It's gettin' hot in here, so check on all your cores

LP

Constipated Gangbanger
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I am, getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off heat my cores up.

So my machine, which I built back in 2011, is heating up. I have core temp loaded up and at "idle", it's anywhere from 37-47C. Which is fine, that's what I expect it to sort of be at, although 47C is a bit high for usual idle temps for this guy. When I'm browsing chrome, if I just have a couple of tabs up it usually cools down to 41C-45C, but can increase to as much as 60C to sometimes 70C if I have too many windows open, especially if it's youtube videos.

The worst is when I'm gaming (which is what this machine was built for), the temps go up way beyond 86C, sometimes reaching 97C. I'll know because I'll either exit the game or alt-tab and see warnings from ASUS AI Suite that the core temp has shot up above 86 and core temp will be reporting these temps.

Here are some things I think I can do to fix it, and I want to check with you guys whether there's anything else I need to do.

I checked the outsides and insides of the computer and there's a lot of dust near the vents and ports. I have cleaned out all of the dust-catching screens (washed them, dried them and put them back), and did some initial dusting inside with a microfiber cloth.

There is dust caked into the fans a little bit, and inside the components themselves, and I'm thinking of just removing each component and cleaning each one with a cotton swab and the dust spray.

On top of that, I have a small dispenser of arctic silver thermal compound. I had the feeling that I would need to remove the heatsink and redo the compound, but am a bit wary of cleaning out the CPU and reapplying it without damaging the CPU or other surrounding components. I'm not sure if it's needed, the computer was built in April 2011... and I'm not sure how long the compound should ideally last.

The computer also sits on carpet right now, and I'm thinking about raising it slightly off the ground so that it doesn't become like a vacuum for dust and stuff (there is a vent on the bottom of the comp, next to the power supply).

What other things should I be doing to help cool this mother down? What's the best way to remove the old thermal paste and apply new paste? Should I be applying thermal in the first place?

Thanks for your help.
 

eizbaer

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yes to everything you suggested :nod:

1) cleaning out the CPU cooler and fan should have the most profound effect, since dust buildup will prevent the airflow from entering the cooler and "carrying away" the heat. should be fairly easy to do, especially if you want to go with 2) as well and take it off the CPU. i usually just go nuts with a vacuum...

2) take the heatsink off the PSU and apply fresh thermal compound. 2011 CPU should have a heatspreader and not an exposed die, right? in this case, nothing should go wrong. i usually clean away the old stuff with a simple paper towel and a little alcohol or something like that. wipe down afterwards with a microfiber cloth if you're afraid you've left any paper fibres behind. applying the stuff afterwards is fairly easy, you don't even have to spread it, the pressure from the cooler should take care of that for you. just don't put on too much (usually a "drop" the size of a pea is already on the generous side). this can be hugely effective (but doesnt necessarily have to be). did this to a 3.5 year old laptop once and it even sat around at 70?C at load afterwards with the god damn fan unplugged (because i'm an idiot).

3) depending on how fluffy the carpet is and whether the case draws air from below, yes, raise that sucker up a little. in any case, it won't hurt.

i don't really have anything else to add. as long as you are fairly thorough in removing the built up dust / dirt on the heatsink and fan and reapply the thermal compound, you should be fine.
 
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narf

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For cleaning, along with eizbaer's vacuum cleaner I recommend a soft brush with long hairs :james: hold the vacuum cleaner under a heat sink and start brushing between the slots. Should loosen lots of dust that ends up right in the vacuum cleaner.
 

LP

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Cleaned the hell out of it and now the computer is 22C-32C idle (depending on which temperature monitor you want to believe), and 36C - 45C while running games (again depending on which temperature monitor you want to believe).

WOOOOOOO
 
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