I5 3570k hitting 70C at stock speeds

Hello all,

I am running a Core i5 3570k on an ASRock Z77 Extreme4 motherboard with a CoolerMaster 212 Evo cooler and MX-4 thermal paste. I have not touched any overclocking related settings in the BIOS and all my fan speeds are set to full on, but when I push the CPU to 100% with Prime95 it hits 70 degrees C at stock speeds. I have been looking through forum posts for days and I routinely see people overclocking in the 4.2 - 4.4 Ghz range with this CPU/heatsink combo and barely hitting 70C, so it is very frustrating to me that I am already at that mark with no overclock.

I have already reapplied the thermal paste 3 times, completely cleaning with rubbing alcohol each time. I used the "pea method" the first 2 times, and both times when I took the heatsink off the paste had not reached all corners of the chip. So, the third time I spread a thin layer evenly over the contact area of the heatsink and then reinstalled it, and I am still hitting 70C. I don't want to keep removing the heatsink because the mounting posts are starting to gouge the surface of the motherboard from repeated tightening and loosening. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.

-Ed
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More about 3570k hitting stock speeds
  1. Obviously, that's not good temps. I broke from my usual Arctic Siver 5 awhile back and went with MX-4 on a PhIIX4 965BE and aftermarket cooler. I had the same experience. Tried several different methods of application and still had high temps. I went back to AS5 and used the suggested application method ( http://www.arcticsilver.com/methods.html ). Problem solved. I read nothing but glowing reports about MX-4, but it didn't work for me.
  2. Case airflow?
  3. I have a 120mm intake fan in the front that blows through the HDD cage (which is mostly open), an 80mm intake on the side panel which blows on the graphics card, a 120mm exhaust fan that lines up with the CPU heatsink fan, and I suppose the fan in my top mounted PSU acts as another exhaust fan. There is also a vent in the side panel right by the CPU heatsink, and I can feel that air is being sucked in through it when the computer is running.
  4. One other thing that seems a little funny to me.....there is one core that consistently runs about 10C hotter than the other 3. Through all 3 thermal paste applications this same core has been the hot one.
  5. One core usually runs hotter. Threading isn't perfect.
  6. The stock cooler is not very good. I could get my non-overclocked CPU to hit 80 and it seemed like it would keep going if I didn't turn off prime 95. I even tried some aftermarket thermal paste. My case has 4 120mm fans and one 140mm. So it's got PLENTY of airflow.

    However, in games and other programs that made the CPU run 100%, it didn't climb over 65. So I think there is something to be said for real world loads vs torture tests.

    I switched to a Zalman with a 92mm fan I got on sale and my temps dropped 20+ degrees. I overclocked my CPU a little and it's cooler than it was at stock speeds with the intel cooler.

    I think the stock cooler sucks, but it will keep the CPU just cool enough. These things are fine running up into the 70s and even 80s. But cooler the better.
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