PC issues - diagnosis and possible upgrade possibilities
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    PC issues - diagnosis and possible upgrade possibilities

    Here is what I have to start off -

    Asus Essentio CM6730-06
    Purchased Sept 2013

    Intel Core i5-2320 3.3GHz
    6MB L3 Cache

    6GB DDR3

    Samsung 128GB SSD as boot/OS drive

    Original 1TB HDD 7200RPM as data drive

    Upgraded 450W power supply (original 300W)

    Integrated graphics

    Running the latest updated Windows 10 version and Chrome as my browser.

    ----------------------------

    I've had a love/hate relationship with this desktop since I've had it.

    Recent issues:

    For the last 3-4 months the CPU fan just screams each time I open a Chrome browser page. Also when working with my photo imagine program (AcdSee Pro 2019) the fan is screaming most of the time. By screaming I don't mean a bearing scream sound - just that it is running in what I would call turbo mode - very fast and loud. It has gotten to the point that I can't stand to use it anymore. Also when using my photo editing program each time I make an adjustment I have to wait around 5 seconds before I can do anything else.

    I usually keep up with keeping the case clean on the outside and inside. One thing that gets me with this desktop is there is no case fan. The power supply of course has its own fan - only other fan is above the heatsink of the CPU. I recently took a very good look at everything inside and found only some minor dust particles in the CPU fan which I was able to get mostly clean with canned air.

    The last couple days I did the following testing - CPU test with Intel's application - SSD test with Samsung's application - memory test via Windows. All test came back as passed.

    So, since I can't find anything really wrong with my very limited knowledge I figure that maybe it is telling me its time to abandon it and move on.

    My choices at this point - I look at new desktops at a few vendors. I admit that I am a Dell fan. This is because since I had my first desktop some 20 years ago I've had Dell and never had an issue. The PC's have always been dead quiet. In fact my wife is still using one of my old ones that has to be at least 12 years old.

    In my travels looking around it seems desktops have been going away while laptops are very much more popular. I guess this makes sense with the younger people all wanting to be mobile. Trying to make a long story short - because of the popularity and demand of laptops - it seems you get more "bang for the buck" these days with a laptop vs. a desktop.

    With that said I just don't want to drop $800 or more on a lower end desktop. I am looking at a bare bones Dell XPS desktop. Trying to stay around $500-$600.

    It seems for the $500-$600 you get a lot more for your money with a laptop and that even includes the display.

    -------------

    Or, my upgrade idea.

    I certainly don't trust this PC much now but since the main components all passed their respective tests I thought I would do a couple upgrades. I would put in 16GB of RAM (max according to the documentation) and a cheap graphics card to take the monitor load off the CPU. I can do this for around $150.

    -----------

    If I do in fact get a laptop I would insist on an SSD boot/OS drive. I would use it primarily at my desk which kind of seems like a waste to me - to use a mobile laptop on a desk. I would get an HDMI to Display Port cable so I can use my nice UltraSharp 1900x1200 60Hz monitor.

    It was mentioned in another thread about a dock since I would be using it as a desktop machine. I know docks were easily found years ago but I haven't seen any while looking at laptops the past week or so. I've been looking at the Dell Inspiron line so maybe they aren't made for those laptops?

    So what do you all thing? Try the upgrade and see how it goes? Or just abandon this machine and get a laptop?
    ~Stan~
    It is what it is
    Knowledge is power, ignorance is bliss
    2520 w/200CX w/62D2

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    Ct, I didn’t read this post yet, but here is a dock.



    Everything plug into it, and a laptop just snaps in and out if you want to be portable.

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    PikeCoGreenTractorMan's Avatar
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    I began this year with an HP Envy laptop with SSHD that I got cheap(er) at Sam's Club due to it being a display model with no more on order. Late this spring it developed a very noisy fan which was driving my Mrs. crazy (not a long trip sometimes;) I bought another HP laptop with SSHD that I'm typing this response on. The last half dozen or so laptops that we've owned and that have died pre-mature deaths have almost all been mechanical hard drive related. The solid state drives boot-up way faster, it seems, and have become much cheaper in recent months.

    Good luck with your choices,

    Brian


    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Here is what I have to start off -

    Asus Essentio CM6730-06
    Purchased Sept 2013

    Intel Core i5-2320 3.3GHz
    6MB L3 Cache

    6GB DDR3

    Samsung 128GB SSD as boot/OS drive

    Original 1TB HDD 7200RPM as data drive

    Upgraded 450W power supply (original 300W)

    Integrated graphics

    Running the latest updated Windows 10 version and Chrome as my browser.

    ----------------------------

    I've had a love/hate relationship with this desktop since I've had it.

