Friday, August 9, 2013

Keeping the CPU from Overheating


Problem:
Most of us have at some point to deal with computer overheating, for laptops or desktops.
There are many ways to fix or at least improve temperature values to lower states.

Solution:
1) Cleaning.
Most times dust deposits are gradually increasing inside the computer case. Just by cleaning the major dust carefully inside the case (for desktops, with the computer shut down) it will definitely help maintain temperatures and prolong the computer life time.

2) Airflow.
Keep the air exits free so the hot air comes out. Avoid piling up stuff on top of the computer. Sometimes you can even completely remove the main cover to save a couple of degrees, specially in the summer.

3) Remove unnecessary stuff.
Often computers are shipped with various cables, floppy drives and other devices. Sometimes, these are not used and will only contribute to more dust deposits and energy waste.

4) Pick up the right PSU (Power Supply Unit). Currently there are lots of options, from silenced to high voltage. Most common rates are from 400W to 700W. Picking a lower one will be cheaper and spend less energy, but if you have many internal and external (USB) devices, the computer may experience instability with a lower PSU (eventually affecting temperature).
Here is a cool site to check the right PSU voltage for your system.

5) Reset/Replace Cooler.
Although the above are good hints, most times we will really need to take the computer a part, take off the cooler and CPU, and simply fix the issue from its root cause: a problematic fan cooling issue.
If you're lucky, the fan state will allow you to simply remove away all the dust from the cooler and still being able to re-use it. As for the paste that connects the CPU to the cooler, the best way is to remove it carefully and completely, and replace it with a bit of new paste in the center (don't use too much because it will expand!), which can be purchased on specialized computer stores. In case the fan doesn't work, just go ahead and purchase a new cooler entirely.



6) Undervolting.
Some may say that reducing the volting can keep the stability, while deducing the temperature. See link at the bottom.

7) Fan Control.
Some machines have nice temperature sensors and allow software based control over the fan speed. If your CPU temperature is too high, or if your fan is making too much noise, you can check and control the temperature (if the machine allows it) with SpeedFan. This is an awesome piece of software that will not only let you read important information about the MOBO, the HD and Temperatures, but will also allow control over advanced features provided by the system. Make sure you go to "Configure", "Advanced", choose "$290 on ISA" and change the "PWM x" modes to "Manual" or "Software controlled". These changes won't persist (will go back after restart) and they will allow you to set up the fan speed yourself, in the left column, where in the first picture, it says "CPU0:90%". In my system, I managed to decrease from 63C to 37C just because the fan step was not in the best mode by default from the BIOS.




 

8. Water Cooling
In this article I will not cover this area, although it can be quite interesting. For more information, please consider visiting life hacker.com.

9. Deactivate idle tasks

- Click the "Windows" key
- Write "Task Schedule"
- Change selection from "Apps" to "Settings"
- Navigate to Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > TaskScheduler
- Disable at least "Idle Maintenance" to keep the computer from overheating while left idle (I actually deleted the task because Windows kept enabling it every time the computer starts. Exporting the task before that is advised in order to put it back later if needed.)


Sources:
"How to keep a processor cool without adding a new cooling device"
http://superuser.com/questions/209036/how-to-keep-a-processor-cool-without-adding-a-new-cooling-device

"Software to control fan speed"
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2227401

"Undervolting Guide"
http://forum.notebookreview.com/hardware-components-aftermarket-upgrades/235824-undervolting-guide.html


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