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PCstats Q & A - Hot enough to freeze? - PCstats.com PCstats Q & A - Hot enough to freeze?
Mon, April 19 2004 | 10:23PM | PermaLink Feedback?

Our first Q & A of the week comes from SimonLB via the PCstats reader feedback page . If you have a question you need answered right away, try our friendly forums for help.

Q: I've just started experiencing issues with my computer freezing randomly. I've had the PC (built from your guide, thank you) for about 16 months, and this is the first time I've experienced these problems. It will just crash unexpectedly at odd times, regardless of the application or game I am using. I've checked for spyware and adware, viruses, etc. and come out clean. I'm at my wit's end with this. My system is an Athlon XP 2500+ w. 512MB of RAM. About 8 months ago I overclocked it to 2.1GHz still using the stock fan, and it's worked fine from then until now. Any idea what could be causing the problem?

A: My first guess would be heat. Your processor is running faster than the heatsink you are using is intended for, so it may be overheating. While Athlon XP+ chips technically support thermal throttling, most boards built for them do not, so a crash is the likely result of your processor's temperature getting too high.

The fact that your PC has run stably at its overclocked speed for a few months does not mean that heat is not the issue. The ambient air temperature makes a big difference to how much heat can be dispersed by your heatsink, so if it's hotter where your PC is sitting now, that could be the source of your problems.

Consider moving your PC to a cooler location or buying one of the many aftermarket coolers available for the Athlon XP+.

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