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CPU way too hot

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July 29, 2012 2:50:11 PM

Hi

To be honest, I don't really know what I'm doing, I thought I was pretty good with computers until now, when I'm trying to figure out what is wrong with my PC. And I guess there are a few things that are wrong. First of all, my rig:
CPU: i7 960
GPU: N580GTX
MoBo: DFI LanParty DK X58 T3eH6
CPU cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2

And, of course, not everything is going perfectly as it should. First of all, my CPU is 60 'C while idle, and that is way too much, I guess. My GPU is only 45'C which, I think, is good. But I've got no idea why my CPU is so hot. My cooler is pretty good, so it should do the job. But, of course, it's not. Also, I've got some performance problems, no idea why. I think it may be related to my RAM, which is working in a way I don't quite understand. Here are screenshots from CPUz:
http://img4.imagetitan.com/img.php?image=4_1608.jpg
http://img4.imagetitan.com/img.php?image=4_253.jpg
http://img4.imagetitan.com/img.php?image=4_3931.jpg
As you can see, my RAM is 1333, but is somehow only working at 532 MHz, I don't know why. I tried looking for it in BIOS, but couldn't really figure it out. Is anyone willing to help this noob?

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a c 789 à CPUs
July 29, 2012 2:56:17 PM

60°C is hot, if it is not fixed by cleaning then you need to reapply paste and reseat the cooler. Ram reported at 533 is actually running at 1066 so you are not far from rated but more likely your performance issue is because of thermal throttling. Things simply get to hot.
July 29, 2012 4:02:24 PM

It's possible that your fan is so clogged up it's not spinning properly. Remove the heat sink, use a can of compressed air and really clean that puppy out. Next, use 99% rubbing alcohol and really clean the old thermal paste off both the heat sink and CPU. Reapply a fresh batch and see how that works for you. If you're still having issues, don't risk it, replace the heat sink. Might I recommend the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO?
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July 29, 2012 4:11:31 PM

I opened it up, cleaned all the fans (though they were suprisigly clean) and also moved my pc to a higher place with better air circulation and left the case open. now I have 50 'C on my CPU when idle, which is better, but could be even better I think. I'm afraid the problem may be with the thermal paste, I applied it myself for this rig and it was my first time going it, so I might have screwed it up. Unfortunately, I can't reapply it now, I've got no thermal paste and, quite frankly, I think trying to unscrew my heat sink might be a scary adventure where quite a lot of screws will be lost never to be seen again ;) 
And I thought my Arctic Cooling heat sink was pretty good, is it really that bad?
a c 265 à CPUs
July 29, 2012 4:12:03 PM

60c at idle is a bit hot.

Your cpu cooler is marginally better than the stock Intel cooler.

The 92mm fan is noisy and not very effective.
Do make certain that the fan is spinning, and not obstructed.
Also, it might be good to remount the cooler. A common mistake is to use too much thermal grease.
It will act as an insulator. The job of grease is only to fill in microscopic pits that can collect air. It is hard to use too little.

Also, how is your case cooling? See if you run better with the side cover off. If you do, you have a case cooling issue.

Do not worry about ram speeds. So long as it works, you are ok. There is negligible difference in actual performance with fast vs. slow ram.

Your motherboard suports triple channel ram. It looks like you have only a single stick of 4gb.
If you are running in single or dual channel mode, you are not getting all that the ram can give.

Can you give us links to the exact parts?
a b à CPUs
July 29, 2012 4:14:53 PM

the DDR bit in RAm means Double data rate, so double whatever CPUz says.
is the cooler affixed evenly?
July 29, 2012 4:21:45 PM

I will try it later with the case on nad see how it will work then.

About the thermal paste, I think I may have screwed it up. I found that I've got a bit of it left from the time I assembled this PC, which was about a year ago. Will it be still usable after all this time if it was left in an unsealed 'syringe'?

And I'm actually running 2 sticks of 2 GB (http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-ValueRAM-PC3-1066-KVR133...) and I sure hope it runs in dual channel, but I'm not sure how to check it or set it to work properly. I'm also curious why isn't it working at maximum possible frequency.
a c 265 à CPUs
July 29, 2012 4:53:23 PM

Krecik said:
I will try it later with the case on nad see how it will work then.

About the thermal paste, I think I may have screwed it up. I found that I've got a bit of it left from the time I assembled this PC, which was about a year ago. Will it be still usable after all this time if it was left in an unsealed 'syringe'?

And I'm actually running 2 sticks of 2 GB (http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-ValueRAM-PC3-1066-KVR133...) and I sure hope it runs in dual channel, but I'm not sure how to check it or set it to work properly. I'm also curious why isn't it working at maximum possible frequency.


Old paste should still be good.
If it will not flow out of the syringe, then perhaps you want to get some new.

