CPU cooling issues

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Message 1170029 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 10:17:59 UTC

First of all, my apologies if this isn't the correct forum to post this to - please feel free to redirect me to the correct place.

I have a 1 month old i5 system with 560TI (1GB) GPU. Up until a couple of weeks ago, AWESOME! (RAC went from 1 - 2k to 11k+ in a matter of days!), but I fear I have overloaded it. I haven't adjusted anthing as far as voltages, overclocking, underlcocking, other than setting the ASUS AI fan setting to TURBO to maximise the fan speed in an attempt to minimise the CPU temperature.
I have downloaded the latest optimised apps for both CPU & GPU.

Up until about 2 weeks ago, even at 100% CPU usage + GPU usage running 24/7, CPU temps remained at 60 - 62 degC, which, from all accounts, is OK.
In the last week or so, GPU results have been "computation error". Updated to latest driver, and I still get about 2/3rds compute errors, and remainder are high compute times, but seem to be OK. On checking CPU temp, it is now running 74 - 77 deg C. Even if I drop CPU usage down to 50%, it is still over 60 deg C.

I don't want to open the case the check if the heat sinks need cleaning, as it will void my warranty.

The place where I bought the machine has recommended AGAINST changing the CPU fan to an aftermarket one as it will blow air on to the mothboard rather than suck it away, causing more problems.

At the end of the day, I am not a computer guru, I just want to use my PCs to crunch data to "further the cause". I am baffled how some users, with system specs not that dissimilar to mine, are getting RACs hugely greater than mine. I also don't want to spend huge amounts of money to make this work either.

In summary, should I just go back to the standard app, reduce CPU usage to 50 - 60% to keep the temperature down, and disable GPU usage, or is there a way to make this work and still maintain a stable, reliable system which I can use on a daily basis?

Sorry for the long post.

Cheers.

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Message 1170044 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 10:58:48 UTC - in response to Message 1170029.  

"Un-hide" your computers and someone maybe able to help you but taking the side off your case and blowing the dust bunnies out should not void your warranty.

Cheers.
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Message 1170052 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 11:38:18 UTC - in response to Message 1170044.  

I have un-hidden my machines - can you see them, or is there more that I need to do for you to see them?

Cheers.
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Message 1170086 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 13:50:07 UTC - in response to Message 1170052.  

Seems a little high:
http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Core_i5/Intel-Core%20i5-2500K%20CM8062300833803.html

Max. operating temp.: 72.6C

Is it possible that you have placed your PC closer to a warm place?
Have you blocked the holes of the PC with cables, mouse pads etc.?
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Message 1170096 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 14:16:08 UTC
Last modified: 11 Nov 2011, 14:18:13 UTC

I, like many others built their own computers, so don't have system warrantys to worry about. That being said, a few years ago, my old P4 system finally bit the dust. I intended on building a new system, but when I priced out the components I wanted, it was over $5000. I looked around for a decent, but pre-built system I could just set up and start crunching. I ended up with an i7 CPU 950 based system. I got it set up the way I wanted and started crunching. Within seconds my heat alarm was going off. It became quite clear that stock cooling was completely inadequate. I began to research, and went to water cooling. The fans in the tower were replaced, or more added. I looked at everything, and tuned one aspect at a time, knowing heat was my enemy. Now the only original part of that rig is the Blu-Ray DVD player/burner. I ended up spending way more than the $5000 I was trying to avoid in the first place.

There is an excellent program, TThrottle, that you can set to run on your system, that throttles back your CPU and GPU if maximum temperatures you set are exceeded. I use it as a safety net, especially when I am away from my cruncher. Without modifying your system, it may be a very good choice to keep the heat down. The Seti apps will stress any system very quickly, and many stock computers are not designed to handle that right out of the box.

I ended up with using an aquarium chiller to cool the CPU water, and two more radiators that cool my water cooled GPU's. I added fans until the inside of my tower is a virtual tornado of air flow. It took time, as I solved one problem after another. Now my rig never see's high temperatures, and it is massivly over clocked in every way possible. Without modifications, TThrottle should protect your system.

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Message 1170099 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 14:35:13 UTC

One other note. By not being able to even remove the cover, you are in a bit of a situation. Dust will build up in your fans and heat sinks. This happens in every computer whether it is used for crunching or not. The dust will, over time, reduce the effeciency of your heat sinks, and can alter the life span of your fans. It is very good maintenance to open the cover every month or two, and either blow out or vacuum the fans and heat sinks. I repair computers on the side, and clean out every one very thoroughly before returning them to their owners. By not being able to perform routine case maintenance, dust may become a problem, even if it isn't now.

