I've got i7 920 for more than a year now,

Temp without any load (1-5%):

64/65/62/66 C

Temperature when system load is high easily goes up to 95C and over (then system shuts itself down)

I cleaned up the cooler (default Intel i7 cooler]1:

All fans are in the maximum speed, room temperature is no unusually high.

While cleaning the fan I noticed that thermal paste looked horrible, not even only a little stuck around, I wonder I messed it up while initial installation (can't remember whether I applied it or it came up with ready to use apply band-ish stuff).

  1. Shall I clean up the thermal paste and reapply again? Can it be related with this?

  2. Any other ideas? How can I decrease the temperature without buying a new aftermarket heat-sink or something like that.

I'm not quite sure how long it was like this, I think it gradually get hotter and hotter

My motherboard: EX58 UD4 with F5 BIOS update


Got mine overclocked @ 4.2GHz. Idles around 50C and max is 60C with a Corsair H70 cooling it. Highly recommended.

The things I've found that can help temps:

  1. Thermal paste - standard stuff is pretty crap usually. Get some decent Arctic or something similar if you can.
  2. Incorrect application of paste - applying too much or too little paste / not spreading well
  3. Fan setup inside case - ensure you have the flow of air correct (and check fan directions!)
  4. Not enough ventilation space around the case causing hot air buildup (usually at the back)
  5. Dust build-up clogging vents and fans
  6. Cables interrupting airflow in case - try to pin them back / get proper ribbed cables etc
  • Do you know any good guide/article about fan directions and air flow? – Dr. Evil Apr 2 '11 at 13:50
  • The guys over here are usually pretty helpful: forums.overclockers.co.uk/index.php – James Apr 2 '11 at 13:55
  • 1
    with huge new cooler and re-applying paste properly decreased it from ~90 to 45! – Dr. Evil May 26 '11 at 4:47
  • Good to hear ;-) – James May 26 '11 at 6:34

On the assumption that it's just the CPU that's suffering like this (and not the rest of the system too), then clean up the thermal paste and get some newer stuff like Thermalright's Chill Factor.

The fan may be the default fan but it's still capable enough in itself to keep your system stable. I don't think any fan could help your overheating system if the paste is in as poor a state as it sounds.

FWIW, the temps on my own i7 920 at idle currently average about 42C across the 4 cores (although I'm not using the standard fan).

  • Lots of people reports 40-50C~ on idle even with default fans so I assume your assumptions sounds correct. I'll try thermal paste. – Dr. Evil Apr 2 '11 at 12:28
  • Thermal paste, even the good stuff, is also cheaper than most fans :) – MartW Apr 2 '11 at 12:29
  • To be honest cleaning and getting a thermal paste costs about £12 a new cooler is about £35 but I assume I will need both anyway so I might start with thermal paste :) – Dr. Evil Apr 2 '11 at 12:30

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