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CPU fan runs more often - how bad is this?

 
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markrabo
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Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:33 pm    Post subject: CPU fan runs more often - how bad is this? Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I have a 3-year-old Compaq Presario S3200NX computer. It's been very reliable, but recently, I notice that the CPU fan runs a lot more often than it did a year ago (and certainly a lot more than it was new). I hear it going off at least once every 20-30 minutes. Is it a sign of something bad down the road?

There are some possibilities as to what's wrong, but I don't want to jump to any conclusions:

1. The CPU itself is at Death's door.

2. Maybe just the heatsink is bad and it needs to be replaced.

3. Maybe the computer needs more memory to take some of the heat off the CPU (it's got the same 256MB of DDR PC2100 memory that I had when I bought it). If so, I'd rather upgrade the memory and buy myself some time (the memory could presumably be transferred to another computer later on).

Please advise as to what's going on and/or I should do. Thanks!

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Just to clarify something on the above post: Both the system fan and CPU fan run full-time, but occasionally the computer sounds as if one of the fans has just kicked up to a higher speed in an effort to cool something down. I'm looking at both fans as I type this and I can't tell which one is doing this.

I realize that this is proof that I don't know what I'm talking about, hence my need for your help! Embarassed

Thanks again!
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After further review--yep, it is the CPU fan going into a higher speed every so often. And the longer it's on, the more often it does that.

The reason I ask about all this is that recently, I've had a number of times when an application fails to respond (for example, when shutting the computer down, sometimes sgtray.exe stops responding). Also, when running Internet Explorer, it gets stuck when loading a web page and I have to click "refresh" to get it to load at all. I've already tried formatting the hard drive and reinstalling less of the software I had, but that did not remedy the problem.

Once again, thanks!
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hotmale
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Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 1199
Location: Lebanon

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be nothing to worry about. Does the fan noise increase only when you're carrying out stressful processes like gaming?

Try one of these apps to check the CPU temperature:
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/mbm.html
http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php

I believe upto 70C is acceptable, although less is better. If it's around that temperature, it would make sense that the fans are working harder. Make sure there's enough ventilation in the case and that there's no heat source close to the computer. It could just be the temperature increasing with summer. You might want to invest in water cooling, it's more effective and quiet.

But if CPU temp. is relatively low, it might be just a faulty fan. Check the screws. Or it might need replacement. Hope this helps.
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markrabo
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Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 4:36 am    Post subject: Whoa... Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick and helpful response.

OK, I tried both MBM and SpeedFan, and unless I am getting bad readings from both of them, my CPU is running at 123C and my hard drive is a whopping 149C. That's horribly high, assuming that the 70C ceiling is true. (I'm going to go searching for other CPU temperature measurement software just to make absolutely sure, because MBM did not list my motherboard, the MSI MS-6390, among its supported boards.) Bad heatsink? Computer on borrowed time?
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markrabo wrote:
Thanks for the quick and helpful response.

OK, I tried both MBM and SpeedFan, and unless I am getting bad readings from both of them, my CPU is running at 123C and my hard drive is a whopping 149C. That's horribly high, assuming that the 70C ceiling is true. (I'm going to go searching for other CPU temperature measurement software just to make absolutely sure, because MBM did not list my motherboard, the MSI MS-6390, among its supported boards.) Bad heatsink? Computer on borrowed time?


Quick update--I tried CPUCool 7.3.7, and it was hovering around 68C before the CPU fan kicked in (bringing the temp down to 61C). Thank goodness. For a moment there, I really did think my computer was on borrowed time.
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I also just tried another shareware program, "Hardware Sensors Monitor" (www.hmonitor.com) and that program showed the CPU temp as 69.5 when the fan kicked in (bringing it down to 61), and then it climbed back up to 69.5 in around 10 minutes. So the CPU isn't overheating, but it's heating up a lot more quickly than it did, say, a year ago.
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hotmale
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Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 1199
Location: Lebanon

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess the first readings you got were in Fahrenheit, because assuming that and converting them to Celsius gives 60-70C readings which are more reasonable.

So if it's not exceeding 70C, I think you're OK, but try to check out the manuals or manufacturer's website to double-check. Each CPU will be different.

As I said,
Quote:
Make sure there's enough ventilation in the case and that there's no heat source close to the computer. It could just be the temperature increasing with summer. You might want to invest in water cooling, it's more effective and quiet.


Also check if the heat sink has become dusty with time as this makes them less effective. Use canned air to clean it up. I think there's good possibility this is what's causing your problem.

Let us know what happens Smile
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markrabo
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Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:08 pm    Post subject: Dusting the fan and heat sink did the trick! Reply with quote

I removed the fan from the heat sink, and you were right, I missed some dust, and there was just enough dust in the heat sink to block the airflow from the fan, so it had not been working effectively (or efficiently). Since I did this, the CPU fan has not kicked into high gear like it was doing before, and the CPU temperature hasn't gone above 67.5C. Terrific! Thanks! Very Happy
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hotmale
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Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 1199
Location: Lebanon

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great, hope it stays like that Very Happy
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statm1
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Joined: 08 Jul 2005
Posts: 584
Location: US

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cleaned it up abit.. lol
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hotmale
Site Admin


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 1199
Location: Lebanon

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for merging the posts, statm1 Smile
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LOBster
Junkee


Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 423
Location: Missouri, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poor little unsuspecting dust bunnies! They get sucked right through those slice & dice fan case slats all the time, especially where the PCs are standing on or near the floor. Crying or Very sad

***
Did you hear about the chiropractor musician who liked to play spinal chords?
Wink
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Nexus
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Joined: 18 Jul 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a little side note. Dont quote me on this, but I think that 70 degrees is the max for Intel chips, and 90 degrees is the max for AMD. But having said that, you will get system drop outs and failure with temps around 65 - 70 on an Intel. For an Intel to run at its optimum, you should have it running about 45-50 degrees max (35 if you can, but that can be hard if your ambient temp is high in the room). Over time, tiny tracks used to carry the current into and out of the process will start to degrade, and in some limited cases, there have been reports (dont know how reliable these sources are, just info I have gotten from over clocker forums) that the current can start to jump tracks and causing more stress on these new "double tracks" causing them to fail quickly after causing your processor to basically start bombing out at a very quick rate. So really, try to make sure that your computer is sprayed out (you can get compressed air in a spray can to make this quick and easy) at least every 2 months depending on the level of dust in your work area. I do know that with my old Intel, that when the temp hit 60 degrees that I had program failures, or the system just crashed all together.

But thats my 2 cents any how Smile.
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hotmale
Site Admin


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 1199
Location: Lebanon

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nexus wrote:
I do know that with my old Intel, that when the temp hit 60 degrees that I had program failures, or the system just crashed all together.

I agree that lower temperatures are better, but I think today's processors can run at up to 70 or more Celsius without running into problems. They are getting faster and inevitably hotter, so they must be able to endure higher temperatures. Yours was older, so it couldn't go that high. This is of course just my opinion. It's always best to confirm with the CPU manufacturer Smile
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KingJohn
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Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like automaticly fan speed regulation. Don't worry about this
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