Question PC Cooling Issue (CPU 100 degrees)

Lenny Confetti

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PC Specs:
  • Intel Core i9-9900K 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor
  • NZXT Kraken X53 73.11 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
  • Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO WIFI ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
  • Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory
  • Samsung 970 Evo 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
  • Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
  • EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 ULTRA GAMING
  • Corsair RM (2019) 850 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
  • Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case
  • (4x) Corsair LL120 43.25 CFM 120 mm Fan
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Alright, so I've been having this issue with the first PC that I've ever built myself. Basically, the problem is that the computer gets EXTREMELY hot under heavy load games, so hot that the case is too hot to touch and burns my hand if I've been playing something like RDR2 or MW2019 for a while. I've looked at the temps and felt around the case and it seems like the issue is stemming from my CPU since it is the thing that gets the hottest. When observing temps on idle my CPU is around 42 degrees celsius and my GPU is around 59, under heavy load for a while my GPU reaches around 84 degrees and my CPU goes all the way up to 100-105. I have 4 corsair fans in my case with a configuration of TWO intakes at the front, one outtake on top above the CPU and one outtake at the back above the GPU. My AIO radiator is on the front of the case behind the two intake fans. I know some things about computers but I wouldn't call myself an expert so I wanted to come here to ask for some advice on this issue. I believe that it's a cooling problem to do with my AIO radiator, I'm pretty sure the pumps work because my idle temps aren't too bad and my CPU is able to easily cool down after I close a game. One thing that is important to note is that my case is too small for all of the parts that I bought, I could not physically fit my radiator at the front with the two fans connected directly because of the length of the GPU, so to work around this is put the radiator on the inside of the front panel, so inside of the case, and then I put the two fans on the outside of the front (still connected to the radiator but there is a metal partition in between). But doing this then meant I wasn't able to fit the dust filter of the case on the front because of the two fans that aren't supposed to be there. To fix this issue I used zip ties to hold the dust filter onto the front. I'd imagine that the issue is just lack of airflow from this configuration with the case being too small, and that the solution would be to buy a bigger case and connect the fans directly onto the radiator? or possibly to do that and add some extra fans into the case somewhere. I was just looking for other opinions and wanted to see if I was correct in my assumptions. If so, any advice and recommendations on the cheapest solutions to this issue would be greatly appreciated.
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TEMPS - "Value" is current idle temps and "Max" is the highest they hit when they were under heavy load, the CPU was sitting around 96-100 most of the time during the game session.
PC Pictures - Showing the configuration of the computer.
 

Phaaze88

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/looks at 2nd screenshot, 'NZXT Kraken X53 73.11 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler', and "I have 4 corsair fans in my case with a configuration of TWO intakes at the front, one outtake on top above the CPU and one outtake at the back above the GPU."

You replaced the Kraken's fans with LL120s? Those are not radiator fans - they suck for this application.


What I'm currently seeing:
1)Front air intake is weak, because you replaced the AIO's fans with worse ones. To add to this: since the fans aren't directly mounted to the radiator, there may be some air leaking out the sides instead of passing through the rad.
2)Gpu exhaust could be better. With just the 2 at the rear and top, you lose some some airflow efficiency, as they pull against each other trying to expel the heated air - could use another top exhaust to help get that heat out faster.
3)Gpu intake - I'm not 100% on this one, due to the high angles of the side images, but I think it's akin to what goes on in the first part of the smoke test here. The gpu's intakes are small: the rear PCIe slot guards and the small space underneath the radiator.
 

Lenny Confetti

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/looks at 2nd screenshot, 'NZXT Kraken X53 73.11 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler', and "I have 4 corsair fans in my case with a configuration of TWO intakes at the front, one outtake on top above the CPU and one outtake at the back above the GPU."

You replaced the Kraken's fans with LL120s? Those are not radiator fans - they suck for this application.


What I'm currently seeing:
1)Front air intake is weak, because you replaced the AIO's fans with worse ones. To add to this: since the fans aren't directly mounted to the radiator, there may be some air leaking out the sides instead of passing through the rad.
2)Gpu exhaust could be better. With just the 2 at the rear and top, you lose some some airflow efficiency, as they pull against each other trying to expel the heated air - could use another top exhaust to help get that heat out faster.
3)Gpu intake - I'm not 100% on this one, due to the high angles of the side images, but I think it's akin to what goes on in the first part of the smoke test here. The gpu's intakes are small: the rear PCIe slot guards and the small space underneath the radiator.
Hey thanks for the reply, are these pictures any better to see the issue you were talking about?

Also, if I took your advice do you think a good solution would be for me to remove the two front fans on the radiator and replace them with the two stock ones I got in the AIO box originally? I could then also use one of the now spare fans from the front to put up next to the top exhaust fan if it fits. That would mean I'd have two intakes on the radiator at the front, two exhausts on the top of the case, and then one exhaust on the back above the GPU. Would that be a good solution? Or would there be an issue with the negative pressure from having two intakes and 3 exhausts?
 

