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CPU Overheating

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
July 19, 2009 10:16:29 AM

Hi all,

I have recently built my very first PC with no prior knowledge other than a few how to guides and questions on forums. So far so good, everything has been running smoothly and I'm very impressed with the results.

The only problem I'm getting is that using Asus PC Probe I'm often told that my CPU temperature is too high, during start up it normally goes as high as 86C for a few seconds before coming down to around 32-34C. I'm fairly certain this is normal so no cause for concern, however, if I leave my PC for a few minutes I often come back to a CPU temperature warning that goes down as soon as I click the warning and get things going again.

This is not my main cause for concern, yesterday I had the first system crash whilst playing the trial version of WoW in that I couldn't access task manager, alt tab out, etc. I had to hold down the power button to turn off the PC and restart.

I may be looking at this completely wrong but being my first PC build I am wary of things I may have done wrong, any help would be appreciated.

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
July 19, 2009 10:46:27 AM

I forgot to mention that I downloaded Everest today and performed the stress test and the CPU temperature went into the 90's.
July 19, 2009 11:26:28 AM

First off, congrats on your first build. It may help if you told us what you built. You say you have no prior knowledge, so I'm sorry if any of this is a bit obvious.

What CPU are you using? Any recent one shouldn't be having issues with WOW.

What cooler are you using? If you're using Intel, I know the current generation of stock coolers can be bloody fiddly. Your first port of call should be to "reseat" the cooler. Take it off and fit it again. Unclip the cooler, and look at the bottom. Make sure there is some thermal paste on the bottom (the stock stuff is normally grey). If you see bare copper, there's your problem. No thermal paste means a bad contact between the CPU and cooler. If there's nothing there, buy some paste.

To fit the cooler, clip the first leg of the cooler on, and ensure it's fitted firmly. Then fit the one diagonally opposite, again making sure it's a tight fit. Then fit the last two. If this doesn't work, do give it a couple of tries. They are fiddly little buggers. If it still doesn't work, do let us know.
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
July 19, 2009 8:30:15 PM

Sorry I should have added what I have built:

Asus P5Q Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Processor
Nvidia GTX 275 Graphics Card
Corsair 650 Watt PSU
Corsair DDR 4GB Ram

Thats all from memory so I can dig up more accurate specs if neccessary.

Yes I did find the CPU cooler a bit of a pain and did reset it a couple of times as I wasn't sure it was right, it definitly had thermal paste on it. Out of interest would it do any harm to add more paste? Just at a few pounds a tube it seems like its not much to lose if it has a chance of improving things.

I should also add that my case has two fans installed that are both on the lowest setting, could setting them to medium or high be beneficial?
July 19, 2009 9:27:12 PM

That sounds like a very nice build. Is the CPU a Quad, or Duo?

It wouldn't hurt to reapply thermal paste, especially if there was a bit of time between the occasions when you reseated the CPU. Just remember to make sure you completely remove the old stuff. Use a bit of isopropyl alcohol (you can find wipes for a few quid in your local chemist) to gently clean off the CPU and the bottom of the cooler. A quick google will give a better "how to" guide for applying the stuff than I can provide.

Last time I had to buy some, I went for this: http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductID=388704 purely because it comes with a little brush, so involves no messing about with bits of card.

Was that WOW crash the only one you had? Have you played any other games? The only reason I ask is if you've only had one crash, I wouldn't draw a pattern from that. I would be a little concerned with a startup temp of 86 though, unless anyone else can tell me otherwise?
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
July 20, 2009 7:18:40 AM

Thanks, the CPU is a duo.

Yes the WoW crash is the only one I've had so far, I should probably add that the PC was on for several hours so it wasn't a sudden crash. As for other games I have also ran Crysis and Company of Heroes several times with no problems.

I checked the startup temperature again today using everest rather than PC probe and it was never a steady reading, going between 65-75C before coming down to 40-50C and steadying to 31C once the PC was fully fired up. Is Everest fairly accurate?
a c 172 à CPUs
July 20, 2009 3:53:55 PM

Use RealTemp to monitor your temperatures.

If you are using the stock heatsink or a similar one, such as an Arctic Cooler Freezer 7 Pro, with pushpins, you should install the CPU and HSF before you install the motherboard in the case. It's much easier to check for correction installation.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
July 20, 2009 9:33:33 PM

I've reset the HSF and it seems to have fixed the problem, around 20C when idle and between 30-40C when running Crysis.

I will definitely be buying a better CPU fan next time!
July 20, 2009 9:58:22 PM

Glad it worked for you. If you do go looking for a new fan, I've got the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro, which does the trick nicely, and isn't very expensive.
!