[SOLVED] 2 Year Old Computer Running Hot

justinj

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Ok, for some reason my 2 year old (still high end sort of; bought right before the bitcoin craze) computer is running hot. My core temps are in the 70s-80s or more during Borderlands 3 in ultra and insane settings. I'm thinking it might be due to the cooler and I might need to buy a new one and redo the thermal paste. I say that because it was a very tight fit to begin with. The cooler I have is enormous and the RAM bumps up right against it and I'm a little worried that it didn't seat properly, tight enough. Nothing else has changed with the original hardware. Video card and all fans are running fine as far as I can tell. Settings say cpu fan has a 1300 RPM or so. I still have not overclocked anything (because I haven't needed to). No changes to bio

So I'm wondering:
  1. If you there's anything else I'm missing before I move forward with the plan to buy a new cooler?
  2. If that's the right choice, are there any recommendations for a new cooler with my setup below?
  3. I've never cleaned a processor before but it looks like I need 99% isopropyl alcohol and a bunch of q-tips? (https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+clean+thermal+paste+install+new+cooler&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS775US775&oq=how+to+clean+thermal+paste+install+new+cooler&aqs=chrome..69i57.23286j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=_L3e0XZa7CsuItQXvwrXIBA27 ).
  4. Any other advice or anything else I should consider upgrading?
Thank you for your help.

My build:
Nov 5, 2017

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Core i7-8700K 3.7GHz 6-Core Processor ($399.99 @ B&H)
CPU Cooler: CRYORIG - R1 Ultimate 76.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($88.88 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Asus - ROG STRIX Z370-E GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($207.65 @ Newegg Marketplace)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($141.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung - 960 EVO 500GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($233.88 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital - BLACK SERIES 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($116.39 @ Newegg Marketplace)
Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB SC Black Edition Video Card ($749.99 @ B&H)
Case: NZXT - Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair - RMx 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($99.89 @ Amazon)
Monitor: Dell - S2417DG 23.8" 2560x1440 165Hz Monitor ($406.30 @ Amazon)
 
Just looked up that case and I’m not a fan. Nothing about that case made me want to use it. 2 120mm fans or a single 140mm up front with drive bays to block airflow? That cooler shouldn’t have a problem and it’s recommended to reapply paste yearly as it does deteriorate some and lose its effectiveness to a degree. Is start there and if you feel like buying anything I’d recommend a new case that has better airflow.
 
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Agree with scout_03 short of a case change and bmockeg which in the NZXT has a fair few HD cages blocking airflow. You have a very good specked PC with the 8700K and 1080Ti so if and when you can a move to a higher airflow case like the Fractal Design Meshifi C it will do wonders for temps.
 

Ketchup79

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I personally don't see anything wrong with the case - with a decent fan above and behind the CPU cooler and PSU at the bottom, that should be the way you want it. What I DO so a problem with it the CPU cooler touching RAM. Anything that holds up that cooler, even a mm, is going to mess up cooling. It's funny too because those sticks don't NEED a cooler like that - it's all aesthetics. I personally like your CPU cooler, so you might want to look for better RAM heatsinks, like this:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000054993624.html?src=google&_randl_currency=USD&_randl_shipto=US&src=google&albch=shopping&acnt=494-037-6276&isdl=y&slnk=&plac=&mtctp=&albbt=Google_7_shopping&aff_platform=google&aff_short_key=UneMJZVf&&albagn=888888&albcp=1582410664&albag=59754279756&trgt=743612850714&crea=en4000054993624&netw=u&device=m&gclid=CjwKCAjw3c_tBRA4EiwAICs8Ckb975v8oS0D0ki3jOS8D-IsKz9NIUGXRGJ8WF0jUOVFgsSMo18gyRoCpaQQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
 

justinj

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Hmm, this is a tough one. The case was widely used back then so I can't think that's the problem. I know it's not a full tower but it's pretty good otherwise. The cooler model is good I think but it's absolutely huge and 2 years old (not that old I know but something isn't working right).

I've never even heard of separately purchased RAM heatsinks until now. Is your point that new heatsinks would fit on my sticks and make them shorter?

If I had RAM that was a hair shorter then it would be better. But if the seating was the issue (not 100% sure but it's very tight in there) then I still need to repaste. So if I'm repasting, shouldn't I update the cooler while I'm at it and get a slightly smaller one? I know it's $100 but I would rather pay that than have to do the repasting again if I have the same problem. I also think it's possible the cooler is the problem (not the pasting). I'm no expert but do none of you think I should buy a new cooler?

Thanks for your help. Love this community. Ketchup I think you and Hellfire both provided guidance for my original build a couple years ago.
 
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justinj

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Any more help with this one? Need shorter RAM I think so will the heat sinks recommended do that? The website doesn't make it easy for me to buy -- and I can't find those on Amazon for some reason.
 
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Take the cooler off and blow air on the fins (and/or dry toothbrush) to remove dust.

Scrape off thermal paste with a credit card. Soak a paper towel in rubbing alcohol and use it to remove the remainder of the paste.

