Help! Why is my CPU suddenly so hot?

Hello forum techies, I need some advice.

Last night my computer was (presumably) working fine. This morning, my CPU is overheating to the point of the mobo's failsafe kicking in and turning it off.

I'm using an i7-920 with the stock fan, which has worked fine for the last 2ish years I've used this machine.

Going into my bios I've managed to keep it on by retarderizing (like my new word?) it a bit, turning off the Turbo function and making it a dual core.

I'm just really wondering what happened last night to make these temps shoot up overnight.

Any tips or new lines of thought for me?
18 answers Last reply
More about help suddenly
  1. Check your BIOS and make sure that your CPU fan is spinning at the appropriate speed. Open up the case and make sure the heatsink did not get unseated somehow, and clean out any dust buildup that you see inside the case and on your cases air intakes and fans. If you haven't cleaned the case out in about two years you can get a lot of dust built up inside the case and that might cause cooling issues.
  2. The fan spins between 950-1300 rpm, so I know its going. I'll admit I dont clean it as regularly as I should, but it is cleaned now. (That was part of my troubleshooting.)

    The heatsink is seated as best it can be, I've checked that several times today. (After securing the pins and such, give it a little wiggle to make sure its not loose, its on there).

    Now, I've run this with basically default bios settings the entire time I've owned it. (Btw, I'm using the DFI LP Jr x58-t3h6 mobo) I've been playing around in the bios, trying different settings to see if I could get it to just stay on without overheating, and using RealTemp I'm getting around 75-85 degrees w/o the "turbo" function on. Ive kept Hyperthreading on, and atm I have all 4 cores enabled, just turbo off, and its fairly stable at 80ish degrees. That is HOT, right?

    Running it with 1 core, hyperthreaded and turbo'ed, its right there at 99-100 degrees. So the turbo thing seems to be the kicker for spiking that temp up.

    I'm just wondering, what failed? Fans spinning, thermal paste has been applied and cleaned and reapplied, 99% sure that heatsink is on as best as able..... WTF?
  3. if its on stock speed take the fan off clean it well and clean the cpu thermal paste then paste a new one
  4. That is odd, maybe check your CPU voltage and make sure it is at the normal level, if the voltage is to high, it can cause your temps to skyrocket. Also if your temperatures are into the 70s and 80s, your fan is spinning a little slow. I'm running an i3 530 and if the temps get into the high 60s my CPU fan spins at about 1600 RPM. Maybe you should try setting the CPU fan's speed manually to about as high as it can go and see what your results are.
  5. Make sure there's not a ton of dust build up in the HSF....
  6. The voltage is at its lowest setting, I have to assume that was default because I've never changed it. Also, theres not a manual fan speed setting in my bios, which is kind of annoying now tbh. I didnt have any programs in to play with that before the issue, and I've been loath to turn it on again. And yeah, the hsf is mostly dust free.

    I ordered a new HSF, hopefully when it arrives that'll solve it. One of those plastic push pins for the stock intel hsf seems to have failed, squinting down the back of the mobo I could see that it wasnt fully going through the mobo, and the damn thing came apart with me reseating it repeatedly yesterday. Still seems odd though that it just went kaputz overnight.
  7. Could have been just from stress i suppose? I've never heard of an Intel heatsink just failing like that but the legs are just made out of plastic.

    Edit: did you try popping the leg out before pushing it back in or is it clearly cracked/broken in half? sometimes they seem to get pushed in the "lock" position before they get in and they're impossible to force in, sometimes i even think they seem like they're actually in.

    either way having a aftermarket heatsink is a good policy if you're doing anything that will run up CPU temp in my book.
  8. It could be your thermal paste. Check it. If you have any more lying around, re-apply it.
  9. Well, new heatsink arrived today, big ole sucker from Coolermaster, and it seems to be working great. howbout 35-40 degree temps instead of 90 at idle?

    In answer about the crappy pushpins, the thing came apart. It has a black piece that goes down into a white piece, forcing it apart to hold in place. That black piece competely came out of the white pin it was in. I guess intel only wanted you to really install it once, cuz it flat broke.

    Good thing I have a giant case though, that HSF sits out further than my video card!
  10. Did you re-apply new thermal paste? 35 - 40C is hot for Idle. Unless the thermal paste hasn't broken in, that is a little harm.
  11. My 920 hovers between 35-40 at idle with a Thermalright U-120 cooler. Overclocked to 4ghz and it only reaches ~65 under load. I'd say 35-40 is ok for idle.
  12. My Core 2 Duo runs 50 at idle. It depends on the ambient temperature of the room.
  13. The problem is that when you buy a new HSF you are not lowering temperatures.The HSF dissipates hot air quickly so when at load the cpu will have a lesser temperature idle temps would decrease a little but you can only see the difference of a good hsf when the cpu is at load.
  14. 35 does sound like much for a proper heatsink, check your thermal paste and ensure the air flow in your case is a backwards s.
    good luck.
  15. Temps sound fine to me...

    I swear with the temps people like to throw around you'd swear they live in an igloo. You have to remember, firing up core temp and looking at idle temps is almost meaningless. Below 50C it's hardly accurate and you're nearly as likely to be correct by just guessing a number between 20 and 50.
  16. Hi every one!

    I have an issue here trying to solve or to know how to really tell if my cpu is a goner or not, you see, according to post bios set up, the temp rises all the way to 101c with a liquid cooler on it while the temp of the mobo is merely @ 24c allowing me to see this info for a short period of time before shuting down and just rebooting to find out that the longer i try to run this machine, the faster it shuts down, also the i get a message in the post that the cpu control fan has failed, so while on set up, it only shows me that is running @ 1000 rpm wich is why i might also consider the cpu sensor on the mobo to be gone as well, cause at times the cpu fan fails to start up, well considering that i'm leaning forwars the cpu being gone here is a bit of the speck of my homebuilt:

    cpu:amd2 64 x2 black ed 5000 socket 940
    mobo: m2n32-sli delux ed
    ram: 4 gig ocz ddr2 667
    cooler:coolit vantage liquid cooler
    case: antec 900
    hdd: wd caviar blue 500 gb sata
    video card: evga 8800 ssc ed @ 700mhz
    psu: ocz modxtearm pro 700w

    any intake on this matter is really appreciated, also acknowledging that every ones time is very valuable i grateful give thanks for any input to this matter, thanks and have a blessed day!
  17. Is the pump connected to your CPU fan header? Sounds to me like the pump isn't running...
  18. Genny said:
    Is the pump connected to your CPU fan header? Sounds to me like the pump isn't running...

    Yeah. I think that sounds right.
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