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Old 05-20-2009, 12:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Did I Install Heatsink Correctly?

I just built my first computer yesterday, and it is up and running. The thing that worries me is my CPU/heatsink installation.

Here are my computer specs:
OS: Windows XP 32-bit
CPU: 3.0 GHz AMD Phenom II X4
Memory: 2 x 2GB DDR2 800 GSkill
Video Card: Sapphire ATI Radeon HD4870 1GB
HDD: Western Digital 1TB SATA
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P 790X
PSU: CoolerMaster 700W
Case: Mid-Tower CoolerMaster
Optical Drive: an old PATA DVD-burner

I installed the heatsink that came with the Phenom II X4 CPU. I placed the heatsink on top of the CPU and connected the two latches on the sides, but I can't move the handle thing on the side by 180 degrees (which is what the manual said to do). I can only move the handle by about 90 degrees (but doesn't stay in that position because of gravity), and if I push it more, it feels like I'll break the CPU. So, I didn't do the last step in the manual. Also the picture of the heatsink in the manual does not match the one that I actually have (the handles look different). I also did not apply any thermal compound because the heatsink already has some pre-applied. Or am I supposed to apply some anyway?

Right after I built my computer, I ran a CPU temperature test. I turned on my computer and checked the CPU fan, case fans (2 of them that came with the case), and the video card fan. They all work. Then I left the computer on in BIOS mode for about 15 minutes. The max. system temperature was 42C, and the max. CPU temperature was 48C. Is this bad? Does my computer need more cooling?

I installed Windows XP and played an old computer game (Warcraft III) to see if the temperature would go higher. The max. CPU temperature was 47C. Then I played a more recent game (Left 4 Dead) for about 7 hours straight on the highest video settings and 1920x1080 resolution. The max. CPU temperature became 55C, and max. system temperature is still 42C.

In summary, here is what I'm asking:
1. Did I install the heatsink correctly?
2. My max. CPU temperature is 55C, and my max. system temperature is 42C. Is that bad?
3. Does my computer need more cooling?
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Old 05-22-2009, 05:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Did I Install Heatsink Correctly?

here is what you should do.

take the heatsink/fan back off, clean the thermal paste off both the cpu and the heatsink/fan. put a new application of thermal paste and reseat the heatsink/fan, but this time make sure you follow through and do it right, finish the job. you should get better temps ifyou do this, the cpu will not break, trust me, you should try pushing the lever on a sunbeam core contact, its pretty hard.

after you make sure you have locked it in, fire-it-up and check the temps.

How To Correctly Apply Thermal Grease | Hardware Secrets
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Did I Install Heatsink Correctly?

Quote:
I installed the heatsink that came with the Phenom II X4 CPU. I placed the heatsink on top of the CPU and connected the two latches on the sides, but I can't move the handle thing on the side by 180 degrees (which is what the manual said to do). I can only move the handle by about 90 degrees (but doesn't stay in that position because of gravity), and if I push it more, it feels like I'll break the CPU. So, I didn't do the last step in the manual.
I'm not sure about your CPU chip but on my socket 478 chip, that lever you're referring to needs to fully locked down and pushed 180 degrees, as described by the manual, for the cpu to be fully seating into the motherboard. It shouldn't be too hard to lock into place... I guess make sure you have all of the pins on the CPU lined up right into the motherboard.

It's nothing like the levers on the ram slots... now those you have to apply a lot of pressure.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Did I Install Heatsink Correctly?

So, I applied new thermal compound to my CPU. The result? The idle CPU temperature is about 43C (from 47C).
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Did I Install Heatsink Correctly?

I just bought the newegg deal that came with a BioStar board and a Phenom II, and I'm having the exact same problem. When you go to latch down the side with the small handle the copper tubes prevent the handle from making it to 180 degrees. You can put all the pressure you want on the handle and the only thing giving is the motherboard. I can attach one latch or the other but without breaking something I cannot see myself doing both. If you google Phenom II heatsink you cannot find a picture of the heatsink with the same plastic handle I was shipped. The instruction sheet that came with the CPU depicts the heatsink having a completely different handle on the latch. I sank a couple hundred dollars into the bundle (Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more! )and I don't want to have to damage something just to find out I cannot install my heatsink properly. I'm past my return date and physical damage wouldn't be covered by newegg anyway.

Are my only options running hot or pushing until something gives?
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