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Upgrading Water Cooler

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January 12, 2012 1:30:01 PM

This is my first time ever posting but I've been reading for a while seems like a good forum. Anyways I bought a computer 2 years ago and never knew much about it. Well now that I'm not able to work I've started to take a huge interest in my computer and never knew how much I love working on it though it can be very stressful.
Well anyways I had an Asetek 510LC liquid cooler 120mm radiator with a push/pull set up. My computer at the time was i7 920@ 3.3ghz 1.3v which was what it was set at from the computer building company. Didn't know then that the volts did not need to be near that high. It was running at 30-32C idle and would normally hit 80C+ under stress test. Mind you I would always shut it down right as it hit 80C because I never felt comfortable. But now I bought a Asetek LCLX 240mm radiator/pump self contained unit. Under the same clocking I was at 67C load which seemed fine and now I'm at 3.9ghz 76C load. My main question is while at idle my computer is running at 34C at both 3.3 and 3.9ghz and I'm really unsure about my thremal paste job as it was my first time and I screwed it up twice. While applying it it hit my sleeve slipped all around and I used my thumb in a plastic bag to put it on. I believe the new radiator is making a good difference but since its higher at idle it makes me think that it doesn't have as good of connection as the old one but since its a better radiator its still able to help more at higher temps. Let me know if this makes since to anyone else. My full specs are i7 920@ 3.9ghz 1.25v 34C-76C Idle/Load
ATI Radeon 4890 1gb GDDR5
Asus P6T
3x2gb Corsair Dominator 1600mhz @1500
3x2gb Kingston Hyperx 1800mhz @1500
Corsair 800w PSU
Asetek 240mm Rad/Pump WC
PUSH=2xUltra Kaze 120mm 133CFM PULL=1xCoolerMaster 84CFM 1xStock 33CFM
5 Intake Fans 3 Exhaust fans not including radiator

More about : upgrading water cooler

January 12, 2012 2:04:34 PM

Sorry to hear about your work situation, but welcome to the world of tech-nerds!
Well idle temps dont really matter at all. (Unless they are really high) I think the reason the idle is always the same is because your cpu might clock and volt down at idle. I dont know about yours but my 2500k goes to 1.6ghz and something like 1v when idle.

But load at 76 is still a tad bit high. Are you sure your voltage is as low as possible stable?
January 12, 2012 2:14:38 PM

No I did lower them from the 1.3v to the 1.25 but that's it. I could definitely try lowering them some more if you think theres a decent chance that it could be stable with a lower voltage.
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January 12, 2012 2:23:44 PM

Well what are the stock voltages and clocks of your cpu?
January 12, 2012 2:47:11 PM

1.2v BCLK 133
21 multiplier
January 12, 2012 3:43:26 PM

Yeah ok then you might not get the voltage much lower. Idk, try if you want to.
January 12, 2012 4:46:42 PM

But I'm just curious do you think that the Thermal paste not being applied 100% properly could be causing higher idle temperatures do to a decrease in total conductivity but yet still a lower temperature at load because of a larger radiator and better fans. Or if the thermal paste was put on improperly would it cause a higher temp all around?
January 12, 2012 6:13:11 PM

I think it would cause a higher temp all around. If it keeps you up at night, just re-apply it but try to use as little as possible.

I always use too much. :-)
a b K Overclocking
January 12, 2012 7:09:01 PM


As Max1s says, if you are uncomfortable with the setup, clean the CPU and heatsink with some rubbing alcohol and reaply thermal paste.

My normal 24/7 setting on the i7 920 I am running is 3.8 GHz and that is at 1.2625V with idle temps at around 30-32.
Unless your idel temps are high, it does not really matter, and if your load temp of 76°C is Prime95 then you should be good, though it would be nice with it running just a bit cooler.

CPUs are all different, so what V yours can run at noone can tell, you will have to dial that in yourself, which is part of the fun in overclocking, trying different settings, and finding just the right one to maximize the efficiency.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 12, 2012 7:15:49 PM

I would be curious what your idle/load temps are with your CPU at stock speeds/settings. I think your load temps are likely due to voltage as your idle temps are about right.