Instead of buying new paste for $6-$8, I would order a cm hyper212 for $20.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your motherboard manual will tell you which two slots you should populate with only two sticks to get dual channel operation. It may not be the two slots you think are logical. The best you can do is dual channel. It takes 3 sticks to get triple channel operation.
In the bios, you should be able to change the ram frequency to a higher frequency. But, this will result in higher latency, so it really is not worth the bother from a performance point of view.
July 29, 2012 5:15:16 PM

geofelt said:
Old paste should still be good.
If it will not flow out of the syringe, then perhaps you want to get some new.

Instead of buying new paste for $6-$8, I would order a cm hyper212 for $20.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your motherboard manual will tell you which two slots you should populate with only two sticks to get dual channel operation. It may not be the two slots you think are logical. The best you can do is dual channel. It takes 3 sticks to get triple channel operation.
In the bios, you should be able to change the ram frequency to a higher frequency. But, this will result in higher latency, so it really is not worth the bother from a performance point of view.


Well, the paste seems dead, it clearly really likes its comfortable syringe. I think you're right, I should buy a better and quieter heat sink. As I don't really know much about them is there any particular model you would recommend without trying to minimize the cost? I mean, you already recommended the hyper212 but I'm simply asking if there's perhaps something better at a higher price.

And you're clearly overestimating my motherboard manual, it's really bad and doesn't say anything about which slots are working in dual or triple. It recommends downloading the full manual from the website instead, but the DFI website has got to be one of the worst sites I've ever seen, I completely cannot find my model in their list of products. But I'll look for the manual in other places just to make sure. I was, however, thinking of buying one more set of RAM, the exact same one I've got right now, and I'm not sure how should I assemble them to get the most of it. Three sticks in triple and one stick feeling alone, or two sets of dual, if those things are even possible?
a c 265 à CPUs
July 29, 2012 5:35:44 PM

More ram is a good idea.

Usually, you install the ram in like colored slots to get multi channel operation.
You will know you have it if cpu-z shows triple channel operation.

As a rule, with an odd stick, the three installed will operate in triple channel mode, and anything going to the odd stick will be in single channel mode. On balance, the extra ram will be more beneficial than any reduction from single channel mode.

If your motherboard manual can't be found online, or if it does not say how to install the ram, download a manual from any other X58 based motherboard. The rules are likely to be the same. When I had a ASUS X58 motherboard, it was clearly described in their manual.

If you are inclined to buy the best air cooler out there, look at the Noctua NH-D14.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It uses some of the best and quietest fans.

July 29, 2012 6:11:12 PM

I put the case back on and ran a stress test. It wasn't so bad, as the CPU didn't exceed 80'C, so it's better than before. I guess the place where I kept my pc before was really bad for it. But one thing worried me - during the stress test the frequency of my CPU fell down to even 2,7 GHz, down from original 3,2 GHz. Also, my voltage is chaning wildly, from 0,96 to 1,23. Is that just because of the temperature?

Right now I'm toying with SpeedFan to keep my PC quieter when idle, as fans running at full speed in the new place can be quite deafening.

And... wow, that is some big monster. But I wasn't expecting that kind of a price. And I'm not even sure that beast would fit in my case. Is there something in between you can recommend?

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a c 265 à CPUs
July 29, 2012 6:32:03 PM
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Krecik said:
I put the case back on and ran a stress test. It wasn't so bad, as the CPU didn't exceed 80'C, so it's better than before. I guess the place where I kept my pc before was really bad for it. But one thing worried me - during the stress test the frequency of my CPU fell down to even 2,7 GHz, down from original 3,2 GHz. Also, my voltage is chaning wildly, from 0,96 to 1,23. Is that just because of the temperature?

Right now I'm toying with SpeedFan to keep my PC quieter when idle, as fans running at full speed in the new place can be quite deafening.

And... wow, that is some big monster. But I wasn't expecting that kind of a price. And I'm not even sure that beast would fit in my case. Is there something in between you can recommend?


The reason your multiplier and voltage is fluctuating is because the cpu is downclocking to protect itself from damage.

The main reason for noise is high rpm fans. A 92mm fan has to spin up to high rpm's to generate sufficient airflow.

The cm hyper212 I referenced before uses a 120mm fan which is really quite effective and the fan turns much slower.
It will likely do the job for you and is a bargain at that price.

The height of the cooler is the usual limiting factor for fitting in a case. In this instance, buth the hyper212 and the noctua are the same height. Both should fit.

There should not be that much spread of cooling capabilities to suggest an in-between priced cooler.




July 30, 2012 10:09:04 AM

After some more testing of the new setup it's better than it was, but still not perfect. I think I'm going to reapply the paste for my current cooler and see how it will work then.

Thank you, you've been really helpful. I'm actually really surprised to have found a forum where people are knowledgeable and helpful, that's a rarity these days. Cheers!
July 30, 2012 10:09:17 AM

Best answer selected by Krecik.
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