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Wolfdale E5200 dying? Loss of overclock speed

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August 5, 2012 12:32:04 PM

Hello all,

Was wondering if the community can help me get back to a decent CPU speed again.

Just yesterday I noticed that my processor was running at 100% and there was no spiking at all. I've been experiencing some random resets and freezes as well in the past week or so. I unplugged power, and began to clean out dust from case and reassembled.

Now when I turn on computer it won't load with the old OC settings I had which pushed the Wolfdale E5200 from stock 2.5 to 3.75 Ghz.

I have been running this chip at this speed for nearly 3 years now and wonder if that is the general life cycle of it.

Note that the computer does load and run on the stock speed, but I can't overclock it at all.
August 5, 2012 1:35:09 PM

Would running two monitors drain the CPU life faster? I just added one a month ago.
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a c 118 à CPUs
August 5, 2012 1:50:44 PM

While your CPU starting to go bad might be a possibility, another quite likely candidate is your PSU since ~3 years is where so-so models often start having problems.
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August 5, 2012 2:41:07 PM

nah, had this problem with my E6600. all your cpu needs is a wee bit more voltage. just go in the BIOS and give it the smallest voltage bump you can - it should start running again at your original overclock. :bounce: 
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a c 152 à CPUs
August 5, 2012 2:48:22 PM

If your CPU won't overclock then your motherboard is preventing it. It's likely that the CPU is failing at your overclocked level so regardless of what you do, the motherboard detects it's not working thus it crashes and resets your BIOS settings.

There's nothing you can do. You can try to overclock starting at a lower level but you'll crash again at some point.

Overvolt? You can experiment with that, but it's also possible that you'll kill your CPU completely too. It's hard to say.

Also, don't overclock your RAM. That's one of the biggest mistakes:
1. overclock the CPU (by increasing the Base Clock)
2. RAM runs too fast
3. Drop the RAM MULTIPLIER so that the RAM doesn't exceed it's max frequency rating

Some motherboard BIOS might manage the RAM automatically but I've seen this many times.

Monitors:
A monitor has absolutely no effect on a CPU but if you ran more software, thus ran the CPU more this could have hastened your CPU's demise.

SUMMARY:
- you killed your CPU at that overclock level
- either don't overclock or ramp it up slowly until it crashes then back off at least 300MHz
- overvolting - might solve your problem, might kill your CPU. No way to be certain. If you feel likely try it.
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August 5, 2012 3:14:19 PM

I was able to have it running at 2.87 or so until it crashed about 15 minutes later.

Currently I'm trying to see if a safe mode microsoft security essentials full scan will reveal anything. I suppose I should do a Malwarebytes safe mode scan as well to be safe. Perhaps a rogue virus was eating up my CPU speed?

As far as overclocking goes, the RAM never exceeded its max frequency rating so that's all set there.

The PSU is what came with my case.

MoBO: gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX
Graphics card: Sapphire 100225L Radeon HD 3870 %12 MB 256-bit GDDR4
CPU: Intel Wolfdale E5200 2.5 GHz
RAM: 2x2GB Corsair DDR2
Cooler: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120mm
HDD: WD Caviar Black 640 GB
Case: Antec 300 case
PSU: Antec 430W

I ordered all these parts almost exactly 3 years ago from today (minus a week).

The settings on in the BIOS allow me to ramp up voltage, though I'm not sure at what setting I could put it to possibly increase performance. I'd rather know for certain that it's my CPU that needs replacing and get whatever living seconds it has out of it then get its replacement.

Furthermore, is there a way to test to see if my PSU is on the blink?
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a c 83 à CPUs
August 5, 2012 5:17:50 PM

There's a good possibility it's actually wear and tear on your motherboard preventing the overclock and not your CPU, but at this point in time I wouldn't waste money on an old socket 775 board just to find out.
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August 5, 2012 5:29:30 PM

well it looks like i may be back in business after all, though i'll wait before awarding best answer.

I took apart everything and reassembled to make sure all the connections were correct. There was no problem with the CPU speed until I had pulled plugs to blow dust away. Well after this reassemble the computer loaded with my old settings--how wonderful.

Now I hope it remains stable and the CPU doesn't stay capped at 100% as it was before. All this head scratching for nothing?
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a c 118 à CPUs
August 5, 2012 6:27:30 PM

massivepepper said:
All this head scratching for nothing?

Bad connection that get cleared out by re-seating connectors. Not very common but it can and does happen.
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a c 152 à CPUs
August 5, 2012 7:00:32 PM

CPU capped at 100%:
- open the Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL)
- look under "Processes" and find out which process is stressing the CPU
- note the name and Google it if you can't figure out what it is (if it's antivirus it probably would have finished the scan then dropped to its normal usage level once done)

CPU failing:
It's almost definitely the CPU being stressed, though it could also be affected by overheating.

Do you have a front and rear fan for good air flow? Not sure what else to say. Reducing the heat (not overlclocking) appears to solve your problem so unless you can reduce the heat while overclocking I'm not sure what else you can do.

I suppose it's also possible that your CPU cooler needs to reinstalled with new paste (most people do it wrong BTW and spread the paste too thick).

I'm pretty certain it's either:
a) your CPU can no longer work at the overclocked speed, or
b) your CPU is getting hotter than normal due to a cooling issue (CPU heatsink thermal paste, CPU fan or case fans)
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August 5, 2012 8:10:47 PM

Well things seem pretty stable right now and I'm feeling relieved.

I did actually apply new paste to the Heat sink and wonder if that made any difference. I really don't know what went wrong, but if I had to guess, it was probably some connection I didn't make correctly.

Perhaps I should install fans in the front, though like I said, the temps seem under control.

Cheers guys!

btw i'll award photonboy best reply for his lengthier posts as it seems all replies were thoughtful, but seemingly irrelevant. :D 
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August 5, 2012 8:14:14 PM

Best answer selected by massivepepper.
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August 5, 2012 11:30:55 PM

just curious but, what voltage are you running at ?
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