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Is my CPU running too hot at 54 degrees C?

Last response: in CPUs
March 28, 2006 7:26:41 PM


Question: I ran a Burn-in (with a tool called CPUBurn-in v1.01) test on my PC for about 2-3 hours, and the CPU temperature is according to the AIBooster software 54 degrees celsius. I checked from time to time so it seemed to stabilize on this value for the last 2 hours of the test.

Is this to high for heavy CPU utilization?

On idle (or now, when I am only using Internet Explorer on my PC) it seems to be around 41-43 degrees celsius.

I've just changed my CPU cooler from the standard AMD cooler to a Arctic Cooling solution that is supposed to generate less noise. I did a similar CPU burn-in test with the old standard AMD cooler. The result was then the same after 3 hours continous burn-in test (54 degrees celsius, and fan speed was 5113 rpm). However the temperature on idle or low activity was considerable lower at around 31-35 degrees celsius.

I've built my PC based on the following components:

* Asus A8N SLI Premium mainboard
* AMD Athlon X2 3800+ 64 CPU
* Artic Cooling 64 Ultra TCL CPU cooler
* Noise Control desktop case (padded with some silencing material)
* 2x512 GeiL RAM (DDR400, ECC)
* Asus 6600GT VGA (with heatsink and no fans)
* Hiper HPU 4R580 Power Supply (European version)

Because I wanted my PC to be as silent as possible, and in order not to make the benefit of the silenced cabinet in vain, I have NO case fans installed yet.

I still think my PC is far too noisy. And I think the PSU is the culprit (because the noise was considerable reduced when I put in the Arctic Cooler CPU Cooler). What I don't understand is that most reviews I read about this PSU was that it was "barely inaudible", but I strongly wonder what kind of ears those reviewers have, or what I have done wrong...

So bottom line:

Does my PC run to hot?
Should I add cabinet fans?
Would it be enough with one on the backside, just behind the CPU?
Should this let cold air in from the back, or heat out from the CPU?
(what direction should the CPU airflow be)
Do I also need to have one in front?
Would adding cabinet fans make the PC LESS noisier?
(could it reduce fan speed on the PSU)

PS. I intend to exchange my VGA card with a higher performance card, such as an ATI AIW X1900XT or a nVidia 7800GT (asus topsilent model), or a 7800GTX with some sort of Arctic Cooling VGA silencing solution, so I guess I will have to add some fans sooner or later anyhow to accomodate the extra heat generated by more heavy duty graphic chips...
March 28, 2006 7:35:55 PM

Many good questions Grim. all these answers really differ depending on the user and the system in question

55c undre load for a 3800 is a tad on the warm side. but hardly "HOT" you can safely and stably run your system at these temperatures and i wouldn't worry too much. if these heats are too much for you than you can upgrade your cooling solutions.

as for the case. the important thing to ensure is proper airflow. you must somehow make it so that air does not build up or stop moving in the case. 1 fan CAN be suffiencient if it's powefull enough and the case design lends itself to good airflow.

Typically with a 1 fan on the rear system, you want it to suck the warm air from in the case and blow it out. this will create a small vacume effect that pulls outside cold air in automatically. this however isnt that efficient as the vacume created IN the case lowers the ammount of heat the air can absorb before being removed from the case.

adequate coolin settups will often have one or more fans on the rear Sucking warm air out of the case and one or more fans near the front that blow cool outside air into the case. thus greating a channel of cool air that passes over components before being expelled outside the case.
March 28, 2006 8:00:07 PM

test (54 degrees celsius, and fan speed was 5113 rpm).

Is that fan speed a typo?
Related resources
March 28, 2006 8:04:32 PM

While it's tough to make a computer completely silent, it is feasible but sometimes, at a price.

My machine I felt was too noisy so, first thing I did was research. I came to these forums and visited several sites including to see what others did to make their pcs more quiet.

There are all kinds of options and I found what I think are good solutions. Probably the most important being airflow as mentioned in the other post. Front to back airflow is important and for that task, I use these cooler master fans:

They're uber quiet and I got the clear ones with LEDs. I couldn't find them on Neweggs site where I got them but, these black ones are the same fans.

