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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my home server has been crashing and locking up randomly for the past two years and I finally nailed the culprit: overheating. Its a micro-atx Socket 478 mobo with 3.0 GHz P4 CPU and I'm assuming the added hardware is taxing the CPU badly and causing it to overheat (gigabit pci nic and 4 port sata raid pci card with 2 x 1 GB sata drives). I don't know how hot its actually getting (temperature wise). Right now I have one 120 mm case fan in the rear near the CPU which has a pretty basic heatsink and fan (Thermaltake TR2). The thing is this I prefer this server sits in my closet, which I know also contributes to the overheating as there not a lot of air flow, but I still would like to have it placed there.

Any recommendations on a better [cheap] cooling schema or solution that keep this box from over heating even in a closet?

TIA
 

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Assuming you're running a Prescott P4, you might be able to pick up a slower clocked Northwoods P4 on EBAY fairly cheap.
There are tons of them in the $10 to $20 dollar range.

Cheaper than buying another heatsink and more energy efficient, so there's savings in that department too.
 

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I suggest before you do anything at all, you find out just what your temperatures are running. You can do this with a free utility called PC Wizard. just download it, install and run. Click the Voltage, temperature and Fans icon in the left pane and whatever temperatures are monitored in your computer will be displayed in the upper right pane. Click on any one and details will appear lower right pane. Additionally, if you will right-click any entry in the upper right pane and select Options/View tab, check the box for "sensors in real time", the parameters will be updated about every 4 seconds.

Raybro
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@prunejuice: good idea, but I assume it's still gonna run hot in a closet.

Right now its bouncing between 125 and 153 degrees (F) and that's with the case open and a household fan blowing into it. I'm assuming anything over 100 degrees is bad...??

would a water cooling system do the trick?
 

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Assuming that you are keeping the dust cleaned out of the computer regularly, running the computer in a confined closed space with no airflow is not a real good idea. As a check, see if you can run the computer outside the closet and monitor the temps. In a situation like this you will want to check the dust at least weekly. Keep a supply of compressed air cans handy, it is inadvisable to use a vacuum inside your computer case as these are Static Generators and a single mishap can destroy the computer. Water cooling may help but even with that, in a confined space such as a closet, it is not going to be as efficient at heat removal as if the system were in a free airflow space.
 

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The cooler the components inside a computer are kept the better. However, FYI, the normal core temps in my AMD Turion 64x2 in my Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop routinely run around 110°F. The hard drive is about the same. Desktop towers obviously run cooler due to the airflow capability, but my point is, processor temps a little over 100°F are not catastrophic.

Raybro
 

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Please post the CPU / system temps in C. As displayed by PCWizard.

100f... that is nothing. Its a computer, not a human. But running 50+c isn't so good.

P4s run on the HOT side of things. Finding a NEW cooler for your type of CPU is going to be very difficult.

See how the case runs outside a closet... which can be a BAD place for a computer. If done right, its fine.

But even offices and bedrooms get warmed by 1-2 computers.
 

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If you want cooler running - or if the computer is SO loud, you're trying to silence it...

Then its time to look at a new computer.

With todays prices, you can buy a low-power AMD CPU for about $60, dual core or a $40 single core which will run circles around the P4. The included cooling fans (A $10 value) are virtually silent.

You can get a basic mATX board for about $50~65. Then 2GB of DDR for $15~25. You'll need a NEW PSU since your old one is not compatible (unless you happen to have a new one)... $35~45 for a Thermaltake or Silverstone. Then bring over your RAID controller (so your drives will work in RAID mode without re-doing them).

THe OS will have to be reinstalled.
 

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Please post the CPU / system temps in C. As displayed by PCWizard.
Although PC Wizard is default set to display temperatures in °C, it has an option to display the temps in °F (see attachment).

If necessary, conversion is a piece of cake here. I simply respond in the same units of measurement the original poster uses. IMO, to do otherwise just opens the door to difficulties in communication.

Raybro
 

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Sure conversion isn't difficult, but it requires going to a site to convert it.

The BIOS and PC monitor software always shows it in C (default) or both.
While many of us are in the USA and not using the metric system (Ugh) - we buy 1gal water, milk and gas... and yet buy a 2 liter bottle of pop.

