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Windows 7: Processor suddenly hotter than normal.

31 Oct 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
Processor suddenly hotter than normal.

As the title states, my Core i7 950 (it's old, I know, but it's good!) is running a little hotter than normal. Suddenly out of nowhere, it's idling (with nothing eating one of its cores) at 45-46c. Normally it idles at around 35-36c. It's hitting 60-62c while just playing WoW, which seems about 8c higher than normal.

It's been doing this for a couple days now. It just randomly started doing it. While playing Warframe I noticed it jump up to 70c, which is the highest I've ever seen it, so I started poking around the internet and determined that I needed to check the heatsink and possibly reapply thermal paste, which I've done.

I used some of the AS Ceramique that I've had for a while. Admittedly, it could be bad. When I initially took the heatsink off, the previous application looked kind of sketchy. It wasn't dried up or anything, though.

But I thoroughly cleaned both the heatsink's copper seat and the processor's metal cap, applied a small pea-like amount (I wasn't too generous), re-sat the heatsink successfully, and booted back up. I know Ceramique has somewhat of a cure time (12 hours, from what I read), but I don't think a cure time would make a 10 degree difference.

The room's ambient temperature isn't hot either. Also, the VCore voltage is stock, at 1.294v, which has never been changed. CPU fan is currently running at 100%, at 2100-2200 RPM. There is no dust in the system at all, and yes, this is the stock Intel heatsink and fan.

So I'm kind of at a loss as to what would cause it to run a bit hotter than normal when nothing has changed. Either the thermal paste itself is bad (it is kind of old, and I know AS has discontinued Ceramique, and now supplies Ceramique 2), or something is wrong with the heatsink itself, which.. I cannot tell if there is. I suppose the fan could be going bad, but it seems to be running at normal RPM.

So, any suggestions? Sorry for how all of that was worded, I've been awake all night and am just flustered from this whole situation. I've had to RMA both a hard drive and GPU in the past two months, so it wouldn't surprise me if something else was going bad. Hope not, though.

I know I probably need to get an aftermarket heatsink/fan, and probably a new tube of TIM entirely. Does anyone know if a processor gradually gets hotter like this if it's about to toast itself, or would it just up and quit entirely without a noticeable change in temperature? I'm not getting any BSODs or anything, it's just that this PC is a couple years old now.

Uhg. So annoying. Anyway, thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2013   #2

Windows 10 Pro

Apply new thermal paste and a aftermarket cooler. It could be like you said, the paste going bad, or another possibility is the cpu fan could be slowly dying and running slower. That has happened to me before.
A processor should not suddenly start getting hotter unless something changed.

Processors can die right away, not sure I have ever seen one die slowly..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium

Haha, okay. Thanks for the reply. As I stated, I'm still using the stock Intel heatsink/fan, so.. well, I shouldn't have to say much more. They aren't the greatest.. and I think I'm being generous with that statement.

Anyway, thanks again! Time to do some research and see what I can come up with!
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Processor suddenly hotter than normal.

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