Question Looking to upgrade fans for my gaming rig, need advice

Jan 7, 2021
Hi, everyone,

I hope you are doing well despite everything else.

I am actually looking to upgrade the fans in my PC since I noticed some of the older games played are making my CPU temp hit 99 degrees easily.

And this is after setting to the lowest graphical settings as well.

Below are the details of my current rig:

Case: Cooler Master Masterbox Lite 5 RGB
CPU: Intel i7-4790k
MOBO: MSI Z97 Gaming 5
Ram: 8GB Kingston HyperX Beast Black DDR3 799Mhz x 2
GPU: MSI GTX Geforce 980
PSU: Cooler Master MasterWatt Lite 700W 80 Watts
SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB
HDD: WD Caviar Blue 1TB x 2
Heatsink: Cooler Master Vortex 211P
Fans: Stock Case Fans

The case has a 160mm height restriction.

Appreciate any and all advice on this, I don't mind spending a little extra for a long-term investment.

Thank you in advance.
Jan 7, 2021
If it wasn't running that hot before, then clean out the PC, and reapply thermal paste beneath the cpu cooler.
Simply changing fans isn't going to fix that(99C).

That's actually harder on the cpu...
I clean my PC about once or twice a week, other than gaming, it does not get hot at all, it actually stays below 50 degrees when I am doing other stuff.

Only gaming causes it to go to 99 degree

i did not check the thermal paste though, i will reapply it and see if there is any difference

Thanks for advice


Contributing Writer
Has it always been this hot under loads? If so, you've always had a problem.

If it hasn't and this has recently changed, a few things need to be considered, but likely not a fan upgrade.


Cooler Troubleshooting and Questions

High CPU and GPU temperatures:

This could be caused by a few different things, please don't automatically assume 'the cooler is not working' without also checking if the case airflow is sufficient.

Remove the side panel of the PC case. Orient a house fan (desk or box style fan) to blow air into the case, directly over components at the highest setting.

This will represent a case with the best possible airflow possible. For reference, the fans I am providing as examples would look like the items below (just to clarify for anyone who might want reference)

Re-test as you have normally done - play games, run benchmarks, etc. to get to where temperatures were normally seen to be higher than they should. Normal room temperature is usually between 20-24C or 68-75F. Please note that every air or liquid cooler operates as a product of delta-T over ambient, meaning that if the PC is operational (simply turned on), it is impossible for the CPU to display a temperature below ambient room temperatures. If it is, this is likely a bug in software temperature reporting either from the desktop UI or the BIOS reading it incorrectly.

With the fan running at full speed, if temperatures drop by 5-7C or more, case airflow is one major issue to contend with. You will need additional fans or better fans for your setup in order to optimize air in and out of the chassis. This might even require consideration for a new PC case or leaving the side panel partially open during sessions of heavier computing until these items are corrected.

If your temperatures remain relatively the same (difference less than 1-2C), then you likely have an issue with the cooler in question (if CPU is hot, CPU cooler, if GPU is hot, GPU cooler). It would be good to then approach the next steps by thoroughly cleaning the cooler with compressed or canned air and ensuring there are not large blockages in cooling fins or on fans, etc. This might require the cooling fans to be removed from the heatsink or radiator to ensure there is not a buildup of pet hair, dust or even carpet fibers which can trap additional debris. Please ensure the PC is turned off and unplugged during this process to prevent unwanted startup to keep fingers safe from fan blades or accidental shorting if you happen to drop a screw onto other components during fan removal.

Removal of the cooler and re-application of thermal paste & re-seating the cooler can also be beneficial once cleaning of the cooler is ruled out by retesting the steps above.