VRM Overheating: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3

Nanako

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I have a Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 rev 4.0
Amd FX-9370 (very hot cpu)
Radeon R9 270 X
2x 8GB Crucial DDR3

For months i've been having crashing problems after installing some new ram, but it wasn't related to that. Thanks to help from another thread on this forum, the root source of the problem was overheating Voltage Regulators on my board. It was then an older gigabyte model, i updated to the 990FXA in hopes of solving it. It did not, this problem seems to be endemic to gigabyte boards in general

I've managed to mostly ameliorate the problem via some tweaking in the bios, underclocking my cpu, reducing voltage to ram and CPU, but it's not enough. It's like removing pieces of straw from a toppling building. Ive now done all i can with configuration

These tweaks have managed to make the problem not occur during regular use, or even light-to-moderate gaming. I now only get enough heat when my whole system is fully engaged. Typically high end modern games that stress the cpu and gpu simultaneously.

In that situation, the VRM temperatures steadily rise until they reach 114 celsius, and then the system freezes consistently.

I have no doubt at all that the overheating is causing my problems. So i'm making this thread to ask for advice on two farther questions:

1. Exactly why it is overheating

2. What i can do to resolve the problem


Starting with 1, i have some theories on that, based on some rudimentary research from around the internet.

This thread from overclockers http://www.overclock.net/forum/11-amd-motherboards/1440428-gigabyte-ga-990fxa-ud3-rev-3-0-vrm-northbridge-temps-solution.html
Indicates that there's a common overheating issue, although the board mentioned there isn't exactly the same, i have rev 4.0. Nevertheless, the implication there is that the heatsinks are unfit for purpose, and can be fixed by changing the thermal paste and remounting them with new fittings.
The board does come with some quite bulky heatsinks on the vrms, but they're not doing a good enough job of cooling.

Another thought that comes to mind from research elsewhere, is that the heatsinks (and the voltage regulators themselves) are arranged in an L Shape around the cpu, and are intended to be cooled by air from a downflow air-based cpu cooler. I do not have an air cooler there, instead i have a Corsair H100i, closed loop liquid cooler.

So basically, my theories are: Bad heatsinks, or poor airflow. But i'm not sure which it is (maybe both?) or how to test



2. As for resolving the issue, thats harder.

Aftermarket heatsinks? I've heard that this one would be good: http://thermalright.com/product/hr-09-type-2/
But i can't find it for sale anywhere.

More airflow? Should i try a spot cooling fan, or would it be possible to optimise my case fans somehow?

I have currently:
One side case fan, intake. It points directly at the pump.
One rear exhaust fan
Two topmounted exhaust fans over the H100i radiator, in a pull configuration
One intake fan in the lower front which mostly blows across hard drives, its a long distance from the vrms
Could i have an issue with too much exhaust and not enough air inside the case?


Replacing the motherboard is also a possibility, though an expensive one. And i did just buy this board, so i'd rather not.
Using an air cooler on the cpu is also an undesireable possibility, i particularly chose my case for the eventual goal of a roofmounted radiator for liquid cooling

Any thoughts on the issue are appreciated. I've done a lot of research, and got a lot of ideas. But i don't know which of these ideas are good, and what i should do next
 
Replacing the motherboard is also a possibility, though an expensive one. And i did just buy this board, so i'd rather not.
Definitely don't do this. No reason to sink even more money than you already have into a dead platform with a lacklustre CPU when modern entry level chips will outperform it in most cases without the ridiculous power consumption and associated headaches.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Upvotes all around.

I would consider turning your top exhaust into intakes. That would blow right across the motherboard.

If you want to salvage it, after market heatsinks. You don't need anything board specific, just take the VRM heatsinks off, take some measures and use thermal adhesive to glue some new ones onto each VRM chip.

http://www.performance-pcs.com/mobo-chipset-mosfet-coolers?p=1

Probably want to look at the all copper ones.

 

Nanako

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Forgive my lack of understanding in aerodynamics, correct me if i'm wrong here, and i probably am, but;

Wouldn't this possibly result in two problems:
1. A lack of outflow, causing a buildup of air pressure in the case
2. Air blowing over the radiator (which is hot) and back into the case, heating up the inside of the case?
 
You don't mention the case model or fan models. I would get some fans that move a lot of air. Your present intake of one fan in front and one fan on side is not good enough. You may need two or three intake fans in front. The fan blowing in from the side is most important in cooling the VRM.

Cooler Master N400 NSE-400-KKN2 N-Series Mid Tower
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119277

Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 - Sleeve Bearing 120mm Silent Fan
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103061&Tpk=N82E16835103061
 

Nanako

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My case: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tactician-Desktop-Computer-Chassis-Temperature/dp/B00CRETKFS

My side fan is a noctua NS-S12A PWM https://noctua.at/en/products/fan
its stats are fairly similar to what you linked there, probably wouldnt make much difference

What if i changed the rear fan to intake?

 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Most manufacturers spec having radiators as intake. And while the air is warmed, it isn't quite that hot. The key is achieving a flow of air across any component that needs cooling.

Switching the rear to intake is exactly what I have done to make sure my motherboard and SSD have some sort of cooling.
 

Nanako

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Update, turns out this is how they already are. My radiator fans are externally mounted intake.
The problem is, they're not pushing through properly. Much more air is bouncing off the radiator, than is actually going through it. I'm using the stock fans corsair provided with the cooler (H100i GTX)

These fans are seemingly not good enough for the task, and i could do with recommendations for fans which can better push air through the radiator. Hopefully without too much noise

Unfortunately mounting some internal fans to pull through is not possible, i lack the necessary internal space to install fans on the inside
 

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