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Author Topic: Northbridge overheating  (Read 3455 times)

Offline D2Disciple

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Northbridge overheating
« on: February 09, 2010, 04:51:40 PM »
So I mentioned that I have been having some problems with my chipset overheating in my desktop computer. After running CPUID's hardware monitor for a while, it's far worse than I anticipated:

>100 degrees centigrade (>230 F) under really any sort of CPU load.

That's not normal. I get crashing randomly - but occasionally. I am going to replace the stock heatsink with an Evercool heatpipe-style heatsink with a 60mm fan on it. The CPU fan will also be replaced with a dual heatpipe-style heatsink with a 100mm fan - the current CPU fan blows down onto the heatsink directly atop the CPU. The northbridge is close to the CPU heatsink, so heat produced by CPU load could possibly be dispersed to the northbridge due to its location. The new CPU cooler should prevent any heat from the CPU being blown directly into the northbridge.

What I'm sincerely hoping is that there is no thermal paste between the (rather anemic-looking) aluminum heatsink and the northbridge. If there is, I'll try the new heatsink/fan, but I have a feeling that, at best, it will knock it from 110 C to 95 C - which would hardly be fixing anything.   ::)

If not, I imagine that the mainboard needs replacement. If that's the case, I'll never buy another mainboard from Newegg (that'd be two defective mainboards out of two purchased). What do you guys think? Should a new northbridge cooler be sufficient, or do I need to just trash the motherboard?
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline TechPro

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Re: Northbridge overheating
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010, 07:00:28 PM »
The heat could very well be the issue.

A couple questions ...
1. You ever get a crash just after starting up the system?  Without having done hardly anything?
2. Does it usually (we're talking at least nearly always) crash in the 'heat' of heavy use?
3. Is the Northbridge and 'anemic' heatsink installed by Newegg?  Or simply sold by Newegg?
4. If only sold by Newegg, who is the actually installer/builder/brand on the package for the northbridge and heatsink?

The answers to these questions will greatly impact my thinking about this.

Offline D2Disciple

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Re: Northbridge overheating
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 07:53:00 PM »
To answer your question:

1. No, it actually runs at an acceptable temp (40-50 C) until you put the CPU under load. Then it hikes up 50-60 C.

2. That's pretty much the only time it crashes: when it's under heavy load (hear: D2X-XL or such).

3 and 4. The motherboard is MSI - stock heatsink. And I'll take what I said about Newegg back.

First, I unhinged the heatsink today and looked at the bottom - nearly as dry as a bone. The chip had nothing close to an acceptable amount of thermal paste on it; only about half the chip had any residue, and even at that, whatever was there almost looked like small white particles of paste. Sad at best, especially when it's contacting aluminum (which is a second-rate cooling material).

Second, I checked the pins seating the heatsink on the chip. It uses springs that provide about as much tension as those found on ball point pens. Obviously, there's not enough force to possibly transfer heat effectively to the heatsink, especially without thermal paste.

Third, I checked the location - very close to the CPU. I have a massive heatsink/92mm fan on the CPU, and the fun blows down into the heatsink. Due to the proximity, I can only guess that heat escaping the CPU heatsink is being blown directly down and around the base of the heatsink (where the northbridge is).

So my thoughts...

I'm going to use some Arctic Cooling Silver 5 paste on the chip (enough to actually WORK!), with an evercool chipset cooler. Hopefully the paste will diminish the heat by 10 degrees. Secondly, the evercool uses a copper base with heatpipes running through aluminum fins. Hopefully transferring the heat upward through copper will reduce it futher by 15-20 degrees. Also, the new CPU cooler should redirect the heat off the CPU and out the back of the computer, hopefully keeping hot air from the CPU out from around the northbridge (5 degrees I'd guess).

If all goes well I hope to get 70-75 C under load. That's not great, but it's usable until I can get a new mainboard (chances are with this much heat output, it won't last much longer than a year anyway). When I get a new one later down the road, I could care less if this one melts.  ::)
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline TechPro

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Re: Northbridge overheating
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 08:48:06 PM »
Sounds like you've nailed tying the crashes to heat, and sounds like you've got a good plan to deal with the heat.

 

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