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Is my 960T supposed to hit 44-46C idle?

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April 9, 2012 1:35:26 AM

Hi all,

If TL;DR

- Quad-core, non-OCed 960T hits mid 40s C shortly after startup
- Maxes in high 50s when gaming
- Stock cooler, replacement/upgrade is coming in the mail
- It is in a micro-ATX case, granted, but still concerned there's something I'm missing (VCORE, BIOS settings, etc.)

I'm running a non-overclocked AMD Phenom II x4 960T BE with the stock cooler; because I had to move the CPU from a fried mobo to a new one, I reinstalled the heatsink and fan with Arctic Silver MX-2 thermal compound. I wasn't paying too much attention to the fans and the temps for the first month or so with the new board, because I was having a ton of trouble getting the ATI drivers for my 4850 to cooperate with the new board, but now that's been stabilized, I've noticed the fan running incredibly loud when gaming. Further investigating with Speedfan, CoreTemp, and HWMonitor have shown the CPU runs at about 44-48C idle, hitting upper 50s when gaming.

Here are the things I know:

- I'm still in the micro-ATX case that the build originally came in, so I know my airflow isn't going to be optimal.
- I've already found through research that the stock AMD cooler runs incredibly high by default. 3000+ RPM idle, 5000+ under load. Insert overused jet-engine analogy here.
- I originally used a pea-sized amount of compound, which I know is too much. I went to using the grain-of-rice method, and also tinted the heatsink prior to remounting. Absolutely no difference in idle temps -- which could possibly suggest that I need to try a different compound, I suppose.
- The 960T chip, apparently, is a hot chip to begin with. Still, I'm not overclocking, and it's hitting 40+ when I'm simply not doing anything.

I'm waiting on this guy in the mail to upgrade from my ear-piercingly-loud stock cooler, which I'm hoping will knock it down a few degrees:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The ambient temperature, according to my handy thermometer keychain, is around 35C in the case (taken in a couple different spots). The ambient temperature of the room it sits in is probably about 21-22 C (thermostat's set at 72F). While I know 44-58 is by no means a devastatingly-dangerous temp range, I just want to be sure there's nothing else I'm doing wrong, as I have absolutely NO working knowledge of voltages, VCORE, or anything in the BIOS that isn't "load order" or checking whether or not Cool n' Quiet is on or off. I'm posting a screenshot of HWMonitor, CoreTemp and Speedfan to show the temperature ranges at idle, as well as the voltages.



Does anyone know if there's anything else I can do, or should I just hope that the new cooler will do the trick?
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April 9, 2012 2:07:33 AM

You say it hits high 50s when gaming? If so, with the stock cooler thats fine. The one thing about AMDs stock coolers is they are decent but loud.

Your temps are fine.
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April 9, 2012 2:17:24 AM

Those coolers on the 960t are kind of crappy. Temps are fine. You may be able to unlock the other two cores and if you do, you want a better cooler.
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April 9, 2012 3:37:52 AM

Yeah, I just played GTA IV for about 45 minutes and got the fan really screaming, but the highest the CPU ever got was about 55C. Unfortunately it's not a PWM fan so I can't control it with Speedfan, but I just wanted to be sure -- like I said -- there wasn't anything screwy with the voltages or anything else I could do on my end. Can either of you verify, if you know anything about that? I'm just a little leery since it looks like the voltages are higher than the names; is that normal? Since I've never overclocked before, I've never read into voltages too much.

I'm hoping the Logisys fan I have coming tomorrow or Tuesday helps, too; I also might bite the bullet and use some of that nice tax refund money to bump up to a mid-sized case, too, so I can upgrade to a tower fan or even liquid cooling if I ever end up diving into overclocking.
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a c 127 à CPUs
April 9, 2012 3:49:01 AM

If you want a decent case, do a Corsair 500R. Great case for air flow.

