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CPU Cooler Suggestion, need advice

exzachtly1

73 months ago

I have a build that I put together last year that has served as my main office / light-medium gaming PC. Never paid a ton of attention to the temperature it is running at, and it has been stable for the past year, but recently I randomly decided to check the temps and realized that the CPU is idling around 45-50C. Tried a load test with Prime95 and it quickly got near 80c, so I stopped it.

So these temps are a little high for comfort, and I want to do something about it.

Setup is: Core i5 2500k w/stock cooler Asus P8Z68-V PRO Gen3 Raidmax Smilodon case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=11-156-062)

I don't know why it's running so hot. I thought maybe the CPU cooler was not seated correctly, so I have ordered some arctic silver and plan on re-seating it and applying fresh thermal paste. Thought I might replace the cooler while I'm at it, but unfortunately it seems that my case apparently does not accommodate the very popular Hyper 212 Evo.

Any suggestions for coolers in the same price range that are smaller? I'm not planning on OC'ing or anything, I just want something that is going to keep the CPU cool under normal conditions and during some gaming. Ideally, I'd like to avoid anything that requires removing the motherboard, but I know most coolers require that...

Comments

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Normally when OC'ing you should always go with an aftermarket cooler, like the Hyper 212+ or EVO, but you said you're not OC'ing (even though you went with an unlocked CPU and Z68 motherboard). I don't know if it's normal for unlocked CPU's to run hotter even when not being OC'd, but I'd say this is most likely an issue with the cooler not being properly seated. However, I'd still recommend a better cooler than stock.

Here's a link that should help you out, with reviews of CPU coolers, all using the Smilodon. Many say that the 212+ will fit, but there are a lot of others getting great reviews with that case.

http://www.newegg.com/FeedBack/CustratingAllReview.aspx?DEPA=0&N=40000574&Order=0&Pagesize=&Page=1&Keywords=Smilodon

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the advice. Yeah, I realize an unlocked CPU and Z68 board is a little overkill for not overclocking, but honestly there was a great combo deal on it at Microcenter which is why I went with it. Figured the potential for OC is there if I ever decide to go down that road.

Sounds like to do the 212+ I'd have to do some light modifications to the case and it would definitely require taking out the mobo. Do you think it's worth just trying a re-paste and re-seat with the stock cooler first? Under normal conditions would I see a noticeable improvement using the arctic silver vs. stock thermal paste?

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd be shocked if you could achieve significant results (more than 2-3C difference) just between stock and arctic silver thermal paste. You could definitely try a fresh application of any thermal paste and re-seat the stock cooler first.

I typically apply a pea-sized drop on CPU and using my finger covered by a ziploc I spread it out as evenly as possible and it hasn't failed me yet. Of course, also make sure after seating the cooler that you're not sliding it around too much while tightening down the arms.

  • 73 months ago
  • 0 points

DONT SPREAD IT

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Honestly there's at least 100 different ways that people spread thermal paste. There's been tests and you'll see at max, a 1 degree C difference.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah i just upgraded from that case and my idle temps dropped by ten degrees

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

If intending to use a HDT cooler, such as Hyper 212 series, Application on HDT Coolers

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

So I ended up picking up an Arctic Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2, and so far it seems to be a great little cooler. Just installed it minutes ago and my idle temps are down to more acceptable ranges for sure, more like 38-40.

Running prime95 right now and after a few minutes it seems to be hovering around 60c or so. A HUGE improvement over the 80+ it was creeping up to within a couple of minutes on the stock cooler.

Some investigation after pulling the stock cooler revealed that the thermal paste had spread terribly. It seemed to mostly be on one side, and looked dry and cracked in places. I'm thinking that you guys are right - the cooler wasn't seated for whatever reason and the thermal paste ran down the CPU and collected. I'm really glad I caught it!

New fan came pre-applied with mx-2 paste. I have a tube of arctic silver for backup. But so far I am very happy with this fan that only cost me $16.99.

And huge bonus... I didn't have to take out the motherboard to attach it! The attachment mechanism it uses is actually pretty brilliant. Super easy to install.

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