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CPU fan / thermal compound question

Last response: in Components
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February 17, 2011 1:34:39 PM

I have an i5 CPU and stock fan with really poor thermal gel I purchased from a tech shop. I also have the Intel DP55WG (http://www.intel.com/Products/Desktop/Motherboards/DP55...) mobo. Just for reference as well, I have the Antec Sonata III 500 case.

I'm looking to purchase the Zalman ZALMAN CNPS9900 NT 120mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler because I've had great success with their products in the past, plus its fan speed is controlled by the mobo. It comes with its own thermal gel (High-performance thermal grease is available to ensure a perfect combination between the copper base and CPU for excellent heat conduction.)

My questions are:

*Should I be concerned with space with the cooler? I have an Nvidia 560ti vid card in the PCIe x16 slot
*Should I use the included thermal gel or get Arctic Silver 5?
a b à CPUs
February 17, 2011 3:35:13 PM

You can certainly use the stuff that comes with the Zalman cooler. It will likely fit in the case, as their coolers are smaller than most 'tower' type standard coolers.

If you go with a different thermal compound, I'd suggest something other than AS5. Why? It has an overly complex curing method to reach optimal temps, plus it's electrically conductive. Something like the Gelid GC-Extreme or Shin Etsu G751 compounds have no curing time and aren't electrically conductive at all.

Read this page from an 80-way comparison. In the chart, the best ones are at the bottom.
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February 26, 2011 1:53:12 AM

After installing the Zamlman cooler and the Shin Etsu compound and playing STO for a few hours the max cpu temp according to CoreTemp was 180F. It says the Tj. Max is 210F. What is that exactly?

The temperatures are no better than what they were before... I believe that I applied the compound just fine. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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a b à CPUs
February 26, 2011 3:06:09 AM

Either you didn't mount the cooler correctly or you are heavily over-volting and/or overclocking the CPU. It shouldn't be running at 82ºC otherwise.

TjMax is the maximum per-core temp. Sandy Bridge is rated for TjMax of 98ºC, and will start auto-throttling in the low-90sºC to save itself.

Edit: Unless your ambient temps are super high right now.

My 2500K overclocks to 4.8GHz at about 1.504v, and the temps peak in the low-70sºC during an IntelBurnTest v2.50 50-run Maximum Stress test. That was using a Scythe Rasetsu cooler, which isn't all that great.
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a b à CPUs
February 26, 2011 3:53:27 AM

Shin Etsu doesn't need special curing time or treatment like Arctic Silver does. And his temp program is Core Temp.
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February 26, 2011 12:10:52 PM

Hi, the thermal grease did sit for a few days as I didn't have time to play with STO for awhile. The temp in the room were about 68F.

I have a rear case fan that acts as an exhaust and a front case fan that pulls air in.

It may have been that I the heatsink didn't mount properly, the srews were difficult to get to due to the fins. I may take it off and reinstall it to see if it helps too.

With my stock cooler and grease, while playing STO the CPU temp would get that high. As you an imagine, after paying $65 for the new cooler/grease I'm a bit dissapointed.

I also tried RealTemp to monitor the temps with the same results. I'm not overclocking anything.
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February 27, 2011 1:52:35 AM

I re-secured the heatsink, and the temps are still high. The grease was evenly placed across the surface of the CPU as well. I may try the grease that came with the Zalman cooler...
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February 27, 2011 12:28:14 PM

I would say then that the CPU is the problem. Two heatsinks (stock and the ZALMAN CNPS9900). At the time I did add an additional fan.
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a b à CPUs
February 27, 2011 12:53:12 PM

I would actually bring the computer into the tech shop where you bought the processor. See if they can re-mount the heatsink and what the temps are. There may indeed be something wrong with the CPU, but this would be the first time I've heard of a problem like this being the CPU's fault. If they get the same temps, maybe they'll replace the CPU for you.
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February 27, 2011 3:13:23 PM

I've had the CPU for about a year and a half, purchased from Newegg. Just recently got into computer gaming again and with that the proc temps went up. I'll just let it run, I'm not going to sink more money into it.

If it burns out, I'll build a new system.
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