Question Serious Cooling Issues! Please help!

Aug 1, 2020
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Please be kind. I used to be really good at this stuff. Now I'm recovering from PTSD and I'm only recently remembering what I used to know and catching up with having fallen behind.

I bought my PC about two years ago while still in a state where I had to trust a computer store to construct one for me to my needs. It's got an ASUS MSA97 R2.0 motherboard, with an AMD FX 6300 6-core, 3.5 GHz, cpu, and 16 GB of ram. I recently updated the GPU to a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Ventus XS 6GB, OC from a GeForce 960 (I think).
From the first month I got it, it ran Photoshop, etc. and ProTools (the essentials for work) with no problems at all. However, when I attempted to play Civ VI on it, I got a warning, after I'd quit, that the CPU had reached temperatures over 65 C! Any time I attempted to play a near modern game, the same thing would happen.
Eventually I installed Afterburner and used it to set all the fan speeds to 100% and while a bit noisy, it seemed to work. I'd still get the warning, far too often for my comfort.
Recently, I replaced my GPU with the 1660, and for a bit, the warnings went away. Then I got The Sims 3 (don't judge), and while it seemed to be working fine at first, I began getting the warnings of higher than 65 C temperatures in the CPU again. Looking at Afterburner's Logs, I found it was spiking up to 75 C. This has gone on, more or less for two years, yet, my PC has shown no signs of becoming damaged.
Very recently, I remembered my physics courses from college and how convection works and realized the jerk that built my computer only added one fan on the front of the case. Other than that there's the CPU's fan and the GPU's fans, and one fan on the bottom for the power supply. The way it's set up, there's very little airflow. I've ordered four fans (why not?), so I can add one to the top, two to the back and one more on the front. There are easy spots in all those places for a basic fan. I got four for $17.99.
Now, I think I know what's been causing the problems this whole time and I'll soon be fixing it. What I need from the groupmind here is if, my guess about the problem is correct. If not, what might it be? Have I likely damaged my PC? How can I tell for sure? Should I just get a new CPU? How can I get my system to break into whatever program is running to inform me that the CPU is overheating? Can I use a fan (blowing away from the computer) safely in back of it to create more airflow until the fans arrive? Should I just thank my lucky stars it hasn't bricked yet and not turn it on again until I've installed the new fans? Is it possible that I've been getting false readings all this time? It has happened way too often, such that I figured something would have melted aready if it was going to. Is that reasonable?
I'm feeling lost and frustrated with the whole thing and the last thing I want to do is wreck my work (freelance) computer playing games. Please help!
 
Oct 24, 2019
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First, calm down. Second, are you using the stock cooler? FX tends to be hot and the crappy stock cooler doesn't help. Most modern CPU can run at high temps (+-75) 24/7 no problem, but FX in particular i would recommend to stay below 65C, a sudden 75C spike will not insta-kill your cpu thought. Are you using AMD's OverDriver software? Other programs often have wrong temp readings with FX.

About your case airflow, i would recommend doing something like this:
 

madmatt30

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Any idea what model case they used??

Is it possible to post some pictures of your setup (including internals) so we can have a proper look?

Its a shame a pc store built you an fx setup 2 years ago when ryzen 1 was available, that said I still own an fx 6300 setup among others and it will still game although at lower fps (they at least put you a decent motherboard in there).

I'm absolutely with Maikurosofuto, I'd never use a stock amd cpu on any fx processor, they're fairly dire.

Also if the psu is on the bottom of the case and you can see the fan pointing inwards towards the GPU it's very likely the psu has been fitted the wrong way around.
 

Karadjgne

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You have an FX cpu. Throw any ideas about temps out the window, totally useless. Not sure where you get that warning from but it's useless software too. The FX do NOT have thermal temp sensors on the cores. You couldn't get an accurate temp reading if you tried. There isn't any software designed that can pull that rabbit out of the hat, there's no rabbit.

Instead (get rid of or disable that warning software) use AMD Overdrive. It uses thermal margins. These are NOT temps, but a representation of proximity. The cpu knows its limits. That's Ground Zero. The closer to Zero you get, the warmer the cpu. So TM's in the 40's are great, cool cpu, all kinds of room. TM's in the 20's is warm, normal operation range. In the 10's and you are really warm, anything 9 to 1 and you are way too close. Zero and you've reached the cpus safety limits. Any negative number and stop what you are doing because you are into dangerous heat ranges with possible damage or instant shutdowns.

It's the exact same idea behind a backup camera. A beep doesn't mean a certain amount of feet, it's just a proximity. The closer to an object you get, faster the beeps. Flatline solid beep means you are gonna hit the object. But there's no specific amount of distance to the beeps. No specific temp to the thermal margin.

It's the only accurate way to gauge the heat output of an FX cpu. A temp monitor cannot read temps from something that doesn't exist.

Once armed with thermal margin info, only then can you figure what further cpu cooling or airflow needs you'll need.

