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Slightly high temps a problem waiting to happen?

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April 27, 2012 9:15:10 PM

This is my first post so thank you in advance.

I recently built my first machine and used a i5-2500k and a case with 2 fan (front,back). To test if my system was stable I checked the temperature.

From this site it sounds that the idle range of the i5-2500k with a stock cooling fan should be between 25-40 (no single number was agreed upon).

My CPU idles at 39-43 degrees C (ambient temp is probably 75 degrees Fahrenheit). Is this too high? or a sign that I didn't seed my heat sink properly?

When I play a game it goes up to 57-64 degrees C.

Finally when I run prime95 as a test the temperature goes all the way up to 80-82 degrees.

Is this too warm for stock heatsink? If it is I read somewhere that I should turn off the auto voltage option for my CPU and lower it, do other people recommend this? Should I keep the voltage the same and go for an aftermarket CPU cooler?

As a side note the case fans are barely running, can I tell the MOBO to give them extra juice just as a precaution of heating up?

Thanks again!

a b à CPUs
April 27, 2012 9:38:29 PM

i would recomend an aftermarket heatsink

the whole point of a 2500k is they overclock like crazy

4.5ghz is easy with a decent heatsink

hyper 212 plus is the usual--cheap but effective--as long as it fits in your pc case ok

your temps look a little bit high--check all the pins are properly engaged through the motherboard--if you can pull

them up without twisting them they are not in right

also how much thermal paste did you use?--too little or too much will affect temps
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April 27, 2012 9:52:13 PM

Thanks for the reply mcnumpty23.

I wasn't gong to overclock until I felt like the system needed a mini upgrade, was hoping to avoid buying a new heatsink until that point too, but if it must be done.

I was unaware of this twisting phenomena on the mb pins. Will test that first.

As far as thermal paste goes I was using the stock heat sink which comes with it applied.
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a c 119 à CPUs
April 27, 2012 9:55:03 PM

You shouldn't see those temps on stock cooling, stock speeds, even with "turbo" settings - what motherboard are you using? Are your case fans plugged into the motherboard? (my assumption, just checking)
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a b à CPUs
April 27, 2012 10:18:38 PM

How are you getting your temps? What do you have for a video card? It's not exhausting into the case, is it?
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April 27, 2012 11:27:32 PM

The mother board I am using is a GIGABYTE - Z68AP-D3.

I am getting my temps via Core Temp and also via Hardware Monitor. They are both in agreement.

My case fans are plugged in to the mother boards 2 sys fan slots. They are both working just not super strong (can I force it to send more power to them?)

I checked all the connectors and they seem to be well connected.

My video card is a eVGA-GTX 560ti. It has one big fan and that blows air towards my CPU :( 
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a b à CPUs
April 27, 2012 11:56:44 PM

hmm...the GPU's I've seen pics of have a shroud around the fan and video card and it exhausts the heat out of the case. If yours isn't exhausting out, that could be where your heat comes from. More than likely, though, you aren't getting enough air flow through your case. Your temps are a little high, but not dangerously so. There are aftermarket case fans that have adjustable speeds and plug into molex connectors from the PSU. Or, you can get a fan controller and manually adjust speeds.

Take the side off your case and see if your temps drop any.
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April 28, 2012 2:28:45 AM

So I went ahead an took my case side off and the temperatures dropped to about 33-36 range (one core stays right at 40 though).

In addition, I was wrong about my video card it just exhausts towards the bottom of the case. No way for me to change this as there is just one way I can mount the thing.

So should I buy a case fan that has more umph? Should I just go ahead an get a better CPU cooler? Or should I just stay with this and keep monitoring it and if I have sustained temp over a certain degree pull the trigger on the CPU cooler?
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a c 118 à CPUs
April 28, 2012 2:55:59 AM

The push-pin retention mechanism on stiff fan frame makes it nearly impossible accurately gauge the amount of force being applied by the heatsink to the heat-spreader, your heatsink might not be perfectly seated.

I had a problem with my C2D's HSF starting to come loose after almost three years from initial build and solved my high-temp (accompanied by wild fan-speed changes) by upgrading to a Hyper 212+ HSF which uses screw mounts to a pressure plate on the motherboard's backside. That takes the guesswork out of whether or not push-pins are properly set and runs ~10C cooler than Intel HSF at a near-silent 700-1000RPM instead of 1800-2600RPM buzz.
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a b à CPUs
April 28, 2012 3:01:51 AM

junyamint said:
So I went ahead an took my case side off and the temperatures dropped to about 33-36 range (one core stays right at 40 though).

In addition, I was wrong about my video card it just exhausts towards the bottom of the case. No way for me to change this as there is just one way I can mount the thing.

So should I buy a case fan that has more umph? Should I just go ahead an get a better CPU cooler? Or should I just stay with this and keep monitoring it and if I have sustained temp over a certain degree pull the trigger on the CPU cooler?


