Cool Down Your PC
25 degrees too hot
There are more websites dedicated
to cooling PCs than there are websites to cure hiccups.
I had just performed an upgrade
for a client who had a old Intel based motherboard (550mhz I
think) and he wanted something a bit faster and cheap. I suggested
motherboard by Asus and a Athlon 2000+ CPU with 256mb of PC2100
DDR memory. I'll use his old 20gb hard drive, CDRW and case.
After I built the system I noticed
it was running fairly hot. Just placing my hand on the top of
the case I could feel a great deal of heat building up in the
top of the case. The culprit was the heatsink on the chipset.
Man alive it gets really hot.
This wasn't good. I went into
the BIOs and under Power the Hardware Monitor said it was running
at 122 degrees. AMD says you can run these CPUs at well above
140, but this is just a little too hot me.
His old case was poorly designed
with no vents or even a place for heat to escape through the
top. I thought I would drill a hole in the top directly over
the CPU and chipset heatsink and mount a temperature sensitive
80mm fan up there.
My first inclination was to let
the fan pull air out of the top therefore relieving all the heat
buildup in the top of the case. I drilled my hole (see
my hole drilling PC Project) and mounted my Enermax Ultra-Cool
Thermo Control Second Fan Kit right in the top.
I let it run for a while (about
an hour) and looked at the BIOs again to see what the temp was...
only 114! It only cooled it down 10 degrees! Fark! I opened the
case and moved some wires around to make the path for air to
flow better from the bottom to the top. I let it run again for
about 30 minutes and still the same temp. 114.
I got out my head scratcher and
looked at my design. I'm no rocket scientist, but man this should
work better than 10 degrees. I thought maybe my cheap fan idea
wasn't going to work and I will have to blow $50 or more on one
of those new fangled super-coolers.
Okay, so I had a fan in the top
of the case and I also had one in the front of the case. The
fan in power supply should be helping out too right? Well it
does pull air away from the CPU but I think the fan in the power
supply was designed for the power supply. If it helped out the
CPU at all consider that a bonus.
Hey! I thought... I have one
of these Antec 330watt duel fan power supplies. You know... the
one with the extra large fan that hangs right over the CPU and
heatsink. That's the ticket! Okay. Now I pulled out all the power
lines going to the hard drive, floppy and such and plugged it
in and tucked all the wires so that my chipset could get maximum
Nada. After letting it run for
an hour and a half, I only got it to cool down to 113.5. That
big ass fan right there hanging over the CPU and heatsink isn't
doing it. What a rip. I do like Antec, but these duel fan setups
are for looks, not for cooling.
So I put the other, cheaper 300watt
in there and then it hit me...I'll reverse the fan in the top
of the case to pull air in and down to the bottom of the case.
It'll pull air in from the top, down over the CPU and chipset
heatsink, then the front mounted case fan will pull it out the
front! Currently, the front mounted case fan (like most computer
cases) pulls air in from the front of the computer and across
the expansion cards. I'll reverse it and see what happens...
Well after letting it run all
night running Passmarks Burn
In Test Standard, I am very happy to announce that the CPU
and motherboard temps were 93 and 89 degrees!
Yup. Not bad I'd say thank you
very much. No need to buy a $50 super-cooler and any anti-freeze
here kids. Just good 'ol fashioned reverse airflow engineering!
Keep in mind that this article
deals with a computer case that is mostly standard in the industry
and your case might need a different solution. The point I'm
trying to make is that your should experiment and play with your
own particular design to achieve maximum results.
So hold you nose high and spend
that $50 on a good dinner with your honey and I guarantee you
that you'll need more than this solution to cool that down...