Getting CPU temp under 100C on a budget

Hi guys?, first of all let me preface, am I fighting a lost cause? I started tinkering with my "big-box-store" HP Pavilion 6787 (I know, but hear me out) and I'm reading threads around CPU cooling.

Before I get into more details, a little background. I've gotten back into FPS games and I'm not ready to pony up +2K for a hardcore rig. I like to jump online for a couple hours each night to play a few rounds of BF3. So stock equipment was obviously crap, so I upped the card to a 560ti (metric) and also dropped in a 720W PSU.

I've had this computer for around 18 months and haven't been paying much attention to the CPU temps after installing the new equipment. The other night I decided to run CORETemp to check things out while playing and noticed the CPU temps averaging between 100-111C during the couple of hours of gaming.

If I understand from the threads and opinions, this temp is near meltdown for a CPU (CPU model AMD Phenom II x4 820, 2.8ghz).

That being said, I want to bring the temps down to that sweet spot under load. My initial thought is to upgrade the CPU cooling unit and case fans so would appreciate your opinions or advice in achieving this. By the way I get between 45-60+ fps with this current setup vis-a-vis Afterburner. GPU is slightly OC'd and runs around 60-70C.

If we get a new PC, it'll more than likely be a custom rig, but again I'm just tinkering for now with a self-imposed budget of no more than $150.
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More about getting temp 100c budget
  1. Sounds more like a poor CPU/heatsink installation.

    First ensure that the CPU/heatsink installation is good. Re-install if necessary using Arctic Silver 5 per established procedures.

    http://www.arcticsilver.com/instructions.htm
  2. I am surprised that you haven't already had a melt-down.

    The best air cooler is the Noctua NH C14, the best closed loop coolers are the Antec H20 920 and the Corsair H80 and H100. They all come under your budget.
  3. Ubrales said:
    Sounds more like a poor CPU/heatsink installation.

    First ensure that the CPU/heatsink installation is good. Re-install if necessary using Arctic Silver 5 per established procedures.

    http://www.arcticsilver.com/instructions.htm


    Actually I haven't touched the CPU, yet. It's still the stock configuration. But, I'll checkout the link you posted. Thanks! -VLM
  4. What's case airflow like?
  5. chesteracorgi said:
    I am surprised that you haven't already had a melt-down.

    The best air cooler is the Noctua NH C14, the best closed loop coolers are the Antec H20 920 and the Corsair H80 and H100. They all come under your budget.


    Yeah, I'm surprised too. But thanks for the recommendations, I'll do my homework these units. Any recommendations around exhaust fans?
  6. Robi_g said:
    What's case airflow like?


    Poor at best. There's a small intake slot at the base of the front panel. Beyond that is the HDD cage and then a bunch of wires, then the RAM modules, then the CPU, above the CPU is the 560ti.
  7. Well what kinda of case are you using?, temps depend on the Air flow. Airflow depends on the Case
  8. Rockdpm said:
    Well what kinda of case are you using?, temps depend on the Air flow. Airflow depends on the Case


    Here's what I'm working with.



  9. Yea uh, get a new case and move all your parts over to the new case. Not much airflow to work with, with that
  10. Rockdpm said:
    Yea uh, get a new case and move all your parts over to the new case. Not much airflow to work with, with that


    Since I'm just tinkering, I was trying to avoid going that route.

    Damned thermodynamics!
  11. AMD said their safe temp for the phenom cpus were around 65C ... did you check and make sure the heatsink wasn't clogged with dust? even on an hp those temps are pretty outrageous.
  12. Can you open the front cover and make a airflow hole down there? It may help.

    Also, what about other temps? If it is really airflow issue, other temp sensors will likely show high temp as well. Did you ever try running it with the side panel off?

    As noob2222 mentioned dust-clogged heatsink can be the cause. You may want to buy a dust-off spray and remove all the cloggings there.
  13. I have a friend with that case and similar amd CPU, and it doesnt get NEAR as hot. Sure the case doesnt have alot of air flow but that shouldnt be the cause of 100c temps. Something else is wrong here, likely something very wrong with the CPU cooler fan or setup. Remove, clean, re-paste. Also a gaming rig doesnt have to cost anywhere near 2k, thats a common misconception about gaming pcs. A 400-600$ rig can play anything fine, most games at high settings.
  14. It was pretty clean the last time I checked, but I'll check again. I'll have to see if I changed the unit of measure from C to F on CORETemp. But a CPU under load @ 100-111 F is pretty damn cool running BF3.
  15. actually, 43c (110F) seems pretty accurate, the 800 series didn't have l3 cache, and ran considerably lower than the normal phenom chips

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2009/02/11/amd-phenom-820-810-720-710-am3-cpus/12
  16. I would bet money, something is wrong with the heatsink... make sure the fan is turning.
    I would reinstall the heatsink with new thermal paste. I found the generic stuff is about the same as good stuff, especally with the stock coolers.
    Take the old heatsink off clean it with a soft lint free cloth. If the old thermal paste wont come up use a hot damp cloth on both the chip mating surface and the heat sink.
    Use a bb sized dab of thermal paste and put it back together.
  17. If it really WAS 100-111C, it should have been throttling. Did you ever notice any slowdown in the game?
  18. bucknutty said:
    I would bet money, something is wrong with the heatsink... make sure the fan is turning.
    I would reinstall the heatsink with new thermal paste. I found the generic stuff is about the same as good stuff, especally with the stock coolers.
    Take the old heatsink off clean it with a soft lint free cloth. If the old thermal paste wont come up use a hot damp cloth on both the chip mating surface and the heat sink.
    Use a bb sized dab of thermal paste and put it back together.