Phaaze88

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Aye, that's better.
Yeah, gpu intake is lacking. The head/front(?) section of the gpu is acting as a wall, scattering what little air does come through the lower half of the radiator. If the gpu's getting any air, it's from that small space beneath the radiator, and through the tiny holes in the PCIe slot guards.

Also, if I took your advice do you think a good solution would be for me to remove the two front fans on the radiator and replace them with the two stock ones I got in the AIO box originally? I could then also use one of the now spare fans from the front to put up next to the top exhaust fan if it fits. That would mean I'd have two intakes on the radiator at the front, two exhausts on the top of the case, and then one exhaust on the back above the GPU. Would that be a good solution?
Yes and yes.


A potential alternative that may just work out better than the above quote:
1)Still place the original AIO fans on, but install it as top exhaust.
2)Leave the rear fan space empty. It will serve as a second air intake for the AIO. Both front and rear intakes should help offset the heat coming off the 3080 Vs the traditional rear exhaust and only having the front for intake.
Do not install a fan there as intake. It will T-bone airflow and delay the pull from the AIO's fans.

3)Install three LL120s to front intake, and remove that door(?)/panel thing that's above where the HDD cage would be.
4)Check out thermals.

negative pressure
Case design influences if there's any pressure at all, not just how many fans are intaking/exhausting.
Models that have lots of open gaps or are 'meshed out', have no real pressure to speak of, because of all the open spaces air can come in and exit.
Lian Li Lancool II Mesh, Thermaltake Core P3, and Cougar Conquer are good examples. Oh, and the open benches, obviously.

Models that have solid or semi-solid panels, which have a strong front to back flow and not as much is allowed to flow out the top(if at all), those are positive. Trying to work against that can do more harm than good.
Exs: Cooler Master H500M and Fractal Design Torrent.
Huh, there aren't that many true positive pressure cases out there, now that I look around... gotta be fewer in number than both neutral and negative.

The more/most restrictive models lean towards negative. Some models have not just the front restricted, but front and top. Those still lean to negative because of how easily air can move out the rear. Intake can come from all possible gaps/seams that aren't being used for exhaust.
Trying to work against this too can also be detrimental.
Exs: Deepcool Matrexx 55, and dang near all of NZXT's cases...
Short version, I'm saying the Meshify C is neutral.
The whole positive/negative thing doesn't really happen until the more restrictive models.
 

Lenny Confetti

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Aye, that's better.
Yeah, gpu intake is lacking. The head/front(?) section of the gpu is acting as a wall, scattering what little air does come through the lower half of the radiator. If the gpu's getting any air, it's from that small space beneath the radiator, and through the tiny holes in the PCIe slot guards.


Yes and yes.


A potential alternative that may just work out better than the above quote:
1)Still place the original AIO fans on, but install it as top exhaust.
2)Leave the rear fan space empty. It will serve as a second air intake for the AIO. Both front and rear intakes should help offset the heat coming off the 3080 Vs the traditional rear exhaust and only having the front for intake.
Do not install a fan there as intake. It will T-bone airflow and delay the pull from the AIO's fans.

3)Install three LL120s to front intake, and remove that door(?)/panel thing that's above where the HDD cage would be.
4)Check out thermals.

Case design influences if there's any pressure at all, not just how many fans are intaking/exhausting.
Models that have lots of open gaps or are 'meshed out', have no real pressure to speak of, because of all the open spaces air can come in and exit.
Lian Li Lancool II Mesh, Thermaltake Core P3, and Cougar Conquer are good examples. Oh, and the open benches, obviously.

Models that have solid or semi-solid panels, which have a strong front to back flow and not as much is allowed to flow out the top(if at all), those are positive. Trying to work against that can do more harm than good.
Exs: Cooler Master H500M and Fractal Design Torrent.
Huh, there aren't that many true positive pressure cases out there, now that I look around... gotta be fewer in number than both neutral and negative.

The more/most restrictive models lean towards negative. Some models have not just the front restricted, but front and top. Those still lean to negative because of how easily air can move out the rear. Intake can come from all possible gaps/seams that aren't being used for exhaust.
Trying to work against this too can also be detrimental.
Exs: Deepcool Matrexx 55, and dang near all of NZXT's cases...
Short version, I'm saying the Meshify C is neutral.
The whole positive/negative thing doesn't really happen until the more restrictive models.
I think when I was first building the computer I was originally planning to do your idea where I put the radiator on top with the fans, but if I remember correctly I don’t think there’s enough space because of how chunky it gets with the fans on and how small the case is. It was being blocked by the top of the motherboard and the RAM sticks. I can try to fit it again, but if I cannot do you reckon the best configuration for now would be to try what I proposed for now until I can get a larger case and then go with your configuration? If so do you have any recommendations for cases a bit larger that would suit my components nicely?
 

geofelt

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As an alternative solution:

Your case actually is a good one for air cooling.
The radiator volume of a top air cooler like the Noctua NH-D15s is about the same as your X53. The cooling capability is comparable.
The main difference is where the heat exchange takes place(NH-D15 may have ram clearance issues for you)
Noctua indicates that the NH-D15s will be OK for a I9-9900K:
https://ncc.noctua.at/cpus/model/Intel-Core-i9-9900K-307
Here is a review:

If you want, you could replace the front fans with higher rpm 140mm fans to get a huge amount of cooling airflow if needed.
As a plus, your graphics card and motherboard VRM will get better airflow for cooling.
 

