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I have an athlon xp 2200 with a volcano 9 variable speed heatsink and seem to be running to hot.Yesterday I tried a thermal pad,the temp was worse.so I reapplied thermal paste and the temp at the moment with just the monitor mouse and keyboard attached is running at 85 c with the fan running at full whack 5443 rpm's.any suggestions folks.
At the moment the side is off,and it always sits on a desk
With the side off, the air flow will not be passing the components, they will be sitting in still air. If you have two fans, one should be drawing air in and the other blowing out, with the components in between. If the fans are too close, the air will simply pass from one to the other.
Too much thermal paste is as bad as none at all - you need the very thinnest of layers, and should ensure that the pasted square is carefully located on the die of the CPU.
In addition you should not run the machine with the case side off - this will stop the case fans from forming a proper airflow over the components. Athlons run hot, but with thermal paste, properly applied, a CPU fan that runs properly, and a case fan (or fans) that do the same you should not experience overheating. I'm running the same processor as you in a standard case with standard CPU and case fans and have never had the slightest problem.
Where are you getting this temperature reading from anyway? If it's from software don't place too much reliance on it being correct - the only proper way to monitor CPU temperature is to have a probe located as near to the CPU die as possible. Your motherboard - if it's a fairly recent one - should have CPU monitoring built in, and it will , by default shut down the computer when it senses overheating.
Out that case side back as soon as possible, and ensure that the machine isn't jammed tight against a wall - there must be an adequate air gap all round it, and over the top as well.
I'm always bothered by temperature measurements, because measuring temperature is not easy i.e. how good is the calibration of the device that's measuring the temperature and how well, thermally, is the sensor bonded to the thing its supposed to be measuring (amongst other things)!
A couple of suggestions: can you touch the heatsink? Be careful, if things really are hot I don't want you to get burnt fingers!! If you do get burnt fingers then you probably do have a problem (in addition to not being able to use your hand!!) And, what heat sink compound are you using? There are a few sites that sell "special" silver loaded stuff that's supposed to be good. If you have taken an old pad off, you really have to be spotlessly clean and make sure you get rid of all traces of the old stuff. Indeed, heatsink manufacturers can say to scrap the whole sink if you take it off, because of the difficulty of getting things clean. Any slight imperfections due to dirt can reduce the thermal conductivity.
Well if he wern't a bloke I'de make him centre forward.
85 c IS HOT.
I would suggest getting a top-of-the-range brand new heatsink that is powerful enough to take bigger processors.
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