rapid massive increase in CPU temp....

By matty187
Oct 15, 2006
  1. Hi there,

    I've got an old Athlon 1600xp PC I donated to my mother-in-law to-be. Over the last year, the CPU's been getting more and more succeptible to overheating, and then switching itself off. I knew it was a 'heat thing', but stupidly never did anything about it, and I guess thats why the overheating now occurs so easily/frequently.

    Its so bad now, the PC has to have the case cover off, with a normal house fan blowing into the exposed motherboard at full power.

    I installed a monitoring software application, and could see the chip can sit at around 60-70celsius, but if i switch the house fan off, then it will soar to approaching 100celsius! I guess this is when it was switching itself off! I know the CPU fan is spinning at 2800rpm OK, and both it and the heatsink seem to be free of dust.

    This problem has got progressively worse over the year. Could I have been regularly exceeding the max die temperature?, and does this render it useless, and hence lead to even more overheating? (cos problems got worse and worse). Do I need to apply new thermal gunk to the CPU roof? What happens to the gunk when it gets this hot?

    I'm sorry for this, as I am laughably naive in this area. Cheers
  2. triiifashions

    triiifashions TS Rookie Posts: 129

    you definitly need some "gunk"
    if it still starts it may?? be ok??

    but take out motherboard and make sure the heat sink is seated properly and apply a good layer o gunk!
  3. matty187

    matty187 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    cheers triii for the prompt reply. When CPU's get too hot like this, do they effectively melt the gunk, and hence render it useless? Just trying to work out what could have led to this getting progressively worse....

    When you say good layer, do you mean 'paper-thin' application with a razor-blade, etc... Do I have to first remove the old gunk first?. I understand all this is a time-consuming thing to do isnt it?
  4. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    The thermal paste shouldn't melt at 100C, unless you're talking about different kind of gunks.

    The thermal paste layer should be as thin as possible - it's purpose is only to fill the air gaps between the CPU and the heatsink.


    It takes a couple of minutes.
  5. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    If your CPU isn't already dead then you should definately have a look at the heatsink. Check whether the heatsink and fan are mounted properly and that the screws holding the heatsink haven't come loose. If the heatsink seems to be mounted properly, try removing it and cleaning off the previous layer of thermal paste with some acetone or isopropanol and q-tips, then reapply a thin layer of thermal paste and remount the heatsink. If that doesn't help, try putting another fan on the heatsink.
  6. -Boost-

    -Boost- TS Rookie

    I recomment properly removing the original thermal compound, and applying Artic Silver 5. I got it and reduced temps by 40 degs. Make sure you go on the site (<<i think) and follow the steps, and try that.

    Take care,
  7. matty187

    matty187 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've checked the mounting of the CPU and it all seems secure. What I have noticed though is wildly varying temperatures coming from the temperature sensing software I have installed.

    The bios however will report the MB at about 32degrees C, and the CPU at about 45 degrees C. When using the software though, I've seen apparent instant drops in temperature, down to negative values. Also, I could deliberately trigger the restart problem by trying to print something (sending CPU activity to near 100%). Sure enough.....switches itself off. HOWEVER, ther interesting thing is, all the sensing software (3 individual applications) woudl all be reporting around 45-46 degrees C when this happened!!!!

    Could I have a problem with the BIOS reporting to the software bogus values?? Alternatively, has anyone ever heard of a virus which can report bogus temperature values from the BIOS??

    The plot thickens.......
  8. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    It's more likely that the software is configured incorrectly. Maybe you could check which sensor chip your mainboard really has?
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