSTL - No such fact it still runs to this day....
  8. I have a P4 3.0GHz Northwood and it idles in Windows XP around 38C depending on ambient temps (currently ~22C).

    When under high loads it maxes around 55C and never reaches 60C so I would say you have an issue.

    Definitely clean up all the dust from the heatsink and perhaps install an exhaust fan on the back of the case to improve the ventilation.

    BTW my CPU voltage varies between 1.552V and 1.616V according to CPU-Z.
  9. my prescott runs relatively cool! Mwhahah...I have a tuniq tower on it though..rofl.

    During cold winter days it'll idle around 38c...and jump to aorund 45-46 on load. During hot summer days without the AC on it'll be around 50 idle and 58 load. With the ac on in comfort levels it'll be around 45 idle and 52 at load.....not bad for a prescott...but they do run DAMN hot...

    Why do I have a tuniq tower on a pentium 540? (3.2 prescott)...I'll just say never buy a thermaltake big water for 150....pos was crap...This tuniq tower does a much better job then that thing ever did.
  10. Hi guys. Here's an update. I have a Northwood and its definitely getting too hot. Here's a picture of it getting to 79C.

    I checked the capacitors, and they all look leak/burst free. I do want to note that my Vcore is between 1.48V and 1.495V while idle, and then between 1.417-1.451 while under load. Should it drop this much? Is this much fluxuation normal? If not, it shouldn't make my temperatures so high right?

    I still have to clean off the dust. I'll report back later.

    Let me know if you have any other suggestions. Thanks!
  11. the last picture sucked. this one should work.
    By nerdcorerocks
  12. cleaned off the dust, and rather than putting a bead in the center of the heatspreader, i actually did the spread it all over method.

    now it doesn't get higher than 52 full load.... Amazing how much of a difference a little dust will make. I just hope it didn't get damaged for the 3 times that it got to 80C...
  13. its is almost impossible to damage it....the cpu will clock down to save it self and if it gets too hot it will shut off....

    Glad you got it fixed.....
  14. Strange that your CPU got so hot and didn't automatically throttle.

    BTW, there are Power Management/System Thermal settings in the BIOS to cause the CPU to throttle if it gets to hot. You should ensure that these are enabled to prevent possible future damage.

    I believe that I have mine set at a CPU temp of 65C it will throttle the slow clock to 50%.

    Glad that you solved the issue.
  15. I am 99% sure it was throttling....but it does it in a way that windows does not see unless its really loaded....i mean my friends was over 100c and it was throttling but no to the point of shutdown yet....

    There is a software called Throttle Watch that can tell you when it is happening....
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