AMD FX-4100 at 88°C. Occasional computer shutdown

By Petter H. H. · 7 replies
Oct 1, 2013
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  1. Hello, people.

    I am fairly green when it comes to computer, and hopefully you who are more educated on the subject can lend me a helping hand.

    It started out about a week ago. The computer shut down while I was playing WoW. I reached down and touched the casing, and it was scorching. I gave it time to cool down for about an hour and started it up again. Same thing happend. I opened her up and could barly touch the CPU and powersupply due to the heat. I once more let it cool down, and turned it on once more, to check if all the fans were working. I could spot no problems.

    This has occured a few times a day since then. Both in games, and when just browsing.

    Im not quite sure what information to leave, but ill write down what I think you need.
    My computer:
    OS: Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
    Processor: AMD FX(tm) -4100 Quad-Core ~3.6GHz
    RAM: 8192MB
    Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series

    I DLed CPUID HWMonitor to check the tempratures and while playing I had 65-88°C on my processor, and down in the low 20s while browsing.

    Would really appriciate some help on this.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Temp max safe temperature according to AMD is 61c for the bulldozer chips. If im not mistaken the CPU starts to throttle after 81c. If you are hitting 88c, you are overheating the processor and theres something wrong. I would suggest reseating the CPU cooler with some new thermal paste to start and we can go from there, however the temps your hitting are far beyond even what a stock cooler on an FX 4100 should let it achieve.

    I also notice you say your PSU is also just as hot, what wattage is your PSU and what specific video card do you have?
  3. Petter H. H.

    Petter H. H. TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your reply! The sticker on the back of my PSU reads: "100-240V ac 50/60Hz"
    I apoligize for my lack of knowledge, but im not sure how to specify my video card any further than that it is an AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series.
  4. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Its quite alright bro don't worry lol.

    Umm that's not though what I would like on the PSU specs, I meant like how many watts is it, looks for something that says something like 400w.

    As for the video cards yeah because AMD just likes to label the series the card is in and not the actual card number on catalyst, without actually seeing the name on the card, you cant really tell easily.

    Im going to just assume a 6850 and go from there, mixing what you have told me and the basic assumed specs and all, you need a minimum of 500watt PSU to run all that (you could go lower but that's what maybe worrying me since you said the PSU is scorching hot, I thought id go with all the variables).

    Where is your PSU mounted, bottom or top? My guess maybe that the computer is getting hot air pushed onto the CPU and is causing it to overheat which means its coming from somewhere it should not which could be the PSU pushing hot air in.

    I would try this, take your side panel off and try gaming a bit like that while watching the temps, if the temps continue into the 80s, we need to remount the CPU cooler or put a better one on to improve your temps. Otherwise, if taking the panel off helps, you just need to update your airflow to push the hot air out of the case better.

    Im just giving a few ideas based on what I can tell from what you said, if you can provide any more details that will also be helpful.
  5. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Reapply thermal paste to the CPU cooler or buy a more modern one like a Hyper 212 Evo.
  6. Petter H. H.

    Petter H. H. TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Update: Video card: HD 6870. PSU: 500W. However, it's become clear that it's the game itself that causes theese tempratures. I no longer get high tempratures while browsing, and the PSU stopped heating up in general. Realizing this it's probably a case for blizzard to help me with, but knowing their response time and generic "copy/paste" solutions, I would love some help from you guys also. I've had this computer for about a year now, and never had this problem before, so im guessing I must have done something this past week to bring this on.

    Anyways, I'll head in to town and purchase this thermal paste, and hopefully that will improve.

    Thanks for your inputs.

    Edit: Im running the game on "Fair" graphic settings, dont know if thats relevant. Also, ive ran it now for a while with the casing open, and it seems fine so far. But I've heard before that this isnt an optimal way to be doing it. Something with the airflow etc. Obviously theres some truth to this, but is it fine as long as my temps are good? As a temporary solution ofc.
  7. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    I did it in the past on my Pentium 4 Dell machine I had gotten because the P4 ran so dang hot at 3.0ghz. It wont be a problem so long as you don't trip and fall on the machine while its open :p.
  8. alex92

    alex92 TS Rookie

    A partial solution to the overheating problems of unlocked processors (I.e. AMD's "Processor in a Box") is to disable the integrated overclocking function of the CPU. By disabling this function, the processor will run at the base clock (3600 MHz for the 4100). Considering this is the frequence the processor has been designed to work at, the overall thermal performance of the machine should improve.
    For example, my 4100 was overhating at over 80 °C every time it was put under considerable stress. After disabling the auto overclocking function it never heats over 67-70 °C.
    In order to disable the integrated overclocking, I edited all the BIOS settings that should be related to it (correct me if I am wrong) like "AMD Turbo Boost" and similar. Anyway, by editing this setting I did not notice any change.
    Finally, I achieved limiting the processor's frequence to the base clock by editing the Windows energy saving settings. Specifically, I changed the maximum level of processor prestations to 99% (clock is thus limited to ca 3575 MHz) finally achieving the result!
    With these settings, the processor never exceeds 70 °C even under full load (intensive and continuated H.265 to H.264 and vice-versa video conversion or various stress tests) using AMD stock cooler.
    Pratically, the Windows setting seems to limit the maximum value of the CPU multiplier to 16,5 instead of 18-20. Even if your thermal performance was not as desired with the 99% setting, you can lower the value a bit and find a stable configuration.
    While this is not a fully satisfying solution, at least it can help you achieve a stable system at a decent clock speed, without the need of replacing the heat cooler (provided it is not defective of course..)..

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