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I think i damaged my CPU, but I'm not sure. I got a new graphics card(GTX250) and so i imagine the inside of my case was a bit warmer, but after a week or two the CPU started beeping, so I installed CoreTemp32, and it says my Athlon 64 X2 4400+ is idling in the 50s and frequently getting into the 60s, which is clearly too hot.

I replaced the heatsink with a bigger one, and put in a thermaltake case fan, same temp.

I figure maybe because I took a week to deal with it and it beeped a lot I damaged the chip and now it's just heating up too fast, but is it possible that the MOBO is damaged and feeding too much voltage to the chip?

the reason i ask is that i'd like to just go get a cheap AM2 chip and replace it, but if the MOBO is damaged and I need a new one anyway, i may as well just get an AM3 MOBO/chip combo. I just dont want to drop 60 on an AM2 chip and have that get burnt up as well.

any thoughts on this? I really dont need any MORE cpu power than i had, i just want the best solution for the money.


EDIT: I should add that i'm pretty sure the chip itself is toast. the computer now locks up a lot and individual windows crap out alot when the system is under load for too long. So i'm replacing the chip for sure. It's really a cost effectiveness issue. Should I get a cheap AM2 chip and be done with it, or could the MOBO be bad and fry that too? It's safer to get a board/chip combo for twice the price, but do i need to replace the board? This chip normally idled at around 25-30 and now it idles at 45-50.

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As a reference for anyone answering/wondering, the max temperature for the CPU listed is between 65C-72C. Source: – Will Eddins Sep 24 '09 at 19:09
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Since you didn't mention anything about thermal paste, I'll chip in my two cents. Often it (thermal paste) gets overlooked, over/under applied and is usually the main cause for CPU heating issues. Replacing Heatsink Fans (HSF) is typically a situation where the paste needs to be cleaned off (acetone works well) and reapplied, but like most people, we forget to do so.

Ambient temperature from a video card would not be the most likely candidate in this issue (edit) unless ventilation is extremely poor. I'd have to wonder if you applied the right amount of paste and spread it correctly as well. I can see this may have been overlooked and gradually overtime, the effectiveness of the paste between the CPU and HSF slowly deteriorated.

At this point, my bet would be on the CPU/thermal paste if you did not properly apply it the first or second time. Assuming that my hypothesis is correct, all you'll need is a CPU.

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This is a good point as well. I don't know why it didn't come to mind I guess I just made a silly assumption. But I had a friend who didn't even put thermal paste between his CPU and HSF once.. – mosiac Sep 24 '09 at 19:46
Newer HSF typically come with a thin thermal layer for you, but most people don't realize you need to clean off the old thermal paste still on the CPU itself. Thermal paste is so commonly overlooked (it bit me in the ass once as well) don't feel bad about it. Just try to eliminate thermal paste as a factor. Assuming your CPU isn't permanently damaged, it might be salvageable. – osij2is Sep 24 '09 at 19:51
yeah thats a good point, but ive screwed that up before. i cleaned off all the old paste with alcohol, let it dry, and the new heatsink had a thin layer pre-applied. and yes the ventilation was really bad. the thermaltake i mentioned is my first and only case fan. can you damage a cpu by running it hor for a while, such that it now heats up much faster? it seems to be in that 'unreliable' range where it doesnt quite beep, but things lock up a lot. i just dont want to buy an AM2 chip, find out the MOBO is bad, and then buy ANOTHER AM3 board and chip. – LoveMeSomeCode Sep 24 '09 at 20:06
If the HSF is your "only" fan in the system, I would seriously consider adding two more case fans (one sucking cooler air in, the other blowing the hotter air out). Try that first and see if anything changes (for the better). If not, then I'd go with the new CPU. If the new CPU still exhibits symptoms of the old one, then replace the motherboard. It's a PITA, but buying things step-by-step is the most conservative approach to this particular problem. – osij2is Sep 24 '09 at 20:14
true. as long as i dont cook the first cpu and cant return it. im about to go all out and buy the board and chip together it just pisses me off how they keep changing the pin layout – LoveMeSomeCode Sep 24 '09 at 21:35

Is there good ventilation in the case to begin with? If you want to test and just see if HEAT is an over all issue open the case and point a large fan into it like a desk fan. This isn't a fix but a way to find out if heat in general is your problem. Without any issue other than shutting the system down it's hard to say if it is the mobo or the CPU.

The beeps are they in a pattern at all? Or does it just beep a few times and shut down the machine?

I would try another cpu that fits in the mobo if you don't mind using a slightly expensive test to see if that's an issue.

EDIT: If you want to replace something. I would replace both. I'm not going to say you have to because it sounds like the mobo is ok, but you never know without proper testing. You could also keep that mobo around for a side project later if you wanted..

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I agree that it seems like an overall heat issue, most likely ventilation. Is the only reason you think your computer is fried because it's beeping? If the CPU was really fried, your computer shouldn't be running. – Will Eddins Sep 24 '09 at 19:11
it was beeping every so often when i was playing a game. then i'd drop back to windows and the diag program would say it was in the upper 60s(celcius), then i'd stop the game before it shut the system down. I'm assuming the chip is toast because the computer locks up alot now, i'm just wondering at the likelyhood that the mobo is bad too. im definitely getting a new chip, but because its an AM2 board, should i get a 5400+ for 60$, or just get a new AM3 board AND chip for like 150$? – LoveMeSomeCode Sep 24 '09 at 19:16
Sounds like you don't have proper ventilation for your graphics card you put in. If you put in a new CPU, it'll still get those high temperatures. It could be that your RAM has been overheated as well. Let your computer cool down (leave the case open) and try running a memory test. – Will Eddins Sep 24 '09 at 19:36
can you expand on 'memory test' ? and i have a much better heatsink now and a case fan, so im confident a new cpu will survive, as long as the mobo isnt pushing too much voltage. how likely is that btw? – LoveMeSomeCode Sep 24 '09 at 21:34

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