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Should I re-seat Cooler Master 120M getting 35C idle temp?

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October 15, 2013 9:29:41 AM

Hey guys,
I have found that searching the internet for cooling questions is a lot like searching the internet for questions about raising a baby - you find opposing answers a-plenty. So I've seen several similar posts but no specific ones like this:
I just built a HTPC using the following:
Case -Cooler Master Elite 130
CPU - I3 3225
CPU Cooler - Cooler Master Seidon 120M
SSD - Samsung 840
HDD - WD Green 3tb
Ram - Cosair 8 gb ddr3
PSU - Silverstone Tek 450-Watts SFX

At the moment I am putting nothing on the dang thing but windows 7 and XBMC. I want to run it 24/7! My questions is - I've seen people reporting they get an idle temp of 17 C with the Seidon 120M! My idle temp is 35 C with the fans a-blowing. Sometimes it goes down to 32 C. My room temperature is 23C!

I did notice when I installed the Seidon that the weird spring screws didn't look like they were really going very far in the holes. (The only thing I could see that really changed was that most of the spring went down below the top portion - if that makes sense). I have also heard you aren't supposed to unscrew and re align your heatsink without first wiping all the thermal paste off with special cleaning stuff and reapplying it. So I just left it.

My question is first are those temps ok for my set up at idle (remember I want this sucker on 24/7)? And if not do I really need to clean off all the thermal paste just to readjust how it is screwed on?

Here is a pic of my heat sink (please ignore the huge PSU and wires all over - I have since installed a SFX modular and am very impressed with my wire/cable management. The build looks nothing like that, but the heatsink is the same - It gets plenty of air now. Can someone who knows what they are supposed to look at take a gander at the screws and let me know if they look normal. (I know you can't see them super well but I figure if they are horrific you could tell).





Thanks for your help guys!
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October 15, 2013 9:47:54 AM

Shouldn't be that high! I'm running a i5 3330 with a Hyper TX3 with an idle temp of 32°C and my room is probably about 27°C so.. did you put thermal paste when you installed it?
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October 15, 2013 9:50:27 AM

Metalrenok said:
Shouldn't be that high! I'm running a i5 3330 with a Hyper TX3 with an idle temp of 32°C and my room is probably about 27°C so.. did you put thermal paste when you installed it?


I did, I followed the instructions on the cooler master elite 130 official install video on youtube where he just put 2 small dots in the middle, and did not smear it all around. Was that correct? I figured the pressure would smear it for me as I tightened.
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October 15, 2013 9:58:04 AM

kpc180 said:
Metalrenok said:
Shouldn't be that high! I'm running a i5 3330 with a Hyper TX3 with an idle temp of 32°C and my room is probably about 27°C so.. did you put thermal paste when you installed it?


I did, I followed the instructions on the cooler master elite 130 official install video on youtube where he just put 2 small dots in the middle, and did not smear it all around. Was that correct? I figured the pressure would smear it for me as I tightened.


People will tell you their different methods about applying thermal paste and they will all say they are correct, so I wouldn't know for sure..
What I do is I put a little pea-like dot (smaller than a pea, though) and let the heat sink spread the paste and that have worked for me :) 
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October 15, 2013 11:33:04 AM

Yeah, that's about what I did. Now my question is- assuming it isn't seated on there right can I unscrew it pick it up an inch and try again without having to clean off all the thermal paste and reapplying it?
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October 16, 2013 6:38:13 AM

It is not recommended, you should always clean it off and put it again! Make sure it is not too thin or too thick and the cooler has to be touching the part where the die is :) 
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October 16, 2013 10:26:47 AM

Whelp I took it off cleaned it all up and then re-did it. It idles at 32-34 C with the fans on low and then I ran Prime 95 and it kept it below 45 C. So while the idle temps seems higher than I like - I think that under load temp is really good right?
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October 16, 2013 11:00:59 AM

Yes they are actually pretty good! I'd leave it like that! Idle should be 30 or so, but not bad at all :) 
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October 16, 2013 11:18:48 AM

Thanks for the help man!
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October 16, 2013 11:51:33 AM

Any time :) 
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October 17, 2013 8:55:33 AM

Last tip - Ensure the radiator has access to cool air. From your pics I can see it is very cramped inside the case. If there are no intake fans and the radiator fan is blowing out of the case, it is being choked and will limit how well it cools the liquid. Also other components like the PSU will warm the air inside.
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