Which might be nothing more than cleaning up the pc, cpu cooler and dust filters.

Actual in core temp max, as read by modified engineering samples at AMD testing labs, for all the FX cpus is 62°C. Retail versions didn't even have tat equipped, so you'll start getting temp readings from sensors outside the cores, under the cpu (area in the center of the socket) etc which can register closer to 72°C for that same in-core 62°C. Some software is so fundamentally flawed when trying to read FX cpus, it'll report that same 62°C as closer to upto 92°C.

None of which is close to accurate. And your pc waited until after the game was closed out to say 'hey, the cpu reached over 65°C while you was busy, but that's over now so it's all good'? Really? That temp reading was that crucial? If it really was over 65°C I'd be expecting instant, immediate shutdowns. Garbage.
 
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Aug 1, 2020
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Thank you. Especially the first bit (to Maikurosofuto). Always good advice. I asked old friends I thought were knowledgeable about computers. I've found I've learned more from my fourteen-year-old than those guys.
I think the guy that built it, just used the cooler the case came with (i.e. the stock cooler?).
Currently my plan is to put fans in all the places you showed in your excellent diagram/pic. Currently, it only has one fan, blowing in (!) on the bottom front. I plan to add one more fan blowing in on the front, and one fan on the back and one fan on the top blowing out.
It's possible the dude who built it, didn't set the CPU heatsink right. If it's just a little off, can I ignore it, or is it something that needs to be taken care of?
I'm pretty sure I don't have AMD's OverDriver.
I'll add pics of the set-up tomorrow as I'm too tired now.

Thank you for reassuring me that I'm not crazy and there is something weird going on with my setup, but it's not something that has been or is going to imminently destroy my computer.

Is the suggestion, that I need to replace the cooler (fans?) that came with the CPU? What should I look for. Is it easy?I

The heat issues have made me a stickler for blowing out the tower about once a month (we have three dogs). I assume that's typically enough?

Is the PSU, the Power Supply? If so, than it's on the bottom and the fan is blowing out (so, I can assume it was put in correctly?). There is even an easy to clean dust screen for it that (kind of) locks in place.

Wow, thanks, Karadjgne! Ugh. So, exactly what is AfterBurner reading temperatures from?

I have no idea what program is giving me the dire warnings about exceeding 65 C. Aside from it being a odd little grey box with a black border and red helvetica type, there's nothing I'm running that would do it. It certainly doesn't seem remotely native to Win10. It could be the BIOS, perhaps? I'm having a hard time updating it, but I expect to have figured it out soon.

So, if I get you correctly, you're saying that there's no way the actual CPU temp ever got to 65 C even a few times, much less the number of times I've been "warned" about it? Any thoughts about how I go about tracking down whatever process (or whatever) is doing this ludicrous thing?

I will get AMD OverDrive and post about it's findings tomorrow.

Thanks for helping so far.
 

madmatt30

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Plenty of cheapish coolers ($20 or so) that use the stock amd mounting mechanism that will knock 20c off temps instantly if you have acceptable case airflow.

An fx 6300 should not be hard to keep cool at all.

As said your case model would be handy to know though

You can take a photo/photos and use www.postimage.org to upload then just copy the thumbnail link it gives you and paste it into a reply
 

Karadjgne

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Not quite. What I'm saying is whatever the actual temp was that gave you the warning is seperate from what the 65°C is. That cpu could have hit 55°C and while warm, is no reason for freaking out, but the pc decided it was 65°C and freaked.

It's like a hairdryer. Your scalp knows exactly how much heat it can handle, your nerves will tell you and you can adjust the distance the heardryer is from your head accordingly. Doesn't matter if it's 1inch that's too close or 4inches, that's immaterial, scalp says 'hey too close, ouch' and you move your hand away a little. Temps are a definitive number, an exact amount, that's like reading the distance and some youtube video saying you shouldn't get the hairdryer closer than 2inches or your scalp will be at 90°C. No temp sensor in your head, just a representation of temp, hot, hotter, ouch.

If that warning had said cpu got way too hot, into ouch range, that'd be believable, but a definitive number like 65, no. AMD overdrive is like your nerves, using numbers to represent just how close to 'Ouch' you are getting. Negative numbers being you just fried your hair, burned your scalp.
 
Reactions: CaptainMatnight
Aug 1, 2020
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Okay, I've done what folks have asked. Running AMD Overdrive I'm getting consistent readings of 50 to 56 C on all Thermal Margins while just running. I get numbers around 40C when the Sims is loading, with spikes around 10C. At 20C while the game is paused and goes right to 0C when it's running.

I have the promised pics of my system on my tablet, but when I tried to post them they asked for a url (?).
 

Karadjgne

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Tom's doesn't allow direct pc to forum pics, far too much chance of malware, virus, hacks, Trojans etc. So they use 3rd party websites like postimages.org or imgur as those sites are protected up the wazoo already.

