Question CPU Temp on low 90s, but almost no CPU load

Sep 13, 2022
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Hi all,

Hope you're all doing well, this is my first time posting here so bear with me as I try to explain my issue. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this lol!

My wife wanted a small form factor PC for gaming so we built one on the InWin A1 Plus ITX case about two months ago, it started working just fine and temps have been stable hovering on the mid 40°C on idle, sometimes hitting 50°C when browsing or doing light work. When gaming, it would go up to almost 70°C. Being an ITX build, I thought they were normal and fine.

Fast forward to last week, she started noticing that temps were reaching the low 90s when playing games (League of Legends mostly, which I don't think is CPU-intensive), and it hovered around 80°C on idle. We were concerned so I bought a new thermal paste (Cooler Master's Mastergel Maker) and changed the one that came pre-applied on the cooler (NZXT Kraken M22). Right after this, temps went back down to 50°C on idle and around 65-70°C when gaming.
Today though, temps have been going up again, right now they sit at around 75°C on idle, and go up to almost 90°C while gaming.

I checked Task Manager and CPU load doesn't seem to be the issue as it is very low, so I restarted the PC and went into the BIOS to check the temp there and found that when idling on the BIOS, CPU temp would start on around 48°C and hover around 54°C, never going over that. Then I go to Windows and the temps went up to 80°C again, on idle.

At this point I'm not sure what to do, clearly, the AIO cooler seems to be working, there is no heavy CPU load (I even ran both Malwarebytes and CCleaner to see if there was any virus or malware but got nothing), all fans are on 100% speed, I took off the side panel to allow more air in hopes to keep the temps down. I also touched the hoses of the Kraken to see how warm they felt, one was warmer than the other, but both warm to the touch.

TL;DR:

CPU has barely any load but hits mid-80s to low-90s in temp while idle. I already changed thermal paste, ran antivirus software, checked fans, booted to BIOS, and even felt the AIO hoses which both feel warmer than I would like on a PC.
PC Specs:
  • CPU: Ryzen 5 3600 on stock speeds (never been overclocked)
  • Cooler: NZXT Kraken M22
  • Mobo: Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX
  • RAM: 32GB XPG Spectrix D60G
  • Case: InWin A1 Plus ITX case.
  • GPU: Nvidia 1660 Super.
Any light you can shed on this would be much appreciated. I no longer have the CPU stock cooler to test as I gave it away, so wanted to see what others could suggest before I run to the store to buy a new cooler. Thanks again!
 

Phaaze88

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There's not a lot you can do beyond a new cooler, as closed loop coolers aren't user-serviceable. You've already done just about all the troubleshooting methods too.
-remount+repaste.
-open the case up and force some air through.
-put a load on the cpu, then feel both tubes. If fluid flow is good, you should have trouble telling them apart.


The Kraken M22 is also right there with the Msi MAG & MPG Coreliquids: clogging within a year(+/-) due to dirty coolant. Those models are all made by Apaltek/Apalcool. I think you would've had to replace the M22 before long anyway.
 

miha2

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Aug 14, 2009
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Is the cooling well attached? Is it leaking maybe? What about power? Are all the power cords properly attached? Did you check in multiple programs? Run sfc /scannow in cmd running as admin, then dism. I'm out of ideas, but maybe I can think of some more later on
 

A_Goat

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Agreed, a new cooler would be the easiest solution.

But, it is strange that after you applied paste the temps were fine, but then degraded again. This behavior could mean the cooler is working its way loose, or when you were moving it around you jostled around a blockage that allowed it to work briefly before clogging again.

If you have the skills and the time, it is possible to service your AIO... but not exactly worth the effort for a 120mm imo.
 
Sep 13, 2022
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Thanks all for your replies!
I do agree that there may be something wrong with the cooler, and it's true it's not worth the effort to try to service the AIO (especially since I don't have the skills lol). It is not leaking though. Not sure if this is normal too but each time I turn that PC on, I hear the pump bubbling or gurgling for a few minutes before going silent. This doesn't happen every time but at least when I turn it on in the mornings after spending the night powered off.

I made sure the cooler is seated correctly as well, and it makes sense that maybe it unclogged when I moved it around, and then clogged again. Is that something that happens a lot with AIOs?
Also, is it normal that it sits at around 50C when in the BIOS? Should it be much lower? I tend to think this is expected on a small case, but I think it has good airflow with some positive pressure.

@miha2 I'll try running those commands later today after work, thanks!

On another note, what's a nice cooler you would recommend?
 

Phaaze88

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I made sure the cooler is seated correctly as well, and it makes sense that maybe it unclogged when I moved it around, and then clogged again. Is that something that happens a lot with AIOs?
There are chemicals mixed in the fluid that delay the build up of organics and corrosion, but they have a finite lifespan. It happens to them all eventually.

Also, is it normal that it sits at around 50C when in the BIOS?
You can't check which/how many cores are active from bios, so there's not much to infer from that.
 

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