Question Is glueing tiny heatsinks onto the VRMs of a mobo with thermal adhesive a good idea? Has anyone tried?

Piri1974

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Hello folks;

I have a very cheap ASRock A320M-HDV R3.0 motherboard, AM4 platform.
It has no coolers on the VRMs, probably because it was so cheap.

I got tiny 5 by 5 millimeter cooling fins on a Chinese web shop,
and I am thinking about glueing them onto the VRMs.
I have high quality thermal adhesive from Arctic Silver, consisting of 2 syringes.

Do you think that will hold on long term?
They cooling fins a really tiny, I guess they weigh not much more than a gramme or 2.

The only thing I am afraid of is that if one of them should ever drop off,
it could fall onto the video card an cause fire or something.

Has anyone else tried this before?

I was thinking about it because I run the BOINC client on it to help science.
So that means almost 100% cpu load all of the time.
I only use a 35 Watt TDP Athlon 200GE on it,
but nevertheless in the tool HWMonitor I see mobo temps as high as 120 degrees Celsius.
I suppose that is the VRM temp, no?

Thanks for any input.
Have a good day & be safe;
Carl Philip
 
This usage is what thermal adhesive is made for.

The computational power you're contributing with your 200GE itself isn't worth the hassle. It's less than insignificant. If the 200GE is simply used to create a platform for graphics card(s) to run compute, that's a good plan.
 
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To answer your question:
You should be ok so long as you are not moving and bouncing the pc around.
Many such heat sinks come with adhesive pads which work well.

That said, I doubt the temperatures are anywhere near 120c.
What is the problem you need to solve?
What is the make/model of your case?
What is the case fan cooling setup?
Any motherboard needs at least some airflow .
 
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Have to agree that a 200GE wouldn't be likely get that 4 phase VRM up to 120C territory. That is, not unless the motherboard is sitting in a case with no airflow back into the VRM area and terrible ventilation to remove hot air on top of that. In which case putting on those tiny heatsinks won't be enough. All they really do is increase surface area to allow air flowing across them to carry away heat at a faster rate...but no airflow means they won't work.

So if that 120C is real, the first thing for you would be to check airflow across the VRM. Usually that means zip-tying a little 40 or 50 MM fan blowing on it. And also make sure your case fans are working...one up front blowing cool air in, at least one in back or up top pulling it out...and kicking it up on a custom profile when the VRM is getting warm.

ADDed: since you're doing BOINC that 120C could be on the SOC VRM if BOINC uses the iGPU to do GPU compute work units. Be sure the fan's also blowing across those FETS (on the top edge of the board, the VCore FETS are along the I/O panel connector edge). Also be sure to get heatsinks for those too if that's not enough.
 

Piri1974

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This usage is what thermal adhesive is made for.

The computational power you're contributing with your 200GE itself isn't worth the hassle. It's less than insignificant. If the 200GE is simply used to create a platform for graphics card(s) to run compute, that's a good plan.
Well I've been using it for Mapping Cancer Markers for about a year now - not running 24/7 though - and so far it has done about 3200 work units. That is not so bad is it?
My most powerful CPU is a Core i5-8400, and that one has done more than 8000 WUs, but in a longer period.
So the Athlon is a 2-core 4 thread, while the Core i5 is a 6-core, 6-thread.

What do you see as a strict minimum for a CPU doing MCM or another CPU project?

I have no video cards strong enough for the GPU projects, except maybe my most prowerful which is a GTX1060.

Thanks for the input.
Carl
 
Well I've been using it for Mapping Cancer Markers for about a year now - not running 24/7 though - and so far it has done about 3200 work units. That is not so bad is it?
...
Don't worry about that comment...even 3200 work units is a contribution. All these distributed computing projects share the same philosophy as an ant colony does: the whole is improved only by the total commitment of all the parts irrespective of the individual's ability to contribute.

There are vastly more small contributors than gloriously huge contributors, so when that one contribution comes in that enables a significant discovery it's probably just as likely it will come from someone with 32 hundred work units complete as someone with 32 million work units complete.
 
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Piri1974

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For the questions about airflow and VRM temps:

The 120 degrees Celsius temps I am seeing are from the little tool called "HWMonitor".
So I assume , but I'm not 100% sure of course that they are correct.
It is unclear where the reading comes from: It's just called 'Int temp x' or something.
Only the CPU temp reading clearly says 'CPU temp'.
I have seen this tool read fan speeds at 100,000rpm, so it is clearly not always correct. :)

It is true that this mobo sits in a very old Cooler Master case,
it's a recycled case from an old AMD Athlon XP-2800+ pc.
(That CPU, an old Barton core, was a lot more difficult to cool that this Athlon 200GE :) )
Anyway, the case has 1x 80mm intake fan at the front, 1x 80mm exhaust at the rear, and of course the 120mm fan of the PSU.
Don't forget the only thing generating any significant amount of heat inside this pc is the CPU.
And my 35 Watt Athlon 200GE never exceeds 40°C with its stock cooler, even when running BOINC at 100%.
So I don't see a heat problem, even if airflow inside this case is definitely not 'great'.

