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Old 09-14-2008, 11:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Consequences of a CPU w/o a heatsink fan.

My brother is running a 10+ year old Gateway computer, which was originally designed for Windows ME... yeah... it's running XP Pro now and serves him fine.

Well, his heatsink fan died. I was looking at it and was wondering why I smelled something cooking... like bacon... I look at the fan, and here it isn't moving. I was like wtf? So I shut it down, rip the thing apart, and there's just globs of dust pinned in between each fin of the heatsink. That... was indeed cooking.

So, I cleaned it out, put some new CPU compound down, and the fan worked again. I turned the computer on and was doing some typical stuff like a defrag and whatnot since I know my brother never does and I turned around and went to Taco Bell.

I come home to see the computer monitor sleeping, as usual. Thing is, it wouldn't wake up... despite the fact the thing was powered on. I look down... ****. The fan is off again.

And man... that heatsink was hotttttttttttttttttt too. So I ordered him a new heatsink and the computer is remaining off.

Question is, what are the consequences of the computer running without a fan for those time periods? The 2nd time, I thought the fan was cleaned out fine to run again. But turns out, 10 years of running 24/7 just killed it.

Think the CPU is fine?
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Consequences of a CPU w/o a heatsink fan.

Typically there is a threshold for the CPU. At a certain temperature, the computer will simply turn off. Some newer versions have logic built in to shut the computer down properly... regardless of the OS type. Older ones though simply power down. The good thing is that they shut down prior to the bacon and Eggs process of the CPU. It's rare to see a firmware for a board these days that will allow a CPU's temperature to rise above dangerous temps...unless of course it is changed by the user. Heatsinks didn't always use to have fans atop them. Older processors ran fine without fans
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Consequences of a CPU w/o a heatsink fan.

Hah, this one NEEDS it. That heatsink was sizzlin when I touched it.

It didn't shut down the computer, though. It simply locked up functionality of it. Everything on the screen is just blurred as if the processor went into lockdown mode, however, it's still running and turned on... therefore generating enough heat to be hot, while being efficient enough from not running any additional processes that it doesn't get worse and worse.

I just want to have a good idea as to whether or not the 2nd cookage of the processor could have done any damage to the CPU.
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Consequences of a CPU w/o a heatsink fan.

LOL (sizzlin) awesome!

Do you know what model it is?
Some damage could've been done yes, for sure. Generally though it's pretty obvious. Applications will freeze, load slow... if at all, et cetera. You may even be able to visually inspect the CPU and see damage. But, if you can't see it, it's trial and error with the OS and the Applications.

Damage won't spread unless it's physical damage. For instance... a "cooking" CPU can't harm RAM unless the damage is like a small fire spreading through your computer. LOL. The main thing I would be concerned with about that CPU while overheating is the socket. You wouldn't want to prevent a perfectly good CPU replacement from working in that socket because of the damage caused by the overheating one.
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Consequences of a CPU w/o a heatsink fan.

Here is something you might enjoy Jayce



older Intel's and AMDs put to the test. Apps freeze and core functionality either haults (CPU survives) or it tries to keep running (starts to smolder!) LOL
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