Need Help! Having Temp Issues with CPU/GPU

I'm having temperature issues, and I need help getting to the root of the problem. I built this computer back in March of 2006. I just recently purchased a nice new widescreen LCD monitor (1680 x 1050 display) and starting playing games on my computer again.

When doing some routine maintenance and cleanup, I noticed that my idle and load temp numbers seemed high.
I also had my computer shut itself off on two occasions. Once when playing an older RPG for only an hour. The second time was when I tried running the 3DMark06 test, which really bogged down the cpu and forced the computer to shut itself off.

Here are my temp numbers per Everest (idle/medium load):
Motherboard: 25C 25C
CPU: 44C 66C
GPU: 60C 67C
GPU Ambient: 44C 50C
Maxtor HD: 42C 43C

I don't overclock at all. Don't know whether I need another fan is something else is amiss.

I appreciate any and all help I can get in resolving this and making sure my computer is running at it's optimum level.

Case: Antec Sonata II
PSU: 450W Antec SmartPower 2.0 (ATX12V)
CPU: Intel P4 630 3MHz
Mobo: DFI LANParty 875P-T
RAM: 2GB OCZ PC-3200 DDR400 Dual Channel Platinum
Video Card: 256 MB eVga GeForce 6800GS AGP8X
HD: 200GB Maxtor ATA
Lite-On DVD-RW
Lite-on DVD
Monitor: 22” Samsung Syncmaster 226BW
OS: Windows XP Home Ed. SP2
25 answers Last reply
More about need help temp issues
  1. I am assuming that you regularly use a can of compressed air to clean out fans and heatsinks [including the power supply] and all of the fans are running at proper speeds, including the fan(s) inside the power supply.

    Using a higher resolution screen with high detail when gaming will cause the computer to work harder, which will require more electricity and produce more heat. A weak power supply can also cause the system, including the power supply itself, to run hotter. With the computer running at idle and then under load I suggest using a multi-meter to check voltages and make sure they are good.

    If you take the case cover off and position a floor fan next to the computer and find that temps fall and you no longer have computer problems, such as the shut down that you mentioned, then I would suggest better case cooling.
  2. How do you verify the fans are running at the proper fan speed?

    I believe the max temp for my particular CPU is 67.7C
  3. If the fans are plugged into a motherboard headder you can check speeds in BIOS or with SpeedFan

    Personally I do not like Core 2 Duo CPUs to go above 60 degrees C and prefer 55 degrees C maximum. Fan speed vary, depending upon size and amps. Finding the proper speed could be tricky but some replacement fans show RPM along with amps, such as these or these Click on a fan to see specs.

    You can look at your fans and determine the approximate speed by finding the amps and then compare that with fans from sites such as the above. SVC is one of my favorite sites due to low prices and I have never had a problem with that company.
  4. P4 processors run hot, so do vga cards. Your temps are typical, I think.
    Verify that the fans are running in the proper direction by dangling a piece of tissue next to them to see which way they are blowing. The suggestion to remove the case side and direct a house fan on the innards is a good one. It will tell you what your potential is for better cooling. If necessary, you could replace the fans with higher speed versions, and get better cooling at the price of increased noise.

    When I had a similar rig, the best solution I found was to replace the standard cooler on the vga card with a Arctic cooling NV silencer 5. It is discontinued now, , but you may be able to find it somewhere. It only costs $15-$20 or so, and does a wonderful job. The secret is that it is a two slot cooler that sends the heated vga air out the back of the case, instead of letting the heated air recirculate inside of the case, reheating the vga card and giving the cpu cooler hotter air to work with. In my situation, it reduced BOTH cpu and vga temps by 5c.
  5. As stated above, likely one of two problems- excess heat, or a weak psu.

    The 6800 GS is not a power hog, nor known for needing aftermarket cooling to stay within temps.

    The Sonata is known as a "Quiet" case, so you may just have heat buildup in the case.

    The above mentioned removal of side of case and an external fan blowing in will let you know if you have found the problem.

    If it persists after that, most likely the psu is going tango uniform on you, time to get a new one.
  6. Here's some more info and an update:

    It had been a while since I cleaned the dust out. I did that first, but only for a minimal improvement in the temperatures. The temps I first posted were post-cleanup.

    I also have and use the PC Wizard temp readings, but they gave me almost exactly the same measurements. Here are the results from the PC Wizard Global Performance Benchmark (if that helps anyone) ran just now:

    PC Wizard Rating: 2699.29
    Processor Global Performance: 3588.925
    Cache Global Performance: 19488
    Memory Global Performance: 2411
    Video Global Performance: 1440
    Hard Disk Global Performance: 65

    As for a reference, It is now 8:15am est. The room temp is 24C (75F). My computer has been on for 30 minutes and idling. My current CPU is 39C (102F) and GPU is 56C (133F). The temps in the initials post were from yesterday afternoon after the computer had been on for several hours.