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Message 1170191 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 19:23:21 UTC - in response to Message 1170099.  

No changes in environment, just the install of optimised apps. The temp issues didn't start immediately after the install of the apps though.

I have downloaded TThrottle and it's running OK - temp calibration is out a bit though, but it's on the safer side i.e.: displayed temp is higher than actual (based on ASUS motherboard monitoring software anyway...)

The money pit you have fallen in to by building a rig is exactly the one I want to avoid. Although I have been there before, and had an awesome machine, the amount of money spent was disproportionate the the gain in performance.

Cheers
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Message 1170206 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 20:01:15 UTC

The stock Intel coolers are often lacking in the ability to cool the CPU during medium to high usage. So I find it odd that the place you got the computer from would advise against changing the CPU cooler out. However it might just be their policy so they don't have to deal with any issues that might come up from 3rd party parts.

Besides software to control the CPU usage you could also limit the number of tasks that BOINC runs at a time. Such at 75% or 50% of CPUs in the preferences.

Disabling turbo boost might be helpful if you haven't tried that yet.
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Message 1170225 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 21:14:10 UTC - in response to Message 1170029.  

The place where I bought the machine has recommended AGAINST changing the CPU fan to an aftermarket one as it will blow air on to the mothboard rather than suck it away, causing more problems.

Then they are idiots- i wouldn't use them again. If the stock cooler is sucking & not blowing it's cooling ability will be significantly reduced- it's meant to blow the air down through the CPU heatsink, and thern on to the motherboard to help cool the motherboard components.
Many high performance coolers don't blow any air on to the motherboard as they are mounted vertically & so blow it across the board instead.
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Message 1170226 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 21:16:02 UTC - in response to Message 1170225.  

The place where I bought the machine has recommended AGAINST changing the CPU fan to an aftermarket one as it will blow air on to the mothboard rather than suck it away, causing more problems.

Then they are idiots- i wouldn't use them again. If the stock cooler is sucking & not blowing it's cooling ability will be significantly reduced- it's meant to blow the air down through the CPU heatsink, and thern on to the motherboard to help cool the motherboard components.
Many high performance coolers don't blow any air on to the motherboard as they are mounted vertically & so blow it across the board instead.

The higher end coolers that Intel sends out with their extreme CPUs also do this.
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Message 1170246 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 22:22:35 UTC
Last modified: 11 Nov 2011, 22:27:31 UTC

Some time ago, I bought an i7-920 with stock Intel Fan.
Ran it at normal settings. No overclocking.
When crunching Seti WU's, the temp was very hot.
Bought a CoolerMaster V8 heatsink and that brought the temps down a lot.
The case was a generic midtower, no special cooling.

Recently bought an i5-2500K with a case that has fans on the front, back and side.
Stock Intel Fan. Tried Seti. Very high temps.
Bought a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 and installed it.
The temps came down by something like 40C
Seen Here: http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?category_id=1623&product_id=2923


So I bought another Hyper for the i7-920 and it brought those temps down.
Using "Real Temp 3.4" the temps: (going by memory on the old setup)

Stock Intel CPU Fan:
---------------------
i7-920 @ 90C crunching (approx)
i5-2500K @ 90C crunching (approx)

CoolerMaster V8 CPU Fan:
------------------------
i7-920 @ 75C crunching (approx)

CoolerMaster Hyper 212:
------------------------
i7-920 @ 52-55C crunching, 35C sitting idle ( generic case with only a fan in the back) (100% of processors, 90% of the time, 95% of memory when in use)
i5-2500K @ 48-50C crunching, 27C sitting idle ( case has fans on the top/back/side) (100% of processors, 90% of the time, 95% of memory when in use)

The CoolerMaster Hyper and Case with fans combo brought the temps down a lot vs the stock setup.

With the stock fans, I was freaking out thinking Seti was frying my new CPU chips.

It just goes to show you how much of an effect case fans and a good heatsink fan have. And not all heatsinks / fans are created equal.
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Message 1170257 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 22:55:44 UTC - in response to Message 1170099.  

