I could really do with some advice on my CPU temps please

By Leeky ยท 19 replies
Aug 29, 2010
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  1. Hello people of Techspot. :)

    As per title, I could really do with some advice regarding my CPU temps.

    To cut a long story short, I changed back to my NZXT case as the CPU fan (which is screwed in) on my Dell case failed last night.

    But I just can't get the CPU temps to reduce! I've now tried reseating (and new thermal paste) 3 times, and it seems seated, but just installing ATi drivers for example (pic below) is shooting my CPU temps to almost 100'C. Its idling around 50-60'C, and shooting up at the slightest load on the CPU. Its not thermally throttling though, even when its registering 100'C its still running at maximum speed. :confused:

    I'm using the standard LGA775 Intel fan, and my CPU is a Q8300 core2quad. I'm using HWMonitor for temps, which seems pretty accurate - My BIOS doesn't show me my CPU temps anywhere either, so I can't check them.

    Everything is the same, except for the new case, and 3 additional fans (2 side, 1 rear, 1 front), so I don't see how that would cause it as airflow should be perfect!

    Surely its got to be a badly fitting stupid heatsink, or could it be anything else?
  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 854

    Either the HSF is not properly seated, you've used WAY too much thermal paste or the program is wrong. Try CoreTemp and see if the results are the same.

    I'm assuming the fan is working on the heatsink.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Too much thermal past, or a worn CPU fan, or your CPU hold-down clamps are not right. Check also to be certain your CPU bracket (if that model has one) has not been broken on one corner, or is pulling out of the system board.
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Thanks for the advice guys. :)

    I've used the same as I always do in regards to thermal paste; a rice grain sized amount in the middle of the cpu, as instructed with the instructions that came with my OCZ thermal paste. I don't think its that as I've not changed the way I've done it in ages (and it wasn't an issue with the OEM cooler in the Dell case before it died.

    The CPU fan has seen less than 3 months use, so again I don't think its a worn cooler fan. That said, it seems loose when attached - I can rock the black plastic fan surround when fitted (if that makes sense?), Its the crappy retail supplied Socket 775 heatsink, without any cover plate that fits on the rear. Its just got plastic pins to lock it in place.

    I'll try Coretemp now, and let you all know the results.

    I guess I'll be removing the motherboard for the 4th time today then. haha.

    EDIT: Just ran CoreTemp, and run the score assessment to stress the computer up a tad and it was hitting 95+'c on all 4 cores. HWMonitor, and CoreTemp are recording identical temps, so I guess I'm going to have to remove the motherboard and have another look.

    Before I do, whats the best way of ensuring I don't use too much thermal paste? Is the way I'm doing it as per OCZ's instructions best?
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    I think you have answered the question. There should be no rocking if it is held down properly.
    The fastest solution might be an investment of $15 to $19 for a new CPU cooler with assembly.
  6. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    OK, well I'll go have another go at it then I guess. lol.

    I'm seriously considering purchasing this actually: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS-035-AR

    Reason being as it will fit i5/i7/amd3 so my next upgrade will be covered. :)

    I need a new gaming mouse anyway, so I think I'll have a go at sorting the heatsink now and just get it ordered anyway.

    EDIT: I took the motherboard out, and with a bright light saw the problem right away. For some reason, the heatsink is not sitting on the cpu flush, its lifted slightly on one end. I removed it, and then reseated it, and holding the back of the motherboard really pushed the pins in place - Its slightly better temp wise now, but still hitting 70-80'C under load.

    Time to order a new heatsink I think. I'm never going to get this one to sit perfect. I'll just have to rob the cpu cooler from my other Dell until my new one arrives - Time to build it back into my Dell case again I guess! haha. I've never had so much trouble with a heatsink on a cpu before, its unreal!
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    Intel HSFs are not anywhere near as bad as everybody makes them out to be. If the assembly is "rocking" one {or more} of the pushpins may be broken or not seated properly. Just make certain you don't have one of them rotated to the "removal" position , which would be counterclockwise. (Yes looking down on it, silly)
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117


    This one is quite possibly the worst I've ever had the (dis)pleasure of dealing with!

