P180 overheating... shutting down.

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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P180 overheating... shutting down.

Post by Turismo » Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:32 am

Let me first say that I really like the P180. It has done wonders for noise. It's really built well and has great accessability compared to my old cases.

Looking at my sig, you can see my system isn't a high-powered rig, but it gets the job done for what it is.

That being said, the system over-heats like I've never seen before when playing World of Warcraft. I have the 2 rear fans on high, the Zalman on high and the CPU goes to about 72 degrees and the system shuts off. If I open the case, it's bareable at 62 degrees. I just (as of last night) installed the 3rd tri-cool fan using the brackets that go on the drive bay. When all the fans are on high, including the loudest one of them all (the CPU fan), it's as loud as my older case.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the P180 offer BETTER airflow than most cases? When running Photoshop or IE, I can use the low settings on all the fans and it runs at about 39 degrees all day. As soon as a game is started, it's super hot. Now, I'm not stupid, I know the Proc and VGA get warm under load... but this hot? I have no reading of the video card temp, but it's an ATI Radeon 9700 Pro AGP. It's not like it's a X1900 card or something.

I assume the 3rd fan being attached will help some, but are there any other tips to cool this thing down? I've read about removing the filters, but is that really going to help? It seems like airflow would be messed up with the vented slots and open venting in the back. Maybe that's just bad thinking on my part. I really don't know enough about airflow in this case yet.

I'm looking to get a better Mobo, proc and Vid card soon and I wonder if the heat that those guys pump out will be a bad idea.

I also was wondering how "unsafe" it is to operate at 62+ degrees constantly. I'm thinking my software is shutting the machine down on it's own once it reaches my "safe" settings and beyond. People talk about running 40 degrees all day long, but I can't imagine that's the temp they get while running any 3D apps.

Any suggestions would be great!

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Post by Gojira-X » Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:57 pm

If the airflow inside the case is not organised, then hotspots will develop and having big fans on high will meke no difference.

Pictures will help as those looking can spot potiental problems right away.

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Post by shimq1 » Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:39 pm

What's your ambient temp? Are you sure you mounted the CPU cooler on right, can you try to remount it? It's usually 28/29 Celsius ambient here and my CPU load temp is 40 Celsius.

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Post by Turismo » Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:36 am

I'll post pictures when I get the chance tonight.

I don't think I mounted the Zalman wrong, it's on there snug and I'm using thermal grease on it as well. I'll give it another look tonight, too.

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Post by nomoon » Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:45 am

Are you sure that your processor heat sink is making proper contact to the processor? You might consider reseating it.

Does the case feel warm inside after you open it?


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Post by Turismo » Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:52 am

It does feel warm. I tried to reason it all, thinking it was cause it's upstairs in a Michigan Summer, but I have AC and a ceiling fan in there that is on at all times. I went home for lunch and let it run with 3 tri cools and the Zalman on low and it was about 41 idle for about 20 mins. I didn't not have time to run it under load or anything. As soon as I open the case, it dips down to about 37 in a matter of seconds. I thought, because I am using onboard audio (So much easier), that the proc maybe working harder. I don't really want to put in my Audigy 2 to test it out, though.

Here's some pics of the machine. It's looks cluttered, but I assure you it's rather orginized and cables are not really in the airflow. It's kinda tough to get the 20/24 pin converter out of the way in the top, because of it's flexibilty and length.


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Post by MikeC » Thu Jul 13, 2006 11:04 am

Your temps are totally abnormal for that CPU + HS. There's no way it should get that hot. Several possibilities --

1) The mobo/CPU temp sensing is totally out of whack. No real solution here... but I don't think that's what is going on.

2) There is something wrong with the way the HSF has been mounted. This is the most likely possibility. I would try pulling on the HSF to see how much it can move. It might rotate, but there should be absolutely no give when you try to pull it away from the CPU or push it down towards it. If there is any kind of slop at all, remove the whole motherboard, re-examine the CPU/HSF interface very carefully, then reinstall it.

Watch out for things like the Zalman mounting "nipples" being too long -- there were many variants. if they are too long, the pressure on the CPU will be quite low. You can simply remove the nipples and just mount the HSF with the botls directly through to the back plate. Just make sure you don't OVER tighten this time, and keep the screwed height of the bolts about the same (so the pressure on the clip/CPU is even).

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Post by Combover » Thu Jul 13, 2006 11:49 am

Couple of things, IMHO of course...

As previously mentioned, this may very well be a problem with your HS. Along with other suggestions, make sure you arent using too much thermal grease. A little dab l' do.

Another guess. You might have a problem with hot air from your GPU making its way toward the proc on the way out, and the HS (I think that blows down on the CPU) is pushing hot air over the proc. That would also explain why it drops (although 3c isn't THAT big of a drop) when you open the case. Run it hot, but stop it before it shuts down. Open the side slowly and see if you feel any warm pockets...heck it might be hot all over.

You might try another intake fan higher up that can blow some cool air in over the CPU fan. Or, turn the blow hole fan around to blow some cool air down toward the proc. Also, remove metal things in the 5 1/4 slots you aren't using.

