Advice needed on hot, somewhat noisy computer.

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Okatha
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Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:39 pm

Advice needed on hot, somewhat noisy computer.

Post by Okatha » Fri Jan 14, 2005 4:53 am

Hi, I'll get my rig's specs out of the way first then describe what's going on.

A64 3400+ Clawhammer with a Zalman CNPS7000-AlCu. (CnQ enabled)
MSI Neo Platinum nForce3 250
2x512MB Kingston HyperX 4000
GeForce 6800 Ultra with a NVSilencer 5
WD Raptor 74GB
Maxtor 250GB IDE HD
SoundBlaster Audigy ZS 2
SeaSonic Super Silencer 460W (Rev A3)
NEC 2500A Burner
Tosbiha DVD-ROM
Antec Performance One 160
Panaflo 120mm fan rear exhaust

Hrm, okay, think that's it. Basically, at idle it seems pretty warm. One probe I placed on the RAM shows ~50C and another probe on the 6800U shows ~52C. Looking up the 6800U temperature from the diode reads ~67C(!) and an ambient of 48C. I'm not sure on the CPU's temp, because the MSI's have some issues with the diode there but I imagine it's pretty warm as well.

When I play a game (Doom 3, UT2k4, Warhammer DoW, CoH, etc) things get really, really hot. The GPU probe can go almost up to 80C, and that seems like it's a lowball considering the disparity between the probe and the diode at idle, and the memory probe can hit 65C. I haven't tried any of the really intensive temp tests because I'm a little afraid of burning something out.

Right now I'm thinking I should take the CPU and GPU out, clean off the TIM (I used Ceramique, but I'm pretty much out of that now) and apply some Arctic Silver 5 and see if that helps at all. Maybe I'm not making good contact between the heatsinks and the chips. When I first installed things I really wasn't sure how much pressure there should be, I didn't want to crush anything.

Other than that, any other advice? Is this normal at all? I'm been thinking of putting a fan on the front for intake. I have a Panaflo 92mm and I tried putting it in before, but it was a really really tight fit and couldn't get it to work (I used velcro patches to mount the rear fan and tried the same for the front). Maybe using some of those silicone mounts from McMaster-Carr would help?

This is really bugging me because some games I get some bizarre graphics glitches and weird slowdown that I'm thinking is due to overheating. Paying as much as I did for this rig and having textures blinking in and out isn't amusing. :x

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:13 am

Nothing wrong with the CPU temp, it seems. 50s is no big deal. You don't mention load temps for the CPU. With the C7000 mouting, the correct method to for the screws to be bottomed out. Otherwise, the spring doesn't apply enough tension.

The GPU temps by themselves are not that significant -- you don't KNOW what is safe for them -- but 80C does seem a bit extreme, and the graphic misbehavior / shutdown are indicative of overheating. I'd have a very close look at the NV5 installation on this card. Check to see that the thing sits flat on the GPU, and the screws are tight. How tight? Well, you certainly don't want to be able to twist the HSF while it is on. Maybe if nothing seems wrong, just reinstall really carefully and methodically. Whne you take it off, examin the pattern made by the TIM. If there's bad contact between GPU and HS, you'll often see it in the pattern of the goop.

You might also consider adding a front 120mm fan, one of the stock ones the P160 comes with, and turn it on when you're plaing hard.

Dif. between AS5 & Ceramique is neglible btw.

Okatha
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Post by Okatha » Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:03 am

Right, I don't really have any CPU temps to give out because the numbers I saw looked funny, not sure if MSI fixed the problem people were having with temp readings. I did flash the MB with the latest bios though. Any good temp monitor programs? I tried HMonitor, but it was... difficult. The 50C I mentioned was the probe I placed inside the RAM heatspreader.

I forgot to mention, I have the 120mm rear fan volt modded to 7v, and the Zalman HSF on the fanmate, but that is turned all the way up and hooked into the motherboard so the BIOS is supposed to spin it up/down as the CPU changes temperature.

Any reason not to use the Panaflo 92mm fan on the front? Originally I wanted that to be volt modded to 5v and leave it on all the time. Especially since that's where the two HDs are sitting. From what I head if I use the little slide dealie to put the 120mm fan in, it's going to rattle around and make quite a bit of noise.

The reason I say I'd put on AS5 is because the tube of Ceramique is pretty much empty, certainly not enough for a CPU, GPU and the 5 GDDR chips on the 6800U. And I had a *really* difficult time getting the Ceramique to spread when I used it before. I guess they want you to just put a blob in the middle, but I was concerned about creating electrical shorts if it got in the traces. Those GDDR chips are freaking tiny.

Bottomed out? I'm not sure if it is, I installed the Zalman on the CPU back in July. Guess that's something to check.

Btw, my P160 only came with one fan. It's okay, but I think the Panaflo 120mm I replaced it with is doing a better job.

Thanks for the reply MikeC, really appreciate it.

sthayashi
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Post by sthayashi » Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:23 am

Your hard drive temperatures should dictate whether you should put a 92mm fan in the front.

As for the ceramique, its selling point is that it is electrically inert, so I wouldn't worry so much about the traces. Though I have to admit, I didn't know people were meant to put TIM on RAM. I didn't think it matter so much.

