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Topic Title: overheating problem with Compaq Presario R4000, using an Athlon 64 3500+ (Newcastle)
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Created On: 09/07/2009 09:26 PM
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 09/07/2009 09:26 PM
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Joined: 09/07/2009

Hey there, I am wondering if anyone can help me with this.

I own a Compaq Presario R4000 laptop (model number PX357UA#ABL). Processor is an AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (Newcastle), 2200 MHz, 1024MB system memory. Video card is an ATI Mobility Radeon Xpress 200 Series. The BIOS is Phoenix BIOS version F.16, KBC Version 42.37 OS is Windows XP Professional Version 2002 Service Pack 2.

This laptop has slowly but surely developed an overheating problem, that used to be just occasional, and was temporarily solved by by placing it on a LapCool3 USB-powered cooling fan. However, the problem has continued to get worse, even with the external fan, and now it almost inevitably overheats after 20-120 minutes of use, and even faster if many windows are open or anything really CPU-intensive is being done, including repeated reboots.

I recently found this forum thread: which gave me some hope... I checked my power settings and it was indeed running in Home/Office Desk mode, so I changed it to Portable/Laptop, which seemed to help a bit (it was overheating almost constantly before, and both the fan and the hard drive sounded like they were running almost continually, which immediately stopped when I changed this). However, after about an hour it was still overheating and shutting down (even with very few processes running).

I then went further into the advice in that thread, and uninstalled the AMD PowerNow utility (which may have been a mistake) and then installed the drivers from This did not help, overheating was still happening. Furthermore, I could not find the PowerNow utility on the AMD site, or any other way to turn it on again, I thought (from what I read in that thread) that it would be automatically enabled by installing those drivers but maybe I was mistaken.

I also found this thread: which I thought might help me in turning on the Cool'n'Quiet feature (which I thought I needed, but I think I was wrong and had just misinterpreted some of the advice in the thread). However, the BIOS had no switch for turning it on, and I figured that maybe the BIOS was just out of date but the motherboard still supported the feature (note: I am a php/Drupal developer, NOT a hardware expert, so I may have made some newbie mistakes here! :-))

Then I read this posting (still on the possibly false trail of trying to enable Cool'n'Quiet) and this related posting and reached the conclusion that maybe Cool'n'Quiet just wasn't going to solve the problem anyhow AND maybe wasn't supported by the motherboard in this laptop... but I was curious what the various tools recommended (SpeedFan, Core Temp, and whatever tool the graphics card provided to read the GPU temperature) would show me. I installed SpeedFan and CoreTemp but couldn't find any software to show the GPU temperature for the ATI Radeon video card. According to SpeedFan and CoreTemp, core temperature seems to be ranging between 55 and 59 degrees (and probably shuts down the machine around 60 or 61).

I also checked out the possibility that the chip voltage was too high (as hinted at in but even though I couldn't find an entry for AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (Newcastle) on the page, those chips that I found that seemed most similar had a HIGHer voltage rating than the 1.15V shown in the Core Temp utility, not lower, so I don't think the voltage being too high is the issue.

So what do I do next?

Specifically... am I right that either this chip or this motherboard simply doesn't support Cool'n'Quiet at all (the forum posts above seemed to give mixed messages as to whether this feature will help with overheating or not), or is it possible that upgrading my BIOS and/or my AMD chip drivers will enable it to work? Or is there something else I can try, that has nothing to do with Cool'n'Quiet, but might help with the obviously too-high core temperature? or do I need to make some configuration changes that can only be done through PowerNow, in which case where do I find a copy? I have already searched the AMD site and can't find it.

A possible clue: this laptop was originally owned by an ex-employer of mine, and it had come configured from the factory and initially worked fine... however, after he reinstalled Windows on it the 2nd time, a few things seemed to go out of whack, ie: the overheating and occasional unexplained crashes seemed to be worse, and also a very strange symptom (nobody I asked had seen anything like it): in spite of any of the timeouts set in the Power Options display, the laptop would sometimes get confused and the screen would be dim when plugged in and full brightness when running on battery! My employer told me that there was a disk of Compaq-specific tools and utilities that had come with the laptop and he had reinstalled them after the first time he reinstalled Windows, but the 2nd time, he couldn't find that CD and so these utilities were missing. We searched the Compaq site and never found them. Later, the missing CD was found but nothing on there helped the problem (I think that's where we originally installed PowerNow from). I have lost contact with that employer so the disk isn't available to me any more.

Anybody have any ideas here?

Peter 'Fish' Fisera
GoatVirus Technologies
 09/08/2009 04:47 AM
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Alpha Geek

Posts: 3217
Joined: 01/21/2006

Sorry I can not read through all the links you posted.
However, you could try this.

Install AMD Processor driver then install RMClock.
In RMclock there is a profile Performance on demand and one Power saving,
with these you can control the temp a bit.

The reason for overheating is probably dust clogged inside, fan and vents.

I know the Xpress 200 chipset generates a lot of heat in graphic intensive applications,
so cleaning up inside may be the only option.

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