Oh yeah, couldn't agree more, dust is the enemy here, DEMCi Flex washable medical grade air filters at the ready too, they stick on to a steel case with magnets or with a sticky magnet that has some sticky adhesive for non steed cases. Ones over the psu intake on the outside of the case, ones on top, ones on the back over a vent and one is at another fan location.
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Message 1170315 - Posted: 12 Nov 2011, 2:58:32 UTC - in response to Message 1170257.  

Oh yeah, couldn't agree more, dust is the enemy here, DEMCi Flex washable medical grade air filters at the ready too, they stick on to a steel case with magnets or with a sticky magnet that has some sticky adhesive for non steed cases. Ones over the psu intake on the outside of the case, ones on top, ones on the back over a vent and one is at another fan location.



That almost sounds like your filters are installed to keep the dust from escaping rather than from getting into the case. Most cases are intake front/bottom/side and exhaust top/rear with a small intake vent along side the card slots on the back. They also tend to be negative pressure (fans push more air out than they pull in, so air tends to be drawn into the case).


I've been running filtered units for years now, it's important to make sure the case is positive pressure when you do so or else it will still pull in the very fine dust through all the gaps and openings in the case (around the bezel on optical drives, the tiny crack around side panels, etc.).

A fully filtered negative pressure case still needs to have the heatsinks cleaned at least every 9 months, while the positive pressure one using the same filters can go for nearly two years. (exception for harsh enviroments, I had a client running a cedar mill, even going positive pressure with filtration it was about 6 months between cleanings, the negative pressure cases were clogged in weeks such that fans stopped spinning).
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Message 1170327 - Posted: 12 Nov 2011, 3:24:04 UTC - in response to Message 1170315.  
Last modified: 12 Nov 2011, 3:28:42 UTC

Oh yeah, couldn't agree more, dust is the enemy here, DEMCi Flex washable medical grade air filters at the ready too, they stick on to a steel case with magnets or with a sticky magnet that has some sticky adhesive for non steed cases. Ones over the psu intake on the outside of the case, ones on top, ones on the back over a vent and one is at another fan location.



That almost sounds like your filters are installed to keep the dust from escaping rather than from getting into the case. Most cases are intake front/bottom/side and exhaust top/rear with a small intake vent along side the card slots on the back. They also tend to be negative pressure (fans push more air out than they pull in, so air tends to be drawn into the case).


I've been running filtered units for years now, it's important to make sure the case is positive pressure when you do so or else it will still pull in the very fine dust through all the gaps and openings in the case (around the bezel on optical drives, the tiny crack around side panels, etc.).

A fully filtered negative pressure case still needs to have the heatsinks cleaned at least every 9 months, while the positive pressure one using the same filters can go for nearly two years. (exception for harsh environments, I had a client running a cedar mill, even going positive pressure with filtration it was about 6 months between cleanings, the negative pressure cases were clogged in weeks such that fans stopped spinning).

It's an Antec fusion Remote Max HTPC case(Pic below), not a tower, so the filtered intakes are on the bottom of the case that was installed by Antec, the one on top is a vent, but cause of faster fans than stock, the top case vent sucks air in as does the vent on the back, hence the DEMCi filters in those places, the case used to have a 140mm fan on the right side, that location now has a 120mm 108cfm fan and the area also sucks air in to a small extent, the 140x25mm fan would not fit with an H70 Radiator, the 140mm fan had to be replaced by a 120x25mm as that's as big as would fit there, the psu intake is on the outside left side of the case and It has a 140mm DEMCi filter there to keep dust out of the psu.


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Message 1170451 - Posted: 12 Nov 2011, 8:56:34 UTC

I don't want to open the case the check if the heat sinks need cleaning, as it will void my warranty.


It's the shops problem then. The computer is not working right, it's under warranty, fix it.

Now running S@H on a modern PC like that does make it work, that's for certain. But it should be designed to handle the rated TDP of the CPU and GPU. How do they know you aren't using it to render the CGI for the "Hobbit" or something, and that would max out the machine for the next 1,000 years or so.

Now it's possible they have skimped on the CPU cooler? Or it's not working right in that case? Or one of the retaining clips has come loose? Or it's getting plugged up with dust?

Either way, if you aren't game to check it out, get the shop to. Let S@H run on their bench for the day, and tell them you want it right. Another test is to run with the covers off. You may get poor airflow around the GPU that is causing problems. Cover off and it behaves? At least you have a clue about the problem.