Phaaze88

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Lenny Confetti

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Ah: https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/meshify/meshify-c/black/
  • Top radiator
    120/240 mm (max component height on motherboard 40 mm)
Also found this: https://linustechtips.com/topic/1086192-fractal-design-meshify-clearance/ (2nd post)
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro is a bit larger than G. Skill Ripjaws V, yes?



Lian Li Lancool II Mesh

Corsair
4000D Airflow/4000X RGB
5000D Airflow/5000X RGB

be quiet! Pure Base 500DX
^Just a few case suggestions. I don't know your budget limit.
Alright, I've been changing the configuration for the past couple of days and this is the best cooling that I was able to come up with.

These are the temps I got today, the "Value" is my computer idling on my desktop for about 20 minutes and the "Max" is what they were hitting when I was playing RDR2 for about 20 minutes. These temperatures are obviously much better, but are they suitable for long-term use? What temps would I be looking for when using these components, what would be optimal? I'm just wondering so I can know how urgent I should go about buying a new case, also thank you for the case suggestions I really appreciate it.

Before removing the hard drive cage roof and putting an extra fan in there the CPU temps went down but were stuck at the exact same temperature as the graphics card, so I'm assuming that now the thing causing the issue is the GPU. When I added the fan underneath the radiator in the drive cage area the CPU was able to stay even cooler but the GPU only went down by around 1 degree, so I'm assuming that it helped to stop the hot air from rising and sitting on the CPU since it now leaves the case, but the small gap it's blowing through doesn't give a sufficient amount of blowing force to cool the actual card completely. I think the clearance is making it hard for it to be cooled as you said, and a bigger case with a better fan configuration would most likely be the prime solution. So I know that I need a new case at this point, I just was wondering how urgent it should be on my schedule seeing as I use this computer every day.
 

Phaaze88

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You were able to fit a 3rd fan down there? Sometimes, the radiator length interferes with 240mm + 1 fan configs.
Looks like a case with a bit more vertical height would be a good idea.


Alright, I've been changing the configuration for the past couple of days and this is the best cooling that I was able to come up with. These are the temps I got today, the "Value" is my computer idling on my desktop for about 20 minutes and the "Max" is what they were hitting when I was playing RDR2 for about 20 minutes. These temperatures are obviously much better, but are they suitable for long-term use?
Better cooling for the cpu, at least. Gpu is still having none of it.

There's different opinions on what's safe/not safe, but from my POV, I'll take the words of Intel's engineers over someone else: https://www.tomshardware.com/features/inside-intels-secret-overclocking-lab/7
Though it's talking about overclocking, it can be applied to non-OCed cpus too.
Sustaining above 80C appears to be what they consider insufficient cooling, yet Intel's latest i9, the 12900K, has been crapping on that one. It's pretty chill in games, but in rendering/workstation type loads, holding below that is very difficult without custom liquid and setting limits in bios.
Then there's the socket warping that occurs over time, that'll make it harder to cool.
When questioned about those thermals and warping:

That's practically the response received. You can check it out here: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-comments-on-alder-lakes-warping-and-bending-issues-mods-void-warranty
It primarily affects the i9s. i7s and below are already cool customers and will still be manageable even after the warping.

So if a 12900K is technically fine running in the upper 90s(C) in specific workloads, then the same applies to slightly older models too, maybe/maybe not? Besides, that's what the thermal throttle mechanism is there for - you can even set a lower limit in bios if you wanted to.


Nvidia is a trickier one: the Intel chip doesn't care what temperature it's running at - except the thermal limit - it'll deliver its maximum. Nvidia gpus are at the opposite of that, and do care about operating thermals - on the gpu core, at least.
Cooler is better for them, and so is running into the power limit less frequently.
The Gpu Boost algorithm built into the cards automatically and dynamically OCs the gpu past the base clock depending on operating temperature and how frequently the board power limit is reached/passed. There are several boost curves, and Gpu Boost changes based on the previously mentioned parameters.
That said, reaching the rated thermal limit comes with a larger penalty to the dynamic OC than... let's say, 70 to 75C. Rated thermal limit for the 3080 is 83C. Max is 91C: basically when it starts looking to shut down on you.
IF the gpu is spiking to 83C, that's not as bad. Sustained high temperatures is worse than spikes.
 

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