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Thread: How To Overheat Your PC

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb How To Overheat Your PC

    I am always fiddling around trying things. One was the setting for the frames-per-second limiter. I usually ran it at 1/2 (30fps). However, I was curious about how fast Trainz was running when a live TV window was also open. Didn't want to miss the Covid-19 news. I would start a session and then open the TV window for 75% of the screen while watching the frame counter in the other window. It became a habit to have Trainz up and notice the clock and then bring up the TV program to run them concurrently.

    Out of curiosity I turned on a little free APP (Core Temp) and saw temperature hitting the thermal cutoff of the CPU chip. Now this was after about 2 months of this type of operation. FPS for Trainz always over 100 so no damage YET. Vacuumed the inside of the PC but the temperatures remained high.

    Then I recalled that I had turned off the frame limiter in Trainz to see those +100 fps. I set it to 1/2 (30 fps limit). I ran Trainz and a TV program. Now the temperature dropped from 98f (thermal limit) to the 65deg range. So now I can watch Governor Cuomo and Trainz at the same time after a close call with disaster.
    Dick near Pittsburgh, Pa. i5-2500K 4.3ghz, 8gb memory, GTX1060 4gb video card

  2. #2
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    A new application of Silver heat sink thermal compound on the CPU, and video card, chips, is a good way to keep things cooler. My Desktop PC has the side panels removed, and I blow the dust bunnies out weekly with a wet dry vac hose. Soon the 6" desk fan will be positioned for summertime, to blow all excess heat away from my PC innards
    The expression: "Avoiding it like it is the Plague" just doesn't make any sense. Humans just don't do that very well.

  3. #3
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    Long time ago (probably TS2006) I managed to fry my CPU just using Trainz.

    I now make sure that the BIOS settings include a warning at 75-80C for the CPU. I also use Thundermaster (or Afterburner) to magange the GPU Overclocking *and* the fan/temperature response - it's more aggressive than the standard.
    The GPU is replaceable (not that I want to - it's expensive) but the CPU and Motherboard are more expensive to rectify.
    I'd rather have a non-standard CPU Cooler - I reckon that most are perfectly good for Word Processing/Spreadsheets/non-demanding games, but I've seen Trainz use 90%+ of the CPU for hours without a break for cooling...

    I also look carefully at the PC Case cooling ability as well - one PC case change dropped the CPU temperature by some 10C, just by having the fans and ducting in the right place.

    Cheers,

    Colin

  4. #4
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    Unless the CPU was an early AMD model, you had nothing to worry about. The CPU would throttle its self back in an attempt to cool down. If that doesn't do the job, it'll go into a thermal shutdown and crash the computer. Older AMD chips didn't have this built-in and relied on motherboard manufacturers to provide that. The problem was many of those really cheap motherboard manufacturers never bothered to, or poorly implemented thermal controls and things would go haywire. Today a couple of decades later, and this is not an issue, but even still I wouldn't push the hardware that hard because that can reduce the lifespan of the chip, and other hardware in the system due to the high amount of heat in the case.

    I also recommend checking the thermal compound on your CPU. There are some new thermal pads available for about $8.00 from Walmart of all places that do a great job and don't suffer from the breakdown the goop does. Unfortunately doing the same on a modern-day video card is difficult due to their new construction, not saying it can't be done here. The video cards today will work within their operating range safely and will also throttle back then shutdown should they get too warm.

    The ideal cooling method seems to be water cooling. It's not water, but it's called that and is really something similar to an antifreeze or glycerin and water mixture. There are sealed systems available if you want to go that route, but I'll stick with air. My brother-in-law used to water-cool his system and for some reason sprung a leak inside his case. The inside of his case looked like a fish tank with circuit boards in it, and it was quite a mess to clean up. I wasn't too pleased because this happened in my house at the time when he was living here and the stuff poured all over our new wood floor that were just put in! I don't remember the outcome of the components in the case. I think some were salvageable while others were not, but that incident was quite some years ago when it happened.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019/Trainz-PLUS: 106618

  5. #5
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    Liquid cooling sooner or later leaks or needs maintenance, or cleaning of algae.

    Air cooling, if air several blower air hoses are positioned directly on the CPU and video card, can rival liquid cooling temps.

