i7 processor stock heatsink inadequate?

By james7533
Aug 11, 2010
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  1. I hear everyone saying that the stock fan that comes with the Intel i7 quad core processor is trash. I am looking for suggestions on which one to possibly upgrade to. I would like to slightly increase performance from 2.8GHz to around 3.2GHz. Nothing major but i would much rather be safe then have a melted CPU and short-circuited motherboard.
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,526   +856

    This Cooler Master has received some rave reviews; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...103065&cm_re=Hyper_212-_-35-103-065-_-Product

    Unfortunately Newegg has persisted in jacking up the price since that occurred.

    Microcenter has this at a walk-in price of about 30 dollars, if you're fortunate enough to live near one.

    I actually bought one of these from them, but never hung it, as my i3-530 runs so cool at stock speed, there doesn't seem to be much point. Keep in mind the 530 is only 73 watts TDP max (idles @ about 26 watts), your CPU is a bunch more. (130 Watts TDP).
  3. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    also keep in mind that i7 chips will run hotter than you're average quad core processor anyways, but i think the stock cooler coupled with some decent thermal compound would be adequate. but for what it's worth, i really hate the design of intel's coolers. they just sort of pop onto the motherboard and can be a real pain to remove sometimes. aftermarket is typically the way to go for overclocking though, so i would recommend upgrading.
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,349   +122

    IMO, stock cooler should be sufficient for normal usage.
    Intel coolers scare me. Feels like I'm going to snap my motherboard putting them in.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,526   +856

    I can't speak to the rest of the industry practice, but my Gigabyte H-55 board is factory equipped with a stiffener plate under the CPU socket. I don't know how that would effect after market coolers with their own proprietary plates

    As to the rest of the "going to snap my motherboard" nonsense, all the "experts" at Newegg say the same thing, Nobody seems to actually break a board, they all just "think they're gonna"! I suppose it adds drama to the sometimes drudgery of "building" a computer.

    That said, many of the most popular after market coolers are equipped with the same push pins as a stock Intel cooler, so maybe we should all work through our fears, ey...?

    In a sort of oddity, every review I have read on an Intel stock cooler, has stated that the coolers work best with the Intel supplied thermal mat, rather than perhaps Arctic Silver. Hey, it must be true, it's on the internet right?
  6. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,349   +122

    I hope not; still scares me.
    Come to think of it, I've only put in one intel stock cooler. The AMD one I did was pretty easy.
  7. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    really? well to be honest i've only installed a handful of those pushpin style intel coolers, but it only took 1 or 2 to get me to hate them lol. it's not so much that i worry about damaging anything but the way they work is annoying. i always try to be as neat as possible with the thermal (because I'm anal like that) but i find that hard to do with those coolers. it's like you go to push one down and the adjacent one pops out. i'd much rather screw a cooler down to mounting brackets or a plate on the reverse side :)

    as for the intel thermal, i believe it's just arctic ceramique... which is decent but there are better options. i don't really like AC5 because of the set time, partial conductivity and that sometimes it likes to strand itself all over the damn place. my tube of TX-3 just arrived earlier; i'm going to use it with my i7 chip. at first glance it looks the same as TX-2 but it looks like they've improved the formula. it's a bit thinner and conductivity has improved by ~1.7W/mK.
  8. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,265   +41

    I have a 920 d0 and c0/1 I've achieved 4ghz on both with the stock cooler keeping it below intels suggested temp. at 3.2 I dont think its worth upgrading. Unless you want to maintain a chilly 30-40C at 3.2
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,526   +856

    But Smash, don't you think it would be cool, (pardon the pun), to have a nice big cooling tower affair on the CPU anyway? Just to let everybody know you mean business. And besides, what's wrong with 40 C under load...?
  10. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,265   +41

    lol CC, ehh. Sure it would be cool. But I suppose I'd like to save someone money, especially since I can't seem to save any. 40C is great, especially if you live in a higher than average temp climate with no central cooling.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,526   +856

    With that being said, I didn't think anybody came here to save money. "Come to TS solvent, and leave in need of debt counseling", that's my motto. Besides,if Barack O'Bama is right, all you have to do is print enough money to get yourself out of the economic doldrums. It works like this, you hire 500 more people at the U.S.Mint to print money, bingo, crisis solved, unemployment averted. So, not buying an aftermarket cooler would be downright unpatriotic!, Well, unless you don't live in the US to begin with.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and figure out what all those initials meant that ExCellR8 was bandying about. It's a real SNAFU I tell ya...!:rolleyes:
     
  12. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_conductivity

    ...i assume that's what you mean :D
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,526   +856

    Gee, thanks! Now my eyes just glazed over, then rolled back in my head....:haha: :wave:
  14. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,808   +642

    That would explain the pop-ups then...
    [​IMG]
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,526   +856

    Now that's really priceless. Where do you find the time to come up with this s***...?

