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What temperature CPU should run at for best performance?

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March 14, 2006 6:07:22 AM

I have a Dual Opteron system for video editing I just built and trying to keep as cool as possible for best performance. Its got 6 fans in it. My CPUs temperatures are between 42 and 46 deg C. Is that good, bad, or decent? My ambient Temp is 38 deg C. Overall it feels pretty hot to me, or at least it could be cooler. I wouldnt want to live inside the chasis and I asume my componets could be happier. But should I bother or not worry about it?
March 14, 2006 6:22:56 AM

Ambient case temp IS a little hot, but with a dual opteron system, i'm not exactly what is the norm for that of configuration. My ambient case temp never jumps over 32C in a warm room, and when i open the window to let the english cold in, it drops to about 26-28C, which also happens to be my CPU temp when idle. Load temps hit 40-44 depending on room temperature and what program is being used (Benchmarking software obviously get my cpu to hotter temps since they can REALLY push the system for extended periods of time). Are you using stock coolers or aftermarket solutions? That can be one start on lowering heat problems.
March 14, 2006 3:46:47 PM

Im using the AMD heatsink and fan that came with the CPUs becasue they (AMD) seemed really uptight about you only using recomended AMD heatsink and fan.
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March 14, 2006 9:34:40 PM

By their standard of coolers, all the stock coolers are within the weight limit and are supposed to do a decent job cooling. I'm not sure on what coolers to get for a dual-processor system, but i suggest you look around sites and check out reviews on certain coolers, like what Zalman offers or the Thermalright heatsinks (coupled with a decent fan), plus on getting some aftermarket thermal compound like Arctic Silver 5 or MX-1 Thermal Compound.
March 14, 2006 10:41:18 PM

Well my Ram DIMMS are definitly hotter than my last system. Guess I could get some heatsinks for them>
March 14, 2006 11:29:52 PM

Wow, your CPU runs at 40 degrees? That's a very good temperature in my opinion.

My P4 3GHz 1Mb cache CPU runs at 80 degrees Celcius with the stock heatsink and fan. Is that very bad?

My casing has 6 fans, and the mainboard runs at 40 degress Celcius, I'm quite happy with that.

I am thinking 80 degress is too hot for the CPU, and the fan rotation speed gets cranked up to high, causing so much noise.

I would need to get a different CPU fan, would you agree? I would like to lower the temperature down to at least 60 degrees.
March 14, 2006 11:47:32 PM

I have a dual opteron setup as well and my CPUs idle at 42-43 and hit 50-52 under full load.
case temp is usually 26-30.

Chances are you can re-arrange your cables and fans to get better airflow through the case. What case are you using btw?

I found investing in the rounded cables helped a LOT. I only wish i could find rounded SCSI LVD cables -- but thats for a different thread.
March 15, 2006 4:40:52 PM

Processor at 46 degrees Celsius = 114.8 degrees Fahrenheit

Processor at 80 degrees Celsius = 176 degrees Fahrenheit

Ambient temp at 38 degrees Celsius = 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit

------

Looking at it in Fahrenhiet makes it seem more reasonable. However, 80 degrees though sounds like you have an easy bake oven in there.
My Case is Thermaltake ARMOR - and there are tons of cables in there blocking airflow. - ill try maybe re-aranging and buying more powerful fans.
March 15, 2006 6:28:24 PM

Quote:
My P4 3GHz 1Mb cache CPU runs at 80 degrees Celcius with the stock heatsink and fan. Is that very bad?


wow dude thats like on fire!

my P4 630 3ghz idles at 38*C on the stock heat sink and fan. and i have pretty good air flow through the case.

the highest i been able to get it up to is about 50*C.

you might wanna reseat your heatsink and fan ASAP bro. and get some AS5 on that cpu before you lose it.

i really hope your not serious about 80*C.
March 15, 2006 6:40:47 PM

Quote:
My P4 3GHz 1Mb cache CPU runs at 80 degrees Celcius with the stock heatsink and fan. Is that very bad?


wow dude thats like on fire!

my P4 630 3ghz idles at 38*C on the stock heat sink and fan. and i have pretty good air flow through the case.

the highest i been able to get it up to is about 50*C.

you might wanna reseat your heatsink and fan ASAP bro. and get some AS5 on that cpu before you lose it.

i really hope your not serious about 80*C.

^^^what he said...
March 15, 2006 7:36:04 PM

Yeah I'm serious. It was at 100 degrees when I first installed it, but I guess the heatsink wasn't making good contact with the CPU, causing the high temperature, and the motherboard gave me a warning.

