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How can I cool down my cpu?

Last response: in CPUs
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a b V Motherboard
September 14, 2001 7:22:12 PM

First time computer builder here, and I'm concerned about the temperature reported on my new cpu. Here are the system stats:

Motherboard: Soyo K7V Dragon
CPU: AMD T-Bird 1.4 GHz (not overclocked)
Heat Sink: Speeze 5E34B3-H
Memory: Two Kingston 256MB Non-ECC PC2100 DDR-RAM chips
Graphics: HighTech GeForce3

Motherboard also has a fan on it. The cpu temp runs at an avg of 55 degrees Celcius with occasional spikes to 60 and the chassis is 35 degrees Celcius. I think the chassis temp is ok, but I definitelly don't want to burn the cpu. I've tried the heat sink with just the grease it comes equipped with (had to pull off tape), I've tried it with the grease and some added heat sink silicon paste, and I've tried it by removing the equipped grease and just using the silicon. Btw, the silicon paste came with the motherboard, so not anything brandname. Anyone have suggestions of what I can do? The heatsink is supposed to be AMD recommended, for whatever that's worth.

Thanks in advance,


More about : cool cpu

September 14, 2001 8:56:17 PM

Well, I may be able to help.
The stock HSF (HeatSink/Fan) the AMD chips ship with is fine for normal use, but most of us prefer to have a nice buffer or safe zone. This is made apparent by a better or high-end HSF.
My personal recommendation is the Swifttech MC-462-A, found at
BEST HSF on the market, no doubt about it. As for thermal goop/paste, go for Artic Silver II. Together they make the best air cooling combination available. I think most anyone into serious air cooling would have to agree with me.
September 14, 2001 9:47:30 PM

The delta between your CPU and case temp is about right--that means for a cooler CPU, you ought to get your case cooler. :wink:

What fans do you have in this case, btw?


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September 15, 2001 1:20:06 AM

How many fans do you have in the case now? I know a few people with 2 or 3 fans in the case, and their temps are pretty good. Fan's are pretty cheap & most Mid - Full towers can handle alot of fans.
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
September 15, 2001 12:52:37 PM

If you count the power supply and graphics card fans, four. I just got a fan to put in the front of the case (Inwin A500 Mid) - I'll have to see if that helps any. The case doesn't really have a defined spot to put one on the back, so I'm putting it in the front where it does have a spot. If that doesn't work, I guess I'll have to look into a different heat sink.

Btw, is 55 Celcius getting dangerous? What are the temps that I should really get worried at?

Thanks for the replies.

a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
September 15, 2001 1:55:49 PM

Anything below 50c is good, 55c is getting a little high and 60c its danger time from then on.
First thing is to try some Artic silverII thermal paste as its much better than anything else, the hsf is probably not good enough for decent cooling, best type are copper based/core as they dissipate the heat better with a good fan on them. Look <A HREF="" target="_new">here</A> for a comparison.
If you have two fans extracting in the power supply with one facing the HSF you should be all right as this helps to remove heated air. Experimentation with case fans wont hurt, as they are a cheap option.

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a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
September 15, 2001 2:43:01 PM

Boondock is right about the Swiftech coolers. I have an AMD 1.33 GHz ( 266fsb) on an ASUS A7M mobo. Also, what Scotty mentioned, the Arctic Silver paste is very good. just use enough of it to THINLY put a layer on. As Boondock mentions the 462 Swiftech model, (whick is the best, IHO)I have the one that's a step lower, it's the MC 370-A.Now I run 38c cpu and 25c mobo temps.

Down at pants n at wit Donnie Iris
September 15, 2001 6:08:54 PM just did a hsf roundup that rates coolers on there performance AND their noise. enjoy.

"If you teach a child to read, then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test" - George W.
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
September 15, 2001 7:10:07 PM

I installed a fan in the front as I mentioned early this morning. Now, the mb temp is running 30 Celcius, but the cpu is still running 55 Celcius. So, I think my next step will be to try the Arctic Silver paste you all have mentioned. And finally if that doesn't help, I guess I'll have to go with a different hsf.

As always, thanks for the replies.

a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
September 15, 2001 7:46:34 PM

The artic silver will not make *that* much of a difference, a couple degrees at most, your best bet is a new hsf. As was mentioned, the roundup was very good, there are hsf's out there that are not $80 like the swiftech that still perform well.
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
September 15, 2001 11:35:20 PM

Well the ASII I used must be a special different type then, yeah right! I had at least a 7C improvement and every bit helps!

