790i CPU overheat light?

March 27, 2010 at 16:46:59
Specs: vista 64 bit
I have a custom built computer, that is nearing 2 years old, which is now experiencing crashing issues. It is an EVGA 790i ultra sli mobo, intel q9550 chip, 4x2gb corsair 1333mhz ddr3 ram, a 9800 geforce gtx, a 750gb samsung HD and an 800w cooltek (or thermaltake?? i forget :( )
Recently during a common crash I experience playing an OLD video game, I restarted but got no video, though the fans seemed to be blasting away louder than usual. Would not start up until I removed the power and let it sit for a minute, then it started up for about 2-3 minutes until it experienced another crash, no video and fans whirring up. Upon inspecting the mobo during a crash, a light that says "cpu overheating" came on. I have looked in the bios and watched the temp leading up to the crash and it remains very cool, no hotter than 67degrees. I have removed all components except the cpu and a single stick of ram (even tried different sticks one by one), and within 2-3 minutes each time the CPU overheat indicator comes on. This is after I replaced the fan, bought new thermal paste (SILVER, the good stuff), and the bios clearly shows the processor is not overheating. Is the CPU died?? ;D thx in advance!

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March 27, 2010 at 17:12:43
Are you sure the temp reading in the BIOS is accurate? 67C is no where near dangerous, but I wouldn't want my CPU running that hot. And FYI, "silver" is not the good stuff, it's just marketed as such.

When applying paste on a quad, it's very important that you orient it correctly on the CPU. And hopefully you didn't lay it on like you're frosting a cake. All you need is a small amount of paste placed in a thin line across the center of the CPU. Like so:


If you did it differently, you did it incorrectly. Here's the complete instructions from Arctic Silver:


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March 27, 2010 at 18:44:47
thanks for the quick reply!
i had indeed used too much paste when I applied it. using coffee filters and a dab of isopropyl, i carefully cleaned off the paste from the cpu and the heatsink until both were very clean, and applied it according to the instructions, recconnected the heatsink and booted it up
so the cpu seems a lot cooler according to the bios, it is running at 35 degrees C and the board is 25, neither are rising tho they do change a degree in either direction once and a while. 2.5 minutes in this time, the fans sped up, the cpu overheat light came on and started blinking, and the screen went blank. no apparent change in its behavior.
i should mention that this CPU overheated on me about 5 months ago, due to a cpu fan dying, but it auto shutoff and seemed okay once i replaced the cpu fan. ran fine with no problems up until a few weeks ago when i started getting crashes once every other day that were resolved with a restart.
this computer has had 0 parts replaced since it was built and has only been opened to be sprayed with a dose of canned air in all the vent areas.
after removing the graphics card, ram, and disconnecting the hd, and updating the bios to the latest version (didn't help), and still getting this issue, is it safe to assume that it's either the mobo or the cpu, and most likely the cpu?

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March 27, 2010 at 19:28:56
CPUs generally work, or they don't. The fact that the system boots up pretty much rules out the CPU, especially now that the temps are down where they should be. Could it be the motherboard chipset is overheating? If you keep everything disconnected from the board except for video card/monitor, one stick of RAM & the keyboard, how long can you sit in the BIOS? Indefinitely or will it shut down in a few minutes?

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March 27, 2010 at 19:56:23
with that setup, and sitting in the bios, the computer lasts a similar ammount of time, about 2-3 minutes tops. the temps on the motherboard and the cpu fluctuate slightly staring at the bios systems monitor, but do not raise more than one degree while i'm watching, however inevitably the little red led starts flashing and the screen goes blank.
i don't really know how to test the cpu except to replace it, and i don't have any chips handy to swap out... and since the motherboard has never experienced heating problems in the 1.5+years its been in use, and all the fans seem to be running normally, im really confused as to what could have even triggered this problem... :(

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