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January 12, 2012 7:30:09 PM
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You mentioned in your first post that you used your thumb in a plastic bag to put on your thermal paste, and unless I'm misunderstanding you.. you could definitely be getting better contact with your paste. You really only need a pea size (or grain of rice) of thermal compound on the center of your processor, the pressure of the heatsink/waterblock will spread it out for you. Pre-spreading it with a finger/business card w/e inevitably creates air bubbles in the thermal compound after the heatsink/waterblock is installed.. which will reduce performance. One thing to keep in mind while you are putting on the pea size amount of thermal paste is that more is usually not better. Thermal paste is actually not a super amazing conductor of heat, it is just much better than air (the goal is to displace any air).. so using the absolute minimum required generally gives the best results.

video showing how thermal paste spreads
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyXLu1Ms-q4

some actual tests that compare different ways to applying thermal compound
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/What-is-the-Best...
January 12, 2012 7:43:36 PM

Stock settings 30c/67c Idle/Load. As far as I can tell my computer is stable at 1.2375v at 3.9 got me down to 74c with a 2 degree higher ambient but I was just curious and ran windows assessment like that and windows crashed while doing it. I tried a second time but the same thing no BSOD and the comp didnt turn off just a black screen and then got the "would you like to enter safe mode or windows normally" screen. So I'm thinking that it may be unstable and Prime hadnt noticed it yet because windows only does about 60% load. Not sure tho by any means.
January 12, 2012 7:53:53 PM

Wow looking at that first video seeing all the air bubbles when its spread out. Thanks man yea I think I'm going to try the dot on there. Interesting to see that a tiny dot has lower temps then the large dot, you would think that if it wasn't fully covered then the airgap between the processor and heatsink would lose transfer capabilities but definitely gonna try the less is more approach.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 12, 2012 8:22:51 PM

Pea size is far too much. A grain of rice or bit smaller is all you really need.

If your stock settings are 30/67 then OC settings with increased voltage seem about right.
January 12, 2012 9:06:02 PM

When I first got the computer from Cyberpower (I see you all have a dedicated thread for them) the computer was badly overheating. I did not know much about computers at the time just that I liked to play games. Its only been recently that I've taken a strong interest. The computer was running at 65c idle and would easily hit 90c under minor loads of games. I really didn't know how bad that was at the time because honestly I thought why would they send me a computer that was running at such a high temperature if it wasn't meant to. After a few weeks though I started to get more and more suspicious and did some research after the temp monitoring program I had had a little fire icon next to the core temps and then one day while watching a movie my computer crashed saying it was too hot. I sent it back to them and they replaced the V8 aircooler with the water cooler that I had originally ordered (but they said it couldnt fit) and it brought the temps down to around 45-50c idle and thats where it stayed for the last year until I recently became very interested in comps and started to tinker. After a few fans and adjustments I got the temps to where they are but it still always failed the stress test and thats when I got the bigger radiator. I've always kind of thought that maybe my processor just liked to run hot, but thats not an assumption that I like to take. Or that my lack of knowledge before may have raised some issue with it.
January 13, 2012 1:09:07 PM

Thank you guys for all the help just an update I was able to get my comp to 4ghz at 1.2625v and am now running 32/73C idle/load. I reapplied the thermal paste and since I was able to keep my voltages lower I'm exactly where I want to be thank you all very much.
January 13, 2012 1:09:19 PM

Best answer selected by kilcondlost.
January 13, 2012 1:34:52 PM

Beautiful, congrats and happy gaming!
January 14, 2012 3:12:26 AM

Max1s said:
Beautiful, congrats and happy gaming!

Thank you and just wanted to say after following some of the advice with the voltage my computer is now running at the settings is was before except 1.2175v and now is 30/58 idle load it made a HELL of a difference thank you.
January 14, 2012 8:24:19 AM

Ahh, much better. The voltage is what accounts for the majority of the temperature increase, you lower the voltage, the temp goes way down.
!