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CPU too Hot. CPU Temperature above 60 degree Celsius?

Introduction:
Is your CPU temperature high?
How high is high enough? Hipatic covers your processor's temperature problems right here in a series of articles.

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For Temperature Ranges:
1. Intel Pentium 4
2. Intel Core 2 Duo
3. Intel Core 2 Quad processor
4. Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor



Yes. That is what I found when I returned home after 2 months. My PC was being used now and then by those at home but was not being cleaned. When I came back my pc restarted a few times on its own while playing a movie. I opened the box and started cleaning the case inside out. Now this PC of which I am talking of is situated near a window. So it accumulates a lot of dust and whatnot in a pretty short period of time.
I removed the cpu fan & heatsink only to realize my mistake minutes later. The thermal grease had come off on removal of the fan & heatsink. I don't normally keep a tube of TC 1996 thermal grease at home, so I tried re-installing the heatsink as it was. I shouldn't have tried, but nevertheless here's what happened.

With Dust(Before removing the heatsink):
PC booted. I entered BIOS and went to POWER> Hardware Monitor to check for CPU temperature.
CPU temperature = 60-70 degree Celsius
Continued loading windows. FAILED. PC reboots. Vicious cycle.

With improper Thermal Grease:
PC booted. I entered BIOS and went to POWER> Hardware Monitor to check efor CPU temperature.
CPU temperature = 55-60 degree Celsius
Continued loading windows. Success. But ASUS Probe II warns about high temperatures continually. PC sluggish(My subjective feeling?).
I downloaded trial versions of CPUidle & Speedfan.
CPU idle gave temperatures 50-55 degree Celsius, but temperatures shot to 75 degree Celsius on launching any decent application. Way too dangerous for any CPU!

While I could've continued using the PC for a couple of days more(after which my CPU would have fried for sure), I set forth to the nearest techshop(which was a good hour away from where I stay) and bought myself a TC 1996 thermal grease injector(DOW CORNING with Trade secret ingredients!)
I returned home & applied around 1-1.5cm(two rice grains) of the grease from the tube on the heatsink and clamped it down on my LG 775 socket based CPU.

After TC 1996 thermal grease application:
PC booted.
CPU temperature 35-40 degree Celsius.
Continued into Windows. CPU temp 37-43 degree Celsius.
Peak temp[erature on launching video or other applications 50 degree Celsius.

Hurray!

Checklist:
If you are facing a heating problem. Please check:
1. Is the CPU fan working?
-Look for dirt/anything else obstructing the motion of the fan blades.
-Check CPU fan power cable
-If the above points are ok, your CPU fan maybe dead and you may need a replacement

2. CPU fan speed
- Can be checked with naked eyes. Is it too slow. Does it stop intermittently and then start again? There might be an obstruction or your fan might be faulty. Replace.
-Can be checked from the BIOS(Under Power Management> Hardware Monitor [Location varies according to BIOS]) or can be checked using various third party applications viz. Speedfan, ASUS PC Probe

3. Case Temperature. Should be less than 38 degrees Celsius(Intel)

4. CPU Temperature: You might want to check CPU temperature with a direct probe.

5. Extra Fans. Installed or not. If yes are they correctly placed? Place one fan at the front end with an incoming airflow and one at the back end with an outgoing airflow.

6. Heatsink: Properly Clamped or not. If the heatsink is not properly clamped on to the CPU, the CPU will die in no time. It is akin to having no fan at all!


7. Thermal Grease: Should be evenly applied on the under surface of the heatsink. If disturbed. Clean both contact surfaces(heatsink & CPU) with soft cloth and/or isopropyl alcohol(gently), Dry and apply a little quantity of TC1996 thermal grease on the heatsink undersurface & properly clamp down the heatsink on the motherboard. Do not apply excess grease it might spill over and damage/ short circuit your motherboard. (The DOW CORNING grease that I bought had instructions to use the entire tube contents in one application! The quantity in one tube should suffice for 4-5 applications)

8. If all else fails take a small table fan and direct it towards your open case.

9. Do not keep the CPU in direct sunlight!

DO NOT:
Remove your processor from the socket especially if it is a LG 775 socket based one. You might damage the pins.

Sources:
1.http://heatsink-guide.com/content.php?content=maxtemp.shtml
2.http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/CS-012552.htm
3.http://www.intel.com/design/Pentium4/documentation.htm
4.http://www.intel.com/design/core2XE/documentation.htm

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