I told my wife this story with the caveat that I was telling her because I thought it was actually too embarrassing to share.
Oh, well, it’s best if I get it off my chest.
I’ve been inside my PC a lot lately – actually, I’ve been inside most of our PCs a lot lately, but let’s keep this on the main one – trying to figure out the answer to problems that have vexed me. Most of them are heat related. I have an E6600 Core 2 Duo in my machine and it’s been running at 46 degrees idle / 71 degrees under load for as long as I’ve known how to find out the CPU temperature. This is within specs… but it’s a little high. It’s not usually recommended to run over 65 degrees for any length of time.
Celsius, of course, not Fahrenheit.
I’ve put this down to insufficient ventilation. I’ve got a Sonata II case, which is designed to be quiet, so I’ve just kind of figured that quiet comes with the tradeoff of running hot.
So, lately, I’ve been researching stuff like aftermarket CPU coolers and thermal transfer paste and stuff that is really about one level of geeky past my norm, and I ran across a forum thread from someone else running a E6600 who was also getting mid-40s temperatures on idle and 70+ under load, and it was a thread with lots of good suggestions about thermal paste and coolers and so on.
And then there was a post in the thread that said, basically, “push down on your CPU cooler’s restraining pins harder”
I decided to try this.
I had to push rather harder than I felt safe, and when I did so, there was a sad little crunching sound. I did not like this sound. It was not the sort of sound you want to hear coming from a motherboard when you are applying force.
It was apparently the sound of the CPU cooler finally – after two years – being snapped into place.
Temps are now 40 degrees idle / 51 under heavy load.
I feel rather sheepish.