It's been running at 80 degrees for a year or so, and it's very loud when I am running CPU intense applications and games.

I've applied some thermal compound I've found lying around, but the problems remains.

Like you suggested, I'll probably need to look at readjusting the positioning of the heatsink and fan again, but for a socket 775, it's hard getting the plastic to lock in place with the motherboard, unlike the older CPUs where the heatsink and fan is clipped onto the CPU.
March 15, 2006 8:28:56 PM

wow 80c you could fry eggs on that thing :lol: 
March 15, 2006 9:23:16 PM

Quote:
Yeah I'm serious. It was at 100 degrees when I first installed it, but I guess the heatsink wasn't making good contact with the CPU, causing the high temperature, and the motherboard gave me a warning.

It's been running at 80 degrees for a year or so, and it's very loud when I am running CPU intense applications and games.

I've applied some thermal compound I've found lying around, but the problems remains.

Like you suggested, I'll probably need to look at readjusting the positioning of the heatsink and fan again, but for a socket 775, it's hard getting the plastic to lock in place with the motherboard, unlike the older CPUs where the heatsink and fan is clipped onto the CPU.


Is the fan on the heatsink even working? I would certainly look into an aftermarket HSF (Zalman, Thermalright) or...because AMD doesn't like aftermarket HSF's :wink: .... try to get another stock one and try that.

Are you OC'ing? You are definetly running a little warm there....
March 16, 2006 2:33:51 AM

No overclocking, even though the mainboard has overclocking options.

And yes the heatsink and fan are working, probably not good enough though.
March 16, 2006 3:43:02 AM

best temp:

low as possible without hitting the cold bug (around -60c? for a64s)
March 16, 2006 4:51:50 AM

Room temperature. Then you have no expansion or contraction difference in the CPU
March 16, 2006 7:42:54 PM

Well I adjusted the heatsink and fan, rotated it 90 degrees counter clockwise so the position is different. It seems to clip okay now.

Running temperature is now at 70 degrees, rattling noise gone, CPU runs a tad better, no more pauses when watching Hi Definition TV, and it is less noisy.

I touched the CPU before, only after removing the heatsink, and it didn't seem hot at all. The motherboard sensor could be wrong, who knows.
March 20, 2006 5:00:05 AM

strange,
that top exust fan seems to do nothing, barely puffing at all. The stock fans they pack with that armor case are not very powerful, so Ive orderd some stronger ones.
March 20, 2006 5:35:52 AM

I checked around with a few rigs and it seems 42-46 is right on for these processors, a few guys run in the low 50's. AMD says it can go to 70 I think.
March 20, 2006 5:44:49 AM

Quote:
Wow, your CPU runs at 40 degrees? That's a very good temperature in my opinion.

My P4 3GHz 1Mb cache CPU runs at 80 degrees Celcius with the stock heatsink and fan. Is that very bad?

My casing has 6 fans, and the mainboard runs at 40 degress Celcius, I'm quite happy with that.

I am thinking 80 degress is too hot for the CPU, and the fan rotation speed gets cranked up to high, causing so much noise.

I would need to get a different CPU fan, would you agree? I would like to lower the temperature down to at least 60 degrees.


You CPU would melt at that tempature. It's probably a faulty reader.
March 30, 2006 2:54:19 AM

Mine is 45C idle and 62C full load. Stock Intel cooler, one 120 mm exhaust fan and two 80 mm intake fan. PSU Enermax 535w with two 80 mm fans (exhaust n intake). You should check your cooler dude. 80C is way too hot.

_________________________
P4 3.8GHz @ 4.03GHz
x1900xtx, xi-fi fatal1ty,
1GB twin xms PC6400 (2 x 512)
March 30, 2006 12:36:51 PM

My CPU idles at 15 celcius, hitting up to 25 on a really high load, like running benchmarks. The case is at around 25-35.
The CPU is a P4 Northwood 2.8. Not overclocked.

I've used at least three different pieces of software to check this and they all report the same temps. And the heatsink on th eCPU is pretty much cold to touch.

Obe thing though - SiSoft Sandra gives me a temp warning of 62 celcius on my chipset.
March 30, 2006 4:54:32 PM

Errrr... 15C idle? and the case is warmer 10C warmer then that?

Okay... wateva :D 
March 30, 2006 5:19:58 PM

I wonder how much benefit we'd see in cases in killing any bleed-through air?

I recently went through our datacenter here at work and plugged various openings in the raised floor and I dropped the ambient room temperature from 77-78 down to as low as 71.9.

