OS: Windows 10 64-bit
CPU: i5-4690k (stock settings as best I can)
Motherboard: MSI G45 Gaming
GPU: MSI 290x 8GB
RAM: 16GB Corsair 1866
Cooler: Corsair H115i (Corsair H110i GTX before that)
PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 G1
Case: Corsair 750D
Fans: All 140mm, 2 front intake, 2 top intake (cooler pull config) and one exhaust.
BIOS: Updated to latest from MSI
Tools used for monitoring: HWMonitor, ETU, and Corsair LINK.
I'll try to make a long story short, and I'll start with my old liquid cooler the Corsair H110i GTX. Installing the cooler was a hassle, the worst of it was how poorly the waterblock would sit on the CPU. The back plate was always loose and no matter how I screwed everything down the waterblock would wobble including the back plate itself. I read from Corsair that this was normal so it let it go. After initially completing my build my CPU temps didn't impressed me, always in the high 30s to mid 40s no matter how fast my fans or cooler pump was working. Never tried to overclock after running small stress tests as they would hit the 80s causing me to immediately stopping the test. Temps while gaming varied anywhere from 50°C - 70°C+. About a month ago I got tired of the temps as I really wanted to start learning to overclock and get better performance, so I reapplied thermal paste with Arctic MX-4. Reseated the cooler but this time I used rubber washers between the back plate and the motherboard which made the waterblock seal tight to the CPU without wobbling. I thought my temps would be normal but I was wrong. Temps were the same but the cooler fans would ramp constantly and the only way the temps would be decent is if I flicked the radiator tubes. I figured that the cooler was bad so I RMA'd it. Corsair "upgraded" me to the H115i cooler I am currently using. With the H115i I didn't need to use the rubber washers, waterblock seemed to seat just fine. My idle temps were the same as before but my stress test temps never went past 55°C. Progress was made, but that night I noticed one of the two fans I installed on the cooler was orientated wrong, I goofed and fixed it the next morning. I read online that I may not be giving the pump enough power so I got another SATA cable solely for the pump only. Everything went fine but now my temps are slightly higher during normal usage and the stress test show high temps.
Temps from stress testing are as follows:
Intel ETU Stress Test 1hr
CPU temp: 63°C
H115i temp: 32°C
Fans: 660 - 780rpm
X264 Stress Test 1hr
CPU temp: 64°C
H115i temp: 33°C
Prime95 Blend Test 1hr
CPU temp: 71°C but hit 95°C at some point
H115i temp: 33°C
Fan: 600 - 1860rpm
Not completely sure what happened with the Prime95 test as when I checked in on the test it was at around 71°C. Hopefully no damage was done. I ran the test again just before posting this discussion but stayed the whole time to monitor it, barely 5 minutes into the test it almost climbed to the 90°C again before I hit stop, here are the results:
Prime95 Blend Test
CPU temp: 87°C
H115i temp: 30°C
Fan: 440 - 1800rpm
Also I should include that I changed all CPU settings to what ETU considered my chip's "default". The only settings that would not take hold after rebooting the system are as follows:
Turbo Power Max
Turbo Boost Short Power Max
Turbo Boost Power Time Window
Processor Current Time
Also for reference my system's overall temps are completely fine, high 20s or very low 30s during idle and normal usage, airflow seems to not be an issue. Corsair LINK shows a sensor reading at 127°C constantly on the motherboard, which I assume is just faulty and the CPU fan header that the cooler plugged into shows that the fans are running at 1440rpm, which is incorrect.
I am at a loss on if it's again the cooler, my motherboard, the CPU itself or a combination. I can't see how I can physically make the waterblock any tighter to the CPU, it seems to have a good seal to me. I also use the dot or pea method of appying thermal paste, never too much or too little. Thank for reading this, post any help would be appreciated, I'll try to answer whatever questions I can.