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Overheating cpu

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January 20, 2011 7:42:06 PM

Hello,
My cpu has been overheating with temps of 60+C during gameplay and 50+C idling. I have checked if the cooling fan was loose and it was not. I reapplied the thermal paste to the processor and still it is overheating. Why is this so?

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a b à CPUs
January 21, 2011 12:37:03 AM

What CPU do you have. For my system (Core 2 Quad), 50 degC seems relatively normal. Knowing what you have helps.

Intel's website it telling me that my CPU 'tCASE' is 71 degC. tJmax (Max Junction Temperature I think) is also a factor and I'm seeing people say its 95-100 degC. Most of our underhood automotive electronics are good to 110 or 120 degC. Anyway ... for my CPU... at least 71 degC would techinically be 'overheating'. That doesn't mean you don't want yours running cooler :) 

How is the heat inside the case? Do your exhaust fans blow out hot air... or generally cool/room temperature? If the ambient temperature inside the case is 40 or 45... your CPU idling at 50 is probably the CPU cooler doing a good job. If the ambient temps are low... and the heat is only at the CPU... then it could be an inefficient cooler (or dirty fins... old paste/TIM interfering).

Let me know what you see.
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January 24, 2011 11:34:07 PM

Hey sorry I didn't respond earlier. I have an intel core 2 quad q6600. Its not the idle speeds that are a problem but when I try to play call of duty the cpu easily hits 70 c and the game begins freezing.
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a b à CPUs
January 26, 2011 2:55:41 PM

70degC is higher than I would be happy with. Are you using the stock cooling fan (assuming a retail box CPU)? My Q6600 was getting into the 80s during Prime95 runs. I ended up trying out one of the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 heatsinks. It dropped 15-20degC off the max temp. If you don't mind rebates, you can find them for under $20 after MIR. I've seen a few other manufacturers with similar designs (plate with 3/4 heat pipes up into an array of fins with a 9 or 12cm box fan blowing air across the fins). They seem to get pretty favorable reviews... not elite cooling... but for a relatively inexpensive solution... I'm very happy with it.

Both below have rebates... Dark Knight includes the 'bracket set' that they normally sell for $10. Both are pretty much same price after shipping.
HDT-S1283 (LGA775)
HDT-S1283V Dark Knight (LGA 775 & LGA1155)

Other guys might suggest other coolers, but these are what I happened to use.
Good luck!
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a b à CPUs
January 26, 2011 3:01:23 PM

If you have a small/narrow case, the 9cm fan version might work well too. I haven't tried it though. Check the reviews.

HDT-S963

For my old 'standard' Antec case... I could see the top of the 12cm model heatsink about 1/4" away from the glass side panel... :)  Make sure you have room around the CPU and no strange 'beams' that might block it above in the case.

What I also like about these designs... is if the fan ever dies... its a stanard part you can replace... not some strange form factor with weird holes. Not a huge concern... but nice nonetheless. Included fans can be PWM controlled too and are very quiet.
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January 26, 2011 11:56:30 PM

I bought an aftermarket fan for $50 and it still didn't help. I'm running around 65-70c and I have freezes. I have a midtower case. It hasn't been a problem in the past. Could it be something with the motherboard?
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a b à CPUs
January 27, 2011 2:15:33 PM

It is possible that the motherboard is reporting the temp wrong, although that means it usually would have always been reporting the wrong temp. The 'sensor' for the processor temperature is on-die inside the CPU. Its highly unlikely that its 'bad' itself, but the data its sending may be misinterpreted. Sometimes a new BIOS will update the temperature reading algorithm.

What is the motherboard reporting for ambient temperature?
Is the air in the case (or exhausting out the back) warm/hot? Does the heatsink feel particularly hot? Have you been overclocking this CPU/RAM/GPU?

Going from 50c to 60/65c (idle to heavy load) isn't necessarliy out of the ordinary. The lockups are the bigger issue. Those will be a symptom of some other root cause. Running 65-70c probably isn't that root cause. I'd kick the tires on the rest of the system a little bit. Memtest... especially with the system 'heated up'. Extra heat in the system could be causing other components (memory or GPU) to slide out of their comfort zones leading to the instability. I'd also download a program like HWMonitor to monitor the GPU temps. I have friends who's GPUs overheating caused lockups.
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January 27, 2011 11:05:36 PM

The ambient temps are normal around 20 C. I should also add that I had a video card that had worked for for months before it also began overheating a few weeks ago. I replaced it and my gpu is no longer hot. I will do a bios update and give results. Thanks so much
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January 30, 2011 5:52:40 PM

How stuffed full of components and cables is your case? If you are not getting enough airflow to your CPU cooler, or there is a ton of dust stuck in between the cooling fan and the heat sink, that can make for a very toasty CPU. I clean dust out of CPU fans and heat sinks all the time and it makes a world of difference.

How long have you had this setup? While it is unlikely, the heat sink paste could have dried out. It usually does around 6-8 years not sooner, but if you do have a ton of dust in said heat sink it would contribute.
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January 30, 2011 7:10:45 PM

Dust can be a huge heat maker. Also adding a few case fans wouldn't hurt. I have a lot of loose cables in my computer That i need to tie up. Maybe you can try that.
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