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Is it cool to use software cooling?

By Snowy Commando · 13 replies
Jun 18, 2002
  1. In my recent upgrade, the AthlonXP 1800+ runs idle @ ~52 degrees celsius and full load @ ~58 degrees celsius.

    I use CpuIdle 5.9 Pro and it brings the temperature down to 42 degrees celsius and pretty much stays there even when I stress the cpu with some games running with plenty of bots.

    Can some explain if I should continue to use software cooling methods and are there any freeware ones I can use?
  2. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 709

    Basically all software cooling does is change the registers. AMD has two built in registers that are off by default. What the software programs do is enable these registers among others. One is a halt command, which shuts down the processor after every process. The other is another register that controls the enable restart action I believe (not quite sure though). Enabling these should cool your processor considerably (~10-15 degrees), but only during idle. The fact that it still stays that cool even under stress kinda worries me. I don't know of a software program that does this.

    I would recommend shutting it down for now until you get more input on this, but I could be wrong so the choice is yours.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    I was under the impression that in 2k and XP the "System Idle Process" performed the same stuff as software cooling.
    Rain and CPUIdle? are both freeware software cooling, but since I thought that was the same as "system idle process" maybe you dont' want to take advice from me in this instance ;).
  4. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 709

    The AMD cpu's need to have these registers manually turned on. My temps went down by around 15 degrees Fahrenhiet when I manually turned on the two registers, whereas before when the system idle process was running it was higher. Not exactly sure how the system idle process works, but at least with AMD processors these registers need to be manually turned on using programs such as the ones you named or with something like WPCREDIT, which is what I used.
  5. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    Could this damage the processor if used for long periods of time ? I am only guessing this, but if the processor tries to shutdown surely it is going to be put under more stress ?
  6. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 148

    Just turned my PC on this morning with CPU starting up from cold 36 degrees celsius.

    With CPUIDLE Pro running, it stays @ 36 like all the time while i'm just surfing and opening a few programs.

    Only starts to go up when I run more stressful programs.


    Can you see any reason why I shouldn't be using one of the programmes that activates the HLT command 'sleep mode' for CPU?

    The program is meant to stop the HLT command under high CPU load automatically this the temp should go up but return down fairly quickly after.
  7. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

    This was discussed eariler, & the general consensus is, "It's a waste."

    XP 1800+ @ 52°C is fine.

  8. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 709

    I don't think it will, at least I haven't heard any horror stories of it happening. It shuts down thousands and thousands of times every second. I don't see a reason why it should damage the processor, but then again I could be wrong.
  9. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    What about performance loss? May be negligible.

    Following your pun it's certainly "cool" to use software cooling, but I only heard of it just now.
  10. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 709

    I've noticed no difference in performance. You certainly won't in games since your processor will be running at full load and the software cooling will not apply. In regular applications you don't need the extra processes so the processor shuts down. Since its so fast in doing this the performance loss isn't seen in normal applications or gaming.

    I'm a big advocate of this because it lowered my temps by 15 degrees, and hasn't affected my performance. The only reason AMD didn't turn them on anyway was because of stability concerns, but neither I nor any other person I've seen that has done it correctly have had problems.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    My parents, used to be mine, computer has been running WinMe and using Rain software cooling for 3 years now and it still works. Pentium II 300Mhz
  12. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Something bothers me about those temps. The fact that you get no change from idle to full load throws up a flag. I'd look to make sure there isn't a problem or maybe the numbers are incorrect. You also said the numbers were the same from a cold boot to a full load playing a game. I was under the impression that the cooling software only ran when the system was under a low stress load so it didn't interfere with performance.
  13. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 709

    Same here Stormbringer. I'm a little perplexed by this too, this is why I would recommend shutting it down for now. I find it odd that your temps stay the same under low and full load.
  14. Nick

    Nick TS Rookie Posts: 185

    Check out my celeron that im on right now because my AMD is out of action...

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