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Why is my i7 920 cpu temperature VERY high?

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March 6, 2009 12:50:45 AM

Hey folks -

I just recently finished building my new PC. I installed all the hardware carefully and properly (to my knowledge) and it booted up on first try... I installed Windows, etc etc, and everything looked to be good. Now I decided I'm ready to slightly overclock it, but when I go to the BIOS and look at the CPU temperature, it is absurdly high... Around 100*C... The system temperature and everything is good, around 26*C on start up, just the CPU is way too hot...

I reinstalled the CPU and the aftermarket heat sink multiple times, each time carefully removing all the thermal grease, and trying with varying tiny amounts... But same result each time... Then I tried the stock heat sink, and it was around 120*C....

I'm not quite sure what is wrong... I'm still somewhat new at all of this. Any help would be appreciated, :)  Thanks!


Processor: Intel i7 920
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P
CPU Fan: XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V
Thermal grease: ARCTIC COOLING MX-2
Memory: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
March 6, 2009 1:28:57 AM

If your BIOS doesn't know the proper calibration values for the i7's thermal sensors, it will give an incorrect reading. Download CoreTemp, RealTemp, etc, which also report the internal temps of the CPU's cores in degrees below limit temp. That way, you'll know what temp the CPU thinks it is. 120C should have caused your CPU to fry or shut itself down, but be careful and don't use the computer (except for installing and running the temp software) until you are sure everything's OK.
March 6, 2009 1:56:01 AM

Oh! Thanks alot Mondoman. According to those 2 programs it looks like I'm running in the high 20s, low 30s... Like it should be. I'm curious as to why BIOS shows an incorrect reading? And this is a bit of a long shot, but my EasyTune6 program which came with my Gigabyte board should be able to show my CPU temperature, but it isn't...

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March 7, 2009 8:11:11 PM

The sensor the BIOS reads just provides a "raw" voltage (?) reading that needs to be converted into a temp from a table of values in the BIOS. This table is different for each CPU, so the BIOS needs to be updated with the correct table for your CPU.

The per-core sensors in Intel CPUs have their readings converted into temps inside the CPU with a built-in table, so no BIOS info is required to get accurate temp readings from those.
March 8, 2009 4:49:42 AM

you should have just touched the cpu heatsink, and if it cooks your finger within the first second it is really at 120c.. lol, that would be fuggin hot.
!