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Author Topic: Cooling guide(Written by J*A*G)UPDATED  (Read 8067 times)

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Goodguy

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Cooling guide(Written by J*A*G)UPDATED
« on: 30-July-02, 04:28:08 »

NEW VERSION BELOW PLEASE NOTE

Cooling guide....here it is...*Rossco, this can go in
Here is what we all need! I've been meaning to write one of these awhile ago due to increased amount of temperature issues. A basic cooling guide for the forum...it may be revised throuhout its time on here...It was composed by me and my own experience in the major topic of cooling...(I used to be a good overclocker)

Revision 2.0
If your processor is hot here's some things you can do:

Go into BIOS and look under the Frequency/FSB settings and change the Vcore to -0.05 instead of default. This will run a little less voltage to the CPU and can make it about 3C cooler.

Apply a better thermal compound (preferred compound is Arctic Silver 3 and can be found here: http://www.newegg.com/ in a 3gram or 6gram size tube [3gram tube should be enough for awhile]) to the processor/heatsink and for better instructions on how to do this correctly you can look here: http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm

Make sure your heatsink is correctly mounted and one way to do this is to mount it, then take it back off and look at the heatsink to see if the processor left a perfect square and not a semi-square of arctic silver (thermal compound) on it or if it appears to look like it seated only halfway. Now if it does appear to only seat halfway with more pressure on one side then you can try mounting it again. But when this happens usually there is something wrong with the clip (possibly bent) and therefore putting pressure on only half of the processor. If you have this bad luck you can always get a different heatsink that doesn't use a clip (for example, the Swiftech MCX462 that uses screws to mount and is very sturdy)(or you could try to get naother clip from the store you bought it from), if you are afraid of cracking the core you can always purchase a non-conductive (it is a good idea to get non-conductive so you don't have to worry about shorting out the processor) CPU spacer. (shim) (but shims tend to increase the CPU temperature) Both of these items can be bought from here: http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/

If your mainboard is hot here's some things you can do: (will help CPU temps as well)

Buy a slot cooler for the PCI/AGP area of the mainboard.

Put in some extra case fans if your case allows...One in the front for intake and one in the back for exhaust. Don't assume your power supply's exhaust fan will count because that is there to cool itself, not the entire case. Try to keep them the same CFM (moving X cubic feet a minute) or one will overpower the other putting strain on it. You can always mod the case and cut holes in the front/back/sides for extra fans but this is more of an advanced option.

Take the side(s) of the case off allowing it to be almost automatically room temperature....but this will destroy the airflow of your current fan setup but is ultimately better because you can then adjust the fans to blow directly at the mainboard. (or CPU and can assist it in using cooler room air rather than hot air in the case) I made a "wind tunnel" for my CPU fan and mounted it to the case to assist the cpu fan and also to keep a direct connection of air outside of the case. (But make sure the assisting fan is within 5CFM more than the CPU fan or it can put it under alot of stress and may lower its MTBF) (mean time before failure) The "wind tunnel" is a cone made by card stock (or any other stiffer form of paper, but not regular paper because it will rip and not hold) that fits around the diameter of the assisting fan and hooks on (by cutting small holes in the edge where the wire ties would go through the cone and fan hole, but not too tight or it will rip) with wire ties going through the screw holes. Once you hook the "tunnel" to the assisting fan you can then put the other side of the cone close to (1/2" away for safety) or you can put the cone over the CPU fan but not touching the heatsink. My first tunnel I did was over the CPU fan and the second is close to it. As long as it directs the air at the CPU fan with force the basic function works and it doesn't really matter if you put it 1/2" away fom CPU fan or slightly over it. (it's easier to leave it 1/2" away) Establishing a connection with the air farther away from the case and the pure assisting of putting more CFM through helped me drop 5C off idle/load temperatures.

