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First Time Build - CPU Temperature Questions

Last response: in CPUs
March 13, 2010 5:51:26 PM

Hello Everyone, I've been prowling this forums for a while recently as I have been building my own computer. I have finally put it all together and have a question about CPU temperatures. Here are my system specs:

Core i7-930 running at stock speeds
Prolimatech Megahalems CPU Cooler (with 2 Scythe Kaze-Jyuni Slipstream fans in push-pull)
eVGA x58 3SLI board (the non-classified one)
6GB Corsair XMS3 DDR-1600 CL8 Ram
640Gb Caviar Black HDD
2x Radeon 1GB 4850 in CrossfireX
LG Sata 22x DVD-RW
OCZ 700W ModXStream PSU
All mounted in a CoolerMaster HAF-922 Case

Now, I've installed Windows 7 Enterprise on it, and it seems to be running fine. I had a question about my temperatures. Using Speedfan and the Motherboard LCD Display, I ran Prime95 for 15 minutes in 2 different fan configurations. Those configs being an additional fan in the side vent of the case mounted at the top near the CPU heatsink pushing out and pulling in. I initially had it blowing air towards the CPU, and after running Prime95, I saw a max of 60C on all cores, before it settled to hovering between 58-59C. This I thought was weird, because my idle temperatures are 26-29C. I then switched the fan to exhaust air instead of intake it, and my idle dropped to 24-27C, but my load went up to 62C before settling around 60-61C. Looking at various other reviews for the Prolimatech on the 920 (yeah, different processor I know), but the difference between idle and load was only like 10-15C usually, instead of the 30C I am experiencing. Is this weird? I know that it is within spec, but I was thinking I'd get 50C or so under load. Also, the ambient temperature is ~22C (70F). Anyone have thoughts?

Also unrelated, I ran the Crysis demo, and I'm getting screen tearing during the loading screen and the intro movie. I turned on the Wait for vertical refresh and triple buffering in the menu, and it seems to have gone down, but is still present. Anyone have insight into this? Thanks for the help, and I've gotten a few answers already to problems like my RAM and CPU not working at the correct speeds (turned out, I needed to turn on the XMP Profile).
a c 131 à CPUs
March 14, 2010 4:18:39 AM

Hmm. Well all I can really suggest is to make sure the heatsink is properly attached and all 4 pins are clipped into place. That difference doesn't seem too odd to me, although I have a completely different processor. My overclocked Athlon IIx4 idles at 24-29C and on load is 50-55C. I'm on stock cooling. Ambient is about 18C.

I find your situation a bit strange because you are not using stock cooling. And your case cooling looks fine. What thermal compound are you using and how much did you apply and how did you apply it?

As for the tearing, I'm actually having the same problem with a radeon 3870 in crysis. Since I turned on the wait for vertical refresh I experience it much less but occasionally I will see something so I'm curious myself. Definitely not as bad the 8200m I had on my old motherboard though (it eventually died). Constant tearing even when moving a window in windows 7.
March 14, 2010 5:16:53 AM

Thanks for the reply. The compound I am using was the one that came with the Heatsink (Prolimatech brand, I guess?). Since this was my first build, the applying of Thermal compound was my biggest fear, and I am still unsure if I did it right. The instructions for the heatsink said to apply it to both the heatsink as well as the processor. I put about a grain of rice and then spread it with my finger (covered in plastic), and instead of adding more to the heatsink, just used what was already on the plastic to rub onto the heatsink. I will probably reapply the heatsink and probably thermal compound with a more experienced friend later in the week, so maybe that will solve the issue.

Also, for the screen tearing, do you notice it in other games? I've only tried Crysis at this point since that build doesn't have internet access and the Crysis demo I put on a flash drive from another computer, but I really hope it's not a regular thing because for me, that is a terrible feeling to put all that effort into making that computer and it run that way.
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a c 131 à CPUs
March 14, 2010 2:42:28 PM

So I looked up your heatsink and found some numbers on it.

The thermal compound sounds fine to me. It sounds like you didn't apply too much or too little.

I have to ask though, I notice the cooler does not come with a fan, did you purchase a separate fan or are you running it with only the case fans? If just the case fans, I'm not surprised by the temperatures. If you did buy a fan for the cooler, then I am surprised because of what I read in the article. Then again the article compares "average load" instead of "max load".

I used to notice the tearing in everything including in game crysis, other games and HD movies until I enabled vertical refresh. Now it only happens occasionally in the crysis cutscenes. Usually when there is a lot of movement in the horizontal direction.
March 14, 2010 4:12:34 PM

Yes, it did not come with fans, however, I have two 1600rpm fans in a push-pull attached to the heatsink, so cooling from that perspective shouldn't be a problem. I guess I will remount the heatsink when I have some more time here later this week.

I'm curious as to which GPU you have specifically. The Radeons I am running at 1GB Powercolor versions, and I wonder if that has anything to do with it. Also, what are you using as a monitor? I noticed this was the case with a 52" Sony TV using HDMI to connect.
a c 131 à CPUs
March 14, 2010 5:23:13 PM

I'm currently using an HIS radeon 3870 512mb. Their normal version not their OC ones. It's attached to my 1080p Asus monitor using a DVI cable. Just the single card; and no crossfire with the onboard radeon 4200.
March 14, 2010 5:46:04 PM

I looked at that article, and it mentions that the "average load" is simply the average of each core on the processor based on coretemp's log file.

The one thing I did notice, is they used an open bench, which I assume means outside of a case, which i think would make a difference in temps, but 10C?

And is Push-Pull the best way to mount fans? or should I have them both pull or push? I also have a fan on the side of the case, which sits halfway up the heatsink from the top side that can also be mounted push/pull, and from the results i wrote about in the first, seemed that pull was better for load.
a c 131 à CPUs
March 14, 2010 6:10:17 PM

Yes push pull should have the best results.

As for the side fan making a difference I am surprised. What temperatures do you get idle and load if you leave the side of the case open?

I also forgot to ask, or maybe I assumed there wasn't because the system seems so new. Did you check for any dust buildup in the system?
March 15, 2010 12:03:11 AM

I haven't tried with the side open yet, and there is definitely no dust as the system is brand new.
March 22, 2010 1:33:53 AM

Just to update, I reinstalled my heatsink with a friend, i think I just didn't have enough Thermal paste (I also changed from the stock Prolimatech stuff to Arctic Silver 5. My temps dropped significantly. My idles went to 20-22C (CPU temp) and each Core on idle is down to the 30s. During load, the CPU temp is 42-44, and each core is in the mid 50s (this is down from being in the mid 80s). These temperatures were checked using RealTemp and the EVGA E-LEET utility.
a c 131 à CPUs
March 22, 2010 2:09:23 PM

Awesome. Now those temperatures sound really good.

Also, I noticed a small amount of screen tearing once during the pit in call of duty 6 with my card.