You can stick with the thermal pad, go for it.

<font color=blue>Lizards</font color=blue> hide under rocks,<font color=red>Trolls</font color=red> hide under bridges & jump out to ruin posts
September 16, 2001 12:11:49 AM

Here's what you do:

1. Get a new, decent cooler and some Arctic Silver. You don't have to go all out and get an MC462, but a good Coolermaster fan or maybe a Globalwin FOP32-i will do you good.

2. Go to your local hardware store and buy two sheets of each of 400, 600, 800, 1200, and 1500 (you might have to try a few places, but it's there) grit emery paper, a small (6" square) piece of glass, and a can of WD-40.

Put the glass on your desk and make sure it's clean. Put the 400 grit on the glass, tape it down, and then use that to even out the bottom of the heat sink in a north-south, then east-west fashion. Do the same with the 600 next, and then the 800. Once you've sanded it with the 800 grit, apply some WD-40 to the bottom of the sink (enough to coat it), and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then re do the job with the 800 grit, keeping the WD-40 on the heatsink as you do it. Then follow the same procedure with the 1200 grit. When you do the 1500 grit, don't use the glass plate anymore, but just put the heatsink upside down on your desk, and do it very lightly by hand, first without WD-40 and then with. Buff it with a light cloth. Your heatsink should now have a mirror shine finish.

What this does is it eliminates most of the air gaps that exist between the heatsink and the cpu core. Air is a very good insulator, and inhibits heat transfer between the cpu and core. Usually, thermal grease is used to try and fill these gaps, but isn't always effective.

One thing now, you have to make sure that you don't use too much thermal grease, or else it will pretty much wipe out all your efforts with lapping the heatsink. Apply enough so that you can tell it's there, but you should be able to see through it to the metal finish.

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September 16, 2001 2:44:56 AM

is it a retail cpu??? if so who cares??? it has a 3 year warranty. if amd doesn't ship a adaquete hsf with there retail cpu then thats something to say about amd.
September 16, 2001 3:47:25 AM

Any good fan will work. Well i have a Thermoengine w/ 7k delta on my old P3 733 it runs at 70f all time. Well im waiting for the All Copper Thermoengine.

Nice Nvidia and ATi users get a Cookie.... :smile: Yummy :smile:
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
September 16, 2001 9:59:38 PM

You never mentioned about the hsf. Did you put the fan on the heatsink or did it come that way. Make sure that the fan is blowing ON the heatsink not away from it.

Down at pants n at wit Donnie Iris
September 16, 2001 11:27:48 PM

That's your ultimate way of cooling a cpu? Better be careful of moisture if it's a wet day out... I think it'd be cool to submerge a system in a tank of liquid xenon, but that's just me :^)

Lyrics. Wasted time between solos.
September 16, 2001 11:41:47 PM

Wait, liquid xenon probably wouldn't work too well... The boiling and melting points are about 8 degrees apart... Oh well.

Lyrics. Wasted time between solos.
September 17, 2001 1:14:23 AM

Well, what I do is quite different from what most people do----but, it works beautifully!
Firstly, I NEVER cover my system!! The cover is always off. I have a $10 Honeywell Super Turbo High Performance fan (HT 800 series) always running pointing directly at the MB/CPU area. The fan remains about 8" from the MB.
My T-Bird 1.4 runs at 35-39 C. The MB runs at 28-30 C consistently. (Room is about 78 F)
A side benefit is that the computer stays WAY cleaner than when I used to cover it! When I would open up a covered computer it often had TONS of dust all over it inside.
I also only shut down my system once a week for 30 seconds. It's always running.
I know that this is rather off-beat advice but the results I've had are amazing and the process in quite simple. (I do this with 4 computers and have done so with other processors for about three years)
Hope this is useful!

"We can do no great things, Only small things with Great Love"
Mother Theresa
September 17, 2001 3:11:38 PM

If you dont want to drop all your dough on a swiftech consider one of the Thermaltake Volcano 6cu or 6cu+ hs/fan combo's. I picked one up for only $18 and it keeps my 1.33 o'clocked to 1.43 at 49deg under full load. I haven't tried to go higher due to the fact that my DDR craps out at 143fsb.

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