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New Build - i5-2550K running VERY hot

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  • CPUs
  • Intel i5
Last response: in CPUs
April 25, 2012 5:10:24 AM

I completed building my first PC tonight. My processor is an Intel i5-2550K and my motherboard is an MSI Z68A-G45. I am using the stock heatsink and fan that came with the CPU.

Once I installed Windows 7 I started installing some updates, anti-virus, etc. After a bit I thought the machine was running slower than it should be, so I tried the Windows Experience Index benchmark. My CPU scored a 5.5. This did not seem right. So I installed Core Temp, and my CPU is running at 100 degrees Celcuis!

What can I do to troubleshoot this issue? Is my CPU bad?

Any help is greatly appreciated as I feel a bit lost with this problem.

More about : build 2550k running hot

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a c 186 à CPUs
April 25, 2012 5:16:56 AM

Your heatsink is not installed correctly, make sure all four push pins are through and turned to the right!
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April 25, 2012 5:19:40 AM

I checked the heatsink. The push pins all appear to be installed properly. There is a tiny bit of play in the fan, which I thought to be odd, but it doesn't move very much.
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April 25, 2012 5:21:56 AM

heat sink not installed properly.. watch a tutorial to install heat sink..
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April 25, 2012 5:31:54 AM

Thanks for the help guys. I triple-checked the heatsink and sure enough it wasn't pushed down all the way. Wow, do I feel like a bonehead! Is there a chance that I have ruined my CPU?
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a c 186 à CPUs
April 25, 2012 5:32:50 AM

There is, though I would not worry unless you had it going hours on end.
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April 25, 2012 5:33:33 AM

I only had the machine running for about an hour, perhaps two.
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April 25, 2012 5:34:15 AM

csp5038 said:
I completed building my first PC tonight. My processor is an Intel i5-2550K and my motherboard is an MSI Z68A-G45. I am using the stock heatsink and fan that came with the CPU.

Once I installed Windows 7 I started installing some updates, anti-virus, etc. After a bit I thought the machine was running slower than it should be, so I tried the Windows Experience Index benchmark. My CPU scored a 5.5. This did not seem right. So I installed Core Temp, and my CPU is running at 100 degrees Celcuis!

What can I do to troubleshoot this issue? Is my CPU bad?

Any help is greatly appreciated as I feel a bit lost with this problem.

You should get a closed loop/open loop water cooling for the CPU, as "100 degrees Celsius" is devastating!
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a c 186 à CPUs
April 25, 2012 5:34:16 AM

Then there shouldn't be any damage.
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April 25, 2012 5:35:51 AM

amuffin said:
Then there shouldn't be any damage.

Maybe get a cheap water cooling heat sink, even a cheap one can reduce damage to the processor. Even my i7 3930k isn't like that without a heat sink
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a b à CPUs
April 25, 2012 5:36:13 AM

I would take off the heatsink, clean off the old thermal paste and re-apply new thermal paste. Also what are your voltages at and have you overclocked the CPU at all.
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a c 186 à CPUs
April 25, 2012 5:38:07 AM

prononbiasedgamerenthusiast said:
Maybe get a cheap water cooling heat sink, even a cheap one can reduce damage to the processor. Even my i7 3930k isn't like that without a heat sink

That doesn't make sense. The cooler doesn't mend the damages that are already done. Plus it's either a custom watercooling loop or all in one watercooling unit. Not "cheap watercooling heatsink" ... :) 
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April 25, 2012 5:44:40 AM

CPU running at about 30-35 degrees at idle. Looks like 50 max degrees under load. Re-ran the Windows Experience Index and scored 7.5 on the CPU.

Everything looks to be working good, including the Intel Turboboost.

I have definitely not overclocked my processor.

Thanks for the help everyone!
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a c 186 à CPUs
April 25, 2012 5:46:05 AM

No problem :) 
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April 25, 2012 5:51:07 AM

Best answer selected by csp5038.
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a c 316 à CPUs
April 25, 2012 6:16:10 AM

I hate Intel's push-pin HSF fan mounting. The fan shroud the pin holders are molded into has very little flex to it and that makes it hard to tell whether or not there is much tension on it. Even when installed properly, it will loosen up over the years and you are going to start seeing weird thermal numbers or hearing annoying fan speed changes hinting that something is not working the way it used to anymore. On my Core2Duo, it took about three years for the pins/shroud to start coming loose enough to start causing problems.

I re-seated the HSF and results only lasted for a few weeks before the fan speed anc CPU temp circus started again. Since I did not feel like messing around with this weak retention mechanism, I bought a CM Hyper 212+ since a screwed-in backplate mount effectively eliminates any chance of the heatsink coming loose enough to cause problems ever again. Probably one of the best ~$35 I've spent on my PC, I'll definitely get another one of those when I get around to upgrading to an i5 so I won't have to worry about how long until Intel's plastic pins start losing their grip.

Push-pins certainly do not inspire the same degree of confidence as the Northwood HSF retention mechanism... now that was a contraption that made you feel like the HSF wasn't going anywhere any time soon once set.
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April 25, 2012 2:59:59 PM

This is the first CPU I have installed but I already agree with you InvalidError. The weak plastic push pins instill no confidence in me, and the CPU is the single most important AND expensive part of my machine.

