ASUS M2NPV-VM - hot GeForce 6150 northbridge

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AlpineCarver
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ASUS M2NPV-VM - hot GeForce 6150 northbridge

Post by AlpineCarver » Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:23 pm

i've put together an under-$600 system to run ubuntu, using the following components:
  • antec NSK-3300 case
    asus M2NPV-VM motherboard
    amd athlon 64 X2 4600+ CPU
    scythe ninja rev. B cpu cooler (passive; no fan installed)
    2 X nexus DF1209SL-3 92mm case fans with zalman fanmates
    1X antec 120mm tri-cool fan (included with case)
the system went together easily, and is stable and reasonably cool and quiet, except for some major issues with the nvidia 6150 northbridge/gpu:

(1) there is no way to read temps directly off the chip, through the BIOS or thru software running under any operating system. i've done a bit of research on this and am fairly confident of it, but would be happy to be proven wrong.

(2) the chip runs very hot. using a fluke digital thermometer with a bead thermocouple, i get 68C at idle and 88C under load. this is measured by pressing the bead to the center of the heatsink and waiting 1-2 mins for the temp to stabilize. undoubtedly, there is some drop in temp from the chip to the top surface of the heat sink, some cooling of the thermocouple from air exposure, and some overall cooling of the system because i have to open the case to take the measurement. thus, i'm sure the chip itself is well into the 90's, at least. so far, it has not demonstrated any instability, but i expect this temperature will shorten its useful life.

(3) as far as i can tell, based on manufacturers specs and other web research, the best 3rd-party northbridge heatsinks (noctua nc-u6, thermalright hr-05, etc.) are not compatible with this motherboard, because the heat sink mounting hooks are very close together (just like the asus M2A-VM). one user has been able to get some of these heatsinks to work in another asus MB with the same HS mount after a lot of modification effort, but i'm leery of jury-rigging a heatsink mount, especially because they're big heavy things, cantilevered 90 degrees, and probably would need a big fan (with its added weight) to get the temp to anything reasonable.

if anyone has had any better success cooling the northbridge on their M2NPV-VM, i'd love to hear about it.

at this point, i'm half considering ditching this motherboard and switching to a different model, even though it would cost me a bit of money and time to do it. i need a socket AM2 micro-ATX board with ubuntu compatibility, good 3D preformance, and a DVI out. i'm thinking about maybe a biostar TForce TF7050-M2, which also has a hot NB, but at least has proper mounts for a thermalright HR-05 heatsink.

perhaps the best solution would be to disable the on-board gpu and switch to a passively-cooled add-in video card. i don't know if it's possible to disable the on-board gpu such that it doesn't consume as much power. does anyone know if that's possible, and how i would go about it in ubuntu?
Last edited by AlpineCarver on Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Felger Carbon
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Post by Felger Carbon » Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:42 pm

Would it be possible to rig a small fan (perhaps 60mm) as a spot cooler for the NB? And run the fan off 5V or 7V (using the "7V trick")? That's a lot cheaper than buying a new mobo.

I use a 6100-based mobo and have no problems whatever with overheating. I've heard the 6150 uses another 15W, so that must be the problem?

AlpineCarver
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Post by AlpineCarver » Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:10 pm

i don't think there is any good place to mount a fan directed at the NB (see photo below). i could attach one to the hard drive with cable ties, but that would restrict airflow to the hard drive, at least along the edge of the fan that contacts the hard drive.

notice that the NB heatsink is oriented such that its fins allow vertical airflow and block horizontal airflow. the asus engineers have chosen gravity over case fans, which i think is a mistake. unfortunately, the stock heatsink can't be rotated 90 degrees.

Image

vg30et
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Post by vg30et » Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:04 pm

I "zalmanized" the stock NB heatsink and ran a XP-120 cpu cooler to keep my m2npv-vm cool. It's in a nsk2400 and I haven't measured the temps in a while but I don't recall it ever exceeding 60C.

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Wed Aug 01, 2007 4:06 pm

you might be surprised what temps NB's can withstand; some are rated to above 100C. the fact that you have experienced no instability also points to this.

