What's the relationship between the temp. of a CPU and its heatsink?

I have one of those old AMD 550Mhz K5 Slot A processors with the OEM heat sink and fan and have recently started looking for a quick and easy solution to the noise problem of the OEM fan. At first I just took the fan off but then the computer started beeping, which I guess is to warn me that this CPU needs a fan, so I unplugged the internal speaker. I then let it boot up and the heat sink was hot to the touch so I took an old case fan and, using a piece of duct tape and a paper clip, I put it in front of the heat sink. The heat sink is quite cool now, but should I be worried about the temperature of the actual CPU? Unfortunately, I don’t have a thermometer on the CPU, so are there any other tests I can do to see if my current setup is sufficient? And, yes, I know that duct tape isn’t the best way to attach a fan to a heat sink…

If you can touch your heatsink without leaving bits of skin on it then that’s a reasonable indication that it’s keeping cool. But I’d seriously suggest you invest in another heatsink/fan rather than just try and duct tape a quieter fan to the CPU.

You can get in case thermometers that fit into a drive bay but they’ll only really tell you a general in case temperature rather than the actual CPU temp.

I’d suggest perusing the wares of http://www.overclockers.co.uk (or look for “overclocking” in Google etc. to find a local store) - heat management is high on the list of priorities for overclockers.

This made me laugh and cry. Solutions like that are why the turnover is high in Bob jobs.

If the computer gets too hot, it should crash before it does damage to itself. As long as you aren’t running distributed.net or some other program that uses all processor cycles all the time, the fan you put on it should be sufficient. Aluminum is a very good conductor of heat, which is why it’s used for heat sinks, so if it’s cool, the processor should be fine. A case fan should be more than enough.

Duct tape is an accepted repair method. :slight_smile:

Ian Fan: Buy a good heatsink+fan combo unit. Go to a computer shop, and tell them you want a good QUIET heatsink to cool your Brand Spankin’ New AMD Athlon CPU. Athlons and your CPU use the same mounting method, and since Athlons use much more power, you can be assured that you’ll get more than enough cooling. Remember to put a layer of thermal paste (A white compound that allows heat to move more easily between the CPU and heatsink. Should cost about $1) on the CPU before you install the new heatsink, and to make sure that any sticker/thermal crud has been removed from the base of the heatsink, so it is just clean, shiny metal.

Once you get the new cooling system installed, download Prime95 from mersenne.org. Run it for a few hours. This will stress your CPU so you can tell if it is working properly. If the system crashes or the program gives an error, then you know you still have problems.

Wikkit: In CPUs that are overheating badly, you will often find that the heatsink is very cool. This is because the heat isn’t moving effectively from the CPU to the heatsink, thus causing the CPU to swelter while the heatsink remains cool to the touch. This is usually caused by someone forgetting to use thermal paste.

Modern AMD CPUs won’t run properly with a standard aluminum heatsink. The Thermal conductivity just isn’t high enough to spread the heat throughout the heatsink. Manufacturers use a copper heat spreader in the base to get the heat evenly distributed, then cheap, light aluminum to dissipate it to the air. High performance heatsinks are even solid-copper, and some contain a SILVER base!

Actually aluminium is good enough depending on the form of the heat sink and how big the cooler fan is. Copper is not necessarily better.

Also check out QuietPC.com, which sells all sorts of stuff to keep your computer quiet.

Good advice (as always from FDISK) but the OP said Slot A. If you go into a store and say “give me a heatsink/fan combo for an Athlon” they MIGHT ask you Socket A or Slot A, but they probably wont. They will probably just give you a Socket A one. Especially if you say “Brand Spankin’ New”.
As for the OP, your cpu fan is LOUD? So loud you can hear it over the other fan(s)? Has it always been that way? I have an Athlon Slot A 500Mhz and have since they came out many many moons ago and I’ve never heard the cpu fan over any of the other fans I have. Of course I have 6 fans on assorted equipment throughout my case. I get that replaced ASAP unless you want to buying a new mobo and chip soon.

Ah, geez. That last sentance should read:
I’d get that replaced ASAP unless you want to be buying a new mobo and chip soon.
See, I had a squirmy baby in my lap and…