Can't Stand the Heat

My goal is to build a system that won't get hot under ordinary, non-gaming usage. Since my personal experience is with software, not hardware, I would appreciate any help you experts can give me!

If I choose a CPU that's designed for high-level use, would it not get hot when used just for web surfing, word processing, and YouTube?

What impact does RAM or disk space have on the system getting hot? (I had a work laptop that would overheat whenever the disk space got low- I don't know how common that is, or why exactly that happened.)

Will I get less heat out of a graphics card vs integrated graphics, or will it matter at all given that
this computer will only be used to watch YouTube, news websites, and a photo slide-show screensaver?

NOTE- I am not looking for suggestions on how to cool my CPU or case, I am instead trying to avoid the system overheating in the first place.
6 answers Last reply
More about stand heat
  1. Your hardware will be utilized less in tasks that are light on the system, hence meaning that things won't get hot, even using high-end hardware. As for integrated graphics vs. a discrete card, using integrated graphics would make your CPU run a bit hotter, but you wouldn't have the extra heat/fan noise from a GPU.

    I can't help but ask, though, why run powerful hardware if you don't plan on using it to its potential?
  2. There are desktop CPUs with lower TDP (Intel uses a T suffix on them - i7-8700T for instance) that have lower base/boost clocks and therefore generate less heat at the expense of speed.

    The latest iterations are 35 watt processors, which are lower than the higher-powered laptop processors (typically 45w).
  3. 2sidedpolygon said:
    I can't help but ask, though, why run powerful hardware if you don't plan on using it to its potential?

    Allergy issues related to hot computers- we have verified the reaction with several different computers, however all are either older or low-end builds (or both) and noticeably get hot with usage. Our hope is that we can build a computer that *doesn't* get hot, so my husband can safely use it without getting hives. The only other alternative I can think of is to build a filter box that we put the computer into, and hope that doesn't create additional air-circulation problems.
  4. Low power components (like the T series processor mentioned) would be the way to go. A high end processor, run at low usage, would still generate more heat most likely.
    Another alternative is to hook up a vent tube to the back of the PC and have it vent heat somewhere else.
  5. I have an older i7-4790k system.
    32GB RAM, a bunch of SSD drives, RX-580 GPU. Hover over my avatar for the full specs.

    The CPU and GPU temp rarely rises above idle temp under non-gaming use.
    More importantly, the free air temp inside the case rises only a degree or two above ambient room temperature.
    Even under the absolute heavy load of simultaneous benchmarking on both the CPU and GPU, the free air temp inside the case rises only a few degrees.

    Currently, as I type this under a very light load, the air coming out of the top of the system is 5 degrees F (2.5C) above ambient room temp.
    Applications open currently:
    2x Excel workbooks
    FireFox with 15 tabs open
    2x File Explorer windows
    VirtualBox, with an instance of Win 10 Pro running

    The air exhausted out of the top mounted radiator rises about another 5-6F heavy load, but creative ductwork could shift that exhaust to elsewhere.
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