Computer randonly shutting down, suspicious CPU temp

By james_k1988 · 7 replies
Jul 1, 2006
  1. Been trying to fix a m8's computer and been having problems. I have not had a chance to go down and have a bash at it one on one, but thought id get some advice off you guys before i take it on :)

    First off spec is:

    Mobo - Sapphire RD480SB450 (pretty sure its a Pure Advantage)
    CPU - AMD 64 3200+
    GCard - X800 Sapphire (Unlocked to X850)
    Ram - 512mb stick(PC3200), 256mb stick(pc2700)
    OS - Xp Pro
    HDD - WD 80g

    Lately the computer has been turning off in random places, but 9/10 times the shutdowns occur when playing games, mainly WOW (When i say shutdown, i mean it completely turns off instantly, and he needs to turn it on again). Has happened on other games as well, but he plays WOW most. Its occuring more and more and he has never had this kind of problem until now.

    But i asked him to look at his processor temperature (Using speedfan). It could be quite extatic, going up to high temperatures like 65c. But i told him to wait till it crashed and then check the BIOS on boot to see the temperature, which he did and it was at 72c which i know is a dodgey temperature (Was informed that the cut off for AMD64's is 80C, and that the maximum operating tempt is around 70C before problems arise). I am assumeing the processor is hitting its highest temp and just switching itself off. And perhaps the recent heat increase outside (with it being summer) has triggered this sudden burst of system shutdowns.

    I did however have a similar problem myself with the same processor (spec in sig). Some may remember it, it was a big thread hehe :angel: . The readings were nowhere near as bad as his, but they were pretty high (bout 45c idle, 60c load). I tried Everything, from getting a new HSF and paste, to changing the case entirely. Turned out i updated my BIOS and it sorted out my readings. I did try this with his (over the phone) and we ran into disaster.

    He used "WinFlash". I have a program that runs through a wizard to update my BIOS, and then opens up Winflash and does it all for me. I firgured it would be the same but i was wrong. We got the right BIOS file(off and loaded it up and went ahead. As most of you know it looks like this

    The boxes at the left side, i wasnt to sure what ones to select as the MSI tool does it for me. But i read up and it said it should still go with none selected, but it didnt work. After the flash he restarted the computer and it wouldnt boot properly, kept getting to just after "Checking DMI Pool" area, where it also checks for discs and freezeing. Sometimes the monitor wouldnt even click on. It was sorted though by simply resetting the CMOS with the jumper (battery didnt work believe it or not). Its operational now but still got problems with the shutdowns. I was thinking perhap's if we reflash it and select the box "Clear CMOS" ?

    I intend to go and have a go at it but would like a few opinion's on this first before i do.

    Thanks :D
  2. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    I wouldn`t reflash the BIOS again. Its very risky. I would reinstall properly the heatsink, and apply some arctic silver 5. (sorry if I didn`t read it, very long post :) ).

    Those temps are extremely high for an athlon 64. Something is really wrong with the cooling system.
    Does the case have some exhaust and intake fans on it? Is the CPU fan spinning correctly?
  3. james_k1988

    james_k1988 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 163

    CPU fan is going as fast as itll go (bout 5000RPM i think it was), the case has a few internal fans (front back an side) but they havnt been checked out thorughly. And yea im gonna try and redo the HSF, he also is thinking of just buying a new HSF. Can get a good one for bout £20, and its better than paying £130 for a new processor lol.

    So you think we should stay away from updateing the BIOS though?
  4. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Just remember the problems you had when you updated the BIOS. I recommend a new, better cooler, or reattach the existing heatsink, and apply some arctic silver 5.
  5. james_k1988

    james_k1988 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 163

    well i think the problems occured because i never ticked the right boxes. But yea im gonna try reseating it all before i attempt anything else. He's in Manchester atm though so i wont get 2 have a go at it till wedesnday. Ill let you know how it goes

    And thanx for the help so far :)
  6. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Good luck! :wave: :grinthumb
  7. james_k1988

    james_k1988 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 163

    Right i went down and reapplyied the Paste, ill tell ya the full story so sit yer **** down and and get readin :D

    As soon as i got there computer was out reading to be "operated" on. I had a hell of a time getting the processor out, it was stuck Solid to the HSF due to the paste (had to bend some pins to get it out, there fine now though so dont worry bout that). When i got it out, the paste on the bottom of HSF and processor was solid, was perfectly dry and cracked. I cleaned it off and added a small small dab of that Akasa stuff i have. (Note i didnt spread it, i was told in a prior thread that it isnt usually neccesary to spread as it flattens out itself)

    Now we left the side of the case open at this point (remember this) and booted up. Started up fine, and wasnt crashing. The temperatur was going high but not quite as bad as it was, i was hopeing that when the paste does it hardening (which takes apx. 200h) that it would get better. I did notice that the CPU temp was extatic though, was flying up and down very quickly. One minute it was 32C , the next it was 43C (went straight from 32 to 43, it didnt gradually go up). I feared for hotspots but we decided to leave it for now and see how it goes. But once we put the side panel back on, the temps flew up! When it was off the idle temp was about 32C , but with the side on it was hovering around 40-48C.

    We decided to let it run for now and to see how it goes (we didnt have much time, so we couldnt redo it).

    I think we'll need to redo it and add a touch more paste, and mybye get some new case fans (the ones he has are very slow, clogged with dust i think).

    Does anyone else agree that i may have put to little on and there are hotspots forming?

    (Also it doubt it is the BIOS doing this, but i thought id say just incase. i checked the BIOS to see if it had a cut off temp, but it was disabled. Meaning the CPU is turning itself off, and the CPU knows its own temperature , it doesnt get it from the motherboard does it? I thought it would be best to ask , cheers :))
  8. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    The thermal paste doesn't harden. It will always stay the same. And it has to. After the 200h "burn in time", the compound gets "better" and cools down the CPU around 2-5 °C more.

    You replace the case fans or clean the old ones. You should have one fan at the front of the case, as an intake fan, and one at the back, as an exhaust fan. Then you should have a very well ventilated case!

    Don´t add too much paste, because it can have an adverse effect. A small quantity is required.
    The "hotspot" of a CPU is its center, where the core is located. Just apply some but not too much paste at the CPU's center.
    Hope this helps!

    Good luck!
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