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AMD CPU Cooling Problem

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  • Cooler Master
  • Components
  • Product
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December 31, 2012 12:42:05 AM

Hello Tom's Hardware Forum,

While I frequent these forums for help on any computer problem I encounter, this is my first time posting anything on your forums, so here I go...

I have a Tuniq 3 Gaming case w/ an AMD 955BE (stock, 3.2GHz), Hyper N520 Heatsink, GTX570 MDT, 16GB DDr3 RAM. I have 5 case fans, 3 front intakes, 1 side panel exhaust, 1 rear exhaust. However, my 955BE tends to hit 58-59C while under load (like BF3). My idles are anywhere from 36-40C. The Hyper N520 I use is clean as a whistle (I clean out dust every month or so,) and I even replaced the stock thermal paste with Arctic Silver 5. No matter what I do, nothing seems to lower my temperatures. My room is about 76F average, and my computer sits in an open space with lots of open air around it.

I did research on the Hyper N520 before I bought it and I was expecting about 50C-ish temperatures under load, but 58-59C is dangerously close to the maximum rated temperature of 62C. During the summer when it's hotter, I have hit and exceeded that limit, and I needed to shut down the computer to prevent damage.

I can't afford a new Heatsink for a while and I am using every single fan mount in my case. I'm looking for any and all possible advice as to why I can't bring temperatures down.

Thanks so much guys,
Johnny

More about : amd cpu cooling problem

December 31, 2012 12:56:35 AM

Can you tell us your fan layout in your case.
Like how many Intake u have and how many outtake's. And where are they placed
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December 31, 2012 1:03:16 AM

All my case fans are 120mm as that's all my case will take.
I have 1 at the bottom front as an intake fan, 2 in a row at the top front as intake. I have 1 on the side panel pointed at the CPU as an intake fan (I used to run this fan as exhaust, but it seemed to work better as an intake), and 1 on the rear back of the case as an exhaust fan. The heatsink itself has 2 fans incase you're unfamiliar with the N520.
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December 31, 2012 1:06:57 AM

theres definitely something not right there. Do you have the fan speed restricted/limited? Both fans working and blowing in the same direction?
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December 31, 2012 1:11:20 AM

How tight is the restraining clip setup for the cpu cooler?
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December 31, 2012 1:12:20 AM

and how lined up are the cpu cooler fans versus the exaust fans?
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December 31, 2012 1:15:45 AM

popatim said:
theres definitely something not right there. Do you have the fan speed restricted/limited? Both fans working and blowing in the same direction?


No, my motherboard does not have CPU fan control, the fans on the heatsink are at full blast all the time, roughly 1800RPM according to CPUID, which matches the rating on the box for the N520. All case fans are full blast too.
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December 31, 2012 1:20:03 AM

jnkweaver said:
and how lined up are the cpu cooler fans versus the exaust fans?


The CPU heatsink is set as snug as I could. The restraining clip is fastened nice and snug. I know for a fact I've installed it right. I actually had to install it twice, once originally, and a second time when I reapplied new thermal paste (Arctic Silver 5). I've installed heatsinks before, so I know for a fact that it is installed correctly.

The 2 top intake fans are pointed directly at the CPU fans. The CPU cooler's 2nd fan (the rear exhaust) is pointed directly at my case's rear exhaust, so it's basically a straight shot through the case in terms of air flow. I have a side intake fan adjacent to the CPU cooler as well.

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December 31, 2012 1:35:20 AM

Johnnycash said:
The CPU heatsink is set as snug as I could. The restraining clip is fastened nice and snug. I know for a fact I've installed it right. I actually had to install it twice, once originally, and a second time when I reapplied new thermal paste (Arctic Silver 5). I've installed heatsinks before, so I know for a fact that it is installed correctly.

The 2 top intake fans are pointed directly at the CPU fans. The CPU cooler's 2nd fan (the rear exhaust) is pointed directly at my case's rear exhaust, so it's basically a straight shot through the case in terms of air flow. I have a side intake fan adjacent to the CPU cooler as well.


The 520 uses 2x92mm fans. I would suggest either modifying 2 120mms on there or scrap it and go to the 212 or evo.
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December 31, 2012 1:55:17 AM

jnkweaver said:
The 520 uses 2x92mm fans. I would suggest either modifying 2 120mms on there or scrap it and go to the 212 or evo.


