Is Intels stock cooler TIM still trash after all these years?

Replace Stock cooler TIM?

  • Yes apply AS5

    Votes: 4 30.8%
  • Nope let it as is

    Votes: 4 30.8%
  • burn all that with fire and get a CM 212 LED asap!

    Votes: 5 38.5%

  • Total voters
    13

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
205
28
61
#1
I am finally getting my i5 8400 and 16gb today which i have been waiting for.While i usually rush right into a upgrade and slap some Artic silver 5 on anything that can be bolted down and cooled with a heatsink i am curious to see if the stock TIM is enough?

Last time i bought a brand new boxed cpu and used the stock cooler was with a i5 2500k build i did for a friend.It got the Artic silver 5 treatment and just overall ran a few degrees cooler.

I hate wasting this stuff and yeah i know there is better TIM then AS5 but old habits die hard as i have used this stuff going back all the way to 2007.So lets hear it,whats your thought?
 
Mar 10, 2004
28,443
201
126
#2
For an 8400 the stock cooler and TIM will be fine. It's not overclockable.
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
932
104
136
#3
If you already have the AS5 then might as well scrape off the TIM and apply the better quality thermal compound. Like you said, you'll shave off a few degrees, but more importantly, it may allow the stock Intel HSF to spin at lower revs under CPU load.

If you've ever used a stock Intel HSF you'll know that it's not exactly the finest piece of heatsink engineering (to put it lightly :p) and that the fans can spin up quite aggressively under load to compensate for that. Better heat transfer between the CPU and heatsink should mean the fans spin less aggressively under load, which means less noise!
 
Mar 10, 2004
28,443
201
126
#4
Why not just try it as is, and if it's too loud or too hot, then you can use new TIM...
No need to waste TIM if it's not necessary.
 

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
205
28
61
#5
Why not just try it as is, and if it's too loud or too hot, then you can use new TIM...
No need to waste TIM if it's not necessary.
This i will prob do plus i am beyond excited to get this up and running lol. God been stuck on 4 cores and ddr3 for 7 dang years.That is a infinity in pc tech right?This i5 8400 gonna be my new baby so idk i may pamper it but yeah i am sorta a perfectionist with hardware.I could totally justify a $25 after market cooler if the stock cooler sounds like a banshee on full load. I do got my build in a Antec 900 so obvious i care little about noise lol.

Last time i cared about noise was when i had a reference 7970 in my computer,NOW that sounded like a banshee.I also tried a 6990 and i am 90% sure that was WAY louder.Loud enough my ex wife made me return it when i complained about it.Maybe a reference 290x wins in the noise department?
 

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
205
28
61
#6
Got the stuff in and currently updating 10 so i figured i would do some prime 95 and 20 minutes in i got a top temp of 74 cel according to coretemp. Stock cooler and paste now i never adjusted the bios and the adjustable fan curve so this is 100% fan speed at the moment.My room fairly toasty at about 77f though too.Never gets hotter then this but certainly gets cooler in the evening.

Has the same exact cooler as what came with my G1820 which eventually cooled off my i5 4670.I got practically the same load temps with that cpu using AS5 so i won't bother.Overall temps are within perfect parameters so yup no worries there.Will confirm temps and obviously post if rivatuner OSD shows anything different.
 
Nov 2, 2018
39
2
41
#7
If you've ever used a stock Intel HSF you'll know that it's not exactly the finest piece of heatsink engineering (to put it lightly :p) and that the fans can spin up quite aggressively under load to compensate for that. Better heat transfer between the CPU and heatsink should mean the fans spin less aggressively under load, which means less noise!
When you get used to the noise (which is very subjective), Intel coolers are just simple, optimized solutions purpose-built for their CPU lineup. The only big problem is that they only make 1 model nowadays, which is often barely enough for an i7. On the other hand, they work really well will slower models (up to lower i5 variants).

The main issue I have with my Intel HSF is the amount of dirt it gathers (between the fan and the radiator).
It needs some cleaning every few months which basically is against the idea of bundled coolers designed for casual PC users. OEMs do a much better job in their desktops (I'm quite a fan of Dell's cooling solutions)... not to mention notebooks.
 
Mar 10, 2004
28,443
201
126
#8
IIRC, Intel still ships at least 4 desktop coolers. The two standard ones, one of which has a copper slug (95W?), one of which does not(65W?). They have the bigger cooler, the TS15A, and they have the liquid cooler, TS13X.

