Overclocking Problems...
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  1. #1
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    Overclocking Problems...

    Ok, here's the deal. Forgive me for the background but it is necessary. A while back some of you might remember that when I got my 2500+ M I bought some AS Ceramique and a cheap Zalman copper flower HS with a 90mm fan that mounts with a bracket on the PCI slots. I think it was the CNPS3100+. It served me reasonably well - I hit 2.5GHz quite easily at 1.7v with temps floating around 45-46 idle and 53-54 during Prime95. That seemed too high, so I got the Thermalright SLK-900. I was expecting at least 3-4 degrees difference, because, afterall, the thing is highly reputed here and practically everywhere. The first time I installed it (w/ AS Ceramique), the temperatures were higher. Now let me tell you that I kept the same 90mm fan the Zalman used, which is actually quite silent and runs at 2600RPMS. My logic was this - since the CNPS3100+ worked fine with the Zalman fan, so would the SLK-900, and I could witness a difference strictly in the heat dissipating properties of the HS alone. For a comparison:

    CNPS3100+ w/ Zalman 90mm fan = 45* idle, 54* load (rounding up)
    SLK-900a w/ Zalman 90mm fan = 48* idle, 57 * load

    This pissed me off. So, I reseated the HS. No difference. I reseated it once more, being soooo careful with my AS Ceramique as to get it perfectly distributed on the core. Put the SLK-900 on, and finally temps were about the same as with the CNPS3100+. However, this made me even more mad! After spending 30 mins putting some stupid thermal compound on correctly, I couldn't get the highly reputed $40 heatsink to perform as well as a $15 bargain heatsink. I've lived with this to this day, running the machine at 2.2GHz 1.575v nearly the whole time to make things a little bit cooler.

    Yesterday I was cleaning my room and decided to try refitting the heatsink and going for a high overclock which I could subconsciously permit and sustain. I got the stuff on there perfectly, being sure to clean off the gunk from the last application thoroughly. I put it on, took it upstairs and flipped the switch. Got into the bios, set it for 200x12.5 1.7v for 2.5GHz. Loaded windows, and checked my hardware monitoring program that came with my NF7-S, along with nVidia's nForce2 System Utility. Both showed temperatures in the mid 50s at IDLE. To make matters worse, while I was programs such as Photoshop, the machine shut off and the warning beep emitted from the Mobo. The CPU had hit 60*, and even though the NF7-S' warning temperature is set to 90*, it shut down anyway. What could be causing this problem?

    Anyways people, are there any suggestions out there as to what in the world could be going on? Yes, I dusted the heatsink with compressed air along with the fan before putting them back on, and I was practically sure that I had put the Ceramique on perfectly. I don't know what to do, and am considering putting my CNPS3100+ back on to see if anything improves.
    Opteron 165 @ 280x9 = 2.52GHz
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  2. #2
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    Flash the BIOS. My MSI K7N2Delta-L gave me some flaky readings untill I flashed the BIOS. There are usually two sensors and sometimes what the BIOS reports and what is reported by the monitoring programs are not always the same sensor. My actually listed both socket and diode temps and used the diode temps for thermal shutdown. I always had really high temps on the diode temps (57-63'C) untill I flashed the BIOS.

    I too was a bit dissapointed on my SK-7 (very similar, but smaller than your SLK-900). I noticed right away that the heatsink was really pretty narrow and way too much of the airflow blew around the sides of the heatsink (80mm fan on a heatsink 82x65mm). Someone here said to mount the fan off center. This dropped my temps about 1'C. Well I finally mod'd my heatsink. I detatched the tips of the fins (they are locked together on these heatsinks). I thien spread about 1/4 of the fins on both side out so it is a full 80mm wide now. I got a 4'C drop in temps. Now that is more like it. I then added a blowhole centered over my Radeon 9700Pro AIW and my temps dropped another 4'C. I also flashed my BIOS at that time, so instead of a 63'C load temp, I now get about 38'C. The heatsink is much cooler to the touch too. Those fins bent pretty easy and I never actually removed the heatsink to mod it. I'm getting some AS5 (ordered some but Priority Mail lost it), so I likley will get another 1-2'C drop.

