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Core i7 920 CPU hitting 100C, any tips?

By serges16 · 29 replies
Apr 12, 2011
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  1. Lately I have been noticing, that my computer started shutting down by itself alot.. I didnt know what the problem was, and i kept using it. Now it shuts off more then ever when I start up some processes which put a big load on the cpu.. I downloaded a few programs, and all of them showed that my CPU temp reaches 100, (on all four cores), and since it reaches the tjmax, comp shuts down.. I let my comp cool, and now i started it again, and the idle cpu temp is in high 90s.. (97, 98, 96).. and so I am wondering what is the problem. is my cpu dead??? I used it for more than a year, i have the stock heatsink, and I know for sure there was that, thermal compound applied.. (however that silver thing is called). So if anyone knows what might be wrong with it please let me kno.,., Thank you..

    processor: i7 920 2.67ghz
    ram: 6gb ddr3
    graphics: geforce gtx 275
  2. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    The first thing I would check is whether or not the cpu cooler fan is running. If it is, I would recommend removing the stock cooler and reapplying thermal compound, you will need to clean both the cpu plate and bottom of the cooler first. I've always had good luck with Tuniq thermal paste, but any brand name thermal paste should work.

    If those temperature readings are correct you really don't want to run the system for any extended period of time (especially under load) until you resolve this problem.
  3. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Preferably your CPU temp should be below 50°C idle, so you have a major cooling problem.
  4. serges16

    serges16 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yes the cpu fan IS running, and i dont think that changing its speed will help much.. since this is a major cooling issue. I will try replacing the thermal paste, c if it helps ..
  5. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    check your BIOS, your motherboard could be over-volting the processor.

    if you're still using the stock cooler, make sure it is clear of debris and running at the correct rpm. you might want to invest in a new aftermarket cooler because 100c is very hot even for a i7 chip--especially considering it is not overclocked.
  6. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    That's a good call on the BIOS ... definitely worth checking out.
  7. serges16

    serges16 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tried changing layer of the thermal compound.. it helped a little.. Right now, idle cpu temp is around 70C , and at full cpu load its around 90C, which i think is still a little bit too high..I never overclocked, i never messed around with bios settings changing volts or fan speed, everything in bios is default... I dont even kno how to change the voltage for my cpu, and I dont think it might have changed by itself and made the problem.. i just cant figure out why this problem started, y it started overheating... maybe problems with cpu itself?? maybe i should go through RMA with manufacturer? i think it should still have warranty...

    Im guessing only option i have right now is to buy aftermarket cooler.. anyone knows a good one??
  8. Lurker101

    Lurker101 TS Evangelist Posts: 798   +318

    Whichever cooler you get, make sure it has 140mm fans. 120mm fans can get quite loud and do your head in. Ditched my V12 for that very reason.
  9. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    How did you apply thermal compound...properly I hope?
  10. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    What's your room temp. a 920 can easily hit 80 degrees close to 50% load if the ambient temp is high. Especially if its a c0 version.
  11. serges16

    serges16 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My room temp.. Hmm.. Idk.. normal.. Lol.. Not cold, not hot.. I have 1 fan in back, a double fan (2 fans in one) in front, and l ike a, 9inch fan (dk how much in mm, Multiply 9 by 25.4 and ull find out how many mm it is.)) on side.. And I cleaned the cpu fan from any debris.. With an air compressor of course..

    And yes I think I applied the thermal compound correctly. I removed old one, and evenly put the new one.. A small layer.. Mby its the thermal compound itself? my brother bought it, probly like 5 years ago lmao, I don't think it has an expiration date.. (Antec Formula 5)

    the heat sink works fine, I would say perfectly.. But I guess I should start looking for a better cooler..
  12. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

    A small layer would be about as little as you can get on there. Pretty much the thermal paste is only supposed to fill any gaps due to the two pieces of metal that are supposed to touch not being PERFECTLY flat. You don't "want" the thermal paste to do the actual conduction for you, but you do want it to help where it can (gaps). Also, perhaps 5 year old thermal paste might be the prob - drop $5-10 on some new compound and save yourself a nice proc - even if that turns out not to be the issue.
  13. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    That's still too high for idle temps, especially at stock clocks. Would double check what the core voltage is on the processor, you can do this in the BIOS or with a utility like CpuZ.