In my own experience, when trying to cool an SLI rig, I found a very HOT pocket of air clashing with the intake fan positioned like it is in your first picture. The heat from my GPU's would heat the intake air rather quickly, and I found my proc/mb running in the 50's. I cut my 180 up and pretty much eliminated the prob, but I don't think you need to go that far. Oh, I yanked all the screens from my intakes, and really didn't have an issue with dust. Might need to clean it a little more often long term.


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Post by Turismo » Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:12 pm

This is good. I like having these options.

1) Remove existing metal panels from 1/4" drive.
2) Check Zalman HS to see how well it seats itself. (I don't recall it being loose, but I know that small things make big differences in PCs)
3) Remove filters.

I'm glad that it's not my imagination. It's actually good to hear that those temps are abnormal. It means something can be done to fix the problem. With all the reviews saying how well this case works, I could not imagine why I was any different.

While I don't "need" to be, I'm very cost consious and like to save. I dropped to money on the P180 cause I thought it would make a big difference. I'm looking to get the Asus A8N5X, a socket 939 3200+ proc, and an ATI X1600 Video card (Best Buy gift cards). I was really debating upgrading my stuff because of the heat issues. Once I can get a hold on that, I will make the upgrades.

I appreciate the help. I will post my results, and if anyone else has any opinions, I'm up for the tips!

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Post by andyb » Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:24 pm

Im with Mike on this one, it's got to be the motherboard sensor, or most likely the CPU HS not making proper contact.

I built 6 identical gaming PC's for an Internet cafe, one of the (retail boxed) HSF clips did not clip down properly, so I cable tied the arm to the bracket to make sure that the catch did not flip up and then release the preesure on the heatsink. All was well for a few days, I went back, and looked in the BIOS after playing BF2 for 5 mins, the CPU was running at 62C. I popped the side, un-did the HSF, and played with it for a while, it was not manufactured quite right, I had to push the lever down far more than the other HSF levers before the cantilever was locked. I put it back, and grudgingly forced it down, it made a horrible click, but it was then locked, another 10 mins of BF2 and the CPU was at 40C (warm room).

Really your system is a low power/low heat system, you should only need 1 case fan IMO, you could loose the front fan, loose the one in the bottom chamber and seal up the vents around the PSU exhaust area on the back of the case, and set the back case fan to low, and block the top vent (or use the top fan on low as well.

My system (sig below) hits 56C MAX (windows closed, room like oven, outside temp 30C, inside hotter), and thats the passively cooled NB not the CPU, the CPU hits 52C MAX, with the fan running at 800~RPM, with 1 tri-cool at the back on low, and the top vent blocked.


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Post by GamingGod » Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:14 pm

That looks very similar to my saphire 9800 pro's stock heatsink. I dont know if this is part of the issue. But when I got my card it ran so hot that using the stock heatsink on it wasnt even an option. I then tried a zm80 on it, and even with a 120mm fan on it, it would quickly overheat. I put a arctic cooling vga silencer ( the first kind to come out) and everything worked fine after that. Also my cpu starting overheating after I moved my computer recently and I ended up having to tighten the screws on my zalman 7000alcu. Im guessing the move jarred it a little bit.

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Post by Turismo » Thu Jul 13, 2006 3:52 pm

So here's the update.

I removed the metal clips where the DVD/CD drives are. I removed the filters.

I started my machine and loaded WoW. Crash in 5 minutes.

I take out the board, take off the Zalman, remove the grease. I clean up the CPU and Zalman. I re-apply the grease, re-instal the Zalman, remove the vented PCI slot covers and replace them with solild ones.

I boot her up and after 5 minutes of WoW, it's running 52 degrees.

The rear Tri-cools are at low. The drive mounted Tri-cool is on med (No sound difference from outside) and the Zalman is on high. Right now, all I can hear is the Zalman, like usual (Still annoying). I'l like to be able to run the Zal at half speed and remove the drive mounted Tri-cool.

Also, I did notice that the 9700 was really, really toasty when it crashed. I guess I may have to look into alternative cooling for that, if I don't do the upgrades.

I'm gonna do longer testing later on to see how much a difference it reall made.

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Post by GamingGod » Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:55 pm

Yea Im telling you man My 9800pro Which looks very similar to your 9700pro is like a furnace without the silencer on it. But the silencer worked great on it. I think mikeC is still selling one in the deals forum, you should pick it up.

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Post by Turismo » Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:01 pm

Well, after hours of "load" testing, It reached no higher than 49 degrees. However, this is later in the evening when the temps drop and the inside is less warm than before. I will have to see what happens when I get to test it in the day.

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Post by Turismo » Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:34 am


Looks as though the problem is solved for now. I ran the system under load for about 6 hours on Saturday in the afternoon and it reached no higher than 52 degrees.

I'm running the tri-cools on low and the Zalman around medium speed. So far, so good.

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Post by Turismo » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:32 am


Having upgraded the Motherboard, Video Card and Processor things have gotten way better.

Running WoW with full graphics (No FSAA), the system runs at 44 degrees with all the fans on the lowest setting. Big change over the previous setup. I almost didn't believe it, so I keep testing it to see if it's an error, but it's not.

It's nice to finally have a quiet system. I can barely hear anything when it's on. The Zalman can remain on low now, and my ears can be happy!

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