core i7 idling at 85C

Intel Core i7 i7-920 quad core processor
August 25, 2009 at 04:55:13
Specs: Windows 7
I've just built a new machine with a core i7 920 and a Gigabyte motherboard.

When I first turned it on, it came up into the copy of the OS (Win 7) from my old machine, and I poked around for a couple minutes before shutting it down to reboot and install some things.

When I tried to turn it back on, it kept shutting down. I eventually got it up into the PC Health Monitoring section of the BIOS for a few minutes, and it showed a CPU temp of 95. That's when I realized something was definitely wrong, and I started poking around and discovered that one side of the CPU cooling fan was not seated well.

I took it off, cleaned off the heat sink and cpu with the Arctic Silver cleaning compound per their instructions, then applied new Arctic Silver 5 compound, again following their instructions in detail. Then I reseated the fan and made sure it was securely locked down in all four corners.

However, when I bring it up, doing nothing but running the BIOS in the PC Health Monitoring, it comes up to 85C in about 10 minutes or so, and stays there. I read somewhere that it will run hotter in the BIOS, but this still seems WAY excessive. This is running with the side cover off, so the machine cooling is not as efficient, but that still seems excessive for idling. Machine temp is running in the low 40s.

I'm not trying to overclock or anything else fancy, I just want it to run cool and reliable. I have adjusted the memory timing and voltage to the published specs of the memory I installed (1600/8-8-8-24/1.65V - OCZ Tri-Channel DDR3-1600). The CPU voltage appears to be set at about 1.28V. I've tried backing that down a little to 1.1V, without much affect.

Any suggestions? I'm afraid to leave it running long enough to actually install the right OS and get SpeedFan or CPU-Z running.


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August 25, 2009 at 07:04:01
"...applied new Arctic Silver 5 compound, again following their instructions in detail."

OK, that would mean a thin line of paste down the center of the CPU, properly oriented so that it's in line with the cores, not perpendicular to them?

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August 25, 2009 at 11:07:16
Yes, that's what I did.

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August 25, 2009 at 11:12:12
I did go ahead and bring up the old installation of Win7 and quickly installed SpeedFan (from a usb drive!). Speedfan showed a "Temp 2" at 75, but all 4 (5?) of the cores (it shows core 0- core 4) at mid 50s-70. I'm assuming that Temp 2 reading is the same case reading that the BIOS is showing, but why would the cores be lower than the case?

Also, after several minutes, I brought up the chart option in SpeedFan showed the core temperatures trending down by several degrees. Does this mean that it does, indeed, run hotter in the BIOS than actually in Windows?

But even so, that still seemed pretty hot to me. I didn't leave it running for very long.

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