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My computer overheats somewhat frequently, usually during intense use. And by intense use I mean browsing the internet while downloading, or gaming. It even overheats on extremely old games though, Master of Orion 2, which was developed for Windows 95.

My computer has a Pentium 4 Ghz processor, 2 GB of ram, and is running Windows XP.

One of the symptoms it has after overheating, is that it'll turn on immediately afterwards, but won't show any video on my monitor. I usually have to wait at least 5 minutes (mostly at least 10) before I can get it to turn on and show video on my monitor. I also usually have to wiggle around the graphics card a little bit, which is the ASUS A9550 Series with 256 MB.

I'm not sure exactly what is causing the computer to overheat. At first I thought it was the video card, but after I noticed it was doing it while playing Master of Orion 2, I'm not so sure, because that game can't be making the video card work all that hard.

So how exactly can I pinpoint the problem? Thanks for any help provided.

Edit: Okay I downloaded the programs that you specified, and will start benchmarking my system to try and pinpoint what's overheating. What is the temperature range for when it's getting to hot?

Also I have an abundant amount of software experience with computers, but unfortunately not to much hardware experience.

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Leave your case open and check that all your fans are working (including graphics card and CPU) and check what gets hot while you are playing. – Peon Jul 5 '10 at 6:23

According to the description, this can be a problem with the video card overheating.

Here are some tools for detecting overheating problems:

SpeedFan for the CPU and disk (and almost everything else)
GPU-Z will tell you the temperature of the video card
Active@ Hard Disk Monitor for the hard disk

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I downloaded SpeedFan and GPU-Z, but on GPU-Z I can't tell where the temperature is. I see the GPU Core and Memory clocks, but nothing about temperature. How do I get that? – Samurai Waffle Jul 5 '10 at 7:19
@Samurai Waffle: This probably means that your computer's motherboard is too old, and doesn't have the necessary sensors. You'll need to use old-fashioned methods, like opening up immediately the computer and touching the components. – harrymc Jul 5 '10 at 9:03
@Samurai Waffle: Does GPU-Z work? – harrymc Jul 5 '10 at 9:53

There are several ways to achive this - it depends on your knowledge and abilities what way to choose - Here are tow ideas how to start:

At first you should monitor your computers temperatures (cpu, gpu, mainboard, case etc.) using build in sensors via specialised software tools. This might give you some clue about what component is too hot.

If you know what you do, you can open your computer case and check by hand what components become too warm. Cleaning your hardware might be a very good idea since cpu/gpu/case-fans tend to attract tons of dust over the time.

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Okay I have the case open. Directly south of the fan on the motherboard (not under the fan), there is a sizable component that I am 99% sure is the heatsink. Touching it does kind of burn after a second or two. Now on the SpeedFan program, it shows three temperature ratings. Temp1 is -23c, Temp2 is 93c, temp3 is 46c and and HD0 is 35c. I assume Temp2 is the heatsink, is that probably the reason? And if so, would the only solution be to install another fan to cool it? – Samurai Waffle Jul 5 '10 at 7:17
@Samurai Waffle: These SpeedFan numbers don't look right. They might be meaningless. – harrymc Jul 5 '10 at 9:53

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