Important question about CPU temperature
Oct 17, 2008 at 2:02 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

TopPop

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All,

In an attempt to make my dedicated music PC even quieter, I decided to order a new heatsink/fan for my CPU, as well as a new fan for my power supply. I installed them yesterday, but: 1) the new heatsink/fan are HUGE, and I have to strap the power supply on the back of the micro-ATX case because there's no clearance with the new fan; and 2) the end result isn't that much quieter than stock.
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So...

I was wondering how wise/unwise it would be of me to simply remove the fan from the new heatsink, and let it cool passively. The heatsink is large enough that this might be okay, and since there's a case fan about 1.5" away from the heatsink (diagonally), there would be a little bit of airflow anyway. This would also allow me to mount the power supply back inside the case, and would make things quieter overall.

Since I'm only running Winamp and the Bemused client on the PC, and have disabled all unnecessary services, the CPU wouldn't even be working that hard, so it would need less cooling than normal, correct? Do you all think that this larger heatsink will provide enough passive cooling to keep the CPU temperature at safe levels?

All thoughts/opinions/advice/$0.02 would be much appreciated!
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Oct 17, 2008 at 2:12 PM Post #3 of 20

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Oh, that was dumb. Oops.
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The HSF is an Arctic Cooling Alpine 64, and the CPU is a Sempron 3400+ (single core, 1.8 gHz).

I don't have any pics right now, but if it would help, I could probably post them later on tonight.
 
Oct 17, 2008 at 2:20 PM Post #5 of 20

Zorander

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It could work, depending on how much air gets moved through the CPU cooler fins. The near-by chassis fan will help, and if the PSU fan faces the CPU cooler, all the better. Try it. Run a temperature-monitoring program, such as Speedfan, and see what temperature the CPU hovers at. Also, you have enabled CnQ on the system, right?
 
Oct 17, 2008 at 2:39 PM Post #6 of 20

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Zorander /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It could work, depending on how much air gets moved through the CPU cooler fins. The near-by chassis fan will help, and if the PSU fan faces the CPU cooler, all the better. Try it. Run a temperature-monitoring program, such as Speedfan, and see what temperature the CPU hovers at. Also, you have enabled CnQ on the system, right?


Yeah, the PSU fan would face the CPU heatsink if it's placed inside. I'll try using Speedfan this afternoon, and monitor what's happening without it. What is a safe level to watch for?

And I don't know what CnQ is, unfortunately. I guess you would call me a "noob" when it comes to computers.

...or should that be spelled with zeros? ...
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Oct 17, 2008 at 2:39 PM Post #7 of 20

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Duggeh /img/forum/go_quote.gif
oops


yup
 
Oct 17, 2008 at 2:56 PM Post #8 of 20

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Okay... Cool'n'Quiet

Got it!

I'll install it this afternoon, and monitor how the CPU reacts without the fan.
 
Oct 17, 2008 at 3:59 PM Post #10 of 20

salami

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TopPop /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'll install it this afternoon, and monitor how the CPU reacts without the fan.


Make sure you set the power management of the OS properly, AMDs don't clock themselves down like Intel CPUs.

If you are running Windows XP, the following should work:

- Install the AMD Processor Driver ( http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/cont...er_1320053.zip )
- In the control panel / power options choose "Max Battery", then adjust the selectable options back to your preference
- Install the AMD Power Monitor ( http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/cont...onitor_123.zip ) and make sure the clock dynamically adjusts to the system load

Most AMD mainboards have a feature that shuts down your computer if the CPU temperature goes above a maximum value. Look in the BIOS under power management, you should find some control over the fans there too.

If you activate the automatic shutdown it should be safe to run the machine without a CPU fan.
 
Oct 17, 2008 at 5:09 PM Post #11 of 20

sonci

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Yes, if you keep it in the Max Battery profile,as Salami suggests, AMD processor will work with very low voltage, without getting hot, so you can remove the fan. However you can buy a fan controller bay in the case you have more than 2 fans.
If you have a gigabyte or asus motherboard, you can check for options like Q fan, in the motherboard bios, or download Easy Tune (gigabyte), and play for some time until you find the right speed of the fan; I think other brands should have their tools too.
I hope your case has a front intake fan, because that is more important than the proc or PSU fan.
 
Oct 17, 2008 at 6:04 PM Post #12 of 20

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sonci /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I hope your case has a front intake fan, because that is more important than the proc or PSU fan.


Actually, I rebuilt an old Emachines that I had lying around, because I liked the smaller micro-ATX case. However, the case didn't have any case fans on it at all! I cut the outer plastic case to reveal a place for an 80mm fan on the back part of the top, and put the fan there. So, no front intake, but there is a rear/top outflow. It seems to be enough airflow overall, however, as everything is running very cool for right now.
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 12:56 AM Post #13 of 20

anetode

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Running a 62 watt Sempron using that dingy cooler without a fan greatly reduces its lifespan and increases the chance of hardware failure. If you want to run it without a fan, you have to upgrade to a decent size heatsink that uses heatpipes, like the Scythe Ninja. These start at around thirty bucks, usually weigh over a pound and might not be the best choice for a cramped case.

Zalman makes good heatsinks for small cases, check out their CNPS 7000/7500/7700 (or the Thermaltake CL-P0220). You can find these for around 20.

silentpcreview.com | Everything about Silent / Quiet Computers has several lists of heatsinks and other recommendations. Just make sure that your CPU runs under 60c under load
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 2:00 AM Post #14 of 20

uraflit

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anetode beat me to it, but just to restate a very good point and a great website: silentpcreview.com | Everything about Silent / Quiet Computers

running passive even with the recommended heatsinks on the site pose serious risks. make sure you have adequate cooling before going passive.

i'm a firm believer that the PSU should always have a fan, and 1 big intake fan + 1 big outtake should be pretty good if you dont have a dedicated cpu fan.
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 4:17 PM Post #15 of 20

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Well, I've been monitoring things, and it seems like everything stays under about 35 degrees Celsius while playing. The air coming out of the case is very cool (not even slightly warm). I used the AMD processor driver, which downstepped the CPU to 1.0 gHz, which should be helping a good deal.

...seems like this should be fine, right?

And it's nice and silent.
 

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