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Is my Athlon X2 really this hot?

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January 20, 2010 10:46:21 PM

Thanks in advance for any advice.

I'm building a rig for a friend out of some components we both have lying around and I'm having this strange overheating problem. These are the relevant components:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GHz 65W Dual-Core Black Edition CPU
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 780G MB
EVGA GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 Video Card
ATX tower; case fans front and back, moving air in the same direction as the CPU cooler

The BIOS claims in the chip idles at 47C. In Windows, it idles in the low 40s. When we run any new-ish game (DragonAge is his test) or Prime95, it climbs steadily to the mid 90s. Turn off the game and it drops back into the 40s. (Same numbers from Everest, Speedfan, Coretemp, and the monitoring program that comes from Gigabyte.) But the system never crashes or shuts down. I've seen it at 104C...but the rig keeps running like everything is fine. Can it really be that hot?

I remember hearing somewhere that people had trouble with chips with these Brisbane cores reporting funny temps (back when they were new). If there is a thread on this somewhere here...many thanks for pointing me to it. (Searched but couldn't find one.)

Just FYI....everything is running at stock voltage and clock speed, the case is open, and I'm pretty confident in my thermal-paste/heatsink application, having done this numerous times before. In fact, that AC Freezer 64 has always worked like a charm, but we swapped it for the stock cooler and applied new paste (Arctic Silver 5) just in case -- same deal.

I'm close to the point where I just turn off the alarm and tell him to play his game and see what happens. Any ideas (that don't require buying tools or components) for figuring out whether the chip is really that hot?

More about : athlon hot

a c 131 à CPUs
January 20, 2010 11:16:58 PM

I can't see it having reached that temperature and not majorly hindering performance. Here's the easy way to tell:
Open the case and feel the heatsink. Is it hot? Do you say "ow" when you touch it or is it just nice and warm?

Check to make sure you don't have it set on F instead of C.

I'd bet a problem with the monitoring with that chip.
a c 158 à CPUs
January 20, 2010 11:26:15 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

104C?, if that was true, your CPU had died a long time ago.
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a b à CPUs
January 21, 2010 5:39:05 AM

I have an X2 5600+, which idles at just over 30C and never climbs above the low 60's even when working insanely hard. So either your monitored temps are faulty, or your CPU is a glutton for punishment...
January 21, 2010 6:46:12 AM

Check your cpu voltage in the bios. Some motherboards set the voltage too high.
a b à CPUs
January 21, 2010 12:03:35 PM

Are you looking at your CPU temp, or GPU temp? Your CPU will not run at 100c. (Well it might for a short bit, but it ain't going to work right, or for very long)
65 is getting hot for a CPU, and usually your CPU will start having errors, lockups, bluescreens etc. if it gets much hotter. If this is your CPU temp reading, there is something way wrong with the way your temps are being reported.
a b à CPUs
January 21, 2010 3:39:15 PM

Seen some overheating 5200's

The pc shuts down dead as soon as it gets around 90...
Will turn back on again shortly after.

use hwmonitor
January 22, 2010 4:25:11 PM

thanks for the advice. I'm sure I'm looking at the CPU temp....and every program says the same thing: under load it climbs to anywhere between 95C and 105C. He's run his game at those supposed temps for several consecutive hours. Heatsink in warm to the touch. Gotta be a goofy sensor or something.

Runs stable at 1.275V, so we're going to turn off the alarm and assume that an undervolted Athlon 64 X2 5000 isn't actually running at 100C.
!