Overall system cooling:

Specially rounded IDE cables can help in reducing temperatures by increasing air flow throughout the case. You can find these here: http://www.newegg.com/ Also, you can move IDE cables (and other calbes) into empty hd/cdrom bays to get them out of the way. This is very important to keep air flowing freely. You can wire tie them as well to keep them neat.

A real easy option to try if you suspect heat problems is taking the side off and buying a 12" floor fan and set it to blow right into the case at an angle from the front. This is what I did for a long time before rigging up something else. It was also the most effective thing I have done to keep the CPU and MB cool.

Another overlooked problem of heat is where you setup your computer. Putting the case as far away from the heaters in the room is the best start to any cooling you want to do. You don't want your case fans taking in heat off the heaters. So position your case as far away from any heat sources in the room as you can. If it's impossible or the room is always quite hot, you can always try to relocate the computer to another cooler room.

You can also buy a better PSU with dual fans. Enermax makes some good dual fan PSUs where the bottom fan takes hot air from around your cpu heatsink and exhausts it.

Lastly, one of the most important details in keeping a cool computer is to keep it clean. Clean the fans, the fan guards, the cpu fan/heatsink, the motherboard, everything. Don't use a vacuum! Vacuums create static and can shock your computer. (it could kill the computer) Buy a can of compressed air from your local computer shop or Staples office superstore.

Here's some FAQ:

Q: What temperature is considered safe for the CPU?
A: A safe temperature for Athlon XP/Tbirds is about 53C (this is a safe temp, but some can run higher) [also the Tbird is usually hotter than the XP] on load and in the 40's on idle.

Q: What temperature is considered safe for the nForce?
A: The montherboard temperature is in a safe range when it is within 10F of the room temperature. Anything under 30-32C in a load condition should be fine, and an idle in the high 20's is also fine.

Q: How can I monitor the temperature?
A: MSI has their own tool called PC Alert III (can be downloaded here: http://www.msi.com.tw/support/software/main.htm ) that will monitor the CPU/MB temps and you can monitor the temps in the BIOS under PC Health. (but while this is ok for checking idle temps there is no way to check load temps from here) Another tool is the Motherboard Monitor 5 available here: http://mbm.livewiredev.com/ This will also monitor temps of both the cpu and MB.

Q: Why won't my computer boot at its advertised speed?
A: This is a temperature issue and can be caused by an incorrectly mounted heatsink. You can always boot into BIOS and go into the PC Health menu, check the temps, and then slowly and carefully push on opposite corners of the CPU fan and hold while checking the BIOS screen again and see if the temperature falls. Most likely it will and this means that the heatsink clip is bent and only applying pressure to half of the processor. There's two options to do now, seek a replacement clip from the store you bought the heatsink from or you can buy a different heatink. (I recommend the Swiftech MCX462 which you can get with a decently quiet fan for the performance, it may seem expensive but it does the job and then some)

Q: Why does the BIOS lock while I'm trying to adjust settings?
A: This can also be a temperature related issue and you can either try some options above to get better cooling or set the Safe Mode jumper on the mainboard to enable and try again. If you do suceed, then at least you can get some information about what the temperature is and can figure out the problem. If you tried to load High Performance defaults and feel this is when the trouble started, you can enable the Clear CMOS jumper (to clear the BIOS settings back to default) and try again. If you have a Duron/Athlon Tbird where the FSB should be 100 and you want to load High Performance you can always load it, then go into Frequency/FSB settings and change it back to 100mhz before saving. (High Performance chooses 133FSB, thus causing lock on 100fsb setups)

Q: Why is my temperature still hot when I have alot of fans?
A: This can be caused by many factors. It can happen if you have alot of fans blowing against eachother. If your fans are just blowing around hot air. (due to hot room temperature or case fans not blowing in good order) Or if they are set up so that they cause a hot air pocket to build up inside the case due to incorrect placement. (two intake fans and just the PSU exhaust fan, this setup can cause too much air coming in and not enough going out, don't count the PSU fan as an exhaust fan) That's why I recommend a PCI slot cooler because a low intake and high exhaust fan can cause a hot air pocket to form in the PCI area.

