Ultra-cooled Gigabyte P35-DQ6 overheating? How can this be?

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dsjonz
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Ultra-cooled Gigabyte P35-DQ6 overheating? How can this be?

Post by dsjonz » Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:34 pm

Had my new DQ6 in a well-ventilated Antec P182 case for about two weeks now, and system temps have consistently hovered in the 50C range, with mild OC 6420 CPU temps staying in the 25C range with a duct-cooled Thermalright HR-01 using the stock Intel clips to retain the unique "Crazycool" underneath-the-motherboard CPU/NB/SB heatsinks.

50C system temps on the vaunted passive chipset cooler array of the top-of-the-line Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6? This can't be right. Using three Antec Tricool fans on low/medium speed in upper motherboard area, but but the motherboard reports system temps beyond what should be happening.

I've seen screenshots of other DQ6 setups with a system temp of around 35C. A 50C temp means either 1.) the elaborate passive NB/SB/Mosfet heatpipe cooler assembly is not seated right, or 2.) the F4 bios is reporting a too-high system temp (like the older Asus boards always did), or 3) something is just goofy with this motherboard.

I had removed the stock thermal pads on the NB/SB surfaces prior to installation, and used Arctic Silver 5 for best heat conduction. Noted 50C system temps upon initial startup. Removal and visual inspection showed a good mating between surfaces. I have since removed and replaced the entire Gigabyte NB/SB assembly three times to ensure that it seating properly, and ensured all screws were well-tightened. But still 50C on the system temps! Any ideas on what I'm overlooking?

Everything runs fine, and I'm not complaining. The DQ6 is rock-stable and near-silent running Vista Ultimate, Core2 Duo 6420 OC'd to 2.66/333Mhz FSB at stock voltage, and 4GB DDR2 Crucial Tracer PC-8000 at 1000Mhz 4-4-4-12 at a stock 1.85v (instead of the recommended 2.2v).

Interestingly, the system temp is in the 35C area when I fire up the MB with nothing connected except the ATI AiW X1900 and 1 stick of RAM. Great, I think to myself, the problem is cured! The temps climb up to 45-50C when I also installed the 2 SATA drives, 2 PCI cards, 4 sticks of RAM, 4 USB connectors, 2 Firewire connectors, 2 eSATA connectors, etc.

Granted, the extra load from the peripherals might cause a temp rise - but another 15-20C? Hmmm...

ryboto
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Post by ryboto » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:45 pm

do the rest of the system temps seem normal? is 50C the highest it gets, or is that an idle temp? My northbridge gets quite warm(50's) but that's with almost zero direct airflow. Granted I have different hardware..
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dsjonz
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Post by dsjonz » Sat Jul 07, 2007 5:41 am

Thanks for the reply, ryboto. Yes, 50C is the average idle temp, and it's gone up as far as 60C under load. Note the CPU temp hovers around 25-30C - almost half the system temp - using the "semi-passive" Thermalright HR-01 tower heatsink connected by the included duct to the rear 120mm Antec Tricool case fan set to low/medium (depending on the summer ambient temps).

Again, the system is rock-stable at stock CPU and DDR2 voltages - even with a 25% overclock! I credit this to the combination of the ultra tight power regulation of the Seasonic S12+Energy 650 PSU, and the unprecedented 12-phase (okay, dual six-phase) power supply and high-end MOSFETs, capacitors, and chokes of the Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6 motherboard.

The high system temps remain whether I run the board at 266Mhz CPU/800Mhz DDR2 or overclock. Too bad I can't "undervolt" the northbridge like I can the CPU, just to see if the temps come down that way!

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Post by puscifer » Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:16 am

I got a similar setup, P35-DS4 and HX520 in a P180B with a noctua 800rpm on the back, another on the lower cage and a scythe 1200 on the middle cage on brackets over my passive gainward 8600gt, all undervolted with speedfan. The northbridge boots at about 40 and idles at 45 although when i overclock my E2140 to 3.2 (ninja fanless - also clipped) it managed to hit 55º after intense gaming. What are ya using to read temps?

Did you noticed the same temps prior to applying the as5? Since the cpu isnt givin that much heat i'd say try without the duct and see if it improves the airflow over the mobo sinks.

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Post by jackylman » Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:26 pm

The P35 uses a good bit more power than the 9x5 chipsets (maybe because of the extra transistors required for DDR3 support?). Intel has given it a catastrophic trip point of 115C, when the chips shuts itself off. There are also optional hot trip points at 85C and 105C. So if your NB is running at 50C, I'd say it's doing just fine. 8)
There are several registers that need to be configured to support the (G)MCH thermal sensor functionality and SMI# generation. Customers must enable the Catastrophic Trip Point at 115 C as protection for the (G)MCH. If the Catastrophic Trip Point is crossed, then the (G)MCH will instantly turn off all clocks inside the device. Customers may optionally enable the Hot Trip Point between 85 °C and 105 °C to generate SMI#. Customers will be required to then write their own SMI# handler in BIOS that will speed up the (G)MCH (or system) fan to cool the part.

