High Temps w/ Noctua NH-D14

(This has been cross-posted from the overclocking forum. I thought it was a better fit here.)

First thing's first, the specs:

* Cooler Master HAF 932 case (stock fans)
* Intel Core i7 930
* Noctua NH-D14
* Arctic Cooling MX-3 TIM
* Asus D2X
* 2x Sapphire Vapor-X HD5870
* Corsair HX850

* My cable management
* My original TIM coverage using small blob

While running my i7 at *stock*, I was getting idle temps of around 42C and load temps of about 60C. I then re-seated my Noctua using a small rice-grain sized amount. With the computer laying on its side and the side doors closed, I was getting 35C at idle and 55C at load.

I thought, great! I put the PC back on its feet and wheeled it back to its original position. I turned on the PC, loaded up RealTemp and... my idle temps were 42C again.

For shits and giggles I overclocked according to this guide. I loaded up Prime and RealTemp... *my idle temp moves between 45-47C!* My load temp clocked at 69C at the maximum... it stabilized at around 67.

I'm certain my temps are just higher than they should be, and I can't understand why. It's driving me crazy. Do you guys have any idea why my temps are what they are? And are they safe for daily usage?
13 answers Last reply
More about high temps noctua
  1. Let the tim take hold do some burn in test then shut it down and let it cool. Have you tried to lower your volts and see if it will boot. Your temps are not crazy high for air cooling But I would wait a few days and I bet your temps will drop some.
  2. Christop is right; wait a couple of days to see if the paste settles...

    But I doubt that your temps will come down much. The pictures that you provided are very revealing!
    I strongly disagree with Noctua on one point - and one point only, in that their products, design, customer service, and instructions are very, very well thought out,
    except for the way they say to apply the paste! I have tried it their way - "Apply a 4-5mm drop to the center of the heat spreader", and I consistently had temps that were about 10° higher than when I spread it myself until the brushed metal just begins to appear. Lap, lap, lap at 90° angles, wiping the spreader (credit card cut to size) until this is achieved.

    You have nearly twice as much paste on the heat spreader and heatsink as I do. I'll bet you could pull the cooler off, completely wipe the heatsink, smooth the paste on the heat spreader to get the bubbles out, reattach the cooler, and drop the temps by 10°.
    Right now, you are running as hot as if the stock Intel heatsink were in place - too much paste. I am even more certain of this because the MX-3 is a very good paste. (although I admit that I like Noctua's better for the way it spreads)
  3. what TIM are you using? some TIMs can have a curing time over 200 hours
    your temperatures are way too high for a 3.36Ghz OC
  4. Noworldorder said:
    Christop is right; wait a couple of days to see if the paste settles...

    But I doubt that your temps will come down much. The pictures that you provided are very revealing!
    I strongly disagree with Noctua on one point - and one point only, in that their products, design, customer service, and instructions are very, very well thought out,
    except for the way they say to apply the paste! I have tried it their way - "Apply a 4-5mm drop to the center of the heat spreader", and I consistently had temps that were about 10° higher than when I spread it myself until the brushed metal just begins to appear. Lap, lap, lap at 90° angles, wiping the spreader (credit card cut to size) until this is achieved.

    You have nearly twice as much paste on the heat spreader and heatsink as I do. I'll bet you could pull the cooler off, completely wipe the heatsink, smooth the paste on the heat spreader to get the bubbles out, reattach the cooler, and drop the temps by 10°.
    Right now, you are running as hot as if the stock Intel heatsink were in place - too much paste. I am even more certain of this because the MX-3 is a very good paste. (although I admit that I like Noctua's better for the way it spreads)


