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Hot CPU

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April 6, 2010 6:33:25 AM

I'm running the following:

AMD Phenom II 955 BE 125W Pur. 11-09
Asus Crosshair II Formula BIOS 2402
2x PNY GeForce 9800GT 1GB video
Corsair PC6400 memory

All in an Antec P183 case.

My processor is idling at 50C on the low end and 55C on the high end. I keep the ambient temperature in my house around 20C. I called both AMD and Asus to see if there were some compatibility issue, but they both told me that they've neither seen nor heard of any temperature readout problems with this combination. I'm using CPUID HW Monitor for temperature references.

I upgraded the case recently to the P183 from an Antec Super Lanboy figuring that the high temp was due to the small space. I'm thinking about going liquid cooled, but before I go that route what would the best HSF be for my setup?

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April 6, 2010 8:09:58 AM

Are you currently using the stock heatsink? ~53C Idle is really high, even for the stock heatsink. Make sure that you have cleaned any dust inside and make sure that the heatsink is seated firmly. It might not be making very good contact with the CPU.

I would take off the heatsink, wipe clean the current thermal paste, then clean the surface of both the CPU and heatsink (with high % isopropyl alcohol, 90%+) and a coffee filter. Apply a new coat of thermal paste, and make sure the heatsink is connected firmly.

Also, run another temperature monitoring program such as speedfan and make sure they are reporting the same value.

As far as a new heatsink, the Coolermaster Hyper 212+ has been getting good reviews, especially for its pricepoint. I actually have one coming from Newegg in the next couple days, for my 955 BE C2 stepping as well. There are a lot of heatsink choices out there, frostytech has a lot of reviews for various heatsinks on the market.
April 6, 2010 8:27:21 AM

Yes. Stock heatsink. Right out of the box I wiped everything clean and used good thermal paste (before I install a CPU I always wipe it down with 91%). I've taken the whole assembly apart and blown it out, sprayed it with steam and put it back together and temps stay the same. I went and bought one of those big Dynatron vertically mounted 7 heat pipe HSFs and it didn't make a difference, so I took it and got my money back on it.

I've run HW Monitor, Speedfan, and Asus Probe and I can't get any kind of consistent temperature readings. HW Monitor is the most accurate; I took my laser thermometer and it was about 2 degrees away from what HW Monitor tells me.

I'll look at frostytech and the Hyper 212+.
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April 6, 2010 9:02:09 AM

It doesn't give me Vcore.

Asus Probe gives me 1.39V for Vcore. I don't guess it's an overvolting thing.
April 6, 2010 9:12:06 AM

VCore should be listed in the same Voltages panel in HWMonitor that also tells you the voltages of your PSUs rails, your RAM voltage, etc.

You aren't overclocking, correct? 1.39V on stock settings is really high IMO, especially when you can undervolt the 955BE a fairly good amount. On stock frequency, I can run my 955 at 1.18V easily, ~1.32V is the factory default for the 955BE IIRC. If you aren't overclocking, you can definitely go into your BIOS and manually set the VCore voltage. At 1.28V (motherboard set to auto), my temps range from 33C-51C, running the 955 @ 3.6GHz. I am using a Gigabyte 770TA-UD3.

Try undervolting your CPU, and see what the temperatures are like. Also, what is your fan setup? There is the top and back fans on that P138, do you have any fans in the front for intake as well? Also, what motherboard do you have?

EDIT: Here is what HWMonitor gives me, VCore is listed at the top.

April 6, 2010 9:32:47 AM

I'm not overclocking.

I have fans for front intake.

Asus Crosshair II Formula.
April 6, 2010 9:45:10 AM

winblowzxp said:
I'm not overclocking.

I have fans for front intake.

Asus Crosshair II Formula.

My bad, I see that in your original post. Sorry.

If Asus Probe gives you 1.39V as your Vcore, your motherboard is setting the voltage a little high, which does explain the high temperture. Do you know if the BIOS has the voltage set to Auto? If so, you can go in and manually reduce it. Your BIOS should have the voltage increments of around 0.025V, so you could set the CPU Voltage to -0.075V, thus bringing it to ~1.315V, almost to factory specifications. This has no detrimental effects to the CPU or performance.
April 6, 2010 12:43:09 PM

It's set to auto just because I'm lazy. I'll play around with voltages after a little shut eye.
April 6, 2010 6:09:45 PM

Alright, let us know what you come up with. I will check back in after I'm done at work today.

