I need some tech help please. My computer has started crashing at what seems like random. It can be playing a game, using MS Office, teh internets, whatever; and it just shuts down. To blue screen of death, no error message, just turns right off.
I've done the "what to do if your computer is fucking up" search and did a disk cleanup, defragmentation, but I don't know enough to go any further as to what the actual problem is.
This. Seriously check your CPU temp. If its overheating, your comp will kill itself to prevent damage.
Also check for clogged fan ports and if they are dusty as shit, clear them out.
Finally, it could be your PSU or a hardware conflict.
Could you post more details about when the problem began? Just randomly? Did you update recently? Install new hardware/software?
Create a live linux usb/cd and boot you computer from it. Run the live linux environment for a while and do some activities and stress tests. See if the computer crashes then. If so, then it's a hardware issue.
CPUs are designed to operate at 100 degrees, and are not damaged by doing so (even though your finger would be if you touched it).
I once had to sort a desktop that'd run with the heatsink fallen off for /months/.
The owner was complaining that it was really loud and really slow.
CPUs cut out at their rated temperature. They do not exceed their rated temperature.
By definition, they are rated to operate at their rated temperature.
ICs are specially-decorated stones. They do. not. care. about a mere 100 degrees.
They certainly don't fail or reboot.
I was actually being incredibly conservative when I said 100 degree increase in a minute. It actually looks like CPUs can get up to 80+ degrees within a matter of seconds and some may keep increasing in temperature. Most modern CPUs will shut themselves down before catastrophic thermal damage can occur, but it is better to avoid this situation in the first place by using proper cooling hardware. It's better to be and insure that your system is able to dissipate all that heat.
Again, a CPU (and all other computer components) will last longer and run faster (thermal throttling) if its cooled properly. Most CPUs will last around 20 years, but increased thermal stress will contribute to a decreased life span.
In conclusion, if you run a CPU without a heat sink, you will likely not experience immediate catastrophic damage, but it is likely that it will shut off in seconds.
>Most modern CPUs will shut themselves down before catastrophic thermal damage can occur,
All modern (as-in post-2003) CPUs will temporarily pause their clock until they no longer exceed their maximum junction temperature.
Stop bandying about weasel-words like "catastrophic thermal damage". They're rated to run below their maximum junction temperature, they're designed to run below their maximum junction temperature, and thermal throttling ensures that they always do run below their maximum junction temperature.
>I was actually being incredibly conservative when I said 100 degree increase
Then you were right by accident. Congratulations. Most CPUs have a TjMax of 100 degrees, or thereabout.
>In conclusion, if you run a CPU without a heat sink, you will likely not experience immediate catastrophic damage, but it is likely that it will shut off in seconds.
You've not even tried this, have you?
They. work. fine.
A Pentium 4 or later without a heatsink will calculate exactly the same way as one with a heatsink, albeit much more slowly because it'll be in thermal clock-stop mode all the time.
It. will. not. crash.
It. will. not. be. damaged.
It. will. not. shut. off.
Anon, it seems like you are missing the main point. It is always better to run a CPU with a heat sink because it is more likely that damage will occur without one. Again, its better to keep temps low to achieve maximum component life.
Especially with AMD CPUs, it is necessary. I was fixing a system the other day which couldn't get past POST without powering off. It turns out the problem was that the thermal paste had dried up and the CPU temps were skyrocketing before POST even completed. I imagine the situation would be even worse without any heat sink at all. Incredibly, the thing that fixed the problem was just removing the old thermal past and putting on some new paste.
One of the key ways that CPUs prevent overheating is by powering off the PC is the temps reach a certain level. (Thermal throttling s the other way and is much more common.) This is often configured in the BIOS. In the situation described above, these thermal limits were being exceeded and the PC was being shut down.