I am running Windows 10. I have a 16gb stick of Kingston Technology 2666 mhz HyperX Impact DDR4 SODIMM (one slot unoccupied), a 500gb Samsung EVO 970 Plus m.2 nvme boot drive, and a 1tb Samsung EVO 960 storage drive installed. Otherwise, the unit is stock hardware.
The only software installed is Roon and Audirvana, only one of which runs at a time; JRiver Media Center 26, which is open but not being used; Firefox; and these utilities: Core Temp, Unreal Commander, Speedtest, Samsung Magician, Splashtop Streamer, and EaseUS Partition Magic, of which only Core Temp is usually open and running when I play music.
When I serve music using Roon or Audirvana, I upsample everything to DSD256. I also have a very large music collection that is accessed during music playback. I know this combination can create a heavy load, which is why I bought the i7.
My experience has been pretty seamless, with reliable operation and no shutdowns. However, and this is a BIG "however," I am getting routine temperature spikes into the high 80c's frequently and into the high 90c's periodically. I changed BIOS settings to run the fan on "Cool" and changed power management to S3 so that I could throttle the CPU using Windows Advanced Power Settings. Running at 99% cpu reduced my temps to a more acceptable range, BUT it also eliminated nearly all of my headroom in Roon, so the software was unhappy. I reset the Advanced Power Settings to 100% cpu and then tried throttling using the BIOS Packaged Power (Sustained) setting at 25, which, the Internet says, is as low as it should go for reliable operation. My software was happier, but I was spiking into the 90+c range again.
Ambient temperature should not be an issue. The unit sits, exposed, on a desktop, in a San Francisco basement where the temperature rarely gets above the low 70'sF.
I posted about this on the Roon Community Forums. Routinely, other NUC owners said they were operating at much lower temps. However, they all had earlier gen NUC's (mostly NUC and none was oversampling to the extent that I do. Their consensus, and the opinion of Roon's COO, who chimed in, that my NUC must be defective. The Roon COO says that oversampling even to DSD256 is not that crazy a processor load and could be accomplished even on a smartphone. See https://community.roonlabs.com/t/with-rock-how-do-i-find-cpu-temperature/112638/50 for the thread.
Intel's white paper says to try setting the fan on "Cool" and, if that doesn't stop overheating, call Customer Support. I tried contacting Customer Support but it is closed today, probably for the US Independence Day holiday, so I am posting here in the interim.
Is anyone using applications that get the cpu temps spiking into the 90c's with "Cool" fan setting running? Is this at all normal behavior or a sign of some hardware issue? If I continue to run in the 60c's for the most part and spiking into the high 90c's, am I definitely shortening cpu life?
An alternative for me is to return this unit and purchase a NUC8i7BEH, as Roon users claim they work well in that application. Do Gen 8's tend to run cooler?
Thanks for any help you can offer.
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In theory, 10th gen systems should run cooler (smaller wattage processor). But, seeing spikes into the low (not high) 90s is actually perfectly normal - provided they are spikes. If you are seeing sustained temperatures in the high 80s or low 90s, it would seem that there is an issue (with TIM or heatsink attachment or blower operation, something).
Look, if you are within the return period for your storefront, go exchange the unit and check out another. If that one is the same, then you can think about backing off to an 8th gen.