New to overclocking and need advice on heat (2500k)

Hi all.

On stock cooling stable (I think) overclock to 44x load line calibration set to 'Level 2' on a Gigabyte UD7 motherboard. All other CPU settings at default. Case is an ABS Canyon 595 with 3 front and one rear 120 mm fans hooked up just in case that matters. Posts fine, boots windows fine, but I'm a little worried about the temps.

Ambient: 18, probably 20ish after the PC has been on for a while. Also probably higher in the summer.
Idle temps: mid 40's
Intensive gaming sessions (4+ hours): peak 71-72.

Ran Prime95 for 6 hours: peak 92-94 varying across cores

The CPU lowered the multiplier automatically to 38-42x varying a bit under the stress but it took a while to get to this point. As I understand it these is supposed to happen once you hit these temps anyway to protect the CPU. Prime95 detected no errors and generated no warning during the test.

If a cooler is just going to get me a faster clock I don't really care. I do care if these temps are going to shorten the life of the processor though because I'd like this one to last 3-5 years. I'm only seeing the high temps under extreme benchmarking situations that I'm only running to make sure the system doesn't crash because of the overclock. The benchmarks run fine, no errors, no warning, no crashes and in day to day tasks the temps are highish but don't seem dangerous to me.

Do I need to buy a cooler to prevent the CPU from burning out early on me?

How reasonable an investment would, say, this cooler be: If I don't really care how much further I can push the multiplier and I just want to stick to the 44x I have already?

Sort of an anecdotal question to add, if I'm booting fine at stock voltage and cooling with a 44x multiplier on a 2500k am I doing other overclockers a disservice by not exploring how fast this baby can run with a better cooling solution?
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. If all you want is a reduction in temps, just get a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus for $30. It gives the stock Intel cooler a beat-down.

    If you want to get expensive ($90) and overclock higher, get the Noctua NH-D14. It beats the Silver Arrow at higher CPU voltages.

    And yes, your CPU will last longer if it never has to automatically down-clock due to temps.

    Some overclockers might be jealous after reading your post, and I hope my 2500k is like yours. I won't find out until after I order it in another ten days or so (waiting on income tax refund).
  2. Thanks for your assistance it is greatly appreciated.

    I neglected to mention that noise is a bit of a concern for me as well. I'm ok with the sound that's currently being put out, even under load, but if I'm going to buy a third party cooler I'd like to buy one that's as silent as possible. I had the silver arrow in my mind because I had heard it was quieter than the NH-D14 (which based on the tom's CPU cooler roundup a while back is a pretty stealthy solution as it is). I don't know how loud the Hyper 212 is but the NH-D14 and the Silver Arrow are the two I see most often get recommended for silent air cooling.

    One thing I am sort of wondering right now though, my build is only a few days old and I think I mounted the CPU about a week ago. Is there a significant curing period with the stock thermal paste that comes pre applied to the intel heatsink?

    Is leaving the voltage at 'auto' in the BIOS reasonable or is it auto-adjusting to feed the CPU more volts than it needs and thus increasing temps?
  3. Best answer
    From an old test done by Hardware Secrets on an Intel QX6850 3.0GHz CPU overclocked to 3.33GHz:

    CPU at idle with Intel stock cooler: 42ºC and 44 dBA
    CPU at idle with Hyper 212 Plus: 35ºC and 45 dBA

    CPU fully loaded with Intel stock cooler: 100ºC and 48 dBA
    CPU fully loaded with Hyper 212 Plus: 64ºC and 52 dBA

    To be fair, that was a 130W CPU and your CPU is only 95W, so they shouldn't ever get that loud. I don't know how loud the current Intel cooler is compared to that old one either.

    As far as quiet cooling goes, if you have any normal case fans in your system at all, you won't be able to hear the NH-D14 or Silver Arrow above them. That's how quiet they are. If you're going to go spendy, get the Noctua -- it's just a better cooler.

    Unless you are hyper-sensitive to sound, I wouldn't spend that much if I was you. If you can stand the Intel stock cooler, you will most likely hear less noise from the Hyper 212 Plus. Your CPU will thank you. Your wallet will also be grateful.

    I don't know what the curing time is for Intel's stock thermal compound. For my build, I'm buying a thermal compound that has zero curing time.

    For the CPU voltage, you'll have to monitor that with a program to see how high the Auto setting is letting it go. The Auto setting is going to be different for every manufacturer.
  4. I would without a doubt say ditch the stock cooler. Think of it as the bare minimum that intel needs to provide to keep warranty claims at bay. Then consider that the vast majority of users simply plug in their CPU's and browse web/email.

    If you're heavy enough to do gaming and play with OC's, then you will reap many many benefits from an aftermarket cooler.

    For my Dad, who wanted to build a fast everyday desktop, I even purchased an aftermarket tower-style cooler. Reason? If the CPU is cool, the fan spins slowly -> less noise.

    Overall you will make less noise doing simple things like web/email, and stay much cooler (almost half!) when under full load. Pair that with the longevity that you stand to gain and I would say it's a no-brainer. To boot, if you buy a really nice CPU cooler, you will be inclined to keep it for multiple builds, essentially lessening the cost.

    I purchased a Noctua NH-D14 myself, under recommendation, and have been more than satisfied. Nonetheless, there are so many good choices out there that it often comes down to aesthetics.

    Have fun!
  5. With 'Auto' set for the CPU voltage on my board it seems to idle around 1.00v and spike up to the low 1.4's with this clock multiplier. I think 1.4v is higher than I'd like. I'm going to go back to the start and begin tweaking the voltage manually to see if I can get a stable 44x under 1.4v and then run more tests. I'll probably end up getting an NH-D14 anyway. The more I think about it the more I like the idea of pushing the multiplier as far as it can go just to see how high I can get it and I'd hate to get a stable OC only to have the chip burn out after a few months or a year because I'm cooking it all the time.

    Thanks for the advice all!
  6. Best answer selected by tetracycloide.
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