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GA-X58A-UD3R constant beep when in cpu-intensive apps

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August 6, 2011 8:55:05 PM

Hi,

I have a Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R in my main PC for about 8 months now (full specs below), but from time to time (say every 2 weeks), it starts beeping in a intermittent way, starting with short random beeps, to the point where the beep becomes constant.
The first time it occurred, I simply rebooted thinking it was a false alarm and it went away, but I am now convinced it is related by CPU-intensive applications (e.g. batch image processing), and indeed if I stop the process, the beep stops after 30 seconds or so. No crash, no functional problem, only this beep.
Last time it happened (today), I tried to increase the airflow by setting the CPU fan to the max, to no avail. I also tried setting the case extraction fan to the max, but it doesn't seem to change anything either. The GPU heatsink is cold, as are RAM heatsinks. Only the chipset's heatsink is hot, but nothing alarming afaict. Room temperature is around 24°C / 75°F.
I cannot see any other way to improve the cooling.
The motherboard is at its default factory settings, no manual overclocking or other tweaks.
I am puzzled because there is no mention of constant beeps in the motherboard's manual (except upon POST), so my assumption that it is linked to temperature may be false...

Any idea what the cause could be ? Any hint to solve it ?

All information or advice is welcome of course...


Vincent

PS : Full PC specs :
- GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R Mobo
- Intel Core i7-950 CPU
- 3x DDR3 2GB Corsair XMS3
- ASUS ENGT240 SILENT/DI/1GD3 graphics card
- Antec NSK6582B case
- 2x OCZ Vertex 2 Extended 60GB in Stripe for system
- 3x Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB in RAID5 for data
- LG BH10LS30 BD writer
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
a c 715 V Motherboard
August 7, 2011 2:02:22 PM

It's either airflow heat or failing PSU.

Stress the CPU by running Prime95 and monitor the temps with HWMonitor. IF everything is Default in the BIOS, except SATA-> RAID and the temps are running high then IMO improve airflow or replace the Thermal Paste**.
Prime 95 -> http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/
HWMonitor -> http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

**Assuming your case has poor airflow; I looked as best I could and I did not see any top-out fans or grills and all of the airflow seems to be front -> rear plus what looks like an 80mm opt side. Ideally you want your Fans to generate a sight negative pressure {more air out than in}, but with hotter X58's you also want if possible Top -> out. Perhaps the added side-out might make the difference.

Test, pull the side panel off. Test the temps with side panel ON & OFF for 15 minutes if the difference is >3C~5C then you've got an airflow problem. IF the temps are very close, but the CPU is running hot then replace the thermal paste.

I have 10 CM 690 II Advanced for my office and they offer excellent airflow and a good price -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 715 V Motherboard
August 7, 2011 3:47:41 PM

The way I read his Temps is by 'feel' and not quantitatively e.g. BIOS reading temps. In most instances a BIOS Alarm of 'constant' Beeps is indicative of a PSU 'problem.'

Q to OP - are there any Yellow/Red MOBO LEDs lit?
Q to OP - what are the 'actual' Temps?
Related resources
a c 715 V Motherboard
August 7, 2011 4:26:13 PM

You can have a 90C vs 45C CPU Temp and you on most HSF couldn't 'feel' any differences to save your life. Again, Prime95 + 'Temp App' if the Temps are all good then ---> PSU take 'my' #1 vote.
August 7, 2011 10:30:15 PM

Wow, what an active forum, and with insightful responses in only a few hours. Thanks, guys, it's much appreciated.

So if I summarize :
1) Put actual numbers on my "hot/cool" sensation by running HWMonitor : Done.
2) Stress test CPU with Prime95. Done. Rather CPU-intensive, indeed :-).
3) Take a look at the Mobo leds : Noted


Result :
Starting measure while PC was idle for a few hours, CPU and Mobo sensors are around 43°C/109°F. GPU is around 33°C/91°F
Launching Prime95, beep started very quickly (after approx. 15 seconds), just when one of the Mobo sensors reaches 60°C/140°F. CPU is always a few degrees ahead that number. (Full capture here : http://screencast.com/t/6QzuT5gph ). No motherboard LED lit.
I stopped Prime95 when CPU reached 70°C/158°F.

