I'm starting a new post rather than continuing to tack on to an old one so I can list all my components/problems/steps taken to resolve them.
My system is a new build with:
Intel DP35DP motherboard
eVGA 9600 GT
4 x 2GB Kingston value ram
2x250GB SATA HDD in a RAID 0 array.
When I first put the computer together, I had some issues securing all four pins on the Intel HSF. The core temperatures stabilized in the 70s with a just a few apps open.
I replaced the Intel HSF with an OCZ Vindicator, removing the old paste but not applying a new one (instead using the paste already on the OCZ). This got the temps down to the low 60s.
Most recently, I removed the motherboard from the case, removed the old paste and applied Antec Silver Formula 5, drawing a line horizontally across the heatspreader. I was able to verify all four pins were securely in place before reassembling the computer. The temperatures still hit the 60s when I open a game but with just Firefox they are around 40C.
Some other issues:
The Frequency reading from Core Temp changes between 1999.77Mhz (333.29x6) and 2833.00Mhz (333.29x8.5) rapidly, about every second. This is even with Intel Speed Step disabled in the BIOS. CPU-Z shows the same thing happening under Core Speed. CPU-Z lists DRAM Frequency as 333.3MHz.
My boot time is extremely long. After pressing the power button, the monitor shows only an underscore in the top left for about 45-55 seconds before proceeding to the RAID screen, Intel Bios screen and then Windows startup. It always takes over 2 minutes before getting the Windows password screen. Can this long boot time be related to the chip temperatures? I would think it would take some time for the chip heat up before it affects the cpu performance.
The computer does not run very smoothly. It can't handle Pandora.com unless Mozilla is the only thing open. The music gets choppy. itunes is fine though. VMWare Workstation runs very slowly.
The fan speeds in the BIOS seem very slow:
CPU fan: ~825 RPM (max should be 1000)
Chassis inlet/outlet: ~600 RPM (max should be 1200)
The other two outlet fans are connected directly to the PSU.
I don't believe there are any settings to manually control the fanspeed in the BIOS, but there is an option to allow software to control fan speeds. What software?
I'm starting to wonder if the problem is just with the core temperatures, or if the long boot time is an indicator of something else. I appreciate all your suggestions, and thanks in advance for your help! In the meantime I may try reapplying less thermal paste (should I just squeeze on a grain of rice and rub it around with a coffee filter?)
I disabled Intel QST but it has not changed anything.
How do you fully disable Speed Step? I only found one option for it in the BIOS and disabled that. My thinking was to disable it to see if it improved performance, and if not, reenable it once I get the computer running like it should be.
To clarify, the temps are in the 40s when running only Firefox. They shoot up into the 60s when I open a game.
Can the RAID array really be what is causing this? I use my computer mostly for virtualization and tended to have 3-4 virtual machines open at a time on my old computer, each with a 10GB virtual hard disk. I was hoping this setup would be able to handle 6-8 machines at a time (right now it can barely handle 1) so it is a lot of reading and writing to the hard drives, thus the reason for having RAID 0. I could try deleting the RAID array, but if I couldn't use it, I'd be inclined to get a new motherboard that might better handle RAID.
The 40C and 60C, we are talking about the tcase temp?
I suppose this is the HS your using now:
Heh, I just don't trust the pin setup too much, although it should work okay.
But since you mentioned 40C with FF, can you tell us the ambient or room temp?
For example, my temp ATM:
Tcase = 27-29C
Room Temp = 25C or 78F
PC Case ambient = 29C or 84F
This is on my Q6600 setup, at idle, using ZeroTherm NV120 with MX-2 thermal grease.
I really can't say much on RAID or Virtualization, since I don't use either at this time. I know my Vista 64 bit only takes around 30-45 sec to get to the logon screen, and since I use sleep mode with S3 power management, I rarely see my system post anymore.
I'm willing to change it again, but it seems like there is something else wrong, as the CPU can't have overheated before the system boots. And the boot is taking way too long. I'm running XP x64, and on my old computer even in its dying days was booting much faster.
My thermostat is reading 73F. Its cold outside (58F), AC and heat is off.
The temperature readings on all the software utilities I've downloaded only show the Core temperatures and GPU (60C).
The Intel Desktop Utility shows the following temperatures, but from what I've read I understand these readings to be inaccurate:
Processor Thermal Margin: 42C
Motherboard Temp: 47C
ICH Temp: 84C
Memory Controller Hub: 82C
These temperatures are at the same time SpeedFan and others show the Core temps ranging from 54-64C (a game is open in the background).
Regarding the RAID, if this is whats causing the problem, is it more likely a defective motherboard or HardDrive? I am using the same HDDs as from my old computer which had started freezing a minute or two into Windows and eventually wouldn't boot at all. I know the GPU had failed, and eventually it was giving me an error on boot that the cpu fan speed was too low. I don't think the HDDs were ever a problem with it.
