1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Need help with P4 3.0ghz 2gb MSI imaging PC

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Rich Gibson, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. I'm out of ideas. As mentioned above I run the above PC (XP PRO) with a Matrox parhelia to two DVI 19" monitors. I have added a mega aftermarket copper CPU cooler and a 120mm thermostatically controlled fan on top of my case. Stilll it runs 52-64 degrees C and the NB chip, with a heat sink and fan, runs 64 degrees c constantly.

    Last night I was printing using Qimage generating images for about an hour and the computer went south and rebooted. With the little testing I've done since then it appears to be a heat-related problem as it crashes over 65 degrees C.

    I gather not many of you are having this problem with P4's. Forgive my rudeness, but responding telling me you use a MAC or Athlon isn't helpful. I don't want to spend any more money until I can sort out this overheat problem.

    Immediately next to this PC is a 2.26ghz P4 on an MSI board and it never gets over 52 degrees c.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks, Rich
  2. I had a problem similar to yours and found out it was the memory overheating and failing. I was able to troubleshoot it by taking out the memory banks one at a time and running on 1 gb for a while. When I determined which one was bad I replaced it and problems were gone. Hope this helps.
  3. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Rich :

    Good that the machine shut down. Many of the P4 line will protect themselves from a catastrophic failure this way. Annoying, but you didn't kill the chips or the board.

    Is the CPU heat sink passively cooled, or is there a fan attached (I may be unclear about the "NB chip') ? I just built a dual-Xeon, and I have massive heatsinks (about a pound of metal each) along with 80mm fans, one per heat sink. These run about 25 scfm each.

    A few ideas that may help are below...

    First, have a look at www.silentpcreview.com and do a check on the fora there. Some very astute folks running around that forum on this topic. Great resource for both cooling issues and keeping the computer from sounding like you're on the way to Oz...

    Secondly, check the placement of the chassis. If it's sitting on pile carpet, the front bezel air intake may be covered. I found this with my Antec 3700BQE, and setting the chassis off the carpet dropped the case temp by about 6 - 8C.

    Next, consider adding an intake fan, likely a 120mm or an 80mm matched to the existing case fan, to assist the system in exhausting the case air. Sometimes this can alter the operating temperature.

    Speaking of which, how are the fans in the system managed ? Running off of the motherboard fan points ? Check that all of the fans are actually running when you think they should be, and download a utility like SpeedFan or Motherboard Monitor to check temperatures and fan speeds (you may already be using this - you seem to know your temps).

    Your case fan may not have sufficient SCFM flow to cool the case. Aside from the intake fan comment above, consider if you need to get a fan with more capacity. You can throttle the fan with a software utility or a hardware solution when the weather's cooler and the load is lower.

    You may need to duct air from the CPU directly to the case fan, in which circumstance, you'll need an additional case fan for the rest of the equipment. It's possible that the display adapter needs additional cooling, or even that the case you're using simply doesn't have enough openings to vent adequately. You may need to add a different heat sink and fan to the display adapter.

    One good diagnostic is to pull off the side of the chassis/case, and position a room fan to cool the interior and see if this works to keep the machine temps down. If this is the case, you're likely not getting sufficient airflow to the case for one/some/all of the reasons above.

    Let me know if I can help - we could even do a telecon to discuss options.

    John P.
  4. Thanks! That's a very helpful suggestion. The computer was chugging away for quite a while when it crashed; then it locked up on the IDE startup screen. One pair of memory chips are without heat sinks and the other with. I'll pop them out and see what happens.

  5. twig


    May 23, 2005
    while you have your case out and open I Would just generally check to make sure no vents are clogged with dust bunnies, and however you put it on the shelf, that has ample room for air intake and exhaut wherever those vents are.
  7. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Rich :

    Another quick thought before going into a meeting...

    Don't think that one of the options is the only issue. Usually, when temperature problems rear their head, it's the combination of several items that creates the over-temp condition. Not to sound condescending to you, but (other) people sometimes don't review this in a systematic fashion, and so the problem reoccurs.

    I'll drop you a PM with my office number.

    John P.
  8. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Rich :

    Hurm. I'll need to think about this a bit more. Northbridge cooling isn't usually the cause of over-temps. I'm wondering a bit about ducting for the CPU and/or the graphics card, but I'm going to check on a couple of points.

    PM sent with office number for later in the afternoon.

    John P.
  9. You can see I've spent a lot of cooling bucks so far. I did a hand check of the components and the Parhelia was only warm, as was the Northbridge. The Zalman being a meat grinder, I avoided. The CPU chips, however are all surrounded by cabling and, of course, just behind the drives. I'm beginning to be suspicious of the memory.

    Of yes, I also invested in a pair of heat-sink, fan cooled drive cases after I lost four WD drives in the past year.

  10. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Rich :

    Well, if it's the memory, why are the temps so high ? Might be both as high temps will make marginal memory fail earlier.

    I'm of the opinion right now it's the specific airflow pattern in the case. If you have dead spots for flow, that might play into this. I actually replaced all my cables with round cross-section cables for this new build to address that (in part). Also, depending on where the CPU is relative to the graphics card (usually close) it can be a factor.

    It's possible that your heatsink didn't fully contact the CPU plate, I suppose. I'm assuming you did the usual thermal grease deployment, etc.

    Are you getting the temperatures from the mobo sensors ?

    As for spending cooling and silencing money, the folks over at silentpcreview.com refer to this as "the Quest". As of this moment, having bought a new case, new fans, new heatsinks/CPU fans, Acoustipak for the case, round cables, a new PSU, and a few other things, well, I feel your pain. :lol:

    I'll think some more on this one. A lot will depend on the open-case room fan test you run...

    John P.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.