High temps (90/110°C) Phenom II 955 / HD 3870

First of all, hi everyone as this is my first post :). I want to say that this forum is just plain awesome!
Fast forwarding to my issue, I currently have the following gear:

• AMD Phenom II X4 955 @ 3.2 GHz
• OCZ Reaper HPC CL5 2x2GB DDR2 @ 800MHz
• Gigabyte GA-MA780G-UD3H
• Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 512MB GDDR4 256bit (Single Slot cooler version) @ Stock (776, 1126)
• Seagate 500GB 16MB Cache
• ASUS Xonar DS and a TASCAM US144 MkII (we'll get back on it later)
• Thermaltake Strike MX ATX case (the version with a 23cm side fan)

I have attached 2 download links with virus scans at the bottom for logs from HWMonitor and CPU-Z on idle. You can try skipping the text and immediately watch for any problems. Maybe it's due to voltages so you can check it out. If you want proof of high temps just let me know and I'll log right after exiting a game.

(Just to make sure you understand, e= Euros :P)
Now bear with me as this is sort of a wall of text.

I built my PC for 500e +/-, my HD 3870 was 50e instead of 100e because of stock clearance on pixmania.com (it has local retailers spread throughout Europe)
I'm from Portugal and at the time of my purchase (2009 September I think) there weren't many budget ATX cases to go by. I went the naive "I wanna save" way.
I had my PC assembled by my local PC shop (www.nanochip.pt).

Now I believe the case isn't the best. I have a rear exhaust 140MM fan => (http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=4395)
Alas, the same applies to the fan I think. Nevertheless I do not believe it is the sole reason for my temps being so high.

Now, a couple of weeks/a month back, I reformatted my pc with Windows 7 x64 Ultimate (same as I had). No problems whatsoever, have been playing games, producing with Ableton Live 8 with the Xonar with a bit of latency (high sample rate limited by WDM audio drivers, hope you're still following my babbling) but works perfect.

Simply put, same as it ever was with a performance increase for cleaning up my 400 GB of crap.

GPU: I had noticed though in 2010 Q3/Q4, when I used MSI Afterburner that my temps went up to 95°C sometimes, actually a lot of times when playing. Dumb enough, I read a couple of forums that said the single slot version is known to be hot, really hot. The problems came when I tried OC'ing by very little, even if only by 20MHz on the core and 5 on the memory clock. It would get to 100-110 max and black screen for about 10 seconds on any game (ex: Crysis, COD 4) and get back to the game after that freeze. Every couple of minutes it would happen so obviously, I stopped my 15 minutes of OC.

Back to the present, I was playing Portal 2 yesterday and had that same black screen I noticed a year back so I got Sapphire Trixx and checked out temps. 110°C a couple of seconds after quitting Portal 2. I was like "dayuuum!".
Seriously, I was scared.

CPU: I had to check that out so I figured, check out my CPU temps to see if it's universal. 1 HWMonitor and Prime95 later, I stressed it. It was reaching high 70's and when I stopped the test I think it said 90 degrees MAX.
So... yeah, I'm pretty bothered with all of this. By the way, my current idling temps are 40 to 50, changes from time to time.

This is pretty much it.

The following paragraph is unnecessary rambling, my own theory on what can be a symptom of those temps:
When I was in Ableton Live, I had a track with around 20+ tracks, let's say 5 audio and 15 software synths (Sylenth1).
Using my TASCAM US 144MkII with a sample rate of 512 maybe, it was around those low numbers (around 15ms delay which is pretty high even then) I would get stutters on audio when playing back intense parts of the song and the CPU meter on Ableton would jump to 80, 90% for each stutter. Switching over to my Xonar, pretty much the same though it took a bit more time probably due to it being PCI (?). Now I can't test the temps on the CPU right after playing project because I have to find it first, I know it's around my external HDD somewhere.

Now, I've come with 2 reasons for that:

1- Not even a Phenom II 955 can handle that much, which is extremely viable.
2- Conspiracy theory no.1: IT'S DEM TEMPS I TELL YA!

Again apologies for my monologue. I look forward to your answers, mainly because I'm thinking of getting a XFX HD 6850 1GB hehe (15e more than a Sapphire, and the XFX looks and from some benchmarks IS better).

P.S: The thought of poor thermal paste placement or paste decadence has crossed my mind. So has the fear of removing the CPU and GPU heatsink.


Scan CPU-Z
Scan HWMonitor

CPU-Z log
HWMonitor log
5 answers Last reply
More about high temps 110 phenom 955 3870
  1. The temps are to high. Reinstall your cpu cooler again, first clean very well the contact surfaces. It will be good if you buy an aftermarket cooler : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099
    I know you live in Europe , the link is orientative , to see the product :). The bad think is your case. The hot air is keept inside the case, your power supply is up in yhe case not at the bottom. Ill change the case too with Antec three hundred or something with top fan.
  2. Thanks for the somewhat quick answer. I was afraid I'd have to buy more than a simple GPU, wanted to save money but it's not like I have to. Luckily I can afford a cooler, case (It'd be hard to fit the 23cm long HD 6850 anyways).
    Though my question remains, is the case really the problem? Does it affect airflow THAT much? Weird to think it makes it all bad.

    I forgot to tell you that all extra PCI covers on the back had to be removed because of an issue I had involving cables, etc. I covered them on the exterior with foam and tape and it's not very ghetto, it's actually kind of cool. I cleaned dust to no avail by the way, same temps, only a bit lower like 2 degrees maybe.

    If you're really sure it's the case and airflow then can you point me to a good case and thermal paste please? Thanks a lot by the way.
  3. Went to the hardware store and bought some Ceramique 2 from Arctic Silver. I spread nicely but then fixed some bits with my finger (I know...). Dumb enough I didn't apply to the heatsink as I completely forgot but I applied a bit too much in general so I think it'll compensate. Sure will be better than the grey goo sh** I had before. There were these clusters of old compound, ewww. Anyway gotta wait for the settling period of at least 25 hours so I'll have to wait but I've seen it lower to some 38 degrees a few times.

    Either way I am probably going to buy a new case anyway and a Cooler just because I don't like both and I am planning on OC'ing my 955.

    Now for the HD 3870, is it just about the same? Remove cooler and rinse/apply? Thanks.

    P.S: Without going too off-topic, any cooler and ATX cases you can recommend? Both at a maximum of +/- 120 euros (dollars) budget.
  4. Undervolted to 1.25v my 955 BE. Prime95'd it and I get a max of 60-61 on core (under 62). Installed Gigabyte (my mobo is a MA-GA-780G-UD3H) EasyTuner and it says CPU temp (the real CPU temp which I had suspicions about being Temp2 on Speedfan for which I was right) 40 +/- on idle (still kind of high) and 57 on load on prime95.

    So for some other people who haven't changed their thermal paste, re-applying some compound and undervolting worked. I'm going to buy a new cooler anyway for OC, longevity, noise and summer temp purposes. As for my GPU I believe it's a paste/dust in HSF combo and it'll take some work.

    Thanks and you can close this topic! (I believe I can't, right?)
  5. Yes case airflow does effect everything, my 2 cards used to be 10C more than they are right now before I added 2 front fans in my HAF 912.
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