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CPU running at higher temp after installing new HSF

Last response: in Overclocking
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May 9, 2010 12:53:57 AM

Hi, the stock HSF on my AMD Phenom II x 4 955 was very loud, so i decided to replace it with the ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 after reading many favorable reviews for it. After i installed it, i definitely noticed a reduction in fan noise, but the problem was that it ran at a much higher temperature while doing the prime95 stress test.

Under the stress test, the temperature for the stock HSF was 52 while the temp for the new Arctic Cooling freezer was 65, which also goes above the recommended max of 62 for the Phenom II 955. I reinstalled the HSF 3 times to make sure that i didn't mess something up. I made sure the right amount of Arctic Silver 5 was used (the grain of rice spot method). I made sure the HSF was seated properly and doesn't wiggle. Every time i reran the Prime95 test, i get the same resulting temp of 65. During normal load, it runs at around 42 whereas the stock HSF ran at around 40. So the new Arctic Cooling Freezer fan isn't cooling nearly as well as the stock fan.

However another factor may be involved. At the same time i replaced the HSF, I also made another hardware change that could affect the cooling system... I installed a Corsair 650W PSU. The exhaust fan points downward into the case as opposed to blowing out the rear like my previous PSU. Could the exhaust fan, which is blowing in the direction of the CPU cause the rise in CPU temperature? I'd like to think that i installed the Arctic Cooling Freezer correctly, so i'm trying to isolate what is causing the higher temp.

I ordered a new HSF and that should help me figure out where the problem is. I'll also try reinstalling the stock HSF to see what the temperature is with the new PSU.

I'm wondering if anyone here has had a problem with higher temperatures after correctly installing a HSF or if a downward blowing PSU could cause higher temps. I heard that Corsair makes great PSUs, but it doesn't seem like a smart design to have the hot exhaust air blowing into the case rather than out.

Thank you very much for any feedback.

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AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W
ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA
XFX PVT98GYDLU GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
a c 86 K Overclocking
May 9, 2010 1:11:50 AM

Try your load tests with the case side off and a house fan blowing into the case. Might check fan speed too, if connected to the mobo make sure the fan settings are set up right.
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May 9, 2010 1:40:13 AM

Conumdrum said:
Try your load tests with the case side off and a house fan blowing into the case. Might check fan speed too, if connected to the mobo make sure the fan settings are set up right.


I use SpeedFan and AMD OverDrive. They both show that the HSF is running at its normal speed.
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a b K Overclocking
May 9, 2010 1:43:16 AM

A PSU that blows hot air into the case? That does not sound right at all. Are you sure about that? I would send that idiotic designed thing right back. Yeah, if your PSU is blowing hot air at the Heatsink, of course it is going to run hotter.
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May 9, 2010 2:14:30 AM

Actually, my bad. I'm not at home right now, so i just checked online reviews for that Corsair PSU. The fan is actually an intake fan. It intakes air inside the case and exhausts it out the back.
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a c 86 K Overclocking
May 9, 2010 4:19:51 AM

Does it sound like it changes speed at higher loads or is it always on max?

Look at your bios setup or connect it direct to the PSU.

Your case fannage could suck ya know>
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a b K Overclocking
May 9, 2010 4:27:17 AM

are you sure you did a good job of removing the old TIM and applying new stuff?

badly applied TIM can have a pretty bad effect on temps.
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May 9, 2010 4:51:16 AM

Had the same situation after upgrading my stock heatsink from my Phenom II 955 to a Coolermaster N520 fan.

Prime 95 for both heatsinks showed temps getting to 63celsius. I think my issue was I didn't apply the thermal paste correctly. I noticed this when I tried installing a another heatsink. I noticed that I didn't apply enough thermal paste and the middle of the heatsink area wasn't really covered at all. So the most important part of the cpu core area wasn't really getting any thermal paste.

When I installed my new heatsink sunbean ccf i made sure to apply more. I used the spread method to apply it onto my heatsink first since it had direct heatpipe contact. Then I used about a rice grain sized thermal paste on the CPU and spread it out with the heatsink on top of it wiggling.
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May 9, 2010 2:30:32 PM

I used the Arctic Silver remover and finisher solutions, so i'm pretty sure i removed the old thermal compound correctly. I know i used the right amount of thermal paste too because after seating the heatsink to the CPU, the compound spread out like a circle in the middle of the CPU and it did not cover the entire CPU (like the illustration on their website).

I disabled the smart fan feature on my mobo, so the fan is running at max speed. I'll check the voltage and RPMs later to make sure that everything is ok and that the fan is getting adequate juice.

I'll also reinstall the stock fan. If i'm getting my old numbers with it then i'll know for sure that the problem isn't with the installation.
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May 9, 2010 3:13:51 PM

make sure you have the hsf pointing the right way. HS->->->fan->->-> **(->=direction of airflow)** is not good and extremely easy to miss. make sure the setup looks like Fan->->->->HS. I know you said you checked all of this, but try and check which way the fins spin and therefor which way the air flows. A pulling type of airflow is much weaker than pushing.
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