Felger Carbon
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Post by Felger Carbon » Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:22 am

AlpineCarver wrote:i don't think there is any good place to mount a fan directed at the NB (see photo below).
With the computer sitting in its normal operating position, you can easily use thin round shoestring wrapped around the Ninja's heatpipes (between one set of cooling fins) to suspend a small fan alongside (above, from the mobo's point of view) the NB heatsink. :D

AlpineCarver
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Post by AlpineCarver » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:32 pm

you might be surprised what temps NB's can withstand; some are rated to above 100C. . . .
while it appears to be operating reliably now, i expect that a temp pushing 100C will affect the overall lifespan of the chip itself, its packaging, the board and solder joints underneath it, etc.
With the computer sitting in its normal operating position, you can easily use thin round shoestring wrapped around the Ninja's heatpipes . . . to suspend a small fan . . .
i tried setting a strong 92mm fan on top of the hard drive, and the NB temp (with case open) went from 86C to 51C! it was loud, and the improvement may be somewhat exaggerated, because the bead thermocouple is now directly in a strong airflow, but it certainly demonstrates that your suggestion has merit.

unfortunately, a ninja-mounted fan would conflict with a video card, and i may well want to add one some time in the future.

also, such a high fraction of computer failures i've experienced over the years have been caused by small fans failing, that i've developed an aversion to them bordering on the fanatical.

Felger Carbon
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Post by Felger Carbon » Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:27 pm

AlpineCarver wrote:unfortunately, a ninja-mounted fan would conflict with a video card, and i may well want to add one some time in the future.

also, such a high fraction of computer failures i've experienced over the years have been caused by small fans failing, that i've developed an aversion to them bordering on the fanatical.
In the event of a future conflict, the fan is easily removed. In the event of a fan failure, the fan is easily replaced. You want your NB to run hot because you might want to install a video card at some indefinte future date? :D

AlpineCarver
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Post by AlpineCarver » Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:53 pm

Felger Carbon wrote:hIn the event of a future conflict, the fan is easily removed. In the event of a fan failure, the fan is easily replaced. You want your NB to run hot because you might want to install a video card at some indefinte future date? :D
of course, i don't want my NB to run hot; that's why i'm taking all these pains! :wink:

the point is, i'd like a solution that i can implement now, which won't stop working (with no good alternative) when i add a video card.

anyway, not finding any solutions to my liking, i've ordered a biostar TF7050-M2 motherboard. it's got standard HS mounting holes and plenty of room, so an upgraded NB heatsink should be easy to install.

fjf
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Post by fjf » Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:53 am

Get a thermalright HR-05 and change the NB heatsink. Probably will solve the problem.

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Post by thejamppa » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:25 am

fjf wrote:Get a thermalright HR-05 and change the NB heatsink. Probably will solve the problem.
Agreed. Or Noctua's chipset cooler is more effectiver due dual heatpipe solution. Its about some price.
If seeing is believing, how can blind person believe in anything?
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AlpineCarver
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Post by AlpineCarver » Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:41 am

i'd already investigated these possibilities before my initial post. (see item (3) above.)

according to thermalright's hr-05 motherboard compatibility chart, the M2NPV-VM is "not compatible."

according to noctua's nc-u6 mainboard-compatibility page, "The following mainboards, however, are incompatible because the distance between the mounting hooks is too close: Asus M2A-VM, Asus M2A-VM-HDMI." the M2NPV-VM has the same tight spacing as these others, so i assume it's not compatible either.

the only report i've been able to find of someone installing a 3rd-party NB cooler on these boards is from another silentpc member, whose travails are detailed here. i'm not interested in going there.

of all the motherboards in the universe, i picked the hardest one to cool passively. :evil: :evil: :evil: never again. from now, on, whenever i consider a motherboard, i will do my best to assess its ability to handle all three of these simultaneously:
  • (1) passive scythe ninja heatsink on the cpu
    (2) passive thermaright hr-05 heatsink on the northbridge
    (3) passive thermalright hr-03 heatsink on a video card
from what i can tell, for micro-ATX socket AM2 boards, the following appear to fit those criteria:
  • biostar TForce TF7050-M2
    msi K9AGM2-FIH
    ecs AMD690GM-M2
i just ordered the biostar. we'll see how it works out...

GnatGoSplat
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Post by GnatGoSplat » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:18 am

I'm just curious why you're so convinced the NB temp is a problem?

I had an M2NPV-VM for several months and had no reliability or stability issues. All nVidia chipsets run really hot. I could be wrong, but I think the AMD 690G on my Gigabyte board runs even hotter than the nVidia chips!

I think they are running within design spec. I even have a passive 7300LE whose GPU that has been running 104C nearly a year now which is frequently power cycled due to the HTPC being used as a DVR. It has no problems at all. 104C sounds really high, but it's just barely in the yellow on nVidia's thermometer program.

I'm sure in the long run, the heat would be bad for the chip, solder joints, etc., but how long do you plan to keep the board? It could probably last 5+ years as designed, maybe 10+, who knows? I don't know about you, but I have never kept a motherboard over 2yrs.

