Question Can anybody take a stabbing guess at what's wrong with my PC? I'm leaning towards heating problems.

Jun 29, 2022
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So.... My computer's pretty old, and some of its parts have been upgraded/replaced a few times, at a local, small PC repair business (only replaced the RAM on my own). Of the few times I've had to switch out parts, myself, and that they've worked on it, we've cleaned it out of dust, a few times (it's never been terrible, from what I recall), and upgraded the power supply a couple times.

In the past month, or maybe... let's say, since the start of this year, my computer's been spontaneously shutting down, and I'm pretty certain it's due to my CPU getting insanely hot.

I've recently had to adjust where my PC is set up, in the room it's in; it used to be sitting under a more open desk, but now, it's sitting under a new desk, wherein one of the wider sides of the tower is facing a wall (but with maybe 3 inches of space between the case, and the wall, on that side); the narrower faces of the front, and back (where all of its ports, and power toggles are) are facing two solid pieces of the desk's wood (but with about an inch of space between the wood, and those faces of the tower); and one side is completely exposed to the open air of the room, albeit that air-flow itself might be a bit poor. I try my best to keep the ventilation slats clean, and dust doesn't appear to accumulate too badly, on the outside.

If I had to guess, one of the fans got jacked up (I've never had this computer crashing so often like this, before; 4 times, tonight, in the span of 7 hours).

Right now, I only have Google Chrome open, and it's at 60Celsius CPU temperature; but, earlier tonight, I saw it peaking at somewhere around 90Celsius or higher...

An application, (that is, Core Temp), says my Tjunction max temperature is 70C, so I'd assume that if my CPU is anywhere from 50C, to 55C, to upwards of 70C, and no higher than 20*C above the Tj. max temperature... I should be fine...

The thing is, this sort of temperature is being clocked, again, when my Task Manager is showing that I'm only hitting ~50% CPU usage, 30% Memory, 25% GPU. That is to say, not much is really happening with my resources, and it's very easy, apparently, to push the temperature over the edge?

My family is convinced that there's probably just dust inside the case that can be blown out with a can of air, and I can't convince them (for whatever bloody reason) that I'm pretty certain this just needs to be taken into a repair shop.

So, the CPU model in use, is an AMD Phenom II X6 1055T (Thuban), that I bought in like-new conditions (as far as I'm aware), maybe a couple years back, to replace the stock CPU.

The PC was (back when it was in factory condition, before the upgrades) an HP Pavilion P7-1054 desktop. And yes, so, it's an ancient pre-built, found in a Best Buy (probably) some decade ago, maybe.
So, it's original CPU was an AMD Athlon II X4 645, until more recently.
I've also upgraded it from its default 6 gigabytes of memory, to 16, and from its 1 terabyte hard-drive to a 2 terabyte.

I've monitored my GPU temperature, and it probably averages at 20*C lower than my CPU's, at any given time (with some rare exceptions).

If I try and run something like Fortnite, for example, at the lowest settings that might be demanding on either CPU or GPU (literally, almost anything), and with its internal "Performance Mode" active, I'm still prone to my computer shutting down within 45 minutes of playing (I used to be able to play for hours, no problem).

I'm at the point where I've had to avoid running more than, say, 3-5+ tabs at once on my browser, and hate the fact that Discord is Chromium-based, and that it's normally my bread & butter to have running in the background, because it's... well, demanding, and just one more thing working my computer so hard. Y'know, just, I can't multitask like I used to be able to (though, undoubtedly, between my computer's age, and how I'd been doing that, there's probably been quite a bit of wear & tear).

For some reason, HP's official site no longer (at least, today) shows my model of PC and its original system specifications. Whatever the case, I upgraded to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti GPU some time ago (years, really), and it's been fine. Right now, it's sitting at 45C and my CPU's at 62C... so, pretty decent idle temperature, at ~10% CPU usage.

Right now, I have two industrial-sized fans pointed at the tower, hopefully set up so that colder air can flow in, and hot air can escape in the proper directions... but I've set this up before, and it's still sometimes not helped (either at all, or enough to prevent shutdowns).

I would normally expect my system to throttle itself so hard, if it was overheating (or overworking, near 100% resource usage), but it just.. I mean, sometimes, it seems to freeze up very briefly, but usually... just... poof.