One thing to keep in mind, software that gives temp readings all basically do the same thing, the get a reading from some controller chip. Now certain software may poll faster then others, which may give the illusion that one is more accurate then the other, since it updates the reads faster.
Then again, for temps on the cores, a reading from the DTS which then again is affected by the tjmax of the software.
So I wouldn't say the software is not accurate or totally accurate, but should give an indication if there is a thermal problem of some kind.
To me, it is important to know what your tcase is, simply because intel does publish the thermal spec which is the tcase max (which the Q9550 is 71.4°C). That is more important to me then the core readings.
General way I see it, if your in the bios looking at the health monitor, your CPU temp shouldn't get hot in a 73F (23C) temp room. Depending on the airflow of your PC case, it should sit generally 24-35C. If it is higher then that, it usually indicates a HSF problem.
If you feel as though its a CPU problem, you could RMA it. It could be a sensor malfunction, or not, so you could expect the same result.
I only assume it was a RAID config problem, since you have slow load times.
You could try perhaps downloading software to test the HD's from the manufacturers site to see if it comes up with anything.
I do recall my dad's system running fine the first 2 weeks I built it for him. Then he told me his load times were very slow. At first I thought it was the HD till I started transferring files from his HD. Turns out he had a bad IDE port or channel. When I put the HD on the secondary channel, it was back to normal.
So it may be a long trouble shooting sessions to figure out what is exactly causing your system to run rough.
Tcase will always be a single reading temp. (which is the IHS or Intergraded Heat Spreader temp which is the sensor between the core sensors)
You would find this reading:
Bios - health monitor
SpeedFan - Normally Temp1 or 2 or 3 (usually depends on the chipset MB)
MB utility app that shows CPU/System temp.
HWMonitor is another app that sees temp sensors to help you identify what is what. It would display the Tcase temp as CPU temp as a single reading again.
Err.. the newer HWMonitor shows my CPU temp as TMPIN0 on vista 64bit. So hard to say if it will not say what is what. The only real way to be sure if to put a load on the CPU, which a temp should rise and when you stop it, fall noticeably.
If you can locate Smart Fan in the bios, it maybe causing the fan to run slower, which is mainly to reduce noise. If you have that, and disable it, it will cause the fan at full speed. Generally, it keeps the fan at a real low RPM, or almost stopped, then kicks it up to full speed when it reaches a set temp.
Should the clock speed adjust that quicky and with in that range?
I am not sure if that is normal functioning behavior, I would assume clock alterations would occur over longer intervals and the speed change wouldn't be so drastic, considering your core temp is reporting 60C.
Check the tech support links from your mobo manufacturer as there may have been a BIOS revision to address your problems as the processor your using was manufactured several months after the p35 chipset.
Wait for a response about the frequency changes or post a question related to the frequency changes under a different subject line.
I can't tell you if the frequency changes are normal as I have not setup a c2d machine yet.
The slow load times: Is this during POST or while loading windows?
Heat: Open your case and kinda feel the air around it. See if there is an excessive amount of heat coming off of your other components as they could be affecting the temperature of your CPU. Also, your components should warm to the touch and not hot, if properly cooled. (if your doing a touch test proceed with caution as to not damage your components with ESD or greasy and cheesy cheeto fingers )
I removed the motherboard again and reapplied the thermal paste and HSF. I seem to have done a better job as the temperatures are a good 5 degrees cooler than earlier. Also, when I booted it I did so with only the mouse/keyboard plugged in and it booted in ~50 seconds. I narrowed it down to my WD 500GB MyBook that was slowing down the boot. I have no idea why, but without it plugged in, at least the boot is quicker. Strangely, I also just noticed that this external HDD no longer shuts down when the computer is off.
But, the computer is still running poorly. The temperatures still rise when I start opening more stuff, although more slowly. But, if I start running a test on Prime, the Core temps all jump into the upper 60s within seconds and stabilize in the 70s. The good news I suppose is at least the cpu fan starts running at 1200 rpm.
I'm using the latest BIOS, from August. Computer case has been open, next to a cold open window. When I touch stuff, its warm, but not too hot. I may try applying thermal paste one more time as I seem to have improved at that. This last time I ignored the instructions and used my finger through a plastic bag to spread the paste thinly over the back of the heatspreader.
I'll try another thread regarding the frequency changes.
All of these problems are now resolved. It seems the solutions were:
Install the latest Intel chipset/LAN drivers from their website via a usb thumb drive rather than the CD included with motherboard
My internal floppy/media card reader was increasing my boot time by 40%
My external WD HDD was also increading my boot time. It isn't anymore, but it is having constant errors and seems on the brink of a final failure.
Updating from VMWare workstation 5.4 to 6.5 made a world of difference.
My HSF and thermal paste application were probably a problem at the beginning; rubbing the paste on with my finger through a plastic bag worked for me.
Thanks everyone for helping me troubleshoot. This forum rocks!