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Old 2003-12-20, 00:50   #1
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Default Worried about Computer Overheating

I want to join in this project, but I'm just a little concerned.

If my CPU is churning data 24/7, do I have to worry about it overheating?

I have a Dell Dimension 4500; 2GHz Pentium-4; in a room that's normally about 68 degrees Fahrenheit (hope I spelled that right); shut up behind a little wooden door in my computer desk.

If this is not a cause for concern, please let me know. Otherwise, please tell me how to adjust it so it's safe.

Thanks,

Phil
 
Old 2003-12-20, 01:32   #2
GP2
 
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It shouldn't be any cause for concern.

Dell puts together pretty solid boxes, I've got a 2.4 GHz Dimension 4550 myself. 68 Fahrenheit (20 Celsius) is a nice normal cool temperature. You should be able to run it 24/7 without any problems whatsoever.

The only exception would be if there was a ton of dust blocking the various vents, or if it was physically located in a very tightly enclosed area without decent airflow... like if you had a bookshelf completely enclosing the computer on all sides and above and behind.
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Old 2003-12-20, 01:33   #3
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First do you having any idea what temperature the CPU is running right now??

If you have a monitoring program, then install Prime95 and monitor the temp. If it gets too high in your opinion, then you will need to give the CPU some breathing room.

If CPU runs hot:

Add an 80mm fan or 2 on your case. Make one intake and the other exhaust.

Remove the side of the case farthest away from the CPU. Allows for better air circulation.

Leave the door open on the desk, or remove it entirely. Allows for cooler air from room.

Add a better heatsink/fan setup to better cool the CPU.
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Old 2003-12-20, 01:46   #4
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The computer is in closed in on top, sides, and bottom at all times. The back is open to about one inch between the desk and the wall. The front is open only when the door is open.

I suppose I could leave the door open, but if that is not necessary, I would like to keep it shut, just to make things look pretty.

Thanks,

Phil
 
Old 2003-12-20, 02:41   #5
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So your computer is installed in an enclosure underneath/within your desk?

The main problem is the top. Hot air likes to rise. If it can't, then it gets trapped and heat can build up.

The inch of space in the back may be enough, as long as there is an open path for that hot air to rise to the ceiling. Maybe you want to avoid having papers or books on the top of your desk blocking that inch of space between desk and wall.

It's hard to say for sure without looking at your setup, but as long as there is a clear path for air to flow out the back of your computer and up to the ceiling, you should be OK.
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Old 2003-12-20, 02:59   #6
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Yes, the computer is within my desk. I don't have to worry about things getting in the way of the space behind the desk because the desk goes up on the back for a couple shelves, and it has a covering over the back that looks like wood.

Only thing is, the hole in the back does not reach the top of the space that the computer is in. Let me get out the ruler here.

The computer is about 16.5 in. tall.
The hole goes about 19 in. high.
The whole area (mostly taken up on top by a pullout drawer that is above the hole in the back) is about 25 in. high.

Thanks,

Phil
 
Old 2003-12-20, 03:05   #7
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I have a similar problem with my main computer. It's underneath my desk with about an inch on the right and back but clear on front and left. It's loaded with case fans too, but the CPUs don't stay very cool. ~160F isn't exactly optimal for an Athlon (optimal is around 122) but well below the red line (~200F). The key, as far as I can tell, is good cooling. The case uses an AMD recommended airflow design, but it may be impeded by the IDE cables. I got a temperature reduction by switching out the standard ones for the new rounded ones. I think the primary problem is that the fans are underpowered even though they supposedly support the processor (MP 1900+). So I plan to get a pair of Thermaltake Volcano 9s with some Arctic Silver thermal compound. That ought to cool it down reeeeaaaal fast.

I also have a Celeron 2GHz in my basement. Temperatures down there hover in the 60s. I haven't had any problems but its not in an enclosed space and has a top exaust fan.

Dell makes quality computers. You can download Motherboard Monitor if you're concerned about the temperature. I wouldn't be too worried though.
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Old 2003-12-20, 03:19   #8
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OK, I probably have no reason to worry, but just to comfort me, I'll download MBM.

Thanks for all the advice,

Phil
 
Old 2003-12-20, 15:14   #9
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Oh yes, I almost forgot about this little detail. P4s have a stepping feature where if they're getting too hot, they reduce their clock speed. Theoretically, a P4 could be used without a heatsink and fan, it would just work extremely slow. MBM can tell you what clock speed your CPU is running at, so if you see it reporting way below what it should be running at (i.e. off by a few hundred MHz) then it's probably getting too warm.
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Old 2003-12-20, 18:44   #10
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I'd park a small fan at the air gap, to be sure you're getting enough circulation into/out of the enclosure.

I've not noticed any problems with Dells overheating when running distributed prjects, as long as the ambient air around them is reasonably cool.
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Old 2004-01-26, 01:32   #11
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Default Hello, newbie needs advice.

Hi. I am running a 3ghz pentium 4 with 1gb ram. I can not get through your torture test without a round off error. When I first started, the fatal error occured in the first minute or so in the very first group at test 3 , 4, or 5. I decided that it had to be heat buildup. I took the side of the case off and put a 7 inch fan blowing directly onto the motherboard. In this way I can run your test over an hour and get through 6 groups of 7 tests before I get a roundoff error. (group 6, test 7 - 9000 at 448 length). The CPU already has its own fan and there are three other fans in the case. I am more convinced than ever that my problem is heat buildup, so how do I cool this thing down and keep it cool? Thanks.
 
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