The BIOS version/date runs back to 12/18/2011, and the motherboard's.. not sure if I'm getting this right, but something like a FOXCONN 2AB1 (AMD) something-or-other. So yeah, that sucker's a bit on the ancient side, which is great... and, yeah, as I upgraded the GPU and whatnot, I might've run one power-source 'til it was shot, or needed to at least upgrade it one other time, and I think beyond that point, that became a non-issue, but the cooling system (is probably just fans) and probably as ancient as the motherboard.

So... apologies for some of the more irrelevant information on system specs, but, yeah, I'm at a bit of a loss.

If I take it in to be checked on, should I just ask them to kinda gently run some sort of benchmarks on it, to see how it's performing (versus how you'd expect it to perform) so they can get a sense for what's wrong? Just tell them that I suspect there's an overheating issue, and then find out if I just need to get a new cooling system setup?

'Cus, I'm really concerned that, each time the temperature hits critical levels, that it's gonna further frick up, and fry, my hardware into damaged conditions, so.. I'd like to get it fixed as soon as possible, and it's frustrating because, to a degree, I need to use it (though I don't intend to overwork it, either).. so, it kinda feels like, when a car starts suffering a mechanical issue, and if you don't fix that, the rest of your car has a better chance of falling apart in a chain reaction.

View: https://imgur.com/a/flyM22R
(the site wouldn't let me insert this as an image, so...) View: https://imgur.com/a/EDT9CTm


But, yeah, like... y'all, this is even if I'm running some mundane game on Roblox, at the lowest in-application graphical settings possible. Normally, my PC would struggle a bit (for obvious reasons) if I ran some light, 2D Steam-sourced game, and whatever other game (I'd usually only run one at a time), but if I tried that now, it'd probably crash my PC quick.

So, the crash is, I guess... I mean, just, out of nowhere, screen fades to black, power is cut off (have to power back on the PC), and I'm pretty much resorting to letting the PC stay off for at least 5 minutes before restarting it, to give it some grace-time to breathe without its fans... I just...

Thoughts, anybody? I.... the thing is, well, there's not that many plugs back there, and they probably won't be tangled up too badly (if I had to unplug them, and pop them back in later), but I really am reluctant to unplug everything, just to open up the case, and check for dust, y'know? I mean, taking the time to futz around with the screws, 'n' all.. I just feel like it'd be better to have someone take a look at the tower, as a whole.

I mean, what, something wrong with a (CPU) fan, or heatsink, in all likelihood?
 
Last edited:

dwd999

Honorable
So.... My computer's pretty old, and some of its parts have been upgraded/replaced a few times, at a local, small PC repair business (only replaced the RAM on my own). Of the few times I've had to switch out parts, myself, and that they've worked on it, we've cleaned it out of dust, a few times (it's never been terrible, from what I recall), and upgraded the power supply a couple times.

In the past month, or maybe... let's say, since the start of this year, my computer's been spontaneously shutting down, and I'm pretty certain it's due to my CPU getting insanely hot.

I've recently had to adjust where my PC is set up, in the room it's in; it used to be sitting under a more open desk, but now, it's sitting under a new desk, wherein one of the wider sides of the tower is facing a wall (but with maybe 3 inches of space between the case, and the wall, on that side); the narrower faces of the front, and back (where all of its ports, and power toggles are) are facing two solid pieces of the desk's wood (but with about an inch of space between the wood, and those faces of the tower); and one side is completely exposed to the open air of the room, albeit that air-flow itself might be a bit poor. I try my best to keep the ventilation slats clean, and dust doesn't appear to accumulate too badly, on the outside.

If I had to guess, one of the fans got jacked up (I've never had this computer crashing so often like this, before; 4 times, tonight, in the span of 7 hours).

Right now, I only have Google Chrome open, and it's at 60Celsius CPU temperature; but, earlier tonight, I saw it peaking at somewhere around 90Celsius or higher...

An application, (that is, Core Temp), says my Tjunction max temperature is 70C, so I'd assume that if my CPU is anywhere from 50C, to 55C, to upwards of 70C, and no higher than 20*C above the Tj. max temperature... I should be fine...

The thing is, this sort of temperature is being clocked, again, when my Task Manager is showing that I'm only hitting ~50% CPU usage, 30% Memory, 25% GPU. That is to say, not much is really happening with my resources, and it's very easy, apparently, to push the temperature over the edge?

