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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heat is a big enemy of HTPC's, especially when we want processing power AND a quiet box. Having the fastest CPU will always mean trade-offs with noise, so keeping that temperature down (and thus, fewer noisy fan considerations) is a must.


So... What are the temps you guys are measuring (via bios or MB5)?


Currently my HTPC still needs a little tweaking, but it is well within manageable temps/noise. My setup:


Intel P4 2.54

Asus P4PE

Radeon 9700 Pro with Zalman pipe mod (no fan)

Nexus 400w

Seagate 120, WD 200

MyHD

Rounded cables throughout for improved ventilation

4U case with front vent, 92mm Antec blowing in

Zalman "butterfly" copper heatsink (massive) w/92mm Antec fan

Fanmates on both Antecs


The Antec fans are hit or miss due to bad production control. You may have to go thru a few to find a quiet one (no "ticking" at higher RPM), but when you do they are VERY quiet.


My temps:


Idle - Case 40 deg, CPU 48

ZP with Ffdshow (CPU about 60%) - Case 44, CPU 52

Fully cranked (CPU 100%) - Case 46, CPU 57-58 (after about an hour)

All fans are at lowest RPM (about 1500)


As you can see, temps are manageable. The fully cranked measurement is close to Intel's threshold for the P4 (60 deg), but I rarely crank it that high, and I only just replaced the heat sink's thermal paste with Arctic Silver 3, so I expect the CPU temp to go down a few degrees as the AS3 activates. I suspect the higher case temps is due to using the Zalman pipe on the Radeon, but this is a small price to pay for significantly quieter performance.


I am still playing around with fan settings, maybe switching the case fan to blow out-wards (and maybe try to find a quiet 120mm fan), but I am happy so far.


So, how hot is YOUR box? :)
 

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AMD Athlon XP 1800+ overclocked to 2400+ speed.

CPU has aluminum heatsink with 80mm Delta fan (kinda loud).

Case is ventilated via PS fan only.


Full load (this system is always at full load runing [email protected] client):

CPU 73° C (rated for 90° C but still higher than I like)

System 44° C


I really need to switch to a copper heatsink and I'm thinking of providing a fresh (cool) air intake duct for the CPU fan. By not recirculating the hot CPU air the case temp should be reduced a few degrees too.


[Edit:] At idle, CPU falls to 65° C and case drops to 43° C
 

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Shazaam! I run 41c idle, and max at around 47c when 100% pegged and running fullscreen 3d on my Gf 4400. My case stays in the 28-30c range. I have an althlon XP 1800+ in a midtower case, which is constrictively placed within a Computer desk. The numerous case fans and especially the huge delta fan on my swiftech MC462 heatsink sounds like a 747 at full bore. I was planning on building an Intel based system to take over Office TV/DVD duties, as I thought that the cooling requirements were much lower for Pentium based systems, but you have me rethinking :-/
 

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P4 2.4GHz

512Mb PC2700 DDR

Asus P4PE

Radeon 9000 heat sink only

Seagate 80Gb Barracuda 4

Zalman AlCu 7000 radial HSF

Nexus 3000 PSU

Revo, PVR250 as well


Idle: 40C CPU and around 32C case

Haven't pushed to 100% CPU but when running various programs I get ~44C CPU and 36C case
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am wondering about noise levels.


If I were to put another 92mm/120mm fan inside, I am certain I could lower my case temps into the low 30's. That would also bring cooler temps to the CPU. But the tradeoff is noise. My HTPC is with the other components beneath the display, so I can't have a "747 at full bore" :)
 

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P4 2.4GHz

512Mb PC2700 DDR

Asus P4PE

Radeon 7500 with fan

WIN TV PVR 250 card

AccessDTV card

3 Hard Drives

CD Burner

DVD Burner

Vantec Stealth Power Supply with 3 fans

1 80 mm case fan



CPU 49C Idle, 60C 100% utilization for > 1/2 hr

MB 39C Idle, 44C maxed


So Dandrewk, my temps are almost identical to yours. My computer has been running rock solid now for 5 months and is never turned off.


Incidentally, Intel rates the P4 2.4 ghz for 70C + not 60C. And there are folks in the Asus forum that have tested the P4PE board with temperature probes and concluded it may report CPU temps up to 10 degress higher than actual. They have reported this to ASUS.


Bob


Bob
 

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Ron - I really hope that 73C was from the CPU diode, not the usual external sensor stuck in the middle of the ZIF socket A...they generally read about 15C low, unless the monitor program has been biased.


You really should get some air into that case - if there is an empty drive bay, just pop off the external cover.
 

