Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm running Windows XP Pro SP3 on an Intel Core2 Duo CPU E7400 with 3.5 GB of RAM and an Intel G45/G43 chipset. The motherboard runs at 35°C and the CPU at 32°C -- which I don't think is too hot. First of all, is this too hot? I'd like ways of stopping it from transferring the heat to the room. On a summer night the room temperature goes from 74°F to 78°F. Turn of one of the fans and let things run hotter? Will a liquid cooling kit help? Thanks.

share|improve this question
18  
I get the impression you weren't paying attention when they were teaching thermodynamics in school –  Manos Dilaverakis Aug 27 '09 at 9:25
1  
Manos: I got the impression that few people did pay attention on that class. My country just outlawed 100W light-bulbs even though people heat houses >0.5 of the year. –  Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski Aug 27 '09 at 9:40
    
@Manos - what about the light bulbs that need to be >100W. There are plenty examples. –  ldigas Aug 27 '09 at 20:01
    
Ups, sorry. Last comment was directed to @tkadlubo. @tkadlubo - btw, what country ? –  ldigas Aug 27 '09 at 20:01
    
This happened in Romania, where I live :). Where are you from, tkadlubo? –  alex Aug 27 '09 at 20:13

14 Answers 14

It doesn't matter how you cool the PC. Regardless of the cooler you use, the computer is putting out the same amount of heat. If your temps are lower it means that your fans and cooler are taking more heat out of the case and putting it in your room.

The best way to fix this is to adjust the ventilation of the room. If there's a window, put a fan in it. If there's not, at least open the door. Think of the room like the inside of the computer case. If you don't have any cooling, the heat is just going to stay in there and the temperature will rise.

share|improve this answer
2  
Downgrading the cooling will not keep the room cooler. Once the heat builds up, it doesn't just stay inside the case. It has to dissipate into the room. All of it. –  Robert Cartaino Aug 27 '09 at 3:20
    
My mistake. I assumed that because the temps were higher in the case, less of it came out into the room. I'll remove that part... –  Dan Walker Aug 27 '09 at 3:21

The temperatures you give are normal.

To cool the room, add fans to the room. It would be really good if you can get some sort of air flow through the room so that air comes in one direction and goes out another.

share|improve this answer
1  
Adding fans to the system wouldn't help. It would just put more hot air into the room. Putting them in the room would help a lot. –  Dan Walker Aug 27 '09 at 3:13
    
Correct. I'll edit my answer to reflect that. –  hanleyp Aug 27 '09 at 12:10

Turning off the fans, liquid cooling, etc does not reduce the total heat caused by powering the components in your computer.

If you vent the heat from the electronics into the room, you are going to raise the temperature of your room, regardless of the method used to remove the heat.

The only solution is to either turn off the computer or vent the heat out of that room.

share|improve this answer
1  
I think he's hoping that turning off the fans will keep the heat in the box rather than spreading it throughout. :-S strange question, but interesting to think about –  STW Aug 27 '09 at 3:21
3  
One way to vent the heat from the room is to run a ventilation tube from your computer to a window or even up an unused chimney. (You know, the bendy tubing stuff that looks kinda like a slinky. I'm sure you could get it from a hardware store.) –  humble coffee Aug 27 '09 at 4:57
    
When CPU gets hot it might downclock itself automagically and take longer to process data. Good cooling can improve per-second throughput and I think it might improve per-watt throughput. I know, that's just overcomplicating the issue that is basically ,,I have 0.5kW electric heating gizmo in my room, what to do with the heat?''. –  Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski Aug 27 '09 at 9:49
1  
If the heat don't leave the computer, it will overheat and break. –  Johan Aug 27 '09 at 11:19
1  
Not the only solution, replacing components with more energy efficient ones will also work. –  Col Aug 27 '09 at 11:57

The amount of heat generated by your computer can only be altered by either using more efficient components (ones that generate less heat) or by removing components.

Heat is a byproduct of inefficiency, if you swap your CPU for one that consumes less power (look at wattage ratings) and remove extra items that consumer power (and in turn generate heat) then you'll find the temperature savings.

PC Cooling systems are intended to dissapate heat, not lower the total heat output. Disabling them will help keep heat in your system but could cause problems (fans are there for a reason; hot chips are unhappy chips). So unless you want to bring home a block of dry ice every day to offset the generated heat then there's not a lot you can do.

