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Phenom II x4 965 Black 125W - Very High Idle Temps

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May 8, 2013 12:31:22 AM


CPU: Phenom II x4 965 Black 125W
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
(let me know if you want the full specs)

I've recently rebuilt my computer almost from the ground up, and I got myself a Phenom II. After installing all the hardware, I turned the computer on for the first time, and while browsing my BIOS, I realized that my idle temperature was at a startling 51 degrees C. I'm using the heatsink fan that came with my CPU.

What I've done so far is adjust my vcore by -0.025 from auto which made it change from around 1.390 to 1.355 (the cpu's standard.) This dropped the temperature to 48 C.

I've also reapplied the thermal paste twice, once by spreading with a card, and the second (current installation) by dot method. I guess 3 times total if you include the layer of compound that came pre-applied to the heatsink.

It's also worth noting again that this computer has no operating system installed, so as of yet I can't do stress tests or check load temperatures. (I'm actually really scared to try considering how high it is resting while sitting in the BIOS screen. I am also not overclocking.

It seems that high temps are not uncommon with this processor, however I've only found a couple posts that are concerned with 50 degree idle temps. Usually people are concerned temps around 40C.

So I have some questions and possible solutions for anyone who is willing to give some advice.

#1. Because the temps are so abnormally high, should I consider returning the cpu and asking for a swap? I'm wondering if I got a dud.

#2. Should I invest in a better heatsink as well as some arctic silver thermal paste? The stuff I'm currently using came from a local store and is just labeled with "StarTech.com. This seems to have helped others, but their temperatures were generally 10 degrees lower to begin with.

#3. Should I go ahead and install my OS and see how the CPU runs with other programs? I'm still not sure I want to attempt an actual stress test.

Anyway, sorry for the wordy post, and thanks for any advice you can give!

a c 138 à CPUs
May 8, 2013 12:37:11 AM

check thermal paste and fix it , will better use manual voltage than offset ... it's phenom II :D 
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a c 227 à CPUs
May 8, 2013 12:42:49 AM

Generally the best thermal pastes can gain you about 5C give or take a few degrees. Get some Arctic Cooling MX 4 as it does not require the 100 hour cure time Arctic Silver 5 does. You don't need to worry about the Phenom II chips unless you are approaching 60C. Then you should worry. They should never go over 62C even when load testing as anything over that can damage the chip.

Does your case have good airflow? You may want to invest in a cheap aftermarket cooler like the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo. This will allow you to overclock as well.

Get some decent paste and put Windows on there so you can load test. About the only way to be sure how it's going to do.
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a b à CPUs
May 8, 2013 12:49:07 AM

1) Ok, someone is going to ask for full specs, so it would be a good move to post them in your signature. Just saying.

2) A 125W chip is gonna be hot, especially at idle in the BIOS (imagine leaving your car sitting with the accelerator mashed down. It's kind of like that.) The CPU tends to be hottest at that time, and while under severe load. Remember, in the BIOS normally it's running at full speed, all cores. This is because No OS Is there to report load states or to tell the motherboard to idle down (if I remember right the 965 idled at 800 MHZ with all the energy saver stuff and Cool n' Quiet (AMD's version of speedstep if I remember right.)

I know my 1055T idles around 34 C or so in BIOS but when Winblows is loaded and CNQ takes over, I idle at about 21-22 depending on my apartment temps. And this is with a BIG aftermarket cooler (Sythe Rasetsu).

3) When you re-applied the thermal paste, what did you use? Did you remember to clean both the heat spreader and the heatsink?

4) JUNK THE STOCK HEATSINK! It's garbage by anyone's standards. Why they give such crap is beyond my comprehension for a "enthusiast" product. Get a good cooler, something like the Hyper 212+, and just be happy with it.

Good Luck!
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May 8, 2013 1:17:16 AM

nosupport4u said:

2) A 125W chip is gonna be hot, especially at idle in the BIOS (imagine leaving your car sitting with the accelerator mashed down. It's kind of like that.) The CPU tends to be hottest at that time, and while under severe load. Remember, in the BIOS normally it's running at full speed, all cores. This is because No OS Is there to report load states or to tell the motherboard to idle down (if I remember right the 965 idled at 800 MHZ with all the energy saver stuff and Cool n' Quiet (AMD's version of speedstep if I remember right.)


Thank you, this is very helpful. I hadn't considered that sitting in the BIOS might actually be worse than sitting in windows. So tomorrow, I will get windows installed. I will also invest in a different heatsink and some arctic silver, like anort3 suggests.

As for re-applying my thermal paste, I did indeed clean both the heat spreader and heatsink thoroughly. The paste I used was $5, purchased from a local computer shop and is probably a generic brand distributed by startech.com. It's only labeled "Metal Oxide Thermal CPU Paste Compund."

@anort3 - I think that there is pretty decent airflow. My case is a Rosewill Blackbone Mid Tower http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . One fan in back, and one in front. I did have the case open so I could see inside. A friend pointed out that having the side open might actually not be great, because the fans and airflow are designed for a closed case. It makes sense, but I'm not very knowledgeable on the subject.

I'll probably keep this thread up for a while, in case anyone has any more advice. Once I get my heatsink / paste / and a possible solution, I'll try to post my results. I often find that these threads have no solution, so posting my results may help someone else.
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May 13, 2013 10:01:21 AM

Thanks for all the helpful information! I ended up purchasing a Cooler Master 212 as well as some arctic silver thermal paste. With their powers combined, my CPU's temperature dropped from 48 C to 32 while still in bios. When I installed the operating system, my final idle temperatures fell to 27 degrees. Consider me happy.
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