Q9550 CPU overheating

My Q9550 CPU (2.83gHz) is idling very warm, and playing any game for longer than 5 minutes will cause the system to shut down. I have not overclocked the CPU at all.

Before you ask, yes all the push-pins are completely secured. I have reseated the heatsink(s) dozens of times. I have spread thermal paste just about every different way possible (Thick, thin, razor thin, small globs in center of CPU and on heatsink).


IDLE TEMPs (Core Temp):
core0 51*C
core1 46*C
core2 44*C
core3 44*C

LOAD TEMPs (Prime95 Blend torture test, 5 minutes elapsed):
core0 73*C
core1 65*C
core2 66*C
core3 65*C

LOAD TEMPs (Prime95 Small FFTs torture test, <1 minute elapsed [Test stopped, afraid of overheating PC]):
core0 77*C
core1 69*C
core2 69*C
core3 69*C

Current CPU Fan/Heatsink:
MassCool 8W501B1M3G 90mm Ball CPU Cooler

Previous CPU Fan/Heatsink:
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2

(Temps with the Freezer 7 Pro were identical to the MassCool temps. I purchased the Freezer 7 Pro from a local PC store and they graciously allowed me to exchange for the MassCool plus refunded the difference)

Relevant System Specs:

Case: ThermalTake Element-S Midtower (140mm rear exhaust fan, 120mm front intake fan, 220mm ceiling fan)
Motherboard: ASUS P5N-T Deluxe
RAM: Generic 4gb (2x2gb)
Graphics Card:EVGA GTX 470 SC

Any suggestions as to what the heck is going on here? There is no way a stock Q9550 should be idling this hot, and overheating to the point of shutting down while playing games.

Thanks for your assistance.

21 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about q9550 overheating
  1. The mass cool looks almost like the stock intel cooler. Have you checked your volts in the bios to see if it is over juiced?
  2. I went with the MassCool because it looked like the stock Intel cooler, it was in stock at the local PC supply store, and it was cheap. (My stock Intel has 2 broken push-pins and wont seat properly). I figured I would try the "stock" style to see if it would work at all. The results were pretty much identical to the "oversized" heatsink.

    As to the voltage, I don't think it is over juiced at all. Core Temp and CPU-Z report the volts but I didn't write them down. A brief check of the BIOS looks normal to me, but I will check again tomorrow and note the volts that Core Temp and CPU-Z report.

    A note- I am using "generic" thermal paste (Brand name is Dynex) that I purchased at Best Buy a while back for one of my other builds. Does using a "brand name" paste like Arctic Silver 5 make that big of a difference?
  3. Ok- here are my voltages in the BIOS:

    Under HardWare Monitor:

    Vcore Voltage: 1.28V
    3.3V Voltage: 3.29V
    5V Voltage: 4.94V
    12V Voltage: 11.84V

    Under Over Voltage:

    VCore Voltage: Auto
    CPU VTT Voltage: Auto
    Memory Voltage: Auto
    NB BR04 CHIP Voltage: Auto
    1.2V HT Voltage: Auto
    NB CHIP Voltage: Auto
    SB CHIP Voltage: Auto
    GTLVREF: Auto

    Under Overclocking:

    CPU Spread Spectrum: Disabled
    SATA Spread Spectrum: Disabled
    LDT Spread Spectrum: Auto
    CPU Internal Thermal Control: Auto
    Limit CPUID MaxVal: Disabled
    Enhanced C1 (C1E): Disabled
    CPU C State Capability: Disabled
    Execute Disable Bit: Enabled
    Virtualization Technology: Enabled
    CPU Multiplier: 8.5
    Enhanced INtel SpeedStep: Enabled
    LDT Frequency: 5x
  4. Those temps are normal for intel stock cooler.Start worrying when it crosses 80c.
  5. Have you checked inside Event Viewer to the reason your system is shutting down? Next time it happens I'd look in there for red X's or Exclamations usually the red X's follow.
  6. I don't think the temps are normal if my PC is shutting itself down while I'm playing a game.

    Update since last post-

    I've purchased Artic Silver 5 and followed their instructions for correct application. Still very high idle temps, and shutting down while playing games.
  7. Indy-Go:

    Event Viewer doesn't clearly explain the reason for my PC shutting down.

