CPU Overheating with Water Cooler?

Hello all, until very recently Ive owned a very nice gaming PC, custom built by

About 3 days ago I was playing Far Cry 3(Very cpu heavy according to others) and suddenly my computer crashed unexpectedly, this had never happened before so I was very surprised. Soon I figured out that my CPU was actually overheating! :??:

The CPU is an "All-in-one" something or other CoolIT Eco II-120FB

Its kind of a different cooler, not like others, where the pump is actually (to my knowledge) right above the cpu itself.

At first I thought the cooler was empty, but then figured out about its All-in-one-ness, and found a garuntee that the liquid would work for 5 years minimum, so I doubt thats the problem.

I was looking through these forums for a while, and couldnt seem to find anything related to my issue.

Eventually (Just now) I took the pump/heatsink off of the cpu, and it seems the thermal paste is quite used up (its been a year and a half).

Im honestly not sure if the pump is broken(the tubes arent see-through so I cant tell), or the CPU is overheating because of the old thermal paste. Regardless I will be replacing it ASAP, im just curious if that is the reason alone that the CPU is overheating.

Bottom line, the pump is broken and I cant tell, or the thermal paste is the issue. Any opinions would be awesome, thanks.

Here are my specs:
Intel i5 3.3ghz
Cooler:CoolIT Eco II-120FB
Not sure what thermal paste.

Sorry if I missed anything in advance, Im no computer expert, Im not even positive about everything inside of it, since I had it built for me by DigitalStorm.

Thanks in advance
15 answers Last reply
More about overheating water cooler
  1. Most closed loop watercoolers have the pump in the CPU waterblock, that's nothing abnormal. Also, to check if it's empty, unscrew the waterblock mounted on the rear intake fan and shake it, you should be able to hear water.

    For the thermal paste, take coffee filters with nail polish/acetone based product and wipe it off, be careful the nail polish doesn't get off the die, as that'll cause a short, then use another dry coffee filter to clean the residue, then to the same to the Cooler waterblock, the drop a pea sized dot of thermal paste on the processor, put the waterblock on, and tighten HARD, as in HARD until the screws won't go anymore.

    Good luck!
  2. I shook the waterblock and YES there is water inside of it.

    After watching multiple videos of people removing old thermal paste they say is bad, I can garuntee that I DO indeed need to replace mine.

    There is hardly any at all, I can actually see the metal of the cpu, Id say its definity too thin.

    Im still not sure whether the pump is working or not, if I turn on the cooler by itself and hold the waterblock, should it get cold? And if so how cold, freezing? Or just cool?

    Im going to go pick up some thermal paste and coffee filters, and see if it fixes the problem, I may also post a picture to show you how LITTLE paste is currently on the CPU.

    Thanks darksparten :)
  3. Watercooler pumps have a very distinctive "chugging" type noise, it's usually louder than fans and quite noticeable at low loads/idle.
  4. I honestly dont hear much when my computer is running, since I have about 4 other fans besides the ones on the radiator, if I put my hand on the radiator should it be vibrating at all? Is there any other way to tell besides sound related?

    (Ive watched reviews on the cooler I have and a lot of people say it is very hard to hear, as the fans muffle it)

    Or maybe Im hearing it and I just dont know what Im supposed to be listening for xD
  5. One other question out of curiosity, how hot does a CPU have to get before it actually shuts down the whole computer?

    Im pretty sure its a safety precaution installed and not the CPU failing itself, but still, its nice to know how hot it can actually get before its had too much. For future reference.
  6. Usually around 80-90 Celsius, the more powerful ones like the i7 hex cores are closer to 100 celsius.

    Good load temps are around 60-70, higher isn't healthy, unless you're using one of the high end processors like hex core/AMD Vishera, then you can go up to 80-90.
  7. Thats kind of scary, I see people talking about their CPUs being closed to 80-90 Celcius, but it doesnt seem to bother them. Extended time with a temperature like that would probably melt the CPU wouldnt it?
  8. No not really Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge are designed to work for decades at near or at their upper heat ceiling.

    That's not to say that 80-90C temperatures are good per se, but they're definitely acceptable.
  9. If its an acceptable temperature, how come my motherboard shuts down? Its probably hotter than 90c. Also, can I tell if the pump is working by holding the waterbox and seeing if it cools? Ive done that, and it doesnt exactly get Ice cold. Is it supposed to?
  10. Also, could it seriously just be the lack of thermal
    Paste causing it to have such a high temperature? I dont think only that could cause it to get so hot.

    Before when I ran the computer while the cooler was still connected and it was shutting off, the usage in the task manager jumped a lot, from 0 all the way to 100 frequently. Is that because of the heat? Or could it be something else?
  11. reapply thermal paste first and see if that works, it probably will.

    From what I know the i7 Sandy Bridge-E shut down at 91 Celsius, I'm not sure about i5/i7 mainstream because I don't use those. Thermal paste makes a BIG difference, good pastes are Tuniq TX-2 and Noctua NT-H1.
  12. I was probably going to use arctic silver 5. I dont think the paste I use will make a difference will it?
  13. Difference between different pastes is usually less than 1 celsius, the difference is typically around 1/3 celsius but Arctic Silver 5 is very conductive so if you apply it wrong you risk a major short and dead components, also they had a bad batch where the paste would basically cement your heatsink/CPU together and make it impossible to remove the heatsink without ripping out the entire CPU from it's socket and bending quite a few pins in the process.

    I'd just spend the extra 5 bucks on Tuniq or Noctua, or if you want Antec Nano-Diamond is a decent alternative for the same price.
  14. Paste didnt help, I think Im going to send it in to get serviced. Either the pump on my Eco II is broken or the CPU is extremely faulty.

    I might have gotten some kind of power virus, but I doubt it.
  15. Ill post what the problem was once I get it back from the repair guys.

    My bet is a broken watercooler pump, but you never know.
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