Sadness is 80C CPU temps

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Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Mon May 02, 2011 4:45 pm

Have an old HP xw4600 workstation, Core 2 Duo 3 GHz, putting in a Q9300 instead. Stock CPU and cooler it gets something like 20C idle, 50C under load (Prime95, SpeedFan). A Q6600 in another non-brand machine is 30C/60C. Plopping in the Q9300 in the HP gets me an idle of about 50 or 60C, max of 80C.

Decided on getting an aftermarket cooler. The mobo has a screw bracket already in place and I'm too lazy to rip out the entire mobo to let plastic standoffs work. I got me a Zalman CNPS9500AT but now I've discovered that not only are the screws the wrong thread, but the bracket, when screwed down, is hitting capacitors and voltage regulators and not actually making contact with the mobo.

Time to hit the hardware store to 1) get the same thread as OEM cooler (same as what holds the faceplates on light switches or electrical outlets, actually), 2) get longer screws (I have said screws and they are too short), and 3) get spacers or washers or something so the bracket can be attached to the mobo and not be crushing on the components on the mobo. I only hope the springy piece that holds the heatsink to the bracket and CPU has enough spring in it to keep good contact even after I raise the bracket from the mobo/CPU 1/8" of an inch or so.

And really hoping this solves my temp issue, too. Have some Xeon coolers plus the one that came with the retail Q9300 but they all use plastic standoffs and that would entail ripping out the mobo to remove the retaining bracket on the back of the CPU socket. Blah.

Not really a problem that I am looking for advice on, I just wanted to whine a little. I picked up the Zalman at a local Micro Center because it was available (along with 50 other brands/types), it fit LGA775, and it was purty. I wonder if I made a mistake on this due to the bracket and I should just return it and try something else. Gah. I dork around with CPUs so rarely, no real good concept on applying thermal grease or what's even good. I tried looking at heat conductivity as a metric but not everyone quotes that. Just punted and got some Arctic MX-4, hopefully that's quality goop.

Oh, and the OEM heatsink, HP part 460285-001, part of the CPU/heatsink kit KD174AV for HP's Q9300 offering, looks identical to the heatsink I already have. Makes me wonder if they naturally run hot or if I just suck in applying thermal grease.
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Re: Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 10:12 am

Well, found me some longer screws and had some split washers handy for spacers. Bracket's in place. That made the cooler not fit as tight as I wanted so I made the retention clip more springy by bending it some more. Seemed to work.

So at least I'm maxing out around 70C now. I'm wondering if I'm applying thermal grease wrong? I'm trying to do it pretty thin but maybe I'm doing it too thin? Everyone and their mother seems to have a different technique; what do you guys typically do?
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Re: Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 10:25 am

My thermal paste method is simple. Put a dab in the middle of the core and put the heatsink on. It will smoosh out whatever it doesn't need.
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Re: Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 10:29 am

You want spring-loaded screws or plastic tabs. I went the bolt route once and I'm not doing it again.

Why? Because of one simple issue: you won't get an even pressure distribution on the CPU. In my specific case, I tried retrofitting a socket-775 Scythe Ninja HSF to socket 1156, so I got some bolts/washers/etc from the hardware store. The CPU temperature skyrocketed, and after a couple more tries I gave up, as the paste was only making proper contact on the edges of the CPU, instead of the center. After some tips from the forum here, tried to get a hold of spring-loaded screws, but couldn't find them anywhere, so I have up. Got me a proper socket-1156 HSF, and temperatures plummeted. Shouldn't have bothered in the first place.
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Re: Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 10:37 am

Well there's a big springy retaining clip that actually forces the heatsink onto the CPU top itself, so contact is at least being made by something under tension right in the center.

I'm going to try Corrado's dab method and see how that works. Temps holding steady at 70C-ish so there's at least some improvement. The previous 80C was with the OEM heatsink that actually does have some nice spring-loaded screws. Maybe my thermal paste application technique was weak in that attempt?
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Re: Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 11:06 am

Big glob technique gives no practical difference. And when I took the heatsink off, it did look like the previous application was nicely spread on both the CPU and heatsink itself.