When discussing CPU/Computer temps Celsius is the standard that most people understand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
well the server is in the closet because I want it out of sight (I'm just renting a room currently so I need more room space too).

so it sounds like my cpu is a power huge and heats up a lot, switching out the cpu or mobo or everything would help with both issues but would essentially still overheat in a closet. so either I deal with the clutter of 2 desktops running in my room and lose sexy points with the ladies or ditch this server, 64 bit my desktop, max out ram to 8 GB, virtualize the server, move the raid over and pray my desktop isn't too loud with 5 hard drives... will I have to worry about that over heating too?... it's a quad core Q6600 system
 

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Sounds like your options are pretty limited. Small space, lots of heat generated and insufficient air flow. A liquid cooling system would probably hep, but what you will really have is a heater going in that small space anytime the "closet" system is running. If it's functioning as a server, I'd guess that would be 24/7.

About the only think I can think of is to go with the liquid cooling system and rig up a way to exhaust the heat outside the room. Like a window. I've never used a liquid cooling system, but logically they would have some sort of radiative mechanism to remove the heat. Like a radiator in a car.

Raybro

EDIT: Just for the nuts of it, I Googled liquid cooling and found some overview info on HowStuffWorks. Check it out http://computer.howstuffworks.com/liquid-cooled-pc.htm
 

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The problem is that older Socket 423 Cooling systems are long gone.

- - - -

If the HDs are very quiet... buy a very quiet case, large cooling fans and then you can hide the case. Thing is, a file server doesn't really need much power, CPU wise... but you don't want to be too slow. The AMD single core is $40, 45w... runs about 25c on a stock cooler. With a good 450~500w PSU on a basic mobo - that'll help keep things cool. Some boards include up to 6 (but at least 4) SATA connectors.

An Antec Mini P180 looks nice, holds a mATX board and up to 6 drives (use adaptors to put HDs into the 5.25" Drive bays).

A danger of water cooling is that they ALL pretty much leak... sooner or later. The radiator itself still generates heat.
 

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There are sure a lot of assumptions being made regarding the cause of the problem without any information to substantiate anything. The only thing that has been substantiated is the machine is an enclosed space with limited airflow.

You believe the processor is overheating, but you haven't posted the EXACT processor or the processor temperature.

In post #4 what component is bouncing between 125-153F (51.6C-67.2C)? Is this the processor temperature?

There are other items you need to consider. What is the ambient temperature in the closet? With what you have posted you don't know if you have a drive overheating, memory overheating, capacitors overheating, chipset overheating or a power supply that is getting too warm causing the output voltage to decrease. Is the Southbridge uncovered, or does it have a heatsink attached?

If the processor is Prescott cored and you changed it to a Northwood core which would run cooler, if the problem is another component, changing the processor or processor cooler will not correct another component problem. You need to post more information for the system.

Go here;

http://www.gtopala.com/siw-download.html

In the left pane download to your desktop SIW Standalone. This is an executable that doen't have to be installed. You need to find out what some of the components are. Launch and run SIW and when it opens in the left pane click on CPU Info then in the right hand pane see what it says next to CPU Code Name. Post the CPU Code Name.

Next in the left hand pane click on Motherboard. In the right hand pane it should identify the board and the chipset. Post the make and model of the board and the chipset.

Next, in the left hand pane click on Sensors. See what sensors it can read, and the value of whatever sensors it reads. Post whatever temperatures the sensors provide.
 

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Have you thought about installing an exhaust fan for the enclosure in which the system resides?
I have my main system in a cabinet in my desk. I have fitted the cabinet with a 140mm exhaust fan and cut an intake hole in the lower part of the cabinet with a router. Fan is powered by a 12V wall-wort and uses a thermal switch; as the cabinet gets warm, on comes the exhaust fan.

Works quite well and might earn you some engineering points with the ladies :D:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@win2kpro: good point. I just assumed since the P4 3.00 HT enabled socket 478 CPU is running at 67C (with load - 80 GB backup over network & VirtualBox running a VM) with the case open and a household fan blowing into it it must be running much higher and damn near its t-junction of 100C in the closet and must be the CPU.

I'm running Ubuntu not Windows, but I do have a lil' applet logging CPU temps.

all in all, lesson learned here: why the F am I using a 3.0 GHz P4 to basically run a file server?!?! pretty stupid now that I think about it, not very green of me either (I'm still working on my Seattleness). W?BIC factor, maybe. but I'm just going to convert the RAID to NTFS and drop it in my quad core desktop and donate the P4 system to a friend. Just installed a HP MediaSmart Home Server for a client yesterday, maybe if I can find a case that size with drive cages I'll revisit the home file server arena

thanks everyone!
 
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