Then apply new paste (size of a grain of rice) and reinstall the cooler.

I mean... why wouldn't you do this first? IT'S FREE

Pretty sure you can adjust the mounting height of the front fan a bit?

I've filed off the tops of RAM heatsinks before to clear heatsinks (needed like 1/32")...... if you do that, have the RAM upside down so the filings don't drop into the heatsink!!!
 
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justinj

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ok, thank you guys. Going to try the Alibaba heat sinks (and hope they're not counterfeit although not sure how much that would matter anyway). And ordering thermal paste. Appreciate the help.
 

justinj

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Ok, I repasted the CPU and also filed down the RAM heatsink (although I only really took off the paint and I think they're actually not touching but around 1mm separated) and my computer still runs hot, 70-80+ degrees during Borderlands 3. There was a ridiculous amount of dust in the cooler that I cleaned out.

  • Is it possible that the orientation of the cooler is a problem? To make it all fit I had to mount the cooler to pull the air upwards instead of out the back but the cooler manual said that was fine. There's about a 2cm separation between the cooler and video card but it's hard to see that in this picture.
  • Is it possible the cooler is just bad?
  • Is one of the posters above is right that maybe this mid-size case just can't handle the temps for a 8700 and a 1080Ti?
  • How much would it help to mount another fan above the cooler? I need to figure out how to do that - think it requires taking off the top of the computer.
  • Any other ideas? I have not read anything to suggest that Borderlands 3 runs CPUs hot for some reason. I might also go ahead and buy OuterWorlds to see if I have the same issue.
 

Ketchup79

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Even though the manual says that works, you are now introducing Video card heat to the hsf, on top of the CPU heat, which will quickly decrease the amout of heat can dissipate from the CPU. Turning it back around should give you better temps (as long as your RAM sticks are now low enough).
 

justinj

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Ok gotcha. Think I need to get a smaller cooler or new RAM then.

any suggestions for a new smaller cooler? I think it covers every slot except the last one if I turn it. Or is that ok if I get shorter Ram but it’s under the cooler? I think I'm going to try reorienting it but it's 2.4mm longer and will be over the RAM. Is that ok?
 
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justinj

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I reoriented it and it's maybe 5-10 degrees cooler, which is great. I figured out why I didn't do that before though. The fan can be slid upwards so that it doesn't bump into the RAM, but doing that makes it so that the case door won't close.

So... I think I probably do have to get rid of my RAM now. Wish I could sell the old ones for $20 at least... Thanks everyone for your help though. Got the hang of repasting for the future.
 

justinj

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Oh wait I see what you are saying... let me look at this again LOL.

You had me going but I think I did it right. The fans are (looking at it with the tower standing up) on the right over the RAM and also in the middle. The pipes underneath lean towards the back of the case.
 
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Just wanted to make sure, because if you kept the heatsink oriented as it is in that picture (but assume now that the RAM slots are on the right), but flipped the fans (so they're blowing air toward the left), you'd have quite a protrusion over the RAM slots.
 

Karadjgne

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All sorts of funky opinions. Not many of which really hold water.

That's a hell of a cooler. I own one. It's orientation doesn't matter one iota, there's a top exhaust fan directly above it, so in essence is exactly the same as if it was horizontal vrs vertical mount. You wont be able to use it horizontal anyways without jacking up the front fan as it large enough to overhang even slot #2. Easiest fix is swap the front 140mm fan for a decent 120mm fan, which then clears the ram. In affect making a NH-D14 with NH-D15 cooling ability.

What I would suggest is remove the lower fan. The center fan is enough that it's not going to affect temps much anyways, but will allow better airflow through the cooler. At that point you'd also have the option to turn it horizontal if you wish.

AS5 is mediocre at best. It also dries out as it cures, about 200 hours/heat cycles. Not an issue unless you bump the cooler or have wildly vibrating fans. Good pastes such as gelid GC extreme, pk-3, MX-4, Noctua NT-H1, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut or Phanteks will not need repaste for over 8 years and are considerably easier to use, get better performance than and clean up far easier than dried out AS5. AS5's only claim to fame was back in the beginning Arctic made it cheap and abundant when every other paste was hard to find and seriously expensive.

Cpus don't get hot without reason, especially on coolers such as the R1. It's almost always a failure somewhere, such as paste dried out, got bumped, broke the seal or dust.
 
Turning it horizontal lowered temps 10C....but RAM clearance pushes the front fan up too high for the side panel of the case to fit on.

Was the 10C solely from the repaste? Side panel off? Only the OP can answer that. Assumedly the cooler is back in its vertical orientation with the side panel on and new paste. Not sure what temps are now.
 

Ketchup79

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He already did this folks. I am not sure what we are going on and on about. He reoriented, filed down RAM covers, and repasted for up and down, temps stayed the same. He reoriented and repasted, for front to rear, and his temps went down, because:
  1. The RAM covers aren't keeping the heatsink from contacting the CPU properly, and
  2. The heatsink isn't carrying extra heat from the video card, making it a more efficient CPU cooler.
 

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