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I run an i7-2700K on a DZ68BC, which I've assembled about a year ago. I've used the stock Intel fan without additional thermal compound and it worked flawlessly ever since.

I've had the Intel Desktop Utilities installed ever since I set up the machine. Lately, I've been seeing a lot of these:
enter image description here

I grabbed a can of pressurized air and cleaned out the inside of the case. Didn't do anything in regards to temperature.
So I figured it couldn't hurt to replace the thermal compound between the heat sink and the CPU, so that's what I did. And here's how it looked:

enter image description here enter image description here

So, I cleaned it all up with alcohol and applied new thermal paste:

enter image description here
enter image description here

So, after this whole ordeal, pretty much nothing has changed:

enter image description here

Before I replaced the thermal compound, I would get temperature reading of >90°C in the BIOS, after replacing it, I got a reading of 78°C.

In the OS, the temperatures are much lower, yet, still concerning. Under moderate load it will jump to the 85-90°C area rather quickly.

Why is the CPU suddenly getting this hot and how should I remedy this situation?

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closed as too localized by Indrek, Nifle, Siim K, Dave M, TFM Feb 18 '13 at 23:50

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Can you try a different CPU cooler, either from Intel or other vendors, and check the temps? –  sabrefresco Jan 30 '13 at 15:28
    
@sabrefresco: I don't have any replacement parts I could try at the moment. But I'll look into it –  Oliver Salzburg Jan 30 '13 at 15:29
    
Can you check your fan speed, using Speedfan or any other program or even from the BIOS? At temps close to the T-case, you should have around 2500-3000rpm. With you current temp (78C), I would expect it to run at more 2100rpm. –  sabrefresco Jan 30 '13 at 15:35
    
@sabrefresco: When running Prime95, I get these readings from Desktop Utilities: i.imgur.com/VhMqjol.png I've never seen it go beyond 2400rpm. Maybe the stock fan can't even go any higher. I also ordered an EKL Alpenföhn Himalaya which should be delivered in the morning. I'll report back :) –  Oliver Salzburg Jan 30 '13 at 16:22
    
I wonder if your fan is running at the correct speed while under a 50% load. Of course going from a value higher then 90°C to 78°C is a enough of difference to make what you did worth awhile. Do you notice any noise with the stock fan that sounds different? The temperatures you are getting at 30-60% load should really concern you. Those temperatures at 100% load could in theory be accepted depending on the length of time you were under that load of course. As for the RPM of a INTEL stock fan it can go up over 4000 RPM communities.intel.com/thread/32111 –  Ramhound Jan 30 '13 at 16:28
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So, today I've replaced the stock Intel heat sink/fan with an EKL Alpenföhn Himalaya.

enter image description here

Now, shockingly, the temperatures are much lower:
enter image description here

Still a little high though. I no longer get any annoying temperature warnings, so I'm happy for now. After replacing the thermal compound as well as the heat sink and fan, I really don't see what's left to do. Especially given that I didn't see any cause for the sudden increase in heat.

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