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Bad Phenom II 940 temps, no matter what I do :(

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March 12, 2009 2:49:41 AM

I have tried everything to get my Phenom II 940 down in temperatures. Right now it's at 3.5ghz @ stock voltage, bumping it down to stock speed does nothing for the temperature. Depending on ambient if I do a Everest stress quest it will move up to 59c, and at times 60c. I am now using the Arctic Cooling Xtreme Freezer, which seems to be fantastic, best mounting system I've seen for AM2+ as well, but the temperatures are hardly different.

At first I used the orignal Arctic Cooling compound that was pre-applied, MX-2 I think, since with the new cooler I was around 43c idle, 55-58c load. Now I applied Arctic Silver 5, and idle around 45c again, and if loaded, will more than likely go past safe temperature, and I highly doubt after break-in of AS-5 it will be much safer. I'm reading about people with the STOCK heatsinks getting 33c idle, how is this possible? I used the grain of rice method as AS-5 says to use on AMD-Quad, and there is just no way it's going below 45c idle. Do I have a bad processor? Temps were taken with Everest, and Speedfan, bios report the same.

Specs are
Asus M3A79-T Deluxe (flashed with most recent bios)
Phenom II 940 @ 3.4ghz
4GB OCZ 1066 Reaper Ram
Vista Ultimate 32-Bit
Corsair 750w PSU
Dual Radeon 4870 1GB in Crossfire

I'll include a pic to verify proper airflow and organization for flow, ect.


Thanks in advance for your help, as I'm out of ideas, unless the bios are magically sending out bad temperature reports to Everest and the other programs...

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March 12, 2009 2:54:28 AM

60c underload is fine.
Get worried if it starts hitting 80.
March 12, 2009 2:58:57 AM

I thought the Phenom II 940 had a maximum safe core temp of 62c...?
Edit* Tried the stock heatsink, around the same temperatures...at this point I find it unbelivable that people are running their Phenom IIs anywhere near 33c idle...
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March 12, 2009 4:30:59 AM

Quick question, I've been researching and found that apparently AMD only put in one sensor in the Phenom lineup for temps, however, I have multiple. I have Core 0, Core 1, Core 2, Core 3, all of those are the EXACT same temp as eachother (rather high and spikey, and easily go from 45c to 60c within seconds of a Everest test) however, temperature under everest just call "CPU" stays at a solid 43c, and dosen't seem to flutuate anything like the cores (temperature rising 15c in a second is insane, and I can't believe it's accurate).

I'm pretty sure I'm getting false core readings, but I just don't know whats right and whats wrong, whats safe and whats not... ;-;. Asus Ai Suite also reports the same "CPU" temp as Everest, however Asus AI doesn't do "core" readings, just says CPU - Temp 43c....I'm about to start ignoring the core temp reading as with this heatsink there is no way it could spike from 45c to 60c in a second...it just can't be correct can it? I should also note that by just clicking on Opera, or opening a video, my CORE temps will go from say 45c, to 50c within a second as well, they shouldn't fluctuate that much should they? I should point out, that the CPU temp that Everest, and AI Suite gives, is the same temp that my bios gives, however my motherboard dosen't report Core temps in the bios, and the Phenoms only have one temp sensor...so are my core temps more than likely incorrect, thus why they are so spikey and high, also during the everest stress test for one second, while the core temps spiked from 45c to 60c, the CPU temp only went from 43c to 45c... *edit* just did a everest stress, cores went up to 70c, CPU read 54c top, no BSOD or CPU restart...does that mean core reading are incorrect?
March 12, 2009 5:22:42 AM

I just got a AMD X3 720 a few days ago. Its on an ASUS M3N-HT. So far its running at 3.75ghz, and its been stable. 3.8ghz @ 1.525v gets crashes, but 3.7ghz @ 1.45v has been solid. (18.5x , 200, auto). So far temps are 33c in Firefox, and 44'c gaming/benchmarking. I'm trying out a CoolerMaster V8. I was planning on liquid cooling a AMD 940, but I impulsively bought this setup instead after reading about unlocking the fourth core. I think your cooling fan has a 120mm fan too I'm not sure why your temps are that high. Have you tried the Utils on the Asus DVD? I have a AI Suite program that was included that shows speed, and temps, but also includes a fan controller. Have you tried upping the CPU fan to performance mode? The cooler you have should work better than 60'c. Have you tried mounting your case cooling fans to blow in thru the front, and out the back. I got better results when I stopped cross directing the airflow.
Maybe mine is lower because my 720 X3 has one less core.

