Replacing CPU heatsink and fan (help!)

After noticing my CPU temperature rising to the high 60s with my Slot A Athlon XP 1900 (no OC), I decided from a friend’s suggestion to order a Thermalright SK-6+ cooler, 24CFM fan with Arctic Silver III 3.0g Syringe.

Now I have all the pieces but I was wondering if there are any articles or tips I could use before ripping my old headsink/fan and replacing the new one.

I built my PC so I’m very comfortable with it but I’m always hesitant when it comes to CPU.

From the times I’ve done it, it’s pretty easy (and I’ve been sorting through different heatsink/fan combos a lot recently becasue it’s apparently against the law to have air conditioning in any home in the Seattle Area) - just tread lightly and you’ll be fine.

I have the suspicion that my CPU temp gauge is lying to me. Apparently on my motherboard (MSI Nforce1) , it doesn’t read the Athlon’s onboard temp diode, but its own. Both when I ran a thermaltake loud-ass-mofo and my new super quiet zalman, my temps were in the 60C range. I’ve got thermal paste on at this point (very thing layer). I’ve got a fan in the front sucking air in and fan in the back blowing air out, and a power supply with an intake grill on the bottom.

Still, mid 60s.

Now, I’m actually not too worried, since AMD says that the chip will go up to 85 C.

Just as confirmation, I’ve got a 1900XP with an Abit NForce1 motherboard, and routinely get temps between 55 (at idle) and 65 (while gaming). I’ve been checking the temps using motherboard monitor, btw.

That said, it’s been running about 18 hours a day for over a year now with no heat related problems. In fact, I just switched out my monster Thermaltake heatsink for Zalman’s low noise heatsink – and didn’t get any increase in temperature, which makes me very suspicious of the temp reading on the Nforce (the Thermaltake moves about 3x as much air as the Zalman).

asjunk

You must clean off the thermal compound residue from your old CPU. Scrub the contact surface of the heatsink and cpu with alcohol and cotton balls. If your CPU has a thermal compound strip on the bottom, you have to scrape that off before you can use your arctic silver.

Blow compressed air through a straw to get rid of cotton strands. There must be no dust when you lay down the arctic silver.

Oh by the way. Using Arctic Silver on an AMD CPU voids the factory warranty. No big deal if it’s an OEM chip, but if it’s a retail version, you’re losing the 3-year warranty that you paid for.

[quote=“Roger_Wong”]

You must clean off the thermal compound residue from your old CPU. Scrub the contact surface of the heatsink and cpu with alcohol and cotton balls. If your CPU has a thermal compound strip on the bottom, you have to scrape that off before you can use your arctic silver.[/quote]

Don’t be such a wimp, man. You don’t want to use that crap. Just get a sandblaster. Five or six minutes spraying down the motherboard and you’ll be ready for mounting.

Jazar,

You didn’t specify if your heat sink/fan just mounts with clips like the factory issue heat sink/fan does, or if you have a socket A version that screws through the mobo. The screw-through ones are a little more of a pain because you have to pull the mobo out of the case to install them…

The only way I’ve found to really get the tape gunk from the factory seal off of the CPU is with gentle use of a razor blade and rubbing alcohol…

AMD is full of bologna on their specs for acceptable heat; one of their customer service people told me their CPUs will run at up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, which seems ridiculous as I’ve seen Athlon XPs crashing and freezing long before they hit that temp.

What I’d like to know is how much specific mobo chipsets (say the VIA KT333 versus nVidia’s nForce2) influence the temperature at which a CPU runs, besides the more obvious factors of how accurately the BIOS is reporting temps, what type of case and case cooling there is, and what model of heat sink/fan are being used…

I used a sock. Is that ok?

Im running a 1700xp T-bred B @ 1900 at 32c idle and like 37c load. Of course i run it with the case off but my ambient temp isn’t that low either (25ish i think). It actually runs cooler than the 950 Duron it replaced…

Be sure to use the highest grade isopropyl alchohol you can because the percentage measures water content and water r bad. Some sites recommend using acetone (nail polish remover) to get off the tougher stuck on thermal compounds. Use a new lense cloth to apply the compound to the heatsink beforehand. Also wear latex gloves during the whole operation.

Artic Silver released a new thermal compound called ‘Ceramique’ which is non-conductive and they claim better than traditional metal based AS products before. I used it this time around. The stuff is considerably less fluid and more sticky like old glue and a bit harder to apply. Maybe ill run a test between the two someday…

"You didn’t specify if your heat sink/fan just mounts with clips like the factory issue heat sink/fan does, or if you have a socket A version that screws through the mobo. The screw-through ones are a little more of a pain because you have to pull the mobo out of the case to install them… "

I think the new heatsink does need a screwdriver to mount but I’m not sure.

This is a link to the heatsink: http://www.thermalright.com/sk6plus.html

Here is a link to the fan: http://www.heatsinkstore.com/ys23603pin.html

I’ve already got the fan hooked up to the heatsink with the metal holsters now I need to get my hands dirty with the chip! Guide me through this! :)

geez… people make far too big a deal out of this whole procedure. Especially the extremist hardware sites.

Look, you wipe all the remaining crud off your CPU with a clean rag, put a little dollop of thermal paste on the middle of your CPU core (or heat spreader in the case of a P4), and put on the new heat sink. Making sure you don’t put it on backwards on those Athons (there’s that notched side on most heat sinks).

All that extremely careful measuring and spreading and all that stuff… it’s just not necessary. Hell, your heat sink is gonna squish so tight it’ll do the spreading for ya. As long as you don’t goop on so much thermal paste that it squishes out all over your CPU package, you’re in fine shape.

Allright I installed the new heatsink and fan using the instuctions here:

http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm

but it didn’t seem to help and it might be worse. I cleaned out the gunk that was on top of the chip die (couldn’t get some from underneath the edges tho), applied a layer of artic silver 3 on the heatsink and cleaned it, applied a layer of artic silver 3 on the die itself then attached the heatsink/fan on top of the CPU and fastened it with the clips.

Went straight to bios and watched the temp rise from 49 to 64 and it’s probably higher now that I’m in XP (where can i find a good monitor to check the CPU temp while in windows?)

Any ideas on what went wrong? Is my fan not good enough or something? The temp rose farely quick so I fear it might be an issue with the thermal compound application.

It could be anything from the heat sink not being quite lined up right or the CPU fan being a little weak to the case not having enough airflow. If the temp is ramping up super quickly, though, check the lineup of your heat sink to the CPU socket first. Make sure the heat sink hasn’t slid off to the side some, or that it’s not on backwards (there’s about a 5/16" groove on one side of the heat sink that needs to line up with the same 5/16" offset area on the CPU socket).

Also-- how many case fans do you have, and what type of case is it? And do you have a lot of heat-generating components like extra hard drives or a high-end video card that could be adding extra heat to a poorly ventilated case? These days at minimum you really need a fan drawing in down low in the front and one up high in the back drawing out. A lot of cases have double fans in front these days, an extra fan in the top of the case drawing out, besides the fan in the back up high drawing out. Just switching my rig into a Coolermaster/ATCS 201 aluminum case with four fans back a couple of years ago dropped my CPU temp 10 degrees Celcius.

Are any IDE or SCSI cables blocking airflow from the front of the case to the back, if you do have a well-ventilated case? I switched over to rounded cables because I’ve got both IDE and SCSI parts… Actually, I just got two Western Digital 10,000 RPM serial ATA drives and I’m going to set up RAID in my new Asus A7N8x dlx this weekend. (I used to run IDE RAID.) Thank goodness serial ATA has really narrow cables…

I know it’s all nerve-wracking when you first start, but you’ll learn a lot from this, and then you’ll be helping other people next thing you know!

I’m not sure the exact make of the case but it seems to be a standard ATX. Two 7200 RPM drives not very close to the CPU. No extra fans but the case is open with no cables or anything obstructing the view. System temp is around 40C I think.

I’ve also got a small desk fan pointing right into the open case which I turn on only after I notice the temp raise very high.

I’ll have to check if the heatsink is on backwards as that might be the most likely culprit.

BTW even with the desk fan pointing at the open case the CPU temp is in the high 50s and the heatsink does not feel too hot to the touch so it’s probably not the CPU fan.

Read the temps from a program in Windows. The temps always are higher in the BIOS.

“Read the temps from a program in Windows”

What program?

Do a google search for Sandra. It’s a benchmarking utility but I am pretty sure it does temps, too. There is a free version of it out there that doens’t have all the functionality, but even the freebie has a lot of cool stuff. I am sure there are others. The one I have came with my board.

Motherboard Monitor.

Status update:

I think I placed the heatsink and fan correctly, but the temp is still at an uncomfortable 60C. No clue as to why the temp is so high. Even with my little desk fan pointing right into the 1900XP CPU the temp is 56C. There is no OC going on btw this is all stock.

I was having simiar problems with my 2100 on a Asus a7v motheroboard. The source of my problem was the small case that I had which had the power supply pretty much positioned over the cpu and fan. For normal operation the computer worked fine, but after long gaming sessions or Divx encoding the pc would often reboot itself.

Taking the side panels off did not resolve the problem, and as a temporary fix it bought a front case fan, and stood it up on the back of the video card (which is perpendicular to the mother board) and positioned it practically flush to the mother board ( right over the mothoboard heatsink which is adjacent to the cpu). This bled off any heat being released by the heat sink and the CPU away from the motherboad and out of the computer (still had to leave the left side panel off though). After this the temperature never rose above 48 degrees, even after hours of encoding.

I recently bought a new case (with a side pane fan) and motherboard (same CPU ) and have not had to resort to any such McGiverisms, but I suspect your case due to poor air flow may be contributing to the issue.