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I3 2120 stock cooler ideal temperature readings?

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March 5, 2012 11:31:30 AM

Hi everyone, I just finished a build and the first time I powered my computer the stock cooler was making a noise like the fan was hitting something while it was running. So I shut down the computer and verified that the fan was hitting a part of the heat sink.

I had to re-seat the cooler a few times before the noise went away. Now I'm kinda paranoid if my cooler is seated right. I tried to search online on ideal temperatures of the i3 2120 on idle and underload and most reviews of the i3 2120 use a different cooler for their tests.

I ran a benchmark (FFXIV benchmark) on the my setup and here are some values I got. I used speed fan to monitor the temperatures of the 2 cores.

On both cores I was getting around between 60-65c when the benchmark is being ran.

When the system is idle, temperatures for both cores are around 35-39c.

I also noticed that the bios reports around 47-48c on the cpu temp on idle. I have read that bios temperature readings are not reliable, is this true?

Based on my readings are these normal temperatures for the i3 2120? I am aware that temperatures would be relative to case setup and airflow. Just want to get an idea if these readings are pretty normal.

Here's my setup by the way.

Fractal Core 3000 case (Top fan and rear fan blowing out, 2 front panel fan and side panel fan blowing in)
i3 2120 with stock cooler
HIS IceQ X 6870 1GB non turbo version
8 Gb Patriot sector 5 ram
Coolermaster 850W silent pro fan

thanks for the help :D 
a c 159 à CPUs
March 5, 2012 11:48:57 AM

I wouldn't fool with that heatsink again. You're allowed up to 72c according to our resident Intel rep and Intel's spec sheet. If your temps range from about 40-65c you should be fine. You can get a better cooler, but I don't recommend it. And temp readings aren't gospel; they vary according to the monitor program, room temp, and whether you leave your system on all the time. With the stock cooler, you get a three year warranty. By then, you'll probably change it. If you want to change it, the coolermaster hyper 212 isn't bad; you can get a newegg open box for under $30 shipped. Most of the 90-120mm coolers are good; get one with a 4 pin fan if possible since some smartfan programs only work with 4 pin fans. Noise is my biggest concern, but maybe you don't mind.
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March 5, 2012 12:01:02 PM

o1die said:
I wouldn't fool with that heatsink again. You're allowed up to 72c according to our resident Intel rep and Intel's spec sheet. If your temps range from about 40-65c you should be fine. You can get a better cooler, but I don't recommend it. And temp readings aren't gospel; they vary according to the monitor program, room temp, and whether you leave your system on all the time. With the stock cooler, you get a three year warranty. By then, you'll probably change it. If you want to change it, the coolermaster hyper 212 isn't bad; you can get a newegg open box for under $30 shipped. Most of the 90-120mm coolers are good; get one with a 4 pin fan if possible since some smartfan programs only work with 4 pin fans. Noise is my biggest concern, but maybe you don't mind.


Hi thanks for the reply, the computer is not very noisy at all it actually generates really good white noise when its turned on.

When you say 40-65c that's I'm guessing 40 when idle, and 65c when under load like playing a game and such? I'm not really interested in looking to replace the stock cooler just wanted to make sure its functioning normally.

I plan on re applying thermal paste on the chip, I think me removing the cooler a few times might have affected the way the thermal paste is applied.



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a c 159 à CPUs
March 5, 2012 3:08:29 PM

If your temps are within that range, don't touch the heatsink again. I worked at dell alot handling components. You should wear an esd strap at all times when handling a cpu/board/ram part. If it works, don't touch it again. You might get unlucky and damage the cpu or it might simply not work again. Once components are installed and running, it's best to leave them alone.
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March 5, 2012 3:22:15 PM

o1die said:
If your temps are within that range, don't touch the heatsink again. I worked at dell alot handling components. You should wear an esd strap at all times when handling a cpu/board/ram part. If it works, don't touch it again. You might get unlucky and damage the cpu or it might simply not work again. Once components are installed and running, it's best to leave them alone.



ok, I appreciate your insights. Thank you. :) 
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a c 139 à CPUs
March 5, 2012 4:46:41 PM

Bios temps are hotter because c1e and speedstep doesn't kick in til windows.
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 6, 2012 10:04:59 PM

o1die said:
If your temps are within that range, don't touch the heatsink again. I worked at dell alot handling components. You should wear an esd strap at all times when handling a cpu/board/ram part. If it works, don't touch it again. You might get unlucky and damage the cpu or it might simply not work again. Once components are installed and running, it's best to leave them alone.


