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.

My computer gets extremely hot where the fan and heatsink are. The fan works, so I think the problem must be with the heatsink, even though that seems very unlikely, since it's passive. Thought I'd see what you think before I buy a new heatsink/fan unit.

share|improve this question

closed as not a real question by Breakthrough, Kyle, Tog, KronoS, Dennis Apr 7 '12 at 18:59

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
What processor is it? What motherboard? more details please, pictures are nice also. –  Moab Apr 7 '12 at 17:07
    
What are your CPU temps? Download hwmonitor and tell us the package temperature as well as the cpu make and model. –  Kyle Apr 7 '12 at 18:18

4 Answers 4

Heat sinks will get hot. Heat is relative. If your computer is running fine with no abnormal reboots and shutdowns then everything should be ok. And as long as there is thermal paste between the cpu and heatsink. You can use a cpu monitor to check the temperture of the cpu. There are widgets if you are using Vista/Win7 to keep an eye on cpu temps too. With a monitor you can make sure the cpu is running within the correct temp range.

There are a lot monitors, even Speccy will give you temps (and more)

share|improve this answer

It sounds like the heatsink isn't conducting heat properly. Before you buy a new heatsink, try cleaning the old thermal paste off and applying a new layer. Artic Silver is a personal favorite.

share|improve this answer

Typically heatsinks do not go bad, sometimes they do come loose from their mountings and no longer make tight contact with the processor. Or the heatsink is clogged with dust bunnies and need to be cleaned out with compressed air in a can.

Please post the make and model of your PC and what processor it has.

share|improve this answer

My computer gets extremely hot where the fan and heatsink are.

And indeed it should. If it didn't, I would begin to worry where that heat is going. Your CPU generates a finite amount of heat, so your heatsink can't magically "get hotter" then normal. It does, however, get colder if it doesn't work.

The fan works, so I think the problem must be with the heatsink,

Again, if the heatsink wasn't working (read: not attached to the CPU anymore), it wouldn't get hot at all. All that heat would be trapped in the CPU die instead.

even though that seems very unlikely, since it's passive. Thought I'd see what you think before I buy a new heatsink/fan unit.

Download a hardware monitor (HWMonitor, HWInfo, Speccy, etc...), check your temperatures. If they're too hot, get a new heatsink. "Too hot" depends on your CPU, so look it up on the manufacturer's website. There you will find the maximum operating temperature (either on the spec sheet or datasheet).

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.