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How do I know if my computer is running too hot?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Jim Nazium, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Just got a new computer for recording, and I like it a lot, but it has this big-a55 fan on the top of the case, and it's pretty loud. That's in addition to the power supply fans, the fan on the side of the case, and the liquid cooling thing for the CPU. Can I ditch the top fan, or at least install a switch to turn it off when I'm recording something acoutstic?
  2. Jonyak


    Oct 2, 2007
    Ottawa, Ont
    if your computer is too hot it will shut itself off. if that happens, don't turn it back on until you know what the problem is and have found a solution.
  3. Boot Soul

    Boot Soul

    Feb 10, 2009
    HD Tune is a great freeware utility, that can test and monitor several parameters of hard drive function, including temperature. Once opened, the program can be minimized to the toolbar where only the temperature is displayed. It has a small footprint and consumes very little RAM.



    This utility will not tell you the CPU temperature, but there is probably a utility for that out there for free somewhere too.
  4. RED J

    RED J Lol Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2000
    Smoke is a definite clue :)
  5. Jonyak


    Oct 2, 2007
    Ottawa, Ont
    your bios should be able to tell you the temp you cpu is running at.
  6. +1 BIOS info is what the Speedfan app provides a 'shortcut' to.
  7. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
    You liquid cool the processor but don't monitor temperatures?

    A rule of thumb is that 75°C at the CPU core should not be the usual running temp. Under a stress test it's okay, but this test will also show if it keeps climbing or if the fans/liquid cooler kick in strong enough to keep overheating at bay.

    Could you list your hardware? I might be able to help. It's better if you're specific about your case, the fans, the CPU, the liquid cooler and the RAM brand and disposition (I'm guessing it's six slots, with slots 1 - 3 - 5 being used).

    On your motherboard, the north bridge might be the hot point since it doesn't get wind from a CPU fan as usual.
  8. Bett


    Jan 27, 2008
    My laptop started running too hot a couple months ago, so I looked at some of the temperature programs. I read reviews about some, and ended up downloading CoreTemp. I was thinking about speedfan, but I heard it had possible accuracy issues and was a bit more complex, but it does let you change the fan speed I believe. I'd reccomend CoreTemp if you just want to know the temperatures. There's reviews you can read on google comparing the different programs.

  9. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    There's also Speccy.

    My current winter problem is that my recording box is too cold. The video card will crash on boot, and restarting a couple of minutes later after the innards warm up a bit cures it and it's rock solid until next stone-cold boot.

    The noise these boxes make is indeed prohibitive for recording.

    I put a small hole in the wall and set the computer in a cupboard on the other side of the wall, with the leads to the essential KVM and interface sealed by heavy foam.

    Pretty much solves the problem.
  10. OK, here's the skinny:

    Case : Antec 300
    Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 500W
    Motherboard : GIGABYTE GA-M68M-S2P
    RAM: 8GB (4X2GB) DDR3-1333
    Processor : AMD Athlon II X4 630 2.8 AM3 Quad Core
    CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Cooling Fan/Heatsink
    Hard Drive 1: Western Digital 160GB SATA-II
    Hard Drive 2: Western Digital 500GB SATA-300
    Video Card : Asus ATI Radeon HD5450 Silent 1GB DDR2
    DVD Recorder : Sony 24X DVD+/-RW SATA

    The case has a 120mm fan on the side, and a 140mm fan on the top, which is the one that bugs me. I'm just wondering if I can safely remove that fan, or at least switch it off when not needed.
  11. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
    You should wire the more silent fans to your power supply (they'll always be on), and the top one to the motherboard's "system" fan connector. Your cooler should receive the "CPU" one (I'm guessing it's a Corsair H50), that much is non-negociable.

    Otherwise, it all seems safe. The "silent" series of video cards are awesome, good choice on that. Your other bet for lower noise could be to replace a small fan by a 230mm if possible. These run at low RPM and give heaps of wind without more than a slight hum.
  12. Kipaste


    Jun 27, 2006
    Helsinki, Finland
    Good 140mm fans are actually pretty hard to come by and even harder considering that the horizontal position rules out sleeve bearing fans. And yes, the ones that come with the antec case are indeed horrible fans.