    Recent issues:

    For the last 3-4 months the CPU fan just screams each time I open a Chrome browser page. Also when working with my photo imagine program (AcdSee Pro 2019) the fan is screaming most of the time. By screaming I don't mean a bearing scream sound - just that it is running in what I would call turbo mode - very fast and loud. It has gotten to the point that I can't stand to use it anymore. Also when using my photo editing program each time I make an adjustment I have to wait around 5 seconds before I can do anything else.

    I usually keep up with keeping the case clean on the outside and inside. One thing that gets me with this desktop is there is no case fan. The power supply of course has its own fan - only other fan is above the heatsink of the CPU. I recently took a very good look at everything inside and found only some minor dust particles in the CPU fan which I was able to get mostly clean with canned air.

    The last couple days I did the following testing - CPU test with Intel's application - SSD test with Samsung's application - memory test via Windows. All test came back as passed.

    So, since I can't find anything really wrong with my very limited knowledge I figure that maybe it is telling me its time to abandon it and move on.

    My choices at this point - I look at new desktops at a few vendors. I admit that I am a Dell fan. This is because since I had my first desktop some 20 years ago I've had Dell and never had an issue. The PC's have always been dead quiet. In fact my wife is still using one of my old ones that has to be at least 12 years old.

    In my travels looking around it seems desktops have been going away while laptops are very much more popular. I guess this makes sense with the younger people all wanting to be mobile. Trying to make a long story short - because of the popularity and demand of laptops - it seems you get more "bang for the buck" these days with a laptop vs. a desktop.

    With that said I just don't want to drop $800 or more on a lower end desktop. I am looking at a bare bones Dell XPS desktop. Trying to stay around $500-$600.

    It seems for the $500-$600 you get a lot more for your money with a laptop and that even includes the display.

    -------------

    Or, my upgrade idea.

    I certainly don't trust this PC much now but since the main components all passed their respective tests I thought I would do a couple upgrades. I would put in 16GB of RAM (max according to the documentation) and a cheap graphics card to take the monitor load off the CPU. I can do this for around $150.

    -----------

    If I do in fact get a laptop I would insist on an SSD boot/OS drive. I would use it primarily at my desk which kind of seems like a waste to me - to use a mobile laptop on a desk. I would get an HDMI to Display Port cable so I can use my nice UltraSharp 1900x1200 60Hz monitor.

    It was mentioned in another thread about a dock since I would be using it as a desktop machine. I know docks were easily found years ago but I haven't seen any while looking at laptops the past week or so. I've been looking at the Dell Inspiron line so maybe they aren't made for those laptops?

    So what do you all thing? Try the upgrade and see how it goes? Or just abandon this machine and get a laptop?
    Brian




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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydplrs View Post
    Ct, I didn’t read this post yet, but here is a dock.



    Everything plug into it, and a laptop just snaps in and out if you want to be portable.
    OK - that says for "E series" laptops - will look to see what they are.

    Thanks!
    ~Stan~
    It is what it is
    Knowledge is power, ignorance is bliss
    2520 w/200CX w/62D2

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    PC issues - diagnosis and possible upgrade possibilities

    I really prefer the reliability of laptops or all in ones these days. Not having to deal with components that I have added/replaced tends to make them just work longer. I used to build my computers, but in most cases it just doesn't seem to be worth the effort these days. Also unless you really need high end GPUs for gaming or work, you don't really need the power that you can get in a desktop.

    That said, for those prices you really aren't that bad off replacing your computer every 4 years or so. I may be a bit biased though cause I am a programmer, and my current machines costed $2,700 (laptop) and $6,000 (workstation).

    You should confirm if your CPU load is actually high when your fan is screaming or not. Just to rule out malware or some software gone awry. The other issue may be that the thermal paste between your CPU and it's heat sync is likely breaking down over that time. You can get new paste pretty cheap, and replacing it with fresh high quality paste can do wonders in reducing CPU temps. This is something I typically found needs to be done every ~5 years, even with factory assembled machines.

    Edit:

    Just noticed that you said the case doesn't have any type of fan. That's kinda crazy, you can typically add some case fans to most cases. You want the largest fan your case can accept for both better flow and less noise. Without one, there is no really good way for the heat from your CPU heat sync to leave the machine. It's possible for a case to be fanless if its really really well designed, and matched to the hardware, but that is quite rare.

    2017 2038r, 220r loader, 72" MMM, 66" EA Box blade, Woodmax FM-62 flail mower, Artillian forks, JD KBL 6' 1950s discs, subsoiler
    Last edited by Jamone; 07-12-2019 at 05:24 PM.
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    PC issues - diagnosis and possible upgrade possibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    OK - that says for "E series" laptops - will look to see what they are.

    Thanks!
    Yes that is a generic photo. They are somewhat model specific, but I think I paid $45 for the one for my home laptop. It fits most dell’s for a decade.

    In a conference room we have a 60” tv with hmdi to display laptops with sound and use a usb mouse and keyboard so it can switch person to person during meetings. The transition is almost seamless even having a visitor jump in and display their part with others viewing remotely.
    Last edited by rydplrs; 07-12-2019 at 05:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    OK - that says for "E series" laptops - will look to see what they are.