Maybe I put too much faith in motherboard company engineers! I just figure they have an EE degree and I don't...
Shawn

AlpineCarver
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Post by AlpineCarver » Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:04 pm

i tend to keep computers for a long time, typically 4-5 yrs, so longevity is an important consideration.

i don't have the manufacturer's temp rating for this NB (couldn't find it on the nvidia website). i've done a bit of searching here about temp vs longevity but haven't found any hard data, just a lot of opinions. i, too, am going on gut feel, and the fact that this chip is quite a bit hotter than any component in the small number of systems i've ever built, and that these temps would be marginal for many chips, if not this specific one. there's also the expansion/contraction issue for solder joints when the system is switched on and off. finally, i have a certain instinctive reaction against components getting hot enough to boil water :?

ppl4golf
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Post by ppl4golf » Sun Aug 05, 2007 3:00 pm

This M2NPV-VM mobo while relatively rich in feature and gives decent onboard graphics, it is plagued with various problems...BUT hot NB isn't one of them.

FWIW, I currently have 4 new HTPC rigs, in order of decending NB temperatures :

1. MSI K9N Platinum SLI (easily cause 2° burn)
2/3. Asus M2A-VM HDMI & ASRock AM2NF6G-VSTA (pretty hot to touch as well)
4. Asus M2NPV-VM (it really is not that hot at all compared to my other 3 systems)

I am using an Asus silent 8500GT on the MSI, the 8500GT is just as freaking hot, since the 2 heatsinks are so close, I fitted an internal 8cm fan running only <1200rpm to encourage airflow and it works out.

There is one good attribute in the M2NPV-VM is the board runs pretty cool and quiet, acceptable (to me) even stock everything and onboard Asus Quiet Fan, while slows down system fan (disappointingly the M2A does not).

AlpineCarver
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Post by AlpineCarver » Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:14 pm

ppl4golf wrote:This M2NPV-VM mobo while relatively rich in feature and gives decent onboard graphics, it is plagued with various problems...BUT hot NB isn't one of them. . . .
i suppose there must be a bit of variability from unit to unit. i'm quite certain of the accuracy of the measurements i made.

i also think the direction of the NB heat sink fins makes the board behave badly when the main air flow is front-to-back, instead of vertically. what kind of CPU cooler do you have on your M2NPV-VM? could it be blowing air vertically down onto your NB heatsink?

ppl4golf
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Post by ppl4golf » Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:10 pm

Stock Foxconn HS/fan...the rig is in a SFF AOpen desktop case with almost zero airflow :~)

otteridiz
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Post by otteridiz » Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:40 pm

vg30et wrote:I "zalmanized" the stock NB heatsink and ran a XP-120 cpu cooler to keep my m2npv-vm cool. It's in a nsk2400 and I haven't measured the temps in a while but I don't recall it ever exceeding 60C.
What does "zalmanized" mean?

Here is my story... I have had this MB (m2npv-vm) for a little over 1 year and I never monitored any temps. I have had no major problems, at least none that I thought were related to heat. Anyway, I installed and MSI 8500GT, passively cooled, and I wanted to check the temperatures because it felt hot to the touch. So, I installed ntune from nvidia and checked out the temps...

The GPU stays between 55-65C. However the other temperature it is reporting is labeled "nforc" and this temperature is at 95-105C!! I have been told this is my Northbridge chipset, and that is was too hot. In searching for a better cooling solution, I found this thread.

I am not sure if the new video card caused this or even could cause this to happen. Or maybe it's Vista?! (Turning Aero off got me down to 95C) Or if maybe the northbridge has always been running this hot?!? I have always had cards in the PCI slots, so the airflow hasn't changed.

Anyway, if I can "zalamanize" my northbridge and bring temps down that would be great. Or if I am freaking out for no reason, someone please tell me. Some geekier then me people told me that my MB is in danger at these nb temps.

PLEASE HELP!!

TK421
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Post by TK421 » Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:46 pm

otteridiz wrote: Anyway, if I can "zalamanize" my northbridge and bring temps down that would be great. Or if I am freaking out for no reason, someone please tell me. Some geekier then me people told me that my MB is in danger at these nb temps.

PLEASE HELP!!
I was actually going to suggest to the OP that he get a passive, cheap video card. That, theoretically, should take a load off of the northbridge and lower temps a bit.