I've been playing with Riva Tuner v2.4 for my video card, with much better results when I put the cooling fans at >85%. 100% seems to make more noise than cool. Even at 60% it keeps the the video card cool while GPU overclocking, and no crashes. It took a few tries to learn my way around Riva. In my previous setup, the Nvidia control panel had alot of adjustments. Now I only have a few, even tho it still on 32bit Win XP, and its the same driver version. But no fan adjustment page or temp monitor anymore.

For $40 I'd try one of these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or one of these:
http://www.swiftnets.com/products/h20-120-compact.asp
March 12, 2009 5:49:02 AM

air flow is not the issue...the heatsink itself hardly gets warm. I can have a extra 120mm mounted directly infront of the heatsink and it hardly makes a difference. That is why I am saying I THINK the core temps are 100% wrong, as they are TOTALLY different than my bios temps, and I've never heard of a proper CPU temp spikeing from 45c to 60c within a second. And on top of that, AMD says Phenom II's have one temp sensor, I'm pretty sure that would be the one the bios would pick up, and the bios one is MUCH cooler and dosen't spike like the "core" temp at all...on top of that, if these core temps were correct, then the Phenom II should have thrown a fault code and restarted when it went past 62c...right?
March 12, 2009 11:14:55 AM

you will probably find that the temp drops after a bios update
March 12, 2009 1:41:51 PM

I already said I have the most recent bios, what I'm asking is should I trust the core temps or just the CPU temps the bios and Asus ai gives off?
March 12, 2009 1:44:46 PM

i would go with the temps asus ai is showing
March 12, 2009 1:53:36 PM

Ok in that case everything is safe and stable
March 12, 2009 2:29:05 PM

If you pull your hsf again, check and see if the cpu has a crown on it, as sometimes they do, and arent perfectly flat, and dont cool as well as they should, giving a poor seal with the cpu/hsf connection. Have a decent straight edge, go accross the top of the die and hs itself. If so, start lapping
March 12, 2009 2:39:39 PM

rpaulg87 said:
I thought the Phenom II 940 had a maximum safe core temp of 62c...?
Edit* Tried the stock heatsink, around the same temperatures...at this point I find it unbelivable that people are running their Phenom IIs anywhere near 33c idle...


I'm currently running a Phenom II 940 as well. 3.4Ghz on stock settings, with a Sunbeam Freezer as my HS using TX2 paste. As I'm reading things at the moment (I checked the temps from both SpeedFan and AMD Overdrive programs), I'm running at 36c idle doing little things like playing music and cruising the intarwebs. Under load I rarely ever go above 40c, and when it do it's the lower end (Highest I've ever seen so far is 43c). This is playing games like TF2, COD4, WoW and Warhammer Online.

So either your bios is running a bad temp sensor, or the cpu needs lapped. I'd recommend SpeedFan for recording/watching temps as well.
March 12, 2009 2:45:50 PM

Ok...once again, I think the bios is spot on, the CORE temp readings are what I'm wondering about. Right now the bios temp is at 38c idle, and that's without the Arctic Silver even remotely broken in, what I'm wondering, is where they heck Speedfan, and Everest, are getting these spikey, high temp core temperatures, when the Phenom II only has ONE temperature sensor, which I'm almost 100% is what the bios would be reading, so where exactly are these programs pulling this spikey, high core temps from if there is only one sensor? CPU currently idles at around the same temperature as the motherboard, motherboard is 39, CPU temp is 38, core temps are, as usual, way off and more than likely, very incorrect, they are around 48c

And ZipZoomFly, if those core temps were actually correct, then that would have been seriously wrong, the Phenom II 45nm design is rated for a maximum safe temperature of 62c, 70c and it would go into core meltdown.

Cervani, where are you getting those temps from? Motherboard bio sensors, or core temps?