Although I think all of the coolers are contracted out to cooler mfgs, and no one actually makes their own.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
5,912
133
126
#9
Although I think all of the coolers are contracted out to cooler mfgs, and no one actually makes their own.
Yea, but they likely gave some input on what they wanted. Few years ago when they introduced that cooler for their high end consumer parts, they had a presentation at IDF about the design. The manufacturer would just follow what Intel wanted. For example, Global Foundries may fab AMD chips, but its still an AMD chip.

epsilon84 said:
it may allow the stock Intel HSF to spin at lower revs under CPU load.
I use the stock Intel fan for the i3 7100 in my system. It's fine, but its running at 1800RPM when I'm posting replies at Anandtech and the CPU is basically idle, at 34C. I don't know why reference design fans don't run at lower RPM when idle. Nvidia did that with their reference(also called Founder's Edition) Turing cards.

One thing about the stock Intel fan is I can tell you it has a high pitched component. Not a shriek, but louder than the RPM indicates. The Noctua case fans make a much lower pitched noise and more pleasant. Oh well, you can't complain with a free fan.

Edit: I terminated explorer because it was taking 25% of CPU for seemingly no reason. After that the temperatures dropped to 25C. Still running at close to 1350RPM. It never goes below that. I don't find it any less quieter than when running at 1800RPM. At least with the earpiece I can't hear it.
 
Mar 10, 2004
28,443
201
126
#10
Are you controlling the speed via PWM or just voltage?

I think they will run slower with PWM?
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
5,912
133
126
#11
Are you controlling the speed via PWM or just voltage?

I think they will run slower with PWM?
Now I think of it, I may be able to adjust to the lower speed on BIOS. Stock fans use the default 4-pin, so PWM is used.

The Noctua case fans I use on the computer, I set to a certain RPM because the dynamic settings don't seem to work. It also gets complicated if I ever need to reset the BIOS so I just don't bother. It's not a huge deal.
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,575
429
136
#12
The last Intel CPU I bought was an i5 Kaby Lake CPU for my son's PC, and the cooler that comes with the newer CPUs is pretty much useless. It's all aluminum, and doesn't do much of anything besides constantly spin up and down, and keeps the CPU from throttling (at least the i5 CPUs). It would get into the upper 70s when he is gaming, and its noise profile is not pleasant. I ended up replacing it with a Noctua NH-U12S.

I saw a review at Tom's where the stock Intel cooler that came with the i7-8700 (non K of course) wasn't sufficient enough, and affected performance by reducing the boost speeds.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i7-8700-cpu-review,5638.html

So the pre-applied paste is decent enough quality, it's just the coolers really need to be upgraded if you want decent temps (and quietness). They stated:
We did experiment with various thermal compounds between the stock cooler and heat spreader, but they didn't help much. Thus, we pin the negative outcome of our experimentation on Intel's paltry heat sink and fan combination.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
5,912
133
126
#13
I saw a review at Tom's where the stock Intel cooler that came with the i7-8700 (non K of course) wasn't sufficient enough, and affected performance by reducing the boost speeds.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i7-8700-cpu-review,5638.html

So the pre-applied paste is decent enough quality, it's just the coolers really need to be upgraded if you want decent temps (and quietness). They stated:
I think it should have been able to handle a 65W CPU, its just with post-Kabylake CPUs Intel is deviating from their original definition of TDP by sleazily changing it. So really that 65W CPU isn't a 65W CPU anymore. You can't get 50% extra cores with slightly higher clocks at the same process and uarch and expect the power use and thermals to stay the same. Just like they did in the Prescott days.

70C is fine for operation. That Noctua HSF is a bit of an overkill, as with most modern HSF combos. I also think they are way too heavy and may damage some boards over long term. In fact, the beQuiet Pure Rock Slim already is on the heavy and large side. That's one advantage of the stock HSF.
 
Mar 10, 2004
28,443
201
126
#14
Yeah, the 8700 should have been shipped with the stock cooler that has the copper slug.
 
Mar 10, 2004
28,443
201
126
#15
Now I think of it, I may be able to adjust to the lower speed on BIOS. Stock fans use the default 4-pin, so PWM is used.

The Noctua case fans I use on the computer, I set to a certain RPM because the dynamic settings don't seem to work. It also gets complicated if I ever need to reset the BIOS so I just don't bother. It's not a huge deal.
I'm running the stock Intel cooler with the copper slug on a Xeon E3-1231 V3 Haswell chip and it won't go below about 1,300RPM either, even with the Xeon at it's 800mhz idle clock.
However, I can't hear it at all unless I try to listen for it.
In BIOS it reports about 1,200RPM, 100rpm lower for some reason.
 

