Question My CPU idles at 70C. Cleaned fan and applied new thermal paste. Still no good

Jul 27, 2020
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I have an old pentium dual core 1.80GHz CPU with me. The mother board is Intel D945GCNL. I was hoping to hook it to my tv to play netflix and stuff. So i took it put of the dust and gave it a spin. Even by just staying in the bios, the temperature slowly climbs to 60C. I tried running puppy linux and ubuntu mate from a USB. The temperature goes upto 76 - 80 C just by launching a browser. It goes above 80C if i play a youtube video. I have cleaned and re-applies thermal paste. It is not running inside a cabinet now.

What is to blame here? The processor or the board? how to troubleshoot it?
 
Is the cooler fan spinning?

Likely, you did not mount the cooler well.

----------------how to mount the stock Intel cooler--------------

The stock Intel cooler can be tricky to install.
A poor installation will result in higher cpu temperatures.
If properly mounted, you should expect temperatures at idle to be 10-15c. over ambient.

To mount the Intel stock cooler properly, place the motherboard on top of the foam or cardboard backing that was packed with the motherboard.
The stock cooler will come with paste pre applied, it looks like three grey strips.
The 4 push pins should come in the proper position for installation, that is with the pins rotated in the opposite direction of the arrow,(clockwise)
and pulled up as far as they can go.
Take the time to play with the pushpin mechanism until you know how they work.

Orient the 4 pins so that they are exactly over the motherboard holes.
If one is out of place, you will damage the pins which are delicate.
Push down on a DIAGONAL pair of pins at the same time. Then the other pair.

When you push down on the top black pins, it expands the white plastic pins to fix the cooler in place.

If you do them one at a time, you will not get the cooler on straight.
Lastly, look at the back of the motherboard to verify that all 4 pins are equally through the motherboard, and that the cooler is on firmly.
This last step must be done, which is why the motherboard should be out of the case to do the job. Or you need a case with a opening that lets you see the pins.
It is possible to mount the cooler with the motherboard mounted in the case, but you can then never be certain that the push pins are inserted properly
unless you can verify that the pins are through the motherboard and locked.

If you should need to remove the cooler, turn the pins counter clockwise to unlock them.
You will need to clean off the old paste and reapply new if you ever take the cooler off.
Clean off old paste with alcohol and a lint free paper like a coffee filter.
Apply new paste sparingly. A small rice sized drop in the center will spread our under heat and pressure.
Too much paste is bad, it will act as an insulator.
It is hard to use too little.

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Jul 27, 2020
7
0
10
0
I have
Is the cooler fan spinning?

Likely, you did not mount the cooler well.

----------------how to mount the stock Intel cooler--------------

The stock Intel cooler can be tricky to install.
A poor installation will result in higher cpu temperatures.
If properly mounted, you should expect temperatures at idle to be 10-15c. over ambient.

To mount the Intel stock cooler properly, place the motherboard on top of the foam or cardboard backing that was packed with the motherboard.
The stock cooler will come with paste pre applied, it looks like three grey strips.
The 4 push pins should come in the proper position for installation, that is with the pins rotated in the opposite direction of the arrow,(clockwise)
and pulled up as far as they can go.
Take the time to play with the pushpin mechanism until you know how they work.

Orient the 4 pins so that they are exactly over the motherboard holes.
If one is out of place, you will damage the pins which are delicate.
Push down on a DIAGONAL pair of pins at the same time. Then the other pair.

When you push down on the top black pins, it expands the white plastic pins to fix the cooler in place.

If you do them one at a time, you will not get the cooler on straight.
Lastly, look at the back of the motherboard to verify that all 4 pins are equally through the motherboard, and that the cooler is on firmly.
This last step must be done, which is why the motherboard should be out of the case to do the job. Or you need a case with a opening that lets you see the pins.
It is possible to mount the cooler with the motherboard mounted in the case, but you can then never be certain that the push pins are inserted properly
unless you can verify that the pins are through the motherboard and locked.

If you should need to remove the cooler, turn the pins counter clockwise to unlock them.
You will need to clean off the old paste and reapply new if you ever take the cooler off.
Clean off old paste with alcohol and a lint free paper like a coffee filter.
Apply new paste sparingly. A small rice sized drop in the center will spread our under heat and pressure.
Too much paste is bad, it will act as an insulator.
It is hard to use too little.

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Thanks for the reply. I have followed guides on removing and re installing everything. I have tried it again with your instructions as well. But nothing seems to cool it down. I suspect the cooling system is not to blame. 60C+ on BIOS isn't normal even for a broken cooling system is it? I suspect its the MB or Processor itself. But not sure. How can I troubleshoot?
 
What kind of case is this mounted in?
Any cooler needs a good source of fresh air to let it do it's job.
Take the case covers off and direct a house fan at the innards.
If that does the job, look to case cooling solutions.