all anyone needs to do is "ground" themself by placing their hand on the bare metal of the case to discharge any static electricity; been doing that 16 years and never had a problem.

there is no way a cpu locked down on the motherboard can be damaged by replacing the heat sink.

just because a temp is under that maximum does not mean its good. any heat reduces the life of the component.

dear OP, my i3 2120 idles @ 30C and doesn't go past 58C when running prime95 to test stability. when you reset your heat sink did you clean off and replace the thermal paste?

if you did not then you there may be bubbles in the paste and you wouldn't get the best benefit out of the barely adequate cooling solution intel supplies.

working with computer components is nothing scary or life threatening as some people will believe. there a quite a few good guides on how to properly apply thermal paste.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3gx6c62D7I
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March 11, 2012 7:30:44 PM

Hi again, I hate to resurrect an old thread.

So I played BF3 over the weekend and had Realtemp run a log on my cpu temps.

I was getting 73c tops at 80-85% load on the cpu. I was wondering if o1die was referring the 72c temp on the spec sheet as max temp at 100% load or just max temp irregardless of load.

I am gonna take looniam's advice on re-applying thermal paste since I will be taking my computer apart to do some more cable management. I will try to give an update if it improves my temperatures. Also I will try to put the last 2 of my fans in my fan case to see if it would make any improvements.

I work in an electronics manufacturing environment and fully realize the importance of high temps and how it stresses components. That's probably why I'm obsessing about the temperatures. :) 
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March 11, 2012 7:33:35 PM

0 degrees would be ideal,

but 25-35 in idle and 50-65 with a stock cooler is pretty much ideal
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March 11, 2012 7:49:50 PM

cm0scm0s said:
0 degrees would be ideal,

but 25-35 in idle and 50-65 with a stock cooler is pretty much ideal



are you talking about 50-65c at 100% load?
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a c 139 à CPUs
March 11, 2012 8:58:22 PM

Load is irrelevant for safe temp. These temps do seem a bit hotter than normal which makes me believe the cooler isn't installed correctly. Those push pins are tricky for some people. Make sure it's in all the way before you turn them to lock.
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March 11, 2012 9:02:18 PM

ok thanks for the incite, ill see what I can do
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Best solution

Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 12, 2012 2:04:23 AM

buttermesilly said:
are you talking about 50-65c at 100% load?


depending on the ambient temp that sounds about right.

i had a E4500 that hit 72c until i realized i didn't have one of the pins correctly inserted. as k1114 pointed out sometimes they can be a PITA with some anxiety about breaking the board pushing down and bending the PCB. what i *think* helps me is once i get the heatsink off, turn it upside down and squeeze or pinch the white tips together so they go into the holes a little easier.

you'll be fine, just watch how its going. i also use a small flashlight to help visually confirm its all the way in because graphic cards and even ram can cast shadows inhibiting a close inspection.
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March 12, 2012 10:12:53 AM

Anonymous said:
depending on the ambient temp that sounds about right.

i had a E4500 that hit 72c until i realized i didn't have one of the pins correctly inserted. as k1114 pointed out sometimes they can be a PITA with some anxiety about breaking the board pushing down and bending the PCB. what i *think* helps me is once i get the heatsink off, turn it upside down and squeeze or pinch the white tips together so they go into the holes a little easier.

you'll be fine, just watch how its going. i also use a small flashlight to help visually confirm its all the way in because graphic cards and even ram can cast shadows inhibiting a close inspection.


Thanks for the info, I will try to reseat the heatsink and re-apply thermal paste too. I am concerned that I might have broken the cooler during one of re-installations hopefully not though. If I did break I guess I can just charge it to experience.

If that doesn't improve I guess it could be an airflow issue too.

I appreciate your input guys, and will try to keep you posted.
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March 18, 2012 12:43:43 AM

Hello everybody.

So a few hours ago I put new thermal paste on the cpu and also added two more fans on my setup.

I did a test with just reapplied thermal paste and not having the 2 new fans running. And I did notice an improvement over the temps when under load. I managed to knock down a good 8-9c off my temps its kinda weird to see that big of an improvement but I guess I have re-seating the cooler before messed up the stock thermal paste.

I'm keeping the fan set up as it helps my VC run a little more cooler than before too.

Thanks you all of you for your help.
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March 18, 2012 12:44:06 AM

Best answer selected by buttermesilly.
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 18, 2012 1:37:59 AM

glad it worked out for you :) 
and thanks for the vote!
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