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Post by ryboto » Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:02 pm

Are you sure that "system" temp is the nortbridge temperature?
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christopher3393
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Post by christopher3393 » Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:55 pm

Perhaps you need more air moving over the heatsinks and a more direct way to exhaust it? Are you using the top fan to exhaust? Do you have a fan attached to the CPU cooler?

dsjonz
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Post by dsjonz » Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:50 am

<Did you noticed the same temps prior to applying the as5? Since the cpu isnt givin that much heat i'd say try without the duct and see if it improves the airflow over the mobo sinks.>
<Perhaps you need more air moving over the heatsinks and a more direct way to exhaust it? Are you using the top fan to exhaust? Do you have a fan attached to the CPU cooler?>

Thanks, puscifer & christopher3393...I replaced the stock NB/SB thermal pads with Arctic Silver 5 prior to installing the MB for the first time. Wish I had waited to do that on a later build for comparison. I've got front, rear, and top 120mm fans going at low/medium in my Antec P182, and yes, I tried removing the CPU duct to the rear 120mm fan so the NB gets unobstructed cooling from the rear fan. The system temp drops exactly 1C to 49C at idle, and the CPU temp goes up by about 3-4C - but still under 29-30C at idle, while 25% overclocked, for a completely passive CPU cooling (this Thermalright HR-01 really performs in the Antec 182!). I can directly attach a fan to the CPU with the provided clips, but with CPU temps as low as 30C why bother?

<The P35 uses a good bit more power than the 9x5 chipsets (maybe because of the extra transistors required for DDR3 support?). Intel has given it a catastrophic trip point of 115C, when the chips shuts itself off. There are also optional hot trip points at 85C and 105C. So if your NB is running at 50C, I'd say it's doing just fine.>

Good assessment, jackylman...I was told something similar in an "rabid overclocker's" forum (xtremesystems.org). That poster said if my P35 system was stable with 25% overclocking at stock voltages (and it *is* at Vcore 1.23v and DDR2 1.80v) then I should shut up, be happy, and not worry about the damn NB temp! But will I take this sound advice? Noooo.... :)

<Are you sure that "system" temp is the nortbridge temperature?>

I wondered about that too, ryboto, and I was told the "system temp" sensor on the Gigabyte P35-DQ6 MB is in the vicinity of the power regulators, located - I think - in the area underneath the 16x graphics slot between the NB and SB chips. Working on the theory that the hot exhaust of the ATI X1900 graphics card from above was "cooking" the regulators, I made heat shielding from mousepad neoprene and directed a focused cool air flux on the regulators from the front fan airflow. The result: nada.

**********************

A couple of observations for those those considering this Gigabyte P35-DQ6 and its P-35-based MB siblings for overclocked-but-silent PCs. I strongly suspect that this high 50C "reported" system temp may be the result of an early BIOS release, similar to the wildly inaccurate CPU/system temps reported by many Asus motherboards in past years. Others running a new beta DQ6 BIOS are reporting system temps that never exceed 37C. I'll have to try that.

Also, the act of installing and removing the motherboard to check the elaborate DQ6 passive cooling array has made me aware of just how much heat is being handled by the unique "Crazycool" underneath-the-motherboard copper heatsinks. After removing the motherboard within minutes after idling, the bottom heatsinks were still too hot to touch. Those bottom heatsinks are absorbing an immense amount of heat, and I think those who take them off to accomodate a CPU heatsink bracket for their favorite cooler are making a big mistake. In contrast, the upper NB/SB/MOSFET heatsink array fins were merely warm after idling. Note I said "fins" - the heatpipes *are* hot!

There's an interesting PDF format thermal test report (probably sourced from Gigabyte) comparing a Gigabyte P35 board to an Asus P35 board at: http://images.tweaktown.com/imagebank/n ... usttst.pdf. The report - including MB thermal graphics imaging - shows the Asus boards running twice as hot as Gigabyte, and I suspect that this report is accurate.

This Gigabyte P35-DQ6 MB is first "non-Asus" board I have bought in more than a decade. Why? Simply put, I don't think Asus motherboards are the unquestioned "safe bet" they have been in the past. Like recent Hewlett-Packard printers, recent Asus motherboards seem plagued by spotty functional reliability and high failure rates. Cost-cutting design is part of HP's problem, but Asus seems to be shipping many new motherboards with many marketing-touted features and functions that absolutely do not work out of the box. Heck, it's gotten so bad that many formerly loyal custom PC builders/VARs will not use certain Asus motherboards because of this (like the P5W DH Deluxe).

