1 2 3 Previous Next 31 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2011 11:45 PM by

    Core i7 950 Temperature Problems


      I purchased a new upgrade from a Core2Quad setup last week and since building my new i7 950 setup, have been having several problems. My main worry/issue however is that my CPU seems to be running at quite high temps. Im taking Tcase temperatures of 40 - 45c on idle and anything from 65 - 70c on load/stress testing (Actual Core temperatures can be around 45c on idle and 80c on load). I've tried 3 alternative coolers, with ArticSilver5 thermal paste and the high temperatures persist. Coolers used are the Titan Fenrir, Akasa Tower and another which i have now lost in the madness i call my office.


      Is there any chance at all that i may have a calibration issue with my temperature sensors?


      I understand that there are many factors to consider here which may be causing the issue, so please let me know what details you require in order to assist with the situation.


      Nothing has been overclocked except for the RAM which was purchased overclocked at 1600mhz. This however, i have set to 1066 for the sake of the current situation.


      Room temperatures are quite low, it is winter in the UK at the moment after all, and i have tried blowing cold air into the case directly but to no avail.


      Out of the many parts i purchased from Aria, most of them appear to be faulty/damaged in some way. I've really bad some major bad luck this time and i'm looking for answers from anyone who can help really! Especially as Aria will not allow me to take anything back without hard evidence AND without me completely dismantling my PC in order to take parts back.


      I'm reading my temperatures from BIOS and using HWmonitor, which shows that everything is in the correct spec'd ranges. (Voltage/Watts Etc)


      Disabling HT shaves off around 5-10c, however i'de prefer this to be enabled.


      I know i'de be expecting way too much for my i7 temperatures to be around the same as my Core2Quad's, as i know the i7 chips run hotter than the Core2 chips. But even i know that these temperatures, especially as my CPU is not overclocked, are quite high.


      Many thanks in advance

        • 1. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

          Congratulations on the new CPU,


          Your temperatures are in the pretty much in line with the reference spec, range.

          Tcase temp at idle usually runns ~ 42-45 c

          Under stress up anything below 67 is good.


          Core temps as reported in by the monitor sensor usually runs ~ 10-15 deg C higher.


          You could go to a better heatsink / fan system to get you more range, but your in an OK area now.

          (Start over clocking, adding a bunch of high power video cards and you may need some more cooling.)





          • 2. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

            Hi Craig,  Doc's statement is correct, those temperature values are not outside of the normal range, if you ever check your IOH/X58 temperatures, you may become even more nervous, as those usually run about 60 C and above.  You have nothing to be concerned about, those temperatures will not harm your CPU.


            I own a Core i7-930 CPU, which is very similar to yours, except the clock speed is 2.8GHz.  I have spent a fair amount of time and resources to cool my PC well, and given the temperatures I see, I think I have succeeded.  Which leads me to believe you have room for improvement.  The following are typical idle temperatures:




            I am not overclocking (I can and have done so, but why?  This PC is fast enough for me), Turbo Boost is enabled, Hyper Threading is enabled, Virtualization is disabled.



            Enhanced Intel Speed Step (EIST) is enabled (CPU clock drops to 1.6GHz at idle or low usage, pops right up to normal in a flash when needed, and I see individual Cores at the normal clock or this reduced clock simultaneously.)  Processor C-States are disabled, all voltage settings are on Auto.



            I use six GB of RAM at 1600MHz, with the XMP profile provided in the SPD data.  At this speed I am at 6.4 GT/s QPI speed, I have no problem going above the standard 1066 speed.


            This PCs case has three 200mm fans, one 140mm and two 120mm fans, plus the CPU cooler and it's 120mm fan.  I obviously believe in ventilation and I believe it works for me.  My case is larger than most and believe it or not, is not to noisy, as I have carefully chosen quiet fans.  The CPU cooler has similar performance to your's in tests I have read, and I use the thermal compound that came with the cooler (gasp!)


