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Question CPU poor benchmark performance

Jun 3, 2020
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I built a new pc a few months back (specs in benchmark) and was able to run everything extremely well. I regularly got 300+ frames in CSGO. Recently I upgraded from stock air cooler to Corsairs H100i Pro rgb, and since then my frames are consistently below 100fps.

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/28953702 these benchmark results are pretty alarming to say the least.

I checked corsairs iCue software and all of the fans/pump are registering and it shows the temperature at 90F which doesn’t seem like an issue, unless it’s throttling itself I suppose. I’m considering removing the liquid cooler and throwing the stock back on with new thermal paste, but if that’s not the issue I don’t want to jostle anything unnecessarily. Thoughts?
 

Phaaze88

Illustrious
Ambassador
1)You got flagged for very high cpu background usage. That interferes with the accuracy of any benchmark.
Find out what the cause is and fix it.

2)XMP isn't enabled. Ram running at 2133 instead of 3200mhz.

3)Average turbo clock is below the base clock. Suspected thermal throttling.
Cooler likely not properly mounted, or you didn't remove the plastic strip sometimes present under the copper plate.
 
Jun 3, 2020
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1)You got flagged for very high cpu background usage. That interferes with the accuracy of any benchmark.
Find out what the cause is and fix it.

2)XMP isn't enabled. Ram running at 2133 instead of 3200mhz.

3)Average turbo clock is below the base clock. Suspected thermal throttling.
Cooler likely not properly mounted, or you didn't remove the plastic strip sometimes present under the copper plate.
Thanks for the response.

1) https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/28961286 here's another benchmark I just ran. Minimal background CPU usage so that's a little better, but the problems are persisting when I test in-game. Even local servers are having high SV issues.

2) good catch, I'll figure out how to enable this.

3) I had copper in two places: the backplate mount (100% sure I removed this). I feel like I would've noticed plastic covering the copper where it touches the CPU mount as I had to remove the thermal paste with isopropyl to add new paste (the cooler was on an old build of mine).

Is there a solid way to test thermal throttling other than removing the liquid aio and putting the stock back on?
 

Phaaze88

Illustrious
Ambassador
1)Average cpu turbo clock is still below the base. It should be hitting at least 3.9ghz on all cores.

2)Cooler: People actually do leave the plastic on the plate by mistake sometimes - perhaps in a rush - but I was just checking.

3)Feel the cpu block, tubing, and radiator during operation. All 4 should feel fairly warm. The heat should not be concentrated in the cpu block.
In bios, make sure the header you have the AIO's pump plugged in is set to PWM mode.
 
Jun 3, 2020
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Alright, so I noticed my CPU temp was up to 80 C in BIOS so I took the cooling block off and it looked like the thermal paste didn't really spread much so I wiped it clean, reapplied, and resecured it to the mount. Left it in BIOS for a bit and it was down to 60 C Edit: just saw it hit 80 again in bios (not sure what the target temp here is). I also enabled XMP.

Unfortunately, I'm not making much progress on the base-clock.

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/28962530#PROCESSOR

I'm still pretty far below the 3.9ghz target.

Nothing on the cooling system feels particularly warm. It's all consistent, but the air intake behind the radiator is noticeably cooler now. I just enabled PWM mode as suggested.
 

Phaaze88

Illustrious
Ambassador
The heck?

By the way, this is how I know what your cpu should be running at: https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/core_i5/i5-9400f#Frequencies

This isn't normal at all. Hmm... it doesn't appear to be overheating anymore... what else could cause the frequency issue...
A)You said this was a fresh build. You didn't carry over an older C drive, did you? If you did, that would have older Windows registry and driver files still on it, conflicting with the current ones. Solution is to reinstall Windows.

B)You overtightened one or more screws on the new cooler and bent some pins.
If you have some spare thermal paste, remove cooler and cpu, and check the motherboard socket for bent/broken pins. You might need a magnifying glass due to all the pins packed together; it could cause eye strain staring at 1000 gold contacts.
 
Reactions: Dukeyhazzard
Jun 3, 2020
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That's a super helpful link - thanks for that. So if I'm reading that correctly we've got the correct base clock (2.9), but we're lacking in the "turbo" area? I'm not super familiar with any of that to be honest. I'm not overclocked if that makes a difference.

