i7 overheating problem


Mar 7, 2009
So I've got this Core i7 920 (C0 stepping)... I'm using a high-end aftermarket cooler (the Xigmatek Dark Knight), and it's getting way too hot. I have it overclocked to 3.6 GHz, but only at a voltage of 1.104V (in CPU-Z, I think it's set to like 1.150 in the BIOS), which I'm pretty sure is even lower than the stock voltage... yet when I put it under load it readily approaches 85C while transcoding video. I've tried seating and reseating the cooler multiple times, redoing the thermal paste, amongst other things... I don't understand how it gets so hot with a low voltage and a good cooler. It typically idles in the high 40s (though I've caught it as low as 37 before), and the first two cores are always 4-8C hotter than cores 3 and 4 for whatever reason. I've had this PC for a few years and I've never been able to get it right. Just for info I'm running it at 172x21 MHz with hyper threading enabled, and 16GB of DDR3 ram at ~1000 MHz (yes, it was still hot back when I only had 6GB).

What can I do to fix this? My CPU runs stably but I can't even run something intensive for more than 10 minutes before I have to start cutting back its core affinity to drop the temperature....


These processors run a little hot, most quads do anyways. I would have to check the stock voltage but I doubt you overclocked your chip by 1GHz, at stock or lower than stock voltage.

Also don't apply too much paste, its actually best to just draw a line down the middle of the chip and not make a circle.

The cores being different temps is nothing to worry about, unless it was an extreme difference.

Something you can try, is to reset it to stock speeds and check your temps.

Also try cleaning the fans and heatsink for dust and other gunk.


Aug 12, 2012
that's a Nehalem based i7 with a 130 watt TDP that your running with a BCLK of 172.... It's impressive that it runs at all. The Tcase is only 67.9C so i'm also shocked it isn't shutting down on you during video transcoding. your gonna have to turn the BCLK back to a more reasonable state if you want it to be stable, especially for video transcoding. I have a DV7 laptop with a i7-2670QM that runs at 95C when transcoding or gaming, the max is 102C. Turbo Boost wont run above 2.5GHz at that temp.