    I have a critical event that appears each time I turn my PC back on:

    EventID: 41
    Source: Kernel-Power
    Log: System

    Description: The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.

    I also show:

    EventID: 6008
    Source: EventLog
    Description: The previous system shutdown was unexpected.
  8. Your pc is shutting down due to other reasons.Those temps are not enough to shut down a cpu.Intel cpu throttles when it reaches 100c.Go to your mobo bios and look for any temp related shutdown option.If you find any disable it.If not then start testing ram.Your 5v voltage is rather low it should be around 5.12 mark.Which psu you are using?When stress testing system do you see voltage flactuations?Download everest.Run its stress test and keep an eye at voltage.
  9. I still think it's overheating- when I've been in a game for 5-10 minutes, and alt-tab to check my temperatures they are in the 90s. Isn't that really high?

    My PSU is a generic 700W unit. It could very well be going bad, but with temps up in the 90s I still think that it is shutting down due to overheating.
  10. UPDATE:

    Since my original post, I've tried some different things.

    I thoroughly cleaned the CPU and Heatsink with alcohol and applied Artic Silver 5.

    I reduced the Vcore voltage to 1.25V.

    Neither of these had any effect on my PC shutting itself down.

    In fact, playing a game like Mass Effect 2 would frequently push my temps into the mid-90s before my computer would turn itself off.

    Today, I tried swapping out my GTX 470 SC for an older card (8800 GTS 512MB).

    I spool up Mass Effect 2 and my temps get up to maybe 70, if even. I played the game for half an hour, before I quit to go make supper.

    Is there any reason why a GTX 470 would make my CPU so hot?
  11. if you dont have enough case cooling.. the 470 puts out ALOT of heat.

    what kind of case is it in..

    try leaving the side off and aiming a big fan at it ie 20" box fan.

    see if that helps at all.
  12. I've got a Thermaltake Element-S case (without a side intake fan, unfortunately). I can try the big fans again.
  13. Pc Guru_07 said:
    Your pc is shutting down due to other reasons.Those temps are not enough to shut down a cpu.Intel cpu throttles when it reaches 100c.Go to your mobo bios and look for any temp related shutdown option.If you find any disable it.If not then start testing ram.Your 5v voltage is rather low it should be around 5.12 mark.Which psu you are using?When stress testing system do you see voltage flactuations?Download everest.Run its stress test and keep an eye at voltage.

    Worst advice I've ever heard. If it gets to 77 in one minute, and 5 minutes of playing a game reboots you, then yes it's overheating and disabling the sensors.. hey maybe we should throw it in some water to cool it down too right?

    Anyway. Assuming the heatsink is squeaky clean and the case temp is not rising with the cpu temp, then it sounds like you may have a hairline fracture in the CPU. Rare but it happens. Hopefully it's under warranty still if this is the case. Try taking out the CPU and cleaning it spotlessly. All the paste off - on the sides too (use rubbing alcohol). Then with a magnifying glass look all over it, including the sides of the dye.

    If the case temp is getting hot too, then it would have nothing to do with your processor and you should focus on the case fans. Air should move front to back. I doubt this is the case since it would be the easiest answer.

    Hope this helps. :)
  14. You know, it wouldn't surprise me if I had a hairline fracture in the CPU.

    The thing that still puzzles me is that when I swapped out my GTX 470 for an older 8800 GTS my temps while gaming barely got past 70! Idle temps were still a little high (Upper 40s) but I don't really care about those...

    I know the GTX 470 is hot, but could it really be making my CPU overheat? Wouldn't you think it'd just make my case really warm, not the CPU?

    If it is the 470 making my CPU overheat, what could I do to bring temps down so I can actually use the new graphics card? My case (Thermaltake Element-S) doesn't really have any more room for extra fans. I could add an extra 120mm intake fan in front, but I don't know if that would really help all that much.

    Could it be a power-related issue? Maybe the GTX draws too much power for my PSU to handle and it overvolts the CPU or something? I dunno, I'm just grasping at straws here.
  15. Best answer
    Actually one symptom of a fracture would be if it drops quickly in temperature during idle, like drop from 80 to 70 instantly, then to 60 within 30 seconds. Keep an eye on it.

