I have an HTPC that I built based on the ASRock H55M Pro motherboard and Core i3 530. Nothing is overclocked and I'm using the stock cooler. I recently noticed that when doing some video encoding (core loads all pegged at 100%), my core temperatures rise to 100-105C, at which point the CPU starts to throttle back due to thermal concerns. Has anyone else had a similar issue? Any suggestions on what might be wrong?
Things that I've checked:
CPU Fan working? - Yes, runs at 2400 rpm idle and over 3000 rpm under load.
Case cooling adequate? - Yes. Open case with large fan blowing across motherboard didn't alleviate the problem.
Re-seat the cooler. Buy some aftermarket thermal paste, clean off the gunk that came with the box cooler, apply the new thermal paste per instructions (usually a small drop smaller than a pea right in the center), then re-attach the heatsink.
One thing you can do is put a finger or two on the heatsink while under load and see if that makes a difference, I bet it does. Like said above re-install the cooler, with some quality TIM if you can, make sure you clean the old stuff off first with high purity alcohol.
Yeah, so it seems the heat sink wasn't well seated. I bought some Arctic Silver 5 and used that in reseating the heat sink and now full-load temperatures top out at about 70C (Tjmax = 105C). I'm still a little concerned about the ability of the heat sink to properly contact the CPU due to the asinine mounting system. It took about 4 or 5 tries to get the thing to click into place.
I'm thinking about replacing the stock cooler with the Cooler Master GeminII S. Should I expect a decent improvement in temperatures and maybe some overclocking headroom?
With a Core i3 530 I would expect temps around 50C. I can get 50C on my overclocked Athlon 64 x2, and that's a 65nm 3.2GHz part.
I would definitely consider an aftermarket cooler, maybe even one that comes with a backplate (for a more secure fit). It appears that Geminii S comes with backplates/bolts that secure the heatsink all the way through the board (unlike those flawed screw-ins). Just make sure you get one with fans installed, it looks like the Geminii S allows for 1x120mm or 2x90mm or 2x80mm. I'd go 1x120mm, its quieter.