            It is strange to me that disabling HT makes that much difference in temperature.  It is possible that the temperature sensors are reading to high (or mine are to low...) since I have a Core 2 Quad CPU that indicates, with the same monitoring program as above, that the CPU is 329 F (now that is to hot!) but the individual Core temperatures are normal, and the PC runs fine.  Nothing can be done to fix the thermal sensors, short of getting a new CPU.  Otherwise, I don't know any other way to check a CPU's temperature.


            One of the biggest mistakes people make is putting to much thermal compound on the CPU and heat sink.  All that is needed is a tiny amount, and I am not a believer in magic thermal grease.  Regardless, less is more with thermal compound.


            So what do you see in the differences between our PCs that might account for your temperature readings?  I would check your CPU voltage, as these CPUs are sensitive to excessive voltage, and enable EIST if it is not so now.


            If you are using Windows 7, check the Power Plan you are using in Power Options, via Control Panel.  If set to High Performance, some of the power saving features the CPU has may not activate, although that is likely BIOS/motherboard dependent, but EIST would not work on my Core 2 Quad PC until I changed the plan to Balanced.

            • 3. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

              From what i hear the Tcase for my CPU is 67.2c? If mine goes higher than that at times under stress and its winter, then surely it will be much hotter in the summer? I've also set the BIOS to warn me when my CPU goes above 60c, i'de prefer to keep it below this to be on the safe side. Is this really not possible without a better cooler? I heard the Titan Fenrir was really good..


              Thanks for the links to the datasheets, i'll check them now.


              Does going above the Tcase specification void your warranty?


              I have a Silent Knight II fan going spare, its a shame that it does not support the 1366 socket. Closest match is 775.


              Just for the sake of knowing, what temperatures should i let my actual Cores go to? Or what should i keep them below?


              Thanks for the replies so far guys.

              • 4. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

                I’m running the i7-950 at the stock speed, and share the concerns over the reported core temperatures.  Using HWMonitor, I noted the temperatures of the four cores, and was alarmed enough that I junked the stock cooler and bought a used Corsair H50.  Here are the results:

                Stock Fan

                Corsair H50

                Core #

























                Note   -

                At   idle, the CPU draws 43 watts, at load (Prime 95) 147 watts


                I'm startled that Intel ships this chip with this fan - even with the after market water cooled H50 I'm not seeing any headroom for overclocking.  And this is in the Cooler Master High Air Flow 922 - a case that does a great job of moving cooling air through and out. 


                If my results are anomalous and extreme, please let me know and I can work with Intel on an exchange.  For now, I think the i7-950 requires high capacity cooling at any speed. 

                • 5. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

                  I must admit, room temperature is having a significant impact on core temperatures sometimes. And it has started to settle a bit by about 5c. However i've decided to put my worries aside and just go for a cooler upgrade. I'll be changing the cooler to a Megahalem OC edition.


                  For referance, it can be seen at the following link:



                  Current Core Temps are around 35-40c on idle (1600mhz core clock on Balanced W7 Power Savings)


                  I'll post an update tomorrow after i attach the new cooler to let you know how things go and impact the temperatures.


                  Thanks guys

                  • 6. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

                    I'm using same CPU aslo i7 950 and my idles temp between 35-40C, and Under full load, will barely break 60C in prime95  (stock cpu speed) using push-pull configuration 2 fans


                    This is my heatsinks



                    IC diamond thermal paste


                    • 7. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

                      While the stock Intel CPU cooler cannot match the performance of the high-performance after-market coolers, consider how often it is that you see loads on your CPU like Prime 95 produces.  Most likely you don't, and any i7-9xx CPU living in an office PC doesn't either.  Even if a processing situation occurs that takes the CPU up to 50% or more, it likely won't last long.  That is why the stock cooler works fine, particularly when the CPU is not overclocked and all the power saving functions like EIST and C-States are enabled.


