Hot, Hot, Hot. A client’s HP Probook 6555b loaded with a 2.8GHz AMD Phenom II X2 N620 Dual-Core Mobile processor was shutting down while playing World of Warcraft. Actually, it didn’t really matter which game was being played. If the laptop was doing anything intense the machine would heat up and after time instantly power off. The experience was exactly like holding down the power button for 5 seconds; instant off. Ouch! What a pain it caused if right in the middle of something important and not being able to save first.

We used Core Temp to figure out what was happening. This is a free application which allows us to monitor the heat changes of a processor. We found the processor was spiking to almost 99° Celsius. OK, all you math wizards out there… what does this convert to Fahrenheit? That’s right 210°! Now that is HOT! Typically a laptop processor should remain somewhere between 50-65° C which is 122-149° F doing absolutely nothing. The temperatures may spike to 75° C maximum while working out.

Laptops as well as desktops have safety features built in which prevent the melting of your CPU. Many times the setting can be found in the BIOS. In this scenario the BIOS prevented the laptop CPU from failing due to intense heat by powering off the computer. We were able to determine the issue after pulling apart the system. Turns out the CPU/GPU Fan was not spinning fast enough. Once we replaced the fan we started seeing normal temperatures like those in the picture to the right. Usually failing fans give off hints like changes in noise. The pitches in the fan get high and low or even make grinding sounds bu this time everything sounded normal.

Keeping your PC free from dust and air cooled will help prolong the life of your processor. Fortunately the fan replacement cost was minimal in comparrison to a new processor or motherboard.

What’s the temperature of your PC?

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