Heat Issue-Should I Redo my thermal interface?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Aoret, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Aoret


    Aug 24, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Hello everyone and thanks. I'll try to give as much info as possible to avoid people having to wait on me to respond with the info-feel free to skim the parts you don't need. (main problem at the bottom)

    ----Info---- ​

    I'm running an AMD Athlon processor (I can't for the life of me remember what athlon, but I bought it within 1 or 2 years ago, closer to 1 year, and it clocks around 1.7Ghz I think)

    Using an ASUS motherboard
    Nvidia GeForce7600 card by PNY technologies
    500W power supply
    Coolermaster heatsink (I bought my cpu OEM because it was the only way they had it in stock at the time)
    4 case fans plus: 2 in the PSU, 1 on CPU, 1 slot fan below vid card.

    All of that in an acrylic case that has been WAY too many headaches than it was worth (my harddrive sits on the floor of it below the drive bays since the walls were placed too far apart to hold the HDD in).

    ----Previous Problems---- ​

    Now basically I've had some heat problems (I think anyway). Previously, after a while of online gaming my computer would make a sound similar to the sounds it makes at bootup, and just freeze. Music in-game would kind of skip and eventually I'd get a blue screen telling me it was dumping memory etc. Turning it off and coming back a few hours later, or, eventually adding more fans, fixed that.

    ----The Main Issue---- ​

    This weekend I was gaming for basically a 24 hour session. I took a couple of one hour breaks. This was in hot california weather, in the high 90s, with no air conditioning... Upon booting my PC up after a break, it did the same overheating seeming things that it used to do. Since then I've given it even as much as an 8 hour break and it still heats up really quickly and gives out.

    Testing in my BIOS, within 15 minutes after an 8 hour break, temperature climbed from I believe 36C to 45C, which may be some kind of cutoff point in the mobo. It seemed fine to run the bios at that temperature, but as soon as I exitted and tried to boot to windows, same click type sound I get at power-on, and everything froze.

    My thought is that the thermal pad that came on my heatsink wasn't the proper amount of area for my CPU, or simply that its since burned off or something. I can't think of any other reason why a case I recently cleaned and added fans to, that was fine before, would start running so hot so quick. Is that possible, and should I endeavor to buy some thermal paste and reapply the heatsink (having never used anything but a thermal pad before)?

    Thanks a ton for reading through all of that, and I really appreciate the help.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
    Aoret, Aug 24, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  2. Aoret


    Jul 1, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If you really want to rid yourself of heat-related issues, you should consider a few things. A highly-rated CPU cooler is one that cools the CPU way below the levels that a stock CPU cooler could do. We are talking 10C or better in temperature reduction. Nobody I know of uses those stock thermal pads, as they just don't have the thermal efficiency that a good thermal paste does. I recommend Artic Silver 5 or some equivalent. Also, Coolermaster makes some good CPU coolers and some not-so-good CPU coolers. You didn't say what model you had, but lets assume it can handle the job of cooling your CPU if it's properly mounted.

    First I would remove the CPU cooler and carefully pull off the thermal pad. You will need Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol or similar material to properly clean both the CPU cooler and the header of your Athlon 64 CPU (I'm assuming you are not running an Athlon XP, in which case you would see the die exposed as opposed to the header cap that goes over the die). Apply a little dab of the thermal compound and spread it out over the CPU header and over the same area of the CPU cooler by using your finger inserted into a plastic sandwich bag. Don't use a big gob of thermal compound - you want a very thin layer. Mount your CPU cooler again and see if it runs cooler under load conditions.

    Also check your airflow through the case. If you aren't getting enough air moving through it, your CPU cooler is not going to have a chance to cool that CPU sufficiently. You can take the side panel off and see if that helps. Don't forget that your videocard may be overheating due to insufficient airflow too.

    Let us know if this helped. The next option is to buy a better CPU cooler, like the Zalman 9500 or 9700 LED CPU coolers for $40 to $60 USD.
    bigal, Sep 1, 2007
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.