Heat sink getting worse over time?

i have a zalman heat sink [not sure of the exact model but it was top rated at the time], unfortunately there was not a single hyper 212 in site as that would have been my first pick but cooler master was in short supply when i did my build.

i have applied thermal paste a few times [IC Diamond 7] to try and get back to normal but it doesnt seem to help. my idle temps were high 20s low 30s for the first few months then they steadily got warmer until now when they are idling in the high 40s. i still have the same mild OC that i had when i got it. i have to run it at full speed constantly.

when i play borderlands 2 or bf3 it will eventually over heat and shut my system down. i have had issues in the past wear my mobo over volts or OCs itself which i still think is pretty odd

my processor is i5-2500k and its OCed to a measly 4.2ghz, it should be cooling it no problem but it isnt
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  1. Have you considered trying a different thermal compound? I have tried the Diamond 7 compound and was not very impressed , if you were to try a different thermal compound try Artic Silver 5.
    How is the air flow inside the case , do you have more than two fans? If you don't have a side panel fan then you could consider putting one as that would blow fresh air onto the motherboard cpu area.
  2. Well if it was fine before, but not now, I fail to see how it can be his brand of thermal paste.

    I never recommend AS5 as it takes over 100hrs to cure. There are much better choices.

    Vanwazltoff, is it possible it's just hotter now than it was when you build the computer?

    Your cpu temperatures depend on the ambient room temperature.

    Also your heatsink could be clogged with dust, which would reduce airflow. The fan blades could also be full of dust and spinning slower.
  3. i have a slightly more air restrictive case but not by much, i was noticing steadily declining thermal efficiency in my old case anyway. i am actually going to switch to timtronics grey ice 4200 here in the very near future, toms approved. its the best thermal paste on the market.
  4. the slow cure time of AS5 is the exact reason why i chose ICD7 over it. ICD7 has a cure time of about 2 hours and you can turn it on directly after application. waiting 4 days, thats just silly
  5. i decided to replace it with a kuhler 620
  6. I'm sure that will make an improvement.
  7. Hit the heatsink with compressed air on the fins, dust gets trapped in there even if you can't see it. Than make sure you have proper airflow in the case since it sounds like you already replaced the thermal compound. And did you instal the heatsink correctly? Than double check and make sure the heatsink is securly fastened down, corner to corner is how I would secure it down instead of working on the same side.

    Basically double check all the simple stuff that you may have overlooked as most of the complicated problems in life (and computers) have simple solutions and vice versa.
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