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mbm5info[Athlon 1800: 43°C, Radeon 7500: 29°C, Fan(CPU): 4655RPM, Fan(PS): 1695RPM]


And that's at 100% CPU with [email protected], there are three 1500 rpm 80mm fans in the case, two 80mm in the power supply, Radeon fan and chipset fan. The most interesting thing is that cpu temperature dropped 2°C when I installed my SBLive Value card rather than using AC'97 sound. The fan noise levels are a lot less than my previous computer.


In the summer I duct AirCond 18°C air into the back of the case and the cpu temperature drops 7 to 10 degrees.
 

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Intel P4 2.4GHz

512MB CAS2 RAM

MSI 845PE motherboard

2 x WD1200JB 120GB 8MB cache HD's

Sapphire (ATI) Radeon 7500

MSI 48X CD-Burner


1 60mm case fan

standard fan on the the Radeon

standard chipset fan on the MSI motherboard

CAK-88T CPU fan (the thing literally lights up...I didn't even know that when I purchased it!)

350W Enermax Whisper PS w/adjustable Fan (cranked all the way up)


On idle, when the room is cool:

Case: 32C

CPU: 42C


100% CPU activity when the room is warm(ripping audio CDs is the perfect example)

Case: 44C

CPU: 60C


I'd love to take out some of the fans I've got in the system, but I don't want to risk CPU/system damage.
 

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Wow some of you guys are running hot temps. I have no fans running in my case at all. The video card is a passively cooled Radeon 9000. I added a large flower on the 1.8 GHz cpu and have all my slots on a P4PE filled. At idle the temp is between 40 and 44, and at full load after watching two movies it is 50 - 52.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Chris - that is a great advantage of a slower CPU, lower temps, and is why a lot of HTPC owners like them.
 

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My HTPC is the worst of both worlds - hot and noisy. The Athlon 1.33 CPU is 73 degrees, when running near 100%. But the motherboard is only 28. So there is something not quite right. But I still have 17 degrees to play with before I reach max, and so I'm not too worried. I am planning on replacing the whole machine eventually anyway (now I know how I should have built it!).


I am a bit miffed though, since I built it myself, and went to a lot of trouble to get the best heat sink, just the right amount of artic silver - I even sanded the underside of the heatsink. It is sad we have to go to this much trouble with today's CPU's.
 

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My question is, "what you you guys doing with all that horsepower?" Some of those setups seem to be overkill for most HTPC usage. Instead of adding fans, would it make sense to start underclocking?
 

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My P4PE/Celeron 2.0 oced at 2.66GHz (and three hard disks) run a little bit on the hot side:


At idle, the mobo reaches 32-35C, and the processor is in the 48-50C range

At 100% utilization, the mobo can get as hot as 39C, and the processor can get to 65C


Changing the case, and improving ventilation is on my to-do list as I suspect this is the issue right now.


----


A while ago, I was plenty happy with a 1GHz processor... but changes in my system became necessary when I moved to HDTV software decoding (Fusion HDTV), TV recording/timeshifting (Fusion, again) and ffdshow with Theatertek. If you're not into HDTV, TV software based encoding and are happy with your DVD solution, a slow/cold processor is best.
 

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Over time, I've tried lots of things to balance heat/silence (including a brief detour with a water-cooled HTPC).


Right now, I have a 2.4 P4 cooled with Thermalright SLK-900U, Radeon 9700 cooled with Zalman heat-pipe, QTech 300W PSU, 80 gb Barracuda IV HD in a rack mount ATX case I bought from Digital Connection about two years ago. The CPU is cooled with a Papst 92mm fan at 7V and I have a Stealth 120mm exhaust fan mounted in the top of the case, slowed to silence with a Zalman Fanmate. In a silent room, I can't hear the PC from 1-2 feet away. Idle CPU temp = 32 deg C, full load 37 deg C.


I think the "horsepower" is necessary for smooth DVD playback using ffdshow and reclock.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Salmoneous
My question is, "what you you guys doing with all that horsepower?" Some of those setups seem to be overkill for most HTPC usage.
Watching High Definition 1280x720P Windows Media 9 movies requires at least Athlon 2100+ or more cpu horsepower to watch. Software HDTV decoding also needs more horsepower. After watching one movie in HDTV you'll find that DVD is now passé.:eek:
 

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I upgraded my Athlon to a 2.4 XP (from a 1.33), and now it runs at 60 degrees max (at 100% cpu usage). More speed, and 13 degrees cooler - joy! I just wanted to share that :)
 

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AMD Barton 2500+ 1.83GHz @ 2205MHz

40c Idle, 46c full load

Stock HSF, Arctic Silver II Thermal Compound


Noisiest part is my lower front intake fan on the case.


BAM.
 
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