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Core i7 High temps (stock heat sink, no OC)

  • CPUs
  • Thermal Compound
  • Heat
  • Intel i7
Last response: in CPUs
January 7, 2010 8:58:34 PM

After 3 attempts of reapplying the thermal paste my lowest temps have been 43-49 idle and 66-73 gaming.
During Prime 95 my temps shoot up to 90c very quickly and I have to stop because I don't want to damage anything.

I know that with the paste less is more. Could there be a problem with my CPU or heat sink that is causing these temps?

I use generic paste but with the same paste on my q6600 system my temps are on average 7 degrees cooler.

More about : core high temps stock heat sink

a c 585 à CPUs
January 7, 2010 9:33:15 PM

What's your room temperature? Do you have enough cooling in your case?
a c 113 à CPUs
January 7, 2010 9:38:17 PM

I would say it's obvious that your HSF isn't installed correctly. Did you carefully read the instructions on how to install it? The push-pins have to be rotated the opposite direction as the arrows prior to installation. It's easiest to install the HSF when the motherboard is outside the case so you can ensure all four push-pins are fully seated.
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January 7, 2010 9:41:24 PM

Sorry I didn't say my case, it's an Antec 900 so lots of air flow. Room temp is around 22c - 25c (its winter here and my room is pretty much heated by my computer).
January 7, 2010 9:42:49 PM

My heat sink is in full contact with my CPU. It is locked in there pretty good, all 4 push-pins click and the heat sink doesn't rock at all.
a c 585 à CPUs
January 7, 2010 10:00:34 PM

Then how are you checking the CPU temperature?
a b à CPUs
January 7, 2010 10:29:19 PM

Lay your computer flat on its side (heatsink on top, chip/mobo on the bottom) and see if it helps.

If your temperature drops, the mounting system for your heatsink/cooler is defective.
January 7, 2010 11:33:49 PM

Programs I used are speedfan and realtemp. I am going to play a game with my computer on it's side and check my temps.
January 7, 2010 11:58:29 PM

Temps were in the same range so it's not connection, how much of a benefit would buying better thermal paste have on my temps?
a c 585 à CPUs
January 8, 2010 12:15:35 AM

Does CoreTemp report the same high temperatures?
January 8, 2010 12:28:12 AM

CoreTemp was pretty consistent with RealTemp

Also, for anyone who is reading. I have a quick question about after market heat sinks. I know most of the good ones require
a big job with taking out the motherboard and putting stuff on the back, I was wondering if there were any good heat sinks that
are not a huge project.
a c 585 à CPUs
January 8, 2010 12:33:48 AM

I agree with shortstuff_mt. Either the HSF isn't mounted correctly or you are using inappropriate heat paste.
a b à CPUs
January 8, 2010 12:56:08 AM

You should probably remove your motherboard anyways and observe if all 3 parts of each corner of the hsf have made it through. Each corner white latches are spread ,anchored to the backside of the m/b spread by a black center prong.

Taken from a installation article with photos, good stuff.

Also do you have your voltage setting in bios set to auto, for stock speeds
you might want to put this on normal. Gigabyte boards this is how you start at first boot.
auto vs normal
But that alone would maybe make your cores go up to mid /high 70's with hyperthreading
on stock hsf. There is most likely something amiss.
January 8, 2010 1:36:00 AM

I also forgot to mention that I turn off hyperthreading to reduce temps (didn't see a difference really)

I guess I will have to take it all apart and make sure the heat sink is on right.
What thermal paste would you guys recommend?
a c 585 à CPUs
January 8, 2010 2:01:34 AM

Artic Silver 5 is easy to apply and it's quite good.
a b à CPUs
January 8, 2010 2:08:00 AM

I use Artic Cooling MX2. Just as good as AS5 if not better.

Get whatever is cheaper.
January 8, 2010 4:27:40 AM

One last question guys, is high 60s and low 70s bad for my CPU? I know it would be ideal to get it lower but I don't have the funds or the stores in my area to get good thermal paste quickly.

Thanks for all your help.
January 8, 2010 5:27:39 AM

Is your i7 a Nehalem or Lynnfield processor?
January 8, 2010 5:56:54 AM

I really don't know; but I tend to think they run really hot anyway. People don't believe me when I say that.

turn off the turbo also. You don't want the thing to be trying to max it's thermal limits at this stage. Most people say the stock hsf sucks also. But it should work regardless.

definitely check the hsf seating - back to basics, then rma it.