    Untill I mod'd the heatsink it performed about at the level of a GlobalWin FOP32-1 aluminum heatsink that I mod'd to fit an 80mm fan for my Duron 600@900.
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  3. #3
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    Originally posted by Todd a
    Flash the BIOS. My MSI K7N2Delta-L gave me some flaky readings untill I flashed the BIOS. There are usually two sensors and sometimes what the BIOS reports and what is reported by the monitoring programs are not always the same sensor. My actually listed both socket and diode temps and used the diode temps for thermal shutdown. I always had really high temps on the diode temps (57-63'C) untill I flashed the BIOS.

    I too was a bit dissapointed on my SK-7 (very similar, but smaller than your SLK-900). I noticed right away that the heatsink was really pretty narrow and way too much of the airflow blew around the sides of the heatsink (80mm fan on a heatsink 82x65mm). Someone here said to mount the fan off center. This dropped my temps about 1'C. Well I finally mod'd my heatsink. I detatched the tips of the fins (they are locked together on these heatsinks). I thien spread about 1/4 of the fins on both side out so it is a full 80mm wide now. I got a 4'C drop in temps. Now that is more like it. I then added a blowhole centered over my Radeon 9700Pro AIW and my temps dropped another 4'C. I also flashed my BIOS at that time, so instead of a 63'C load temp, I now get about 38'C. The heatsink is much cooler to the touch too. Those fins bent pretty easy and I never actually removed the heatsink to mod it. I'm getting some AS5 (ordered some but Priority Mail lost it), so I likley will get another 1-2'C drop.

    Untill I mod'd the heatsink it performed about at the level of a GlobalWin FOP32-1 aluminum heatsink that I mod'd to fit an 80mm fan for my Duron 600@900.
    Thanks. So you're leaning towards the idea that perhaps it is a bios misread and in fact the temperatures are lower than they claim? I have heard similar things concerning ABIT mobos, so that's not out of left field. Any way you can explain why the whole computer shuts off at 60* when the overheat protection is set to 90*? Could that be a bios issue as well?

    And your suggestion for modding my SLK900 is humorous to me, because if I were to do so it would end up looking a lot like the CNPS3100+ which I started with! I must say that I am dissapointed with my SLK-900 assuming there is no user-error. Its just that after reapplication 4 times I have a hard time believing it is me causing the problems.

    Now, I will flash the bios when I get home but that still doesn't solve the issue with the difference between the two heatsinks. Could my cheapo CNPS3100+ be better than my SLK-900? It hardly seems likely.
    Opteron 165 @ 280x9 = 2.52GHz
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  4. #4
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    man, if my asus readings are correct, i run in the 40's, under load upper 40's, my TT must be doing the trick for me,,,

    i must admit though, that at times when i don't have the AC cranked up here i have to turn up the rpm's on the fan though to keep it in the 40's

    gl and keep us posted stp,,thanks
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  5. #5
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    Originally posted by SaulTurnedPaul
    Any way you can explain why the whole computer shuts off at 60* when the overheat protection is set to 90*? Could that be a bios issue as well?
    i would think so, theirs only one way to find out
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  6. #6
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    See I also got high readings with my older AthlonXP 1800+ on that same MSI K7N2Delta-L (around 60-62'C full load) with the same heatsink and fan, but when I moved to my Abit NF7 with a GlobalWin FOP32-1 I show only 45'C full load. That's pretty good for an aluminum heatsink mounted with an 80mm 2500RPM fan on top.