The case indeed has an 80mm opening on the left with an "air guide" (a kind of extendable 80mm tube). Just noticed I forgot to mention that the cooler is a ZALMAN CNPS8000A (+ suitable adapter), with a fan parallel to the motherboard, not like the original Intel one, so the tube is almost exactly in front of the fan to get fresh air in. Here is a picture of the inside of the PC with the tube and here's a picture taken through the grid. The extraction is made through the PSU + a 12cm fan on the back side. So apart frem setting the fans speeds (Zalman + tri-speed back fan) to the highest setting (which I did this morning), I really think airflow cannot be improved and is rather good (except for GPU, but HWMonitor is reassuring in that regard).

The way I see it, the most probable cause would be the thermal paste. I used the one provided with the fan, but I remember thinking that the quantity was really scarce. If I still get the symptoms after changing it, I can try changing the PSU, but I don't think a bad PSU would cause a CPU overheat, right ?

Finally, I can probably adjust the thresholds in the BIOS, but what would be "reasonable" settings according to your experience ? What temperatures should be considered "normal" when running prime95 ?

Thanks again for your help,

Best regards,

Vicne
a c 715 V Motherboard
August 7, 2011 11:26:43 PM

Prime95 only tests the CPU and has an okay RAM test. Those Temps are way high for 'stock' but nothing to cause your problem

This image screams 'Wash Me'; get a couple canisters of compressed air and a vacuum and clean it all out. You'll knock off 5~10C. Further the image suggests as 450W PSU which is the bare minimum. If the PSU is 'cheap' cheap capacitors and cannot keep up with load {dirty power} or older then the electrolytic capacitor aging reduces its' capacity. Therefore, IMO I'd get a new PSU and if it were 'me' 550W~650W. IF you can easily hear your PSU and especially if the PSU fans are getting load under load with Prime95 then clearly your PSU is having problems. IF your PSU fails then you're risking everything it's connected to: MOBO, GPU, CPU, RAM, etc.



This is with 'I'm in a hurry' cable management; since then I've added filters and push/pulls & reversed to blowing air out to keep the dust out, and installed a filtered side 120mm fan.
August 8, 2011 10:15:19 PM

Agreed on the dust. I admit I discovered the quantity when taking the picture but didn't want to cheat and clean it up because it could be part of the problem indeed. Will sure make a real cleanup there when I change the paste.
As for the PSU, it's this Antec 430D that was included with the case : http://www.antec.com/pdf/flyers/EA430D_flyer_EN.pdf
It's only 8 months old so I hope the capacitors are not aging so fast... My previous - raher similar - Antec case still has its stock PSU and it's nearly 4 years old and my kids run games daily on it, with absolutely no failure...
I didn't try removing RAM modules (I admit I don't really see the point...).
Oh, by the way, jaquith, your setup looks really neat. Congrats...
Thank you both again for your help.

Vicne
a c 715 V Motherboard
August 8, 2011 10:36:44 PM

The PSU can easily have blown a capacitor and it should be under warranty.

I wasn't trying to criticize but I was trying to suggest to both clean-up the dust and organize the cables. My CM 690 II Advanced case helps a lot because I can pull the otherwise rats nest behind the MOBO tray. You can tie-off your cabling/wires easy - 5~10 minutes.
May 30, 2012 12:35:05 AM

Vincent,

Did you ever track down the problem?

I have the exact same problem.
May 30, 2012 6:55:07 PM

Hi,
Well, all that was said above still stands.
I admit I still didn't take the time to disassemble the heatsink from the processor. I don't feel comfortable cleaning old thermal paste paste and putting new one instead.
For now it seems increasing the beep threshold one step (10°C) in the BIOS almost made the beeps disappear. They now occur only under very heavy load.

Vicne
!