I recently picked up a new motherboard. CPU is Phenom II x6 1090t 3.2 on an ASRock 990FX Extreme3, stable at stock voltages via Prime95 stability testing. I have an Arctic Cooling 7 Pro Rev.2 installed on the CPU. Applied MX4 TIM (AC7 pro comes with MX2 pre-installed); was using the stock applied TIM until new motherboard installation.
My temps were hitting around 60-62, so I unmounted the cooler and I noticed a small scrape/chip on the surface of the CPU (identical to an imperfection on the cooler, undoubtedly causing the scrape from the original mount). Thus, I remounted AC7 cooler about 5 different times, experimenting with MX4 and different amounts/styles of TIM application for best temps and filling in the small scrape. I did fill in the scrape separately BEFORE applying the rest of the TIM and mounting cooler, to ensure the gap was filled in the best as possible.
On the initial mount and use of the AC7 pro cooler with stock TIM, was getting temps mid to high 40s at max load. Now, temps hover around 53c-54 avg. Better, but I expected results back in the 40's, especially since MX4 is supposed to be a better TIM than MX2. I am aware that temps naturally fluctuate a little with p95 as it goes from test to test, but these fluctuations happen mid-test and seem abnormal in duration and occurrence. It does occur on all 6 cores - that is, they all fluctuate at the same time.
After about 2 days of p95 testing on and off, I've noticed my temps will jump down to about 46-47 for a few seconds, then hop back up to around 53-54. Does this have to do with the fact that the scrape is affecting my CPU temps? (that is, could there be an air pocket created by the scrape that is not filled in all the way?) I thought perhaps the TIM was settling into the scrape and occasionally creating the thermal seal from the original mount (but being unable to contain it).
Is there a good way to fix this? What's the best way to re-achieve my previous performance? If I continue to run at high temps and let MX4 settle in a little (many claim there is no burn-in period with MX4, but IMO all TIMs expand and contract at least a little to completely settle), do you think my temps will consistently stay back in the 40's?
And finally, if there is indeed a small air pocket not filled in, could this eventually destroy my CPU even though the temps are still well within safe operating range?
I do not want to do any sort of lapping on my CPU/cooler - if that is the only way I will settle for my slightly higher temps.
Sorry for lengthy post, but appreciate the time and feedback!