As for cleaning. My experience is that after 6 months there is enough dust in the standard Intel heatsinks to notice. After 12 months it's enough to force thermal throttling on my Core2s. Warranty be dammed, they need cleaning out. On an office or home internet machine it gets just as dusty, but the CPU never runs at 100% for more than a couple of seconds, so it can take years to cause an issue.

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Message 1170462 - Posted: 12 Nov 2011, 9:43:24 UTC - in response to Message 1170451.  
Last modified: 12 Nov 2011, 9:44:17 UTC

Or one of the retaining clips has come loose?


Or never installed properly in the first place, so it gradually loosens off. LGA775 was around for how long and still it seems the majority of people can't install those style coolers without being shown how. (or more specifically what to listen for as you do it). This is why HP and Dell have their funky proprietary coolers, to make it easier to ensure the assembly drones do it correctly.



I don't want to open the case the check if the heat sinks need cleaning, as it will void my warranty.


Typically if they won't let you open the case, the company isn't worth dealing with, and it may be installed poorly enough they don't want you to see. (Seanix and MDG are wonderful examples). I've seen CPU coolers installed using a glue gun instead of a thermal paste and only half clipped in, never mind how many times I've seen glued in place power connectors, one pop riveted mainboard, "extra" power supply leads cut off with loose wires exposed, self tapping screws used to mount drives, and a macguvered AT power supply into an ATX mobo and case that to this day I wonder how it never started a fire.
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Message 1182719 - Posted: 4 Jan 2012, 5:56:52 UTC

Hi All,

I took the machine back, and the computer shop have had it for a few weeks (Xmas & New Year incl), and couldn't fault the card on test. They also ran memory & CPU tests and also no fault. I have had a heat pipe CPU cooler & fan installed (NPS9900), which sat on test for over 24 hours with BOINC running 100% on 4 x CPU & 1 x GPU, and running "Devil May Cry" for an hour at a time to make sure the GPU was thoroughly tested & all up, no faults.

CPU temp stays under 65 deg under full load (normally 58 - 62), and GPU sits around 64 - 65.

It has certainly done the trick as the machine seems stable @ 100% CPU & GPU usage 24/7, and I can feel the heat coming out of the vents from over 1m away!

Thanks everyone for your comments and feedback.

Very glad to see my stats bouncing back very quickly!

Cheers.


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Message 1182720 - Posted: 4 Jan 2012, 6:22:53 UTC - in response to Message 1170029.  
Last modified: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25:25 UTC

EDIT- deleted post, redundant.

Glad you got it sorted out.
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Message 1182755 - Posted: 4 Jan 2012, 12:53:15 UTC - in response to Message 1170225.  

The place where I bought the machine has recommended AGAINST changing the CPU fan to an aftermarket one as it will blow air on to the mothboard rather than suck it away, causing more problems.

Then they are idiots- i wouldn't use them again. If the stock cooler is sucking & not blowing it's cooling ability will be significantly reduced- it's meant to blow the air down through the CPU heatsink, and thern on to the motherboard to help cool the motherboard components.


I largely disagree. I had to work on a friend's machine (Phenom II X4) with an AMD stock cooler that blew the air onto the processor. She's had this machine for about two years or so and it started overheating to the point where the motherboard and PSU suffered a catastrophic failure due to the components getting overheated.

The last thing anyone should want is the hot air from their CPU being blown onto their motherboard components. I upgraded her to a CPU fan that sucked the air off the CPU and a newer case with the PSU on bottom and her heat issues are non-existent.
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Message 1182779 - Posted: 4 Jan 2012, 17:36:37 UTC - in response to Message 1182755.  
Last modified: 4 Jan 2012, 17:38:56 UTC

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/show_host_detail.php?hostid=5214475
Well I finally bit the bullet and installed a Corsair H100 closed loop water cooler on my i7-920 media pc, linked above. System would overheat and crash if I tried to run SETI, had a stock intel cooler. I cut out the grill for the two 120mm fans on the side large enough to mount the radiator on the out side. I also had to shift the fans about half an inch so the so the water tubes would clear the built in divider. System in now on line crunching SETI.

Case is a modified Antec fusion, similar to this one but without the remote stuff. Had to cut out the divider to fit an gtx 570 card in it as the card was to long, also had to dent the cover above the pci-e external power connector so I could install the cover.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129054

Corsair H100 closed loop water cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181017
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