    I've stolen the heatsink from my other socket 775 Dell for now, but I'll need to replace it shortly, so I'm going to go for the one I linked in a post above as a replacement.

    All 4 push pins are fine, as are the seats which are located exactly as they should be. I even checked a manual, and checked video's of them being installed on youtube so I could be sure it was correct.

    Its almost like either the entire heatsink itself is warped, or the plastic surround holding the fan and the pins is out of shape. It was down as tight as it would go on all 4 corners and was level on top, but you could see light through 25% of one corner. I also think a round heatsink base on a square cpu is kind of silly, as there is no way it can cover the entire cpu's surface area. Maybe I'm totally wrong, but I'd have thought it would leave "hot spots" on the cpu where it has no heatsink coverage.

    As soon as I fitted my other Dell heatsink my temps dropped right back down again - 35-40'C at idle, and no more than 60'C at sustained 100% cpu load.

    The replacement fan will be touch and go though, as (what I assume is) the northbridge heatsink is rather close to the existing fan housing, and uses a massive passive heatsink - Hopefully this new fan will clear it - Just means swapping everything back out of my Dell case into the new one yet again (The Dell cases use screw in heatsinks, standard can't be fitted in those cases)
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    I have no doubt a defective part is possible. Just for laughs though, check out Arctic Silver's instructions for the application of thermal compound; http://www.arcticsilver.com/instructions.htm Nobody I know does it this way, but yet, they stake their reputation on it.

    It probably doesn't matter at this point, but for the problem you're describing to occur, one of the mounting arms of the Intel HSF would have to be bent. Perhaps from being dropped?
  10. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117


    I'll check out that link now buddy. :)

    It probably is the cooler. I've just ordered a new one anyway, as I really want to use another case that has more cooling fans (the Dell only has space for a rear fan).

    I ordered this

    Should sort the high temp issues out, assuming it clears the passive heatsink on my motherboard! haha. Gives me an excuse to yet again remove my motherboard though I guess! Oh the joys. lol.

    Here's to hoping! :D

    EDIT: It actually recommends a line of thermal paste for my cpu (q8300 core2quad). Next time I'll try it and see what happens.

    As for case cooling, I'm correct with my current cooling yes?

    Front fan > blows into case
    Rear fan > Blows out of the case
    2x side fans (1 CPU height, 1 GPU height) > Both blow air over CPU/GPU e.g. blow air into case
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    The side air blowing into the case should be regulated downward so as not to sever the front to back air flow.

    This is where a fag or two comes in handy, especially if you have a case with a side panel window. Light up, blow some smoke in the front, watch where it goes. Don't do this very often, or you might kill your computer with second hand smoke.
  12. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Passive smoking is indeed very bad for you! ;)

    Thanks for the advice, although I'm about to ask for more... haha..

    Whilst having some more fun removing everything today something grabbed my attention more than before. I had been rattling my brain for ages trying to work out if something was preventing the heatsink from seating correctly and I then noticed these protectors on each side of the 4 cpu heatsink mounting holes.


    I suddenly then realised these rubber washer thingys are about 2-3mm thick, and from what I can gather are there to protect the backplate on the Dell case from earthing across the entire screwhead and motherboard.

    Is it possible having these washers stuck on each side of the 4 mounting holes are the very same reasons why despite several attempts to fit the retail LGA775 cooler I'm getting nowhere?

    Looking at the pins and the way it locks down I would say it is, as it must be preventing the cooler from fully locking down to the board. I thought I would get the expert advice on here first as I'm only going to have the same problems with my new cooler when it arrives on wednesday otherwise!
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    The push pins are designed to hit PC board, nothing more. If you hit Intel's site, you should be able to find accurate mechanical drawings with measurements, of the optimun dimensions for baoard and cooler. I've never seen washers of that type on a purchased motherboard.

