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Cooling solutions for a MicroATX slim case - Gateway E Series

By jstluise ยท 6 replies
Nov 17, 2010
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  1. Hello all,

    I recently picked up a Gateway E4100, which has the slim case. I know, its old, but it was free! I did purchase a new HDD for it, as well as a DVD-burner. Other than that, it already had 2.5 GB of memory and a 3.2GHz/1M/800 Pentium 4 processor.

    I would really like to use it, but it is VERY loud. I don't see how someone could work with it on their desk...annoys the heck out of me. I removed the heat sink, cleaned off the old grease and blew out all the dust, and reinstalled with new grease. This seemed to help a little, but not very much.

    At idle, the processor temp hovers around 60C, is that normal for this processor? The fan speed depends on the case temperature (or processor temp?), so when it gets warm, the fan is really turning...up to 2200 rpm I saw. Its not really the fan itself that is making noise, but its the air flowing through the case/fan that makes it sound like a jet engine.

    Are there any suggestions? I really don't want to put any more money into it, but I was thinking about just getting a different case. This would require me to buy a new PSU and heatsink/fan also. Having the slim case is not a big deal to me.

  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,517   +3,702

    No, 60C at idle isn't normal. You were on the right track with changing the case. Most of my CPUs run in the neighborhood of 35 to 40C at idle. (The exception is my Prescott P-4 in an Emachines T-5026, which ATM, is 53C under light load). I haven't seen 60c since the last 100 degree day in my non air conditioned house

    I'm curious about the CPU, you've included everything except the actual part number.

    You should also investigate to verify that your motherboard is an actual mATX form factor, so that it would mount correctly in a standard case.

    One quick question, were the temps that high before you remounted the HSF?
  3. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Thanks for the reply. I haven't changed the case yet...it would be my next move. How can one keep it cool in a slim case like this? Do newer slim cases have multiple fans? This one only has one fan (besides the PSU fan), which is on the heat sink...it pulls in air from within the case, past the heat sink and out the side of the case.

    What is a normal temp for this processor? I read somewhere these Prescott processors do run hotter than other Pentium 4 processors.

    *I just did a quick search on Intel for the processor...if I found the right table, the max temperature Tc at 89 W, is around 66C. So I am below the max temperature, but now by much....

    Also, this is the max temperature at the center of the processor...I don't know where it is measured from.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,517   +3,702

    The older P-4s, (codenamed "Northwood"), were not as hot running, but the clocks were slower also. Intel calls the Prescotts about 86 watts TDP.

    The case to my Emachines has a decent cooling solution, with a side air duct, and a larger than stock 92mm fan, but no front fan.

    Even with a better airflow case, as soon as you get sloppy routing the cables, temps can build up in a hurry.

    Your case doesn't have a side air duct?

    You do state that you have the 60C at idle, so it doesn't take much CPU usage to push it over the top.
  5. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    I did eliminate some of the ribbon cables by using a SATA HDD and a SATA DVD drive, but nothing really changed as far as the temp. Definitely cleaned up the inside though.

    If I have the tower stood up on end (like a normal tower), then my olny air duct would be on the top, right above the processor. This is where the output of the heatsink fan is. The heatsink fan pulls in air from the front and rear grill, and shoots it out there. Doesn't seem very efficient, but then again I don't seem much room for anything else.

    The temp stays pretty consistant at 60C, regardless of load. It might peak a little, but once the fan is running full boar, it stays put. At idle, the fans running at about 1400 rpm, which is still loud. Once a load is put on it, the fan speeds up quickly.

    Well I guess I found my answer, buy a new case! It was worth a shot seeing what you guys thought about it. Thanks!
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,517   +3,702

    Just verify the motherboard's form factor before you make your move. I fear it may take the case and a better HSF to tame these temps. How does the HSF mount, with the standard Intel push pins?
  7. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    I looked into the motherboard already...its a microATX. If I bought a new case, I would definitely buy a new heatsink and fan...I don't even think this fan and heat sink would work in another case, unless the exhaust is in the exact same location on the new case, which I doubt.

    I am not sure exactly how the heatsink fan mounts. I don't have much experience with this stuff, so I don't know what types of mounts there are. This is the first desktop I actually removed the heatsink and fan from...

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