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It is currently getting quite hot here (30°C) and that's why I'm looking for ways to cool my PC.

I have an Antec 900 II case, with 2 front fans (120mm, intake), 1 top (200mm out take) and 1 back fan (120mm out take). My 125W CPU (AMD phenom II x4 955) is now idling 47-48°C.

The fans are on full thrust and my case is open. closed it can go up to a bit in the 50's°C.

Any hints for keeping my pc cool? Without buying extra cooling?

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Your computer is plenty cool enough. You have nothing to worry about. –  Brad May 30 '11 at 14:59
    
You're generally better keeping the case closed. Opening the case spoils the airflow paths that the manufacturer intended. –  barryj May 30 '11 at 15:01
    
@ barryj, even if it makes my pc cooler when the case is opened? –  Simon Verbeke May 30 '11 at 15:06
    
The fact that your fans are on full power when idling while the case is open should alert you to the fact that something is wrong. If the fans run at full power at idle load, when closed, then I'd be checking the airflow paths in the case and heatsinks for dirt/dust/blockage. Also factor in that the temperature sensors may be inaccurate and they may be skewed by the fact that the case is open. But regardless, 50C is not excessive, you should be fine up to 60+ with that processor. An ambient temperature of 30C is not excessive and should not require any non standard cooling efforts. –  barryj May 30 '11 at 15:34
    
I have turned the case fans to maximum myself. But then again, the temperature appears to stay the same with the case fans on minimum speed. I have quite a few cables running on the sides of the airflow. Tried to stuff them away, but I don't have enough place. (should have bought the modular PSU :3 ) –  Simon Verbeke May 30 '11 at 15:43
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Consider below:

  1. The case we are using is a negative-pressure case. The problem is with the large top fan blowing out. Even if you turn the front fans all the way up it will still be negative pressure. The only solution would be to use a large fan in the space above the CPU. This however would mean that third party tower cooler cannot be used. I maintained the case to have negative pressure.
  2. You haven't mentioned the cooler for your fan. If you haven't get a third party fan, and is on a tight budget, the Hyper212+ (from coolermaster) is a very good cooler that cost ~30 dollar (US).
  3. If you are not playing games (or just surfing internet) you can consider changing the power profile in windows - underclock the CPU will generally yield lower temperatures. The rather outdated RMClock utility from RightMark ( http://cpu.rightmark.org/products/rmclock.shtml ) is a very good utility particularly if you are using AMD CPUs (The windows power interface is excellent for intel cpus)
  4. Don't open the case, or you will have a LOT of dust between the fan and the CPU cooler, sooner or later.
  5. Try to clean the CPU cooler with compressed air (take it out to clean it thoroughly).
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1. What does this mean for the airflow? 2. I have a Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu. 4. I clean it regularly (once a month or more often if I have a lot of dust) 5. Might consider that, though I don't have such a unit. –  Simon Verbeke May 30 '11 at 15:35
    
1. negative pressure means that there is less air molecule to carry the heat for unit airflow. i.e. cooling efficiency is decreased; and also it means that dust would go in from other directions e.g. from the gaps etc. 5. there are bottled compressed air –  bubu May 30 '11 at 17:46
    
2. CNPS7000B-Cu is rather small. I would suggest something like the hyper 212+ i mentioned. See frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2419&page=5 –  bubu May 30 '11 at 17:54
    
Oh wow, my zalman scores about half as good as the 212, for only 5 euros more. Thanks for the document! Might consider buying it. –  Simon Verbeke May 30 '11 at 18:03
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