    Following your advice, I removed the side panel of my case last night and remeasured the temps with the side open and also with a floor fan blowing into the case. Here are the idle temps:

    Room Temp was 26C (79F)
    Case closed Case Open Open with Fan
    CPU 42C 41C 41C
    GPU 62C 59C 56C
    GPU Ambient: 44C 42C 39C
    Maxtor HD: 43C 44C 34C

    The GPU came down a little, but the CPU remained about the same.

    I also attempted to run the 3DMARK06 test again last night (the one that made my computer turn off last time). My computer actually completed it this time, but crawled through it ever so slowly. Here are the basic numbers from it:

    3DMARK06: 2284
    SM 2.0: 965
    SM 3.0: 882
    CPU Score: 861

    Graphics Test 1: 7.998 FPS
    Graphics Test 2: 8.091 FPS

    CPU Test 1: 0.272 FPS
    CPU Test 2: 0.436 FPS

    HDR Test 1: 7.377 FPS
    HDR Test 2: 10.262 FPS

    Thanks all for the help! I really appreciate it. Hopefully we'll get it running up to speed in no time.
  7. Not much you can really do, with 79F ambient room temps. Looks like its doing the best it can. I wouldn't be too worried.
  8. Grimmy,

    What is the recommended ambient room temperature to optimally run a gaming rig in?

    Darn Florida heat.
  9. Hi,
    Well you aint said what cpu cooler your using if it`s a STOCK 1 BIN IT!!!
    There as much use as a chocolate fireguard, im sure there`s a review on here saying how to pick the best cooler for your setup!!!

    Have you got all the additional fans for the CASE!! ie the 120mm and the 80mm fan???

    What temp is your Northbridge chip if you can touch it after an hour with out removing your fingerprints THAT`S OK if not stick a fan on it 40-60mm 5000rpm well do it nicely!!

    Also my own preference is to ditch the PSU 2x80mm fans suck i would go for psu with a 120mm fan
  10. Heh... I wouldn't say there's a standard recommendation, but I'd say 70F would be good for any system.

    My room does get around 79-80F because of the heater kicking on for winter, but when it does hit around 70F, everything runs pretty cool.

    Seems running Crysis Demo really heats my system up, my 8800GTS gets around 72C+ and my NB really starts to get hot, 52-55C, with room temps of 76-78F.
  11. MMM Grimmy when i OC my C2D@2.13-2.80 was when i had probs ambient room temp was 24oC NB chip was at 55oC and the comp would shutdown stuck a 60x60mm 5000rpm fan on it dont go over 40oC now lol

    Ok the cpu gets toasty at them speeds air cooled 50-55oC and the ATI hd2900xt get`s to 70oC afterplaying UT3 4 4hours OH i wish i could work out how to post piccy`s on here!!
  12. I'm getting a 40mm for the NB. Should be getting it in few days. Since I use the Tuniq HS, it really doesn't help the copper MB cooler since the HS fan doesn't blow on the MB.

    And it seems Cyrsis Demo, is basically the only game that pushes my system hard. :lol:

    All the other games don't really heat it up much.
  13. I dont see much difference in temp playing Crysis\UT3\Bioshock
  14. I think the resolution I was playing on, was 1280x1024, X4 Antialiasing turned on. I was trying to get the most eye candy, without too much choppiness. But I suppose if I run it lighter, less eye candy it wouldn't heat up as much.
  15. PFZ1,

    The CPU cooler is the stock that came with the P4 630 chip. By "BIN IT", do you mean replace it?

    The case came with a 120mm Rear Exhaust TriCool fan with a 3 speed switch. It was set to low (1200 RPM). I set it to High (2000 RPM) last night. The case has additional mounts for a 92mm CPU fan and an 80mm VGA card fan, neither of which I'm using.

    I'm slowly tweaking things to try and bring the temps down. I don't want to overkill the situation, by doing everything at once.

    Does a better CPU cooler with a better thermal paste seem like it would offer the most drastic improvement? Or does adding two additional fans to the case?
  16. A better 3rd party HSF can help, but won't help much if your ambient temps are hot. I've used AS5, and to tell you the truth I don't see that much of a difference, especially when my room temps are 80-85F during the summer. :lol:

    The best way to keep things cool, remove as much dust as possible, try to get ambient temps down to around 70F, and try to get the best airflow going through your PC case, as far as cable management / moving HD's away from intakes if they can stay cool enough (34-38C) ect.
  17. Grimmy said:
    I think the resolution I was playing on, was 1280x1024, X4 Antialiasing turned on. I was trying to get the most eye candy, without too much choppiness. But I suppose if I run it lighter, less eye candy it wouldn't heat up as much.