    The new Intel socket 1156 boards have a true metal backing plate behind the CPU socket, something I've never seen either in a stock LGA775 board/cooler arrangement. In fact, many aftermarket coolers, have push pins, with stock Intel specs.

    Some extremely heavy coolers do come with backing plates for the far side of the motherboard. These aren't push pin solutions though. Usually the base mounts to the board, then the cooler itself clips to the base.
  14. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    I can't say I remember ever seeing washers like these around the mounting holes either. I'm wondering if its precisely those washers that have been my problem all along. I think I'm going to remove the washers when the new cooler arrives on Wednesday.

    EDIT: Having looked here on Intels website it clearly reinforces the no washer situation, and clearly shows the plastic feet's stops should be totally flush with the motherboard - Mine weren't so thats clearly where my problem is!

    I spent several hours today re-routing and extending wiring, and hiding absolutely everything - It looks fantastic now, and everything is wired out of the way behind panels out of airflow as well. :D I'm missing not using it already though! lol.

    I'm no pro, but I've fitted hundreds of heatsinks in the past, and never had an issue with them before - I don't really see how this one should have been any different to be honest - I can see why Dell would have fitted them, as the Dell case's backplate has 4 raised mounting holes (which are threaded), and the motherboard actually sits into the holes (with the top of them) flush with the top surface of the motherboard. The Dell LGA775 cooler then screws straight into these 4 threaded holes, straight into the backplate locking the cooler, motherboard and case together as one. It seems odd that Dell would use non-retail heatsinks, but then I guess its more fool-proof (from a mass production view) to screw in a cooler than push all 4 pins in I would imagine.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    My Emachines T-5026 is very similar to this. The "cooling solution" is a customized Cooler Master, "X Dream" w/ 92 mm PWM fan and a screw on mount.

    I destroyed the fan in "full contact cleaning session". (Stuck a blow gun into the fan after I revved it up to about 10,000 RPM, whoops, my bad.

    Then I had to buy a 40 dollar Cooler Master HSF to get the custom fan I needed. I'm a scooch more careful now.:confused:
  16. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I've had an instance or 2 with the stock Intel heatsinks. You almost have to practice with them in the air first, to make sure the part you push is turned the right direction to actually click into place. If its turned to the other side, it never 'locks' into place - because its turned to the release position.

    So I always try a couple times in the air just so I make sure when I push on the pin it is in the spot that is going to make it 'click' and lock into place. If those washers were there, I don't see how there is any way to push it far enough for the > part of the pin to lock on the thing it is going through... Now what I can see happening (because this has happened to me), is that you can get 2 of them to lock, but then the other 2 won't lock because now the thing is at an angle. Best to lock something like the top left first, and then try to get the bottom right to lock, since its at a diagonal if you can get those 2 to lock the other 2 should lock easily.

    Looks like you got it sorted anyway, just throwing in something from my experience, maybe somebody can learn from it.
  17. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Thanks for the above mate. :)

    I think I've trashed my motherboard now anyway. I removed 7 of these washers, and on the 8th one my phone rang and made me jump (as I was concentrating and not expecting it!) and I scrapped the washer off, across a couple of the tiny circuits running underneath that particular washer.

    Its now just beeping like 5 or 6 times as soon as you hit the power button, and then beeping 3 times over and over and doing absolutely nothing (it won't even turn the monitor from standby and won't reach BIOS). I'm rather peeved right now! :(
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Oh man, that sucks. lol
  19. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Tell me about it.

    I was planning on going for a i5 750 setup the other side of the new year, so I'm effectively paying for a new motherboard for the next 4-5 months. That's a real bummer. lol. :(

    Oh well, onwards and upwards - With the new cooler arriving as well tomorrow I'll be in a position to overclock it once I have the new PSU. :)
  20. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 930   +31

    this may not be the case for you, but for my old E6300 Core 2 Duo, HWMonitor add around 20*C without any obvious reason compared to the company's own PCWizard, CoreTemp, Speedfan, and HWiNFO32.

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