A better HSF won't help as much as getting the hot air out of your case. What do you have for case? Increasing the air flow would help tremendously. Higher speed fans or more of them...
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a c 118 à CPUs
April 28, 2012 3:18:24 AM

egilbe said:
A better HSF won't help as much as getting the hot air out of your case. What do you have for case? Increasing the air flow would help tremendously. Higher speed fans or more of them...

Better case ventilation is of very little use if you have potentially questionable contact between the CPU and heatsink. CPU cores should not reach 80+C in a non-overclocked, non-overvolted CPU with a properly attached HSF unless the case temperature is unreasonably high.

My case has somewhat minimalist ventilation (two front fans set to low-speed with air filter, barely feel the breeze through the drive cage), my system temperature is 30-35C and my full-load CPU temperature is 55-60C with the 212+. When the Intel HSF started coming loose, my CPU temperature was jumping to 75+C even with open case with idle temperature increasing from 35-40C to 50+C.
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a c 190 à CPUs
April 28, 2012 3:33:28 AM

in your bios or with third party fan speed programs you can tell the mb to speed up the case fans. when there set to auto they will spin up to max speed but only when they hit a set temp.
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a c 283 à CPUs
April 28, 2012 3:34:20 AM

I think we're all agreed here that the stock Intel HSF is junk (for many reasons), but I agree with the point that if the case has horrible/no airflow, even the best aftermarket air cooler will have a hard time doing its job. But yes, absolutely make sure that the stock HSF is seated correctly and making good contact, since it's so relatively difficult to get it right with the stupid push pins.
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April 28, 2012 3:50:30 AM

im running a stock I5k(3.3ghz no turbo) with intel HSF (waiting on WC budget) and idle cores are 29*C-36*C some cores run cooler then others, under full prime run for 5 minutes they hit 57-64*C well under the 72*C thermal max...

*ambient temps for me are ~68* F) just FYI so i am a little cooler (Washington state so think clouds and cool)
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April 28, 2012 4:02:36 AM

Ok well it sounds like I have a double problem then. Potentially poor case ventilation and poor contact with the stock heatsink.

The case I have has a bottom front fan and a top back fan. Plus it also has the powersupply fan. Furthermore, the panel by the video card has many holes so it should get decent airflow.

I think I will just go ahead and order the HSF. Everyone seems to agree the Hyper212+ is what I should go with?
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a c 283 à CPUs
April 28, 2012 4:06:30 AM

I would say go with the Hyper 212 Evo, if only because it's easier to get the thermal paste application right, since its heatpipes are direct contact. Not much difference in cooling ability though.
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a c 118 à CPUs
April 28, 2012 4:29:51 AM

junyamint said:
I think I will just go ahead and order the HSF. Everyone seems to agree the Hyper212+ is what I should go with?

The $30-35 212+ / 212 EVO is probably the best air-cooler currently available under $60 and the best bang/buck on the market. It is a very safe choice for people who want performance substantially better than stock cooler without paying big bucks for it... or just don't want to mess with push-pins (again) in my case.

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April 28, 2012 4:55:58 AM

Might be a stupid question, but have you checked that your case fans are blowing the air in opposite directions, one in and one out? But those load temps don't sound right no matter what.
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April 28, 2012 5:32:18 PM

Bloob said:
Might be a stupid question, but have you checked that your case fans are blowing the air in opposite directions, one in and one out? But those load temps don't sound right no matter what.


The front is sucking air in and the back is blowing air out (Checked by just putting a piece of paper in front of fan and saw if it got sucked in or blown away).

The computer is absolutely silent though, I can't hear the fans at all, I feel like they aren't working hard enough.
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a c 118 à CPUs
April 28, 2012 6:11:18 PM

junyamint said:
The computer is absolutely silent though, I can't hear the fans at all, I feel like they aren't working hard enough.

When in doubt, check your exhaust temperature with a real thermometer rather than motherboard sensors and decide whether or not that level of temperature rise seems acceptable to you.

In my PC, I have four 120mm case fans (including PSU) all set to low-speed (nearly silent) and the temperature rise is from 22C at dual filtered front intake fans to 32C at rear exhaust and 26C at bottom-mounted PSU exhaust at full-load (180-200W) which seems quite acceptable to me. I could probably improve that by 1-2C by simply rotating my HSF (212+) to make it blow directly towards the rear exhaust fan... or more by setting fans to medium/high, which I do during hot summer days.

The reason why there is no single value for idle temperature is that it depends on too many variables: variations in the CPU manufacturing processes, differences in HSF, difference in case layouts, differences in airflows both rates and patterns, differences in ambient temperatures, differences in other internal components that may heat up air inside the case, etc. All of these can contribute to different core temps.
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