    I'll give it a try (I'm going to have to buy more paste at this rate... AC5/MX2/3/4?) but everywhere I've read, it says NOT to spread the TIM using a credit card or anything else. They all state air bubbles will form when spreading TIM in this way. Do you mind being a little bit more specific as to how to apply the TIM? How much do you put on in the first place? do you apply it to the CPU or the Heatsink? Do you add a little dot in the center after you've "lapped" on the TIM?
  5. Everywhere? Well, honestly, you have not read it "everywhere".
    I have read this opinion also, and the fact is; it depends upon the paste used and the method used to distribute the TIM.
    I have read dozens of reviews and threads that used a plastic spreader, be it a cut down plastic putty knife with the edges rounded, or a cut credit card, laminated playing cards, some pastes even include a credit card-like device with the paste. A latex glove is a wonderful method of spreading paste. There are so many variables (paste viscosity, paste base, different conductive heatsink metals, application pattern e.g. X, line, dot, 2 lines, and on. Look at the last picture on this page , that is what paste optimally applied should look like. Very, very thin and even.
    I have seen the razor blade spreader suggestion and I, speaking for myself, think this is a bad idea for a lot of reasons; one false move and you could nick a nearby component or scratch the surface.

    Really, think about it; if one is spreading a material to a thinness of a few thousands of an inch, then there aren't going to be any bubbles in it (unless it has the consistency of chewing gum.

    You should have received a syringe of high-quality Noctua paste with your NH-D14. This is a highly rated Thermal Interface Material. If you have this then you don't need to go get more paste. I love it's thick, but smooth and spreadable consistency. You can apply to either the cooler or the CPU - your choice.
  6. Could be other factors than TIM application too, like is there direct fresh air feeding the Noctua, it's hard to tell from your picture because its really dark, but from my Noctua situation I couldn't clear the memory modules and use the 120mm fan as an intake, I had to move it to the rear as exhaust.

    But even if I had not done that and had your same situation I'd have setup a fresh air intake tunnel directly in the flow path, to feed fresh air directly to the Noctua, instead of it grabbing whatever it can.

    Because as with your setup the same as mine the GPU is so long it's actually partitioning off the the CPU section, seriously curbing the normal airflow through your machine.

    Just a suggestion but I would look into improving that.



    There's actually 2 120mm fans in the front air tunnel, the one you see and the front 120mm intake you can't see in this picture.

    This is on a 2500K Sandy Bridge overclocked to 4500mhz all 4 cores with a load temp of 58c.
  7. Those are amazing temps Ryan. The 2500K in general run cooler though, no?

    Anyway, I've re-seated the heatsink AGAIN, this time using MX-4. I applied an extremely thin base to both the CPU and the Heatsink using a non-latex medical glove... basically put a small dab and rubbed it in until I could see the metal had a very slight tint to it. Then I put a small line of TIM in the middle of the CPU.

    I'm now getting 60-62C on Prime95 small FFT and so far (~11 hours) its stable. But this is on a 3.8 overclock :) These are the temps I was supposed to be getting, right?
  8. Depends upon your ambient air temps; if they are 68°F, then it's a few degrees high, if they are 76°, then your CPU temps are normal.

    Also, uhhh, hate to say this but, I still think you have too much paste on the surfaces; you should have applied the paste to ONE surface only. The purpose of the paste is to fill in microscopic pores - that's all - that's how thin it should be.
  9. Quick look at weather.com shows my temps are 61F... What temps should I be aiming for?
  10. @Ryan
    Hey buddy, any chance you could resize that picture down to 800x600 so the page will fit?
    Thanks!
  11. @NoWorldOrder
    Also, when I say I applied a very small amount I really mean an incredibly small amount... you couldn't even really tell, the surfaces don't look like they have anything on them, they're just not as shiny as they are when cleaned.

    I also TRIED to spread the TIM on the CPU with my finger (inside a non-latex medical glove), and I just can't figure out how you guys do it. Whenever I move my finger to spread the material it actually cleans some of it out. I can't get a uniform, thin spread no matter how hard I try. Should I be using something else than my finger? I'm guessing a credit card? Should I clean it first with some alcohol?
  12. Use whateer tool works for you my friend. As long as you acheive that goal of a thin coating on one surface only.
  13. Noworldorder said:
    @Ryan
    Hey buddy, any chance you could resize that picture down to 800x600 so the page will fit?
    Thanks!


    The forum software handles that it's supposed to downsize the picture automatically, so you can click on the picture to enlarge it, unfortunately lately the forum software seems to be having a few glitches here and there.

    It's working properly from my view.
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