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CPU Temps Suddenly Very High - RVE 5 - 5960X

Level 7
Hi folks. (Sorry in advance for this longwinded explanation and question.)

I have a Rampage V Extreme (U3.1) using BIOS 3202. My CPU is the 5960X which I've had overclocked to 4.4Ghz (by using the factory overclock preset ... no custom tuning). Power supply: Corsair AX1200i. My cooler *was* the Corsair H110i GT liquid cooler. The case is a Corsair 900D with plenty of fans and ventilation. (I don't mind the noise.) The system is about 1 year old and has been working fine since I built it. During that time, my idle CPU temp has been around 39c, normal operations in the 42c-48c range, and only when I'm gaming or performing some very disk-intensive operation would it occasionally climb in to the 50's or very low 60's.

Just a few days ago, I went to turn it on and moments after the ROG logo appeared, the system simply shut off. A few subsequent attempts to boot the computer failed as well, each time it would simply shut down. Finally, on one attempt, it got as far as displaying an error message ... CPU overheat! This was strange because I had just been using the system the night before (and 365 nights before that as well) with no problems whatsoever. Although the H110 cooler fans were spinning, and the LED logo on the water block was lit, I suspected possible pump failure. I contacted tech. support of the system provider who sold me the cpu/mobo/ram/cooler bundle, and after some experimentation, they too agreed that it was likely water pump failure. Since the entire bundle is still under an extended warranty, they're sending me a new H110i cooler. BUT ...

It's still going to be a few more days before I receive the replacement cooler but coincidentally, a friend of mine happened to have a brand new Corsair Hydro H115i cooler, only a few weeks old and still boxed. He had purchased it quickly without taking the time to determine if it would even work in his case (it won't) and luckily he hadn't gotten around to returning it. So I bought the unit from him figuring that even when the replacement 110i cooler arrives, I can still keep it as a backup. I've installed it using the pre-applied thermal paste that comes with the cooler.

Now here's the problem. After installing the new cooler, I'm once again able to start the system and boot into Windows. Everything seems fine and the system appears to be running well ... with one major exception. My CPU temps are now running much higher than they were before this problem started. During boot up, I can see that my CPU temp is climbing into the 70's and 80's, and occasionally into the 90's. Once the OS is fully running and all startup apps have loaded, it calms down to the low 50's, which is where it pretty much stays when it's idle (about 12 degrees c higher than what it has typically idled at). When I start to run just about any app, it immediately climbs to the high 50's, low 60's. Furthermore, when I tried launching Doom (the new one) last night, the CPU temp momentarily climbed to the low 90s ... JUST DURING THE OPENING SPLASH SCREENS. (It settled down to mid 60's and low 70's for actual game play though, but that's still about 10 degrees c higher than Doom was running at prior.)

As another test, I turned off all overclocking on the RVE, thus setting the 5960 back down to it's base 3GHZ speed. No discernable difference ... perhaps just a few degrees lower across the board, but still very much higher than it used to be. I've tried booting into Safe mode ... No change whatsoever. Same high temps. I've checked for viruses ... none found (my system is reasonably well protected with Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, Anti-Exploit, etc...) and my overall CPU utilization seems to be about normal, hovering between 0% and 3% during idle times. I also tried reversing the cooler fans (swapping intake vs. exhaust through the top-mounted radiator), but I saw no changes in CPU temp. The water block appears to be seated tightly on the CPU, but I haven't yet tried pulling it off and reseating it (so as to not disturb the thermal paste application). Oh, and I have the Corsair Link cooler settings at "Performance" mode, for maximum cooling.

So ... I'm somewhat at a loss as to what could be causing this sudden increase in CPU temp. With the exception of having upgraded my graphics card to an EVGA 1080 FTW (about a month ago), there have been no other hardware or major software changes.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what could be happening, or perhaps have any ideas as to what I might try next to troubleshoot the problem?