Anyone up for an experiment? Any openings in the case that don't have a fan in them, try plugging them up. This should increase the pressure in the case and hopefully get your fans working more efficiently....just a thought.
March 30, 2006 5:56:06 PM

Quote:
Yeah I'm serious. It was at 100 degrees when I first installed it, but I guess the heatsink wasn't making good contact with the CPU, causing the high temperature, and the motherboard gave me a warning.

It's been running at 80 degrees for a year or so, and it's very loud when I am running CPU intense applications and games.

I've applied some thermal compound I've found lying around, but the problems remains.

Like you suggested, I'll probably need to look at readjusting the positioning of the heatsink and fan again, but for a socket 775, it's hard getting the plastic to lock in place with the motherboard, unlike the older CPUs where the heatsink and fan is clipped onto the CPU.



ok, wow. a couple of things spark my interest here.

first 80*C is where P4's begin to throttle due to shear heat. 100*C would break your cpu almost instantly saying that it could even stand to get that high.

second,

TO ANYONE WITH A P4 HEATSINK!!!

if it is rattling, vibrating, or making any noise other that the sound of moving air its not on your cpu right at all, period.

third,

ensure that ALL 4 clips are clipped in completely, do not rush trying to get it on or your temps will be hot as hell. yes they are a pain but its worth the time being carefull getting them in correctly.

fourth,

since your sensor is actually fluctating in temps so much i.e. 70-100*C,
i would doubt that it is reading incorrectly, but, the fact that your cpu usually runs at 80*C doesnt make sense. thats a contradicting problem there, but you did say that you HSF was rattling so if its barely hangin on your cpu your temp readings could be way off.

recomendations,

look into getting a new heatsink and fan, cheap ones are bout 30 bucks.

get some better thermal compound than jsut some "laying around" lol.

and really take your time in mounting your hardware, it can be hard, but you want it reliable and not on fire!
a b à CPUs
March 30, 2006 6:18:10 PM

Both AMD and Intel have close to the same problems with heat (Intel does run hotter). Both die (burn up) at 90c (by their specs). I've seen it a few times myself.
Typically you want it to run as cool as possible. 30c to 40c is a great range to have. 40c to 50c is ok, but close to "pushing it". Rarely gives an error. 50c-60c can start to give random errors, still a little rare. 60c-70c errors increase. 70c-80c more errors show up. 90c+ kiss it goodbye. Very rare for a cpu to survive this amount of heat without damage.

Usually, the higher the temp, the more likely you will have random errors.
March 30, 2006 7:11:59 PM

For those reinstalling heatsinks, carefully clean previous residue w/alcohol,
preferably the 90% variety, and examine the bottom of the heatsinks for heat marks or scars. If you have those you need to lap the marks off until it looks clean; I use ASA 2000 wet and dry which is almost like a medium grade lapping compound. If you are using something like Arctic Silver5 it is only effective in a thin but complete coverage coat on the contact areas. I had a Thermaltake that looked new but had some of those little heatmarks and it made a huge difference to lap them off.
March 30, 2006 7:46:59 PM

Got an opteron 170 @ 2600 (10x260)

Idle:37
Load:47

Might be a tad too much AS5 i guess..
March 30, 2006 8:00:07 PM

My old XP2500 would overclock fine...below abt 44c. Over that, had random errors and rebooted on it's own sometimes close to 50, so it really matters for overclockers. On the other hand, I've serviced machines (owner clueless)
that had the heatsink totally clogged with dust, but still ran stable..go figger.
March 30, 2006 8:25:37 PM

To give an example, that hot temps don't exactly cause errors..

I was running stock HSF my northy, and it reached 63-65C without any errors OC to 2960. With Zalmans 7700, runs pretty well 49-53C load (Case 32C).

Having good memory timings, vcore voltage, and using the right tools (software) can help in sucessful OC. Just being patient, taking your time, get info can usually be useful.

You can have a cool running processor, and yet not have a stable OC, which result in errors, lockups, BSOD.
March 30, 2006 9:10:30 PM

Since I've seen so many hi temps on Intels I wonder if that is a particular Athlon problem. Actually this one runs stable at 11x200 so I'm not complaining, with a perfectly ordinary Athlon Barton 333 that runs good at 400. But at the upper limits of sane aircooled o/c, the lower temps helped a lot, after that it was GPU overheating that caught up :) 
March 31, 2006 12:23:07 PM

Quote:
Errrr... 15C idle? and the case is warmer 10C warmer then that?

Okay... wateva :D 


Yeah I know. I can't figure it out.

