I have a year old Core i7 920, which I have been unable to get below 60C idle despite multiple re installations of an aftermarket cooler. Recently, I had been experiencing some problems, like random crashes of VLC Media Player, and some lockups when attempting to run the Windows Experience Index program. I figured that it was time to re install Windows, and did so. Today, I ran a Prime95 test, and as soon as I started it Windows became unresponsive and I could not do anything. Then, it finally started working again, albeit with 92% of my 6GB RAM used up in explorer.exe. I opened up RealTemp, and it told me that my i7 was running at 1.6 GHz, when it should be running at 2.8 GHz. I am assuming this is throttling due to heat, which has never happened before on the chip. I am thinking that the chip is dying, and will soon be non functioning (its at 50c idle at 1.6 GHz!) Is this the chip dying, or could it be something else?
What do I do when the chip no longer works? Should I remove it from the system so it doesn't fry anything?
Sounds like a Heat Sink issue. I'd try a better heat sink, one that is ez to install. The Prolimatech Megahalems provides top notch performance while being probably the easiest aftermarket cooler to install.
^ Yes, as jsc said, 1.6GHz is the stepspeed lowering the CPU speed in order to save energy. It will go up to 2.66GHz when all 4 cores are being stressed, or 2.8GHz for 2 core stress or 2.9GHz for 1 core stress.
OK, well I removed the aftermarket cooler and put on the stock cooler (made sure its on correctly), which only raised the temperatures by a few degrees. I think the issue is with some settings in my BIOS, since I recently set my RAM up to 1600 MHz, which is what it's rated to do. Thanks for the suggestions though.