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Need help!!! Computer locking up. Think it's a heat problem

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August 30, 2009 1:03:15 AM

So I have been having problems with my computer for several weeks. These issues occured with both Vista Ultimate and 7 Ultimate, both x64. I have been using Handbrake to encode my DVD's to WHS for storage. This of course maxes out my CPU to 100%. Typically cores 1 - 3 are around 76-78, with 4 around 80-82. It will normally lock up in about 45min. It was giving a BSOD with the "*** Hardware malfunction" message. However, there was no other messages about NMI parity. I ran memtest86 on all 4 sticks, came back fine. I tried using one stick at a time, same error message. I reset the BIOS and now with default settings I never get the BSOD, now it just freezes. I am almost positive it is a heat problem. I tried reseating my heatsink (XIGMATEK HDT-S1283) several times. Same issues and temps. I reinstalled the stock heatsink and it actually dropped the temps 1-2* and will run for about 4-6 hours now. However it still locks up and I am getting frustrated since I don't know what else to try. Can someone give me some suggestions?
Idle temps: 1 & 2 - 58*, 3 - 59*, 4 - 63* (core 4 is always hotter, no matter what I try)

System Specs:
CPU: Core 2 Quad Q9300
cooler: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 or stock)
Memory: (4) 2GB OCZ SLI Ready DDR2 800MHz
Mobo: ASUS P5N-T
Video: PNY 9800GT 1GB
HD: WD 650GB HD
Case: Coolermaster RC-631


The only other thing is that the MB has the 8pin aux power. My CPU ony has the 4 pin and that is what I use. Could that somehow cause instability?
August 30, 2009 1:24:28 AM

If you have a heat problem maybe you are using an inferior T I M,or too much,you only need the thickness of a cigarette paper,just to fill in the microholes between the two pieces of metal,as to the mobo's 8 pin connector I am only using 1 x 4 pin I think that the voltage is what is important,but then I only have a dual core..:) 
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August 30, 2009 1:30:10 AM

I am using Arctic Silver 5, and followed the directions on the website. I spread a thin line on the CPU and rotated the heatsink 1-2* to create an oval shape.
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August 30, 2009 1:44:26 AM

I would hate to do this, but would underclocking keep it from locking up?
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September 27, 2009 1:10:39 AM

82 degrees C is very hot. Personally, I get uncomfortable when I see a CPU over 60 degrees C.

FrostyTech.com specializes in reviewing Heat Sinks. Check it out.

Don't forget the chips on the Motherboard; Northbridge and Southbridge can overheat. MicroCool (among others) sell heatsinks for these.

And check the Power Supply as well.

Underclocking will reduce temperatures and increase reliability.
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September 27, 2009 2:43:18 AM

The Xigmatek HDT-S1283 is an excellent cooler, except for the stock push-pins. I use one myself with the optional retention bracket, and I've modified the cooler for push-pull fans.

Are you using a Retention Bracket?

Are you overclocked?

What is your Vcore?

What is your ambient?

All fans at 100% RPM?

Cable management neat and tidy?

My objective is to assure that enthusiasts understand Intel's specifications, standards and test methods, so they can better decide how to apply and manage their overclocking options.

From Intel's Processor Spec Finder - http://processorfinder.intel.com/List.aspx?ParentRadio=...

Vcore Max 1.3625v
Tcase Max (CPU temperature) 71c
Tjunction (Core temperature) 77c

From the Core i7 and Core 2 Temperature Guide - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/221745-29-sticky-core...


"Section 1: Introduction

Core i and Core 2 processors have 2 different types of temperature sensors; a CPU case (not computer case) Thermal Diode centered under the Cores, and Digital Thermal Sensors located on each Core. The case Thermal Diode measures Tcase (Temperature case), which is CPU temperature, and the Digital Thermal Sensors measure Tjunction (Temperature junction), which is Core temperature. Since these sensors measure 2 distinct thermal levels, there is a 5c temperature difference between them, which is Tcase to Tjunction Gradient. Core i7’s / i5’s and Core 2 Quad’s have 1 Tcase and 4 Tjunction sensors, while Core 2 Duo's have 1 Tcase and 2 Tjunction sensors ...

... The monitoring utilities provided by motherboard manufacturers monitor CPU temperature, while some popular freeware utilities monitor Core temperatures ... Real Temp ... is recommended for users interested in monitoring Core temperatures only ... SpeedFan monitors Tcase (CPU temperature) and Tjunction (Core temperature) ... "


The Thermal Specification shown in Intel's Processor Spec Finder is Tcase Max (CPU) not Tjunction (Core), which is a very common misconception among most enthusiasts. Since there's a 5c gradient between the CPU sensor and the Core sensors, (shown in the following Intel document) - http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0709/0709.1861.pdf - just add 5c to the value shown in the Spec Finder to determine the corresponding Core temperature, which is 77c for the Q9300.

Intel's second and frequently misunderstood Thermal Specification, Tjunction Max, (100c for the Core 2 Q9300) applies to overtemp protection such as Throttle and Shutdown, so you don't toast your transistors. As such, any i7 Core temperatures which exceed 77c should be considered "overtemp". Further, when specifications are exceeded, then processor degradation becomes a concern, which is explained in the following AnandTech article - http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3...

Prime95 Small FFT's is the Standard for processor thermal testing, because it's a steady-state 100% workload which yields steady-state temperatures, whereas Blend is a memory cyclic workload which yields fluctuating processor temperatures. Small FFT's will reach 97% thermal saturation within 7 to 8 minutes, so a 10 minute test is adequate. Thermal testing should be conducted as close as possible to 22c (72f) Standard ambient, with case covers removed, the computer clear of any desk enclosures, and all fans at 100% RPM to eliminate cooling variables, and to produce consistent and repeatable results for comparisons. If the Gradient between CPU temperature and "mean" (average) Core temperature is not ~ 5c, then BIOS is incorrectly coded. CPU temperature and Core temperatures can be individually calibrated in SpeedFan by following the Calibrations Section in the Temperature Guide.

OCCT and Burn Test (reminiscent of TAT) use LinPack, which shows thermal signatures that resemble the ups and downs of a bad day on the stock market, and cycle between light workloads, through test segments which spray all processor registers with all one's, (100% thermal load, which equates to 115% workload), and can push an overclocked Q9300 at Vcore Max 1.3625 straight into overtemp! :o 

Since there are very few applications or games that will spike, let alone sustain processor workloads beyond 70% to 85%, utilities which load all registers with all one's are not representative of real-world computing. While these utilities are certainly very useful for stability testing, they are inappropriate for thermal testing. The 3DMark benches are excellent for stability testing, as are applications for ripping and encoding.

The best anaolgy to make sense of CPU temperature and Core temperature is to compare them to a 4 cylinder car that has 5 temperature guages; 4 of the 5 guages are cyclinder head temperatures (closest to the heat source), and the 5th guage is the overall engine temperature, which is 5c lower than the other 4 guages, and is the temperature guage with which we're all familiar. We know that red-line for the Q9300 is 71c on the engine temp guage (Tcase Max) and 77c on the cylinder head temp guages (Tjunction), but if we push the engine too hard and peg all the guages, (95c Tcase overtemp / 100c Tjunction Max) then the engine will shut down.

If you'd like to learn more about processor temperatures, then read my Temperature Guide.

Hope this helps,

Comp :sol: 
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September 27, 2009 7:00:32 AM

try taking the side of the case off and aiming a fan at it.. like a 20" box fan

my q6600 with a 3.6ghz overclock didnt get that hot.
on the other hand usually when they overheat they goto 100C then throttle or reboot.
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