Now, with all that said, try buying a cheap infrared thermometer and use it to determine where the heat is originating. Components without fans will give you the best readings (the ones with fans will blow the heat away); take a look at your monitor, printer (laser especially), power bricks, and power-supply and find the worst culprits. You might be able to put the bad-guys on a seperate power-strip and kill power to all of them when you're not around.

share|improve this answer
    
Some potential high-efficiency PSU's: silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=427734#427734 –  hyperslug Aug 27 '09 at 9:35

As the other posters said, you have to remove the heat from the entire room. Here's a guy who built a water-cooled concrete slab heat pump to cool his PC.

share|improve this answer

You need to think outside the box!! (like my cat ;-)

You don't mention your budget too? If budget is less of an issue do what I've done at home KVM over IP and put the PC OUTSIDE the room!! Who cares what temperature the PC box gets too, or what speeds your fans are. http://www.blackbox.com.au/PRODUCT.cfm?PARTNUMBER=DTX5000 is what I bought and it is fantastic, in combination with 2x USB extension cable, with a USB hub on the end of it (for external DVD-ROM, USB keys and HDDs). I understand you can get KVM over IPs MUCH cheaper on eBay and the like too.

The my room and the spare room next door to me shares a built in wardrobe, i ran the CAT6e cable through a small hole and plugged the PC in in the wardrobe.

share|improve this answer

Don't alter your system's cooling unless it's to increase it. Computers are designed with certain cooling requirements and expected airflow patterns. Reduce that cooling, and you could end up with fried computer.

share|improve this answer
1  
But then his heat problems would be solved. –  Gnoupi Aug 27 '09 at 12:34

I guess you could underclock the components (GPU CPU) also replacing the power supply with a more efficient one is a good thing to look at. Some of the older cheaper ones are only about 50% efficient whereas more modern (and expensive) PSUs can be over 90% efficient i.e. 90% plus of the energy is delivered to the components and only 10% wasted as heat as opposed to a 50 50 split.

share|improve this answer
    
Yup, or undervolt. –  hyperslug Aug 27 '09 at 9:28

You might install some software to adjust the activity level of your computer according to your own activity on it, thus saving on electricity and heat. One example is SpeedFan, that can control the speed of your fan. Another is your computer's power management options. See also http://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/238/1/Green-your-computer-use.html.

share|improve this answer

I think a good approach is to power down components not in use. Everything that uses power, produces heat.

  • Do you have multiple hard disks running? Do they spin down when idle?
  • Do you have multiple monitors? Might help if you switch one or more off, if not needed.
  • Is your computer the only thin producing heat? What about light bulbs? I'm not saying you should sit in the dark, which is bad for the eyes, but you probably don't need artificial daylight either.

This may not have a huge effect but still, you can try.

share|improve this answer

You need to take the heat out of the room...

... I use the mains water pipes as my heat-sink!

I have a slightly unusual set-up. My study was originally the kitchen which was relocated to an extension. As a result, the mains-water inlet still comes into the room. I have a water cooling system on an old machine that I want on all of the time and it's using an old Intel CPU that I should probably replace, but it works - it just generates a lot of heat.

My water-cooling pipes come out of the case and connect to a refrigeration pipe that I have wrapped tightly around the water-mains. I now have a huge heat-sink of underground water to dissipate my heat into! ;-)

Keeps the system almost silent (pump makes a very low amount noise, much less than a fan) and stops the room from getting warm!

share|improve this answer
    
That, sir, Is awesome. –  Matthew Scouten Nov 20 '09 at 15:39

Powersave, turn off the things inside the computer that you don't use.

Please note that practically all energy you put into a computer turns into heat. So if you buy a mobile energy meter and messure how much power it use you get an estimate on how much heat it emits to the room.

enter image description here

If you don't "use" the energy, you don't have to cool it away.

share|improve this answer
    
"practically all energy you put into a computer turns into heat" Documentation for this claim? –  tnorthcutt Aug 28 '09 at 2:47
    
Well it is a question that energy never disappears, it can only change shape/state. And most energy becomes heat at the end, what ever you do. And since the overall energy efficiency of a computer is rather bad, the majority of the energy is wasted (aka transformed into heat). –  Johan Aug 28 '09 at 5:01

Open a few windows and doors, simple as that. Make sure air can flow through your room.

I had the same problem, so during the summer I keep my window open almost permanently. However I found my room still getting stuffy, so now I keep the door open, and the bathroom door/window open too (which is next to my room) and it can actually get a little chilly in the evening!

Keeping curtains open if possible helps, too. Only problem is with the lights on at night you often get bugs in the house :-o

share|improve this answer

You can add a larger fan, but the noise level can increase somewhat.

alt text

http://thereifixedit.failblog.org/2009/08/11/epic-kludge-photo-and-i-thought-my-fan-was-loud/

share|improve this answer
    
LS! but doesn't help OP's problem. –  MGOwen Sep 24 '09 at 0:54

protected by Oliver Salzburg May 7 '13 at 0:46

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?