    Recording computers take a bit of thinking when used in small spaces. I know I had to jump through many hoops and try out a fiendish amount of fans and play with acoustic materials to get my 300 to be quiet. The first rule is always that you should start by eliminating all extra noise instead trying to block noise you already have. So good fans are essential and fans really aren't born equal and the stats posted by the manufacturers are utterly worthless as there is no standard way of measurement.

    The next thing you can do is apply some anti vibration bitumen plates to the inside of the case so the case itself wont resonate and sort of amplify the fan vibrations. Also, the plastic fron panel of the antec 300 is pretty prone to resonate, so a small piece of foam in strategic positions can help.

    With your setup and recording being the main function, I'd guess you should be fine with two good fans at around 800-1000 rpm.
    For the ceiling fan, thermalright makes some nice compatible fans. The 140 mm X-silent would most likely get the job done and it would be a straight install.

    For the 120 mm fan, I'd throw in a scythe gentle typhoon 800 rpm. They are top notch with noise/airflow ratio but most of all they can create pressure which is a great thing if you aren't going to use any fans on the front panel.

    Oh yeah, keep those dust filters clean.
  13. Thanks for the great suggestions guys!
  14. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    I use an older version of this...


    ...to tweak a fan's speed in order to strike a balance between air flow and lower noise. Interestingly one can use a Fan Mate to 'tune' a fan's pitch so that it blends in with a PC's other noises (kind of like a chord) instead of standing out as a distinct whine.

    Before buying more hardware you may wish to check out...
  15. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    These are the only kind I buy after hearing the whiny little fans found on many graphics cards.

    I put a PCI USB2 + parallel port card fence (with the parallel port removed) adjacent to the passively cooled graphics card to allow for the convection and case & P/S exhaust fan-encouraged inflow of cool air through the graphics card's GPU heat sink as a means of supplementing it's cooling.
  16. Absentia


    Feb 25, 2009
    If it ain't broke don't fix it.

    In your BIOS settings there are default settings that will cause the PC to shutdown if it gets too hot to prevent damage. Unless your overclocking the crap out of your hardware it's unlikely you'll overheat it in the first place, and stock fans are usually garbage in the first place so removing it shouldn't be a problem, if your still scared invest some money in a decent quiet fan.

    Download an app to monitor the temp



    there are also 50 million little apps form widgets to wingdings or what ever windows calls them for this purpose.

    Personally i'd remove the fan and monitor the PC even running a few stress tests to make sure it'll run ok.
    If it shuts down I'd check the logs on the computer and consider adding cooling accordingly.

    I swear you can fry an egg on the top of some of the older server I have running and they never seem to have a problem.
  17. kind of related: overkill vs overheat...

    so- all im waiting on are 2 80mm fans and a 4u skb rolling rack and its time to build my 2nd (1st rack) pc.

    1. is there something like dynamat if weird rattles emerge? metal case etc so its probably ok- no plastic crap.

    2. im torn on cpu cooling. some **** is just too big for a rack layout. im yet to see how the stock intel is, but my last wasnt quiet. your thoughts?

    3. heres what ive got:

    4u rack build
    gigabyte mobo
    i7-950 3.06ghz
    6gb corsair 1600mhz ddr3
    zalman 650w power (good reviews... no experience though)
    dvdr and hdds etc

    saphire radeon hd 5770... i need 2 monitors and it said quiet... is it decent? im a vga dumb person.

    i replaced the front 120mm (in front of hdds) but just bought a random one that said quiet, so i dont know if 19db is loud.

    there is room for 2 80mms in the back. im planning on using both unless theres a better, more efficient way. thatll be 6 fans total... seems like a lot.
  18. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    I'd rather use use more fans turning at lower RPMs/making less noise than fewer fans turning at higher RPMs/making more noise.

    I find that larger fans quietly waft air through a PC case whereas smaller fans have to blow it through at higher velocities.

    Shock-mounting the hard drives (via rubber grommets or suspending them from rubber bands) and fans (grommets) helps to isolate those sources of vibration from a PC's case. Caveat: such shock mounting methods also thermally isolate hot running hard drives (7,200 RPM or faster) from the PC's case's metal frame which acts as a heat sink when standard mounting methods are used, hence the further need for a well ventilated case with good fan cooling. Cases which are designed for quiet & cool operation are worth looking at.

    IMO a full-sized ATX case is a good choice even when smaller mainboards are being used. They're easier to work on and offer more room for ventilation, any needed spot-cooling, cable routing, and customized drive mounting.

    My experience is limited to older machines though...