Overheating (alarms at 78C) while running Age of Empires demo on 3.2G P4/915G mobo using onboard graphics and 500MB PC3200. Power supply has the usual fan, case has two. One pusher, one puller. What's the weakest link as far as CPU heat is concerned? Low RAM, ventilation or using onboard graphics? I have room to add one more chipset of RAM so I'm considering breaking down and getting a 1GB stick. But I could also add more air since there is already a spot to stick one. I plan on hitting the insides with compressed air to get rid of six months of dust but I don't think it looks too bad in there. What about a video card? I've been holding out for the PCIE prices to come down since the board supports it, but is it really worth it right now? They don't seem to be performing much better than the AGP cards, are they?
PCI is worth it for the SLI stuff, some of the PCIe cards are a bit faster than their agp counterparts because the PCI versions came out later and they sometimes upped the speed on them. I paid the same amount for the PCIe version as I would've for the AGP variant. Otherwise dont worry about it. Just get a new cpu fan and you'll be fine.
I'm using the fan that came with the processor, what would you recommend? You don't think upping the RAM would do anything? I was thinking that it would be able to do more work per cycle, so less cycles to do the same amount of work. Would that not make a diff?
It depends on what you're doing, another 512 stick would suffice. As for the heating issue, you can usually just clean out the case and clean the stock fan and you should be ok. If the fan is loud, then it needs to be replaced. CPU fan's suck, they get unbalanced and they are just loud. I'd get a replcament thats under $15 and you should be fine.
Pulling the heatsink off, cleaning the processor, and adding some Artic Silver probably would help alot if you don't want to replace the heatsink. Also, when you blow the case out be sure to blow air directly through the fins of the heatsink on the processor. I have had as much as a 7c increase in temp because the fins were clogged with dirt.
I can't believe how much dust was hiding between the fins of the heat sink. Dropped 20C after a good dusting with compressed air
I had a similar problem with my AMD 3400 on an asus mobo. It started bitching thru the audio about "overtemp" when rebooted. Everything looked good and the inside really didn't look dusty at all. I went ahead and gave the cpu area a good blast with the air duster and a huge cloud of dirt/dust came out. The problem went away.