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.
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.
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.
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.
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.