I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask for this, but here we go:

I've had this current system for a little more than a year:

  • Asus P7P55D-E
  • Intel Core i5 760 (no overclock at all!) - stock cooler
  • 2xKingston 2Gb DDR3-1600 (no overclocking, running at 1333MHz)
  • Geforce GTX460 1GB

My system was working perfectly for quite a while. Suddenly, like in a week, my proccessor started overheating.

While in the BIOS configuration, no OS even opened that whole day, I got an idle of nearly 90C in about 30 seconds. Now that is obviously wrong. I could see the temperature display rising 1C every second. My CPU cooler fan is running constantly at about 2000 RPM (says the BIOS config).

Note that I've never even opened my case since I first bought this computer (I got it assembled at the store). It started without any hardware modification.

Well not until yesterday. I've opened my case, took the cooler off and cleaned it a bit (was full of dust/dirt). I've left the thermal grease there because I don't have any replacement right now.

And now to make things worse, my processor (seems like) is making a strange noise (have to really pay attention, it's very low volume) while I'm typing/scrolling with the mouse. The sound it makes is like the one that comes from those old iPods when you are scrolling the circle thing to mess with the volume. In other words, it's like every segment of the scroll wheel/keyboard key makes a very small beep. Together they sound like squeaking or something.

What would you recommend me to do? I am already ordering some thermal grease (Arctic Silver 5) just in case. I'm starting to get worried my processor is failing. Could that be it?

migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 21 '12 at 6:56

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

  • 4
    you NEED to replace the Thermal paste IMMEDIATELY . DO NOT run the computer without replacing the thermal paste – Akash Apr 21 '12 at 6:56

I've opened my case, took the cooler off and cleaned it a bit (was full of dust/dirt). I've left the thermal grease there because I don't have any replacement right now.

There's your problem. Whenever you take the cooler off the CPU, you need to clean off the remnants of the thermal paste, using strong (90%+) isopropyl alcohol, and reapply new paste. Never leave the old paste there, because air bubbles will form within it, reducing heat transfer between the CPU die and the heatsink. That's why your processor is overheating.

I strongly recommend you not run the computer until you've replaced the thermal paste. If you cannot wait until the AS5 arrives, get some no-name paste from any computer store - even the cheapest paste you can find, as long as it's applied properly, is better than reusing old paste, even if it's high-end stuff.

  • He had the problem for about a week and opened the case yesterday, so how can this cause his problem? Using old paste is not the best thing to do, still better than using nothing and it should not lead to temperatures increasing this extreme. – Baarn Apr 21 '12 at 13:38
  • @WalterMaier-Murdnelch OP said the cooler was full of dust and dirt. That was most likely the original cause of the overheating, but now he has replaced it with another one - reused thermal paste. – Indrek Apr 21 '12 at 14:13
  • As for his temperatures, those depend on a number of other things, like ambient temperature, CPU usage, overall airflow within the case, etc. If any or all of those are less than ideal, it could well contribute to the severe overheating he described. – Indrek Apr 21 '12 at 14:14
  • @Indrek what do you mean by "until AS5 arrives"? – pluton Jul 27 '13 at 17:47
  • @pluton The OP mentioned having ordered some Arctic Silver 5 (AS5) thermal grease, and I suggested an alternative to use until that arrives. – Indrek Aug 5 '13 at 1:58

I took my computer to a hardware store (same place I've bought all the parts). There I've tested with the Arctic Silver paste on the stock cooler. It held the temperature a bit longer, but the processor was still overheating a lot (got about 85C after a minute).

Then I've tested with a new cooler (Cooler Master TX3, huge thing) and voilà. Not the best I could've got, but was a bargain and looks like better than the stock. Seems like the old cooler was just... old. Now the temperatures are stable around 35-37C idle/45-50C moderate use.

Thanks for all the answer.

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