Then I got this fan for exhaust:

This fan is ultra quiet and it automatically adjusts itself as the temp goes up or down in the case.

I have this fan for my CPU:

This fan does a nice job and is very quiet as well. The only reason I can hear it at all is because, the clear side panel on my case has a hole cutout for a side mount fan. I can't install a side mount in there because of this cooler sticks out too far.

My PSU is an Antec TP2 550 watt unit. It has two fans but I can't even hear it. With these additional case fans plus the zalman cooler, I was able to make my rather noisy computer very quiet and much more enjoyable in my office.

Your temps are not too bad to begin with and I wouldn't worry about it too much at all unless they really start to climb like towards 65C or so. I just wanted to give you some ideas as to what I did to make my PC more quiet and I hope this helps. Good luck
March 28, 2006 8:12:14 PM

I think it should be a state law requirement to give customers ear plugs if they buy a product that spins 3000-5000 rpms, and maybe goggles. :lol: 
March 28, 2006 8:13:15 PM

if possible i would recommend to him putting 1 big 120mm fan on he back

they're usually dead quiet and move a lot of air
March 28, 2006 8:15:25 PM

if possible i would recommend to him putting 1 big 120mm fan on he back

they're usually dead quiet and move a lot of air

Yeah I agree provided the case can handle it. I know they make adapters and what not too which you can retrofit in most cases. Mine won't fit a 120 back there no matter how hard you try. As long as the 92s or 80s do the job, that's all that matter.
March 28, 2006 8:17:32 PM

how are the sound levels of your XFX sound card? i heard bad things about them being overly loud

I've got Sli'd 7800GT's and they're kinda noisy even with the fans on the slowest

temps in 3d on the video cards never go over 60c for me. the throtling is at 115.

i'm debating replacing them with the zalman coolers for video cards...

they're the only noise really from my case. i've got a 120mm fan on both the front and back. and the 120mm Zalman Copper cooler on the 3700+.
March 28, 2006 8:20:38 PM

yeah, it's a little noisy but not bad.

I tell you what i'll do, I have an electronic sound level meter, tonight, i'll run some tests with it and post the results as to how much noise each fan puts out just so everybody knows. I've been wanting to do that for a while anyway because, before, my machine was hovering right around 60-67 decibels before I made all the fan changes. We'll see what they are now.

I'll post the results later.
March 28, 2006 8:41:20 PM

Thanks for all the answers.

I interpretate your answers as that my main question if my system is way to (dangerously) hot to be an unneccesary concern on my part.

I will however try to put in 1 or 2 case fans (I have a couple of silent 80mm fans lying somewhere), and see if the noise becomes unbearable high, or if I can live with it.

I'll check out the links for some other fans later if my own is to noise.

PS. I look forward to hear your results Luminaris, and I would like to be able to do a similar test. Where can one buy a sound level meter, and what is the price for such tools?

PPS. The speed on my old fan was really 5113 rpm. That was not a typo. It was around 3300rpm on idle. My new CPU cooler from Arctic Cooling has a fan that spins at 1500-1900rpm (I think it was 1800 something at after 3 hours of CPU burn it test).

PPPS. I was considering buying a fanless CPU Cooler, but since they all seems to be way to big to fit my cabinet, very heavy (I would be very afraid to put them ontop of my CPU, especially if I put my cabinet vertically), and besides most of them seems to come with low speed fans as a recommendation anyhow...

PPPPS. My cabinet do not have room for 120mm fans. Probarbly only 80mm in the back, and 92mm in front. But need to check this.

