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My CPU is getting WAY too hot under load... What could be wrong?

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May 5, 2011 1:53:28 AM

Hi fellas!

I just built this set up:

Asus P67 Pro
Core i5-2400 w/ stock heatsink
8 GB g.skill DDR 1333
Rosewill 750w PSU
EVGA Geforce 560 Ti SC
Some Hard Drives

I originally bought the non Pro mobo, not knowing it did not support SLI. I built the system with that then quickly sold that mobo and bought the pro edition. So I have seated the CPU on two boards.

All 4 cores idle between 30-35 C but when I run Prime 95 (small FFT), my temps quickly run up to bout 90 C.... I have tried removing and reseating the Heatsink, but nothing really changed. I am using speccy for the temperature measurements. HW Monitor is reporting the same results.

Any ideas what I am doing wrong? When seating the heatsink, I make sure that all 4 pins click in and on the back of the mobo I can see the little black peices of plastic sticking through. I also give them the turn to lock them in place.

Is Intel's stock thermal compound that bad?

I did have one incident after the rebuild where the heat sink was not seated correctly and the computer quickly turned off after the CPU over heated.... like 15 seconds in. Could thank mess up the thermal compound or something?

What am I doing wrong?? Help me super computer gurus!

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May 5, 2011 2:09:23 AM

When you take the heat sink off for any reason, you need to remove the existing thermal compound and re-apply. Otherwise it won't have an even layer.

As long as you're not overclocked at all, the peak Prime95 temps should be around 65ºC with the stock cooler.

If you are overclocking, reset the speed to default until you can purchase and install a better cooler. The hunk of metal that Intel calls a stock heat sink cannot control the temps at all when overclocking.
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May 5, 2011 2:14:28 AM

You could definitely have a thermal compound problem, especially if you have removed and replaced the cpu multiple times without replacing the compound. To rule that out as the problem, or solve it completely if that's the issue, just get hold of some third-party compound and apply it carefully.

Based only on the description you gave of the heatsink mounting, it doesn't sound like you're applying much, or any, pressure to the heatsink. Ideally, it should be pressing on the cpu extremely tightly; third-party heatsinks have mechanisms that allow for a very large amount of pressure, but a stock sink should have some halfway-decent pressure system. Check your instructions!

Just so you know, by the way, 90 does sound high but is still a safe temperature for your machine. It won't break or anything in the 90s.

Do you have SLI, or not? Your language has left me a little confused, but my impression is that you do. Especially if that's the case, but even if it isn't, you could certainly have bad case ventilation. SLI configurations make a ton of heat, which can accumulate quickly in your case. What is the model of your case?
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May 5, 2011 2:16:03 AM

Incidentally, my stock AMD heatsink worked fine, though I ended up getting a cheap Xigmatek anyway. I barely broke 50 degrees with my 3.9 ghz x4 965.
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May 5, 2011 2:22:28 AM

Yeah, but the Intel heat sink isn't like that. Even with minor clock increases or over-voltage, temps will quickly climb into the danger zone.

90ºC is not safe. You would definitely be shortening the life of the processor by running it that hot in everyday operation.
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May 5, 2011 2:28:33 AM

I am not currently running an SLI setup, I just wanted the ability to pull that off for when BF3 comes out.

Here is my case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I will go pull out the instructions for the CPU and make sure I am seating the Heatsink properly. I will also order some AS5 immediately.

I was running the CPU mildly overclocked, with a bus speed of 103 instead of 100. When I took the bus speed back down to 100 , everything hovers right at 70 C.

So I am guessing it is a combination of a crappy heatsink and uneven thermal compound?

Do you guys have an suggestion for a CPU cooler? Maybe this:? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 5, 2011 3:03:49 AM

Sure, that heat sink would work for the mild overclock that's possible with that non-K CPU.

Also, just so you know that noise-deadening material is likely acting as an insulator. Systems with that stuff tend to run warm.
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