- Tom

Level 8
Is your replacement pump the exact same model?
If so, did you clean the surface of your CPU's heat spreader and did you properly apply some TIM? (I would not recommend the pre applied TIM if your pump came with one).

Also make sure that the AIO is properrly and firmly mounted onto the CPU, even just a minor layer of thin air or enclosed air bubbles could cause your temperature to rise that high.

Level 7
Thanks, Onimax. In answer to your question ... No, the cooler I just put on as a replacement is not the exact same model. It's in the same product family as the H110i but is supposedly a model step up. The H115i claims to have a bit more cooling power. So if anything, this new unit should be cooling *at least* as good as the one it replaced, if not doing a slightly better job. They're both dual-140mm radiators, but the 115 seems to have a slightly larger waterblock/pump than my old 110.

As to your other comments, yeah ... I admit that I used the pre-applied paste that came with the unit (but I *did* thoroughly clean off the old paste using 91% Isopropyl prior to applying the new cooler). This evening, when I get home from work, I'm going to remove the cooler from the CPU, clean everything again, and try re-applying with GC-Extreme compound (TC-GC-03-A), which I should be receiving this afternoon.

I'm new to all of this, so I have to ask ... is it possible that the pre-applied thermal paste on the Corsair 115 cooler would be so insufficient as to cause this kind of heat increase? If so, why would they even ship the product that way? (Just wondering ... more of a curiosity thing.)

Level 8

normally the pre applied TIM/pad should be ~ok~ but it's only good for a one time use and can even fail to work if you justr reseated the fan.
That's why I prefer paste as TIM.

Also did you check if the new pump spins properly?

Level 7
>>> normally the pre applied TIM/pad should be ~ok~ but it's only good for a one time use and can even fail to work if you justr reseated the fan.

Hm. Now that I think of it, when placing the new unit on the CPU for the first time, I realized that I needed to use the larger jumpers that come with it. So, I had to take it off, screw in the larger jumpers, and then reposition the cooler back on the CPU. I suppose that could have disturbed the pre-applied paste. As for checking the pump, I know that the Corsair Link software is reporting that the pump is operating. (I think it's reporting somewhere in the 2800-2900 RPM range, but I'm at work right now so I can't say for sure.)

Level 13
Some of the Corsair AIOs need to be clamped down quite well before they make good contact. We had one in the office that needed considerable torquing of the mounting screws before it would make good contact.

Other than that, Windows Higher Performance power profile can result in elevated temps.

Level 7
Thanks Raja. I'll check out the Windows Higher Performance power profile, although I don't believe that's the culprit because I haven't changed that setting in a long time.

Meanwhile, when I replace the thermal paste this evening, I'll certainly make sure that the AIO is clamped down as much as possible. Given the symptoms, and all of the things I've tried so far, I can't help but think the problem is still cooler-related. However, I have to explore everything to be sure of that, which is why I posted here. I wasn't sure if there are any mobo settings (or BIOS issues) that might contribute to this. Hopefully though, the new paste and re-seating of the AIO will resolve the issue.

- Tom

Level 9
2 things to check for the corsair aio. The mounting bracket behind the motherboard is not placed wrong and the screws don't let it align well on the motherboard meaning that the aio cooler doesn't have correct contact with cpu. Oh and check what standoffs you have used they have for 115x and some other cpu.

Second the h115 does gets its power via sata connector or from the cpu fan if from the cpu motherboard check on bios if it is disabled and not on Auto or DC or PWM

Level 7
Thanks everyone for the replies. Here's the update: I removed the AIO from the CPU, cleaned everything thoroughly with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol, and then applied TIM (GC Extreme). I remounted the AIO and made sure everything was tight. Success! My idle temps now hover between the low and mid 30's (occasionally reaching 40 for a moment). That's with the ROG 4.4 overclock preset applied. General operating temps are now staying mostly in the 40's and when I launched DOOM, it only peaked around 63c momentarily, but then dropped back down to the high 40's for game play. Much better. I guess I'm never going to trust the pre-applied TIM again.

Thanks again.

- Tom