    As Danra mentioned earlier, "using a higher resolution screen with high detail when gaming will cause the computer to work harder, which will require more electricity and produce more heat".

    My new 22" widescreen LCD monitor I just purchased is running a display of 1680 x 1050 at a refresh rate of 60Hz.

    Should I use different display settings for different tasks (gaming vs. non-gaming)? I hope my new monitor isn't causing some of these probs.
  18. I currently use a 22" at the same desktop resolution, and refresh rate. That's more of a personal preference if you ask me. I normally run games according to how smooth I can get it to run.

    So basically my resolutions change when I play games, with no problems. Thing is, if you can run games at the same resolution, your desktop should pop back faster.


    As far as trying to produce less heat, higher resolutions make the GPU run harder, lower resolutions, the CPU runs harder, from what I understand.
  19. One thing I would suggest (though you may have done it) is to lose the wind tunnel in the Sonata II. I used this case for a build for my wife. I found that stupid wind tunnel impeded airflow in the case even with the fans installed in it. I removed it and it helped her temps quite a bit.

    Also here is a link to my kids computer results in 3DMark06:

    It's not exactly like your system but it's close enough to draw some conclusions. First off I think your CPU score is right on the money. Your CPU has a ~7% clock deficiency when compared to this one, and your score falls ~7% back. As for the GPU scores, that is a little more difficult as there are dissimilar. That said, I think the 6800GS will probably fall back slightly compared to the 7600GT. Giving a quick look at Toms VGA Charts shows that the 7600GT outperforms a vanilla 6800GT, and though the 6800GS isn't shown, it performs under the 6800GT, so my guess is that those are realistic numbers for your computer.

    Performance aside, if you are seeing a measure of improved stability by removing the side or your case with a fan to increase airflow, I think you may have found your problem. You could add a 120mm fan behind the HDD cage (stupid case, it should be in front of the HDD's), I added this fan and it helped somewhat. Another thing you can check is the air filter at the front of the case. If you haven't cleaned it, you could be starving you computer of fresh air as this is where the majority of it will enter the case. Also make sure that the 120mm exhaust fan in the back is turned up to high to maximize airflow. If you have the ability to regulate ambient temperature, I would try for 22C. That's a comfortable room temperature anyway.

    Well I hope some of this helps.
  20. Thanks guys for all the help. I think I'm slowly getting there.


    I haven't checked the air filter since I built it. Do you know how to remove it?

    Also, per your recommendation to add a 120mm fan behind the HD cage, is there a mount for adding it? Could you explain? I can't picture how this would be set up?
  21. To remove the air filter, there is a slot at the bottom of the front panel. Reach in with your index fingers and at the outer edges you will find a tab (each side). Push them towards each out (they only move about 5-10mm) and pull down. That should release it. That said I always have a bugger of a time removing it, I broke one tab trying so now it's even harder.

    As for the fan, you will see four holes (one for each corner of the fan) at the back of the HDD cage. There should have been a bunch of hardware that came with the case. In it there are four clear rubber pull pins, these are what you use to mount the fan. I think it's well illustrated in the case's manual.

    Hope this helps.

    Unfortunately I'm at work, or I would post pictures. I don't get home until November 30th (I'm an ex-pat from Canada working in Yemen) so I can't provide any visual aids.
  22. What's best way to clean the air filter?

    And the 120mm Fan that attaches to the HDD it set up to blow onto the HD, or it just aimed back into the case?

    Sorry if a dumb question, but I'm still new to the whole modding thing
  23. Some fans have an arrow that points the direction.

    Usually the fan blows out to where you see the middle/center (holds the motor in place) bracket like this pic:

    So if you were holding it, with it faced this way, the air would be blowing at you.

    That would be the opposite direction.
  24. Set the fan to blow back into the system. The ATX approach to cooling is to draw cool air in at the bottom front of the case and blow the warmed air out the rear top of the case. With the fan in the location that it is, you can't be entirely certain that it's drawing air from the front (since as far as I'm concerned Antec should have designed the case so the fan would have fit in front of the HDD cage), but it will increase air circulation and should draw at least some additional fresh air from the front (once you kill the thing living in your air filter).

    As for cleaning the filter, I rinse it thoroughly in water and dry it off. Having that filter clogged will increase temperatures in your case quite a bit.
  25. Ok, the filter is cleaned.

    Is there any particular 120mm fan you recommend to attach to the HDD cage?

    Is it also your recommendation to forgo the other 2 fans (92mm CPU fan and an 80mm VGA card) which the case can carry? Did these 2 fans install in the "wind tunnel" piece?

    I try to attach a pic of the inside of my case when I get a chance to give y'all an idea of what I'm dealing with. guys have been extremely helpful in explaining it all to me.
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