My family is convinced that there's probably just dust inside the case that can be blown out with a can of air, and I can't convince them (for whatever bloody reason) that I'm pretty certain this just needs to be taken into a repair shop.

So, the CPU model in use, is an AMD Phenom II X6 1055T (Thubian), that I bought in like-new conditions (as far as I'm aware), maybe a couple years back, to replace the stock CPU.

The PC was (back when it was in factory condition, before the upgrades) an HP Pavilion P7-1054 desktop.
So, it's original CPU was an AMD Athlon II X4 645, until more recently.
I've also upgraded it from its default 6 gigabytes of memory, to 16, and from its 1 terabyte hard-drive to a 2 terabyte.

I've monitored my GPU temperature, and it probably averages at 20*C lower than my CPU's, at any given time (with some rare exceptions).

If I try and run something like Fortnite, for example, at the lowest settings that might be demanding on either CPU or GPU (literally, almost anything), and with its internal "Performance Mode" active, I'm still prone to my computer shutting down within 45 minutes of playing (I used to be able to play for hours, no problem).

I'm at the point where I've had to avoid running more than, say, 3-5+ tabs at once on my browser, and hate the fact that Discord is Chromium-based, and that it's normally my bread & butter to have running in the background, because it's... well, demanding, and just one more thing working my computer so hard. Y'know, just, I can't multitask like I used to be able to (though, undoubtedly, between my computer's age, and how I'd been doing that, there's probably been quite a bit of wear & tear).

For some reason, HP's official site no longer (at least, today) shows my model of PC and its original system specifications. Whatever the case, I upgraded to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti GPU some time ago (years, really), and it's been fine. Right now, it's sitting at 45C and my CPU's at 62C... so, pretty decent idle temperature, at ~10% CPU usage.

Right now, I have two industrial-sized fans pointed at the tower, hopefully set up so that colder air can flow in, and hot air can escape in the proper directions... but I've set this up before, and it's still sometimes not helped (either at all, or enough to prevent shutdowns).

I would normally expect my system to throttle itself so hard, if it was overheating (or overworking, near 100% resource usage), but it just.. I mean, sometimes, it seems to freeze up very briefly, but usually... just... poof.

The BIOS version/date runs back to 12/18/2011, and the motherboard's.. not sure if I'm getting this right, but something like a FOXCONN 2AB1 something-or-other. So yeah, that sucker's a bit on the ancient side, which is great... and, yeah, as I upgraded the GPU and whatnot, I might've run one power-source 'til it was shot, or needed to at least upgrade it one other time, and I think beyond that point, that became a non-issue, but the cooling system (is probably just fans) and probably as ancient as the motherboard.

So... apologies for some of the more irrelevant information on system specs, but, yeah, I'm at a bit of a loss.

If I take it in to be checked on, should I just ask them to kinda gently run some sort of benchmarks on it, to see how it's performing (versus how you'd expect it to perform) so they can get a sense for what's wrong? Just tell them that I suspect there's an overheating issue, and then find out if I just need to get a new cooling system setup?

'Cus, I'm really concerned that, each time the temperature hits critical levels, that it's gonna further frick up, and fry, my hardware into damaged conditions, so.. I'd like to get it fixed as soon as possible, and it's frustrating because, to a degree, I need to use it (though I don't intend to overwork it, either).. so, it kinda feels like, when a car starts suffering a mechanical issue, and if you don't fix that, the rest of your car has a better chance of falling apart in a chain reaction.

View: https://imgur.com/a/flyM22R
(the site wouldn't let me insert this as an image, so...) View: https://imgur.com/a/EDT9CTm


But, yeah, like... y'all, this is even if I'm running some mundane game on Roblox, at the lowest in-application graphical settings possible. Normally, my PC would struggle a bit (for obvious reasons) if I ran some light, 2D Steam-sourced game, and whatever other game (I'd usually only run one at a time), but if I tried that now, it'd probably crash my PC quick.

So, the crash is, I guess... I mean, just, out of nowhere, screen fades to black, power is cut off (have to power back on the PC), and I'm pretty much resorting to letting the PC stay off for at least 5 minutes before restarting it, to give it some grace-time to breathe without its fans... I just...

Thoughts, anybody? I.... the thing is, well, there's not that many plugs back there, and they probably won't be tangled up too badly (if I had to unplug them, and pop them back in later), but I really am reluctant to unplug everything, just to open up the case, and check for dust, y'know? I mean, taking the time to futz around with the screws, 'n' all.. I just feel like it'd be better to have someone take a look at the tower, as a whole.

