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Newly built system; trying to test build

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November 23, 2010 9:37:33 AM

I recently put together the system below, and following Tom's guide on putting together a computer, my next steps are to test the stability of the machine and benchmark it. I downloaded the SpeedFan and ran the Prime95 Blend test. I was afraid to run it for long as the temp went up from 20something to 68 celsius (the little icon by the temp turned into a flame which scared me off continuing). So....how hot is too hot? I only have the stock heat sink with OCZ Freeze thermal compound. I want to test the system, not damage it!! I have not done anything to OC (at most, I might set the mobo to auto OC once I read up on that and know everything is stable).

Second, I tried my damnedest to get Futuremark 3D Vantage to work, but it won't post my results after the test is over, so I can't see how my system stacks up! I've searched their posts, but anything relevent (all posts relating to not posting results) date back to early this year or older, and say they've fixed the problem with Windows 7. Specs for the program only list Vista as the OS. I've emailed them, but haven't gotten any response. I won't pay for a full-version of a product that doesn't work as freeware and has such poor documentation. A lot of people seem to think it's great, though...am I doing something wrong?? I also created a login at Futuremark because someone's post asked the user if they were logged in when they took the test. Oh, and i also tried their online benchmarking test, but that hangs up or doesn't work in both Firefox and IE7.



Case:Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Mobo: ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 AMD Motherboard

CPU:AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition

PSU: SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model

HDD: OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX90G 3.5" 90GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Video: NVidea GeForce 9800 GT card

OS: Windows 7

(installed mobo drivers from CD, latest video drivers and all the windows updates)
November 23, 2010 11:05:51 AM

As far as the temps, 68 C is not too hot for a CPU with a stock cooler. Remember, the 20ish temps were the ambient temps in your house, no CPU will stay at that once it starts churning. Besides, modern CPus have thermal protection on-die, they will just shut off before damaging temps are reached. I would say, go ahead and stress test the system as you like. If you want to have lower temps, and therefore have some headroom for OCing, I would recommend getting an aftermarket heatsink and some good thermal paste and replace the stock cooler.
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November 23, 2010 2:59:37 PM

+1 on the aftermarket heatsink / fan. I have a VERY similar combo to yours with the exception of having a Propeller CPU cooler. I am at 49 degrees at full load while running two cores. MB temps are @ 48. Four cores put me in the lower 50's on the CPU.... Artic Silver 5 + new cooler and you should see some serious decreases in temp (assuming you have sufficient case fans).

BTW - Kick that 9800 GT card up through the overclocking utility... I don't see noticable differences in temp when overclocking 10% - 15%. On your CPU, just kick your miltiplier to hit 3.6 GHz, stabiltiy test, then call it a day.
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November 24, 2010 12:44:11 AM

Thanks for the help. Sadam, can you hit me with a good link for kicking up the 9800? Don't see anything about OC'ing in the nvidea control panel. Or were you saying in the bios change to 3.6GHz? Either way, I'd like to read up on it. I've no exp with overclocking and I'd like to eeeeease into it.

Malmental, I'm surprised you have not heard of OCZ Freeze. It supposedly runs cooler than AS5 and has no curing time. At least, that's what I read.

I will look into heatsinks. Do they all require drilling mounting brackets into the mobo?

And is there somewhere I can benchmark my system and compare to other similar builds? Not just temps at 100%, but speed, etc.? I don't have a primo system, but I'd like to know where it stands.

Thanks again!
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November 24, 2010 8:55:41 AM

buzznapper said:

I will look into heatsinks. Do they all require drilling mounting brackets into the mobo?


NO! NEVER! You'll want to find a quality heat-sink and fan (HSF) that fits the socket for your specific motherboard. I just bought a CoolerMaster HSF for a friend and discovered that it didn't fit an LGA 1156 socket as advertised. Do your research and ensure that the HSF will mount correctly to your CPU and motherboard. Never, ever drill holes in your motherboard. :non:  ... ;) 
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November 24, 2010 9:03:23 AM

lol, Sardason, I only saw one instance of someone installing an aftermarket, and it scared me off. That's why I asked. I could NEVER bring myself to drill into my mobo!

And Malmental, I see I misread your original comment on OCZ. I used it because my bro-in-law had some already. Otherwise, I probably would have ordered AS5. Didn't even think to look at Radio Shack! Good tip.
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November 24, 2010 9:34:35 AM

buzznapper said:
lol, Sardason, I only saw one instance of someone installing an aftermarket, and it scared me off. That's why I asked. I could NEVER bring myself to drill into my mobo!


Sounds like you've got common sense! Although, in all honesty, the thought crossed my mind when I just recently tried to install an aftermarket heat-sink and fan (HSF) on a Gigabyte motherboard. The HSF was supposed to fit the 1156 socket for the motherboard, but there was no bracket included for the 1156. Sanity quickly returned, and I realized it was RMA time! :fou: 

Honestly, don't be scared off by installing an aftermarket. Just be meticulous about it. Make sure the HSF is specifically designed for your CPU configuration on your motherboard.

The most important aspect to installing an HSF is applying the thermal paste correctly to the CPU, and taking great care to ensure that the HSF is seated evenly on the CPU and mounted securely to the motherboard according to manufacturer's instructions.

I recommend using a good silver thermal paste like Artic Silver and following the application instructions closely. http://www.arcticsilver.com/instructions.htm

I always install aftermarket HSF's on the computers I build, particularly with the advent of the more powerful processors available today. GOOD LUCK!
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