I should add that just browseing around the core temp goes from say...50c to 54c, where as the CPU temps stays at a steady 39c, dosen't jump around at all unlike the core temps.
March 13, 2009 4:46:53 AM

I think part of it is due to your case and setup. I say this because mine is almost Identical.

Phenom II 940
Asus M3A32 Deluxe
8 Gigs G.Skill Ram
Thermaltake 750 watt PSU
Thermaltake Armor+ MX Case
2 Radeon 4850 video cards

The bios temperature tends to be lower because the video cards arent active. As soon as I boot into windows and the video cards are active (I run 3 monitors) because the 4850's run so hot the temp of everything in my case goes up. As the ambient temperature in my room has increased (80 degrees outside this week) my processor temps rose from around 43 idle and 50 load to about 49 idle and 56 load. I've stress tested and it doesnt past 60 yet but I'm still at a range I'm not comfortable with. I think alot of this is that while the Armor MX is a good case, it doesnt seem to move enough air when using 2 video cards like the 4850's which normally run hot (even with the fan cranked to 50% my cards run at atleast 70).
March 13, 2009 5:50:29 AM

Edit* Got some Zalman Super Thermal Grease today, applied it with the brush applicator, instantly a huge difference. Idles around 35c right now at 3.4ghz, quite happy, should also see a 1-2c drop more after it breaks in according to Zalman :D , stuff clearly destroys Arctic Silver 5.
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March 13, 2009 6:35:57 AM

Not at all. My current fan count, not including the GPU fan, stands at 9. Two are >150CFM (granted, they don't run that fast normally - I have them on a fan controller).
March 13, 2009 9:39:31 AM

6 12cm fans on a controller + 1 on a M/B header and I want to replace 5 of the 12's with 14's.
a b à CPUs
March 13, 2009 11:40:08 AM

If the heatsink is not hot to the touch, then the temp readings you are fretting over so badly are incorrect.
March 13, 2009 2:46:47 PM

jitpublisher said:
If the heatsink is not hot to the touch, then the temp readings you are fretting over so badly are incorrect.


good point, though I wouldn't really call it hot to the touch - warm would be more my thought of 50 to 60 degrees celcius. I've got workin' hands though.
My 940 @ 3.4 is actually pretty cool. Cooler than my Opteron 170 @ 2.6. Case temp is cooler overall as well.

I don't know what some of you have for cases and videocards but my case has way less fans and runs quiet and cool. I'm a server case kind of guy, though.
March 13, 2009 5:47:11 PM

LumberWagon said:
I don't know what some of you have for cases and videocards but my case has way less fans and runs quiet and cool. I'm a server case kind of guy, though.


The Big Rack makes more noise than anything because all the Cisco's and stuff have obnoxious fans. Most of my servers are mounted there and have small fans except the file server which needs a bit more to keep the SCSI's cool but I don't overclock servers so they are pretty stock. The Phenom 2 box, (the one with the pretty blue fans I spoke of earlier), sets on top of a little 24U rack for NAS, (more fans), but isn't mounted and I keep the other systems in the house bone stock because we have kids so every once in a while we need to boot a ghost disk and start fresh. How do you connect to your servers? It'd be a nightmare for me without a multiple monitor rig and a laptop or two.
March 13, 2009 6:28:11 PM

I'm on a thermaltake V1 and im @ 40C idle @ 3.6ghz.

Was @ 35C idle before my 200mm fan went.
March 14, 2009 6:48:56 PM

Suprising as the V1 is supposed to be a very bad heatsink, even the horrid Spinq I had was supposed to be better O.o. Anyway, I OCED to 3.7 ghz @ 1.45 volts, solid, tops out at 54-55c under 100% load in Everest. The Zalman grease REALLY made the temps go down and get solid. I've noticed the heatsink dosen't really get hot @ stock, however when you overclocked and push more volts into it, that sucker definatly gets warmer.

In summary, core temps are way off on the Phenom IIs, AMD didn't even put CORE readers in the Phenom II, it has ONE sensor, and that reading is read in the bios, so I am still clueless as to where Speed-fan, core temp, and other programs are pulling the "Core temperatures" from which are so drastically different from the bios CPU temperature reading.
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