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 Post subject: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:23 am 
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My PC is suffering a weird behaviour. Let me give an example: Windows Movie Maker. When it starts rendering my new video, the CPU usage goes nearby 100%, and the PC temperature raises... until the moment of becoming very very slow... and it shuts down. Another example is watching YouTube fHD videos - a bit less, but still stays slow after a few minutes.

I wonder a solution for it (instead of buy a new PC - yup, my laptop doesn't have such problem... and I used it for rendering my video).


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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:34 am 
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When the CPU temperature rises, modern CPUs will try to underclock themselves (=> slowdown) to keep the temperature within limits. In case the temperature still manages to reach a certain threshold, it will shut itself down as a safety measure.

Try cleaning your CPU fan with compressed air and make sure it's properly seated. Some diagnostic applications can be useful in finding out the CPU frequency and temperature.

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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:50 am 
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The temperature has been crazy high everywhere in Brazil this summer, to the point that you can't sit to work on the computer without a fan or air conditioner on the whole time, even at night, otherwise you'll sweat to death from just sitting there. I imagine this is affecting computers as well.

My work PC, which already had cooling problems before, finally gave out this week. Slowness, random shutdowns, refusing to turn back on. My home PC also suffered a couple of random shutdowns, but I don't stress it to much.

Sometimes it's not even the CPU that's overheating... it could be the hard drive or onboard chips, which are often not cooled at all. You could temporarily open the case and point a fan at it during the summer, if it doesn't behave like this the rest of the year.


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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:59 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
The temperature has been crazy high everywhere in Brazil this summer, to the point that you can't sit to work on the computer without a fan or air conditioner on the whole time, even at night, otherwise you'll sweat to death from just sitting there. I imagine this is affecting computers as well.

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OP:
Check all fans for dust (and functionality)
If you have some diagonstics software, or BIOS with temprature measurement it might help finding where the problems are

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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:02 am 
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Is it a desktop or laptop PC ?

In both cases, cleaning the fans is a good idea. If it's a desktop you'd want to install fans on your case, and if it is not enough, buy a better cooler for your CPU (the default Intel and AMD ones are usually terrible).
Make sure the airflow in your PC is controlled (i.e. there is no two fans blowing against each other, killing their effect). Normally in a desktop the air enters at the front and is ejected at the back, also the air typically enters at the bottom and is rejected at the top. Make sure all fans contribute to this air movement.

Also use CPUTemp program to check the temperature of your CPU.


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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:04 am 
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Funny story: last night I helped my sister remove a bunch of malware from her laptop, booting it in safe mode and running some stuff. It kept shutting off because it was overheating. I had her leave it off for a while, and then put a bunch of frozen TV dinners underneath her laptop so it would help keep it cool. It actually worked!


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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:41 pm 
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The fan failed on my previous video card, causing lockups and stuff, and it wasn't immediately obvious why. It wasn't particularly loud, and was in a hard to see spot, so I only noticed it by touching it. CPU fans often have alarms, at least. I replaced the fan and it worked for a while, after a year or two though I just replaced the whole thing when problems recurred. If your CPU is just slowing down, hopefully it's safe from damage.

Using a program to monitor temperature and fan speeds is nice, but I've noticed isn't very enlightening if you don't know what the normal values should be. But I'd say to try that out, then blow out the heatsink with compressed air (do it outside, of course), and then re-check and you'll almost definitely see a lower temperature.


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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:36 pm 
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Well, I...

1) already did a major cleanup inside it;
2) reinstalled Windows 7 from zero;
3) already kept the PC without the case (open in both sides);
4) placed a big fan on it;
5) didn't say - it's a desktop. ^_^;;

Recap: once a program uses 85~100% of the CPU, the temperature raises... it becomes slower... and shuts down.


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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:17 pm 
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I'd arbitrarily guess that the heatsink on the CPU itself is clogged. You might have to unscrew the fan from the heatsink to investigate.


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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:22 pm 
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If airflow through the heatsink is good, another failure point that comes to mind is the thermal paste between the CPU and heatsink. It's possible that it wasn't applied correctly, having too much of it can be worse than too little. You can't really check this non-destructively though, if you take the heatsink off you need to remove the old paste with isopropyl alcohol or acetone and apply a fresh layer. If it doesn't help, at least having the heatsink removed makes it easier to clean.


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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:46 pm 
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A store nearby sells a liquid cooling device. It's quite expensive here, but perhaps it's the way to go on.


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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:56 pm 
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Liquid coolers are clever and complicated solutions that still require a fan ... or a HUGE heatsink ... or else use evaporative cooling. If the machine's generating 100W of heat, you have to dissipate it somewhere. Whether that's conduction to air via a heatsink, or via liquid to another heatsink, or via liquid to another liquid which uses the heat to evaporate water ... it's still dissipating 100W.

I wouldn't spend your money on one, especially if this tendency to overheat is a recent thing. Just clean out all the little nooks and crannies


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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:32 am 
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Your PC slowing down and then shutting down is definitely overheat prevention. I had this happening today too, but that's because I'm a laptop, who has bad air cooling like all laptops. (For some reason, it seems the PC is always heating a lot more under Linux than under Windows, probably because Linux driver does not support my CPU's low power mode ?)

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3) already kept the PC without the case (open in both sides);

Actually it's often worse to keep the motherboard out of it's case, the case is helping to dissipate the power, especially if there is fans mounted on top of it.

There is normally no need for any water cooling device for a standard user machine. But I don't think it's a luxury to buy a bigger / better cooler (heatsink + fan) than the default ones that comes with CPUs from Intel and AMD. The termal paste is very important too. If you can't afford a new cooler you'd want to try to unmount your heatsink, apply some termal paste and mount it again, it might be better.


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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:01 pm 
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Verdict:

1) The fan inside the case was reverted! It was corrected to flow the air from inside to outside.
2) The thermal paste was gone. New paste was applied.
3) The heatsink was loose. It's fixed.
4) One cable had bad placement inside the case.

The PC is working like a charm. ^_^;;


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 Post subject: Re: PC overheat?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:15 pm 
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Zepper wrote:
1) The fan inside the case was reverted! It was corrected to flow the air from inside to outside.
My understanding is that the "standard" is to blow air from front to back.

The other three are pretty O_o though.


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