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Have I cooked my cpu?

Discussion in 'Windows 10 Help' started by xero, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. xero

    xero Established Techie7 Member

    I have a TV card which I have been using quite a bit. Despite offering the option to convert the recorded programs to mpg it mostly saves then as ts files. I use Xilisoft to convent them to mpg, which I then edit. This uses a lot of cpu capacity, 98 - 100%, and this has been going on for several weeks since I got the card. I discovered last weekend, while running Piriform Speccy during a conversion, that this high cpu use was producing high temperatures, 96º to be exact. Once I discovered this I aborted the conversion and replaced the cpu fan with a gaming model.
    When replacing the fan it was discovered that the paste that lives between the cpu and fan housing had completely dried out, so my question is have I done lasting damage to the cpu? How do I test for this?:(
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    TIM (thermal insulation material) normally does not get hard or dried out and will stay sticky for years. But depending on the solvents used in the making of the compound, it may dry over the years. This is not a reason to worry; it will still do its job when dry, and there is no reason to replace dried thermal compound.

    The ONLY reason TIM comes in a semi-liquid form is so you can squeeze it out of the tube and spread it out easily and evenly. Remember, the purpose of TIM is for the solid particles to fill the microscopic pits and valleys in the mating surfaces to push out and prevent any insulating air from getting trapped between the device and its heatsink. Even if those liquid solvent components dry up, the solid materials remain in the microscopic pits and valleys and are still doing their job.

    CPUs are designed to throttle back in speed or even shutdown before they reach damaging temperatures. So no, you did not cook it - or over cook it.

    Do note you should never reuse TIM once it has cured. So whenever you remove the heatsink, you MUST thoroughly clean the mating surfaces and apply a fresh new, thin layer of TIM.

    Also, may sure you case is providing an adequate supply of cool air.
  3. xero

    xero Established Techie7 Member

    Hello again Digerati,
    Thanks for that.
    The dried TIM was removed and replaced with the TIM supplied with the new fan.
    The air supply to the computer is quite good, there is a case fan quite close to the CPU fan, and the sides are off the box. The case is a Cooler Master which has plenty of fans.
    Given what you say about inbuilt protection is it wise to continue to use the computer for video conversion? Even with the new fan/heatsink temperatures still get to 85º.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  4. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Sides off the side are not always a good thing. The case is designed to create a "flow" of cool air through the case. By removing the air, you disrupt that flow. Not good. If you are going to run with side panels off, I would urge you to blast a desk fan in there.

    85°C is still too warm for my liking. Are you overclocking? If so, don't - at least until this is resolved.
  5. xero

    xero Established Techie7 Member

    Yes I agree that 85º is too hot, I aborted the job when I saw that temperature. I am using my other computer which has only two cores. As long as I do one file at a time it gets to 59º, which I can live with. But it is slow.
    I have an ongoing issue which means I do not want to put the sides back on just yet, but once this matter is resolved I will replace them.
    No I am not overclocking, I don't know how to and I wouldn't if I could. The computer has an i7 chip and a gaming mb, it is quite fast enough for what I want to do. I haven't played a computer game since pong, I have zero interest.
    Thanks for you help, it is really appreciated believe me.:)
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  6. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Your other computer only hitting 59°C is good but you really can't compare the two when there are so many different variables. If the 2nd CPU was mounted on the same motherboard and in the same case, then it would be a fair comparison.

    I do like Speccy (though not for voltages) but you might want to try another monitoring program to see if you get similar readings. I use and recommend Core Temp to monitor my CPU temps with its full time System Tray applet. HWiNFO64 is also very (if not too) informative as it provides, potentially, an overwhelming amount of information. It does not have a System Tray applet, however. You have to ensure the "Sensors" button is pushed for this.

    These sensors are actually very low tech devices. You might just have a bad sensor giving inaccurate readings. What is the exact model of that i7 so we can look up its specs? Again, if thermal conditions exceeded safe thresholds, the CPU will switch into thermal protection mode and either slow down (typical) or shut down completely (not typical). If these features were not working properly, you typically would see unstable conditions like system lock-ups and sudden reboots, for example.

    A couple more things to think about. First, the most efficient transfer of heat occurs with direct metal to metal contact between the CPU die and the heatsink. As I said above, the purpose of TIM is for the solid particles to fill the microscopic pits and valleys in the mating surfaces to push out and prevent any insulating air from getting trapped between the device and its heatsink. Any excess TIM is actually in the way and counterproductive to that desired heat transfer. So the applied layer should be as thin as possible while still providing full coverage. And depending on the type TIM used, it is common to see a few degrees improvement in cooling after the TIM cures through several heat-up/cool-down cycles over the next couple days. But it should also be noted you should not be so near the excessive heat levels that a few degrees makes the difference between stable operation and thermal overload conditions.

    That takes us to the second thing. It is the cases responsibility to provide a sufficient supply of cool air flowing through the case. The CPU cooler need only toss the CPU's heat into that air flow. You typically want a good "front to back" flow of cool air. You may need to consider adding another fan (or two) in front pulling air in, or in back exhausting heated air out (and this with the side panels on) to facilitate that "flow". If no space for more fans, perhaps replace existing case fans with larger fans if your case supports them, or better fans.

    Last, it is critical to ensure heat-trapping dust not allowed to build up inside the case. When dust starts to bridge the gap between the heatsink fins, it is time to clean.
  7. xero

    xero Established Techie7 Member

    Thanks for that, I have downloaded Core Temp and will try it out.
    The full spec of the CPU is Intel Core i7 4790@4.00GHz, Hasler 22nm technology.
    The area between the CPU and heatsink was cleaned yesterday, so that should be fine. I am going to an electronics store tomorrow and will pick up a can of CO2 spray. Unless you have a better suggestion.
    Thanks again. :)
  8. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    As seen here, the Tcase maximum temp is only 72.72°C. We don't know where the sensor is you are reading is physically located but if the same place as this Tcase, it seems clear you would be having some serious stability issues. Since you are not, I suspect a faulty sensor, or perhaps a bug in the sensor reading code in the BIOS.