                      The other reality is that these CPUs can withstand temperatures in the 70C - 80C range indefinetly, apparently.  Plus there are other CPU failsafe mechanisms that will throttle down the power to the CPU, and lower it's operating frequency to keep it within a safe temperature range.  If all that fails, the CPU will shut itself off.  Intel certainly doesn't want to replace expensive CPUs under warranty, and I imagine they know what they are doing by now.


                      Don't forget an i7-9xx CPU is a 130 Watt TDP device with four cores and on-die memory controller, so much more is occurring in the about the same amount of space as a socket 775 CPU.  I laugh at myself now when I look at my Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU PC, that is a 65 Watt TDP CPU, and I have a huge CPU cooler on it.  It idles at a couple degrees above room temperature and rarely breaks 38C/100F under my usage (CPU temp, not core temps.)


                      So the temps I see in Prime 95, etc, do not bother me, since that is the only time I see them.  I would be interested to learn what programs or tasks anybody executes that do take an i7-9xx CPU up to 90% CPU usage, since I've never done that myself.  Of course, overclocking is another situation entirely, and the stock Intel cooler is not designed to deal with that whatsoever.

                      • 8. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

                        For comparison,


                        I built my rig in Dec, 2010:


                        i7-950 running at 3051 MHz

                        EVGA X58 SLI3

                        G.SKILL [ TDD ] F3-16000CL9T-6GBTDD (2Gx3) (DDR3 2000) running at 1600 MHz

                        Window 7 Ultimate (x64)

                        Corsair H50 CPU cooler


                        My case is an NZXT Phantom with one 200mm top fan, two 120mm side fans, all blowing air out of the case.  The120mm rear fan is pulling air into the case and through the H50 radiator.


                        Using CPU-z, I see idle temps as follows:


                        THRM 22.0

                        CPU 22.0

                        VREG 38.0

                        System 22.0


                        CPU core#1 39.0

                        CPU core#2 33.0

                        CPU core#3 38.0

                        CPU core#4 32.0


                        Using Prime95 to hammer the CPU (in-place large FFTs), CPU-z shows:


                        THRM 41.0-42.0

                        CPU 41.0-42.0

                        VREG 51.0

                        System 23.0


                        CPU core#1 55.0

                        CPU core#2 51.0

                        CPU core#3 54.0

                        CPU core#4 49.0


                        Running Core Temp 0.99.8 at the same time as CPU-z shows temps one to two C higher than listed above.


                        Is your H50 pump connected to a fan header that is locked at 100% on?



                        • 9. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

                          Ok, Stauduhar's temperature numbers are great, and notice he has excellent case ventilation as well, that makes a big difference IMO.  Also, the Corsair H50 or H70 liquid coolers are very good coolers, but they are not magic, the heat created and removed from the CPU still must be dissipated from their radiators, so the fan(s) used with them must be appropriate and running at the necessary speed.  The radiator also must be mounted such that it works at it's best, that cannot be overlooked.


                          Also, the fan speed control of the H50's fans is very important.  I've never owned one, but from what I've read they are not PWM controlled, thus no automatic speed control.  Of course their speed can be controlled via software or the BIOS, but that is up to the user.  The mounting of the water block on the CPU is important as well as correctly applied thermal compound.  So while liquid CPU cooling has great potential, it still must be set up correctly.  IMO, the mounting and ventilation of the radiator is critical for best performance.  With standard air cooled CPU coolers, the case ventilation system is more helpful in general than with liquid cooling radiators, IMO.


                          I always recommend having EIST enabled with i7 CPUs, so they run cooler at idle.  If you must have that disabled for OCing, then you must take extra measures to insure proper ventilation.  IMO, one or two case fans is not enough, I use a Cooler Master Storm Sniper case that has three 200mm fans, one 120mm rear case fan, a 140mm bottom intake fan, and an internal 120mm fan for the 'drives and chipset and video card cooling.  I use a Scythe Mugen 2 on my i7 CPU, which is very large and uses a PWM controlled 120mm PWM fan.  Stauduhar's PC is similar to this.  That may seem extreme, but it works.