In contrast, the Gigabyte P35-DQ6 cuts no corners, exhibits top-quality assembly, uses the best components available everywhere on the board, goes far beyond "adequate" cooling - and as far as I call tell *everything works*. I want a silent PC, but I value a completely working PC far higher!

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Post by Tzupy » Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:02 am

You have the Edit option to deal with double posts, just delete the body of the copy and write the PS instead.

I am using the earlier P965-DQ6 which has a similar cooling setup. The chipset temp measured right now with a thermal probe is 48C, while Gigabyte's EasyTune5 utility says only 42C.

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Post by jaldridge6 » Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:30 am

wow, p5k looks toasty. damn, i thought intel chipsets were supposed to be cooler than nvidia SLI chipsets. is this generally true or do I have things mixed up?

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Post by bobov » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:47 am

Asus P5K Dlx system temp also a bit high, around 42C idle. Asus claim:
The system temperature sensor has been placed right next to the memory VRM circuit, allowing the motherboard to reflect the rise and fall of memory VRM temperature at real time.

In order to lower its temperature, we strongly recommend all users to ensure there is sufficient airflow passing through the memory VRM. This can be achieved via the following ways:

1. The rearrangement of cables inside your chassis, to ensure there is no blockage to stop cold air from entering memory VRM zone.

2. The use of CPU fan which brings sufficient airflow to its surrounding. (Higher fan spin may be required depending on the use of CPU fans.)

3. Add extra fan to blow onto memory VRM directly.

Note: The effect of above suggestions can be verified by monitoring the effect to the motherboard temperature reading under [Hardware Monitor] inside CMOS Setup screen, or via PcProbeII or AISuite under Windows platform.

Due to their special design, the recommended motherboard temperature is also a little different to other motherboards not adopting such design. It is recommended to maintain your motherboard temperature of these three motherboards between 0 to 65 degrees Celsius to ensure overall stability of your system.
Maybe gigabyte follow the same design?

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Post by jackylman » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:51 am

jaldridge6 wrote:wow, p5k looks toasty. damn, i thought intel chipsets were supposed to be cooler than nvidia SLI chipsets. is this generally true or do I have things mixed up?
The older ones (P965, 975x) are, but the latest "Bearlake" series (P35, G33) seem to give the nFurnace a run for its money on power consumption.

dsjonz
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Post by dsjonz » Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:20 am

Well, it seems the BIOS upgrade from F4 to beta F5g fixed the reported high system temps on this particular Gigabyte P35-DQ6 motherboard. Temps went from 50C to 40C at idle. No other changes noted from the BIOS upgrade. Since the system temps are now in line with what I've seen from other featured P35-DQ6 systems around the Web, I've dropped my fan speeds from medium to low on my Antec P182. In this mildly air-conditioned room, passive-cooled CPU temps are 36C (without Thermalright HR-01 120mm fan duct installed), and system temps are 42C with the P182 top/rear/front fans all active.

I-am-happy-now. :)

I've got no 120mm fan in the lower drive bay/PSU chamber, but my two SMART-enabled drives there report 45C temps. I think I'll put a slow-moving fan in there to drop those drive temps below 40C.

In regards to the power consumption of the P35 boards out there, I recall reading a recent test comparison (@ anandtech.com - not sure) that showed Gigabyte with the lowest power consumtion and Asus with the highest - a 30-watt difference, I think. I do not know why.

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Post by christopher3393 » Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:37 pm

Good news on the BIOS update.

Is it safe to assume that the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme wouldn't fit on this board? It's 132mm wide compared to the HR-01's 110mm width. They're otherwise close in size.

dsjonz
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Post by dsjonz » Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:10 am

christopher3393 wrote:Is it safe to assume that the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme wouldn't fit on this board? It's 132mm wide compared to the HR-01's 110mm width. They're otherwise close in size.
You'll need to confirm this with Thermalright tech support, but if the height from the base of the Ultra 120 cooler to the bottom level of fins is the same as the HR-01, then I think will fit just fine. The HR-01 bottom fins are slightly higher than the top of the northbridge cooler stack on the Gigabyte P35-DQ6, causing the fins to overhang the northbridge cooling stack. If the HR-01 was much wider - like the Ultra 120 - it would still clear okay. Better still, popping-off the glued-on "Gigabyte" nameplate on top of the northbridge cooling stack will give you even more clearance for the wider fins of the Ultra 120.

This is assuming that you will have the Ultra 120 oriented facing the rear of the case. If you have an Antec P182 case with a top-mounted case fan, you can orient the Ultra 120 facing the top of the case with no clearance problems at all.

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Post by dsjonz » Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:26 am

christopher3393 wrote:Is it safe to assume that the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme wouldn't fit on this board? It's 132mm wide compared to the HR-01's 110mm width. They're otherwise close in size.
One caution, christopher3393. Unlike the Thermalright HR-01, I noticed from Web photos that the Ultra 120's outer fins seem to "droop" down at the edges a couple of millimeters. This fin droop might eliminate the small clearance to needed to prevent the Ultra's bottom fins from interfering with the DQ6 heatsink stack.

