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 have had an ASUS EEE Box 1501P for just a little bit over a year. Of course it breaks 2 months after the warranty runs out. http://www.asus.com/Eee/EeeBox_PC/EeeBox_PC_EB1501P/

I have been using the box as a Home Media Center. Running mostly 24/7 often pausing a video overnight.

Since last week the fan started running extremely loud. After some digging I found that the Intel Atom CPU in it is overheating and the built-in sensor is reporting temperatures way over 105˚C.

This got me worried, so I took the unit apart. Completely vacuumed the heat sink, oiled the fan, but the unit is still showing the same behaviour. After turning it on and just observing the hardware monitor in the BIOS the temperature slowly rises from 40˚C to over 95˚C in appx 5 min.

I am running the newest BIOS and a lightweight Linux OPENELEC OS with XBMC on it.

Now I am wondering if it could be a faulty heat sensor in the Atom. Recommended running temperature is up to 85˚C, but I have not detected any performance hits when running at the above mentioned 105˚C and there seem to be no software faults.

How can an Atom with an attached heat sink and a fan running at full capacity even get this hot in the first place at 0 load? Aren't those things designed to generate virtually no heat? Could it be a faulty heat sensor? What shall I try to fix this? I would prefer not to damage the CPU, since it is hard fused into the motherboard and cannot be replaced.

I could remove the heat pipe/heat sink, but it is getting hot, so heat is properly transferring from the CPU to the heat pipe, the fan is running at full capacity, is recently oiled and warm air is making it out of the exhaust.

Edit: One more note: The North-bridge (or whatever it is called nowadays) is on the same heat pipe.

share|improve this question
1  
Oiling the fan will cause it to wobble and dramatically shorten its life. If you felt you needed to oil it, you should replace it. How hot is the heat sink getting? (Just warm to the touch?) –  David Schwartz Dec 10 '12 at 15:19
    
@DavidSchwartz It is getting too hot to hold my hand on it for too long. So I would guess over 60 degrees. I did vacuum first and oil in my second attempt. –  Sergey L. Dec 10 '12 at 15:40
    
Why do you think it is a faulty heat sensor when it's too hot for you to hold? –  Dave Rook Dec 10 '12 at 16:06
    
@DaveRook I do not assume, I am wondering if it may be. I know Intel builds fairly durable CPUs, but even so it is unusual that it runs smoothly at 105+ degrees. Also according to some reviews on Atom CPUs that I have read it should not run more then 80 degrees with just a heat sink at zero load. –  Sergey L. Dec 10 '12 at 16:22
    
Since the heat sink is getting very hot, it seems the fan is not moving enough air over the heat sink or is just swirling hot air around. –  David Schwartz Dec 10 '12 at 16:48
show 3 more comments

1 Answer

Make sure the thermal paste is intact, and replace it if necessary. Removing and installing the HSF assembly may have reduced the effectiveness of the thermal paste, and it may have become ineffective due to age.

share|improve this answer
    
I never removed the heat pipe. I may try, but heat is making it from the CPU to the heat pipe. Has to be very low quality thermal paste though, I never had to replace it on any other PC for years. –  Sergey L. Dec 11 '12 at 11:49
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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