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
205
28
61
#16
Been doing tons of tinkering with this stock coolers fan and i think the thermal limit of this thing really is 74cel. No matter my ambient temps it still loads to about the same Fan goes to 100% once at 70cel. Any other load its set for 50% fan speed and for the most part it hangs at like 60-65cel in games like BF4. That game can really push the threads too.Not hearing the cpu fan over the gpu fan.

Got this cheaper Zotac 1070ti and ramping the fan to 75% keeps that thing closer to a 70cel load but its certainly more noisier then the cpu fan ever is.Then till i mod fans or add a controller my Antec 900 is going to make plenty of noise .

I use headphones usually to game but when i watch shows,i wouldn't mind a controller to ramp all the fans back down to a normal low rpm as i use speakers.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
5,912
133
126
#17
It's not that bad. You do notice it if its out of the case as with my system.

The Coffeelake and its Refresh performs very well, but it requires too hefty of a heatsink to run them. I can't believe they changed the TDP definition just for them. Admit that you are wrong.
 

Ranulf

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2001
1,450
17
91
#18
Its never been the paste, just the bad heatsinks and fans. I used the stock cooler on a c2d e6600 back in 2007 for 3 years with no problems, if not that quiet. The heatsink is/was twice as big as what came with the 2500k or 4790k. All had copper cores. The two i3 stock hsf I have (haswell era) are just aluminum.

Just at idle on an open air test bench the stock hsf for the 4790k running just the mobo bios, temps were low 40s at boot and after 10 minutes 52-54C on avg with the fan @1700rpm. Idle and 10min temps with a Noctua u12 were 27C-29C.
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
932
104
136
#19
When you get used to the noise (which is very subjective), Intel coolers are just simple, optimized solutions purpose-built for their CPU lineup. The only big problem is that they only make 1 model nowadays, which is often barely enough for an i7. On the other hand, they work really well will slower models (up to lower i5 variants).

The main issue I have with my Intel HSF is the amount of dirt it gathers (between the fan and the radiator).
It needs some cleaning every few months which basically is against the idea of bundled coolers designed for casual PC users. OEMs do a much better job in their desktops (I'm quite a fan of Dell's cooling solutions)... not to mention notebooks.
That is true, well it depends on how you use your machines also, generally at idle the Intel fans aren't too bad, its when it spins up under load that it can get noticeable. I keep an old copper slug Intel HSF around as a 'spare' emergency HSF in case my main HSF ever fails, actually I believe my one is from 2600K vintage as all the subsequent ones have been aluminium only so I just threw those out.

It actually did a half decent job on my old G3258, was able to keep it stable at 4.5GHz, but thats a 2C/2T CPU. I wouldn't dare use it except as a last resort on my 8700K though, even at stock!

I used to have a couple of Dell SFF rigs with Haswell era chips and you are right, the custom HSF designs are better than the stock Intel HSF, that is for sure.
 

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
205
28
61
#20
It's not that bad. You do notice it if its out of the case as with my system.

The Coffeelake and its Refresh performs very well, but it requires too hefty of a heatsink to run them. I can't believe they changed the TDP definition just for them. Admit that you are wrong.
Yeah for a stock clocked chip it runs pretty dang good,i locked all cores at 3.8ghz and it tears up like my i5 4670 never could.I went from insanely cpu bottlenecked in both BF4 and BF1 then suddenly poof the gpu MOST of the time became the bottleneck again at 1080p.Now once i overclock my 1070ti especially in BF4 the bottleneck becomes the cpu mainly but when your sitting at over 150fps max settings it no longer matters does it?

I would be fine with a higher tdp if the thing boosted even further but 3.8ghz on all cores even in prime95 is pretty respectable.To think i was afraid of buying this cause of the base clock?It only sits there at idle if i leave all the power saving options on lol and any slight load and it would push right to 3.8ghz.
 