Believe it or not, I "upgraded" from the 212 to the N520. I started with the stock AMD cooler, then I got a 212 for about $20, and it gave me temps of 60-64c under load. I was initially impressed with the N520 which brought me down to 58C, and I figured the temps would continue to go down while the thermal paste broke in, but here I am about a year later, and no difference. Ironically enough, the stock AMD cooler gave me similar results to the N520 I use now. The 212 was not a viable option. No idea why these Coolermaster's perform so poor in my rig. :( 
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December 31, 2012 2:12:11 AM

i think your limited to those temps because of your air flow.. You never said where your intake and your outake fans out. SO for all I know all your fans are extracting air out and no cool air in
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December 31, 2012 2:14:32 AM

Rockdpm said:
i think your limited to those temps because of your air flow.. You never said where your intake and your outake fans out. SO for all I know all your fans are extracting air out and no cool air in


I mentioned where my intake and exhaust fans are in a previous post. Here it is again:
I have 1 at the bottom front as an intake fan, 2 in a row at the top front as intake. I have 1 on the side panel pointed at the CPU as an intake fan (I used to run this fan as exhaust, but it seemed to work better as an intake), and 1 on the rear back of the case as an exhaust fan. The heatsink itself has 2 fans incase you're unfamiliar with the N520.
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December 31, 2012 2:17:16 AM

ok take the two at the top and flip them. You have more intake than out..
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December 31, 2012 2:18:41 AM

Rockdpm said:
ok take the two at the top and flip them. You have more intake than out..

Alright, I'll get back to you on that tomorrow. It's late. Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'll keep you posted
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December 31, 2012 2:29:30 AM

Liquid cool it and be done with it if you don't mind a cheap kit that you'll have to do some modding for the block look at my setup minus the peltier its 25 shipped and keeps my temps playing bf3 at about 30-40c. Until I make a custom loop with it which should help under extreme loads. But you can even find h60 and h80s for super cheap right now
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December 31, 2012 12:48:53 PM

Rockdpm said:
ok take the two at the top and flip them. You have more intake than out..

Ok, so I reversed the top 2 intake fans so now they are 2 exhaust fans. Running Prime95 to see the results. I'm bordering 47C-48C. It's only been about half an hour, I'll get back to you guys when I do some full scale BF3 testing (letting the GTX570 heat up too.)
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December 31, 2012 12:59:56 PM

I've noticed something interesting when I do any sort of stress test on my CPU.

So I've been running Prime95 for a while, and the temps follow a pattern. Let's say the temperature is currently 48C. It will maintain 48C for about 4-5 minutes. Then, the temperature will change to 49, then back to 48, then to 49, and will continue bouncing between those 2. After about a minute or 2, it will then maintain 49. After a few minutes, it bounces between 49 and 50, then maintains 50, and so on. It just progressively gets hotter over time and doesn't seem able to maintain a particular temperature for an extended period of time.

Temps Example in Prime 95 (in C)
48,48,48,48,48,49,48,49,48,49,49,49,49,50,49,50,49,50,50,50,51,50,51,51,etc

Does this mean anything? Do I have too much intake or exhaust or something? I am currently running 2 front top exhaust, 1 front bottom intake, 1 side intake, and 1 rear exhaust
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December 31, 2012 1:03:18 PM

Well for an older chip like the 955, that's not bad - trust me, if your chip was at like 70 in Prime95 I'd be worried, but if it maintains at about 53 or 55 on load with an air cooler for 8 hours, I'd feel pretty proud of myself if I was you.
If you want the chip to cool better, however, there are options. Try a new thermal paste like MX-4, replace the CPU fan with a better one, your options are endless brother. Just experiment with it. What paste do you currently use and how did you apply it?
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December 31, 2012 2:38:14 PM

payturr said:
Well for an older chip like the 955, that's not bad - trust me, if your chip was at like 70 in Prime95 I'd be worried, but if it maintains at about 53 or 55 on load with an air cooler for 8 hours, I'd feel pretty proud of myself if I was you.
If you want the chip to cool better, however, there are options. Try a new thermal paste like MX-4, replace the CPU fan with a better one, your options are endless brother. Just experiment with it. What paste do you currently use and how did you apply it?


Well according to AMD, the maximum temperature for a 955 is 62C, so I feel like I'm cutting it close. I am currently using Arctic Silver 5 applied with the dot method. It did lower my temps by about 2C compared to the stock thermal paste I originally had
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January 1, 2013 7:58:05 PM

Well I'm looking into new heatsinks such as this Thermaltake Frio ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ). I have a question though. I know that the Frio is compatible with my motherboard and processor. When I installed my N520, I had to remove the motherboard in order to fit the bracket as my case doesn't have any sort of rear access to the motherboard. The bracket that came with the N520 is a "universal bracket," so would that same bracket fit the Frio? Or would I need to remove my motherboard and change the bracket? It's not that I can't remove my motherboard, but it's just extremely time consuming and troublesome.
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