What you are saying is yours are sky high, even with a dedicated GPU. I have to believe the recording is incorrect. Have you experienced any instability at all? Or is it just ntune reading that is alarming? If you are really scared, I would suggest an Antec spot cool which can mount pretty much anywhere and can be set to low or medium speeds. Aim it at the northbridge and see if your temp goes down.

otteridiz
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Post by otteridiz » Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:04 pm

TK421 wrote: What you are saying is yours are sky high, even with a dedicated GPU. I have to believe the recording is incorrect. Have you experienced any instability at all? Or is it just ntune reading that is alarming? If you are really scared, I would suggest an Antec spot cool which can mount pretty much anywhere and can be set to low or medium speeds. Aim it at the northbridge and see if your temp goes down.
It's just the ntune reading that I am basing this off of. I just found out today that the "nforce" temp reading is the northbridge, so I am going to go home after work and see how hot to the touch the Nb actually feels. I have not had any heat related instability. I sometimes get a strange error on a black screen that it could not read the hdd or something, but after a hard boot it would be fine. And that error is rare and hasn't happened since I installed Vista. I used to leave the machine on all the time until I got the 8500gt and installed ntune. I've been turning it off since I saw the 90C+ readings.

Maybe I'll try the Antec spot cool if necessary. Thanks.

otteridiz
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down to 65C

Post by otteridiz » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:08 am

I removed a tuner card, the VV Saber2020, from the PCIe 1x slot and the temps are down to around 65C. I did this because I could feel a lot of heat between the card and the nB heatsink (very little space between the two). So it is either restricted airflow or an inaccurate reading because so much heat was sitting between the card and the hetsink...which I guess would make it an accurate reading either way??

Anyway, I only used that card for radio, since I have a Hauppauge 1600, so I'll probably leave it out.

I am still going to try the Antec Spot Cool because I would like cooler temps all around and would like the ability to use any available slot I have... but if it is not a quiet fan, it'll go back to the store.

Thanks, to those who tried to help.

AlpineCarver
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Post by AlpineCarver » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:24 pm

. . . what kind of CPU cooler do you have on your M2NPV-VM? could it be blowing air vertically down onto your NB heatsink?
ppl4golf wrote:Stock Foxconn HS/fan...the rig is in a SFF AOpen desktop case with almost zero airflow :~)
i'm not familiar with cpu coolers made by foxconn. are you referring to the coolers that come packaged with AMD processors? if not, do you have a model number or a reference or a photo?

AlpineCarver
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Re: down to 65C

Post by AlpineCarver » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:37 pm

otteridiz wrote:I removed a tuner card, the VV Saber2020, from the PCIe 1x slot and the temps are down to around 65C.
just curious - does disabling the on-board GPU in the BIOS have any effect on NB temp?

otteridiz
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Re: down to 65C

Post by otteridiz » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:11 am

[quote="AlpineCarver"
just curious - does disabling the on-board GPU in the BIOS have any effect on NB temp?[/quote]

Umm.. not sure, I could try doing that, but the on-board GPU probably isn't being used much, if at all, correct?

I also put in an Antec Apot Cool in (medium fan speed) for fun and my temps are now hovering around or below 50C for both the 8500GT GPU and the nB. I may put it on Low and be satisfied with 55C, depending on how much the slight hum bothers me after I get my 40" LCD TV (Samsung LN-T4061F)... had to throw that in there ;)

The "hum" is a result of how close the spot cool is to the top of the NSK2400 case. But it is pulling air in from the top vent, so works out great for cooling...

Maybe I could mount one of my extra 120mm Yate Loons underneath on that vent and return the Antec Spot Cool...probably won't fit... and may cause just as much noise??... now I am just babbling in a post... that's dumb, I'm done.

AlpineCarver
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Re: down to 65C

Post by AlpineCarver » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:34 am

otteridiz wrote:
AlpineCarver wrote: just curious - does disabling the on-board GPU in the BIOS have any effect on NB temp?
Umm.. not sure, I could try doing that, but the on-board GPU probably isn't being used much, if at all, correct?
AFAIK, the on-board GPU may still be rendering and displaying, even though there is no monitor attached.

Bugsi
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Post by Bugsi » Sat Aug 11, 2007 1:12 am

I have two of the M2NPV-VM systems, one in an Antec NSK2400, and one in an Antec Minuet. The nTune software reported similarly high northbridge temps ~90C. I'm using dedicated PCIe video cards in each system, and the northbridge ran hot before adding the cards, and after. In the NSK2400 I'm cooling the CPU with a Thermalright XP120 and a 120mm yate-loon on the cpu fan header with Qfan actively controlling it. The northbridge still runs hot. The video card is a passive MSI 8600GT.

