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CPU running hot and need advice for decent cooler please

By Leeky · 10 replies
Jun 20, 2010
  1. Hello everyone.

    Having installed temperature sensor drivers, and now I'm monitoring my core temps I've noticed my CPU is getting far too hot.

    Its averaging 59/57/58/58 °C at idle, and at 70+% load its hitting 80-90° C!

    I'm noticing the lag a lot more since changing over to a SSD, due to the disk performance. Before I just thought that when it slowed down it was lag from the disk, but clearly its temperature issues!

    I think its only the CPU cooler thats the issue, as every other temp is fine. I'm running a NZXT Beta case, with 4 120mm roller bearing, super quiet fans, so airflow should be fine.

    My Pc spec:

    Intel Dell Mobo
    Intel Q8200 2.33ghz Core 2 Quad
    8GB Kingston DDR2 800 RAM (4x 2GB)
    ATi Radeon 4670 GPU.

    I'm not even remotely interested in overclocking, or continually messing with fan temps using fan controllers, and I mainly use the PC for browsing, emails, graphic manipulation, web/software coding and I spent a lot of time using virtual OS' as well which due to the software I run virtually places quite high demands on my CPU and RAM (Virtualbox is setup to run 2GB RAM/2 cores on my virtual OS')

    I basically need help to decide a suitable CPU cooler and heatsink. It doesn't need to be snazzy, I just want functional and MUCH cooler temps. I'm also in the UK, so coolers need to be available here in the UK.

    I've also read that the best coolers are ones that have a bracket on the back of the motherboard to screw the heatsink/cooler to this bracket through the holes in the motherboard. The current cooler I'm using is the standard Intel one, with the stupid plastic clips that clearly aren't doing a good job! I'm currently using OCZ ultra 5+ silver thermal compound. I plan to add more of this to the new cooler unless its worthwhile using something else.

    So, what cooler would you all recommend, thats got the screw mounting with bracket, and costs £40 or less?

    Help, advice and everything else will all be greatfully recieved. :)

    Thanks in advance!

  2. PaulWuzHere

    PaulWuzHere TS Guru Posts: 271

  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    The screw mounting is not the secret, but is ok if you are skilled in drilling holes. Just replace the entire CPU unit from something at a high quality computer repair store. Add a case fan to exhaust the hot air... looking for low-noise models. Be sure to measure your system carefully, as a number of good coolers have a hard time fitting into some computer cases.
    Be aware that too much thermal paste is often the cause, as it can act as an insulator rather than an aide to heat transfer. You want the thinnest possible application of paste.
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +116

    Ironically I saw ths earlier but thought it was more gimmick than anything else!

    Thanks for your advice.

    I followed OCZ's advice for applying the thermal grease to the letter, but found it seriously hard to engage the 4 clips on the cooler unit when fitting it. Maybe I smudged it or something during the problems of fitting it?

    The original CPU cooler I had was screwed into the backplate of my original Dell Vostro case, and therefore when i changed it to this NZXT Beta case I couldnt reuse it. I just ordered a new Intel cooler unit mean't for a core 2 quad as a replacement.
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +116

    Problem resolved. Rather than purchase a new fan I decided to just fit everything back into my Dell Vostro case, and the temps at idle are now down to 35-38 deg.C, and no higher than 55 deg.C at full load. Temps have dropped a good 20-30 deg.C so its good enough for me! :D

    Saved purchasing a new fan anyway. :)
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I don't think the V8 is any good. More hype than anything really.

    dividebyzero has a good list here
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Wise move.
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +116

    Yeah, seemed silly purchasing a new fan when the computer in my opinion was fine in the Dell case, even though its got two less fans inside.

    Its strange really, because ALL the temps are lower in the Dell case. I'm only using 1x 120mm ultra silent fan to exhaust it. In the NZXT case I had 1 fan for the hard drives, 2 in the side, and 1 in the rear.
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    There are so many variables... Heat conduction, air flow design, thermal paste type and thinness of application. We have so many components that are made by machine and never tested, but we know there is quite a variety in performance even among the same brand and model.
    Where we have seen the most significant differences are in the devices that report temperatures.
  10. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +116

    Yeah I know. In all fairness its entirely possible that the thermal paste was incorrectly applied in the end as I had real problems getting the CPU cooler to fix on all 4 legs when I fitted it to the new case.

    I also appreciate that the only way of knowing the "real" temperature is by using a temperature probe that is calibrated to a "known" standard.

    That said, my PC ran fine with no issues whatsoever in regards to performance in the original Dell Vostro case. The very same setup fitted in a NZXT Beta case with 3 low noise high spec roller bearing 120mm fans was hotter.

    How hot we'll never know without true means to test it. It was however hot enough to reduce CPU performance, slowing the PC down.

    I'm happy with my decision to return to my old case, and my screw in CPU cooler.

    Having used it for the last 24 hours, I feel much more satisfied.

    My Ati Radeon 4670HD is running on average 3-4 deg.C hotter than before (45-47 deg.C), but despite being at 50% load approx for the last 8-10 hours I'm showing temps on the CPU of 56/51/54/53 deg.C - My Mobo is showing 53/48 deg.C and my drives 37/38 deg.C (my SSD isnt listed for some reason!)

    Whether its really this hot, or maybe hotter is an unknown. However, the lack of fans are showing up in a hotter GPU, but thats still half the temp I see some people getting them to! (its only running 2x 22" Viewsonics (1680x1050) and I don't play games ever) That said, the CPU temps are down by 50-75% and its been running with perfect performance all day long. Its also the hottest inside I've recorded so far with temps in the room of around 22 deg.C currently so all in all I'm very happy with being back to (the somewhat boring) but smaller Dell Vostro case!
  11. JamesCaliber

    JamesCaliber TS Rookie

    Not to sure if you bought something already, but I recommend the Thermalright Venomous X, it's what I'm using now and I'm running a Core i7 920 @ 4.0ghz with 40c idle temps.
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