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Old June 3rd, 2010, 08:20 PM   #1
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Two questions about temperature monitoring and management

Hello all,

I am wondering what people use to monitor the temperature of their computer's components. I've done a few searches and found a few that I just can't seem to get functioning. Speedfan was recommended and I installed it and got all negative temperatures, except for my GPU, which was apparently 280 degrees C (it is a GTX480, so anything's possible). I remember having a program a long time ago that was great and worked with my system which is a dual xeon setup with two physical CPUs. I'd love advice.

Secondly, a practical question. I am considering the fact that my system gets super hot and super loud when it is working hard (GTX480, dual Xeon 5450s at 3.00GHz, 20GB ram on 8 stcks, 6 internal HHDs - it cooks after a while. and the fans sound like a 747.

I am thinking of replacing the CPU fans with these: Noctua fans which have been very positively reviewed. But all the reviews are about their noise rather than their cooling effectiveness and whether they beat the stock Xeon coolers. I want to ask whether people recommend them, and whether they think they might actually be detrimental to my system's temperature.

I'll draw a picture to explain:

My case, a Coolermaster Cosmos, has two intake fans at the bottom (one straight onto the PSU), two exhaust fans at the top, and one exhaust fan at the rear. The idea being to create a smooth flow straight up and out the top and back.

If I place the Noctua fans over the CPUs will that encourage almost 100% of the airflow to go straight up over the CPUs and leave little for the Graphics card? Which, as I said, is a super hot GTX 480. As you can see in my amazing drawing, I am worried that the CPU fans of the Noctua might cool the CPU well but detract from the air flow over the 480.

The Cosmos comes with a kind of duct that runs the length of the construction, designed to encourage airflow over the length of the GPU and straight out the rear exhaust fan, but I have not noticed any difference using it or removing it. Can anyone suggest whether it might be a good or bad thing to leave it in/take it out (I may have no choice and have to leave it out as the Noctua's take up more than their fair share of space in there.)

Any ideas?
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 09:26 PM   #2
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Hey John,

The first thing I would do is check the temp of your hard drives, especially the 4 on the bottom. Last time I looked into cases, I vividly recall the Cosmos having many negative reviews due to dead drives, which was due to poor airflow over the drives. This is why the updated Cosmos has a slightly different design.

About Noctua - you can't go wrong with any of their fans. They are regarded as the lowest noise while being able to move a good amount of air.

If you have a free PCI slot or two, there are fans available.

I would rig a 120mm fan somewhere by the 4 drives, maybe angled 45 degrees.

Oh, and btw, I love your drawing :p
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 11:25 PM   #3
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Thanks Steve,

You don't think the Nocturas will drag tto much air away from the GPU?

The Cosmos does have absolutely no real cooling solution for the HDDs.

Could you elaborate more on your advice there:

Quote:
If you have a free PCI slot or two, there are fans available.

I would rig a 120mm fan somewhere by the 4 drives, maybe angled 45 degrees.
I will have one (maybe two) free PCI ports so could install a fan, but do you mean that that PCI fan would be the one to serve the 4 drives? At 45 degrees? Or do you mean that I should get a PCI fan as well as a 120mm fan next to the drives?

FOr the PCI one, do you mean something like this? This one looks like it would be just as noisy as the current Xeon fans...

I assume the best spot for it would be the top of the PCI expansion board.

As for the 120mm fan on the HHDs, I'm not sure where to put it to be best.

I've drawn on a picture to show the formation of my hard drives (Hard Drive Formation.jpg). I spaced the four bottom ones out so that they wouldn't be right next to each other. Would it be worth putting a couple of small fans in between them so as to give them some air movement?