In the Minuet, the northbridge ran hot there too, until just this week when I switched out the stock AMD CPU cooler with a Zalman CNPS8700LED. Now the northbridge runs in the 50's C range according to nTune. The advertising literature for the Zalman CNPS8700LED makes claims that its airflow will also help cool a video card and northbridge, but I didn't really pay any attention to it, figuring it to just be marketing hype. Now the Minuet case is REALLY HARD TO COOL because it doesn't have good airflow. I have the stock 80mm antec case fan replaced with an 80mm Noctua connected to casefan1 and also actively controlled by the motherboard's Qfan control. With those changes, the computer is vastly quieter and the northbridge runs cool!

However in the NSK2400 I still have a hot northbridge, so I was really interested to read this thread to see if you had found a suitable aftermarket heatsink. I looked at the Thermalright HR-05 that you mentioned, but it was too tall for the Minuet case, and I didn't bother to look up motherboard compatibility for it. But since my Minuet case is running cooler now, I was still considering it for the NSK2400 if it would fit. But it looks like it isn't compatible with the motherboard, without rigging something.

The Zalman was another possibility, but that apparently takes some rigging too. I will say, that despite the northbridge temps in 90's C range, I've never had any problem with it. But I'd prefer it to be cooler as well.

I'd recommend using a Zalman CNPS8700LED cpu cooler, except I'm fairly certain it won't fit in the NSK3300 case. I also have an NSK3300 system with an ASUS P4 board in it, and a Thermalright SI120 that I bought for it is way too big. I'm probably going to exchange it for an XP90, but I might look into the Ninja that you're using in the case.

-Which still doesn't offer you a suggestion to help cool the northbridge on your M2NPV-VM, other than to note that better airflow over it appears to significantly lower the northbridge temps. Difficult, I know, when you're trying to build a quiet PC with minimal additional fans. I'll let you know if I find a suitable alternative northbridge cooler for this board.

AlpineCarver
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Post by AlpineCarver » Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:54 pm

i've dumped the M2NPV-VM and replaced it with a biostar TF7050-M2.

the biostar is much better designed for passive cooling. it fits the ninja and hr-05 fit with room to spare. it looks like a video board with hr-03 would also fit, but i haven't tried it. with the biostar, the base of the hr-05 is only moderately warm to the touch under load, whereas the non-replaceable stock NB on the M2NPV-VM was scorching.

once i've had a little more soak time with the system, i'll post a summary in the "General Gallery" forum here.

Erssa
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Post by Erssa » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:22 am

AlpineCarver wrote:i've dumped the M2NPV-VM and replaced it with a biostar TF7050-M2.

the biostar is much better designed for passive cooling. it fits the ninja and hr-05 fit with room to spare. it looks like a video board with hr-03 would also fit, but i haven't tried it. with the biostar, the base of the hr-05 is only moderately warm to the touch under load, whereas the non-replaceable stock NB on the M2NPV-VM was scorching.

once i've had a little more soak time with the system, i'll post a summary in the "General Gallery" forum here.
What a waste to buy a new motherboard and an expensive heatsink, when the first motherboard was working just fine.
[color=blue][size=84]Antec Solo case /w Seasonic S-12 430W, Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-SH2, X2 4850e /w Scythe Ninja, 2x2Gb DDR2800, WD Raptor 150GB, 500GB WD GP in Antec MX-1, BenQ G2400W, Logitech diNovo Laser, Logitech z-680[/color][/size]

AlpineCarver
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Post by AlpineCarver » Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:11 pm

Erssa wrote:What a waste to buy a new motherboard and an expensive heatsink, when the first motherboard was working just fine.
one man's "working just fine" is another man's "slowly cooking itself to death".

if you consider all the components, and the value of the time it takes to research, build, and maintain a PC, the cost of a replacement motherboard is a very small fraction. and when i said "dumped," i didn't mean it literally. the asus board will be sold or given away to someone who's not as fussy as i am...

Erssa
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Post by Erssa » Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:56 pm

AlpineCarver wrote:one man's "working just fine" is another man's "slowly cooking itself to death".

if you consider all the components, and the value of the time it takes to research, build, and maintain a PC, the cost of a replacement motherboard is a very small fraction. and when i said "dumped," i didn't mean it literally. the asus board will be sold or given away to someone who's not as fussy as i am...
Still the money would have been better spent, if you had upgraded to a faster and more energy efficient platform in a couple of years instead of waiting your usual 4-5 years.
[color=blue][size=84]Antec Solo case /w Seasonic S-12 430W, Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-SH2, X2 4850e /w Scythe Ninja, 2x2Gb DDR2800, WD Raptor 150GB, 500GB WD GP in Antec MX-1, BenQ G2400W, Logitech diNovo Laser, Logitech z-680[/color][/size]

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