    Thanks!
    That doc is probably close to 6 years old. It uses a proprietary connector on the bottom of the laptop that was series specific. Example, my D-series would not work on a E-series dock. I don't think they make the E-series Latitudes anymore. It looks like they are moving away from the docs that you slide/set the laptop on in favor of docs that connect via a USB cable. I've had one of the E-series docs for years and I really liked the way they turn a laptop into a desktop but it looks like that ship has sailed.
    Last edited by jgayman; 07-12-2019 at 05:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamone View Post
    You should confirm if your CPU load is actually high when your fan is screaming or not. Just to rule out malware or some software gone awry. The other issue may be that the thermal paste between your CPU and it's heat sync is likely breaking down over that time. You can get new paste pretty cheap, and replacing it with fresh high quality paste can do wonders in reducing CPU temps. This is something I typically found needs to be done every ~5 years, even with factory assembled machines.
    I was just about to post something similar. Sounds to me like the CPU fan is just trying to cool the CPU. You already said you cleaned the dust off the fan so the next likely candidate for the problem is the heat sink isn't cooling the CPU efficiently. If it's something you're comfortable doing, just remove the CPU fan/heat sink assembly, clean the mating surfaces (rubbing alcohol works well), apply a little heatsink compound to the CPU then reattach.

    Check this video-
    https://youtu.be/EvoPjHhxFzE

    Don't worry too much about the lack of a case fan as long as the power supply fan is working properly.
    Last edited by DanW; 07-12-2019 at 06:00 PM.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamone View Post
    I really prefer the reliability of laptops or all in ones these days. Not having to deal with components that I have added/replaced tends to make them just work longer. I used to build my computers, but in most cases it just doesn't seem to be worth the effort these days. Also unless you really need high end GPUs for gaming or work, you don't really need the power that you can get in a desktop.

    That said, for those prices you really aren't that bad off replacing your computer every 4 years or so. I may be a bit biased though cause I am a programmer, and my current machines costed $2,700 (laptop) and $6,000 (workstation).

    You should confirm if your CPU load is actually high when your fan is screaming or not. Just to rule out malware or some software gone awry. The other issue may be that the thermal paste between your CPU and it's heat sync is likely breaking down over that time. You can get new paste pretty cheap, and replacing it with fresh high quality paste can do wonders in reducing CPU temps. This is something I typically found needs to be done every ~5 years, even with factory assembled machines.

    Edit:

    Just noticed that you said the case doesn't have any type of fan. That's kinda crazy, you can typically add some case fans to most cases. You want the largest fan your case can accept for both better flow and less noise. Without one, there is no really good way for the heat from your CPU heat sync to leave the machine. It's possible for a case to be fanless if its really really well designed, and matched to the hardware, but that is quite rare.

    2017 2038r, 220r loader, 72" MMM, 66" EA Box blade, Woodmax FM-62 flail mower, Artillian forks, JD KBL 6' 1950s discs, subsoiler
    Yeah - the fact of no case fan has always bothered me. All the low end Dell towers I have bought always had a case fan. When I cleaned it I knew it was working as the intake vents had most of the dust.

    You could very well have found my problem with the heat sink. I know this will probably make most people cringe but my computer room is one of the few in my house that is not air conditioned. This may have added to the heat sink paste having an early demise.

    This is why when looking at laptops this afternoon (looking at Dell) I am opting toward a G5 gaming machine mostly because of the active cooling.

    Right now I am leaning toward this machine and would appreciate any input....

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...KIKX0DER&psc=1
    ~Stan~
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    2520 w/200CX w/62D2

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    I haven't had a ton of laptops over the years, but mine always seem to run hotter natively than the desktops just because everything's so compact to start. And the higher level of video support that you need for your photo stuff is definitely a heat producer. My laptops don't last nearly as long as my desktops. With your ambient temps, I don't think you've pushed any limits by running without A/C; we keep our heat & A/C pretty much 78-80F year round...

    If you're not going to be moving a laptop around, I don't see much use for a dock. A USB hub might be useful though. Have you looked at touch screen units? I was surprised how much they've come down in price when I bought my little travel laptop last month.

    If it were mine, I'd just add a case fan to your existing box & see if that takes care of the problem since you're not seeing anything else wrong except the overactive cpu fan. Like was said earlier, I'd also replace the thermal paste with Arctic Silver, but suspect with your RA that'll be difficult.

    Are you using a HD or SSD? A (HD) spinner can add a lot of heat...

    Do you have a util that can report MB temps? Most of the Asus boards that I've worked on have that in the BIOS and usually as a windows app. Might help those with more current tech knowledge than mine if you decide to try a few things before letting the moths fly for a replacement.
    Last edited by dianedebuda; 07-12-2019 at 06:58 PM.

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