Hopefully this is the right place to ask this.

Short story: CPU Overheating (steady at 80C idle, up to 90C)

Long story: I have a custom built desktop, built by myself over time. In the past few days, I noticed Overwatch (game) was running abnormally which I've had no issues before. Yesterday, I decided to do some maintenance. I dusted all the fans (little dust as I have pretty good airflow [Full+ tower]. I also cleaned and reapplied thermal compound to both my GPU and CPU. Last night, it ran 'fine' but was still 80 deg C with some studdering. Framerate was not dropping according to in-game debugging and network issues are definitely not the problem. Today, it hasn't gotten any better. Idle, it will go into thermal shutdown.

Before you answer, here's my background. I'm not an idiot and computer hardware isn't foreign to me. I am a computer science major and have been working with them (professionally and as a hobby) for years. I've build computers before and helped others. Respectfully, PLEASE don't ask stupid questions like "did you put the paste on the side of the CPU WITHOUT the pins"? Also, please don't be a smart ass and say "Oh Windows 8.1. There's your problem"

Here's what I've done (relatively in order): -Dusted (not much dust to begin with) -Re-compounded GPU thermal paste (Arctic Silver 5) -Re-compounded CPU thermal paste (same) -Immediately took temp after 10 hours in a cold power state (80C within 2 minutes) -Checked all CPU cooler connections for leaks, kinks, etc. -Checked all power plugs to ensure all devices, fans, pumps, etc. are working -Tried a fresh install on a different hard drive (to see if some software setting was the issue, no difference, 80C idle immediately) -Lowered thermostat in house (current ambient temp is 80 Fahrenheit, but I've had much worse and doesn't help) -Put a blower fan (like the one contractors use) on the open case (no difference)

Notes: -I've tested the temp using OpenHardwareMonitor as well as my BIOS utility, both read the same -Thermal shutdown happens without warning and has no prompt when rebooting

Specs (these are off the top of my head so there might be small discrepancies): -Case: Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 (full tower) -Motherboard: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 -CPU: AMD FX 8350 (4.0GHz) -CPU Cooler: Corsair H110i Closed Loop Water Cooling Kit -RAM: 32GB (4x8GB) Corsair Vengence DDR3 -Power: EVGA 1000W 80+ Platinum -GPU: EVGA Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 SC (2GB) -Main Storage: 1x Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD -Other Storage: 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 4TB HDD -Other Storage: 3x Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 3TB HDD -Operating System: Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Please help. I have no idea what else it could be besides failing hardware but have never had this issue due to old or defective hardware. I can live with high temps but now it's shutting off.

Thank you very much -Greg


Thermal shutdown when idling can only mean that the CPU is not getting cooled at all. There is no other hardware component that can be causing this - it is either the CPU or the cooler.

So, did you verify that the Water Cooling Kit is operating properly? Simply checking that it gets power is unfortunately not enough. For example, the pump might be clogged, stalled, or even broken and still be drawing power and even buzzing gently.

The H110i should have an USB diagnostic connection that can be used. Or you can gently squeeze one of the water tubes - the tube should give a distinctive thrumming when the fluid passes through. And of course the air from the heat exchanger should be slightly warm. Also, if you hold the cooler in your hand while it's working, you should feel it cold and remain cold. If it warms after a few minutes, the cooling is obviously not happening.

  • I think you're right. I installed an old stock cooler and it seems to be holding around 30-40C up to 50C. I will do a normal load and test. I'll check the H110i which seems to be the culprit. It was only 2 years old so I'm a bit surprised it failed now. Thanks. – Greg Jul 10 '17 at 23:52

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