    You might also check your motherboard website to see if there is a BIOS update.
  9. nukecad

    nukecad Established Techie7 Member

    Be aware that Speccy is well known for reporting wrong temperatures for CPu's and motherboards.

    Seeing reports of CPU's / motherboards showing 100º C plus is not that unusual, and obviously a false reading.
    It seems to affect motherboards more than CPUs, but either reading can be affected.

    It is suspected that it is the WMI itself that is reading the wrong temp for certain setups, and Speccy just reports what the WMI says.

    There is even a dedicated thread about it on the Piriform forum:

    That thread has been going since Feb 2015, you also get people starting their own threads about the problem.
  10. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    I have never personally had Speccy report wrong temps. But it has with voltages. For example, it is currently reporting the following for this computer:

    +3.3V = 2.021 V
    +5.0V = 3.347 V
    +12V = 0.049 V
    If any of those were true, this computer would not be running.
  11. xero

    xero Established Techie7 Member

    Hi Digerati and nukecad,
    Thanks for your help. I have been unable to check the bios version is up to date, the utility on gigabyte's website would not download, so I now have a gigabyte password and am waiting for their technical support people to contact me.
    Been having a lot of trouble recently getting the information I want from Google. I am also looking for a sata pci card that is compatible with windows 10 and the search results have been very frustrating. There are a lot of PCIe cards but I only have a PCI slot available. Lots of people wanting me to download driver update apps, I already have one, and no answer to the question. :mad:
  12. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    You can use a program like Belarc Advisor to tell you what your current BIOS version is. It will be shown under Main Circuit Board, typically as BIOS or UEFI.

    Mine says: UEFI: American Megatrends Inc. F22d 01/11/2018

    Then you can visit your motherboard's website, check the downloads (under support) and see if you have the latest BIOS version.
  13. xero

    xero Established Techie7 Member

    Hi Digerati,
    Just run Belarc and found that my bios is American Megatrends Inc. F7 08/03/2015. This appears to be the latest version, it is still available on the Gigabyte site.
    I am visiting a friend tomorrow, he has a compressor and I will give both my computers a good blast.
  14. xero

    xero Established Techie7 Member

  15. xero

    xero Established Techie7 Member

    On the subject of my second computer, which is now doing the video processing; the temperatures shown by Speccy (which match those shown by Core Temp) are still on the brink. The temperature varies between 59 and 62º. 60 or more is in the red, and I am not comfortable with these figures. Would a gaming fan bring the temperature back to below 60º?
  16. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Good idea. I use an air compressor all the time. Just make sure he has the necessary inline moisture and particulate filter attached. The compressing process WILL create condensation inside the tank. Compressing air causes it to heat up. Condensation forms on the walls of the tank as the compressed air cools. This moisture then runs down and collects at the bottom, forming a nasty pool of rusty, oily water particles that can be spewed onto your electronics - never good. Periodic draining is required and all air compressors have a pitcock valve on the bottom for this purpose. But draining does not rid the tank completely of this moisture, and of course, more water condenses when the compressor cycles on again. Hence the absolute need for that moisture and particulate filter.

    Something is not right with your BIOS information. From that link you provide, I see Version F7, but the date is 2015/09/18. Either way, it does not seem there is anything recent.

    "Flashing" is an old carry-over term. Way back in the old days, to update the BIOS chip, you had to first erase the old programming it contained. This was done with a high-intensity UV light shone directly into the heart of the chip. This "flash" of light would erase the chip and prepare it to accept new, updated programming. The term has just stuck. You may also hear it called "burning", similar to when you "burn" a copy of a file to a writable optical disk (CD or DVD).

    60°C is really just "very warm", not hot. Is that with the computer under load or sitting at idle? If at idle, you may need to add some case cooling.

    "Gaming" fan is just marketing hype. There is no such thing as a fan made for gaming. That's just a label. It may just mean it includes LED lights - which do absolutely nothing to help cool anything.

    I don't know what CPU that is, or what cooling that case uses. But for sure, you need to make sure the case interior is clean of heat trapping dust and that all fans are spinning. While in there, inspect the case to see if it will support an additional fan or larger fans. Larger fans (say 140mm vs 120mm case fans) typically move more air but at a lower RPM for less noise. If your case does not support more or larger fans, you may have to replace an existing fan with one that moves more air (higher CFM specs).
  17. xero

    xero Established Techie7 Member

    Well I hope he has those filters because I did the job this afternoon!

    The 60º temperature is when under load, the idling temperature is more like 40º. That computer has always run slightly cooler than this one, don't know why.

    The other computer has an Intel Pentium G3260@3.30GHz, remember when Pentium was the Rolls Royce?

    I am going to the computer shop in the morning so I will take the machine and ask about case fans.

    Thanks for all your help, it is appreciated. :)
  18. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Then I would not worry about. I only start to worry when temps sit and stay above 60°C for extended periods. But the truth remains, there is still a lot of headroom left there.
  19. xero

    xero Established Techie7 Member

    If you are not worried then I will put mine aside.
    Thanks again, thread concluded.:)
  20. xero

    xero Established Techie7 Member

    A final question: You said
    As I have said I use the TV card a lot, and due to an issue that I am having a dialog with Hauppauge support about, each file requires conversion twice. A 2 hour file takes two hours to convert, and I am converting multiple files. Does that count as an extended period?