How are you measuring temperatures?
CPU temperatures are not measured directly but they are a calculation based on electrical measurements.
Various methods may differ in accuracy.
HWmonitor is a good one.
It will give you the current, minimum and maximum temperatures.
Your bios display should also have a decent measure of idle temperature.

What is your ambient temperature?
It all starts with that as a base.

I think it unlikely that your processor or motherboard is at fault.
 
Jul 27, 2020
7
0
10
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What kind of case is this mounted in?
Any cooler needs a good source of fresh air to let it do it's job.
Take the case covers off and direct a house fan at the innards.
If that does the job, look to case cooling solutions.

How are you measuring temperatures?
CPU temperatures are not measured directly but they are a calculation based on electrical measurements.
Various methods may differ in accuracy.
HWmonitor is a good one.
It will give you the current, minimum and maximum temperatures.
Your bios display should also have a decent measure of idle temperature.

What is your ambient temperature?
It all starts with that as a base.

I think it unlikely that your processor or motherboard is at fault.
It is not currently mounted in any enclosure. It is wide open. I have a ceiling fan blowing air down on to the open motherboard and heat sink. The CPU fan (mounted over the heat sink) is also running.

I ran puppy linux from a USB. I used lm-sensors to measure the temperature. I don't know much about how the the temperature is actually measured physically. Also checked in the bios menu. Even just staying at the bios menu got it up to just shy of 60C.

Ambient temperature is between 23C and 28C.

I would be glad if it isn't a problem with the motherboard or processor!
 
Jul 27, 2020
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There are no moving parts that can go wrong if you are using the intel stock cooler.
How fast is the cpu cooler fan running?
HWmonitor will tell you.
Have you altered anything, attempting to overclock?
I can update about the exact speed of CPU fan in a day as I am not near the computer right now. But it was running at good speeds (just a naked eye observation).

I haven't tried overclocking or anything. No settings are altered.

Could it be that the sensors are wrong? Would it do any good if I remove cooling unit completely and turn the CPU on so that I can "touch" it or put a physical thermometer on it to check if the temperature sensor/calculator is malfunctioning?.
 
No, do not do that.
As bad as it might be you need the cooler.
You can damage a processor by overheating.
Plus a motherboard will not normally start unless the cpu cooling fan is connected and running at 500rpm or more.

Possibly your motherboard has a bios update that might impact this issue.
Unfortunately, your motherboard is so outdated that Intel no longer offers support.
Here is what I could find:
https://drivers.softpedia.com/get/BIOS/Intel/Intel-D945GCNL-BIOS-0014.shtml
You should be able to see your bios level in the bios menu.
Otherwise cpu-Z will show it.
The download will usually have a text that describes what it fixes.
It would not surprise me if this is your issue.
I would not update the bios just on speculation.
A failed bios can be nasty if not impossible to recover from.
If you do, DO NOT interrupt the process.
It will appear that nothing is going on for a while. 15 minutes or more.
 
Jul 27, 2020
7
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10
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No, do not do that.
As bad as it might be you need the cooler.
You can damage a processor by overheating.
Plus a motherboard will not normally start unless the cpu cooling fan is connected and running at 500rpm or more.

Possibly your motherboard has a bios update that might impact this issue.
Unfortunately, your motherboard is so outdated that Intel no longer offers support.
Here is what I could find:
https://drivers.softpedia.com/get/BIOS/Intel/Intel-D945GCNL-BIOS-0014.shtml
You should be able to see your bios level in the bios menu.
Otherwise cpu-Z will show it.
The download will usually have a text that describes what it fixes.
It would not surprise me if this is your issue.
I would not update the bios just on speculation.
A failed bios can be nasty if not impossible to recover from.
If you do, DO NOT interrupt the process.
It will appear that nothing is going on for a while. 15 minutes or more.
I am ready to update the BIOS if needed. The motherboard is of no use as it is. So if needed, I can update bios. But this motherboard used to function in a good way in its time. It just sat idle for a long time. Now it shows over heating. Since it used to work well, the BIOS wouldn't be to blame right?

Also the fan is running at 900RPM when temperature was 57C. The reading is from Bios.

Processor temp 57C
internal Temp 39C
Remote temp 42C

What are the other two temperatures? I assume they are ambient temperatures of some sort. But they seem to be wrong. The MB is not running inside any case so internal temperature should be close to room temperature right? and what is Remote temperature?

The download link you gave seems to be not working and Intel seems to have deleted the drivers from their servers last year !
 
