I7 920 Too Hot-Possible RMA? Or Am I Insane?

I've had my computer built since early December but never got around to overclocking it until about 3 weeks ago. I'm running with an Asus P6T SE mobo and a Cooler Master Hyper 212 heatsink. When I overclocked to around 3.6 I patted myself on the back for a job well done, but then I checked the temps... I was running about 50C idling and 90+ on Prime 95. Great. So I reseated the heatsink and applied AS5 and the temps got down to about 40C idling, but still 80-85 on Prime 95. I know that I'm never going to emulate 100% load but I do heavy editing and rendering and I can get up to 90% on a good day and temps of around 80C.

I thought that yesterday I'd be clever and solve the problem once and for all by getting a different heatsink. I ended up with a Cooler Master n520 and I mounted it and everything (a massive pain) and there was no difference in the temps. I was still running at 40C at stock speeds and up to 85C on Prime 95 after about a minute of testing.

My questions are:
1) How can I get the load temps down? I've already tried reseating and getting a different cooler.
2) Could it be the ram? I got basic Crucial memory and there are not heat spreaders or anything on them.
3) Could I possibly RMA the chip and get another (I've heard from multiple people that some chips do run hotter and can be defective)
4) Can anybody help me? ;)
19 answers Last reply
More about possible insane
  1. You need to lower the voltage. It shouldn't be producing that kind of heat at 3.6. I was able to reach 3.8 with setting everything to its standard voltage, which for the core voltage is 1.2. I have the D0 stepping which is a better OC'er than the C0.

    What are you running your core voltage at?
  2. It's debatable if heat spreaders actually do anything for RAM anyway - a fair few RAM tests on Toms and Anand have shown spreader-less Crucial memory run and overclock just as well as swanky heatspreader hits.

    +1 for voltage tweaks - you're not pushing the i7 that hard so you shouldn't really be running that hot.

    Check what your voltage is (CPU-Z should do it) and let us know. The D0 stepping i7s can easily run stable at around 1.2v
  3. It's still running at 40C at stock speeds which I don't get. I overclocked it and it was still 40... But right now I just put everything on full auto and according to CPU-Z I'm only running at .936V.
  4. I just inputted the CPU voltage in BIOS at 1.22V and now the temps have spiked up to 50C and CPU-Z says that the voltage is 1.18V. I really don't get it.
  5. CPU goes from 1.22V to 1.18V as voltage drop, which is perfectly normal.

    Also, going from a CM H212 to a CM N520 is a slight downgrade in HSF. The H212 is a 120mm fan HSF while the N520 is a 90mm fan HSF.

    I switched from my massive 120mm fan Mugen2 HSF to a CM N520 so I can install another side fan. 90mm fan-heat sinks are mostly just for if you want to install a side case fan.

    1. What is your room temperatures?

    2. Did you apply thermal paste correctly? What type?

    3. Lay the comp on its side, mobo on the bottom, HSF on top. If that helps, your HSF is installed incorrectly.

    What are your temperatures at stock 2.66GHz with the CM N520?

    As a comparison, my i7 920 @ stock 2.66GHz w/ the CM N520 is
    41'C idle, 59'C full load prime95. This is with a room temperature of 68-70'F
  6. Have you got good airflow through your case, what case and fans are you using?
  7. My room temperature is about 72F, so it's pretty normal. Plus it's winter so that helps.
    The thermal paste I used is Arctic Silver 5. I'll have to try laying it on it's side, I've already pushed it into the mobo while it's still vertical and that did nothing.

    But at stock speeds (everything on auto in the mobo settings) I'm running at around 40C. But when it's full load it goes up to 85 which is ridiculous. That's a 45 degree spike!

