System shuts down after short time

Martimus

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Apr 24, 2007
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Recently I updated my computer with a new dual core processor (AMD X2 4200+) and a new video card (HD 3850). It worked fin for a few weeks, but then my computer started shutting down after a while of playing games. I originally thought it was the new video card, because it only shut down during games, so I tried opening the case to help with the heat. This worked for a week or so, but then I had the same issue. I used ATITool to increase the fan speed, but then after about a week my card quit responding to the fan control of ATI Tool, so I sent it back thinking I had a defective card. In the mean time I noticed in BIOS that the temperature of my CPU rapidly increases on boot-up, up to around 100C before it shuts down. I removed the heatsink, and reapplied thermal grease, but it did not help. I reflashed the BIOS incase that was the issue, but again it did not help. I don't believe that the CPU temperature is accurate as the heatsink isn't even warm to the touch after a shutdown. I think that the CPU temperature sensor is wrong. Would that mean that I would need a new MB or a new processor to fix this, or is there an easier (read cheaper) solution?
 

Martimus

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Apr 24, 2007
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As an update, my computer seems to die almost instantly when I boot into safe mode, but seems to run fine in normal Windows. I haven't tried running it under load yet though.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Are you certain that the heatsink isn't hitting something and keeping it from seating properly? When you remove the heatsink, too much thermal compound on top of the CPU might indicate not enough pressure/contact.
 

Martimus

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Apr 24, 2007
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Originally posted by: Binky
Are you certain that the heatsink isn't hitting something and keeping it from seating properly? When you remove the heatsink, too much thermal compound on top of the CPU might indicate not enough pressure/contact.

I am waiting until I get my new thermal paste in the mail before I remove the heatsink again, but I am pretty certain that is not the issue. I am not able to move the heatsink at all, so I know it is solidly against something, I am making the assumption that it is the processor. I don't think I used too much thermal paste, but I did just put a little glob in the middle so maybe I didn't spread it around enough. Either way, I can't reapply until I get some more, because I used my last container the last time I did it. (I bought generic Antec Thermal Grease that comes in throw-away packs - kind of like ketchup packs)

I bought MX-2 from NewEgg on Wednesday, and it should come on Monday. I also got a Arctic Freezer 64 incase my cooler wasn't doing the job anymore. Is there a guide on how to properly apply the thermal compound? Everyone seems to have different methods of doing it from what I have read on these forums. I honestly don't think that is the problem here, since I have never had these issues before and I have build at least 20 other computers over the years. Even so, it would be nice to learn more about the do's and don'ts of CPU cooling.

The real question I was trying to ask is if these readings are wrong, is the CPU or the MB the most likely culprit. I can't plug in another S939 processor to test, since I sold my last one. (My current setup died the next day)

Thanks for the reply! I also think that the readings are eroneous, because the processor was ramping up to 100C from a cold boot in BIOS. I was running nothing, just looking at the temperatures in BIOS.

p.s. I forgot to mention that as soon as I tried putting a load on the processor (playing Oblivion) the computer shut down. I haven't tried running Orthos, because I don't want to run it at full load until I can figure out what is going on and attempt to fix it. I want to avoid permanent damage if I can.
 

Binky

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Oct 9, 1999
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Thermal compound is not your problem. Any heatsink can keep that CPU at 45C or less at idle with any thermal compound. Use the crappy stuff until you get this figured out. No need to waste better compound when it will only make a few C difference at most.

Instructions: http://www.arcticsilver.com/ins_route_step2amdas5.html

Most people apply too much thermal compound. More isn't always better.

Your issue is either bad contact between the cpu and heatsink, a bad CPU, or a bad motherboard. The heatsink is the cheapest to change out, but I wouldnt rule out poor contact between the two parts. If you had it on a bench instead of in a case, you could see the contact a lot better.
 

Martimus

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2007
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I think that maybe the core temperature reported in my BIOS is actually the combined core temperatures of my Dual Core processor. I will d/l CoreTemp and see what that says tonight. I'll update this later with what it says.

update: Core temp shows my CPU cores as running between 23 and 46C at idle. I guess that the BIOS is reporting TCASE which is shown as 67C on CoreTemp right now. (It seems to jump around a lot.) I'll run Orthos and see what it says at load.

Update: Orthos brought the core temperatures up to 80C within 5 seconds. I immediately stopped the program. I think there is something wrong with my heatsink, and I will avoid running my computer under load until I replace it. I must have done something wrong when installing the processor. (Or at least I hope that is the problem! That would be the cheapest and easiest problem to fix: user error!) The only thing is that I am not sure what I did wrong, because I installed the heatsink almost exactly the way it described in the instructions that Binky linked to.
 

Martimus

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2007
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Originally posted by: Binky
Thermal compound is not your problem. Any heatsink can keep that CPU at 45C or less at idle with any thermal compound. Use the crappy stuff until you get this figured out. No need to waste better compound when it will only make a few C difference at most.

Instructions: http://www.arcticsilver.com/ins_route_step2amdas5.html

Most people apply too much thermal compound. More isn't always better.

Your issue is either bad contact between the cpu and heatsink, a bad CPU, or a bad motherboard. The heatsink is the cheapest to change out, but I wouldnt rule out poor contact between the two parts. If you had it on a bench instead of in a case, you could see the contact a lot better.

Thanks, I will use that when I install the new heatsink.
 

Martimus

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2007
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YAY! The new Heatsink works! My CPU only gets to around 50-56C at full load (running Orthos). No more shutdowns! Plus it idles around 35-40C, a little hot, but acceptable compared to what I was getting before.

I jumped the gun. I started Oblivion and only made it 5 minutes before it shut down. I restarted and the temps started at 80C before they worked their way back down to 40C. I'll try reseating the heatsink with MX-2. I doubt it will help, but you never know.

Actually, that seemed to do the trick. The first time I just used the Thermal Paster that was already on the Heat Sink (Arctic Freezer 64), but cleaning that off, and using a small dollop of Arctic Cooling MX2 on the CPU has kept the temperature down under 50C while playing Oblivion. I'm not claiming victory yet, but I have a little bit of hope that the issue really is fixed now, and I don't need to buy a new processor.
 

Martimus

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2007
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Since my CPU was running so cool (Down to around 40C at load after the TIM cured) I decided to overclock it. I am now running it at 2.64GHz (A 20% overclock) and have been stresstesting it running Orthos all morning. If this goes well, I may try to bring the HT link up closer to 250MHz (currently at 240MHz), so get my RAM to run at it's rated speed. It is currently about 60C, so it does run at the limit of what I want to run my computer at (at load). I may just keep it where it is for that reason alone.