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MiniITX HTPC build and question about heat

Last response: in Systems
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April 17, 2010 7:32:26 PM

I just put together a small HTPC using the following components:

Processor: Intel I3-530
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ZOTAC H55ITX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Winsis Wi-02
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: SeaSonic SS-300TFX Bronze 300W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: A-Data 4 GB DDR3 1333 RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint 1TB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Drive: Lite-ON slimline
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Only issue I had on setup was the powersupply that came with the winsis case didn't work, so I replaced it with the seasonic supply. I also needed a slimline sata to sata adaptor for the optical drive. Now everything is up and running and the system works great connected by HDMI to my TV.

The CPU temperature, however, seems to run quite high. It remains steady at between 50 and 60 degrees Celcius (according to Core Temp) regardless of whether the system is idle or running media. My question for the community is if this is too high? So far it has been able to run for long periods of time with no stability issues, but I don't want sustained high temperatures to ruin the hardware. I am using the stock cpu fan with A5 silver paste. I am considering an aftermarket cooler such as:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
However, the case is quite small and only has about 70 mm of upwards clearance and 50-60 mm clearance on each side, so that limits what fans/heatsinks can be used.

Any advice on the heat issue would be greatly appreciated.
April 17, 2010 8:14:08 PM

50-60°C is high for idle temps. If you have your system running with the case open, do the temps change any? If so, you probably need more airflow in the case. If the CPU remains hot with the case open, it could mean you have poor contact with the heatsink and you should try to remount.

I'm curious, what kind of temps do you see when you load the system?

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April 17, 2010 10:02:22 PM

Thanks for the response . Opening the case doesn't lower the temperature. HOWEVER, I ran toast in order to test the load temps and when the two cores were at 100% load the temperature dropped from 60 degrees to 40 degrees right away. As soon as I stopped running toast, the temperature went back to 60. Any idea what could be causing this?
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April 17, 2010 10:10:19 PM

That's all crazy. Maybe try a different temp monitoring program like speedfan or coretemp.

Also, check your CPU volts when you do any testing. Maybe for some reason the volts are wonky which could affect temperatures
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April 18, 2010 1:43:11 AM

I've been using coretemp but I realize now that I've been misreading it. It reads 50-60 degrees from TJmax.

Speedfan and hmonitor both report 40 degrees idle and up to 70-80 under full load. The bios says 55 degrees as cpu temp though. Not sure how to interpret all these datapoints.

The system seems to perform fine, so maybe it doesn't matter...

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