i7 950 Cooling Problems

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i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:26 am

Hey guys, I have a cooling issue.

I've just upgraded my desktop PC to something pretty decent. I've put it all in the SFF Silverstone Sugo SG04 case. I thought I might have cooling issues due to the small case, but it's much worse than I thought. The case has 2x 120mm fans at the front, and nothing at the back.

Specs:

Asus Rampage III mainboard
i7 950
Gigabyte GTX480
Corsair 600w PSU
6GB DDR3-1333 RAM

The GTX480 temps are generally fine (idle around 45-50, 70-80 under load). However the CPU is having cooling issues. I'm using the stock heat sync because there's no room for a bigger one, and when it's under load the temps go right up which causes the GPU temps to go right up too. At idle the CPU ranges from 30-45 degrees. Under load it usually sits at 70-80, but I did some video encoding the other day and it got up to 120 degrees. Obviously I stopped encoding straight away and no damage seems to have been done.

Anyway.. I need some tips on how to improve the cooling. I can't put a standard sized fan at the back because the vents are rectangular. Silverstone make special fans to fit on this case, but I can't get one down here in NZ.

So.. any ideas?

Thanks.
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:09 am

Your right about those CPU temperatures. An i7 950 at idle should hover between 25-35, and under load +10/15 to those. I suspect it may be a combination of a few things:

- The case is simply to cramped. This is my opinion, but it has no exhaust fans for all the heat your GPU is giving off (it relies on the PSU to vent warm air out - But the PSU generates heat anyway!!!). The PSU is also stacked right on-top of the CPU's heatsink, with your graphics right below it. Looking at the cable clutter mess the reviewer at bit-tech.net got himself into, I would say not much of the cool air from the front of the case is making it to the back anyway.

- Poor case ventalation. That case supports 2 120mm fans - Do you have any in there at all (You say standard ones wont fit???)? If you have no fans at all then I would say thats your biggest issue. You should already have one fan installed in it at the front? In the review of this case on bit-tech.net, they installed 2 fans at the front. They moved the included one up, and placed another underneath. The holes should already be there.

- CPU & Heatsink seating. It's harder to do these days on Intel's stock HSF, but check the pins locking it to the board are fully locked in place. If the HSF is not seated to the CPU with 100% contact, temperatures creep up.

Unless you want to explore water cooling (Not sure where you would put the radiator in that case), you might want to consider a larger case, especially if that nice graphics card you have gets a full workload...
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:14 am

I agree that the case is too small for what you want to use in it. The only partial solution you could try is to add one or more PCI slot blowers... They can make up to 5° difference in case temperature.

Can you post a picture of the innards of your case (with your system installed?)
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:36 am

rcs2k4 wrote:Your right about those CPU temperatures. An i7 950 at idle should hover between 25-35, and under load +10/15 to those. I suspect it may be a combination of a few things:

- The case is simply to cramped. This is my opinion, but it has no exhaust fans for all the heat your GPU is giving off (it relies on the PSU to vent warm air out - But the PSU generates heat anyway!!!). The PSU is also stacked right on-top of the CPU's heatsink, with your graphics right below it. Looking at the cable clutter mess the reviewer at bit-tech.net got himself into, I would say not much of the cool air from the front of the case is making it to the back anyway.

- Poor case ventalation. That case supports 2 120mm fans - Do you have any in there at all (You say standard ones wont fit???)? If you have no fans at all then I would say thats your biggest issue. You should already have one fan installed in it at the front? In the review of this case on bit-tech.net, they installed 2 fans at the front. They moved the included one up, and placed another underneath. The holes should already be there.

- CPU & Heatsink seating. It's harder to do these days on Intel's stock HSF, but check the pins locking it to the board are fully locked in place. If the HSF is not seated to the CPU with 100% contact, temperatures creep up.

Unless you want to explore water cooling (Not sure where you would put the radiator in that case), you might want to consider a larger case, especially if that nice graphics card you have gets a full workload...


Yep there's 2x120mm fans at the front. I've actually created a bit of an "shield" below the top fan so all the air is directed towards the CPU. But there's still the issue of the hot air not being drawn out the back of the case. A lot of work was put into routing the cables around the outsides of the case so they shouldn't be blocking too much airflow.

The heat sink is definitely seated properly.

Here's some pictures anyway... yes I know that the "shield" is made of cardboard but I plan to do it properly once all the cooling issues are sorted out.

Side:
http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/5015/img0895u.jpg

Front (with fans taken out):
http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/9139/img0896p.jpg
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:37 am

Thanks for the pictures. I am amazed you managed to ram all that in there!!! Unfortunatly, as per my first post this is clearly where the problem lies. There's not enough room for things to breath in there. As per ozymandias post, I had thought about a molex powered blower that can be bolted into the PCI brackets on the case. I dont think it will help a great deal at exhausting heat because you would struggle to put it anywhere.

