Friday, June 24, 2011

PC Overheating?

Why does the PC keep shutting down whilst in operation?
If you PC keeps shutting down then it means that it is overheating and the shutting down is to prevent it from damaging itself. The optimal operating temperature of all electronics as somewhere around 21 degrees Celcius or 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit ambient air temperature.

4 Things you can do to prevent overheating.

Dust Removal - The first thing you can do to prevent overheating is to make sure your case fans as well as system fans are clear of dust as dust clogs up the flow of air therefore less cool air can reach the hot component. To do this you can use a vacuum cleaner. With a dust free PC you can expect around 10 degrees cooler in some cases, it all depends really on the operating conditions.

Invest in some case fans - Another way to prevent overheating is to invest in some good quality case fans, the sizes vary between 80mm to around 140mm, some can be even larger.

Replace thermal paste - You should always replace the thermal paste under the heatsink of your CPU every 4 to 5 years as over time it gets crusty and becomes less effective at dispersing heat. Thermal paste should be placed in a line about the size of a rice grain on top of the CPU in the centre.

Invest in a good CPU cooler - Most stock CPU coolers are able to keep temperatures at a reasonable level, but better CPU coolers can be purchased if you really want a cool CPU. These can rage from Cooler Masters V-Series Air Coolers (V6, V8, V12) to liquid cooling systems by various manufactures such as DeepCool and Corsair.

There is a great FREE program on the Web called Hardware Monitor by CPUID. You can get it here.

Just click on the 1.17 Setup, english, as shown below circled in red, to download the program.

The Hardware monitor software monitors your systems temperatures in the background whilst you work. It shows current, minimum and maximum temps of your components such as:
- North Bridge and South Bridge motherboard temperatures.
- ACPI Power Supply temperature.
- CPU temperature.
- Graphics Card or Display Card temperature.
- Hard Drive temperature.

The diplay of these temperatures depends on the temperature nodes in your system. Newer Motherboards will have CPU, North and South Bridge temperature readings. The Hard drive readings depends on your hard driver, most SATA hard drives should have readings. Again the ACPI reading will depend on the quality of your Power Supply.

Harware Monitor also displays the fan speeds of your CPU as well as any fans directly connected to the motherboard.

With these temperatures on hand you can quickly isolate the overheating components and take action to ensure that they are kept cool.

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