                          • 10. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

                            Hi...In relation to your after party or third party cpu cooler,maybe you should try Thermalright Ultra 120 with at least one 120mm fan...Yes it is an air cpu cooler and it works...I have a GA-X58UD4 gigabyte mainboard and I have not even overclocked it yet...I just use it for mild gaming,watching Blueray movies,playing Hoyles Board & Card games and other uses,but it has been turned on for over 24 hours and I have never seen it much more then 35 to 37 degrees celcius at any time (Intel 965@3.2GHz boxed product which is left at stock settings,all within a well ventilated with heaps of fans Thermaltake Kandalf Case with Blue light at front)...Try this cpu cooler instead and you will be amazed...I have had a water cooler at one time and which I still have,but it is left aside for some other time(Thermaltake Bigwater 760 is)...These water coolers soon acumalate sediments and other stuff from corosion,I did use anti-corosive and anti-heat liquid products that they recomend...I'm telling you the truth these Thermalright Ultra 120 cpu air coolers are better then what you have,the Corsair H50 water cooler and quite a few others also...You should try it,if you can still see it for sale around...

                            • 11. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

                              Hi once again...In relation to the above post that I done last,a few minutes ago or more...I use the XP Home x32 bit operating system which is OEM,originally with SP2 and still has SP2 on it...I have not updated to SP3,nor do I intend to over the internet or from a burned CD...It is offline and I only updated once with a new bios and a few drivers done from a burned CD from another computer I have that was new and just put online within the last few days before burning updates onto it...Remember this is to do with my last post up above...

                              • 12. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

                                Ok George, you've lost me.  I don't understand how your use of Windows XP SP2 affects your CPU temperature, which is what your previous post is about.  That is, your use of a Thermalright Ultra 120 CPU cooler.  Sorry, I just don't get it.

                                • 13. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems



                                  I too am running into heat issues with the stock heat sink and fan. I have the i7 950, Asus X58MB and 6gig1600mhz ram.


                                  Idle temps are high 40's low 50's on all 4 cores. I do a lot of video converting where its under 90% load. Temps under load are sitting at 97-100C on all 4 cores, with the 2nd core being the highest at 98-100C.


                                  I've called Intel, they said this is normal. They say that using your average applications a max of 67.9C is usually reached. They say higher end applications will increase that value.


                                  Intel has told me that if the CPU is not shuttung down then I have nothing to worry about.


                                  Anyone else reaching these temps under 90% load for over 1-2 hours? (97-100C on core temps)


                                  Thank you.

                                  • 14. Re: Core i7 950 Temperature Problems

                                    Troy, if you read many of the after market CPU cooler reviews on PC hardware review web sites, which will test the coolers at close to or at 100% load, they compare them with the stock Intel CPU cooler.  The usual result is a temp of 90C for the stock Intel cooler at 100% CPU usage. That is very standard and normal.  Don't forget that those 100% load situations are caused by special programs designed to fully load a CPU non-stop, which is not how most software acts at all.  Intel's stance is that long term CPU usage at 90 to 100% in i7-900 products is unusual, which IMO is true.  Video converting causes high CPU usage as you have seen, so you will either need to live with those temperatures, or add more cooling.


                                    Your CPU temperature is dependent on other things, such as your PCs case and the amount of ventilation it has, and the other components in your PC, such as video cards.  If the usage of your PC has your CPU at those temperatures, you really should consider changing your CPU cooler and adding to the cooling capability of your case.  While Intel has stated their position on the situation to you, lower temperatures are always better for any electronic component.


                                    Given your usage scenario, IMO you should at least get an after-market CPU cooler.  I use one that is considered very good, and when stress testing at 100% CPU load on my i7-930, my core temperatures are about 60C.  My PC case has many fans which also helps keep the CPU cooler.  There are many high performance CPU coolers to choose from, but be sure to get one that will fit on socket 1366 CPUs, which is what you have.  If you are not proficient in PC building or changing parts like this, you will need a dealer or a friend to do that work for you.  Depending upon the cooler, you may need to remove the mother board in order to mount it.

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