Need Some Athlon XP Temperature Comparisions

Had some odd (and very annoying, in the throwing-computers-out-the-window variety) crashes while using my windows box lately. Nothing diagnostic, just the whole box locking up and the audio stuttering. It’s an Athlon XP2600+ (barton) on an Asus A7N8X motherboard with an ATI Radeon 9800 PRO and 1G of 333 (I think) RAM. Nothing hugely odd here. As the crashes are pretty random, I’m not sure what the cause is, though I suspect heat. Sometimes it’ll crash while playing a silly flash game and sometimes during quake, after quake, or just while typing in word. Not always when the box has been on for a long time, not always during processor intensive stuff (the system runs SETI@Home screensaver at night), no always anything.

I started watching the temperatures on my system tonight, and even spent some time playing quake… erhm…. “system load testing” on q3ctf4 with a large fan sitting agains the side of the case (no crashes).

According to AsusProbe when I boot the system the CPU is about 43degrees C and the motherboard is about 35C. The MB stays that temperature but the cpu will go up to 51 or 52C while under 100% load (ie: SETI@Home running in the foreground. I have no idea if this is normal or not. The case I have only has a rear fan and a side fan (both blowing out) and while there is room for front fans, the from of the box has no grill for air to be drawn in. Since I never really see the temperature when I crash I can only guess that that’s the problem and I know this office is smokin’ hot so it’s a good guess. I know it’s not the video card or video card drivers because I switched video cards last night to an NVidia GeForce3 and crashed then as well. You can chalk it up to bad hardware karma (you know who you are) but I say I control my own karma 🙂

The screenshot above shows my CPU and MB temperature dropping from 52 (after several minutes at full load via SETI@Home) to 42 degrees after stopping it, leaving me with a mostly idle system with only firebird and the usual array of tray apps running.

Anyway, if anyone out there has a remotely comparible system could you install Asus Probe 2 (latest version) and post what sort of MB and CPU temperatures you get during normal use, and (if possible) during 100% cpu load, and how high the temperature rises. Even the BIOS temperatures (which I don’t have for this system right now, but I know it’s a bit different than what Asus Probe reports). If you’re an A7N8X user do you use the “q-fan” control, and if so, what are your settings? (I disabled mine tonight to see if it made a difference).

If I have to I’ll re-organize things or get a different case or more fans to deal with this, but I want to know I’m attacking the right problem. Maybe I should be reinstalling my OS…. who knows?

Anyway, many thanks for any info you can pass on for me to look at.