Do I need a better motherboard or a new case with better airflow?

By Tenuto
Jan 26, 2016
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  1. Basically in short. Motherboard VRMs are overheating and throttling my APU. Motherboard is Gigabyte A68H chipset. APU is 7870k. Do I need a motherboard with a better chipset or better ventilation (currently 1 92mm fan) Thanks.
  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,662   +311

    Possible PSU issue - under-regulated would challenge the VRMs.
    Address the symptom with ventilation to be sure no 'dead' spot? - introduce additional fan to see if issue is resolved.
  3. Tenuto

    Tenuto TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I know you helped me with another thread so thanks very much but now I've isolated the issue and need some advice. Basically, when I put a fan over the VRM my APU doesn't throttle nearly as much. My case only supports an intake and an exhaust each of which are only 92mm. I still need to get a new fan for the intake but don't think it will do much. Could my motherboard be defected or not rated to handle my APU?
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,558   +2,900

    Does your CPU cooler not blow air across your chipset? What CPU cooler are you using?
  5. Tenuto

    Tenuto TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm using a stock CPU cooler it's very smaller but does a great job of keeping the processor cool. But no it doesn't get the chip set at all
  6. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,662   +311

    The lower end motherboards may use fewer VRMs, which means bigger steps, which means more heat. This becomes a larger problem if the PSU is not regulating tightly (+or- 3% or less). Dust (which can accumulate in small places) adds to the problem.

    If you monitor PSU and it stays within +-3%, then don't worry about PSU - but if it is larger variation, you might want to upgrade that.

    You said above that you had stock cooler - I mounted a 120mm on top of one by using a few screws and popsicle sticks. Hokey, but it worked.
  7. Tenuto

    Tenuto TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the replies. Getting a new motherboard is an option for me but I'm still not sure if it would be a guaranteed fix. Not sure how my PSU is performing and handling the VRM unfortunately. The problem is when I try to cool the VRM using a fan clipped and aiming at the VRM I lose my exhaust fans. My case is pretty darn slim for a mATX. Basically I'm not sure if getting a new motherboard would help since airflow is poor. And not sure if airflow will help. I'm not sure what to do haha.
  8. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,662   +311

    Another thought - when your machine is powered off, remove and reinsert the 4pin CPU power connector - just in case there is a small amount of corrosion built up.

    As to PSU, use HW Monitor or SpeedFan - let them run in background while you run some games then go back and look at the Min and Max - and compare those numbers to the standards 12v and 5v - we won't get into ripple, but we do need to know about how far the voltage strays.

    It is probably not the motherboard - so check the voltages and try the ventilation.... and you can always try flipping the exhaust fan around and having both blow in - it will exhaust through the PSU and every little opening (remove some of the slot protectors on the back if it doesn't seem enough). Check temps before and after - each case is different - but it could work better.
  9. Tenuto

    Tenuto TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So I turned my exhaust into the intake and I did see some positive results. It takes longer for it to throttle and it doesn't throttle as bad. I still need to check the voltages though.
  10. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,662   +311

    It shouldn't be throttling...we must be missing something.

    Can you provide some (well, a lot) of detail? Screenshots from SpeedFan or HWInfo is a good method - need range of temps and voltages after you have run your system into "throttled" condition.

    What are the model numbers for motherboard, the PSU and the CPU? and when & where did you get them? Did you use thermal paste or was there a pad when you attached the cooler?
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  11. Tenuto

    Tenuto TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok before I do that I have a slight update. Turns out I had 8 pins for the CPU power connected. I'm now using only 4 pins. That along with the fan pointed at the motherboard solve this issue. Unfortunately it hampers upgrade ability a lot. If I want to add a GPU I won't have an exhaust fan.
  12. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,662   +311

    If you replaced cooler fan with a larger which pushed air over the VRMs.... might that work?

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