I have had my build for about two years now and in the past six months I have noticed my CPU temperature gets a bit too hot in relation to what I am actually doing.

The heat sink is extreamly hot to the touch too. My old Pentium 4 used to overheat until I disabled hyper-threading, I hope this isn't the case now.

Any help is greatly appreciated. To protect my system I am running in low power mode until I find a fix. Cheers.

Here are the stats and information:

  • The procesor is an Intel i7 930 2.8Ghz Bloomfield LGA1366.
  • The motherboard is an ASUS Sabretooth x58.
  • My current heatsink is an Arctic Freezer 7 PRO Rev. 2
  • My case is a Coolermaster HAF X with all available fans installed and running at 100%
    • 1x 140mm Front Intake
    • 1x 200mm Side Intake
    • 1x 120mm Inside Fan (Blows air onto GPU from the front)
    • 2x 140mm Top Exhausts
    • 1x 120mm Back Exhaust
    • 1x 96mm CPU Heatsink Fan (Intake from bottom, exhausting at the top)

So here are the temperatures: Room Temperature is about 25C.

At stock speed (2.8Ghz)

03% = 56C
20% = 84C
100% = 84C (After running Prime95 for 10 seconds - processor clocks itself down to prevent damage to about 2.1Ghz)

At low power mode (1.5Ghz)

3% = 42C
20% = 48C
100% = 58C (After running prime95 for 30 minuites)
  • 3
    heh, sounds like your thermal paste has just dried out. Get rubbing alcohol/cologne ready with some lint free cloth. Buy some thermal paste of your choice and apply a fresh blob under your cooler. After you do that(and you should do it anyway) post back here with whether the old application was dry or not. – pneumatics Oct 16 '12 at 23:06
  • It sounds like your heatsink was improperly mounted either with too much heatsink compound, too little heatsink compound, an inappropriate heatsink compound, insufficient mating pressure, or heatsink and CPU not mating perfectly flat/centered. – David Schwartz Oct 16 '12 at 23:08
  • That are a lot of fans (an I thought my with 920 & 5 fans was overkill). Anyway, a point to check is the airflow inside the case. A lot of air going though the case does not help if it does not flow past the right places. Nor does it help if the hot air from an other component gets in the flow before it reaches the heatsink. As for the hs: Measure how hot it gets. If it is almost as hot as the CPU then the heat is correctly flowing from the CPU to the heatsink, but it is not getting dissipated from there. If the sink is a lot cooler, remove it, clean and reattach with fresh thermal paste. – Hennes Oct 16 '12 at 23:10
  • Thank you both I will take a look and see what is going on under the heat sink. – joshkrz Oct 16 '12 at 23:11
  • 1
    If your heatsink is hot, then it's not getting cooled properly by the CPU fan - your CPU still draws as much power ("generates as much heat") as it did 2 years ago. All the other fans just handle ambient temps; vacuum your heatsink man! Also, as mentioned, replacing the thermal paste would help. CPU temperature ramp up has been on the order of seconds in most of my computers, so I wouldn't worry about it. – Breakthrough Oct 16 '12 at 23:26

According to Intel, this CPU has a Tcase of 67.9°C, so as you already mentioned, these temperatures could be dangerous for your chip.

Your case seems very well cooled, so the issue is not there. These are the two things that are most likely to be the cause (and your potential fix):

  • Make sure you are running on stock voltages in the BIOS.

  • The heatsink might have accumulated too much dust. Turn off your computer, unplug it and use a can of pressurized air to clean the heatsink as well as possible.

  • If that doesn't make a significant difference, you will have to re-seat the heatsink.

    1. Purchase a small syringe of thermal grease
    2. Turn off your computer, remove the heatsink, clean the previous thermal grease off both the CPU and the heatsink using cotton and alcohol.
    3. Apply a tiny amount of the new one (the size of a grain of rice, or a tad more) and re-seat the heatsink.

      If you are not familiar with this process you can refer to videos that demonstrate it.

  • Voltages seem to be within the threshold and there is no dust at all on the heatsink. Looks like I will be reseating it :) thanks. – joshkrz Oct 16 '12 at 23:24
  • If the issue was the heat sink to CPU interface, the heat sink would be fairly cool and the CPU much hotter. – David Schwartz Oct 17 '12 at 0:41

Ok so it was a mix of a few things that people mentioned:

  • The fan was running at 1400RPM when it should have been at 2200RPM.
  • The thermal grease was slightly dry and there was way too much.
  • I couldn't see until I took the heatsink off but there was a very thick layer of dust just behind the fan, creating a wall that air couldn't get through.

I hastily bought a Phantek PH-TC14PE before I asked my question here and installed it instead of re-seating my current heatsink.

Temperatures are as follows:

  • Idle: 37C
  • 100%: 60C

It never goes above 60C although I feel this could be better by rotating the heatsink 90 degrees (goes bottom to top and I think right to left would work better)

Thank you all for your help. I will be performing regular maintenance on my heatsink in the future.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.