    It is my belief that even the best tower, with the most fans, still traps heat build up inside the tower, and even 7 fans will not exhaust heat properly enough, to rival the open sided desktop PC method with a desk fan blowing on the PC innards.
    The expression: "Avoiding it like it is the Plague" just doesn't make any sense. Humans just don't do that very well.

  6. #6
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    Being a real electrical engineer, the covers are always off my PC
    I7-8700K
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitkin View Post
    Being a real electrical engineer, the covers are always off my PC
    Yeah

    And besides, if I spend $1700 on a PC, with an air cooled I7 CPU, 32GB RAM, 2TB Disc HD, 1TB SSD, a 2070 video card, 850 Watt PS, I want to actually "See My Stuff", and not hide it away inside a black metal box
    Last edited by MP242; May 10th, 2020 at 11:42 AM.
    The expression: "Avoiding it like it is the Plague" just doesn't make any sense. Humans just don't do that very well.

  8. #8
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    Taking covers completely off isn't so great either because there needs to be a positive air-flow in order to cool the components down. With my computer case, I ended up turning the fans around so that the air is pulled in from the sides and bottom and blown out the top. This keeps the CPU to about 60C max during the summer months and the video card around the same temperature as well.

    The other problem besides fan direction is case size. If the case is too small, cables can get in the way and trap hot air causing heat build-up. Ensuring that cabling is out of the way with wires and cables neatly bundled helps a lot in this respect no matter what size case is used with larger cases working better due to more room to move the cabling out of the way.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019/Trainz-PLUS: 106618

  9. #9
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    Large cases with lots of quiet fans here. PC I'm on at present has two top extracting, two front and one bottom blowing in, one back extracting, plus Cooler Master Hyper212 EVO cooler and three on the 1080TI, cable managed out of sight and it hardly gets warm under load, so long as I clean the dust filters often. It's actually blowing cool air out the top at the moment!
    Malc


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    Where did you find this frame limiter? Asking for science, of course.

    Matt
    Intel Core i7-7700K 4.20GHz
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  11. #11
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    Frame limiter is in the program. From launch screen select "trainz settings" and set vertical sync to half.
    If your refresh rate is 60Hz this will limit your FPS to 30
    Further on this subject, set your graphics card to performance rather that quality.
    When set on performance the output switches between 720p for normal operation and 1080p for graphics intensive programs like Trainz.
    This allows the CPU and the Graphics card to cool down when 1080p is not required.

    Cheers,
    Bill69
    If you are going to try cross-country skiing,
    Start with a small country.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by clam1952 View Post
    Large cases with lots of quiet fans here. PC I'm on at present has two top extracting, two front and one bottom blowing in, one back extracting, plus Cooler Master Hyper212 EVO cooler and three on the 1080TI, cable managed out of sight and it hardly gets warm under load, so long as I clean the dust filters often. It's actually blowing cool air out the top at the moment!
    That's very much like my setup. I have one of those Crucial cases from about 10 years ago with plenty of room to allow for good airflow.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
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  13. #13
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    While having a great case and cooling fan setup is ideal, there is absolutely nothing wrong with removing the side cover and having a small desk fan blowing directly on the innards.

  14. #14
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    I am using the Cooler Master 4 fans (+ the700W power supply fan), all steel model. Weighing in at 40 lbs. Sort of a heat sink. CPU (4 core i5) quite old. A few months ago during cleaning I pulled the CPU and it had thermal paste that was trying to become concrete. Cleaned, applied the Silver stuff with a credit card for smoothing. Remember, you are matching a CPU,s surface to that of the cooler fan. They do not match. There are tolerances ($$$). So the paste fills the the voids (VERY small). It also fills the microscopic holes in each surface. Again they are not perfect so the paste insures that the CPU and fan have the maximum surface on each.

    I was ready to replace the set of components which are quite old. As noted above, running at 100% available frame rate was a bad idea, and probably very expensive. Now I can watch the news in one window while tracking a train on a test run in Trainz in another. Temperatures very rarely hit the thermal max block, 98C. the vast majority of the time 78C is the average. I put the credit card back into my wallet.

    Running without the case covers (fan holders) demonstrates the need for a better case.
    Dick near Pittsburgh, Pa. i5-2500K 4.3ghz, 8gb memory, GTX1060 4gb video card

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