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Q6600 B3 (stock clock) @ 65C Idle...

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May 20, 2008 3:23:59 AM

As you can see from the title, my CPU isn't particularly happy. Of course, this isn't the worst I've had. On the stock cooler it was having, on rare occasions, 94C at low load. That was during a very hot day during the summer of course. Over the winter the cores have been in the 40's mostly (sometimes 38) so I wasn't too worried. But now the hot weather is coming back around and things are looking a little grim to me.

I've thankfully gotten it down to a slightly better temperature via speedstep (52-55C), albeit at the cost of a downclock to 1.6Ghz. Any thoughts on what the issue is or what I can do to fix it? I'm at the point where I'm considering grabbing a new case and liquid cooling, though I've only had the system built since last August. Is that the best choice or is there something I else I can do?

CPU: Intel Q6600 (B3 unfortunately) @ 2.40GHz
Cooler: Zalman CNPS9500
Case: Apevia X-Cruiser, Currently w/ 2x 80mm fans (~25 cfm, both intakes) & 1 120mm (~110 cfm, exhaust)
a b à CPUs
May 20, 2008 8:47:06 AM

Sounds like the heatsink isnt making proper contact, or the TIM is fubar.
Try reset the sink.
Those temps are MAD.

My B3 now @ 3Ghz with a single 120mm rad and 800 rpm fan reaches ~55c after an hour full throttle.

Also as said, go into bios and check ur Vcore. On 2.4Ghz u SHOULD be able to run as low as 1.15v without hassle.
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a b à CPUs
May 20, 2008 12:03:05 PM

Or ignore the above and just buy a fire extinguisher. :whistle: 
May 20, 2008 5:48:18 PM

Navvie said:
What Vcore is that?
What TIM and how did you apply it? Like this?

http://img466.imageshack.us/img466/9365/line800qe9.jpg

First thing I would do is check how flat the heatspreader is!
Easy way is to hold your CPU flat, and hold a razor or stanley blade on it and hold it up to a light source... something like this.

http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/2447/picture004kx1.j...

I'm using the TIM that came with the heatsink. It doesn't have a particularly descriptive label. xD Just Zalman's default stuff seemingly. No I didn't use the line, I had followed the manual and used the pea sized drop + spread with credit card, which in hindsight probably wasn't the best way to do it. This is my first custom build, so when I put on the CPU last summer, I didn't exactly know all the technicalities I know now.

If the spreader isn't as flat as it should be, is there any other solution besides either trying to cool it anyway or getting a new CPU?
mrmez said:
Sounds like the heatsink isnt making proper contact, or the TIM is fubar.
Try reset the sink.
Those temps are MAD.

My B3 now @ 3Ghz with a single 120mm rad and 800 rpm fan reaches ~55c after an hour full throttle.

Also as said, go into bios and check ur Vcore. On 2.4Ghz u SHOULD be able to run as low as 1.15v without hassle.

At 2.4GHz it's running at 1.313V. With speedstep when it clocks down (again to 1.6GHz) it's at 1.163V. Those were both CPU-Z readings. The BIOS reports 1.26V at boot. Either way it looks like I have room to turn it down. My question now is: how? >_< Having these temps, I've been very careful not to touch anything that could make it worse if I did something wrong, so I'm not entirely sure how to drop the voltages.

Mousemonkey said:
Or ignore the above and just buy a fire extinguisher. :whistle: 

That's been tempting...
a c 127 à CPUs
May 20, 2008 9:32:19 PM

Go to your BIOS and look for the Overclocking utility and lower the voltage to 1.2 or 1.15. Then boot and test for stability.

I would also reseat the HSF and TIM. If you want to get into extreme measures you can, I forgot what its called but basically you sand your HSF till its shiny and if need be the CPU ISF as well but remember warranty = void when you do that.

I just remembered the name. Lap. Lapping is what its called. Silly me.
May 21, 2008 12:33:08 AM

Thanks for all the help everybody. :) 

The core voltages are confusing me slightly. I dropped it down to say, 1.24V, but on the reboot the BIOS reports a bit over 1.2V, and once the OS/speedstep kick in the voltages are back to the normal 1.16/1.31. Should I turn off speedstep to force the voltages down? And why is there a discrepancy between the BIOS settings and the BIOS reports?

Not getting any noticeable temp drops, but that could be the speedstep seemingly overriding the new voltages. Plus if the HS is seated bad I'm not sure you could tell anyways. :p 
a b à CPUs
May 21, 2008 3:05:16 AM

Big temps like that are far more likely to be a physical fault rather than electrical.

As said, check the hsf and thermal compound. If u dont really know what ur doing get a friend whos in the know to help out.

Once ur in the ballpark of normal temps u can do things like lap the cpu (sand it flat), and play with voltages etc. Each of these will only make a few degrees change at best.
May 21, 2008 3:48:05 AM

Can you show a pic of how you have the HSF mounted?

