My system is running hot?

Hello,

I recently built a new PC and I was wondering how I can get better temperatures from my CPU cooler? I have a Phenom II x4 965 at 3.4 ghz with a Xigmatek Dark Knight cooler. I would read reviews on Newegg and noticed people were getting temperatures around 25 degrees to 45 degrees under load yet I idle around 38 and get to 70 on load. And some of these people are overclocking their pc's. Mine runs at stock right now. I know a lot of factors play into the temps you get, but are there a few tips I can tweak in the bios or the cooler itself to get these kind of temperatures?

If you need more information about my build I'd be happy to provide it. Thank you!
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More about system running
  1. I looked at your hardware listed under your profile. The XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V is a great heatsink.

    If you are running hot, maybe it is time to re-seat the heatsink using AS5 thermal compound per industry established procedures. The are many postings here that detail various methods of applying the thermal compound. AS5 has a long curing time. I read somewhere, about 200 hours. In any case, what you are experiencing is out of the ordinary.

    After re-seating the heatsink, set the CPU fan speed smart control in the BIOS. Set this to run at 100% over 60 degrees C, and at 60% below 60 degrees. Monitor the temps.

    Polishing (erroneously referred to as 'lapping') the heatsink base will help. Leave the CPU heat spreader alone.
  2. I was actually going to post more details. I can't seem to get it to show in my signature. But thanks for checking on that.

    When i seated the heat sink, I used 3 thin lines that ran across the pipes, not the dividers. I've read different responses on either using 2 lines or 3. I also used AS5. I will try those settings and get back to you.
  3. mizdahsparklez said:
    I was actually going to post more details. I can't seem to get it to show in my signature. But thanks for checking on that.

    When i seated the heat sink, I used 3 thin lines that ran across the pipes, not the dividers. I've read different responses on either using 2 lines or 3. I also used AS5. I will try those settings and get back to you.

    If you wish, you may try polishing the base of the heatsink. Here is a little guide that I wrote on the topic:


    Guide to Polishing Heatsink bases.

    Polishing Heatsink bases is usually done by enthusiasts in order to improve heat transfer between the CPU and the heatsink. This, when done correctly results in lower CPU temps, thereby prolonging CPU life and also improving Overclocking capabilities.

    Polishing is loosely referred to as "Lapping", but let it be known that whereas polishing can be done at home on a flat work surface, lapping can only be done utilizing highly accurate, expensive, and precise Lapping Machines costing tens of thousands of dollars.

    Flatness and an improvement in micro finish is the objective, not necessarily a mirror finish. Frequently, after polishing, the improved flatness and the fine micro finish will make the surface look more or less like a mirror finish.

    Tools requited are 1200 grit Silicon Carbide (wet or dry) paper, 2000 grit Silicon Carbide (wet or dry) paper (optional), elbow grease, and a few drops of water.

    Here are the series of steps for polishing the base of a heatsink:

    1. Find a flat surface to use as a base. A piece of 12" x 12" x 1/4" glass will work (glass top cocktail table, end table, breakfast table).

    2. Lay a full sheet of 1200 grit Silicon Carbide paper flat on the glass surface and ensure that this sheet does not slip or slide during the polishing process. Put about 4 drops of water in the center of this sheet.

    3. Place the heatsink base squarely over the center of the Silicon Carbide paper and gently start moving the heatsink base back and forth in about 2" strokes. The direction of the stroking must be towards you and away from you. Care must be taken not to tip the heatsink while you are doing this. Use a light downward force. Light force. Light force. Holding the heatsink closer to the base will help. Again, light downward force. (Practice doing this on a sheet of plain paper first if necessary - this will give you confidence).

    4. Continue the stroking towards you and away from you, staying on the same central area of the Silicon Carbide sheet. Move your body (not the work piece) about 30 degrees and continue the stroking. Like dancing around a May pole. This will change the polishing direction on the heatsink base. Repeat for about 10 minutes.

    5. By now, you will notice that the polishing residue on the Silicon Carbide paper is reddish - this is the color of the copper base under the Nickel plating film that is now polished away. Using the edge of a razor blade is an approximation of a straight edge. It is not a straight edge, but will give you ball park information that is close enough.

    6. Continue for 10 more minutes on the same sheet of Silicon Carbide paper, and you are done. VIOLA!

    7. Continuing Polishing with the 2000 grit paper is purely optional. Like icing (frosting) on the cake.


    A note about the CPU: Leave the CPU alone. The heat spreader of the CPU is a sheet metal component made by the draw (see "deep drawing”) process. The thermal expansion characteristics of thin sheet metal drawn parts are hard to determine. I am reasonably sure (oxymoron?) that there will be some improvement in heat transfer if the high spots at the corners of the CPU are polished away, but the marginal gains may not be worth the efforts. Therefore, I am not recommending any polishing of the CPU. Another point to note would be that any alteration will void the warranty.
  4. Also, make sure that your airflow in the case is all one direction....as you could possilbly be cancelling out your flow with a fan blowing the wrong direction.
  5. Could just be the air in your case is hot. What case do you have, how many fans, and which way are they blowing? What temps are you getting on your CPU?
  6. My care is an NZXT m59. I have 3 case fans: One side fan blowing air in, one front fan blowing air in, and one exhaust fan blowing air out. The heatsink fan is also blowing hot air off through the top. It has a pretty decent push pull system. The ambient temperature is also pretty hot comparatively (Southern California), but I didn't think that would make that big of a difference. On my CPU I idle at 36-38 and under load from prime95 after one hour I am usually around 60+ degrees.
  7. Whats the ambient temp.? This plays a big role in CPU temps.....Can you turn your HSF so that the push/pull exhaust out the back?
  8. mizdahsparklez said:
    My care is an NZXT m59. I have 3 case fans: One side fan blowing air in, one front fan blowing air in, and one exhaust fan blowing air out. The heatsink fan is also blowing hot air off through the top. It has a pretty decent push pull system. The ambient temperature is also pretty hot comparatively (Southern California), but I didn't think that would make that big of a difference. On my CPU I idle at 36-38 and under load from prime95 after one hour I am usually around 60+ degrees.

    You're better off placing the side intake fan on the top as an exhaust.= hot air rises
    Any good case that has 3 fans comes like that from the factory for a good reason.
    AS5 is ok but really dated in 2011.
    Arctic's own MX-2/MX-3 are better.

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/thermal-interface-roundup-1_12.html
  9. Along with the thermal compound, the application and the surfaces finish and fit-up also plays a role in heat transfer. Air movement is also critical.

    Interesting article: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermal-Compound-Roundup-February-2011/1202
  10. lowjack989 said:
    Whats the ambient temp.? This plays a big role in CPU temps.....Can you turn your HSF so that the push/pull exhaust out the back?

    I don't think I can turn the fan to point out the back since I am using the retention clip for an AM3 socket? I actually notice that the part connected to the motherboard might be screwed in. Has anyone been able to unscrew the retention clip portion of the MB off and rotate it 90 degrees?

    As far as the ambient temp. I don't know how to measure it. Are there any tools in general or simply places I can look to get that reading?
  11. An indoor thermometer works great for measuring ambient temps....no you can't flip the retention bracket 90 degrees...its ok that it blows up..... as long as you have an exhaust port in the top of the case.
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