I prefer Postimages as it zoom on mobile extremely easily and is full resolution in zoom, no fuzzy pics like imgur has.

All you do is goto Postimages, load the pic you want, then scroll down after load and it has different ways to post it. I use 'hotlink for forums', click on the file symbol on the right and the url is loaded into clipboard. Then just paste in topic. Very simple. Even gives the option to resize if the resolution is far too large to post on some forums.



That's a size 10 shoebox next to my case btw. Less than 1" difference in height.
 
Reactions: CaptainMatnight
Aug 1, 2020
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Okay, I've done what folks have asked. Running AMD Overdrive I'm getting consistent readings of 50 to 56 C on all Thermal Margins while just running. I get numbers around 40C when the Sims is starting up.

I have the pics of my system. Can't figure out how to imbed them. It asks for a url instead of offering options to upload pics from my tablet.
 
Aug 1, 2020
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I should add that while running the Sims 3, at medium graphics and bypassing the loader, AMD OverDrive reports Thermal Margins of between 10C to 0C. It was alleviated slightly by adding an outside fan blowing away from the computer behind it.

I should have the three basic internal fans by Wednesday and I'll see if that eliminates the problem, or at least shows better CPU cooling.
 

Karadjgne

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50-56 running is great, that's saying you have Zero (basically) issues with case airflow, everything seems to be balanced out very well. I'm used to most ppl TM in the mid 40's at that range at best.

40s loading is still very good, that's a working load, light-medium, so is well within limits.

20 in game is normalish but the pause belies the truth. The pc is still working, but being paused its in repeat mode, nothing new moving, so loads don't really involve a lot.

0 gaming is the issue. You went from plenty of room to No room way too fast. For as heavy a load as Sims is, what's that's saying is the wattage output of the cpu is maxing out the wattage capable of the cooler. You've 2 choices. Either drop power used by cpu somewhat drastically, or bigger capacity cooler.

Temp curves are logarithmic. Starts out with a long, slow incline. As the temp starts nearing cooler saturation point, the curve starts going up a lot faster. At saturation point 1 small watt can jump temps 10ish°C, which is huge.

0% to @ 70% you might see 10° climb. Between 70% and 80% another 10° climb, between 80% and 90% a 20° climb and between 90% to 100% a 30° climb. The % being amount of wattage capacity on the cooler.

Just seeing the TM's is a great way to see the affects loads have compared to what the cooler can handle. And your cooler isn't doing so well with mediocre+ loads. Does great with light loads.

The added fans might change that. Airflow at idle is somewhat different than airflow at load when everything is dumping heat into the case. Insufficient airflow at load can very much change the efficiency of the cooler
 
Reactions: CaptainMatnight
Aug 1, 2020
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While I'm hoping that increasing the general airflow will alleviate the issues, I'm interested in knowing more about getting a better cooler for the CPU, and/or how I can lighten the load on it.

My system has suffered from lags, especially while booting up, but moves along fine aside from the constant lags. Once I let it fully boot up (it can take five to ten minutes), I rarely have issues with lags within software. Photoshop and ProTools run like a dream. Though if a program has a internet connection they suffer from occasional lags that I suspect are software rather than connection issues.

Also, thanks again for such informative and helpful replies.
 
Oct 24, 2019
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Once I let it fully boot up (it can take five to ten minutes), I rarely have issues with lags within software. Photoshop and ProTools run like a dream. Though if a program has a internet connection they suffer from occasional lags that I suspect are software rather than connection issues.
This looks more like HD than CPU.
 

Karadjgne

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Slow startup times are generally attributed to 2 things. The hdd and startup files. There's usually quite a bit of stuff that does not have to start at startup, like steam, origin etc. They can be disabled at startup or delayed. I have neither active on startup, only my daughter uses origin and if I don't jump into a steam game, it's not active. Cutting down on startup files can shave a lot of boot time.

HDD, make sure you've used ccleaner to wipe out internet cache, temp files, windows temp files etc. Windows searches those during boot, requested by fastboot, and if you have a bunch of stuff on there it'll be looking for the exes. The hdd itself should be optimised on occasion, it takes fragmented files and consolidates them, takes less time to load as the armature aren't buzzing all over the place back and forth looking for stuff.

I'd also use the registry tool, default settings, in ccleaner. Deletes over time will leave bunches of orphans, directional addressing that points to empty space of the deleted files. So naturally windows has to search out the file, finds nothing, moves onto the next orphan. All that takes time too.

Cleaning out the pc somewhat regularly means more than just attacking it with the can of air on the heatsinks.
 

madmatt30

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I dunno, cpu can hit 100% load on windows booting, if it's throttling down to 1400mhz) which is what the fx chips do if thermally compromised) it would slow booting down tremendously.

We'll see if those fans make a difference soon I suppose.
I do have a feeling that a cooler change is going to be order too though personally.
 

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