I like the way you heat your room with i7 - that's really cool. other indicators I have seen say that your temps are to be expected - but I really don't know - so I will leave it to those with experience with spintel products. These issues get lots of flames if I mention them in other discussions. It's too bad. I hope for your sake, it's a loose hsf. but it's going to run hot under load - esp. cos the turbo is going to keep pushing it, by design, to it's thermal limits, before it cuts out. That's why I say turn it off until you know what's happening for sure here.

@chad - Does it matter if it's a nihilame or a lynnfield? Is one of those hotter or something? or are you doing a survey? fascinating.

Please post how or if this is resolved.

a b à CPUs
January 8, 2010 6:58:48 AM

The stock cooler does plain suck. But 90C with Prime 95 is higher than I'd expect for those mild room temps. I wouldn't hit 90C unless the room was nearly 30C. Still, as long as it doesn't go over 90C with Prime 95 it's not too bad. Reseating the heat sink may help.

Turning off HT makes very little difference unless you undervolt the CPU (like I did to keep it cool and keep power consumption down). The stock heat sink simply can't handle the power dissipation even when it's off while the vcore is at default.

Check out this: Take note of the second and third red bars from the right.
a b à CPUs
January 8, 2010 12:51:04 PM

I could OC the i7 920 to 3GHz on stock HSF, so those are definitely too high. I agree with whoever posted the pic...remove the mobo and make sure the pins are really pushing out correctly.
January 8, 2010 2:45:58 PM


I have i7 920 on P6T Deluxe V2, I notice high temperature on my CPU, I have Zalman CNPS 9900 LED Cooler and i used AC MX-3, my temp idle is 44C-48C, when I run prime95 it hits 78C.
The computer case that have is Thermaltake Element S and when I remove side cover temp goes down but only 2-3 degrees. Room temperature is around 20C.
CPU was not overclocked

I think is the CPU cooler defective, because under the prime95 test heat pipes on CPU cooler are not even warm. The heat pipes on my Sapphire HD 4870 VGA are hot during gaming, means they are doing their job.

Help please!
Sorry for my English.
January 8, 2010 3:24:12 PM

So I found this benchmark and my temperatures aren't to far from what this guy is showing in his tests.

Mine are only a few degrees hotter.

As for you tnagy all I can say is look at the advice they game me. Re-seat your heat sink and make sure it's on their good.

You could also have too much TIM.
January 8, 2010 3:36:00 PM

I did that 3 times already, and I followed the instruction from Arctic Cooling website when applying TIM.
January 8, 2010 6:11:32 PM

Are your CPU (IHS) and HSF surfaces flat? Use the edge of a razor-blade to check ideally. Even if the heatsink is mounted well heat-transfer can be bad if the surfaces aren't flat and make proper contact.

Also check your voltages... may be you accidentally overvolted.
January 8, 2010 7:55:44 PM

Voltage is fine, and I check also surfaces.

But don't you guys think that the heat pipes should be at least warm under the CPU load and when you touch it you can feel the temperature . Mine are not even warm when Realtemp shows 78C.
January 8, 2010 8:03:58 PM

That's why I was thinking the surfaces weren't even. If the heat-pipes aren't warm under load then there's improper heat transfer from IHS to HSF, logically.
I don't want to insult you by asking the obvious, so I don't really know man... sorry to hear you've an issue that makes no sense. Two flat copper surfaces that touch should transfer heat. Why's physics failing you lol?
January 8, 2010 8:20:56 PM

Maybe in my collers heat-pipes Zalman forgot to put fluid...
I will buy another one and see.
January 8, 2010 8:28:32 PM

Just FYI, for no reason my gaming temps are now lower. They used to be low 70s and now they get to a max of 65. Yet my idle temps haven't changed a bit.
January 8, 2010 9:00:26 PM

J Coffey said:
Just FYI, for no reason my gaming temps are now lower. They used to be low 70s and now they get to a max of 65. Yet my idle temps haven't changed a bit.

Thermal compound curing?
a b à CPUs
January 8, 2010 10:01:21 PM

Chad Boga said:
AMDZone = Westboro Baptist Church

LOL! - Sorry, I had to leave a comment on that signature. ;) 

For the OP I agree that you need to remove the motherboard and make sure your heatsink is seating entirely. It's a pain in the neck having to do it, but with those standard Intel push-pin style coolers, it's an ABSOLUTE must. You just have to mount the cooler before you install the motherboard.