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I have a pc with a dual core 670 processor in an old pc.
Quite similar to yours.
I started up a test using the cpu-Z stress test tab and measuring with HWmonitor.
It uses a stock intel cooler in a fanless case(lian-li PC-Q02)
Initially my cpu temperature was 38c. and the fan speed was 956 rpm.
In time, the processor has heated up to 75c. and the fan speed has increased to 3214.
It is normal for one core to run hotter. My second was at 72c.

First of all, with a normal 22c. ambient, 57c. indicated a cooler issue.
Do a double check to see that the cooler is not loose.
Look at the back of the motherboard and see that all 4 push pins are fully through the motherboard and locked.
It is easy to dislodge the cooler which would explain the change.
Because you worked well before, I doubt that it is any bios issue.


Perhaps more of a problem is why the cooler fan speed has not increased.
Is the fan connected to the cpu fan header?
That is the one which is automatically controlled.
In the bios is there a fan setting section?
It should be set to increase the rpm as the cpu temperature rises.

I do not know what the internal and remote readings are.

There are a couple of different versions of the intel stock cooler.
One will have a more efficient copper bottom.
Others are taller with more heat dissipation area.
A possibility is that the fan is defective.
You should be able to buy a replacement cooler with a copper bottom on ebay for about $12.
Here is an example:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-OEM-Copper-CPU-Heatsink-Fan-Stock-Cooler-LGA1150-LGA1151-LGA1155-LGA1156/192486001617?hash=item2cd10f4bd1:g:ViIAAOSwTQtaSqr8
 
Last edited:
Jul 27, 2020
7
0
10
0
I have a pc with a dual core 670 processor in an old pc.
Quite similar to yours.
I started up a test using the cpu-Z stress test tab and measuring with HWmonitor.
It uses a stock intel cooler in a fanless case(lian-li PC-Q02)
Initially my cpu temperature was 38c. and the fan speed was 956 rpm.
In time, the processor has heated up to 75c. and the fan speed has increased to 3214.
It is normal for one core to run hotter. My second was at 72c.

First of all, with a normal 22c. ambient, 57c. indicated a cooler issue.
Do a double check to see that the cooler is not loose.
Look at the back of the motherboard and see that all 4 push pins are fully through the motherboard and locked.
It is easy to dislodge the cooler which would explain the change.
Because you worked well before, I doubt that it is any bios issue.


Perhaps more of a problem is why the cooler fan speed has not increased.
Is the fan connected to the cpu fan header?
That is the one which is automatically controlled.
In the bios is there a fan setting section?
It should be set to increase the rpm as the cpu temperature rises.

I do not know what the internal and remote readings are.

There are a couple of different versions of the intel stock cooler.
One will have a more efficient copper bottom.
Others are taller with more heat dissipation area.
A possibility is that the fan is defective.
You should be able to buy a replacement cooler with a copper bottom on ebay for about $12.
Here is an example:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-OEM-Copper-CPU-Heatsink-Fan-Stock-Cooler-LGA1150-LGA1151-LGA1155-LGA1156/192486001617?hash=item2cd10f4bd1:g:ViIAAOSwTQtaSqr8
If the problem is with the cooler, I can buy that. But I am trying to do this as a "e waste to wealth" sort of way. So I have to be sure that it is the fan that causes the problem. I feel it is unlikely that with such exposed setup, it would heatup so fast just because a fan failure
 
I agree with you.
There is little that can go wrong with the stock intel cooler.
Only the fan moves and you are running at 900 rpm which should be adequate at idle.
Hence my suggestion to revisit the mount.
Do not use too much paste.
A rice sized drop in the center will spread out under heat and pressure.
Too much paste will act as an insulator.

A more subtle error in mounting a pushpin cooler is how you push down on the pins.
Push a diagonal pair down at the same time.
If you do not, the cooler will not mount level.
If you get the cooler on well and the idle temperatures are ok, running the fan at 900 rpm, you will have convinced yourself that the cpu and motherboard are basically sound.

Have you ever removed the processor from the socket since all was well?
There is no need to except for changing out a processor.
If you have, possibly you have damaged one of the socket pins with unpredictable results.
The pins are delicate.
The socket is designed for only up to 15 insertions.
If you think this is a possibility, remove the processor and examine the socket carefully.
If you see a bent pin, you may be able to bend it back.
Be careful to drop the processor in cleanly.
If you smoosh it around to get it seated, you are likely to damage a pin.
 
Jul 27, 2020
7
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10
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It was a faulty motherboard. But I've found another motherboard. This one is also old. Now i have a new problem. The system boots from usb with 32bit OS (Xubuntu). But it just freezes on splash screen (which show press del to enter setup etc ) when i plug in a USB with 64bit os. Both mother board and processor have 64bit support (I searched online). I want to play Netflix, which can be done on chrome, which has dropped 32bit versions completely.

The mother board now is P4M900-M7 FE
and processor is Pentium Dual core 2.2GHZ
 

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