Nov 2, 2018
39
2
41
#21
The last Intel CPU I bought was an i5 Kaby Lake CPU for my son's PC, and the cooler that comes with the newer CPUs is pretty much useless. It's all aluminum, and doesn't do much of anything besides constantly spin up and down, and keeps the CPU from throttling (at least the i5 CPUs). It would get into the upper 70s when he is gaming, and its noise profile is not pleasant. I ended up replacing it with a Noctua NH-U12S.
70*C during gaming doesn't sound bad. It's far from CPU limits. Why do you care? :)

The stock fan is clearly not the best out there, but it's very nicely set up. It's really quiet at low RPM, so it's not a problem in idle and low load (like browsing etc). Under load (especially for 35W+ CPUs) it gets a bit loud, but it manages to provide the guaranteed performance even from an 8700.
When you think about it, it's actually quite an achievement and a surprisingly user-friendly fan for the price. You'll have trouble finding something better for around $10.
I saw a review at Tom's where the stock Intel cooler that came with the i7-8700 (non K of course) wasn't sufficient enough, and affected performance by reducing the boost speeds.
It doesn't. The stock fan is only guaranteed to support stock clocks. Boost can, and usually will be, affected. A safe approach is to get a fan designed for twice the TDP of CPU.
In fact there's a very decent article describing the issue on anandtech. ;-)
It actually did a half decent job on my old G3258, was able to keep it stable at 4.5GHz, but thats a 2C/2T CPU. I wouldn't dare use it except as a last resort on my 8700K though, even at stock!

I used to have a couple of Dell SFF rigs with Haswell era chips and you are right, the custom HSF designs are better than the stock Intel HSF, that is for sure.
8700K is too much for the current stock cooler. 8700 is OK (sans the boost).
Intel will most likely have to design a new solution for upcoming 8-core (non-K) CPUs.

There's no way a stock cooler (or even a 3rd party one) could be better than custom solution (of similar size and cost). That's the problem with universal design of home-built PCs. CPU and GPU air coolers are designed to push hot air as quickly and as far as possible, but they're still in an enclosed box.
Airflow in a case is never optimal and suffers from massive turbulence.
If you have a window in your case, here's a nice experiment: attach a few bands (or pieces of paper) inside and look what happens.
Ideally, they should always move in the same direction (just by different angle depending on load).

If you open a Dell case, you'll notice they use fairly simple and cheap radiators and fans. But the whole system is designed to utilize them as good as possible.

Few years ago I had a Cooler Master case which included a simple air tunnel. It fitted Intel fan perfectly and meant that CPU was cooled by air coming from outside the case. This simple plastic tube lowered temperature by at least -5*C.
I really wish we could get some case-specific cooling solutions...
IIRC, Intel still ships at least 4 desktop coolers. The two standard ones, one of which has a copper slug (95W?), one of which does not(65W?). They have the bigger cooler, the TS15A, and they have the liquid cooler, TS13X.
Intel makes a few coolers, but currently only one is bundled with CPUs. They used to bundle 2 variants depending on TDP (AFAIK until Haswell) - one had a copper core.
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,575
429
136
#22
70*C during gaming doesn't sound bad. It's far from CPU limits. Why do you care? :)
Like I stated in the post you quoted, the fan constantly ramps up and down any time the CPU begins to boost its speed.

The noise might not bother you, but it bothers me. My PCs are built to be quiet. That's why I care.
 
Nov 2, 2018
39
2
41
#23
Like I stated in the post you quoted, the fan constantly ramps up and down any time the CPU begins to boost its speed.

The noise might not bother you, but it bothers me. My PCs are built to be quiet. That's why I care.
Actually I'm very sensitive to PC noise.
But directly noise has little to do with temperature. :)

If you feel like the fan is spinning too quickly, try changing the profile.
It's totally irrelevant whether your CPU runs at 70*C or 80*C under load, but it might mean 500 less RPM and a significant improvement in noise. :)
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,575
429
136
#24
Actually I'm very sensitive to PC noise.
But directly noise has little to do with temperature. :)

If you feel like the fan is spinning too quickly, try changing the profile.
It's totally irrelevant whether your CPU runs at 70*C or 80*C under load, but it might mean 500 less RPM and a significant improvement in noise. :)
I like my CPUs to run cool and quiet, but thanks for your immense concern on my comment!
 
Nov 2, 2018
39
2
41
#25
I like my CPUs to run cool and quiet, but thanks for your immense concern on my comment!
The argument here is that PC enthusiasts tend to be overly concerned about temperature.
Obviously, I have nothing against you having pleasure from low CPU temperature.
I just wanted to remind that the CPU doesn't care most of the time. ;-) It produces similar amount of heat anyway - it just stays near the CPU for a bit longer.

Fan noise is a very obvious and noticeable problem - also for people that aren't very much into PC tech. Temperature is not (unless in a notebook - when it heats up the keyboard).

Also, you said the PC is used by your son. Maybe he doesn't care about temperature as much as you do? :)
 

Similar threads



ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS