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Topic Title: High temps dual Opteron 246
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Created On: 11/24/2003 12:49 AM
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 11/24/2003 12:49 AM
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abesch
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Posts: 6
Joined: 10/29/2003

I have built a dual opteron system:
2, 246's (PIB), stock HSF's
Tyan Thunder K8W
etc

I had a faulty mobo so I had to re-seat the processors and HSF's. I used CoolerMaster Premium Thermal Compound (ShinEtsu); the thick stuff; with thorough cleaning first. I was careful to rub the compound into the heatsink base and used a single edge razor to get a uniform-looking surface.

Even after the machine has been off for hours, within minutes of startup the CPU's are showing temps of ~60 degrees. This seems abnormally high.

Any suggestions? Are my CPU's actually that hot or could it be a measuring error? (Fat chance?)

Will I damage the processors running them this hot at idle?
 11/24/2003 01:33 AM
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pointreyes
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From a similar question asked on amdforums here's what my reply was:
"I really don't care to much about the temps. The only reason why is because of my other dually-an IWill MPX2 with MP2400 procs. Have been running that system 24/7 (in Linux only, Windows has never touched that system ). It normally is folding and the idle temp in the bios is 60c, just like the Thunder board with the 240 procs. When it was reaching 90+ F in my house over the summer I had to shutdown my Canterwood system but my Athlon dually-never even made it stop folding. It never had a problem. I definitely do not feel 60C temps coming out of the cases and when you consider that I have four (sometimes five) computers around me, I should feel the heat. My house does not warm up from having these computers on. "

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 11/24/2003 06:40 AM
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abesch
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I guess I have two reasons to care about the high temps. The first is that the AMD official specs are 70 degrees max for the Opteron 246 operating temperature. The second is that my system is unstable right now, and I get system lockups followed by a blue screeen displaying the message: "Hardware error. Contact Vendor for Support".

As a separate issue, one of the SATA drives in my RAID 0+1 array displayed SMART errors and needed to be rebuilt (more than once) so that drive is probably faulty. But I don't think that a faulty drive in a RAID 0+1 array normally causes a general system crash like I am getting...right?

About the so-called max operating temp: is it an upper spec limit generated statistically by AMD - ie: can one reliably run at 70, or should the target be some value generallly much lower than that? (I know thiis question seems like common sense...)
 11/24/2003 09:38 AM
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pcy
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Hi abesch,

I don't have an opty (yet) but I'd be worried... high temps and unstable system.


The first thing to figure out is whether the temperture readouts are telling the truth. Large calibration errors are quite common.

Here are some tests:

1. Let the machine cool down, re-start and go straight into the bios - to the temperature readouts.

Look at the CPU and system temps... observe how fast thay are going up, and try to figure out what the temps were reading at the instant you switched the machine on. Obviously they should both have been at ambient air temperature at that point.

It's difficult to judge this better than a few degrees - but any large difference indicates mis-reading temperature sensors. The difference is the calibration error.

If the CPU temperature starts low but is climbing very fast that inducates bad thermal connection from the CPU to the heatsink, whereas if the final temperature is high, but it takes 10-15 mins to reach top operting temperature then the fan or airflow is suspect.


2. Observe the difference between the system temp and CPU temp when the machine is running. They are not that far apart physically - more than 10C difference is suspicious.


3. Measure the delta - the difference between your CPU temperature at idle and at full load. The power output of the CPU between idle and full load will be constrant, so the delta tells you how efective you cooling system is relative to that power increase. For air cooled XPs a delta of 5C is brilliant and 10C is OK. I can't believe the figure for Opties is that different.


4. Put your hand (very carefully) on the heatsink when the CPU is hot. If the heatsink is propely seated on th CPU the heatsink will be almost as hot as the CPU, but if it's badly seated it willbe running a lot cooler than the CPU.


5. Check the manufacturere website for new bios revisions, and anything about temperature calibration.


Once you have done all these you should have a much better idea of what temperature you are actually running... and where the cooling fault might be.



Peter
 11/24/2003 05:58 PM
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diranged
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"The thick stuff" -- I use the ShinEtsu stuff as well, but there is something to keep in mind. CPU thermal grease is meant to fill in crevices and help transfer heat between two metal surfaces. You do NOT want to put alot of it on. The key is to put a very small X shape on the CPU (maybe 1cm X 1cm) and then tighten down the CPU on that. It will spread the grease evenly and you wont have too much overspill. You should see temps more like in the 50's-60's after that.
 11/24/2003 09:29 PM
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Bitey
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When using thermal grease, you spread a thin smear over the entire CPU. You know its thin enough when it appears trransluscent.

Any more than that will reduce heat transfer, its only their to fill the tiny void/gaps.
 11/24/2003 10:02 PM
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abesch
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pcy -

I tried your suggestions, turned the computer on after hours of being off and immediately started collecting data from BIOS. I'd attach a graph but I don't know how.

The first temperature I saw was 43 & 40 for CPU0 & CPU1, and 18 for system. In ten minutes, the CPU temps were up to 57 & 52, respectively, and system temps were at 30. By 15 minutes the temperatures were at their steady states of 59, 54, & 34 for CPU0, CPU1, & system respectively.

So there you have the rates of change and the static delta. What do you make of this?

When I feel the heatsink fins, they feel warm to the touch but not hot. I don't, however, have a handheld thermocouple to measure the actual heatsink fin temps, although I do have a thermocouple running to my Thermaltake Hardcano display which says CPU0 is at 60.6 degrees, and system at 34 degrees. So it would seem that the temp reading is correct? (even though it doesn't feel hot...)

diranged & Bitey -

I may have put too much compound on; it definitely wasn't just translucent, but it wasn't a giant gob, either. Although the indicators might be pointing towards excess compound. I don't want to jump to conclusions though.
 11/25/2003 06:46 PM
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Xtc4u
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You're using the stock hsf right? Try to find a better hsf for them. If I were to run the stock hsf on my 240s i'd be mid to upper 60s. I;m using thermaltake's Silent Boost K8 heatsinks and getting mid 50s. If i put a better fan on it i'm sure i could get the temps much lower.

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