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Post by MikeC » Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:51 am

IMO, 50-60C for a NB/SB is no big deal. As the OP mentioned, the system was rock stable anyway.

But here's a caution about these boards in which all the hot components are tied together with heatpipes:

1) Heatpipes move heat from hotter spots to cooler ones. That's what they do. Connect a bunch of hot spots together with a heatpipe, and the effect will be to equalize or distribute the heat more evenly throughout the "network." If the NB produces 20W of heat while the VRMs are producing 10W, then thermally, the VRMs lose out -- at least before airflow is applied. Granted, the size of cooling fins on each hot component will also have an effect.

2) When there is lots of airflow all around the board, the above is not an issue -- forced airflow is assumed and it's what makes such boards work.

3) In very low airflow conditions, however, the movement of heat from hotter to cooler components could occur and this may cause both instability as well as shortened life.

4) It may be a real temptation for silence enthusiasts to use such "passively cooled" boards in a very low airflow or even totally passively cooled systems. I'd say don't do it.

IMO, it's preferable NOT to have the hot components on a motherboard all tied together. Large effective individual heatsinks should be just as effective with high airflow and considerably safer with low airflow.

My 2 cents.
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Post by murtoz » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:06 am

christopher3393 wrote:Is it safe to assume that the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme wouldn't fit on this board? It's 132mm wide compared to the HR-01's 110mm width. They're otherwise close in size.
Thermalright's website says it is

dsjonz
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Post by dsjonz » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:36 am

MikeC wrote: IMO, it's preferable NOT to have the hot components on a motherboard all tied together. Large effective individual heatsinks should be just as effective with high airflow and considerably safer with low airflow. My 2 cents.
Hmmm...that line of reasoning is worth a damn sight more than 2 cents, Mike! Most of the top motherboards have all adopted this heatpipe "marketecture" with the exception of Intel, DFI, the Gigabyte boards other than the DQ6 & DQ4, and some others.

On the other hand, I've read tremendous dissatisfaction with the chipset cooling delivered by the standalone NB heatsinks of the DFI & Gigabyte boards. Many overclockingers have been compelled to add small fans to the passive NB heatsinks, or outright replacement with third-party headsink solutions. And it's not just the hot Intel and Nvidia chipsets...the "cool running" AMD/ATI RD580 chipset also overwhelms the OEM heatsinks.

I had hoped that the new heatpipe designs would be a real boon for the silent PC enthusiast. I will heed your caution to fully understand the dynamic heat transfer characteristics of my particular heatpipe design before moving to a low airflow state.

Examining the Gigabyte P35-DQ6 heatpipe cooling array, it appears that the VRMs are segregated from the NB/SB. The two banks of VRMs are linked by a shared heatpipe, but the linked NB/SB heatpipes share only some common cooling fins right next to the rear 120mm fan.

I suppose the two heatpipe-linked banks of VRMs either "equalize" their heat output, or channel heat to the bank that is being more effectively cooled, right? Same with the NB/SB, I hope - the SB heat is being channeled to the larger NB heatsink because it is more effectively cooled because it is closer to the Antec P182 rear and top fans. Anyway, until I completely "grok" the interaction between the Gigabyte P35-DQ6 heatpipe cooling array and the Antec P182, I think I'll keep all the fans moving!

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Post by cmthomson » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:11 pm

What MikeC says.

The heat pipes and fins found on the P5W/P5K and DQ6 boards work well in just one situation: with a CPU cooler (such as the stock Intel cooler) that sprays air into the fins, cooling all the VRM and bridge chips to an equal temperature (some Zalman CPU coolers also do this).

If you use a tower cooler (Ninja, HR-01, Ultra, Noctua, etc), this airflow does not exist, and all those chips rise to the temperature of the hottest of them, typically the VRM. I observed this personally with the P5W DH, and it led me to remove the whole heat-pipe/fin gizmo, and put an HR-05 on the north bridge.

Note that on all of these boards, the VRMs are very efficient (8 or 12 phase), and are very well cooled from the back of the board (stack-cool or crazy cool).

If you want to go to the extremes I went to (documented in http://www.silentpcreview.com/article672-page1.html), then, well, have fun! :D But it's a lot easier to put a little effort into ensuring that the fins on the stock heat pipes have some airflow, typically by installing a small quiet fan nearby.
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Post by roboCat » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:25 pm

I use the P35 DQ6. I think the temp has a lot to do with case venteration. I use an Antec 900 case with a lot of fans and the system temp I am getting is 24-28 when idle. If your PC case allow, do get a nice side fan which helps.

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