    An idle mind is the internet's playground, you know.

    My "neighbor" pointed out to me exactly what the "thrust" of the O'Bama campaign was, "Vote fo O'Bama, he be fo' change"...! :rolleyes: OK, so why do I never get change fo' a twenty any mo'...?

    And we still have the dependence on foreign lubricants, perhaps moreso, if you know what I mean....
  16. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,808   +642

    A close-knit bunch of guys I went to (high)school, and grew up with. All, what you might term "inquiring minds". We've all gone our seperate ways, taking a variety of paths, but all keep in contact and send on various non-mainstream items of interest. The little jpg above comes from a site that a friend (political scientist...New Zealand government think-tank <<oxymoron) with an interest in agitprop pointed me toward.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,526   +856

    Anyway, despite that foray off the beaten track here, I recommend an aftermarket HSF for your machine. The logic is this, you can run it too hot, but you can never run it too cool. If the machine plops along at 40 C while tasking, I'd be thrilled. I set my BIOS CPU temp warnings @ 60c, and during our 100 F + heatwave, they tripped, this using a very modest aftermarket HSF, with a Matx case G41 Matx board, and a Pent dual core E6300. A few wires were rerouted, and the front fan cranked up to max, goodbye nasty case speaker noise.

    If you can get the Cooler Master tower I pointed out at a reasonable price, grab one, otherwise invest into something more exotic. The cooler it runs, the longer it lives, period. The bottom line here is, you've invested into a fairly high end machine, why cheap out now?
  18. EpicPie

    EpicPie Newcomer, in training Posts: 55

    I believe the stock Intel core i7 heatsinks for the 1366 socket i7's can run the CPU at 4Ghz.
  19. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,808   +642

    "can" does not in mean "should".
    Example ( Core i7 at 2.66GHz, 3.42GHz, 3.8GHz). And here's an article on electromigration
  20. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    bottom line... stock clocks=stock cooler, overclocking=aftermarket cooler or stock lapping
  21. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,265   +41

    Guys dont forget he's asking about increasing the speed to 3.2ghz, not 4ghz. 3.2 can be achieved with barely any voltage increase at all. I'm not against after market coolers but he's asking if its worth buying a new cooler to jump .4ghz. Its been tested again and again that you can get to 3.2ghz with a voltage increase of just .01 with a cpu temp increase of 5C on average. If you dont plan on going passed 3.2 and dont want to spend the extra money then dont, but if you see yourself going way passed it then its more of a need issue.
  22. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,808   +642

    Turbo-mode would take care of the small OC automatically. I think you inadvertantly derailed the discussion (post #8) by mentioning a 4G OC, later taken up by EricPie. My personal opinion is that advocating a 4GHz core Core i7 (especially a c0 step) with a stock Intel cooler should come with a number of proviso's, namely:
    -No two CPU's will achieve the same OC given the same voltage
    -A big OC achieved using automatic OC utilities invariably adds more voltage than required for stability purposes, whereas an "overclocker" will tweak settings for the minimum amount of voltage required for a stable OC.
    -The same utilities will also add voltage to the MCH, so both it and mosfet cooling needs to be of a greater consideration
    - Making the distinction between OC via base clock and multipier.

    Given that an experienced OC'er will not be phrasing questions as our OP (and a few other viewers present and future) has, I think it likely that OC via utility is a more likely path taken. All the more likely with mobo makers pushing their "OC Genie", "EasyTune" and "TurboV" etc. With that in mind, and the vagaries of individual CPU's, I'd be more than a little hesitent about mentioning a 50% overclock in conjuction with a stock Intel HSF.
  23. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,265   +41

    I wouldnt advocate a 50% increase of oc for a 24/7 setup with a stock cooler either, but he's asking for something closer to 20% increase.

    No two cpu's are the same correct, but I dont think its even worth mentioning this fact with the i7 in the conversation and talking about mild overclocking. If he's buying or have bought an i7 within the last 9 months it would be really hard and rare to even get a C0 stepping cpu. I own a 920 d0 and c0 stepping. The overclock from stock to 3.2 via preset bios settings doesnt take much more voltage at all. Its 3.5ghz and higher where both cpus start to spread themselves out.

    To the OP. I'd suggest a thermalright cooler, they're beefy and can keep anything cool that's available now. It will set you back 50 usd but you can also jump to 4ghz easy when you feel up to it. Make sure the height of the coolers wont interfere with the side panel of your case.


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