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I7 temps up to 100c - Help with cooler selection or WATERCOOLING!!!!!

Last response: in Overclocking
June 15, 2009 2:00:21 PM

Hello all:

I recently built an i7 system. I am having a heat issue.

My Build:

CPU: i7 920
CASE: Cooler Master 690 Nvidia Edititon
MOTHERBOARD: Asus P6T (non deluxe)
GPU's: 2 BFG GTX 260's in SLI
MEMORY: 3 x 2 GB Corsair 1600Mhz
PSU: Corsair TX850
OS: Windows Vista 64bit
CPU COOLERS USED: Stock Intel, Cooler Master Hyper TX2, Thermaltake V1

Temps were obtained by using Core Temp .99.4/.99.5

(With stock clocks: 2.67 Ghz) I am having a problem with the system overheating when the cpu cores are pushed to 100% by Prime 95 and certain benchmarks. The temps hit 100c in less then a minute before I manually shut the system down.

(Overclocked to 3.4Ghz) When the CPU isn't pegged at 100% it's not soooo bad. At idle the system temps are 38c - 44c. When playing a game such as Crysis for an hour or so the temps max out aroun 83c -85c.

When I would cancel a program that would be putting my heat up in to the 95c-100c range, the temp drops down to 50-55c within 2 seconds.

The Asus P6t mobo has mounting holes to mount socket LGA775 coolers along with holes for the 1366's. I've went from the stock cooler to a Cooler Master Hyper TX2, and am currently using a Thermaltake V1 (which I am well aware are all low-mid range coolers). The Thermaltake cooler takes a little longer reach the high tempertaures, but it still ends up with the same heat result.

All heatsinks and the CPU heatspreader were thoroughly cleaned with 90% alcohol and installed using Artic Silver 5 to according to the installation instructions on the Artic Silver website.

All heatsinks were checked by physically touching the heatsinks/heatpipes to check for thermal conduction, and all heatsink fans are operating properly.

I've put a lot of time and money into this system and need to fix this heat problem. And I know that the SLI setup is adding a lot of heat into the case. But this is primarily a gaming system and removing the SLI setup is not something I'm going to do.

My question is would a high end cooler such as a Noctura NH-U12P or Cooler Master V10 fix the problem, or should I go for a water cooling solution? Or is there something simple that I am missing that is causing this problem? At this point I put a lot of money into this system and whatever I have to buy and install to get it stable at high CPU loads I am willing do, and any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
June 15, 2009 4:31:36 PM

No idea if you are having the same problem, but I tried the Scythe Mugen 2 on my P6T deluxe and couldn't get the temps below 90c. Problem was that the screws that come with it to attach the heatsink to its 1366 mount weren't long enough. I thought I was tightening the heatsink to the CPU and it was touching (enough to blot the AS5), but I couldn't get solid contact. Didn't realize this until after I RMAed it and read a post on Scythe's site. Have to add a few plastic washers to make it work. Maybe look at that?

I don't know if that's unique to the P6T but nobody else mentioned having that issue.
June 16, 2009 4:32:15 AM

After having a friend messing with the bios of my system I thought I was putting all settings back to stock when I started having these temp problems. Like an idiot I didn't notice that the CPU core voltage was set at 1.35 instead of 1.2. Returing the voltage to stock fixed my heat problems (Prime 95 87c after an hour with the Thermaltake V1).

I want to take this build further.

If I went the watercooled route I wouldn't cool the GPU's just the processor. Any suggestions on a kit? Danger Den?

In my past experiences I have wasted a lot of time and money over the years by buying parts that I wasn't happy with the performance of and then replacing them with more expensive parts, when if I would of just bought the high end part in the first place I would of saved time and money. For example, a few years ago I bought a GeForce 8600 GT for hardcore gaming. Not being happy with the awful performance I bought a 8800gt, I wasn't happy with that eitherso I ended up with 2 8800 Ultra's in SLI (and 2 underpowered PSU's).

So now I would like to know if I can get stable Prime 95 temps under 75c with a Noctura with a 3.5 - 3.8 overclock or do I need to go to a watercooled setup for this type of overclock to keep these temps. I have 3 days to return the Thermaltake V1.

Please any information or experience with temps, performace, and cooling parts for an overclocked i7 920 would be greatly appreciated.

Related resources
June 16, 2009 8:36:54 AM

Funny you say about your previous gpu history I did the exact same thing both with an 8600gt then to 8800gt then to SLI. But on to your question, I am running CF atm so in a similar position with the extra heat generated by my gpus. I have a mugen 2 like Haasen and p6t deluxe. currently my cpu is at 3.5ghz (stock voltage) and get max temps of 58-60c using prime95 blended stress test, real temp to monitor. however my ambient temps are quite low as its about 1 degree celcius outside and the heat pump is not directly in my room. if you want 3.5 mugen 2 (therefore noctura should be even better) would work fine and save you quite alot of money but at 3.8 or more it is far too hot and would need something better and I am not quite sure how much better nocturas solution or CM's v10 are, If it was me id prolly go to water cooling if your gona spend that much on an air cooler.
June 16, 2009 1:56:09 PM

HI Klon0pin ,
I have the noctua, two fans push-pull settign. temp on prime 95 after 10 hours 75C, cpu 3.86 and it's not a D0 stepping. If you used this setup please be sure to get the air in the first fans as cool as possible. I have a tj-09 an add 2 fans on the top. One of them goes on the memory stick the other blow directly on my sink pushing air from putside the case. the push fan blow the air on my gtx 295 and with the backplate I add the temp on the gtx also drop a litle bit.