    Ok, I'll check it out as well when I open it up tonight. Thanks for the feedback all!
  19. DJDeCiBeL said:
    If it really WAS 100-111C, it should have been throttling. Did you ever notice any slowdown in the game?


    I've noticed some, but only when I'm playing huge levels with 32+ players. But I've always dismissed it as server lag b/c I have 25/25mbps connection. Other than that I get rates around 50-60+ with BF2BC and 45-60+ with BF3 @ 1080p respectively on a 23" LCD.
  20. 100 bucks?

    Easy: HAF 912 + Cooler master 212 = about 70 bucks.

    But you GPU temps signal that it is not just the case at work here. I'd get some thermal paste, wash out the heat sink, and re install. Total cost, a hour + 15 bucks for good TP.
  21. loops said:
    100 bucks?

    Easy: HAF 912 + Cooler master 212 = about 70 bucks.

    But you GPU temps signal that it is not just the case at work here. I'd get some thermal paste, wash out the heat sink, and re install. Total cost, a hour + 15 bucks for good TP.


    Damn, I like that setup. So much for tinkering...
  22. Just reapply thermal paste, costs roughly 10 dollars.
  23. sounds to me like the of is reading 'f rather than 'c that cp shuts down at 80'c and would pop if it went on to 100.
  24. Are you sure the Tj. Max is correctly being set? I've had to manually adjust the Offset 10c before. Try Real Temp and see if you get the same results.
  25. UPDATE: Ok guys I caved and took loops' advice a bought a new case (HAF 922). After transferring the guts from the hp to the new case, I generated a new issue. No video! For the most part it was a simple swap.

    When I went to power up the computer everything turns on but no video. I noticed the HDD light was not flashing after powering it on. Could I have trashed the HDD in the process?

    I put my hand on the HDD and could feel it spinning and also checked all the connections and everything was in place. Is there something I missed? The GPU fan is spinning but I'm not getting any video signals. Not do I see the he'd LED flashing.

    Am I missing something?
  26. check:
    that the gpu is seated in place.
    power wire to the gpu.
    aditional power wire to the board, up by the cpu.
  27. whoa..111'c..

    according of amd explanation, phenom class cpu will be automaticly shutdown if it approaches 90'c.
    the absolute limit is 97c that is the temp where things inside the chip starts to melt..

    that's why it's almost imposibble if proccessor reach more than 100'c.

    *maybe* your motherboard temperature sensor did'nt read accurately..

    also, amd processor has no throttle function...the cpu will not throttle if it gets to hot.
  28. Quaddro said:
    whoa..111'c..

    according of amd explanation, phenom class cpu will be automaticly shutdown if it approaches 90'c.
    the absolute limit is 97c that is the temp where things inside the chip starts to melt..

    that's why it's almost imposibble if proccessor reach more than 100'c.

    *maybe* your motherboard temperature sensor did'nt read accurately..

    also, amd processor has no throttle function...the cpu will not throttle if it gets to hot.


    I see, thanks for the note. It must be that at some point I switched the C to F when I was messing around with the settings. But now I couldn't even tell you for sure because when I startup my system i don't get a video signal after swapping cases last night. All fans are running the case the GPU, CPU, I can hear the HD spinning the DVD rom also opens and closes. But when I check the the HD led I don't see it flashing. I've triple checked all the mobo wires. Even followed the checklist and nothing!?!
  29. if you are sure that everything running well before swapping your component to the new case, the only possible thing is that your motherboard didn't seat properly, and make some short with the case..

    try to build your rig out of the case..
  30. UPDATE: Ok guys, problem solved! I had friend who works on computers who helped me out and solved the start up issue. All that was needed was to re-seat the RAM modules. Once that done my system started up w/o any issues.

    I ran CPU-Z, CORE Temp and Afterburner so here are my CPU and GPU before and after temps

    Purchase HAF 922 ($89) / Cooler Master 212 Evo ($34) - $15 discount = $123

    CPU (AMD Phenom II x4 840T) - (new CUP fan not yet installed)
    Before 100-111 F
    After 90-98 F

    GPU (Nvidia GTX 560 Ti)
    Before 68-71 C
    After 58-65 C

    BF3 FPS averaging in upper 55-60+ @ 1920 x 1080 auto balanced video setting.

    Thanks all on the thread for the great input. This has been a great learning experience.
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