I mean, what, something wrong with a (CPU) fan, or heatsink, in all likelihood?
Well as a simple test you could manually set all of your cpu, gpu and case fans to 100 percent maximum and see what type of temperatures you get. If you still have problems then you can tell your family that even with all fans running at maximum there is not enough ventilation either in the case or in the room. You might need a larger case with more fans plus a larger cpu cooler and fan that will operate effectively in the room and location you have to use.
 

Lafong

Respectable
There are quite a few threads on this forum about that particular CPU and heating.

But...a 12 year old motherboard? How many dollars are you willing to spend on a machine from that era, particularly if you have to rely on a local repair shop?
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
Your biggest issue is this:

HP Pavilion P7-1054 desktop
You have prebuilt PC, with terrible airflow (essentially non-existent), with only one exhaust fan. 80mm or perhaps 92mm. Maybe you can install front intake fan in there too (80mm or 92mm) but that's unknown, unless you open up your case and look if you have fan mounts at the front bottom.

Now, while you have a good idea of:

I have two industrial-sized fans pointed at the tower
It doesn't help your PC at all, as long as you have side panel closed.

Now, the easiest fix, and which will give you the best results as well, is for you to remove the side panel of your PC, so that you see the internals. And then, point a fan (or two), at the exposed PC components to force the airflow onto them. Essentially turning your PC into open-bench PC.

With this very restrictive PC case you have, this is the best and essentially only option you can do.

You might need a larger case
Nice suggestion. But you failed to notice that OP has prebuilt PC, with proprietary MoBo and PSU. <- Neither of the two, for the most part, are compatible to the standard aftermarket PC cases. So, OP doesn't have the option to replace the PC case. If the option would be there, it would be really good option on what to do.

and my CPU's at 62C... so, pretty decent idle temperature, at ~10% CPU usage.
Given that the operating range of Phenom II X6 1055T is 55-62C, i would not say that you have "pretty decent" idle temps. What you have, is running CPU at it's max operating temps and any load on CPU, will thermal throttle it, eventually shutting your PC down and over time damaging CPU.

Phenom II X6 1055T normal idle temps are 20-30C, under load temps are 40-50C and seeing 55C or above is bad.

---

All-in-all, and since you have prebuilt with little, if any, upgrade options (both performance and cooling), doing the trick i explained above is only thing you can do. Though, you'd be better off buying a completely new PC, while avoiding any prebuilt PCs that use such high restrictive PC cases.
 
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Karadjgne

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Ambassador
You are playing cards in a crooked casino where not only does the House always win, but every single card is stacked against you. Newer software uses instruction sets in different ways, which your cpu doesn't always have, so has to work harder using what it does have, which raises temps. Newer software is coded to use at minimums cpus far newer, putting additional stress on the cpu, which raises temps, you are most likely re-using the stock cooler, which were abysmal to start with, which raises temps, your case has a severe lack of airflow, which raises temps...

You literally cannot win for loosing and its only getting worse as time goes on. Band-aid fixes like removing side panels, will only last so long before even that fails too.

It's almost always the motherboard that fails first, cpus are well known to last for decades easily, but capacitors age, build up resistances, same way as florescent light bulbs turn purple at the tips and die shortly after. If the very cheap budget motherboard has badly aging caps, they'll pull higher voltages, higher amperages to compensate, which speeds up the dying process.

Your pc served you well over the years, but it's time to put it out to pasture while it still retains some dignity. The costs involved to 'fix' it are just good money wasted as it won't be long before something else quits or dies and needs replacement.
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
So, the CPU model in use, is an AMD Phenom II X6 1055T (Thubian), that I bought in like-new conditions (as far as I'm aware), maybe a couple years back, to replace the stock CPU.
Based on what i was able to gather, HP Pavilion P7-1054 initially came with AMD Athlon II X4 645 CPU. Now II X4 645 is 95W GPU, which shouldn't be put into that PC case in the first place. But you upgrading to II X6 1055T, added additional 35W worth of thermals to your already crippled system, since that CPU is 125W. And you not able to use more powerful CPU in a such poor thermal case, is actually quite normal.