    My first MSI (which slowly disintegrated over about 4 months with retched cold boot issues) gave me the same temps. I flashed the BIOS and the temps reported much better. I then RMAed the board and got the Deltra version (Ultra 400 version of the nForce2 chipset) and got the same crappy temp readings. I was hoping the updated motherboard would ship with an updated BIOS, but it didn't. I never bothered flashing that one as lightening wiped it out a month later. The 3rd one is still kicking, but it took me something like 6 months before I flashed it (I almost lost a motherboard with a bad flash and was lucky I had written down EVERYTHING when I flashed it and was able to flash it back to the old one without a display... makes me a bit touchy about flashing stuff).

    My heatsink mod's just work great. I am baffled someone has not made heatsinks like this yet. The spread out fins not only makes more use of the larger fans, but it also improves airflow between the fins. All that without enlarging the heatsink base. I even e-mailed the idea to GlobalWin with some pictures of my mod years ago (shortly after the Durons first hit the market) and they never even responded to the e-mail. I figured I try them since it was one of their heatsinks I had used. I've mod'd 5 heatsinks this way with good results EVERY time (about 3-6'C drop in temps... my Duron used to idle lower than the KT133 northbridge on my Abit KT7 at about 22'C ).
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  7. #7
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    Your AS5 and Zalman heatsink should give a nice temp of about 40-48 degree celcius.

    As I recall, AS have a break down period of about 200 hours and only then will stabilize and then begin lowering the temp.
    Unless you applied too much AS or the heatsink is not installed properly.

    Try open your casing and see if there is any difference in the temp..I suspect it could be cause by your casing airflow.

    Did you install Motherboard Monitor to check your temp...
    What is your ambient temp for the southbridge...??

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone.

    I updated the bios and there is no difference in the temperature readout. I also installed MBM5, so now I have three programs detecting the temperature and all of them read the same. Berserker, I took off the side of my case and the temperatures dropped about 5*C, so that's pretty considerable. Perhaps one way to help the situation is to improve my case airflow.

    I don't know if this is helpful to anyone or not, but when I touch my SLK-900 isn't even warm. I would describe it as being room temperature. If I remember correctly on my CNPS3100+ the thing got hot, which at least tells me that there is a great deal of thermal transfer going on. The fact that the heatsink isn't even warm makes me wonder - is it making proper connection with the core?? Any ideas?

    I couldn't find out the ambient temperature for the southbridge - Is this option available in MBM? It's also not available in my ABITEQ hardware monitoring program along with the nVidia System Utility...

    Alright, judging by what I've said so far what should I do next? How can it be that the heatsink isn't making proper contact with the core?? Could it be the four white padded feet on the heatsink designed to prevent it from cracking the CPU?
    Opteron 165 @ 280x9 = 2.52GHz
    ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe
    BFG 7600GT OC
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  9. #9
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    When you take it off you should see the inprint in the thermal grease where the core is. There should be almost no thermal grease left as it is supposed to be sqeased out (that is why you generally do not need to use much). I never used those feet on my SK-7 as it is not too big. Posibly the feet are sitting on some of the componants around the core on the CPU. Is the spring clip really tight? It should be a bear to put on (well if it is like my SK-7 at least). Is the heatsink touching anything on the motherboard that could keep it from seating 100% flat?

    Also when you say cool are you touching the fins or the base? Try the base and see how hot it is. Also if you have a good flat edge you can see if the heatsink if flat or cupped on the bottom.
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  10. #10
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    yeah, i would think those four pads would keep the hs from contacting properly, imo anyway
    Last edited by Richard R.; June 10th, 2004 at 09:26 AM.

  11. #11
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    The supplied pads helps to prevent the core from being cracked when installating the heatsink. I believe it will absorb the pressure should you accidentally drop the heatsink on the cpu and to stabilize the heatsink on the cpu when you apply the force to lock the heatsink. The pads are soft and should be left on the heatsink and cpu..

    It shouldn't have any effects on the cooling. Just make sure to apply AS5 according to the instructions..

  12. #12
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    yup the pads stop the core from being crushed and distribute the weight even i think
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