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I have a non-standard machine and it seems to run very hot; the CPU fan whirls so loudly I can hear it in the other room (the case is open, mostly because the side got lost at some point).

I downloaded a program called SpeedFan to see the temps and it says:

GPU: 63C
Temp1: 36C
Temp2: 68C

I assume Temp2 is the processor; if a blow a fan on it a while it drops pretty rapidly.

Is there a reason it runs so hot? Does this affect performance or is it in any other way bad for the system?

In case it matters, some basics on the system:

Motherboard: Gigabyte Tech EP43-UD3L
Graphics Card: NVIDA GeForce 9800 GT
Processor: Intel(R) D CPU 3.00 GHz


actually doing somethign on the computer got the temps up to GPU 67 and Temp2: 72

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

There could be a few reasons:

  • problem with the hardware itself
  • improper heat dissipation
  • dusty/dirty components
  • bad environment for the machine (ie, inside a small confined space without ventilation)
  • improperly applied thermal paste, or it may need new thermal paste.

among others that I can't think of right now.

The multiple temp values are different readings. If you press the configure button in speedfan, you can see where the readings are from:

alt text

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Machine is sitting beside the desk, with about 12" clearance on all sides; the case is open, doesn't seem dusty. That leaves paste or hardware. Where can I get info on properly applying thermal paste? – Erik Jan 19 '10 at 2:12
TechPowerup has an excellent article on the issue: – John T Jan 19 '10 at 2:14

That GPU temperate is on the upper side of normal depending on your card.

As for the CPU, make sure that the heatsink is seated correctly. I'd remove the heatsink, remove the thermal paste with high-grade isopropyl alcohol and re-apply new paste and re-seat.

Also, does your case have intake fans in the front and exhaust fans in the back? If you've done any installs yourself you should double check that the fans are blowing in the right direction and that dirt/dust is not built up anywhere.

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as I stated above, the case actually sits open; there are no fans in the front, only the exhaust in the back – Erik Jan 19 '10 at 2:16

Fans usually get louder at the end of their life. They have moving parts that wear out over time. If that fan isn't old, then the size makes it sound louder. A larger fan spins at a slower rate producing a lower frequency than smaller fan trying to move the same amount of air. The lower frequency isn't as annoying.

You should get a case with a side on it. Not having a side on the case messes up the airflow which means the heat generated in the case is not being efficiently transferred out of the case. Try putting a piece of cardboard where the side used to be and watching the temperature. It should make a noticeable difference.

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If you are blowing a fan on it and the temps drop, then you need better air flow. I think the Pentium D runs hot anyway, just like the Prescott line before it did. It also wouldn't hurt to make sure you have a good thermal contact between the heat sink and CPU.

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I find it hard to believe there's over a 30C difference between the two cores on the same die if Temp1 and Temp2 are for the CPU. If the fan's running at top speed, it sounds like its doing a real good job of cooling the CPU (at 36C). Either because it's been manually set to 100% or it's not reading the temp properly (either bug, or dirty/poor connection).

It could be more likely that Temp1 is the die temperature of the CPU and Temp2 could be the northbridge -- since those sometimes don't have a fan and can get REALLY cooking. I know mine did.

Could you post which Intel Pentium (TDP, FSB, codename, etc) you have if you know off the top of your head? This would help in identifying if your CPU is running too hot or just right. Some Pentiums got really toasty too. If not, CPU-Z can tell you for sure:

In general, I would say anything below 60C is good if the machine is idling, 60-75C would be expected if the machine's heavily used. 80C would have me worried.

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Cleaning out the dust from the heatsink and fan will help bring the temperature down. If you're willing to spend a little cash you should invest in a case that'll help promote proper airflow or a heatsink made of copper. From my experience high temperatures in excess of 150 F are normal for PC components (especially GPUs) so as long as you're not experiencing any issues like sudden, random and warning-less lockups or restarts. I think heat would only affect performance if it got so high the motherboard started throttling the CPU/GPU to cool it back down.

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