Where would you put the 45 degree one?
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Old June 4th, 2010, 09:14 AM   #4
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I just finished building a new i7 930 over clocked dual boot / dual OS box last weekend: 4 TB of internal storage, 12 GB of Ram, GTX 285, etc. Heat was an obvious concern. So, I went with a full-sized ATX case designed primarily for gamers, an Antec 1200. It has 6 fans and excellent air-flow (3 fans in the front to suck air in and across the hard drive sleds and the mobo, 1 giant exhaust fan at the top, and 2 more exhaust fans at the back of the case). As for cooling the processor, I went with a Noctua NH D-14. It has 2 cooling radiators and 2 fans. I oriented the Noctua fans to pull - push, so that so that it receives cool air from the 3 front case fans and then sends warm air out to the back 2 exhaust fans. I have overclocked the processor to a conservative 3.85GHz, and under full, 100% load the processor and case temps remain cool.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #5
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Well I've got the noctunas in there now and using hardware monitor to check the temperatures, one CPU is wonderfully cool at an average of about 25 degrees celcius. The other, 45. Now I assumed this was because one is getting fresh air straight from the intake, the other, getting the air that has passed through the fins of the other's heatsink. But that's a large difference. Could I have put them in wrong? Messed up the thermal paste? I get nervous every time I apply that stuff.

Another thing that might suggest I've done it wrong is, I set the thing to do a render of some Magic Bullet Looks applied to a 7 minute clip. I opened Hardware Monitor and Task Manager and watched the performance and the temperatures.I anticipated that it might take 20 minutes, so I walked out to go watch Letterman, came back in about 15 minutes later to find... Sure enough: frozen. Task manager showed that load was at 50% or so having fluctuated across all 8 cores substantially. The temperature however, had the second CPU over 60 degrees! The first one was only 30 degrees.

So I started to worry that it froze as a result of overheating. Would that be possible? Should a CPU get that hot? If not, could it have caused the freeze? Or should I just assign the freeze to one of CS4's many instabilities? I'm quite nervous that I will need to remove the noctunas and re-mount them...
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Old June 6th, 2010, 07:13 AM   #6
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These termperatures are too high right?

It keeps getting really hot and then freezing. The RAM is getting to over 120 degrees C!! And the second CPU was up to over 70 degrees C...
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Old June 6th, 2010, 01:47 PM   #7
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Disregard my prior comment about fan placement - I didn't notice the fan on the bottom.

Do the Noctua CPU fans need to be pointing up or can they point towards the back?

Here are a couple of ideas for fan placement:

1) aim both the top fans down and aim the Notcua CPU fans towards the back.

2) aim the rear-top fan down to cool the ram and rig a 120mm fan behind the dvd drives to assist the CPU fans. And remove any unused 5.25" faces to allow air in from the front.

To make certain there isn't a software or hardware problem, remove the side of the case and use a house fan to cool the inside while rendering and see if it still locks up.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 07:58 AM   #8
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The Noctua fans have to point up. I think that exactly what I feared happening has happened. The Noctuas are just so big they block off the case's Intended air and the ram is left without any real cooling.

So, I took a spare fan and hung it from string from the top of the case so that it is hanging directly over the ram and is basically sucking air straight from the ram. It is just big enough to cover all 8 sticks and is doing a great job of keeping the ram temperature under 70 degrees C. Which is 50 degrees C cooler than without the fan!! I'm glad to say that that alteration has been enough to get the render done without freeze.

My next problem is trying to figure out why the render produces 2 minutes of successfully color corrected footage followed by five minutes of white screen... Man I hate computers...
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Old June 9th, 2010, 07:52 AM   #9
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John,

see if you can place one or two fans under the front grill. I have an Antec Three Hundred that has two fans right on the hard drives.

Regarding a monitoring software, I've been using Moo0 with good results. Never went into any detailed testing to see how accurate it is, but I guess accuracy does not come from the monitoring software, this little app just displays what components are reporting. See http://www.moo0.com/?top=http://www....3SystemMonitor
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Old June 9th, 2010, 07:53 AM   #10
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Accidental double post [deleted].
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