If anything you can just get a nice after market coolre like a CM Hyper, Zalman 9900Max and that would do wonders. My 2500K @4.5GHz hits 55c under games like Skyrim and such.
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April 9, 2012 4:47:10 AM

It is kind of strange, because your peak temps are fine, but idle it should be more like 35c. If your case has good air flow, 10-12c above room temp is about where you should idle. I just replaced my stock hsf unit with a Zalman 9700 (a bit smaller than the 9900max smitty mentioned), and now I idle at 27c (room about 20c),as opposed to previous idle temp of 35c. Also, I was peaking at 61c at 100% load, and now its about 53c...and thats running my cpu fan at the lowest speed. This is in a coolermaster mid tower case, with 1-120mm front fan and 1-120mm rear fan. The smaller case is probably contibuting to the heat as you mentioned, as it seems the ait temp in your case is 5 or 6c warmer than it would be with a better cooling case
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a c 127 à CPUs
April 9, 2012 4:59:44 AM

GI_JONES said:
It is kind of strange, because your peak temps are fine, but idle it should be more like 35c. If your case has good air flow, 10-12c above room temp is about where you should idle. I just replaced my stock hsf unit with a Zalman 9700 (a bit smaller than the 9900max smitty mentioned), and now I idle at 27c (room about 20c),as opposed to previous idle temp of 35c. Also, I was peaking at 61c at 100% load, and now its about 53c...and thats running my cpu fan at the lowest speed. This is in a coolermaster mid tower case, with 1-120mm front fan and 1-120mm rear fan. The smaller case is probably contibuting to the heat as you mentioned, as it seems the ait temp in your case is 5 or 6c warmer than it would be with a better cooling case


The stock fan is better than Intels but still the Zalman 9700 (I had one for my Q6600) is all copper with more heatpipes, a larger heatsink area and as well a near perfect base. And your case is probably a good reason why its better temps.

Smaller cases are not bad per say but lack fan placements. The 500R, which I have, has 9 fan placements (10 is you change the 200mm with two 140mms) and good cable management. Thats another thing small cases tend to lack, cable management. Impedes airflow quite a bit so it will sit in the case instead of moving.
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April 9, 2012 5:50:33 AM

lawre179, the first thing that come to my mind here is cool n quiet not working or shut off. Would explain high idle temps and normal load temps. You also said you don't know how to test that. So load a program that shows cpu clock speed and then let the system idle. The system clock should drop to somewhere around 800mhz if I remember correctly.
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April 9, 2012 6:13:45 AM

case for the money is the haf.912.... nuff said about that
as far as stock cooling goes, in a case with poor airflow and.stock heatsink your temps sound justifiable.
tip; measure your case.or get a new.one.with better airflow that will fit a better heatsink.
30 bux can get you a hyper 212 and will not only get your.temps down.low but allow overclocking
my 980 be idles at.25c with a max of 52c with p95 and around 46 peak while gaming.
thats with a good oc
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April 9, 2012 5:45:47 PM

@FALCON

C'n'Q is in fact on, and you're right; when I load the C'n'Q GUI it shows the clock going from about 2400-3200 Mhz to down around 800-1600 Mhz when it's not processing. I went into the BIOS and disabled and re-enabled Cool n' Quiet, just to be sure, so I don't think that's the issue. If it's not working, then I would have no idea how else to troubleshoot that.

@everyone else

I agree with you guys; I think my next step is getting a mid case, especially since cable management in a uATX case with a modular power supply is a nightmare, so the airflow is terrible. I didn't realize the ambient temp was so warm in there until I thought to check, and I agree that it just seems too high. I'm leaning a little more towards the HAF 912 or a Rosewill Challenger, since those are more in my price range than the 500R would be, but I'm going to see how the replacement HSF I ordered performs before I do anything else. If it doesn't make any difference, other than just being quieter, I'll just put the money towards a case and the Hyper 212 instead.
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April 9, 2012 10:27:30 PM

the 912 can fit a 212 just fyi i own both
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April 17, 2012 2:46:35 AM

I think I tried updating this a few days ago but it didn't take. I ended up buying a CoolerMaster Elite mid case, added another 120mm fan on the back for a push-pull, and have been running the Logisys fan for about a week and a half now (past the burn in period). Currently running at 31C idle, and I've only been able to push it to about 40C. EXTREMELY pleased with the results, so thanks to all of you for the suggestions.
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April 17, 2012 2:49:30 AM

Best answer selected by lawre179.
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