I read through your post on reddit. Have you considered underclocking... or is that not possible on your MB?
I have not. I've considered dropping the max multiplier down to 15x (it's currently at 15.5). I have only considered undervolting due to the excessive temperatures I've been getting. I can't set voltage settings in BIOS, so I doubt I'd be able to touch multipliers either. I originally got the idea from a commenter on the very bottom of this page
My understanding is that voltage is, in a very general sense, what determines how hot the processor gets, not clock speed. For instance, when overclocking, you typically require more voltage, and thus, more cooling.
I'm surprised your temps are soaring so quickly with an 18cm tower HSF. A good cooler that size should easily handle 100W TDP. What is the cooler?
You should also take some photos of your system to show us. It could just be a case of very bad case airflow, which will render any heatsink/fan way less efficient.
This is a refurbished office desktop, so the the case is not exactly great for airflow. It's a mid-tower, not full. You can take a closer look at it here
. I have one 80mm fan pushing air out the only slot in the back (it's actually a 92mm with holes for both.) As you can see, there is a slight amount of venting along the bottom of the case and the side perpendicular to the CPU (most likely for a parallel HSF.). I just realized I hadn't run Prime95 with the second HSF and the side case off, but with a Rosewill RCX-Z1 it had very little effect (temps still reached well over max, just not as fast.... say 20 seconds more to reach them.)
The case sucks, but I don't think the issue. There are lots of anecdotes in forums going back 7 years about Athlon x2s running hot. I've ruled out HSF issues such as dust/seating/paste. Airflow could be an issue, but I don't see how given my experience above. I am new at all of this, so I could very well be wrong.
Right now I've got a ZALMAN CNPS5X
. I'm hitting 70-72C after a minute or so of Prime95, which is ~10C above the max temps (62C). I was up to 80C at one point on the Rosewill, which is when I really
started freaking out.
My goal here is a refurbished light gaming/browsing/school computer... on a budget. Right now I'm over that, due to some impatience on my part and a bit of haggling with the Mrs.
I should note I was able to get my CPU undervolted to 1.3V using RMClock (another old piece of software) and it was stable for 30+ mins in Prime95 before I tried it out for everyday use. At that point it stayed I was able to use the PC for about an hour or so before it froze. Rebooted, reset the voltage settings, and it froze within minutes. Third time, same thing. Fourth time Win 8 got corrupted and I had to re-install.
My concerns really lie with the P-Steps and what all the settings in this program do. I kinda understand what was written in the article, but I have no idea where to start.
Lastly, thank you for the warm welcome. I have been racking my brain and all I want to do is get this desktop stable and cool without drilling into the case and installing a $150 water cooler. Any help at this point is greatly appreciated.