    Although an aftermarket cooler would certainly help, think it's important to identify the underlying problem first. Your idle temp is actually about what you should be seeing under normal load, something between 30c to 40c is more typical for the i7 920 at idle.

    Another thing you might want to do while troubleshooting this problem would be to turn off Hyper-threading and Speedstep (Turbo Boost) to reduce loading on the processor.
  14. serges16

    serges16 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    uhu.. ye i guess ill try a newer thermal paste first before buying new heatsink..
    i dont really kno much about core voltage.. I went to look for CpuZ and i downlaoded this.. dk if its the right program but it does show something...(see picture below)
    I took this screenshot about 5 minutes after i turned on my comp.. this shows my idle core temps..)

    appreciate all the help..
  15. serges16

    serges16 TS Rookie Topic Starter

  16. serges16

    serges16 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    oh nvm.. i downloaded wrong thing.. this is the CpuZ
  17. serges16

    serges16 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    like 20 minutes have passed since comp is running.. and im updating status on my idle core temp...

    sorry for many pics uploaded
  18. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    If you're able, you may want to open up the side of your case, snap a few photos and post them.

    if your case circulation is poor, your graphics card may be raising your ambient temperature within the case to high levels.
  19. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I doubt that's a major factor; though that may contribute.
  20. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    I'll leave it to the experts then.
  21. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Well IMO the heatsink is likely to "fail"; it's mostly a block of metal, so if it's visually undamaged and the fan spins at an appropriate speed, then it's probably fine.
    CPU is simply an unlikely problem, though we haven't ruled out that possibility.
    That leaves thermal compound/user error in applying it, which is probably the trickiest part.
    Other than that, I really don't know as case flow/ambient temperatures have to be on the extreme spectrum, I would think, to cause such high temperatures.
    If the OP knows if this was a sudden occurring, or a gradual buildup, that might shed some light.
  22. serges16

    serges16 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    idk i dont think the ambient temp is the problem.. although since u mentioned about video card.. its made me think.. I recently replaced the video card.. I had an older gt260 or something like that,, and now i put a gtx275..im just trying to remmeber if the problem started before or after i put a new graphics card.. but still, i dont think the card makes so much heat to make the cpu overheat that much..

    the problem wasnt a sudden occuring.. It started shutting off like once or twice a day.. but i still continued working on it.. and i even used Vegas Pro to edit videos, and it published my videos fine. then with every few days it got worse, started shutting off randomly while i was editting videos.. and then soon i couldnt even publish my video cuz of it shutting down every single time..

    the heatsink seems to be working properly.. it spins at regular rate, and its overall physical condition is great too.. (although.. when i took it off, i saw that like one of these, metal things.. however they are called.. the silver lil small plates under the fan, one or two of them were a little bent at a corner, but i dont think that has any effect at all.. and i really have no idea HOW they got bent.. its like.. the corner of it, was bent on 90 degrees to the side.. and i couldnt even straighten it out with my hand)

    abient temp.. maybe that is the problem.. the weather got a lot better here in sacramento.. and now its actually a little hot in the day.. + my door is sometimes closed and it gets a little hot in my room.. however,. i got another comp, tower, standing a foot away from this one.. and when I use my other one.. it works great and temp of cpu is around 40-50C which is fine.. (its an Intel core2duo 3.17ghz though)

    thermal compound.. umm.. i admit this is like only my second time in life applying it.. but i didnt think its really that hard.. i put a little of the compound, spread it evenly, covered the metal part.. and it was a thin layer..

  23. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Looks pretty decent actually...
    I also do not think that the ambient temperatures are the problem, even in Sacramento.
    I didn't say that thermal compound is the problem, per se, it's just really the only part you can screw up on.
    Since it sounds like a general degradation...actually I have no idea what that means. It could be that the thermal compound was very poor and dried out, but that's a total guess. Again we also might want to consider that the CPU itself has a problem, or maybe the motherboard is overvolting due to a malfunction. If you could swap parts around with another computer...but I know that's a hassle.
    Maybe someone else knows what's going on.
  24. sonicblast

    sonicblast TS Rookie

    water cool it :slurp:
  25. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

    No - you should definitely find the root cause instead of slapping another bandaid over it.

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