C10 250: "My HTCP"

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C10 250: "My HTCP"

Postposted on Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:41 pm

I have a Thematake Element Q that played host to several different systems before I landed on my current HTPC build. I'm currently running an AMD A8-5500 on an MSI Motherboard. The thermals of this case are horrid and thus far the weak link in the system has been power supply fans. The original power supply used to run really hot after switching from an AMD E-450 to the A8. I thought the 65w processor combined with the abundance of spare harddrives was more load than the OEM power supply could take. After about 3 months with this configuration the powersupply fan began making noise. I upgrade the PSU to a 450 watt Silverstone. That was a year ago and now the current powersupply is starting to make some noise.

I'm wondering if changing my processor to an A4-4000 will help. I also have a Radeon 6570 I plan on pairing up with it now that the Dual Graphic is starting to benefit from frame pacing. I'm thinking that perhaps I should upgrade to a low profile performance CPU cooler. The stock AMD heatsink is pretty close to the PSU.
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Re: C10 250: "My HTCP"

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:03 am

A 450W SFX PSU is enough to power your A8 system 4 times over, so the PSU's capability is certainly NOT your problem. I would suspect the PSU and CPU fan fighting each other for air (since they're so close) might be causing your pre-mature fan failures.

Try blowing some canned air into the PSU exhaust vents to clear out any dust build-up. A clean PC is a happy PC.
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Re: C10 250: "My HTCP"

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:05 am

Agreed. Get rid of the evil dust bunnies. They're killing your PC.
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Re: C10 250: "My HTCP"

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:04 pm

Don't waste your time cleaning it, your case is the sole problem; From TR's own Element Q review:
The case's extremely limited airflow and cooler clearance conspire to make it a hostile environment for a Core i3-2100, and that's without even a discrete graphics card installed.

There is no active cooling apart from the PSU - the case is designed for 35W processors using their IGP graphics.

Given that a 65W i3-2100 roasted nearly to death (it definitely throttled) in TR's review, you'd think the A8-5500 would just about cope, right?
Sadly, no. Although an A8-5500 has the same TDP as the i3-2100, the reality is that the i3 will never use more than 65W, whilst the A8 will probably average 65W under load and peak much higher. - It's down to the way Intel and AMD define TDP unfortunately

In short, your case isn't going to work for the A8 alone, and the HD6570 will do two things simultaneously:
1) It'll double the amount of heat - the HD6570 uses 64W in addition to the already-too-hot 65W of the A8
2) It'll block off some of the ventilation, ensuring your roast your components even faster than doubling the heat output already will!

To continue using that hardware, you're going to need to run it with the case cover off, or buy another case.
Cheap alternatives are the CoolerMaster Elite 120 or Elite 130, also the Silverstone SG05 and SG06 - both of which have large 120mm fans to blow fresh air into the case.

C10 250 wrote:I'm wondering if changing my processor to an A4-4000 will help?


Nope. Same TDP of 65W; In practice, I expect it to use less power but it'll still run mighty hot in that case, and you still won't be able to run the HD6570.
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Re: C10 250: "My HTCP"

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:32 pm

I'd say try down clocking before spending any more money. You may be able to down clock your CPU enough to have it fit the thermal requirements for that case. I would touch the vcore first, and if you can't keep it stable with that low enough to hit your desired thermals start dropping mhz. I have a Phenom II 940 running in my HTPC on a cooler that is suppose to be 95w or below. It runs cool and stable (below 60C) after I down volted it to 1.09v on the vcore. Thankfully I didn't have to touch the Ghz, but seeing as I think the A8 is offering you more horse power then you need (as long as you are only playing movies and shows, not gaming) then down volting/clocking is probably the best and cheapest way forward for you.
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Re: C10 250: "My HTCP"

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:50 am

Well I fixed it. I bought a Corsair 250D.
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