I had already planned to upgrade to a liquid cooler and OC my i5 some time in the near future. Now that I've seen the flimsy fasteners I have a greater desire to upgrade.
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a c 186 à CPUs
April 25, 2012 3:01:34 PM

I gotta make my guide soon... :) 
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April 25, 2012 3:16:25 PM

A guide for installing the pesky stock cooler or a guide for OCing? Both would be great! The former for people like me last night, and the latter for people like me today! :) 
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a c 316 à CPUs
April 25, 2012 3:57:19 PM

The stock cooler isn't particularly hard to install, the main problem is with how subtle the differences between a successful and almost successful installs are. In a bad install, opposite corners tend to pop out as you try to set other pins.

With most other mounting mechanisms, there usually are more obvious signs about whether or not things are lined up and tied down properly... holes don't line up, brackets don't fit or end up in suspicious positions, screws won't screw in, go in crooked or jam, heatsinks wobble, etc.
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a c 162 à CPUs
April 25, 2012 3:57:55 PM

glad you've got it sorted (unlike some of the others who didn't read the thread before posting) when you decide to change fan, you don't need water unless going extreme. A decent air cooler like the 212 will be as good as cheap water (if not better), and quieter. Try to get one that either accessorises with a bracket under the mobo, or just comes with one, rather than push pins.
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April 26, 2012 4:21:13 AM

13thmonkey said:
glad you've got it sorted (unlike some of the others who didn't read the thread before posting) when you decide to change fan, you don't need water unless going extreme. A decent air cooler like the 212 will be as good as cheap water (if not better), and quieter. Try to get one that either accessorises with a bracket under the mobo, or just comes with one, rather than push pins.


I had not realized I could overclock without liquid cooling. (Though I have admittedly not read up on it as much as I would like to.) I definitely do not want to run liquid if I don't have to.

Is this the cooler you are referring to? Seems like two 120mm fans would be pretty intense cooling. I might have to pick this up and make it my project for next weekend.
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...
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a c 186 à CPUs
April 26, 2012 4:31:48 AM

212+ only comes with one, just in the picture there are 2. While you are at it, pick up another 120mm fan. I'm able to easily overclock my 2600k to 4.5ghz on my hyper 212 EVO, I also have a 2500k rig that uses the H80 but that's a different story... :) 
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a c 316 à CPUs
April 26, 2012 4:36:12 AM

csp5038 said:
I might have to pick this up and make it my project for next weekend.

The Hyper 212+ packs a serious amount of cooling performance for a budget HSF, possibly enough to run as a passive cooler on 75W SKUs with good case ventilation.

It comes with only one fan but includes mounting tabs for a 2nd fan. For mild overclocking, a single fan is already more than enough.

Once mounted, there is a little bit of "twist" wiggle room because the retention clip only has a center-pin to apply pressure to the mounting block, don't over-tighten since this slack is not going to go away.
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a c 186 à CPUs
April 26, 2012 4:43:15 AM

Performs on par with the higher end $60 coolers ;) 
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a c 162 à CPUs
April 26, 2012 6:39:22 AM

csp5038 said:
I had not realized I could overclock without liquid cooling. (Though I have admittedly not read up on it as much as I would like to.) I definitely do not want to run liquid if I don't have to.

Is this the cooler you are referring to? Seems like two 120mm fans would be pretty intense cooling. I might have to pick this up and make it my project for next weekend.
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...


what the others said is perfectly correct. low end water is not as good as good air in most ways, the 212 is very good air
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May 3, 2012 2:53:06 AM

I just wanted to revisit this thread to ask a question about the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus I installed tonight.

Last night, with the stock Intel cooler, I ran OCCT's CPU stress test for about an hour. My CPU temps peaked at 63 degrees celcius.
Tonight, I installed the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus with Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste and 2 Thermaltake 120mm fans in push/pull configuration. So far my CPU temp seems to peak at 50 degrees, and sit around 48. Is this the level of cooling I should be expecting? I'm wondering if I might have not installed the thermal paste properly. I was expecting lower temps. I have not overclocked yet, but that was my goal.
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a c 316 à CPUs
May 3, 2012 3:33:53 AM

csp5038 said:
So far my CPU temp seems to peak at 50 degrees, and sit around 48. Is this the level of cooling I should be expecting?

Keeping a CPU below 50C under load with air cooling requires either a much more expensive HSF for 3-4C more cooling or a lot more noise.

Idle temperature however should be a fair bit lower, 10-15C lower than load.
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May 3, 2012 3:40:19 AM

My idle temps seem to sit around 28-33 degrees celcius. This seems like a pretty good temp.

My fear is that once I overclock, it will take my CPU into a temp range I am not comfortable with. I guess the only way to find out is to try it out and see where my temps sit.

BTW - Thanks for the tip about the twisting of the heatsink once installed. I would have been driving myself insane trying to get rid of it and may have stripped something out if you hadn't said that.
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a c 316 à CPUs
May 3, 2012 6:25:45 AM

csp5038 said:
BTW - Thanks for the tip about the twisting of the heatsink once installed. I would have been driving myself insane trying to get rid of it and may have stripped something out if you hadn't said that.

You're welcome.

When I read reviews about it (after buying it), the rotational slack was one of the few negative comments about it and I suspected it would be a nagging detail for some, that's why I mentioned it.

It bothered me a little for a while but then I decided to think about it in a "it is a feature, not a bug" kind of way: twisting the HSF would remix the thermal paste without having to take the HSF off, which is a simple method of checking whether or not changes in CPU temperatures might be caused by changes in thermal paste properties or other factors. If the paste is the problem, temperatures should change significantly either way after twisting... down if it renews contact between the paste and surfaces, up if it breaks it, little/no change if the paste is still good.
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