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Getting i7-920 temps under control.

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June 11, 2010 7:01:50 AM

My first question, could an i7-920 be damaged if it ran at 86C for ~10 hours? This was during Prime95 test, I was a bit new to overclocking at the time and was ill informed. This was some months ago, when I first built the rig. I have a Hyper 212 Plus CPU cooler and my i7-920 was at 4ghz and did not encounter any errors during this run (Blend test.)

2. If the CPU did get damaged.. would it run at higher idle temps now than it did as a brand new fresh out of the box i7-920?

3. I have been running the i7-920 @ 4ghz for a while and haven't had any issues.. idle temps are 50C for the first core, and usually ~45c for the remaining 3 cores. Is this fluctuation between cores normal? The first core is always 5-7C hotter than the rest.

4. When I applied the thermal paste I was instructed to paste a line down the middle of the CPU.. I have read here recently to spread it across the CPU in an even layer. I then put the Heatsink (Hyper 212 plus) on top of the CPU and attached it.

5. In the case of the Hyper 212 if I put the fan on the wrong side of the heatsink could this drastically change temps if I switched the side it was on? I am thinking about replacing the fan and getting two of THESE. A second fan and they push more air than the default fan that comes with the Hyper 212.

6. I am looking for advice on how to improve temps some more. I am hoping the two fans I am getting will help. Would it be wise to re-apply the thermal paste? Is there a video perhaps or any recommendations on how to apply the thermal paste this time around? (I have artic silver 5)

7. as far as the CPU possibly being damaged.. if I can run Prime95 with my current overclock (once I get the temps more under control) than I am right in thinking the CPU is just fine? Also, when I run games the temps usually never get over 72C on the first core, others are a good 5-6C behind.

Last but not least (sorry!) is it normal for my temps to go from 48-50C idle to 86C + as soon as Prime95 is started? Seems like a huge differnece and way to hot.

EDIT: I lied, I have one more quick series of questions :D . Do you guys control the fan speed on your CPU cooler? Is it recommended? Is there a good program to use to do so?

Thanks

-J

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June 11, 2010 8:06:10 AM

86 is pretty hot, I doubt its damaged in only 10 hours. Would probably take weeks or months..

My core#3 is usually about 2 degrees hotter than the rest, but idle temps are below 40. Probably common.. Probably depends which core is doing the general work of idling software.

Putting the fan on the wrong side of the 212 wont make a difference as far as air flow through the coils, but the direction of where air is coming from will. Is it pulling cold air or hot air?

A 2nd fan would help temps a little, and maybe another fan to help push cold air to the CPU fans and a good exhaust fan. Just general airflow. The more air flow ya get, the cooler the air will be that travels through the heatsink.

86 is really hot... Even though the game will not maintain your processer at that temp, there will be alot of spikes that are close to it. I can't say, from experience, what the lifespan will be with the processer being pushed like that. (I'm a sissy, I like to stay below 70) Maybe 6 months, maybe 6 years. I don't know if the i7 has even been out long enough for anyone to say how long it'll last.

Yes prime95 or any program that pushes any thread/core is going to make the temp jump to whatever amount is being used. The chip is so tiny, its like turning on a ligght bulb

Speedfan (free download) is really nifty, just follow a guide on setting it up so you don't accidently turn off all your fans and get shut down. If its all set up good, then you can just put it in startup, auto minimize, and let it do its thing forever.

I wouldn't recommend a hardware speed controller. Tried one once, thing melted on me. Good thing I had 2 CPU fans and one of them was plugged into the motherboard while the other fan that was on the controller had turned off completely ><
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June 11, 2010 10:25:33 PM

Well, I ordered two replacement fans which should push a lot more air and will be cleaning out my computer soon with compressed air and cleaning the filters on my Antec 1200 that the fans use. I will see if that makes a difference.

On another note, would re-applying thermal paste do me any good? I reset the OC back to default speeds and the temps only went down idle by 10C.. I was expecting a lot more than that going from 4.0ghz back to 2.66ghz.

Also, as far as Speedfan goes I am unable to select my CPU fan. I know (i think) how to configure the thing and under Speeds it only shows Speed 1, Speed 2, and Speed 3 whereas under fans it shows 5 fans one of which is my "CPU Fan 0" which is not selectable anywhere.
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June 12, 2010 2:21:42 AM

i have the same cpu/cpu cooler and i got to tell you that something is definitely wrong with what you're doing. i did a simple OC to 3.6 and never saw temps run above 4x degrees during burn-in, and am seeing only 27 stock at idle. when installing the 212, i put paste across all parts of the heatsink that made contact with the cpu, which was probably overkill.

your 1200 is a lot like my old 900, so the best thing is to install a side fan, blowing air into the case and maybe another one at the rear, also blowing air into the case. the heatsink should be laying horizontally with the fan at the bottom blowing up.

