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I've had the Acer Aspire X3810 computer for 3 years now and suddenly it has started overheating. I've cleaned out all of the dust within the case. I've experienced shutdowns and BSOD's when watching videos online. These BSODs are never clear and point towards a software issue with Win 7. I've re installed the OS and the problem still persists. So I assume it is a hardware problem.

According the SpeedFan my graphics card (64C), Temp2 (56C) and hard drive (51C) are overheating. I've noticed that the computer shuts down when the GPU reached up to 111 Celsius at one time when idle. But I do not know what is causing this. According to GPU-Z my graphics card is running at 27% and 0 RPM (could be a software bug).

My specs for the Acer Aspire X3810 are:

  • Win 7 64 bit
  • 4GB RAM
  • ATI Radeon HD 4300/4500 Series 512MB
  • Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.8 GHz

Has this got something to do with a failing power supply? The PSU uses 220 Watts.

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Have you checked for vent blockages? Can you feel air moving out if you hold your hand near the vents? Are the intake vents blocked at all? – nerdwaller Dec 17 '12 at 21:18
Hi @nerdwaller, thanks for the fast response! I've checked all of the air vents and they are clear. The weird thing is that my computer case was designed badly which means that I can not see the GPU fan because the card is facing upwards towards the top of the case. – Raja Dec 17 '12 at 21:20
Yeah - I am looking at the design now, it's quite bad. Do you have time to read the error message on the BSOD? Could possibly be drivers or bios firmware. If it doesn't just shutoff, I tend to think it's not a PSU problem (but that is probably because in my limited experience, the PC just shutdown on PSU issues). – nerdwaller Dec 17 '12 at 21:25
Yep I've used the WhoCrashed app to monitor the BSODs. The crashes are related to the ntkrnmp.exe file (Bugcheck code: 0xF4) in Windows which i've heard is critical. I've updated all of the drivers already after the fresh install. The bug description says it could be due to a thermal problem. – Raja Dec 17 '12 at 21:30
Just found a great example of the inside. The GPU is right at the top-right.… – Raja Dec 17 '12 at 21:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted

111 Celsius is hot. Very hot

It is not abnormal for a GPU to get hot under load, even as hot as 85C to 90C. But not at idle, and certainly not all the way up to 111C. And at idle temperatures should be much lower. (Googling around shows 60-70C results for this GPU under load.)

This means there are two possible problems:

  • Either the software used to check the temperature is wrong,
  • Or something is seriously wrong with the chip cooling.

You can check the first situation by using several other programs. Preferably ones which are known to work with a ATI 4300/4500.

The second problem can be caused by:

  • A failed fan. (Check if the fan spins)
  • Disastrous airflow (which would have shown up before)
  • Problems with the thermal pad or thermal paste between the GPU chip and the heatsink.

I suspect the last of these three. Either the thermal pad is older and dried, or it no longer makes proper contact. If this is the case: Remove the heatsink, carefully clean it with lint free material (use cleaning alcohol). Apply some fresh thermal paste and re-apply the heatsink.

Note: Thermal paste is used in small quantities. Use a very thin layer.

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Hi Hennes, when I finally managed to open up the case, I had to take out the motherboard to inspect the hidden GPU fan, and you and @dangph were right. The fan was defected. It wasn't moving and sometimes it would stop under high load. The drivers are all updated so I guess I need to get a brand new graphics card. It was quite cheap anyways and 3 years seems about right haha. Thanks Hennes and dangph for your help. I really appreciate it! :) – Raja Dec 18 '12 at 14:40

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