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AMD CPU overheating

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June 20, 2009 4:27:57 PM

I have recently rebuilt my system with following specs
AMD athlon 64x2 6000
GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard (Gigabyte) rev1002
Onboard ATI Video Card (512MB)
4G DDR2 800(2.2V)
2 SATA HD(500G each)
cosair 450w PSU

The system was running fine for couple of months without any problem till couple of weeks ago.
The first sign of the problem is that whenever I was playing 3D games, It shuts off in about 10-15 minutes without any warning. I suspected a overheating problem. So I installed cpucool and prime95 to test the cpu temperature and the result was scary, the cpu idles at 32 C, but under torture test in prime95, it quickly climbbed up to 70 c, 80 c, 90 c and finally crashes the system in about 10-15 minutes.
Since then I have replaced my stock cpu fan with Ultra X-Wind Socket 2200rpm Copper CPU Cooling Fan and add another PCI slot exhaust fan in the case (My case is a HTPC case with no front panel fans and no ventilation holes on the sides and top of the case). The problem persists.
I have tried the system with open case, turned off the Quiet & Cool feature, and reseting CPU core voltage in Bios to 1.30( was 1.4 by default, and running at 1.44), but nothing worked, the CPU temperature still rising like a rocket.
I wonder if it is a MB problem, or a defect CPU or the cooling system is still not powerfull enough ( will a liquit cooling system help?)
Any suggestion are greatly appreciated!

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June 21, 2009 2:08:32 AM

dongyl said:

...(My case is a HTPC case with no front panel fans and no ventilation holes on the sides and top of the case)....

My guess is that the case is your problem. HTPC cases are usually designed for low-power cool CPUs. The CPU you have is rated at 125W -- a VERY hot CPU!

You need to (a) make sure heat is removed from the CPU to the CPU cooler and (b) make sure the heat is transferred from the CPU cooler to the case air and then outside the case. The stock cooler should do (a) just fine. However, (b) requires a LOT of air to be flowing over the CPU cooler's fins and be exhausted from the case. You need at least one fairly-high-volume 120mm exhaust fan on your case, and good airflow over the CPU cooler area.

What specific model case do you have (photos would be great!)?
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June 21, 2009 2:31:07 AM

I had a similiar issue with my Athlon X2 6000+ and my new Phenom II 940. Both are 125 watt processores meaning they run hotter then others. I tried multiple CPU fans and cases until finally fixing my problem with the right CPU fan/cooler. A Xigmatek S1283 dropped my temps by more then 20 degrees compared to the stock cooler and the first 3 aferrmarket coolers I tried. It is a LARGE cooler though so not sure how well it would work in your HTPC.
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June 21, 2009 3:03:52 AM

This is how I finally solved my problem. My Case is a MCE701 HTPC case with a touch screen LCD built-in on the front panel, so front exhaust fan is not an option. the HTPC is not very tall, so any large/tall size cooler/heatsink fans are also out of question. The thermal paste came with the Ultra X-wing is very low quality stuff. The steps I took are
1. drilled 50 ventilation holes on the case top directly above the CPU fan, so it can draw air directly from outside
2. Bought high quality thermal paste and re-apply to the headsink.
3. Fine tuned my Bios to set cpu voltage to 1.25(default was 1.40) and clock ratio to 14.50(default was 15.50). My CPU speed now become 2.9GHZ, was 3.1GHZ before, but the temperature stables at 47C under full load.
It is mainly a HTPC and I only use it to for media editing and game playing occasionally, so I can live with the down-graded CPU as long as the whole system is stable. But thanks for all of you apply to my post! Your comments all make a lot of sense!
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June 21, 2009 10:33:57 PM

Glad it worked out!
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June 21, 2009 11:40:26 PM

I use the drilling of the holes mod often:)  last time was for an external HDD
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April 13, 2010 12:35:24 PM

I have a similar system, 4 gigs ram, dual core amd 64 gigabyte mb, raid dual hard drives .. it does the same thing under a load, if I run it when its cold in the winter it will never shut down, ever.. soon as it warms up bam goes down... Never had this issue with intel builds.. I do multimedia.. this is a gamers motherboard.. I think its the chip..
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