And then of course the CPUs stock cooler is a TF model, meaning its small fan blows downwards onto the CPU. Some of this air must pass by the VRMs I suppose.

But yeah, I'll see if I can attach a small 40mm fan somewhere above the VRMs and see if it improves.

Thank you all for the help. Greatly appreciated.
Carl Philip
 
For the questions about airflow and VRM temps:

The 120 degrees Celsius temps I am seeing are from the little tool called "HWMonitor".
So I assume , but I'm not 100% sure of course that they are correct.
It is unclear where the reading comes from: It's just called 'Int temp x' or something.
Only the CPU temp reading clearly says 'CPU temp'.
I have seen this tool read fan speeds at 100,000rpm, so it is clearly not always correct. :)

It is true that this mobo sits in a very old Cooler Master case,
it's a recycled case from an old AMD Athlon XP-2800+ pc.
(That CPU, an old Barton core, was a lot more difficult to cool that this Athlon 200GE :) )
Anyway, the case has 1x 80mm intake fan at the front, 1x 80mm exhaust at the rear, and of course the 120mm fan of the PSU.
Don't forget the only thing generating any significant amount of heat inside this pc is the CPU.
And my 35 Watt Athlon 200GE never exceeds 40°C with its stock cooler, even when running BOINC at 100%.
So I don't see a heat problem, even if airflow inside this case is definitely not 'great'.

And then of course the CPUs stock cooler is a TF model, meaning its small fan blows downwards onto the CPU. Some of this air must pass by the VRMs I suppose.

But yeah, I'll see if I can attach a small 40mm fan somewhere above the VRMs and see if it improves.

Thank you all for the help. Greatly appreciated.
Carl Philip
HWMonitor is frequently inaccurate for Ryzen boards. The better tool to get is HWInfo64, it's far more complete with a ton of info screens but also way more complete sensors.

I didn't even know 200GE's came with a stock HSF...so if it's a downblowing one it is providing some airflow for the FET's. I'd get HWInfo and check temps with that.
 
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Piri1974

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Don't worry about that comment...even 3200 work units is a contribution. All these distributed computing projects share the same philosophy as an ant colony does: the whole is improved only by the total commitment of all the parts irrespective of the individual's ability to contribute.

There are vastly more small contributors than gloriously huge contributors, so when that one contribution comes in that enables a significant discovery it's probably just as likely it will come from someone with 32 hundred work units complete as someone with 32 million work units complete.
Thanks. :)

Indeed, most of us don't have a 32-core Threadripper CPU at home. :)

And yes, compared to the total amount of work generated for the Mapping Cancer Markers project - more than 300 years of calculations PER DAY - my total contribution of about 21 years in 2 years time is indeed almost insignificant. But we're all helping where we can.

I have an even older CPU helping the Mapping Cancer Markers project:
A dual core Celeron E3300. (10-year old Intel Wolfdale design, like the Core 2 Duos)
It has done 1129 WUs so far.
The reason why I let it fight against cancer is a little story:
It was my dad's last PC. He died in 2016 of cancer.
So I let his pc fight that disease, as some kind of statement...
It needs about 3 hours to do 2 Sarcoma work units, so it is not fast, but like you said: All ants help. :)
I will let this pc continue to calculate for Mapping Cancer Markers until the day it breaks down.

Thanks for the reply;
Carl Philip
 
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Piri1974

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Mar 25, 2019
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HWMonitor is frequently inaccurate for Ryzen boards. The better tool to get is HWInfo64, it's far more complete with a ton of info screens but also way more complete sensors.

I didn't even know 200GE's came with a stock HSF...so if it's a downblowing one it is providing some airflow for the FET's. I'd get HWInfo and check temps with that.
Thanks for the tip!
I did not know that tool, and I didn't know that HWMonitor is not a good choice to monitor Ryzen boards.

Yes, the Athlon 2xxGEs come with a small stock cooler. (The boxed ones anyway.)
It has no name like the better AMD Stealth and Wraith coolers.
It looks a bit like the stock coolers of the older AMD FX4xx cpus - a square aluminium thing with a 60mm fan I think - only less tall.
Like I said, it keeps my Athlon under 40degrees Celsius, so I don't see why I should upgrade the cooler.

Thanks again!
 

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