AMD AM3 core temps question

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AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:21 am

I've built quite a few systems with AM3 processors in, but there's one that is a bit unusual. It's the only one with a Phenom II X2 550, and the stock cooler fan likes to run at 3000rpm on typical Asus Q-Fan settings. Compare that to pretty much every one of the others (lots of Athlon II X2s, one Athlon II X4, four Phenom II X4s, all non-'e' editions) and the stock coolers are running at 1500rpm or less to achieve the same core temp of about 35 - 40C at this time of year.

I visited the customer using the Phenom II X2 today, and because I've been playing around with the Asus Q-Fan settings on my system, I tried a couple of things on his - setting the performance profile from optimal to silent for example, and changing the fan connector setting from PWM to DC for some reason slows the fan speed down a bit more - has taken the typical fan speed down to 2000rpm to make a much quieter system which he is quite happy with. I monitored the fan speed for quite a while after the setting change, it was stable on idle, and the fan speed ramped up to 3200rpm once the processor had been max'd out for about 12 minutes and kept the core temp below 50C. The system is well-ventilated so I'm confident that those settings will be ok.

The whole thing just makes me nervous of getting Phenom II X2's. Did I get a freaky one or something? I didn't check the thermal paste today, but if the thermal paste layer was in any way abnormal before I installed it, I would have known exactly where to look for the problem when I originally built the machine.

The processor isn't being overclocked - its idle speed is 800MHz, and its max'd out speed is 3.1GHz.
Last edited by mikeymike on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:24 am

Is it possible that the fan and/or the motherboard fan plug is defective?
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:31 am

What symptoms would you expect for that? The fan speeds it is reporting tally up with the noise level I expect from the fan speeds.

The chassis fan speed runs at the speed I expect it to, which may help if I start tinkering to see if I get unexpected results.
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:37 am

Try plugging a different fan into the plug the CPU fan is on, or alternately, test the voltage on the plug on the motherboard. If you're getting 12v, its running at full speed.
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:39 am

Well the Phenom 2s are rated at a power range than the Athlons (65W for an Athlon 2 3.2GHz Vs 80W for a Phenom 2 3.1GHz)

All that extra cache is going to use a bit more juice.

EDIT:
One other thought... is it running in a AM3 mobo or an AM2+ one? IIRC some of the powersaving features get disabled if you use an AM2+ board.
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:54 am

@ cheesyking - AM3 boards only. Btw, it's high even compared to a few Phenom II X4s I've installed.

@ Corrado - I'll try a different fan if/when next time I get the chance. What's your PhIIX2 like?
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:08 pm

Under 50C at load is good for any processor mate. Only suggestion I could make is check voltages and reapply thermal paste.

You shouldn't be afraid of PII X2's. Plenty good processors. We all have problems now and again with computers.
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:18 pm

I would guess an Issue with Asus's Q-fan, they are know for issues, or a bad fan.

The PhenII can also be undervolted quite a bit to help reduce temps and save power w/o comprimising stability. My PhenII 955 BE (c2) is at 1.200V and it does 24hr prime95 no problem, I guess if you really wanted to be on the safe side for stability 1.250V should be plenty.
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:34 am

I doubt it's the fan. I've had two Asus boards, and the Q-Fan function never managed to impress me.

I've tried an Athlon II X3 stock cooler versus a Phenom II X4 stock cooler on my HTPC. In theory, a copper+aluminum HSF should be better than a pure aluminum HSF. Sure enough, Phenom fan typically spins at ~900RPM while the Athlon fan spun at ~1000RPM at roughly the same temperature. This is on a Gigabyte board with separate applications of Arctic Silver 5.
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:15 am

Apart from some issues I had with some AMD stock coolers with the Asus M4A78T-E board, Q-Fan has worked well for me since the Athlon XP (knocking fan speed down from ~3000RPM to ~2200RPM idle), through the Athlon 64 range (generally halving fan speeds) and on to the AM3 range (fan speeds down to about 1500rpm with stock coolers).

My current system (Athlon II X4 630, stock cooler, Asus M4A89GTD PRO / USB3) has been running this morning for a few hours, core temp 37C, fan speed ~1600rpm).

Personally I would be surprised if I could tell the noise difference between 900 rpm and 1000rpm.
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:57 am

Could be a BIOS issue -- is the latest version installed?

About a year ago I received a stock AMD cooler that came with multiple gouges in the bottom surface; I suppose something like that might bump your temps up enough to cause the fan to speed up. In my case I didn't notice right away because the stock thermal goop covered up the gouges; I noticed when I was swapping CPUs between a couple of systems and cleaned the HSF off to apply fresh thermal paste. Even though it did not seem to be causing me any trouble, I went ahead and lapped it down to smooth it out.
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:49 am

It really sounds like a BIOS/Q-fan issue to me if the fan is running at high RPM at low temp. I would suggest updating BIOS. If that doesn't help disable fan control and use Speedfan.
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:26 am

This seems to be more of a Q Fan issue. I've been bothered by high CPU fan speed in my brig, and was looking all over the net without result.
In an ambient temp of 26-35 C, idling CPU temp is 39-41 C and CPU fan speed is 3200 RPM (BTW I'm using Linux Mint 10 where k10temp shows 29 C when idling, and CPU temp shows 39-41 C, but all readings are consistent across BIOS/Linux and Windows).
At 3 core load (2.9GHz), till yesterday, it was 61 C CPU temp with 5800 RPM fan speed, and today, at the same CPU temp, fan speed is <4500 RPM!
This is crazy. But looking at all your comments and my observations, it seems that there is some bug in the way ASUS Q Fan handles the fan speed relative to the variables.
I've ordered some TX4 for relief. Hope that the CPU temp under load comes to 25 C above ambient.
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Re: AMD AM3 core temps question

Postposted on Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:35 pm

Is it possible for you to test that Phenom II X2 on the motherboard running one of the Phenom II X4's (particularly one that you think is running at the right temps)? If it still hits high fan speeds and temps, I'd be inclined to think that X2 is not hitting its intended thermal envelope. Either it's binned too high or there's something wrong with the thermal compound between the die and the heat spreader (I'm referring to the part under the heat spreader). I believe most boards adjust fan speed according to temp.
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