I7-920 Cooling Issues

It's been my understanding since I bought this processor that it runs pretty hot. That said: it started getting really hot. Like 70c idle 90-100c load. I decided that I would opt for water cooling solutions or a Corsair h60 if reseating with some Arctic Silver 5 had no effect.

This is all with a Scythe Mugen 2, in what I think is a pretty well ventilated case. Picture of the case below. Arrows point in direction of the fans. There's one additional intake by the HD bay, labeled with an arrow.


The following is a screen-cap of a sensor test run by Prime95 through Real Temp 3.40.


Cores 2 and 4 have read Thermal Status: LOG since bootup.

The AS5 was applied in a thin line down the CPU, as recommended by the AS5 handbook in regards to i7 processors. This test was done prior to putting on both of the side panels on the case. Also there is that whole break in period I suppose.

The idle temp you see in the screen-cap seems to be pretty steady right now, although I suppose there is that whole break-in period so maybe it will drop a few.

Still getting pretty damn hot under load, even though temps seem better idle. What do you guys think? Still too hot?

Thanks for looking.

edit: Reboot and Thermal Status across all cores reads: OK
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  1. I have the i7-920 overclocked to 3.82 GHz.

    The i7-920 does NOT run hot as you have been lead to believe. The ambient temp in the room is 25 degs and the i7 temp is 32 degs as I am typing this. I am using an average quality heatsink; CM V8.

    Front, Side, Bottom (except PSU) fans ---> Intake
    Rear, Top ---> Exhaust

    From what you describe, it appears that the heatsink surface is not well mated with the CPU. I suggest that you re-seat the heatsink as follows:

    1) Clean all thermal compound residue on CPU as well as the heatsink, using alcohol swabs. Hold the CPU upside down so that alcohol does not get into the CPU. Do this carefully and do not rush.

    2) Wrap your finger in Saran wrap (plastic wrap).

    3) Dispense on pea sized quantity of AS5 on the CPU heat spreader as well as the heatsink base. Spread the AS5 as evenly and as thinly as you can all over the area.

    4) Install the heatsink onto the CPU which is firmly set in the socket.

    5) Tighten the heatsink fasteners in a cross pattern; gradually; a couple of turns at a time. Try to obtain an even torque. Do not over tighten (like automotive mechanics do).

    Now start-up the computer and check temps using RealTemp.
  2. I laid the computer on its side and booted up to see if there is a difference. The Mugen 2 screws in from the bottom of the motherboard and holds it in place that way. Therefore, the tighter its screwed in is not necessarily related to how well it's contacting the cpu. As it is intended, it hangs. I figured that maybe its just not making good contact because you screw in from under the motherboard. So now its laid down, and gravity is working with it, instead of against it.

    Temps have dropped 11-13c across all cores. Which means we're still at a pretty warm idle, 39-42c. This definitely says something though.

    Encoding a video as we speak and im getting max temps of 63c. It's hot as hell in my room right now (80f) and the case is on its side so its not getting the best air flow. Under the right conditions, I think its safe to assume temps could be even lower. So, problem not solved, but problem located?
  3. It's clear that the heatsink is not making good contact with the CPU.

    When a heatsink is properly installed with the correct brackets, thermal compound, procedure, etc. there will be no change in temps whether the computer is laying on its side or in any other position. As long as the air intake and exhaust are not blocked.

    When the heatsink is installed correctly, gravity plays no part in the heat transfer (or rather a very insignificant part to be precise).

    So, check the CPU/heatsink installation and re-install if necessary.
  4. I've remounted the heatsink several times, very carefully following instructions and tutorial videos on the exact heatsink. I am having a real difficult time finding what I have done differently. At this moment, I am looking for ways I could possibly screw it down, instead of up from the backplate.
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