And as always, things vary and temps vary...Feedback and corrections are always welcome!

(Written by J*A*G)
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Wonkanoby

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« Reply #1 on: 18-February-03, 00:13:50 »
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  •  J*A*G'S UPDATED VERSION 18 FEB. 2003

    nForce Cooling Guide

    Many people have trouble with overheated computers. When we get into faster systems with big video cards and 1.5~2.0 GHz processors they can easily get too hot and not work properly. (Causing hangs or lock ups) If the heat is too bad your computer may even fail to boot. Here is a general cooling guide that will help you keep your computer running cool.

    If your processor is hot here are some things you can do:

    Go into BIOS and look under the Frequency/FSB settings and change the Vcore to -0.05 instead of default. (This may not work if you are over clocking the processor) This will run a little less voltage to the CPU and can make it about 3C cooler.

    Apply a better thermal compound (preferred compound is Arctic Silver 3 and can be found here: http://www.newegg.com/ available in two different sizes) to the processor/heat sink. For better instructions on how to do this correctly you can look here: http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm

    Make sure your heat sink is correctly mounted. One way to do this is to mount it, and then take it back off. Now look at the heat sink to see if the processor left a perfect square of thermal compound on it. If it appears to look like it seated only halfway, for example showing only a half square, you should try to mount it again. However, when this happens there is usually something wrong with the clip (possibly bent) and therefore putting pressure on only half of the processor. If you have this kind of bad luck you can always get a different heat sink that doesn't use a clip (for example, the Swiftech MCX462 that uses screws to mount and is very sturdy) (or you could try to get another clip from the store you bought it from) if you are afraid of cracking the core you can always purchase a non-conductive (it is a good idea to get non-conductive so you don't have to worry about shorting out the processor) CPU spacer. (Otherwise known as a shim) But shims tend to increase the CPU temperature a little. Both of these items can be bought from here: http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/

    If your mainboard is hot here's some things you can do: (will help CPU temps as well)

    Buy a slot cooler for the PCI/AGP area of the mainboard.

    Install extra case fans if your case allows. Put one in the front for intake and one in the back for exhaust. Don't assume your power supply's exhaust fan will count because that is there to cool itself, not the entire case. Try to keep them the same CFM (moving a certain amount of air, measured in cubic feet per minute) or one will overpower the other putting stress on it. You can always modify the case and cut holes in the front, back, or sides for extra fans but this is more of an advanced task.

    Take one or both of the sides of the case off allowing it to be almost automatically room temperature. Note that this will destroy the airflow of your current fan setup. You can easily fix this problem by readjusting your fans to blow directly at the mainboard or cpu. I made a "wind tunnel" for my CPU fan and mounted it to the case to assist it and also keep a direct connection of air outside of the case. The "wind tunnel" is a cone made by card stock (or any other stiffer form of paper, regular paper won’t work) that fits around the diameter of the assisting fan and hooks on (by cutting small holes in the edge where the wire ties would go through the cone and fan hole, but not too tight or it will rip) with wire ties going through the screw holes. Once you hook the "tunnel" to the assisting fan you can then put the other side of the cone close to (1/2" away for safety) the CPU fan but not touching the heat sink. As long as it directs the air at the CPU fan with force the basic function works. Establishing a connection with the air farther away from the case and the pure assisting of putting more CFM through helped me drop 5C off idle/load temperatures. (But make sure the assisting fan is within 5CFM more than the CPU fan or it can put it under a lot of stress and may lower its MTBF) (Mean time before failure)

    Overall system cooling:

    Specially rounded IDE cables can help in reducing temperatures by increasing air flow throughout the case. You can find these here: http://www.newegg.com/ Also, you can move your ribbon IDE cables and other cables into empty hard drive bays to get them out of the way. This is very important to keep air flowing freely. You can carefully wire tie them as well to keep them neat. (Do not over tighten the wire ties or you can damage cables)

    A real easy option to try if you suspect heat problems is taking the side off and buying a 12" floor fan to blow right into the case. (Setting it up at a 45 degree angle from the front) If you already have a good setup you may not want to try this option as it could actually make it hotter. This is mainly for testing purposes; however, if it works you may want to leave it that way.