i manually set my fan to run at 75% speed until it reaches a certain temp, and then it ratches up to 100%. i once had it set to run at 100% 100% of the time, but it was a bit too loud.

sounds like your heatsink is not properly seated. remove it and all thermalpaste on it, then clean it and reapply paste and reseat it. i know from experience that if the installation isn't perfect, the temps will skyrocket. i recently built a WHS with an e6300 i had laying around and i decided to install the stock intel heatsink/fan for the e8500 i had laying around and one clip was not perfectly set, and the idle temps were over 60c. i fixed it and everything went back to normal.

current case/mb: haf922 (side fan installed 120mm), and evga ex58 (note, most temp readings from the led display on the mb).
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June 12, 2010 2:22:36 AM

Try to keep your voltage low (less than 1.35v) and with a hyper 212+(not a good cooler for core i7) yuo should be fine
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June 12, 2010 2:26:34 AM

ubernoobie said:
Try to keep your voltage low (less than 1.35v) and with a hyper 212+(not a good cooler for core i7) yuo should be fine


wow...you are way off the mark here. the 212+ got a 10 kick ass award from maximum pc a few months ago, which is why i bought two to replace my true120s. the 212 has slightly better performance than the true120 but at half the cost, and, trust me, MUCH easier installation.
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June 16, 2010 8:43:39 PM

Well, lowering voltage did help... but, I am worried about my 3DMark Vantage scores.

Here are my results for 3DMark Vantage:



The CPU scores should be in the range of my GPU at least, people are getting in the 30,000 range with my setup at the very least... i7-920 speeds were clocked at 3.8ghz for this test, with hyper-threading disabled, speedstep disabled, intel virtualization etc.

Specs:
i7-920 @ 4.0 ghz
ATI 5970HD
3 x 2GB OCZ DDR3 RAM running @ 1600mhz (advertised running speed)
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 mobo
Auzentech Prelude X-fi 7.1 sound card
2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD's
1x Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB HDD
Antec 1200 Tower Case
Win7 x64
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June 17, 2010 6:24:10 AM

Well, I turned on Hyperthreading and my CPU score in Vantege went from ~17k to ~24k which seems right on par on where it should be. Won't be keeping hyperthreading on for gaming, as from what I've heard there's no use for it.

Secondly, I cleaned out my case today, replaced the stock fan on the Hyper 212+ with one of these and a second one of those as a side fan blowing on the GPU/right below the intake for the Hyper 212+. Now there's a torrent of air flowing through the case. It's freezing all around it :D . I also went ahead and re-applied the artic silver 5 paste... this time spreading it around the whole CPU in a very thin layer as opposed to a relatively thick line down the center as before.

Idle temps from 50C to 42C and load temps from 86C to 79-80C. This is during Prime mind you, I would imagine during gaming it was reaching 72C before maxed, that it would be ~65C maxed now :D .

Not sure what made the biggest difference but it is nice to have the temps lower now and more in the normal range. Still not as low as I would have liked, and from numerous reports from others there idle i7-920's are running in the 35C range.. and I have a crapton of cooling.. but eh, temps are much, much better
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June 17, 2010 6:46:05 AM

holy ***...i also bought two of those fans for my haf-922...and then quickly put them back in their bags and in the closet...they are noisey as hell.

lots of things were wrong with what you had at first...dirty case/fans...you needed a good side fan to blow air in...the amount of paste you used at first sounds like it was too thick.

as i mentioned i still use the stock 212+ fan and manually set it to 75%. i am looking to replace the 120mm fan with a 200 or whatever fits on the side to get more air in, otherwise things are fine.
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June 17, 2010 10:49:13 PM

Noisy? I read that on some of the reviews... not a major issue to me as I almost always have the speakers on to the point I can barely hear the 5970 at 100% speeds, which sounds like a jet engine lol.

TBH, I haven't noticed anymore noise at all however, and the red LED's are sweet.

CPU temps are down to 40C idle today... :D  . What do your idle cpu/gpu temps run at? If I remember correct your using a 5970 and i7-920 too?
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June 18, 2010 12:46:33 AM

5970 no, 920 yes. in a couple of months am going to change out to the asus rog 5870 (from the 8800 gts 640) and a dell u2410 (from a 19" crt). i'm still in the midst of a fsx build and while fsx benefits from more cpus, it seemingly doesn't with regard to gpus.

ok...cpu idle temps:

speedfan: temp1: 27; core (0-7):41,41,39,40,39,39,39,39

eleet: cpu 26; core 1-4: 43,41,40,40

led on evga mb: 26

voltage: 1.26250 (stock clocks)


the fans in question when running at full were really annoying and for some reason, the bios wouldn't/couldn't adjust the fan speed, so without a controller, i decided to ditch it and use the antecs i had that had built-in switches.

oh, and the cpu fan speed is set to 75%.
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