I wonder if I just call it good with the knowledge that I won't be hitting these temps unless I'm video encoding. I reeeeally don't want to take the entire thing apart so I can use plastic tabs, the case is not friendly like that. Hrm.
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Re: Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 11:12 am

Scrotos your such a loser, even your mom could fix your temp problem. :D Maybe I'll just turn to my left next time and tell you to your face :D

*This is a joke* I sit next to Scro at work... :D
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Re: Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 11:34 am

See what kind of hostile work environment I have to deal with? Last time I asked him for help, he told me to buy AMD and switch to Linux!

Buncha hippies here, is what.

The goop actually made my temps go up by 5C so I scrapped some off and am reheating the bad boy to redistribute the grease. (seems to have worked, looks like I've found the threshold wherein it becomes an insulator, yay)
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Re: Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 11:47 am

Scrotos wrote:Well there's a big springy retaining clip that actually forces the heatsink onto the CPU top itself, so contact is at least being made by something under tension right in the center.

That's what I thought too in my situation, until I pulled off the HSF, and the past in the center had barely been touched.
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Re: Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 12:06 pm

Scrotos wrote:See what kind of hostile work environment I have to deal with? Last time I asked him for help, he told me to buy AMD and switch to Linux!

Sounds good to me! :lol:
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Re: Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 12:14 pm

Scrotos wrote:See what kind of hostile work environment I have to deal with? Last time I asked him for help, he told me to buy AMD and switch to Linux!


You should buy a Mac just to spite him.
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Re: Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 12:26 pm

Actually he keeps getting these Android tablets. I mess with him by saying, "wow, that's almost as thin as an iPad!" and "that's almost as light as an iPad!" Right now he's trying to fix someone's linux-based laptop but they neglected to give him the power cord for it. The issue? "If you leave it running for a while it locks up." Yeah, thanks for givin' the laptop with 50% battery life, that should help replicate the issue.

On-topic, dorky removed the side of the case and my temps went from 70C under load to around 60C. Normally I thought that if you take the door off when there's proper airflow, your temps get higher. I guess the key concept there is "proper airflow". Hrm. It's an OEM case from HP. Has a slot to put an extra fan in the front, maybe I'll try that next.

I was disassembling another system, known as Jennifer (I'm working on Steve) to see if I could get the bracket behind the mobo removed to try plastic inserts, per my new buddy morphine's suggestion. I probably could have if the mobo tray wasn't molded to have standoffs for the CPU cooler built into it. GAH. If I can even remove the tray (it is unclear how, some odd latch mechanism but it looks stuck to the case anyway) and hammer down the standoffs, it still looks like the cooler is doing fine and it's just the overall airflow that's jacking me up.

The quest continues...
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Re: Sadness is 80C CPU temps

Postposted on Wed May 11, 2011 9:43 am

In case anyone's wondering how this turned out, the case fan in question was a 92mm 4-cable PWM-controlled case fan. Not exactly something you can pick up at the local Best Buy. I ended up getting a 92mm "normal" fan with the highest CFM I could, non-PWM because I wanted instant gratification from Micro Center and not wait for something to be mailed to me. p.s. any "3-pin to 4-pin" converters are just Molex, not something that'll fit on a PWM-type mobo header.

Since the mobo complained at boot that there was no case fan, I reused the old one and kind of suspended it in front of the video card so it blew air over it. So it's registered as being there and I get some extra airflow.

My CPU core temps have a 10C variance between core 0 and core 3, dunno what's up with that. So my "average" temps now are like 45C idle and 60C under load. The max that one zany core gets is 50C/65C and the "cool" cores are 40C/55C. Overall, I had to MacGuyver some stuff but I'm happy with how it turned out. I have a constantly-on fan which is a bit louder but hell, the temps are much more in my comfort range now. Taking the case off now only minimally affects my temps which I take to mean the airflow finally doesn't suck. Also, though there was an extra fan header, apparently I was wrong--there's no extra place in the front to mount another fan. Didn't stop me from trying, though!

If I had to do it again, I wouldn't. I'd just buy a new OEM computer as my "upgrade". Now I get to build this as my new system and migrate stuff over, do some more CPU swapping so I can prep a system as a giveaway.
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