Temperature Questions

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Good day computer gurus!

I just recently reformatted my system and installed a 256MB Inno3D
FX5500. My system is an AMD Athlon XP with 1725 MHz on an ASUS
A7S8X-MX. I have 384MB of RAM with the 256 on PC133 and the 128 on
PC166. I have Windows XP Pro with SP2 installed.

I checked my CPU Temperature when I restarted my PC (I had it on for
about 4 hours then) and it read 72 degrees Celsius. The Power
Temperature is around 64 degrees Celsius. Only the Processor Fan is

I tried playing some games, namely GTA - Vice City, Playboy Mansion,
and Warcraft III - Frozen Throne. GTA stops and displays an error
message after around 10 minutes. Playboy Mansion acts the same.
Warcraft III displays a blurred screen then displays an error message
after around the same time. I also encountered the Blue Screen of
Death during one of these error messages.

1 - Does my two RAMs, being on different speeds (PC133, PC166), affect
my system in any way?
2 - Is my CPU Temperature normal or on the high end? Should I be
alarmed? Is this the reason why my games keeps on getting an error

I cannot think of any other questions as of the moment. Feedbacks
would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Erwin Merioles

Re: Temperature Questions

The CPU is running hot. Try to get it below 50 degrees C; you should
be able to get it much cooler than that with the right heatsink and
additional fans.  

If you did not remove the fan from the CPU heatsink, check to make
sure your heatsink is clear of dust. If it gets caked with dust it
will not dissipate heat efficiently.    

Not sure about the RAM, but I doubt it. If your system shows 384 MB on
POST, it probably is running all of it at 133 MHz.

What is your power supply's rating? You should be able to run that
system with a 240 Watt PSU, but you could be running short of power.

That is a lot of video card for that board; have you checked ASUS' web
site for a BIOS update?


Re: Temperature Questions

Merioles wrote:
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The computer case requires ventilation. The fan on the PSU is not
sufficient to keep the computer case cooled. There should be
one additional fan, blowing out, on the back of the computer.
That may help with your temperatures. You can see an example
of the additional fan here:


To understand how well your computer is cooled, we need three
temperature readings:

1) Room temperature
2) Computer case air temperature (called "motherboard temperature" sometimes)
3) CPU temperature

Knowing those three numbers makes it easier to see whether the
problem is the computer case is not sufficiently cooled, or
the CPU cooling is bad.

For example, if the room temperature is 25C, and the computer case
air temperature is 32C, the difference in temperature is 7C. A 7C
temperature difference means the case is well cooled. If the
difference was 15C, then another fan is required to ventilate the
computer case.

If you used thermal paste on your CPU and its heatsink, it will
need to be "refreshed" occasionally. If the heatsink was equipped
with a material by the manufacturer, then that stuff should be OK
if you leave it alone. But thermal paste has a tendency to change
properties over the years, and if your CPU temperature is too high,
sometimes removing, cleaning, and replacing the thermal paste,
can help. (But don't take it apart, until you have purchased some
thermal paste, to replace the old material.)

Example of thermal paste:

Application instructions:


Re: Temperature Questions

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All your RAM will be running at the same speed - 133MHz. You second RAM DIMM
is only 'rated' for 166.

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That is very hot. Your CPU is not being cooled very well and I suspect heat
is causing your problems. This could be due to a clogged heatsink, heatsink
fan not running properly, heatsink not attached to CPU properly, case too
hot. With your graphics card, I suspect the air in the case is too hot. It
is not possible to cool the CPU with hot air!

First test is to run with the lid/side off your case for a few hours and see
if things run cooler, you could even point a deskfan into the case. If this
helps, then you need a couple of case fans - an intake fan at the front and
an exhaust fan at the rear should do.  While you are in the case, I would
suggest removing the heatsink from the CPU, cleaning all the dust out of the
heatsink, then re-attaching it carefully to get the best possible contact. I
can recommend running CPUIdle (google for it) when working in windows, this
will control the temperature considerably, but it won't do anything when
running under load (games, multimedia etc) will push the temp up. You should
be able to get the temp down under 50 degrees with these few measures.

I have my Athlon 2400 voltage turned down from 1.65v to 1.525v. (not
available on all motherboards) and I have replaced the standard heatsink
with a zalman cooler (www.quietpc.co.uk) and I run CPUIdle. Right now, my
CPU temperature is varying between 34-35 degrees C. Under load it rises
above 45, but rarely above 50.

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