Hot processor causing crashes?

My HiQ system runs a Cyrex 166+ processor, 64 Mb ram, Matrox millenium video card, Soundblaster AWE.  State of the art three years ago or so, but I'd still like to get some use from it.  I loaded Starcraft and play it, but it will only run about 15-20 minutes before the program and/or the system crashes or restarts on its own.  The HiQ tech says he sees no obvious problem and that the the system is just old, due to be replaced (though I think he may have a sales-driven agenda).  

Is this a problem with the chip, the cooling fan, or have I hit the limit for this processor?  It's an AT motherboard, so I can't just pop a faster chip in.  Should I forget it, or is there an answer?
vincewardAsked:
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swwelshCommented:
Those cyrix processors run very hot, and tend to burn out after a few years. Try taking the case off, and running the system with a table fan or something blowing on the machine. See if the crashes stop. If so, invest in a high quality fan or cooler system to wring a few more months out of the thing. Also look at one of the software cooler programs, such as Rain, Waterfall or similar, see if they make a difference.
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j2Commented:
I was under the impression that Rain / waterfall didnt work on cyrix, since cyrix doesnt implement the idle calls properly?

The 166+ in some revisions is a real piece of crap honestly.
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ShaneTampaCommented:
You're right to be wary of your HiQ tech.  Sounds like a classic overheating problem to me.  Invest in a high quality supplemental (ball-bearing) fan for your case.  For $10 to $20, you can't go wrong.  Anyway, it'll keep your other components running cooler, too!  And... when you do finally decide to upgrade the thing, you'll have a good fan to boot!
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swestonCommented:
I assume that the CPU fan is working properly.  Try underclocking the CPU. Also try turning off the internal cache (if there is any) in the CMOS setup.  Either one of these will confirm that it is time to replace the CPU, if they significantly affect the problem.  Also try turning off the external cache, which could also be a cause (less likely).
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j2Commented:
also note that the Cyrix '+' CPU's cant be underclocked to much either, since DRAM refresh is a bit flaky on those.
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Jason_SCommented:
If you have the case off of the system (without an external fan as swwelch suggests) the components will not cool as well as with the case on.
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jgagneCommented:
In case the heating problem is not it - you may have an OS issue with resources slowly being lost.  If you reboot, can you play for about the same amount of time or does it go away very quickly?  If it's the former - it's a software problem.  If it's the latter - the overheating issue.
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expert_compCommented:
vinceward,

Try Using CPUIdle.  I did and it did a great job.  I have a Celeron 300A overclocked to 464MHz!  However at first it was running really hot.  I then used CPUIdle and it helped alot.  It lowered my CPU temp by about 10-15 degrees!  I believe this program works with Cyrix processors.  Goto http://www.bugcomputer.com/cpuidle/index.html
and download the shareware and try it out.
Tell me how it goes.
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vincewardAuthor Commented:
Rain makes a difference, & I will put in a fan.  Thank you.
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