Small Case, Big Heat: Addressing ITX Temperature Challenges


“Considering the compact Silverstone SG13B case and the full-size Corsair CX650 PSU, my Intel 12100F CPU idles at 55°C and reaches 85-99°C while gaming. Despite efforts like undervolting, reapplying thermal paste, and optimizing airflow, the temperatures remain high with significant fan noise. Given the constraints of a £600 budget and the current setup, which includes a stock cooler and a single case fan, are these temperatures typical for ITX builds under heavy gaming loads? Should I advise purchasing a superior cooling solution or accept these conditions as standard for such a compact configuration? Additionally, is there any further action I could take to reduce the CPU temperatures that I might have overlooked?”


When it comes to building a compact ITX system, like the one housed in a Silverstone SG13B case with a full-size Corsair CX650 PSU, managing heat is a critical challenge. The Intel 12100F CPU’s idle temperature of 55°C and gaming temperatures of 85-99°C, as described, are indeed on the higher end, but not uncommon for such dense configurations.

Yes, these temperatures can be typical for ITX builds, especially under heavy gaming loads. The smaller the case, the less room there is for air to circulate, which can lead to higher temperatures. Moreover, the use of a stock cooler, which is generally less efficient than aftermarket options, can contribute to this heat build-up.

Should You Purchase a Superior Cooling Solution?

Considering the budget constraint of £600, it might be worth exploring a more efficient cooling solution within that range. A better cooling system could potentially offer a significant reduction in temperatures and noise levels. However, it’s important to ensure that any new cooling solution fits within the spatial limitations of the ITX case.

Further Actions to Reduce CPU Temperatures

Here are some additional steps that might help in reducing the CPU temperatures:


Improve Case Ventilation

: Sometimes, rearranging the internal components can improve airflow. Ensure that cables are neatly managed and not obstructing any fans or vents.


Upgrade the Intake Fan

: A higher-quality intake fan can increase the airflow within the case, helping to reduce temperatures.


Consider a Low-Profile Aftermarket Cooler

: These are designed to work in compact spaces and can be more efficient than stock coolers.


Adjust Power Settings

: Experiment with the power settings in the BIOS to see if a slight reduction in power can lower temperatures without significantly impacting performance.


Monitor Ambient Room Temperature

: The temperature of the room can affect the internal temperatures of the PC. Keeping the room cool can help lower the PC’s temperatures.

In conclusion, while the temperatures you’re experiencing are not unusual for a compact ITX setup, they are on the higher side. Investing in a better cooling solution, if budget permits, and exploring further optimizations could provide a more comfortable thermal performance. It’s also worth noting that prolonged exposure to high temperatures can reduce the lifespan of the CPU, so it’s advisable to aim for lower temperatures where possible. 🌡️💻

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