Question CPU showing low Ghz or high Ghz and crashing in either direction. (i7 980)

Jun 19, 2020
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This is probably I can't say I've ever come across. My nephew contacted me this morning telling me his CPU was either boosting past its normal Ghz (loading a game) or slowing down to what appeared like a thermal throttle (using chrome). He is reporting he can't even get into windows now. What issue could even be causing this.

EDIT: He claims the computer doesn't shut off in BIOS which kind of makes me think it is something with the OS.

EDIT2: It is also refusing to boot into a usb drive,
 
Last edited:

RodroX

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Aug 4, 2019
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Kinda hard to answer without more data.

There could be a lot of issues, in case like this if I was in front of the PC I would do the following:

  1. Make sure the inside of the case is clean and dust free, specially the heatsinks and fans.
  2. Make sure the cpu cooler is well mounted and that the thermal paste is not dried out. Usually you want to clean an apply new thermal paste (depending on the brand and quality) atleast 1 time every year, year and half (some people will said theres thermal paste that last longer and its probably true, so take my advice as a general rule).
  3. Go into BIOS and check several settingsd and readings, specially CPU frecuency, and vcore, that RAM is all well detected. And if the user has made any OC, I would think about setting everything back to default.
  4. If nothing of the above works, it could ba some hardware malfunction of any sort.
  5. I will try and see that evertything from PSU to HDD and SDD is well conected and working.
  6. Finally try to start from scratch and make a clean fresh install Windows (don't forget to back up all important and personal files first, actually I would make the backup first!).
This is what comes to my mind right now with the little info I have.
 
Jun 19, 2020
3
1
15
0
Kinda hard to answer without more data.

There could be a lot of issues, in case like this if I was in front of the PC I would do the following:

  1. Make sure the inside of the case is clean and dust free, specially the heatsinks and fans.
  2. Make sure the cpu cooler is well mounted and that the thermal paste is not dried out. Usually you want to clean an apply new thermal paste (depending on the brand and quality) atleast 1 time every year, year and half (some people will said theres thermal paste that last longer and its probably true, so take my advice as a general rule).
  3. Go into BIOS and check several settingsd and readings, specially CPU frecuency, and vcore, that RAM is all well detected. And if the user has made any OC, I would think about setting everything back to default.
  4. If nothing of the above works, it could ba some hardware malfunction of any sort.
  5. I will try and see that evertything from PSU to HDD and SDD is well conected and working.
  6. Finally try to start from scratch and make a clean fresh install Windows (don't forget to back up all important and personal files first, actually I would make the backup first!).
This is what comes to my mind right now with the little info I have.
Well, I've gone to the computer's location. It was dust free, the BiOS was reset to default(Still had the issue after doing so). At the moment I've placed the setup on a pseudo test bench with minimal parts and installing a clean install of windows. I'll report back with what happens.
 
Reactions: RodroX
Jun 19, 2020
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Windows has been installed. The computer was able to stay in without rebooting. Installed chrome and running a 4k video through it. Still running without the rebooting issue. However, the CPU appears to still be going up and down between 1.54 Ghz and 3.45 Ghz. Seemingly without reason.

Thought that maybe there was a contact issue between the CPU and Heatsink so put a bit of pressure to ensure there was contact (Thermal Paste was newly placed), and that seemed to have no effect at all.

EDIT: Seems to be running at a steady 3.29-3.31 Ghz and I am at a lost of why.
 

RodroX

Respectable
Aug 4, 2019
1,625
463
2,340
74
Windows has been installed. The computer was able to stay in without rebooting. Installed chrome and running a 4k video through it. Still running without the rebooting issue. However, the CPU appears to still be going up and down between 1.54 Ghz and 3.45 Ghz. Seemingly without reason.

Thought that maybe there was a contact issue between the CPU and Heatsink so put a bit of pressure to ensure there was contact (Thermal Paste was newly placed), and that seemed to have no effect at all.

EDIT: Seems to be running at a steady 3.29-3.31 Ghz and I am at a lost of why.
Well youve done pretty much evertything I can think about it and in fact you manage to fix the main issue and now the PC is runing (more or less).

Keep in mind we are talking about some old hardware, cpu launched in 2011. I don't know how old is the PC or how long has ben runing, but there could be some kind of degradation on the components.

The CPU going up and down could be because of Windows downloading and installing patches and apps in the background, after all is a fresh install of it.

What I would do next is download some monitoring software like hwinfo or hwmonitor and take a look at the cpu temp, frecuency and vcore while on idle and while runing a video in 4K (like the one you tried before), to see how those readins behaves.
 
Reactions: KuroganoYokaze

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