Do make sure that the thermal grease is very very thin. You will actually get worse performance if you use too much.

Tyrdium
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Post by Tyrdium » Fri Jan 14, 2005 12:46 pm

My 6800GT had thermal pads on the bumps where the cooler met the RAM, so I'm guessing it's intended to be used with some type of TIM.

Okatha
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Post by Okatha » Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:47 am

Right, actually the heatsink had the thermal pads on them, not the ram chips themselves. So I figured I should put some TIM on the chips.

Tibors
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Post by Tibors » Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:13 am

Whatever you do, NEVER use TIM and thermal pads at the same time. It just adds an extra layer that won't help you. Use one or the other but not both.

Tyrdium
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Post by Tyrdium » Sat Jan 15, 2005 7:34 am

Okatha wrote:Right, actually the heatsink had the thermal pads on them, not the ram chips themselves.
Right. Sorry, I should've phrased that a bit more clearly.

Okatha
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Post by Okatha » Sun Jan 16, 2005 10:43 am

Tibors wrote:Whatever you do, NEVER use TIM and thermal pads at the same time. It just adds an extra layer that won't help you. Use one or the other but not both.
Heh, yeah. I did clean off the pads and chips before putting Ceramique on the chips. Good to point that out though.

I've tried disabling Fast Writes via RivaTuner, and the card seems to run a little cooler, hits about ~65C as opposed to 70+C when gaming. Not sure if I'm losing performance though.

There's also something about changing Blitting options in DirectX, but there's really no mention about impacting temperatures. Will need to look into that some more.

I think one thing to look into might be the power supply, I don't have both lines totally dedicated to the video card. I think one line runs a fan and the other has an LED for the front panel. Problem is I'm running out of molex's! Meh.

Okatha
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Post by Okatha » Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:30 am

Been awhile, but finally decided to do something about this. I ordered some AS5 and Ceramique. AS5 for the core, Ceramique for the memory RAM. If you asked me why I'd have to say... erm, I guess I'm more afraid of putting too much AS5 on the RAM and shorting out the traces than I am of the core. Truth be told I was waiting for SVC to get both in stock, since they have free shipping on those two items. Everywhere else I saw wanted almost as much just to ship the TIM as the actual product costs, which is crazy. Plus the Fry's here is ridiculously expensive on this kind of thing.

I also got two more molex Y splitters, I plan to completely isolate the 6800 Ultra from all other devices in the system, even fans and the front LEDs.

If this fails to cool it down I'm not quite sure what to do next. I think putting the stock HSF back on it and see if that helps would be the next step, and after that maybe a different retail solution. Maybe that new Zalman GPU cooler. Then I'd have two flowery looking things in my rig, heh.

What I've observed about the temps is basically I'm really, really off about it when it's under load. After a session of CoH I looked at the temp from the nVidia driver page, it read over 90C! Now that's just too freaking hot. I'm wondering if something really weird is happening with the TIM, like it's just not making contact with the heatsink. Either that or my NV Silencer is a piece of garbage. :/

edit: Gah I forgot to mention. What motivated me to place the order was I ran 3dmark03 with fastwrites off, so I could compare it with fastwrites on. Well that was the idea. It hardlocked the machine when I tried to do a run with fastwrites enabled, but it ran okay with it disabled. So, there you go.

ronrem
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Post by ronrem » Sat Feb 05, 2005 5:27 pm

I don't know why people are so shy about cutting a hole in the floor to mount a fan. Show that case who is boss,a sabre saw costs about the same as a couple of tubes of thermal grease. depending on the case a side mount/door mount thermal fan could be an answer as it could line up with the vid card. Artic Cooling's 80 mm TC is a 1000-1800 rpm thermal controlled-very quiet at minimum and not too bad at max. A front fan is closest to your ears and should be a last resort. Is anything overclocked?

Okatha
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Post by Okatha » Wed Feb 09, 2005 6:44 am

ronrem wrote:I don't know why people are so shy about cutting a hole in the floor to mount a fan. Show that case who is boss,a sabre saw costs about the same as a couple of tubes of thermal grease. depending on the case a side mount/door mount thermal fan could be an answer as it could line up with the vid card. Artic Cooling's 80 mm TC is a 1000-1800 rpm thermal controlled-very quiet at minimum and not too bad at max. A front fan is closest to your ears and should be a last resort. Is anything overclocked?
Here's some pictures of the video card and the process of re-applying the TIM in this thread.

Okay, to answer your questions. I don't have any tools to cut a hole in the case. Besides which I'm wary of doing so, mostly because I'm afraid of messing it up and having to buy a new case, heh.

And no, nothing is overclocked. Though I was a little confused as to why the video card came clocked to 425 for the core and 1.1Ghz for the memory. The original specs for the card were 400 and 1Ghz, but that's the factory set clock for the card. Supposedly nVidia had better yields and clocked the stuff higher, but who the hell knows. For what it's worth I did lower the clock speeds but it didn't change a thing as far as temperature is concerned. I did install the 92mm Panaflo in the front, set to 5v I really can't hear it over the 120mm Panaflo in the rear (I have that one on a Fanmate, set slightly higher than it's lowest setting) and the power supply's fan.

Right now what I do is crack open the side panel when I'm gaming, which as you can imagine helps a bit.

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