Ideally, you would need the exhaust blower in the next slot above the graphics card, directly under the PSU. I can't see if there is a spare slot there though from those pictures. It would certianly help to exhaust hot air from that part of the system. The only other mounting place of any use whould be to move the SSD drive up one slot (as long as it wont actually touch the graphics card), and put an exhausting blower where the SSD currently is seated. You may have limited mileage with the latter suggestion though, because heat rises.

Those are all clutching at straws ideas though - Best bet would be to loose that case.
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:17 pm

I had to reseat my i7 920 three times before I got good temps. The culprit? My application of thermal paste. I'd take the fan and CPU out, clean up the thermal paste and re-seat it. Yes, it's a PITA, but after my third try, I was getting good temps with no other changed. Because your idle temp are so high, that is why I suspect the paste.

Too much paste? Too hot. Too little paste? Too hot. Uneven coverage of paste? Air pockets and too hot.

You are after a thin, even coating. All paste has to do is fill in the tiny tiny cracks in the surface.
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:35 pm

Personally, I have 2 exhaust blowers on both sides of my gfx card (5870, does not get that hot, but on 780i board, which gets hot. And losing my main pc whilst awaiting RMA for the motherboard is not an option). It would make a difference, if you go for some higher end one that blows hard. You could affix the ssd to the cardboard, making both slots available.

I cannot guess from the pictures, but it could be possible that you could mount a third one above the pci slots if you modify the bracket a bit.
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:51 pm

ozymandias wrote:Personally, I have 2 exhaust blowers on both sides of my gfx card (5870, does not get that hot, but on 780i board, which gets hot. And losing my main pc whilst awaiting RMA for the motherboard is not an option). It would make a difference, if you go for some higher end one that blows hard. You could affix the ssd to the cardboard, making both slots available.

I cannot guess from the pictures, but it could be possible that you could mount a third one above the pci slots if you modify the bracket a bit.


What exhaust fans do you use?
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:38 am

Bit of an update..

decided that the small form factor case was more hassle than it's worth, so I got myself a Cooler Master Scout and swapped over all the hardware today. I also got a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU cooler.

So.. idle temps now are 23-24 degrees which is great.. but as soon as I turn on the Prime 95 stress test it shoots up to 90 degrees+ in about 2-3 seconds.. Obviously I turned off Prime95 quickly once it got that high.

Anyone got any clues to what might be going on? It can't be case cooling.. there's 4x120mm fans in it including the massive CPU cooler..

EDIT:

Just undervolted the CPU to 1.05v as it was sitting at 1.25v at full load when set to auto.. ran Prime95 for 30 minutes and got 68 degrees max. Much better :)
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:31 pm

While effective, you shouldn't need to be undervolting your CPU to get acceptable temperatures at stock speeds with a third party cooler such as the Hyper 212 Plus. So, it could still be an issue of too much thermal paste. How much are you using?
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:58 pm

mortifiedPenguin wrote:While effective, you shouldn't need to be undervolting your CPU to get acceptable temperatures at stock speeds with a third party cooler such as the Hyper 212 Plus. So, it could still be an issue of too much thermal paste. How much are you using?


I put a pea sized blob on the middle then spread it around with a small square piece of cardboard.. it's not very thick at all
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:06 pm

The Hyper 212+ is a HDT HSF, you need to pre-fill the gaps between the heatpipes.
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:10 pm

fill in the gaps? :x
I think it might depend on the thermal paste i guess

on the smooth type I would not fill in anything, there should only be paste where it is metal to metal, so just paint the CPU
I would think a big glob of paste in the cracks would act more like a heat 'sink'

I know one person with this cooler that had problems because he only pasted in between the gaps on the cooler so I had him redo it properly and problems went away

anyway, suicide monky when u take off ur heatsink take a picture
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:04 pm

potatochobit wrote:anyway, suicide monky when u take off ur heatsink take a picture


Sweet, i'll get some photos up a bit later.
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:54 pm

This is what I did with my OCZ Vendetta. I noticed that the Hyper 212+ has bigger gaps between the heatpipes and the mount, and my 875K is not faring well in temps too. I'll need to check out the paste situation when I get time to reseat the thing.
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Re: i7 950 Cooling Problems

Postposted on Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:30 am

Problem solved.. I reapplied the paste using arctic silver, turned the heat sink so it is facing the exhaust fan on the case, and it's great now.. idle @ around 25, ~50 degrees under full load :)

Let the overclocking begin :D
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