---

Speaking of new PC, as little as 500 bucks can get you a brand new one, given that you pull your dedicated GPU out from your current system and also use one of your storage drives as an OS drive:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i5-11400 2.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($167.99 @ B&H)
Motherboard: Gigabyte B560M DS3H AC Micro ATX LGA1200 Motherboard ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2400 CL16 Memory ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($69.99 @ B&H)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS GX 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($113.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $471.95

Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-06-29 12:08 EDT-0400


With this above, you have plenty of upgrade paths, very well ventilated PC case (that you can switch out, if you like) and enough PSU capacity for better GPU, e.g GTX 1660 Ti. And i think i don't need to tell how much of a performance gain you'll get with new CPU. But if interested, here is the comparison;
link: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Phenom-II-X6-1055T-vs-Intel-Core-i5-11400/2003vs4112
 
Jun 29, 2022
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Update: View: https://imgur.com/a/PdCF3X5

Yesterday, I opened up the side-panel to the tower, and I didn't have a can of compressed air around, unfortunately.
I only had a clean microfiber cloth, and maybe some q-tips to fiddle around with.

That image(the only one I took before I went to clean up the insides), my phone defaulted to using its flash...

Anyways, uh.. So, yeah, that same day, I'd been getting 80C temperatures with just Discord and one tab of Google Chrome running, upwards of 90C and just shutting down applications and giving my computer a second to breathe wasn't cutting it. I didn't bother to opt to open the side-panel and train a house-fan onto this frickn' dinosaur rig, but as per that idea, I digress.

So, I used the cloth to wipe down as much as I could, after grounding myself, and, to many of yours' potential horror, I risked it for the very unattractive prospect of a biscuit, and just blew into the system's insides by mouth, to dislodge dust in as many locations as possible (yee-haw, we spittin' into our rigs now), and got a couple dust-bunnies cleared off, and a decent layer of dust here and there... and my glasses naturally covered in a nice layer of dust, just as well as my lungs (this is what we call karma for pure idiocy).

Okay, so, that fan facing directly towards where the side panel would've been? I grant you, if you looked at it, straight-on, it looked like it had a nice little dust-coat on it, and I wiped that off, and for the blades. But, unless you looked awful-closely (and perhaps without dust covering your glasses), you mightn't have seen the telltale sign of clumps of dust behind the blades. I stuck some q-tips back there, gave a good swirl around the length of the framework behind the blade, and tugged out maybe 3-5 balls of dust (at some point, I'm pretty sure the clumping got the fan blade stuck).

Well, I was about as thorough as I could be, with my reach via my cloth, and q-tips, and my puffs of air, (looks like this thing has about 3-4 fans in it? Tried to touch bases on all of them, 'n' just get as much dust dislodged as possible, such as in if some dust was directly coating the CPU)...

Welp, after I was satisfied that I wasn't getting any more plumes of dust launched into the air, and no more dust-bunnies moving around(hopefully, I didn't get any stuck anywhere), and after making sure the cords inside weren't going to press up against/close to anything they shouldn't be near, I slapped the side-panel back on, and plugged my PC back in.


Post-startup, I'm now somewhere between 30-45C, and happy as <Mod Edit>. In fact, when running semi-heavy applications, the temperature seems to stay at a steady 45C. PC seems to be working as usual, despite my extremely unorthodox (read: stupid) idea of how to fix the issue.

I just feel dumb for doubting that there could've been that much (problematic) dust.

Thanks for the assessments and ideas, nonetheless, to all which responded. :) From, a very dumb idiot.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Aeacus

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Post-startup, I'm now somewhere between 30-45C, and happy as <Mod Edit>. In fact, when running semi-heavy applications, the temperature seems to stay at a steady 45C. PC seems to be working as usual, despite my extremely unorthodox (read: stupid) idea of how to fix the issue.

I just feel dumb for doubting that there could've been that much (problematic) dust.

Thanks for the assessments and ideas, nonetheless, to all which responded. :) From, a very dumb idiot.
Neglected PCs, which rarely (if ever), get dust cleaning, is the #1 reason of PC failures. Dust, not only stops cool air to flow, also traps heat in. And above else, dust is electrically conductive, which can lead into ESD and short circuit, thus frying the PC (if the PC didn't burn itself to death beforehand).

Good to hear that you got your PC running at normal temps. Also, keep up the PC cleaning, once every 6 months is reasonable. :)
Also, look into compressed air (either canned or compressor) to make the cleanup far faster and easier. Though, with compressed air, hold down the fan blades so that they won't start spinning when you blow it out.
 
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