Core i3-2120 temps

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Core i3-2120 temps

Postposted on Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:57 pm

Hi. I just put together a Core i3-2120 system for my cousin. Only the CPU, board and RAM are new.

Specs: Intel i3-2120 @ 3.3GHz, Intel DH67BL board, 2 x 2GB Apacer DDR3-1333, ATI HD4670 1GB, Hitachi 1TB HDD, ACBel 600W+ PSU.

I noticed that after installing Windows 7 x64 and running CoreTemp, the CPU is fluctuating very quickly between ~58C to ~64C. Not sure if this is normal since the system is actually just idling ("Balanced Performance" under Windows 7 power management). The Phenom II X4 I'm using now runs at 32C idle (also "Balanced Performance") and it doesn't fluctuate so much. For reference, my WeatherBug desktop gadget says it's 34C outside. Both PCs are in the same house and aren't located in a particularly hot area. The Intel PC is well ventilated, with a big fan blowing air out of the case, just like this AMD system. The i3's CPU heatsink is a bit warm to the touch, and I believe I installed the heatsink correctly, with the stock thermal interface perfectly intact when I installed it. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
AMD FX-8350 / Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 (rev. 4) / 2 x G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB DDR3-1866 / AMD HD7770 1GB / TP-Link WN723N USB Wifi-N / Samsung 840 EVO 250GB / Hitachi 7K1000.C 1TB / LG ODD / Cooler Master GX650 / Aerocool VS3 / LG W2252TQ / Win7 64-bit
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Re: Core i3-2120 temps

Postposted on Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:43 am

Sounds like speedstep isn't enabled. Your idle temps should be around 30-40c, although where they're at right now wouldn't be that big of a difference. I would look at the energy usage options on the bios.
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Re: Core i3-2120 temps

Postposted on Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:53 am

Not to mention Intel's stock coolers are just terrible. They're so thin that it's a really good thing the CPUs just sip power.

If you fire up CPU-z and let it sit idle, does the speed drop down to 1.6GHz? If so, SpeedStep is doing its job.
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Re: Core i3-2120 temps

Postposted on Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:05 am

I can't think of anything other then the obvious, to reseat the intel heatsink.

Its been years since I used one of those intel ones, could never tell when the pins were set properly, drove me nuts,lol.
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Re: Core i3-2120 temps

Postposted on Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:28 am

credible wrote:I can't think of anything other then the obvious, to reseat the intel heatsink.

Its been years since I used one of those intel ones, could never tell when the pins were set properly, drove me nuts,lol.

That's a good point. It might be wise to invest $30 in a heat sink that uses a back plate mounting system, like one of the Xigmateks or a CM Hyper 212 series.
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Re: Core i3-2120 temps

Postposted on Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:38 am

Thanks for the replies, gerbils. Yeah, Speedstep is on and the CPU is idling at 1.6GHz. I checked the heatsink well and it seems to be working properly, because it is a bit warm to the touch. The temps just keep fluctuating like crazy I don't know if it's a BIOS, CoreTemp (app) or CPU issue. I'm not interested in keeping temps lower, just wanna know if this is normal with the stock HSF.
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Re: Core i3-2120 temps

Postposted on Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:25 am

It's not normal to be idling at those temps even with the stock HSF, I would hate to know what temps would get to under load. I would reseat the heatsink with new TIM and see if it helps. Make sure you scrape off the old TIM and clean both surfaces with rubbing alcohol. If a reseat doesn't help, then depending on how "quickly" the temperature fluxuates it very well could be a faulty thermal sensor or something.
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Re: Core i3-2120 temps

Postposted on Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:05 pm

I took out the HSF and saw that the TIM had been 'squashed' properly. Meaning, contact between the CPU and HSF was probably just fine. Took off the TIM, reapplied new TIM, and reinstalled the HSF. Same thing. It's now at 67C, according to CoreTemp. Very strange, since the HSF isn't even hot. I swear to the heavens it's installed properly. I checked the plastic pins on the other side of the board (I actually had to take out the board because the push pins jammed when I was taking the HSF off... I swear, I have no idea why Intel bothers designing/approving crazy HSF mounting mechanisms that make a simple installation more complicated than it should be... AMD's traditional HSF mounting mechanism is simpler and far easier to use) and they're all in. WTH is going on? Faulty thermal sensors? If so, I expected better from Intel, coming from the AMD camp. BIOS also reports approximately the same temp.
AMD FX-8350 / Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 (rev. 4) / 2 x G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB DDR3-1866 / AMD HD7770 1GB / TP-Link WN723N USB Wifi-N / Samsung 840 EVO 250GB / Hitachi 7K1000.C 1TB / LG ODD / Cooler Master GX650 / Aerocool VS3 / LG W2252TQ / Win7 64-bit
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Re: Core i3-2120 temps

Postposted on Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:29 pm

Not sure what to tell you, those temps are about normal under load, so it's not that bad off. I don't know why it wouldn't go down.

Intel heatsinks are a pain in the ass. Even when they seem like they're properly latched, they aren't. You really have to push down hard on them and the board will bend a little bit. I would visually inspect the board, like you did, and see if every one of the poles is properly latched down.

If you're really THAT worried about it you can always just buy a cheap after market heatsink for under $20.
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Re: Core i3-2120 temps

Postposted on Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:46 pm

I think I've nailed it folks. I wasn't using the latest version of CoreTemp (0.99.4.65 32-bit). My clue was that CT identified the CPU as an ES. Downloaded the latest version (1.0 RC3) and the temps hovered around 35C for both sensors. Sure was a far cry from what the old CT reported. Never expected SB to throw off the old CT. Although the BIOS reported 60C+ as well, I think that's simply because SpeedStep and other power saving mechanisms don't run outside Windows. I don't know. Thing is, the new CT reports it just fine. Maybe it's right, maybe it isn't. Any thoughts?
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Re: Core i3-2120 temps

Postposted on Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:23 pm

I could believe that. If you want a second opinion, try HW Monitor from CPUID
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Re: Core i3-2120 temps

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 4:14 am

Thanks, dude. Gotta check that out.
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