    -upper- 40's is pretty hot. 40C is 104F and 50C is 122F. 35-40 is usually good, 45+ is pushing. Air should move front front -> back in case. Do you have good fans and also do you have alot of wires blocking airflow? Usually you'll be able to put a fan in the front and back, as well as your PSU acts as a fan. Most will also have some vents in the side. See if you could bolt one on there too. Also, definitely check for dust! Dust build-up in the front can easily hurt the air flow and cause problems, I use air filters that I cut to fit anywhere air can get in - saves me the annoyance of a monthly cleaning. If dust is blocking up your heatsink - it would definitely cause this problem, or air intakes, or even the fans and PSU fans. When I asked if they are good, do they push alot of air? Good CFM rating or at least feel like blowing on your hand relatively hard as compared to just a tiny faint breeze? Food for thought.

    PSU related, I would doubt a lack of amps would cause things to over-heat but I could be wrong. If you still have your old 8800 you could try swapping them out again to see.

    (Didn't mean to write a book here but one more thing!)
    As a temporary solution you should be able to put a box-fan next to your computer with the side removed from the case. Just point the box-fan into the computer and your temps should be great -- if they're still warm though.. well I don't think that's possible. :)
  16. temps do drop VERY quickly from load down to idle. I'm at work now, but I will time the drops when I get back home. That possible fracture is not good news at all. I definitely don't have the budget right now to buy a new CPU.

    Even if I did, I'd want to upgrade and get Sandy Bridge at the same time, but obviously that would require a new mobo and new RAM. Not to mention newegg and such don't have them in stock any more with that SATA II controller issue.

    About my case:

    My case currently has a 120mm intake fan on the bottom-front of the case. The case also has a 220mm fan on the top of the case, although I am not sure if this fan is an intake or exhaust fan and to be honest I don't know if it really does anything. I have a 120mm rear exhaust fan at the top rear of the case.

    I don't really have room to add any more exhaust fans. The case has 2 slots for maybe 50 or 60mm fans below the exhaust fan, but I can't imagine adding 2 small fans would really do anything.

    I could add another 120mm intake fan on the front of the case. Would you think that this would be worth a shot?

    Dust isn't an issue as my case does have air filters and I clean them regularly. Also, the CPU heatsink/fan combo is new so hopefully it didn't come clogged with dust out of the box!

    My fans do move a good amount of air. The "hand test" proves it.

    On another forum a poster suggested that my GTX 470 could be compromising the efficiency of my CPU heatsink from all the heat the card produces. He suggested that I move my GTX 470 down to the bottom pCI-E 2.0 slot. I'm going to give that a shot.

    Is there anything else I should look for if my CPU is factured?

    Thanks for all of your excellent information.
  17. Maybe you should try undervolting you CPU

    The procedure is mentioned in this article for the QX 9650,2348-5.html

    The process is done for the Penryn microarchitecture but I think it can be applied on Yorkfields as well.

    Try to take your PC to any nearby hardware store and let them have a look at it and ask them to test it with a different PSU.

    I don't think the GTX 470 can raise the CPU temperature as your model vents externally. I know this may sound stupid anfd irrelevant but try to update your drivers to their latest versions.
  18. So I went ahead and moved the GTX 470 down to the bottom SLI slot and BOOM, problem solved. Idle is still a smidge high (40-41) but loads only go to 61-62.

    I'm definitely going to invest in a 2nd 120mm intake fan in front and probably a 60mm fan for a 2nd exhaust fan in back.

    I will look into getting a really good CPU cooler eventually, but for now I'm just happy to be able to use my PC again.

    Thanks everyone for all of your help. It's been most....well...helpful!

    Thanks again!

  19. Most probably, your card was either obstructing the air flow in the chassis due to its sheer size or, sucking up most of the air from the 120mm front fan. But I have to admit, I never saw that coming. Good job and very nice of you to tell us the solution so other people having similar problems can solve them quickly

    Thank you for sharing your enlightening experience.
  20. Best answer selected by skurvy5.
  21. I encounter similar problem and I don't have another SLI slot to put my VGA on...
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