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80. Miscellaneous Info

Cooling is a very important aspect of any PC.

AMD chips are notorious for running on the warm side so it is necessary to make sure they are properly cooled to avoid instability which can be the result of excessive heat. Liquid Cooling has become fairly popular in high-end machines, and is quite safe. There is a vast array of cooling components available now. See for example: »www.pcstats.com/articlesearch.cf···ort=date

The most important part of cooling is the heatsink and fan combination. The stock retail boxes of both AMD and Intel chips come with a heatsink fan (HSF) combination. The HSF units that the chips come with are not the best but are good enough to get the job done. For AMD chips buying your own HSF is recommended, but for Intel, the included fan is fine.

To obtain the best cooling results make sure that the thermal compound is properly applied to the core of the CPU and the HSF; the steps can be found here. After you get the HSF unit installed, next come the case fans.

Any front fans on your case should be intake; rear fans exhaust. Any fans on the side (blowholes) should be intake as well. It is important to try to balance the amount of air taken into the case with the amount of air being removed. In other words, you do not want to have 4 intake fans and 1 exhaust; try to have at least one intake and one exhaust. The fan on the heatsink should be blowing air on the processor and not away from it.

For a diagram of proper case airflow, see the following picture from AMD's guide to cooling. This also applies to Intel based systems.

Proper temperatures vary between systems but in general the case temperature (as reported by the onboard sensors) should be a few degrees celsius above room temperature. The temperature of the processor for AMD's should be in the mid-40's C ideally but can go to the mid-50's C without difficulty. Intel chips should run in the low to mid 40's C but unless you get above 50 C, do not worry. Of course, the lower the temperature is the better.

by slash See Profile edited by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2008-01-28 08:53:00

Got an old computer that just isn't worth anything, and is too slow to even consider using anymore? Don't throw it away!

I was recently building another system, and I realized that the miscellaneous power leads that come with the case ... speaker, power, reset, hard drive LED, etc. were of the wrong configuration. That is, one plug had three conductors when I needed only two to hook up to the motherboard.

Luckily, I had an old computer sitting around, and I was able to scavenge the power connectors from it, and adapt them to my new machine. Other items like slot covers and even LEDs can come in handy.

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2002-11-20 02:23:16

Arctic Silver is the most popular thermal compound on the market since it has proven to be the most effective way to cool a processor.

If the thermal compound is not applied properly, the cooling will not be as efficient which can result in instability. There's a detailed description of how to use this product here.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • Recommend link to http://www.arcticsilver.com/instructions.htm to link to proper product/CPU type as they seem to differ in application. The original link points to a broken page as of now.

    2013-01-22 20:06:25 (ayoustic See Profile)

by slash See Profile edited by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2013-01-22 20:29:02

Today's CPUs generate a lot of heat, especially when they're working at 100% processing work units. To help conduct this heat away from the CPU, we install a heat sink over the CPU, in contact with it. On top of the heat sink, we install a fan to blow cool air through the heat sink, cooling it.

The purpose of thermal grease, thermal compound, or Arctic Silver is to facilitate the exchange of heat from the CPU to the heat sink. Your CPU thinks of it as that cool, wet washcloth your mother used to put on your forehead. The Intel processors do not generally require thermal compound.

Some great information on lapping a heatsink, can be found here and here

by KeysCapt See Profile edited by lilhurricane See Profile
last modified: 2008-12-19 08:52:12