Question 9900K 90°+ w 280mm AIO

Dec 3, 2021
Hi all. I built my new pc around June of last year. Upon completion, I had high temp issues which was shortly fixed (or so I thought) when I reapplied thermal paste reseated my AIO. I definitely saw my temps go down, but any overclock attempt would shoot them back up to 90° or blue screen. It’s been about a year since I have tried to overclock the CPU. With the release of Halo Infinite, I found myself to be dropping frames after around 3 or so hours due to thermal throttling 90-99°. I have reseated my AIO about 3 times and reapplied AS5 thermal paste. I am running 3200mhz XMP with my cpu core voltage at 1.252v(which I guess it stock/auto??). I’m currently looking at 46-50° in BIOS, with an average idle temp of 45-55° which jumps in the 60s while I am surfing the internet. I do not typically play demanding games (Valorant for eg.) though I get around 70s-high 80s when I’m playing these non demanding games. A lot of the times I feel as if I should be running things better, as for Halo for example, (since it’s fresh in my mind) I’m only getting around 110 FPS on Medium settings with a 2080S. I have moved all of my case fans and the whole radiator around to assure that I have proper air flow, though to be honest I don’t have a good idea of how to achieve this. Right now I have my 280mm AIO in front with two intakes, one intake on front-top of case, two exhaust back-top of case, and one exhaust through the rear. Switching fans around made a negligible difference, if any at all. I have also tried setting different fan curves, but my knowledge is minimal. Pump seems to work as well, at least I think?? It sounds like It works and feels like it works. I would love to be able to overclock my CPU… but first I would love to be comfortable with my temps and not see such high numbers when I’m playing either graphically demanding games, or even lower spec games. To add, just ran Prime 95 and reached 98° before I hit the 10 minute mark.

I’m sorry for the dogshit formatting. It’s 8am and I haven’t slept. Also doesn’t help that I’m typing on the smallest text box in the world right now.
I’m truly lost right now, guys. Any help would be much appreciated. I’m at the end of the road with my troubleshooting lol.

NZXT 710i
Corsair H115i 280mm
32GB @ 3200


Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

AS5 is quite an old thermal paste at this pint, perhaps try and use something of higher quality, like that made by Noctua, Arctic(MX-4) or Thermal Grizzly. As for your cooling, the AIO should be fine(although I wish you got a 360mm AIO) but the case is horrible in terms of airflow. See if you can remove the AIO from the case and have it free standing with ample air going through it's fins...if the temps drop significantly then the issue is with the case being choked of air.

Also, your specs are incomplete. Please list them like so:
OS: include OS version(not edition) if on Windows 10

You should also include the BIOS version on your motherboard and the ambient room air temps.


A front top intake does not seem right.
You want to get radiator and gpu heat out of the case asap.
Take the case side cover off and direct a house fan at the innards.
If that fixes things, look to case cooling solutions.

One consideration that is often overlooked is the airflow over he motherboard vrm heat sinks.
A higher rpm rear exhaust could help with that.

More likely, there is an issue with your aio.
They do not last forever. In time, air enters the system making it work not so well.
If your room temperature is 20c. I would expect your idle cpu temperature to be more like 30-35c.
Types of paste and application methods can make a difference, but not a major one. Think 2-3c.


Which Corsair H115i? There's like 5 of them, and one of them kinda sucks: (the 4th one)
Without some more details, I suspect:
-Never use auto Vcore when running cpu heavy benchmarks or stress tests.
-You're choking the AIOs fans. The fans on the 4th one in that list I linked aren't very strong.

You've felt both tubes and can hardly tell a difference, right?