[SOLVED] Intel Core i5 4670K Stock Cooler Temperatures Spiking under Load

Dec 20, 2019
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Hello all.

My computer is a bit older (2014) so I decided to take it apart and give it a thorough cleaning. As a part of this process I took my heat-sink off of my motherboard to clean off some of the dust that had accumulated on it. I reapplied thermal paste and re-seated the fan.

Since then I have been unable to put any load on my processor without temperatures spiking into the 90-100 degrees Celsius range. When I run prime95 I get about three minutes of 100% CPU usage before the temperature reaches the previously mentioned range.

Idle temperatures are in the 35-40 degree Celsius range.

I have checked to make sure that the heat-sink is seated properly, I have also checked the air coming out of my case and all of it is practically cool to the touch.

Should I invest in a new, aftermarket CPU cooler or is there a larger problem here?

Please let me know if you have any further questions about my setup and I will happily provide as much detail as possible.

Thanks for your time!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
When you took the CPU cooler off, did you CLEAN both the bottom of the heatsink and the top of the CPU using isopropyl alcohol until it was fully clean?

Did you remove the CPU when you did that? Hint, yes, you should do that when cleaning the CPU just to make sure nothing ends up on or in the motherboard when cleaning it.

If not, or maybe even if you did, I'd take it apart again and get some 91% Isopropyl alcohol and some paper coffee filters and clean both the CPU and the bottom of the CPU cooler heatsink until they are completely free of any thermal paste or residue. You do not even want a strand of hair or piece of fuzz on either surface. The stock cooler probably came with a thermal pad preinstalled, so it might be as much as 1/8 of an inch thick on the bottom of the cooler. You may need to start by taking the thickest portion off with a razor blade before cleaning with isopropyl alcohol.

Then, reinstall the CPU in the socket making sure to completely open the lever lock arm first so that the CPU sits easily and fully down into the socket, with the alignment marks correctly lined up, and then while applying light pressure with one finger to the top of the CPU close down and latch the lever lock.

Once that is done, apply a blob of fresh thermal paste dead center on the CPU in an amount that is just about equal to about half of the size of the part of a #2 pencil that sticks out past the metal part of the pencil. Or about half the size of a canned green pea. Three large grains of rice is about the same when cooked as well.

Normally, for aftermarket coolers you would use less but for the stock cooler that originally came with a thermal pad preapplied, and the fact that it is a low pressure type mounting system, a little more than with a high pressure aftermarket cooler is necessary. Not more than that, and generally not less than that.

Then make absolutely sure after attaching the cooler that all push pins or fasteners are completely secured in place. One corner or side not well secured will cause exactly the kind of problems you are seeing.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
When you took the CPU cooler off, did you CLEAN both the bottom of the heatsink and the top of the CPU using isopropyl alcohol until it was fully clean?

Did you remove the CPU when you did that? Hint, yes, you should do that when cleaning the CPU just to make sure nothing ends up on or in the motherboard when cleaning it.

If not, or maybe even if you did, I'd take it apart again and get some 91% Isopropyl alcohol and some paper coffee filters and clean both the CPU and the bottom of the CPU cooler heatsink until they are completely free of any thermal paste or residue. You do not even want a strand of hair or piece of fuzz on either surface. The stock cooler probably came with a thermal pad preinstalled, so it might be as much as 1/8 of an inch thick on the bottom of the cooler. You may need to start by taking the thickest portion off with a razor blade before cleaning with isopropyl alcohol.

Then, reinstall the CPU in the socket making sure to completely open the lever lock arm first so that the CPU sits easily and fully down into the socket, with the alignment marks correctly lined up, and then while applying light pressure with one finger to the top of the CPU close down and latch the lever lock.

Once that is done, apply a blob of fresh thermal paste dead center on the CPU in an amount that is just about equal to about half of the size of the part of a #2 pencil that sticks out past the metal part of the pencil. Or about half the size of a canned green pea. Three large grains of rice is about the same when cooked as well.

Normally, for aftermarket coolers you would use less but for the stock cooler that originally came with a thermal pad preapplied, and the fact that it is a low pressure type mounting system, a little more than with a high pressure aftermarket cooler is necessary. Not more than that, and generally not less than that.

Then make absolutely sure after attaching the cooler that all push pins or fasteners are completely secured in place. One corner or side not well secured will cause exactly the kind of problems you are seeing.
 
Dec 20, 2019
2
0
10
0
When you took the CPU cooler off, did you CLEAN both the bottom of the heatsink and the top of the CPU using isopropyl alcohol until it was fully clean?

Did you remove the CPU when you did that? Hint, yes, you should do that when cleaning the CPU just to make sure nothing ends up on or in the motherboard when cleaning it.

If not, or maybe even if you did, I'd take it apart again and get some 91% Isopropyl alcohol and some paper coffee filters and clean both the CPU and the bottom of the CPU cooler heatsink until they are completely free of any thermal paste or residue. You do not even want a strand of hair or piece of fuzz on either surface. The stock cooler probably came with a thermal pad preinstalled, so it might be as much as 1/8 of an inch thick on the bottom of the cooler. You may need to start by taking the thickest portion off with a razor blade before cleaning with isopropyl alcohol.

Then, reinstall the CPU in the socket making sure to completely open the lever lock arm first so that the CPU sits easily and fully down into the socket, with the alignment marks correctly lined up, and then while applying light pressure with one finger to the top of the CPU close down and latch the lever lock.

Once that is done, apply a blob of fresh thermal paste dead center on the CPU in an amount that is just about equal to about half of the size of the part of a #2 pencil that sticks out past the metal part of the pencil. Or about half the size of a canned green pea. Three large grains of rice is about the same when cooked as well.

Normally, for aftermarket coolers you would use less but for the stock cooler that originally came with a thermal pad preapplied, and the fact that it is a low pressure type mounting system, a little more than with a high pressure aftermarket cooler is necessary. Not more than that, and generally not less than that.

Then make absolutely sure after attaching the cooler that all push pins or fasteners are completely secured in place. One corner or side not well secured will cause exactly the kind of problems you are seeing.
Hello and thank you for your reply.

I did remove the CPU the first time I cleaned everything.

I took your recommendation and cleaned the CPU and CPU cooler of any thermal paste using Isopropyl alcohol and then applied the recommended amount of thermal paste and re-installed the cooler. After this I was still getting the temps that I mentioned earlier.

I ended up purchasing a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo and replacing my stock cooler. After that I am getting significantly lower temperatures, maxing out at about 62 degrees Celsius when at maximum load for extended periods of time.

My assumption is that I must've messed something up in the stock cooler when I pulled it the first time. It was probably one of those annoying push pin inserts that come with the Intel stock cooler. Extremely annoying, and I made sure that the aftermarket I purchased was bracket mounted (much easier to install/remove).

Thank you for your help in narrowing down the issue, I appreciate it greatly!
 

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