Question CPU hitting 75-80, cooler not working?

Feb 5, 2020
First time posting here so sorry if I'm in the wrong section.

Lately I've had a lot of games and programs running shoddily and crashing on me, and just found out yesterday that my CPU was hitting 80 C. I tried cleaning the little bit of dust that was on my cooler/radiator and it helped a bit, but it still went up to about 74 C before the game then crashed again.

CPU and cooler are:
intel i7 6700K
Corsair H55 AIO cooler

I've had the H55 for about 5 years now so it's extremely possible that it's just not properly cooling anymore due to pump failure or something (which I hope is the case so that I don't have to buy a new CPU), but I wanted to know what you guys think. I haven't taken the cooler off of the CPU to check the thermal paste, but I haven't removed it once in the 5 years so the paste should still be there.

I appreciate any input, thanks in advance!
My first guess would be a failing pump. Do you have IR thermometer? If you have a big differential between the water block and inlet side of the radiator, then I would suspect poor coolant flow.

Thermal paste can dry out over time and provide poor heat transfer. That is also worth checking, but I wouldn't remove the water block until you have a new tube of paste.

Modern CPUs are pretty good at protecting themselves from overheating damage, but all integrated circuits fail eventually and higher temperatures shorten their life span.

One other possibility is power. When you system is working hard you get higher temperature because of the increased use of electricity (power). If your power supply is failing or voltage regulators on the your motherboard are overheating (something that can happen when using water cooling because there is less air movement around the CPU) it can cause a crash.


I am not surprised by these temps with a 5 year old paste on a single fan AIO. As suggested apply new paste, this should help with your temps but i really doubt that this is the problem for your crashes.