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Old September 24, 2010, 07:41 PM
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Default Max safe mobo CPU VRM temps?

Hello all,

I recently installed a Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 to replace another dead motherboard on my main rig.
It looks like the HWC review [ GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3 AM2+/AM3 Motherboard Review ] got the motherboard to OC a Phenom II x3 by about 800 MHz, but I got some alarming results when I tried a very slight overclock of my much more power-hungry Phenom 9950 BE 125W.

I measured my VRM temps right behind the CPU cooler with an infrared thermometer, and got around 113 Celsius while running the OCCT "small data set" test with the following settings:
Phenom 9950 OC to 13.5x200 (2.7 GHz)
VCore VID = 1.275V (yep, that's 0.025V LESS THAN STOCK)
Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3, no modifications to cooling

The datasheet of the VRM says that particular chip can go to 150 Celsius, although my experience with MOSFETs before (robotics) tells me to never go near the max limits the datasheets say.

What do you think of the >110 Celsius on the VRMs? Can I push my CPU at all without letting loose the magic smoke? Can I even keep my current OC or should I go back to stock / undervolt while I upgrade the VRMs' cooling?

Thanks
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Last edited by frontier204; September 24, 2010 at 07:43 PM. Reason: Measured again after 25 minutes... 109C became 113C
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Old September 24, 2010, 09:09 PM
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I wouldn't recommend pushing them any harder.
I wouldn't expect that it is your overclock that's making them run that hot either, many value motherboards make the assumption of a down draft cooler to provide some air over the VRMs to keep them from running crazy hot.
Do you have any air flow over the MOSFETs? some tower coolers can be particularly bad at getting air flow over them, especially with no heat sinks.

Any old fan you have sitting around would likely do

Last edited by Rye 1080; September 24, 2010 at 09:20 PM. Reason: clarity, english fail
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Old September 24, 2010, 09:30 PM
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even though those phenoms heat up like a mother, you should be ok with good airflow directed at them.

going by this picture your board is pretty well made. power filtering and such.

now, if your measurements are accurate, it is hot. but not the worst. dont touch, but get your finger close, do you feel it scorching hot, aka 110 or so celsius?
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Old September 24, 2010, 09:36 PM
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if you put a fan directly on them does the temps go down?
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Old September 25, 2010, 01:22 AM
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Technically, 100 degrees is generally fine for mosfets, although it makes enthusiasts cringe. Personally, I'd look into grabbing something like some video card ramsinks and sticking them on the mosfets. A downdraft-style heatsink will also make a big difference. Robust power circuits just aren't a big priority for budget boards, especially once overclocking enters the picture.
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Old September 25, 2010, 05:02 AM
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I positioned a 60mm case fan (actually from a small form factor HP that I junked). At the moment it's held in by double-sided mounting tape to the I/O shield of the motherboard, but I assume it is helping, given the amount of hot air it's pushing out of that area. I'm disrupting the flow between the tower and exhaust fan, but meh. I can't measure the area again because the fan itself would block the surface I want to take temps of.

Before mounting the fan, I tried feeling the area around the MOSFETS they are not getting much airflow because of my tower HSF and the exhaust fan right beside it. There was a hot spot pretty much devoid of airflow between the CPU HSF and the I/O panel, which happens to be where the FETs are...

Thanks for the help. This setup is only a stop-gap measure to keep my main rig going until mid next year, so I won't pay full price for a cooling solution unless it can carry over to a Bulldozer / Sandy Bridge build
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Last edited by frontier204; September 25, 2010 at 07:49 AM. Reason: Hmm a 60mm fan fit...
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Old September 25, 2010, 01:19 PM
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right on. unless they change their minds(some versions for am3) its not gonna happen. pity.
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