    My case is the Cooler Master 690 and there are 3 fans in it. Front (huge fan), side, and back. The airflow is pretty good if you ask me.
  8. There should be a huge spike from idle to load. I'm surprised that it's running 85C load though at stock speeds. What voltage does it run with everything set to stock/auto at full load (the 0.936 sounds suspiciously like an idle voltage, which is entirely irrelevant to load temperatures).
  9. You have tried two different coolers, stock settings with good Thermal paste in a cool room with good airflow, seems you have a real problem there, can you get your hands on another CPU to test, maybe at this point RMA is an option!
  10. The .936 is an idle voltage when everything is set on auto. But right now I fixed the voltage at 1.2 and the temps are hovering at 50C. I'll put everything back at auto and then post the results of the voltages at 100% load.

    So putting more fans in the case would potentially solve the problem?
  11. Quote:
    It's obviously his case. He has 3 case fans and they're probably the stockers provided by CM

    I only have 3 fans in my Apevia-Sniper G case. I also have the i7 920 with the same HSF as him (CM N520).

    At idle, my temps are 41'C, at Prime95 load, it's 58'C

    I don't think it's his fans...he might have a bad chip that wrongs hotter than it should.
  12. Bluescreendeath said:
    I only have 3 fans in my Apevia-Sniper G case. I also have the i7 920 with the same HSF as him (CM N520).

    At idle, my temps are 41'C, at Prime95 load, it's 58'C

    I don't think it's his fans...he might have a bad chip that wrongs hotter than it should.

    Just because your case is OK with 3 fans doesn't mean every case is OK with 3 fans, especially the ones it comes with.
  13. There could various possibilities to your high temp problem. You case might not be in a well ventiliated spot, even a good case put into an office desk slot can be choked of air. Also, how did you apply your thermal paste? Thin layer or thick layer? In addition, try turning off HT in the meantime it might help lower temps. Your case fan config might not be correct. Wrong placement of fans can result in interfering air currents which can actually increase heat within the case, acting like a speed bake air circulator in an oven. Which software are you using to monitor your temperatures?

    -I am surprised because you have a really good HSF, thermal paste, and case. I really don't see room for problems so it must be something really out of the ordinary :) If you we can't nail the problem, don't waste your nerves and just let intel worry about it, RMA it and get a new one.
  14. cjl said:
    Just because your case is OK with 3 fans doesn't mean every case is OK with 3 fans, especially the ones it comes with.

    My case is an Apevia Sniper G with bad cabling that covers up one of the fans and a hard drive cage that covers up the other fan. My case is mostly a hunk of steel and glass that is geared more towards looks.

    His case is a CM690, with 3x preinstalled 120mm fans, and the option to install 1x80mm fan, 2x140mm fan, and another 3x120mm fan. His case is pretty much geared towards cooling.



    I really don't think his case would have worse cooling than mine.

    In any case, he should leave a side door open and see what happens.
  15. The CM690 is great as far as airflow goes. The hot air really pumps out the back. I don't think airflow is a problem because I took off the side cover and it did nothing.

    I talked to a guy at Fry's yesterday who literally builds i7 machines every two weeks and he said that he has come across processors that run really hot for one reason or another and it's not uncommon. And he also said that RMA is fine because there is a 3 year warranty on the processor. I'm just worried how long I'd be out of commission for because I'm in the middle of two video projects and starting a few more within the month...
  16. There is a 3 year warranty, yes, but if the processor is stable, runs at a voltage that is in spec, and runs at the rated clockspeed, I'm pretty sure that as far as the warranty is concerned, there's no defect.
  17. I don't know about you, but my local Fry's is full of 25 year old computer geeks who know what their talking about. So you clearly got the short end of the stick. ;)

    So if I can't RMA I have to live with temps hitting the 80-83C mark every time I render out a project? And don't even get me started with Prime95. I feel like I've exhausted every other option, and now I see an RMA as the only way to possibly fix the problem...
    That is if anybody can't come up with a better solution.

    But thank you everybody for helping out!
  18. In terms of retail store computer knowledge:
    1. Microcenter
    2. Fry's
    97. Best Buy
    98. Office depot
    99. Staples
  19. ^ 100. Victoria's Secret
    101. Sears ...

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