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PII X4 955 overheating, concerned of airflow

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hello, first time poster here that has been struggling with overheating for quite long time and quite unsure what to do about it..

So I'm running Phenom II x4 955 and with stock frequency and stock cooler I've always had quite ridiculous idle temperatures. Right now writing this post I'm idling at 53-54 celsius, and under load it can go up to 65 celsius easily. I'm wondering if there is something wrong with seating of the heatsink? All the reviews that I read it says that even with stock cooler it shouldn't idle that high.

I've not installed it myself nor have I checked its seating since I'm quite a newbie with this stuff really and stupid as I am, I've just recently grown interested in cooling of my components. I washed my airfilter and cleaned some dust off my case few weeks ago, managing to bring my temps down few degrees but they are back where they used to be again.

Since I became aware with this issue, I've really wondered if i could fit any kind of decent aftermarket cooler inside this case. After doing some research, I found out that Noctua NH-U12P SE2 should just barely fit inside my case. However, I ran into another big issue, my ram modules. I actually didn't even now what kind of memory I had at first, but after looking out I found out that my Corsair XMS3 DHX modules are too tall for almost any decent aftermarket tower cooler out there.

I've thought about CNPS9900 MAX, but it has gotten mixed reviews really and I'm not quite sure about it. The thing is that should actually fit due to its design without clearance issues inside my poor case.

What do you think I should do? Should I replace my memory modules and try my luck with Noctua or something else, or go with CNPS9900? I've got pair of pics for you, is there something that I can do to improve airflow in my tiny case? I've got only one 120mm fan inside there, is that enough? Should I just invest to a new case entirely? Sorry if this post bounces from one point to another, I'm just not really good at explaining these things, so maybe these pictures could give you some kind of generic look at how things are looking inside my case (interior is horrible, I know)

Other specs on top of my mind:

HD 4890 superclocked edition (very ugly)
Earthwatts 500W PSU that came with the case
Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P


Pictures from inside:

http://img138.imageshack.us/i/28022011055.jpg/

Closer look around the stock cpu fan, you can really see how huge those modules are:

http://img810.imageshack.us/f/28022011056.jpg/

EDIT: Forgot to mention my case, which is Antec Sonata III
Edited by Arugio - 3/21/11 at 11:44am
post #2 of 17
Most if not all of the aftermarket coolers have specs on all dimensions, I would measure your clearance from LxWxH. and post it, so we can get a more accurate idea of what to suggest.

From the looks of it most of it will be tight on the ram side, but not just because of tall ram coolers.

I am pretty sure just from the initial pics a TRUE would fit as well as possibly the Xigamatek Dark Knight.
post #3 of 17
I know exactly what you mean.
When I first got My 955, it ran HOT HOT HOT. Like no joke. Youtube videos would make rise up to 75C, which was NOT normal. I was running an mATX case, so airflow was super limited.
But, I got two aftermarket coolers, both by Cooler Master. I got a Vortex Plus and a Hyper 101

I had completely different temperatures afterwards.
With the Vortex Plus, I got higher idle temps [32~36C], but I got significantly lower load temps than the Hyper, [56~60C].
There's a concern with this cooler though, its not tall or anything, but it is indeed wide. It uses a 92mm fan, and it covered two of my ram slots. So not sure it'll do anything to help you.
There's also a larger version of the Vortex plus, the Gemini II. It uses a 120mm fan as well.

With the Hyper 101,
(Its basically a toned down version of the Hyper 212+ [212 uses a 120mm fan, 101 uses an 80mm], I got LOW LOW LOW idle temps, Ive hit 22 a couple of times. But usually, I get 25~27C idle temps. Load temps..are a different story. Ive gotton 82C as my highest, and usually range around 70~75C.

If you can, try getting the 212+. It has 4 direct contact pipes, instead of 2 (Like the 101). Both the 212+ and the 101 are vertical heatsinks, and the Hyper Plus is simlar to the stock heatsink, where the fan blows directly into the processor.


I wish you the best of luck c:
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post #4 of 17
Antec Sonata III has this dimnesions: 425 x 463 x 206 mm

With a 206mm width you have enough space to install most of the high end tower coolers. I'd can recommand anything (that's socket compatible) from Noctua, Thermalright, Prolimatech, Zerotherm, Thermolab. In terms of hight most of the coolers should fit, you just need to look for some reviews to see if they cause any problems with the RAM. In regards to RAM clearance i'd suggest Thermolab Trinity (H=150mm), it's a tower cooler but it's quite slim and shouldn't cause any problems.

