Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wanted: Better Cooling

Written 17 August, 2010

Wanted: Better Cooling

The fan on my heat sink is almighty loud, especially when I'm running Second Life. With the heat sink clean and shiny and the fan cleared of dust, the processor runs between 58 and 61 degrees C. That's cool enough for my computer to run 'way faster than before I cleaned it, and hotter than I want it to be; in fact, the processor, being officially in the too-hot category, may still be choking to some extent.

A couple of yeas ago I bought a new headsink, but I couldn't quite figure out how to make it fit-- and in fact, although I gave the salesman at Fry's the model number of my VAIO, I'm not at all sure it DOES fit. The original heatsink has screws that go into holes in the mother board, while the replacement has some sort of plastic do-hickies that must fit into some sort of protuberance on the processor or its surround. My computer doesn't seem to have them.
Photo: My replacement heat sink has feet like this. I'm not quite sure they line up with the holes in my mother board, and in any case, the plastic tabs on the bottom seem to be bigger than the mount holes in my mother board. Moreover, I can't see that turning the black plastic swivels at top left and right do anydamnthing.

I'm vaguely aware that processors come in a variety of configurations or sockets. I'm not sure which socket my VAOI is sporting and I'm not keen on another confrontation with Kerry at Sony Live Chat and the manual isn't saying, so I'm unsure how to proceed, short of taking it in for repair, which I can't afford and don't want to do. I want to buy better cooling for the processor, but don't know how to proceed.

Does anyone have an idea how I can find out my socket or, better yet, locate a fan that will fit? The VAIO's model is PVC-RB52.


P.S. Last time I needed a video card New Egg had nVidia GeForce 9400 GTs with 1 MB RAM for an absurdly low price, so I bought two. I'm taking the spare with me today to New York so Sweetie and I can install a video card cooler I picked up-- if it will fit.


Melissa Yeuxdoux said...

Yes. Under Windows, you can go to Control Panel -> ... drat, it's been too long since I did it. System, I think, and then look for the tab that shows the CPU info. A given CPU will only fit in sockets of a certain size. (I'd say a certain socket, were it not for the case of AM2+ and AM3.)

Alternatively, fire up a Linux Live CD, get yourself a shell, and then type "less /proc/cpuinfo" and see what the results are.

Melissa Yeuxdoux said...

Oh... while I'm thinking about it. how's the ventilation on your case? Are all your mass storage devices SATA? The cables don't block as much air as even the rounded ribbon cables and are a lot less hassle. If the VAIO can take a standard power supply, and it doesn't already have a modular power supply, consider getting one, especially one of the high-efficiency ones. The more efficient, the less waste heat, and modular power supplies mean you only have the cables you actually need in the case.

Cheyenne Palisades said...

Oooh, thanks, Melissa. I'll take a close look at the Control Panel. It would be great if it had the socket type.

I long ago cooked the 250w power supply that came with the VAIO and put in an Antec 350 watter. It runs cool. I have a modular 500 or 600 watt power supply, but it won't fit in the VAIO's case. The hard drive is SATA, and I have round cables going to the CD and DVD. The case has lots of room. It stays cool in the case, usually about 31 degrees C, and I can find no hot spots with my hand. Both the processor and video card run too hot, although no longer critical.

The case has room for only one fan, and it's rarely called upon because the ambient temp stays low. The problem seems to be limited to the processor and/or video card. They have plenty of room for air, just seem to be hot by nature.

I'm about to order a fan that runs from a PCI slot, and I'm giving serious though to cutting a hole in the removable side of the case and mounting a 120mm fan. I have a nibbler and some edging material I got from Cyberguys, so it won't look too bad.

Just now the side of the case is on, as the processor runs 3-4 degrees C. warmer when it's on. Additonal fans should allow me to keep it on, which will help with noise-- the processor's fan is way loud.

I have my eye on a nice looking heatsink with pips and a quiet fan and will order it once I can say with authority that it will fit.

I COULD put the VAOI's entire works into my old Alien case, but I think I'll try to improve cooling before I go that route.

Thanks again.