- 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)
(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?