It seems like your motherboard is sending too much voltage (relatively speaking, of course) to the processor, thus creating the extra heat.

It was my mistake earlier though, it looks like the factory stock voltage for the 955 BE is 1.35V, not 1.32V like I stated earlier. So even reducing the voltage by 0.050V will be sufficient, but you can easily run it at ~1.25V. Tom's had an undervolting article on the 955BE, and an Intel Quad (can't remember the exact processor) a little while ago.
April 7, 2010 8:40:32 AM

I've reduced the voltage, but it only reduced my idle to 50C. I'm going to remove one of my video cards and see if that has any effect.
April 7, 2010 12:14:07 PM

I dropped the voltage down to 1.3125 V, I'm idling at around 44C. I ran Prime95 for just over an hour and had an average temperature of 58.8C at 100% load. I still think that my idle is a bit high...I guess I'll try out that Coolermaster HSF. After that, then I guess I'll have to go liquid.
April 7, 2010 7:04:11 PM

If you aren't overclocking, liquid wouldn't be the best way to go.

Your temps are actually looking good now, for the stock cooler anyway. I would definitely expect the Hyper 212+ to do really well. At 1.28V (what my mobo decided was "normal") with my current Freezer 64 Pro, I was hitting 56C @ 3.6GHz max in Prime95. You can drop the voltage even lower, I am back to 1.18V @ 3.2Ghz and my max temperature was 46C for hours of gaming (SC2 and Bad Company 2), Prime95 gets it up to 48C.

Here is the undervolting article here at Tom's: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/undervolt-cpu-pheno... Aha! That is where I got the 1.32V as default, that is what their system was at. AMD says 1.35V, but that is very generous.
April 8, 2010 3:02:15 AM

The reason I'm not overclocking is because this CPU has always run hot. I'll pickup one of those Hyper 212+'s.
April 8, 2010 9:37:33 AM

winblowzxp said:
The reason I'm not overclocking is because this CPU has always run hot. I'll pickup one of those Hyper 212+'s.


Alright, the Hyper 212+ should definitely do you well. Mine is actually coming in the mail tomorrow, so I will install it after I get home from work tomorrow and see what the new temps are. In case you wanted some more info before purchasing one.
April 8, 2010 5:35:09 PM

I'm now running at 3.6 GHz, idle at around 41C on 1.325 Vcore.
April 8, 2010 8:56:18 PM

I went out and bought that Hyper 212+. It's a huge honkin' HSF, but I got it installed. Not bad...it's quieter than before, and it keeps my temps down pretty good.

April 9, 2010 2:35:52 AM

winblowzxp said:
I went out and bought that Hyper 212+. It's a huge honkin' HSF, but I got it installed. Not bad...it's quieter than before, and it keeps my temps down pretty good.


My Hyper 212+ came in before work, but I just got it installed now. Yeah, it is pretty big, there is seriously 3-4 mm of clearance between my side panel and the heatpipes. Glad to see your temps are down, the heatsink is a lot better than stock.

Your temps are looking good, is that still at 3.6GHz?
April 9, 2010 6:09:01 AM

Still at 3.6. After running Seti@home, I have a top end at 55C. At 3.6, my Windows CPU rating went from a 7.3 to a 7.4. I'll try 3.8 next...
April 9, 2010 11:49:32 PM

Nice! What paste did you use for your application?

I'm currently topping out at 55C, 1.31VCore @ 3.7GHz. Using AS5 (only has been applied for 22 hours, still needs a lot of time to cure) for the thermal compound.
April 10, 2010 8:01:54 AM

I'm using the paste that came with the HSF.
April 10, 2010 8:08:51 AM

Ahh. I reseated mine, and applied a new layer of AS5, and I'm down to 53C max stress after an hour of Prime95. Since the AS5 was only about an hour old at the time of the test, I expect to get a couple more degrees shaved off.

If I get curious maybe I will try the paste that came with the heatsink.
April 10, 2010 8:42:04 AM

I wouldn't bother with that stuff. It's thick and doesn't stick very well, except to your fingers. I just don't know where my good stuff is right now, as most of my stuff is still packed up.
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