    Another overlooked problem is where you set up your computer. Putting the case as far away from any heaters in the room is the best start to keeping your computer cool. You don't want your case fans taking in heat off from the heaters. If it's impossible or the room is always quite hot, you can always try to relocate the computer to another cooler room.

    Purchasing a better PSU with dual fans can also help in bringing down those high case temperatures. Enermax makes quality dual fan PSUs. These are set up in a way that the bottom fan removes hot air from around your cpu and then the fan on the back exhausts it.

    Lastly, one of the most important details in keeping a cool computer is to keep it clean. Clean the fans, the fan guards, the cpu fan/heat sink, the motherboard, everything. Don't use a vacuum! Vacuums create static and can kill your computer. Buy a can of compressed air from your local computer shop or Staples office superstore instead.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Q: What temperature is considered safe for the CPU?
    A: A safe temperature for Athlon XP/Tbirds/Tbreds is about 55C (this is a safe temp, but some can run higher) on load and in the 40's on idle.

    Q: What temperature is considered safe for the nForce motherboard?
    A: The motherboard temperature is in a safe range when it is within 10F of the room temperature. Anything under 32C in a load condition should be fine, and an idle in the high 20's is also fine.

    Q: How can I monitor the temperature?
    A: MSI has their own tool called PC Alert (that can be downloaded here: http://www.msi.com.tw/support/software/main.htm ) that will monitor the CPU/MB temps. You can also monitor the temps in the BIOS under the PC Health menu. (But this is only ok for checking idle temps) Another tool is the Motherboard Monitor available here: http://mbm.livewiredev.com/

    Q: Why won't my computer boot at its advertised speed?
    A: This is a temperature issue and can be caused by an incorrectly mounted heat sink. You can always boot into BIOS and go into the PC Health menu, check the temps, and then slowly and carefully push on opposite corners of the CPU fan and hold while checking the BIOS screen again and see if the temperature falls. Most likely it will and this means that the heat sink is either mounted wrong or the clip is bent and only applying pressure to half of the processor. There are three options you can do now: remount the heat sink, seek a replacement clip from the store you bought the heat sink from, or buy a different heat sink. (I recommend the Swiftech MCX462 which you can get with a decently quiet fan for the performance)

    Q: Why does the BIOS freeze up while I'm trying to adjust settings?
    A: This can also be a temperature related issue and you can either try some options above to get better cooling or set the Safe Mode jumper on the mainboard to enable and try again. If you do succeed, then at least you can get some information about what the temperature is and can figure out the problem. If you tried to load High Performance defaults and feel this is when the trouble started, you can enable the Clear CMOS jumper (to clear the BIOS settings back to default) and try again. If you have a Duron/Athlon Tbird model where the FSB should be 100 MHz and you want to load High Performance you can always load it, then go into Frequency/FSB settings and change it back to 100 MHz before saving. (High Performance chooses 133FSB, thus causing lock on 100fsb setups) You still gain the changes made by the high performance setting, but without the lockup.

    Q: Why is my temperature still hot when I have a lot of fans?
    A: This can be caused by many factors. It can happen if you have a lot of fans blowing against each other. Also, it can stay warm in your case if your fans are just blowing around hot air. (Due to hot room temperature or case fans not blowing in the right direction) Fan placement is critical to cooling a case. Also, you need the correct amount of fans to even out the airflow. (if you buy 1 intake fan, buy an exhaust fan too, don’t count the PSU fan as an exhaust fan for the case!) That's why I recommend a PCI slot cooler because a low intake and high exhaust fan can cause a hot air pocket to form in the PCI area.
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