But everything points to the CPU running very cool. Like I said, the heatsink is cold to the touch when idling. I think the higher case temp may be due to my power supply - it's an Antec truepower one and I don't think it's detecting high enough temperature as the exhaust PSU fan runs quite slow and there is always hot air coming out of it. Plus Sandra always says the fans are running too slow.

When I open the case the CPU temp goes up almost instantly by about 5 degrees and I can feel hot air around the PSU and the optical drives.

The areas around the actual CPU, Northbridge and GPU are all cool though.

The CPU in benchmark tests form Sandra rates same as a P4 3.4 which is odd.

Maybe the mobo sensors are just completely screwed!

I plan to due some investigation into different fan configurations anyway, and the first thing I plan to do is rig up a fan controller to the CPU fan and then slow it down to see what happens. I'm planning a new AMD system anyway so it won't be the end of the world if the processor melts (although I'd rather it didn't!).
March 31, 2006 1:21:40 PM

Quote:
My P4 3GHz 1Mb cache CPU runs at 80 degrees Celcius with the stock heatsink and fan. Is that very bad?


You CPU would melt at that tempature. It's probably a faulty reader.

My AMD 2400+ laptop runs at 94ºC Full load.. no problem!

However my X2 4400+ Oc'ed from 2x2.2Ghz to 2x2.475Ghz at 100% is 49/50ºC
April 9, 2006 6:34:16 PM

My CPU is 42-46 C.
The temperature in the case is 34 C.
It has a 120mm fan in it,that is fore case cooling purpose.
The HDD's temperature is 33 C.
What do think about that ?
April 16, 2008 9:30:47 PM

Mav's P4 temp reading is probably right.
Mine is running from 77-80C according to my BIOS using the stock cooling fan and Arctic Silver 5, and that's not even under 'real' load.. given that I'm at the BIOS screen and Windows XP isn't running yet.

Right now my system is:
---------------------------------
RAIDMAX Smilodon case; 80mm back exhaust fan, 2 80mm side fans one being exhaust and 1 being intake for cycling air over my GPU, 1 120mm front intake fan pulling air over the HDD.

RAIDMAX 550W PSU. Came with the case.

GIGABYTE GA-8N-SLI nForce4 Intel Edition rev 1.1 motherboard. Flashed the BIOS today to version F6 from F5, to see if it helped out with CPU microcode and stepping.

Pentium 4 Prescott 3.0ghz CPU, HT turned on. As I mentioned, mine reports to running as hot as 80C in the BIOS.

Stock heatsink that came with the P4. I know, shame on me for using that piece of trash.

2x1gig Corsair DDR2 667 RAM.

EVGA GeForce 256mb 7950GT PCIe x16 video card, core clock 550 mhz, 700mhz memory clock (350 mhz effective per channel, or course). It runs at about 56C according to my nVidia Control Panel with nTune installed when I'm not gaming. Gets to about 60-61C when playing FEAR or Far Cry or World of Warcraft. Kinda scares me a bit to see it get that warm, haha.

HDD is some old Seagate IDE 120gig 7200 rpm drive. I hate it, and want to replace with a nice 250+ gig SATA with a nice cache, but I'm a cheap bastard and won't spend the money yet.

The other parts aren't really worth mentioning, naturally.
------------------------------------
I know I can save myself a lot of trouble if I just get like a Zalman 9700 heatsink or something and a better case with more fans made out of aluminum instead of steel. I attribute a lot of the slowdown I get from playing newer games like STALKER to the heat my machine is under, either due to insufficient air flow and my video card running too high, or because my P4 is so hot. Not to mention my crap HDD with only like a 1mb cache and it being IDE.

I've got no problems running FEAR and Far Cry on full detail at 1024x786x32@60hz and getting nice, smooth frame rates, but when I fire up STALKER and try to run it with even half detail at the same resolution it plays like garbage. I've tried looking at my RAM timings, overclocking my 7950GT, and making a hardware profile at boot to stop all nonessential services and processes, but to no avail.

I guess investing in a DirectX10 machine would be more wise than buying a whole new case and whatnot. Perhaps if I'm going to go that far I might as well save up and buy the rest of the parts to make a new PC and just sell this one for whatever I can get to some kid that wants to play WoW.

At any rate, this whole entire rant and wall of text was based around Mav's P4 running hot.. and so is mine, haha.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
September 2, 2009 8:53:49 PM

although a 100 degrees may burn up your cpu ive had my p4 running at 80 degrees 90 it freezes up but i know for a fact its not a faulty reader. best advice is to check the mounting of your cpu cooler, the freezer pro 7 is a good fix too, i know i had the same problem , cheers
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
September 3, 2009 1:14:26 AM

Great.
!