Question i7 12700K Overheating

Feb 20, 2023
I just noticed my i7 12700K running very hot in the last few days. It will hit 100C after one round of Heroes of the Storm. While playing it doesn't go above 10% (not a CPU demanding game). The rest of the case stays cool. Both fans and the pump on my AIO liquid cooler are set to go up to 100% at 85C. All the fans (including case fans) and the pump are running properly according to BIOS. Yesterday I removed the cooler, cleaned the old thermal paste off (which was on there for a little over 1 year), reapplied thermal paste, and reinstalled the cooler. I thought this fixed it, but it is running really hot again today. I also disabled the built in processor graphics, which I don't use, just to be safe. The thermal paste I used is 5 years old, but I don't think that would cause it to overheat so much. Just looking for ideas on my next step and how to trouble shoot this.


Processor: Intel Core i7-12700K
Cooler: MSI MAG Core Liquid 280R V2 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler, 280mm Radiator
Motherboard: MSI PRO Z690-A WIFI DDR4 LGA 1700 Intel Z690 SATA 6Gb/s ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: CORSAIR Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3600
Graphics Card: GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2080 Super WINDFORCE
Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound AS5-3.5G

Any help or ideas would be much appreciated.


Yes it's on the top of the case, installed a little over a year ago.
There are 3 different pump locations among AIO/CLCs. MAG Coreliquid has it in the radiator(that black cube).
Pumps don't like air. The cooler has to be installed in the front - if there's enough room to do it.
If there isn't enough room, or temperature doesn't improve, you'll need to add a new cooler to the shopping list.