CPU Temperature Flu...
 
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CPU Temperature Fluctuating, Even When Idle?  


Koji
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 Koji
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QUESTION:

My CPU setup is as follows:
Intel i5 3570k overclocked to 3.7GHz
Asrock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard
Corsair H60 Closed Loop Liquid Cooler
Two Corsair SP120 fans on the radiator in push-pull configuration

Recently I've noticed that my CPU temperature is fluctuating quite rapidly, and I'm not sure why. When I first boot my PC the idle temperature sits at around 31c and seems stable. However, the moment I start running any application the temperature suddenly goes in a pattern like this, changing every second or so: 32c, 35c, 38c, 35c, 33c, 40c, 45c, 35c, etc.

Is it normal for temperatures to change this rapidly? My GPU isn't like this at all, it goes up and down by 1 degrees every few seconds, never skipping up or down by 10c like my CPU does. I also just opened up my case and re-applied new thermal paste and cleaned up the dust in the radiator, but the problem is still there. I also noticed when downloading a game off Origin the temperature hit 50c...

Any help would be great, perhaps I should try lowering the overclock to see what happens. Although I've had 3.7GHz stable for about a year now.

 
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Koji
Posts: 799
 Koji
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(@koji)
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BEST ANSWER:

Yes, it's normal. Especially if turbo boost is enabled which generally for most systems, it is by default. Even without it though the temps change like that. Loads shift from core to core and temps raise and lower within milliseconds. Each time a windows process kicks in or returns to the background or a call for resources occurs, it creates heat in the cores. Even at idle, there is a lot going on. GPU doesn't run a bunch of processes like the CPU. GPU generally only raises in load and temp when you're doing something related to the visual display.

How much thermal paste are you applying? An amount equal to a grain of rice is plenty for any heatsink or waterblock. More may be too much and less is definitely too little. Also, make sure you follow the tightening guidelines to the T. Too tight and you can damage the board but too loose will certainly cause a failure to efficiently transfer heat to the block. You might try pushing down on the water block slightly for thirty seconds or so while watching the temps in your monitor. If temps lower while pressing down and raise when you release pressure, you're too loose for sure.

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