A) Yep, new build. I'm not sure which drive I salvaged actually. I did salvage the 500gb SSD from the previous build, but the 240gb is new and currently my C drive. Any chance there could be older registry stuff on my D drive that's messing with anything? I did a fresh install of windows when I built it - didn't have access to my old copy/key.

B) I do have some spare thermal paste. I noticed that when I took it off the first time it wasn't spreading super well from when I first applied it. At first I did a pea sized drop in the middle, but when I removed it, probably only 15% of the coolers copper and the CPU were covered. I fixed that a bit ago by cleaning off old paste and reapplying with a 5 dot Z pattern. That probably helped with the overheating issue, but maybe it's still not spreading around quite enough?

edit: Just tested CSGO and it looks like my frames are still way too low. The connection to the servers seemed to have become a little more stable.

Is it worth the hassle of just putting the stock air cooler back on and testing that way? I hate to jostle everything around so much lol.
 
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Phaaze88

Illustrious
Ambassador
You don't have to be overclocked - you can't even OC that cpu, but what I linked is the 9400F's stock performance.

A)If it was used as a C drive at one point, there will be old Windows files still on it if it wasn't formatted.

B)What kind of thermal paste are you using? The traditional 'a little in the middle, and the cooler does the rest', may not apply to the one you're using - especially if it's Thermal Grizzly.
It doesn't have to completely cover the copper or the cpu IHS, just around the center. There's a rectangular shaped, monolithic silicon die sitting beneath the IHS. That's where the heat's coming from.
It's not overly necessary to cover the whole IHS, at least for that cpu.
 
Reactions: Dukeyhazzard
Jun 3, 2020
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RE: NZXT CAM screenshots

I downloaded NZXT CAM to look at the CPU temp again and it's registering as N/A which is odd. When I clicked "cooling" it didn't register anything - but my Corsair iCue does show the AIO so I'm not sure if that's software or hardware error.

My other comment is pending mod approval for some reason so I'm not sure if you can see it or not, but long story short, there's not actually and branding on the thermal paste. I got it from Microcenter in April when I built, but I'm not seeing it online anymore. It's conductivity is >3.07 and it's impedance is <0.067 if that helps.

I don't recall which drive the SSD was on my old build, but I do see files in that Windows folder from early 2019 even though I built in April 2020 so that could potentially be an issue
 

Phaaze88

Illustrious
Ambassador
I don't understand those numbers... What I do understand: Is the paste thick, or is it rather runny? I don't know of any good pastes that are the latter.

RE: NZXT CAM screenshots

I downloaded NZXT CAM to look at the CPU temp again and it's registering as N/A which is odd. When I clicked "cooling" it didn't register anything - but my Corsair iCue does show the AIO so I'm not sure if that's software or hardware error.
If I recall correctly, the N/A is for reading the liquid/coolant temp. Likely not available, or not supported, even though the LEDs on the pump head turn red when the liquid temp has exceeded the norm.
 
Jun 3, 2020
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I don't understand those numbers... What I do understand: Is the paste thick, or is it rather runny? I don't know of any good pastes that are the latter.


If I recall correctly, the N/A is for reading the liquid/coolant temp. Likely not available, or not supported, even though the LEDs on the pump head turn red when the liquid temp has exceeded the norm.
It's relatively thick. It's doesn't seem particularly runny. I'll throw the stock cooler back in when I can and see what sort of numbers the benchmark pulls. Thanks for the help so far!
 
Jun 3, 2020
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How old is the AIO ? I wonder if the pump is working normally...I'd throw the stock cooler on just to check.
It's about two months old, but hasn't been used but for a few days. When I opened it, the backplate was messed up so I had to order a new one which took some time and then it was impossible for me to get my hands on ispropyl to clean everything off because of covid.

I'll throw the stock in when I get some time and we'll see what happens.
 
Jun 3, 2020
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https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/28973339

Here's a benchmark with the liquid AIO removed and the stock cooler back in. Looks better all around. When I was looking at the fit the H100i had it was pretty wobbly. I tried putting washers on, extra torque on the screws, and a couple other things but could just not get a tight fit. Not sure if it came that way or something happened when removing it from my old build. Either way, I'm just happy the benchmark isn't as bad as before.
 
Reactions: dorsai

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