There is a chance you have the HS mounted to where the fan is blowing in the wrong direction, which would be against the airflow causing high temps.

I don't think you could really go wrong on Zalman's mounting brackets vs 4 push pin.
May 21, 2008 4:26:38 AM

Here's a pic from a number of months ago. Haven't touched the HSF since I first put it on.

BTW normally I keep the front door open so that the 2 front intakes can actually breathe. The door was closed here for looks. :p 
a b à CPUs
May 21, 2008 11:46:59 AM

Check the 120mm fan at the back is blowing air out?? Please check that first.

Internal cables look tidy ... which is a good start ... loom any up that are blocking air moving inside.

Remove the mesh (cut it away) from the rear of the case behind the rear fan to increase airflow.

That steel grille on the inside of the 120 can then be put on the back of the case.

With the side cover off the front fans serve no purpose ... so leave it on ... but make sure these are not restricted either ... remover the mesh steel grill in front of them as per the above.

When front fans have plastic covers in front of them they are also not able to draw air efficiently either.

Flashy cases that are poorly designed for bringing air into the PC components are unfortunately all too common.

Bling vs basic thermal principles ... bling wins mostly from a marketing perspective.

Bling is for n00bs.

A quad needs maximum airflow.






May 21, 2008 7:52:14 PM

BallistaMan said:
Here's a pic from a number of months ago. Haven't touched the HSF since I first put it on.

BTW normally I keep the front door open so that the 2 front intakes can actually breathe. The door was closed here for looks. :p 


Hmmmm..

Heh.. I can't tell you how many times people say what they have installed.... and then someone asks to see a pic of it, and the HS is not install properly. But in your case, it looks right.

Ya.. too bad the front case door does more for looks then airflow. :whistle: 

I notice you have a top fan, is it being used as an intake or exhaust? I would imagine, it would help the Zalman, if it was used as an intake. As an exhaust, even though heat goes up, then what is passing up to the Zalman would be heated air.

Just my 2 cents.

If you were to change out the case, perhaps the Antech 1200 on the expensive side, or a cool master 590/690 on the cheapers side.
May 21, 2008 8:48:06 PM

Maybe installed the right direction, but probably not installed properly. :p 

I have a top vent for a fan, though there's no fan in it at the moment. The power supply (the top bright blue spot) is a quarter of an inch too long or so. Once I get some more fan I'll probably cut one down a little so that I can at least fit something up there.

The PSU fan you see there is an intake by the way. The exhaust for the power supply is directly behind it on the outside of the case.

So I should put an intake up there in the top vent (albeit one that's slightly less effective)? What about that side vent, intake as well?
May 21, 2008 9:02:44 PM

"but probably not installed properly. :p " :lol: . o O (well you said not me.)

Heh, ya.. thats a normal design for most PSU, bottom fan is intake, rear (if there's a fan there) for exhaust. At least all the PSU I have are that way. :whistle: 

Dang.. so the PSU is preventing you to install a top fan?

Not sure if you could fit a fan on the (window) side case, but then if it hinders the airflow with the Zalmans design. I would think the top fan would help push cooler air that the Zalman could take in quicker.

I did that for my Cool Master 590 ($65@newegg), even though it suppose to be a top exhaust:



Although it wouldn't hurt to try/experiment, to figure out what could work better. ;) 
May 21, 2008 9:35:21 PM

Grimmy said:
"but probably not installed properly. :p " :lol: . o O (well you said not me.)

Heh, ya.. thats a normal design for most PSU, bottom fan is intake, rear (if there's a fan there) for exhaust. At least all the PSU I have are that way. :whistle: 

Dang.. so the PSU is preventing you to install a top fan?

Not sure if you could fit a fan on the (window) side case, but then if it hinders the airflow with the Zalmans design. I would think the top fan would help push cooler air that the Zalman could take in quicker.

I did that for my Cool Master 590 ($65@newegg), even though it suppose to be a top exhaust:

http://c1.neweggimages.com/NeweggImage/productimage/11-119-152-06.jpg

Although it wouldn't hurt to try/experiment, to figure out what could work better. ;) 

I was just basing that statement off of all the other posts that say that the HS is seated poorly.

The PSU has 2 side fans, not a bottom and side, but that's just a technicality. :p 

I don't think the side fan would be too much of an issue, but yeah I'll have to check.