Edit: I have the same CPU installed in a In Win Griffin case with the stock cooler and i get ~38 on idle and ~52 on load but with the cooler fan set on "Auto" from the BIOS (the RPM increases to 5000 RPM during full load yielding an aircraft-like noise). I would like to ask you if your cooler fan speed is set in the bios on Silent, Auto or manual? If you can barely hear your cooler during load that means your cooler fan RPM was set to low values in order to maintain a low noise during load, but that will translate to high operating temperatures as well.

Still you got a very wide case and i do think you should buy an aftermarket cooler. But be advised not all tower coolers can be installed on AMD mobos with the fan blowing towards the back so again check the reviews were they use AM3 setups for testing the cooler and you can see how it can be installed.
Edited by Pentdragon - 3/22/11 at 12:05am
post #5 of 17
Cleaning up the dust bunnies would help a lot.

If you want to get an aftermarket cooler, the hyper 212+ it's very cheap and makes a very nice job, also it's compact so you shouldn't have any trouble making it fit in your case
Edited by Count Drugula - 3/21/11 at 11:50pm
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post #6 of 17
Well the funny thing is I have the same issue but with a H50
post #7 of 17
h50 issue is thermalpaste issue or just bad h50. i dig the copper btw nice nice try reading up on thermal paste and redoing it. (thinking of redoing mine as i used way to much) but if that dosnt work then grab the 212 i agree with above looking at your rig the dust bunnies are not the problem you can easily fit the 212 in your rig good luck pm if you need more help
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post #8 of 17
I am using a Coolermaster hyper 212 with a push pull fan set up. It was very cheap(less than 30bucks for the cooler and second fan new) and has worked great for a stock clock phenomIIx4 955BE. if you plan on staying stock speed dont wast money on any other cooler, it should fit in your case too.

Next, keeping a computer clean helps ALOT, I clean out my fan screens about once a week/every other week (I have cats...)and about once a month/every other month i get the can-o-duster and clear the dust from inside the CPU cooler fins.

With that set up it might be worth it to swap out to a case that has some kind of cable management...that was crazy in those pics(strongly dought this is the cause though).

A coolermaster hyper 212 and a decent case could be had for dirt cheap, if you keep it at stock clocks. keep in mind the case is totaly optional.
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post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your answers.

Indeed, I've read a lot of reviews of all the coolers you guys mention here. Most of them however, are not so forgiving in terms of ram clearance as Noctua NH-U12P for example. I actually checked what memory is compatible with DH-14, and it said that my memory wasn't. Considering it has quite bit of clearance for near socket components compared to other coolers out there (44mm), I doubt I can fit any tower cooler inside there right now. I'm not really that concerned about the size of my case anymore since I'm pretty sure it would fit in there in terms of that. It's just those modules that are bugging me.

One option I thought I could have done was to simply move those modules to those slots further away from the socket since I got 2x2gb, thus gaining more space around the socket. However, after reading my mobo manual, it says it is "recommended" that if you use two modules, you install them to those two slots nearest to cpu socket (DDR3_1, DDR3_2). I guess this is because installing it them to those other two slots further away from the cpu would disable dual-channel?

I also checked my BIOS. I have CPU fan control set to "auto" from there, and there is no other options other than "disabled". It also stated that my cpu temp was 50 celsius at that time, and that CPU fan was running at around 3400 RPM.. So definitely not that silent. I'm wondering if there is something wrong with the seating of my stock cooler or if something has happened to the thermal paste.

I had this question hidden in my post, but do you think that CNPS9900 MAX is any good? Just wondering if any of you know anything about it. I've read multiple reviews of it, and it actually does very good compared to most of the tower coolers, even outperforming many of them. I'm just considering it since from looks of it, it would have almost no issues fitting in, even with my modules.

And I forgot to mention, those pictures were taken before I cleaned some dust off from my case. Things were very bad back then, and to correct myself a bit, I don't see 65 celsius under load very often (as of now). When I'm playing games it usually bounces between 60-63 degrees but then again, those games are not so well optimized for 4 cores so I think they are not under extremely heavy load. I haven't ran any kind of heavy stability tests either, unlike many people who measure their temps under load. Still, it makes me wonder why the heck I'm so high on my idle temps. My BIOS stated that my system temperature was around 40 degrees celsius.


EDIT: I took a closer look at Hyper 212, and from hardwarecanucks' forums I found the following statement: "Standard height memory can be installed in the closest slots with the fan installed, but it is a tight fit. A 38mm fan would be tight over the memory but it "should" fit. Installation/removal however would require removal of the fan." My memory definitely isn't standard height so I guess I'm out of luck with that.
Edited by Arugio - 3/22/11 at 5:51am
post #10 of 17
What is your budget?
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