Processors
Processors
What do I do if my computer is overheating?


Caution

If you purchased your computer from a computer manufacturer such as Gateway* or Dell*, opening your computer case may void your warranty. Contact your manufacturer if you are experiencing any overheating warning signs.

If your computer is overheating and it was recently built, the following tips may resolve your issue:

  • Check the Fan/Heatsink. Is it properly installed?
    • Are the push pins in the correct position and is the heatsink securely attached to the socket/motherboard?
    • Are you using the recommended fan/heatsink for your boxed processor?
      • If you are using the fan/heatsink that came in the box with your Intel® Boxed Processor, you have the correct one.
    • Is there Thermal Interface Material (TIM) on the bottom of the heatsink?
      • Intel® heatsinks have thermal material on them from the factory. If you need additional Thermal Interface Material, and have a boxed processor that is still within the warranty period of three years, contact Intel® customer support for TIM.
      • Procedure to replace Thermal Interface Material (TIM).
  • Airflow is not blocked. Move cables or other hardware that may block airflow.
  • Do not use more fans than are required for your chassis. More is not better.
  • Update the BIOS. Verify you have the latest BIOS and update it if needed.

    You can identify your current BIOS version by looking at the BIOS string, which appears during boot-up. You can also display the BIOS version by entering BIOS setup by pressing "F2" during system boot-up. The main page of the BIOS setup includes the BIOS version string. For Intel® Motherboards - example, the version string GB85010A.86A.0046.P05 identifies the BIOS version as P05.

  • Correct Chassis. Do you have the correct chassis for the processor? See How to recognize a Thermally Advantaged Chassis.

If your computer is overheating and it was running fine, the following tips may resolve your issue:

  • Check the Fan/Heatsink.

    • Is it damaged?
      • Are there any cracks or missing pieces?
      • Check the push pins for damage and reset them to the original position and reinstall.
      • Clean the fins on the heatsink if you see dust. (Using a can of compressed air/gas duster)
      • If the Thermal Interface Material has become dried and flaky, replace it with Thermally Conductive Compound (also referred to as Thermal Grease or Thermal Compound).
    • Are all your fans operational?
      • Carefully inspect that fans are plugged into the motherboard headers and spinning when system is turned on.
  • Loose or Damaged Cables. Are there any hard drive cables that may have come loose and are blocking the air flow?
  • Airflow is not blocked. Move cables or other hardware that may block airflow.
  • Do not use more fans then are required for your chassis. More is not better.

Related Topics:
How do I know if my computer is overheating?
Processor operation temperature FAQ
Intel® Warranty Guide for Processors video

Operating System:

OS Independent

This applies to:

Intel® Celeron® Desktop Processor
Intel® Core™ i3 Desktop Processor
Intel® Core™ i5 Desktop Processor
Intel® Core™ i7 Desktop Processor
Intel® Core™ i7 Processor Extreme Edition
Intel® Core™2 Duo Desktop Processor
Intel® Core™2 Extreme Processor
Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor
Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor Extreme Edition
Intel® Pentium® 4 Processors
Intel® Pentium® D Processor
Intel® Pentium® Processor Extreme Edition
Intel® Pentium® Processor for Desktop

Solution ID: CS-029427
Last Modified: 18-Apr-2013
Date Created: 09-Jun-2008
Back to Top