I'm not fully convinced that it's all bad airflow though. For example the video card, an EVGA 8800GTS 640MB stock, is only at 56C right now (mostly idle), which to my knowledge is a perfectly acceptable temp for that card (I've heard ratings of anywhere between 90C to 120C). If I was running the system with the front door closed, I could understand poorer airflow, but I'm almost always keeping it open.
a c 127 à CPUs
May 21, 2008 10:35:42 PM

Well IDK about having the top fan as an intake Grimmy. I myself have one and its pulls air up since I have 2 fans at the bottom front and to in the middle in back so it pulls the air over the HDDS and then up so there is air there to be pulled to the Zalman. I would think with a PSU that has 2 side fans it would suck the intake ar from the top fan instead of allow the Zalman to take it.
May 21, 2008 11:19:36 PM

It does indeed pull air from the top vent as it is without the fan, I can feel the breeze. Part of that is also the 120mm at the back. Even with all the other fans as low as possible (and for as briefly as possible), there still is a lot of air moving.

Perhaps it would be better to have the top as exhaust, that way both the top and PSU pull air up by the Zalman. Plus a side intake might supplement that, though with the rear exhaust it might get stirred up a bit there (having to go both left and right+up).
May 21, 2008 11:41:11 PM

I'd place my bets on an incorrectly seated heatsink. That's just on personal experience, though. I used to hit 70C in about 15 seconds in prime 95, and I would idle at around 50C. Earlier today, I lapped my Zalman 9700 and the Q6600 and applied some Tuniq TX-2; now I am idling around 39C and hitting 56C max in prime 95 with a 3.2Gz overclock (1.2V).

If I were you, I would just take the heatsink off, clean everything with some isopropyl alcohol, apply some new thermal grease, and put the heatsink back on and make sure both of the screws are tight.
a c 127 à CPUs
May 22, 2008 3:45:59 AM

Gambini said:
I'd place my bets on an incorrectly seated heatsink. That's just on personal experience, though. I used to hit 70C in about 15 seconds in prime 95, and I would idle at around 50C. Earlier today, I lapped my Zalman 9700 and the Q6600 and applied some Tuniq TX-2; now I am idling around 39C and hitting 56C max in prime 95 with a 3.2Gz overclock (1.2V).

If I were you, I would just take the heatsink off, clean everything with some isopropyl alcohol, apply some new thermal grease, and put the heatsink back on and make sure both of the screws are tight.


thats a nice drop from lapping. I am too affraid to lap my CPU but might do my heatsink. I have a OC of 3GHz and my Q6600 idles at 32c and laods from 50-55c. But it really depends on airflow and on ambient temp in your house too.
May 22, 2008 4:00:11 AM

House temp. is at 31C (<- Probably part of the issue right there). Case temp is like 32C or 33C, with the probe a few inches from the CPU HS.

Lapping it is tempting, partially because it just looks so pretty. xD At this point I'd rather just fix up the HS and see if that works before killing off the warranty. *needs to go out to the store and grab some AS5*
May 22, 2008 4:13:03 AM

jimmysmitty said:
thats a nice drop from lapping. I am too affraid to lap my CPU but might do my heatsink. I have a OC of 3GHz and my Q6600 idles at 32c and laods from 50-55c. But it really depends on airflow and on ambient temp in your house too.

I think that I just had my heatsink on badly the first time, but I'm sure that the lapping helped :sol: .

Probably the most convenient packages of sandpaper for lapping are at easypckits.com. The owner is really nice, and the stuff is low priced. Not to mention when I got it, it was shipped within the next couple hours and got to my house the day after that. That's even better than newegg! :kaola:  (that started to sound like a radio advertisement.)
May 23, 2008 6:04:22 AM

Got it fixed. :D  Pulled off the old heatsink, put on some new grease I bought, put the (cleaned) heatsink back on, and happily idling at 39-42C @ 1.6Ghz, or 43-45C at 2.4GHz. Probably not the best temps I could get out of it - I put on too much paste methinks, plus I noticed a decent scratch in the HS (and a corresponding mark on the CPU), but I believe the quad is safe now. Thanks for all the advice! :) 

When I first booted it the system made a high pitched beeping noise, which promptly made me cut the power. *realized the HDD needed to be plugged in* Makes the beeping again. *realized the video card needed power, but also noticed that a RAM stick wasn't properly mounted* Problem solved, albeit at the cost of shortening my lifespan a few years. :p \

I'm tempted to try dropping the voltages a bit - but would that kill my warranty? I'm sure different mobos supply it slightly different current but...

Edit: After giving it a bit of a Crysis torture test, it was hitting about 55C, though I did see it at 59 once. Plus I think it's guaranteed that I got on too much paste. It's like, 4 or 5 grains of rice, not one. I couldn't get it out of the tube at first. xD
a c 127 à CPUs
May 23, 2008 1:23:58 PM

Changing the voltages does not void your warranty. OC'ing does but not lowering the voltages. As long as you keep between the spec (which is normally .85v-1.5v for a Q6600 G0, not sure but I think B3 is about the same).

So I would just lower them a bit and if its stable then its great. The lower the voltage your CPU runs at stock normally means you can OC it to say 3GHz+ with little to no voltage change.
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