June 16, 2009 2:14:05 PM

Thank you for your replies. So from what I gather the Noctura will let me run 3.6 - 3.8 stable, and if I want to go higher I would have to go to water.

Running the i7 at 3.2 is amazing so I can happily live with 3.6 - 3.8 stable 24/7.

By the way, I have a D0 stepping, is that a better chip than the C0's?

And is there any other heatsink besides the Noctura that anyone would recommend?
a c 330 K Overclocking
June 16, 2009 2:37:20 PM

I only suggest watercooling if you can invest $200+ to get something that will keep you happy. Otherwise, if you go with a cheap WC option, you will be disappointed with the performance vs. a good air cooler.
June 16, 2009 5:40:22 PM

All of the cheap watercooling kits looked like junk. And the i7 socket Danger Den kit was around $400. So based on reading about 100 reviews 90% of which were positive I bought the Noctura SE1366 from Newegg. It should be here by Thursday so I should have it running on Saturday when I'll have time to install it.

Now my question is which direction should I mount it.

The top off my case has 2 120mm exhaust fans that move a lot of air. The rear of the case, right behind where the heatsink would be, there is a 120mm fan that is currently being used as exhaust, I was thinking about flipping that fan around so it will be an intake and positioning the Noctura to suck in the air from there and let the hot air blow towards the RAM and exit from the exhaust fans at the top of the case. There are 4 other intake fans (front, bottom, and one on each side panel) so I'm not worried about flipping the rear fan to be an intake.

Which direction does anyone else have their Noctura mounted?

And also what is the difference between my D0 i7 chip vs the C0 stepping?

Thanks again to all!!!

a c 330 K Overclocking
June 16, 2009 6:56:05 PM

You would either orient the CPU cooler to vent up (toward your 2 fans) or out the back. There should be a natural progression of cool air in at the bottom/front to warm air out at the top/back. I wouldn't mess with this mojo much. Besides, you actually move more air by exhausting than by pulling it in and making more of a difference that way.

Typically, with later steppings of chips, there are benefits that make them slightly more efficient or correct minor issues with earlier runs of the chips, such as manufacturing changes, trace paths, transistor placement/types etc. There should be some information if you look it up on the Intel site..should give some insight into what the differences are with steppings.
a b K Overclocking
June 16, 2009 8:36:57 PM

And the i7 socket Danger Den kit was around $400.

Umm... not really. It shouldn't cost that much unless the kit also has GPU cooling.

If looking for a worthy kit, get the Swiftech Apex :
$240. Just add in a bigger rad (or a second rad).
June 16, 2009 10:18:50 PM

My TRUE with push-pull 2k fans will keep my 920 in the mid to upper 70's under load with ambient of 20~21°.

If you are considering water Petra's has a kit I have been considering for my setup which is a pretty decent setup.

a b K Overclocking
June 17, 2009 12:00:40 AM

^Damn. Nice find. Haven't been to xbit for a while, and yes. they are reputable. This reminds me of the Netburst era. Hopefully the i7's won't go the heat hell. Looks like you really do need a WC set up to hit 4Ghz.
June 17, 2009 12:44:56 AM

Thanks, was quite stoaked with the results in that test, my cheap mugen 2 which I was thinking of ditching for something more expensive got 2nd to top for efficiency and top for acoustics. Does have some similarities to netburst era but hopefully Intel learnt their lesson, my old oc'd p4 use to heat my dorm room lol.
June 17, 2009 2:15:13 PM

everyone seems to in agreement that 3.8 - 3.9 is the max oc on air. How much higher could you go on water?
a b K Overclocking
June 17, 2009 4:17:20 PM

^4 to 4.2 with a good board+RAM.
June 18, 2009 3:55:16 AM

Shadow703793 said:
And the i7 socket Danger Den kit was around $400.

Umm... not really. It shouldn't cost that much unless the kit also has GPU cooling.

If looking for a worthy kit, get the Swiftech Apex :
$240. Just add in a bigger rad (or a second rad).

im having the same dilemma as you are, only luckily i havnt done my build yet

i am building with the antec nine hundred two

i am thinking about using that kit, and wondering why you would need a bigger radiator than the one provided??

a c 86 K Overclocking
June 18, 2009 6:58:48 AM

With the new i7's, you need at a min a 120x2 rad, you overclock to 4.0, better be looking at a 120x3 for JUST the CPU. The new GPU's even a single chip card could need a 120x2 rad, required for a dual chip GPU. There is a reason they are coming out with 120x4 rads and 140x3 AND 140x4 rads. Physics rule cooling. Rads can only do so much when your dealing with ambient air temps to cool. We make the processors work harder, cranking out more work, thats watts in heat.

Saw your post at OC Forums................
June 18, 2009 2:55:00 PM

After much deliberation and help from your posts I decided to get the noctua heatsink, I think it cost $60. If I can get a stable 3.8 oc out of the setup why would I want to spend 3x - 5 x more for a water setup to get an extra few hundred Mhz's of oc? I could spend the money on something that would give me a much more cost effective performance boost (like a nice RAID setup).
June 20, 2009 12:09:55 AM

Just an update, I got my Noctua 1366 package from New Egg in the mail yesterday. I took a half day from work to install it, everything went great. I took about 2 hours to take everything apart and put it back together.

And for my temps, the Thermaltake V1 running Prime 95 on "Torture Test" would take my i7 to 100c in about 90 seconds. The Noctua has been 100% stable with a max tmp of 59c on Core#0 (according to Core Temp 0.99.5) with the same "Torture Test." Idle is now 26 - 31c, and I'm totally happy with the purchase so far. And tomorrow we'll see how we do with OVERCLOCKING!!!

Thanks again for everyones help and input.