Now it is time to go to bed.
March 28, 2006 8:44:07 PM


your temps arent outragous as you're running now though. so you could safely run as you are now.

maybe just one fan at the back. as quiet and slow as possible to at least move a little air is what ya need.

otherwise unless this is an extreme gaming rig or something of the likes... you really odn't have any worries
March 28, 2006 9:25:33 PM

Here is a link to the sound meter I have:

I wouldn't worry much about your temps. Your machine will run fine as it is. Just keep an eye on them and make sure they don't go up. Dust and dirt are your worst enemies and will collect over time in the case. Keep it nice and clean.
March 28, 2006 9:41:56 PM

If no noise is your thing,zalman makes the tnn case. I think they cost a sh*t load but if you want quiet. /.
How much thermal past did you use. I've seen alot of people put a full tube on the cpu, you only a thin layer. 54c is well within the safe range if under full load.
March 28, 2006 10:13:11 PM

I have the sound meter cause I used to install home theatre systems and used it to calibrate the sitting area with the surround sound speakers for proper sound levels.
March 29, 2006 4:50:37 AM

(a bunch of snips)

Then I got this fan for exhaust:

This fan is ultra quiet and it automatically adjusts itself as the temp goes up or down in the case.

My PSU is an Antec TP2 550 watt unit. It has two fans but I can't even hear it. With these additional case fans plus the zalman cooler, I was able to make my rather noisy computer very quiet and much more enjoyable in my office.

Like you, I also went through a series of researching/shopping/buying stages. I'd looked at the temp sensing fan you mention above and am glad I've now heard your positive review of it. Some of the Newegg reviews are mediocre so I'd avoided it. I have a SilenX for the blowhole and am about to hook it up to a controller so I'll hopefully get some extra noise reduction there.

A few years ago, I worked in a very quiet lab where two PCs were the major noise sources. There weren't as many quiet options back then, but I managed to find quieter CPU and case fans. Folks would stop in and then realize how quiet the lab was. It was great, I could play tunes and with hardly any background, it sounded great. Nice place to work. Anyway, I've been sensitive to fan noise since then and am commited to building my own quiet cooling rig/case as part of this quest. Not liquid, I want something that lasts a long time and having dealt with computers that got wet before, I don't want to go back. You can talk about non-conducting fluids all you want but circuits generally don't like liquids because they transport dust and other junk around and generally bring gremlins along for the ride. Anyway, I want sub-ambient cooling anyway, so liquid won't do. I'm sure there will be commercially available options in the future, but there's nothing out there right now that meets my needs, so I have an excuse to do some extreme case mods. I'm in the process of learning more about power supplies since it seems logical that an integrated approach will work best. Alas, I digress...
March 30, 2006 4:20:11 PM

i'D LOVE a quiet office

the PC's here arent overly loud since they're all dells

but it's an office.

not to mention the 2 high speed HP printers (HP9050DN and HP8150DN) constantly printing just beside my wall
March 30, 2006 4:33:14 PM

Just so you guys know, I went to do the sound tests the other night. My meter doesn't register anything below 50 decibels. When it does, it displays Lo on the display. I set the meter right in front of where I sit at about ear level with it aimed right at my computer. It registered below 50 decibels. The only time it would read anything is when I put it right next the case and even then, it was only reading 52-55 decibels.

Pretty quiet if you ask me.
March 30, 2006 4:36:54 PM


nice for the decible meter

but the REAL question is

March 30, 2006 4:43:15 PM

Huh? What did you say? :lol: 

I can hear it but at the same time, I can hear an ant fart so, it's pretty quiet to me. Besides, I usually have music playing or game sounds happening or the TV is on but, it's nice to actually have them all down to moderate levels.
March 30, 2006 4:45:54 PM

So... what does an ant fart sound like? :roll:
March 30, 2006 4:49:42 PM

an... ant... fart

i dont know if i want to go there... really.

now for the more important questions

what does an ant fart smell like?
March 30, 2006 4:52:02 PM

What does it smell like?? eeeeewww..

I guess it would be interesting to know the decibels it can produce.. :lol: 
March 30, 2006 7:48:14 PM

What does it smell like?? eeeeewww..

I guess it would be interesting to know the decibels it can produce.. :lol: 

If it ate the tacos I just had (downtown Veracruz taco shop - chorizo con queso + mega garlic + onions + habaneros) it could probably sound like a subwoofer dialed to minimax.