I upgraded my MicroATX case with an Intel DG35EC motherboard and an E8400 "Wolfdale" at 3.0GHz. I realize this board lacks the flexibility for OC'ing, but I'm posting in this forum because I figure this is where I'm going to find the most experience with heat. I'm just trying to quality-check my installation because the unadjusted RealTemp 2.70 values are 44/45 idle with the case open and the fans blowing in a 25-26C room. Being completely unfamiliar with this hardware, I have to ask: is this plausible? With this rig, I don't have the means to control voltages and clock to overspeed, but that also means I can't control them for calibration purposes, and so I find myself here. There are no indications of actual heat "problems."
With the case closed and stuffed in the pedestal of my roll-top desk (stuffy, but open at both ends) idle is 48/50. There's an 8800GT (OEM OC'd) in the case, and the "ambient" reported by that unit consistently matches core1, around 50C with the case closed in the desk.
There's a 500W P/S in the case. It has a big fan that draws air out directly across the CPU cooler. The cooler's a Rosewill RCX-Z2-EX, a mass of polished fins and pipes held down by plastic Intel "push-pin" pegs. There's a low-budget, but quiet rear fan. It generally pushes more volume than the massive power supply fan, and the air coming out the rear is warm. The air coming out of the P/S, by comparison, is almost hot.
It was no easy task to get the cooler pinned to the board; it required handling the board a whole lot more than I wanted, and the force holding it down actually distorts the board around it a little bit. I consider it very unlikely that this cooler could be reinstalled without removing the board from the case. Before the cooler went in for the last time, and after several dry runs to prove that it would fit, I put a dot of Arctic Silver 3, about half the size of a pea, in the center of the CPU. Both surfaces had been cleaned with alcohol beforehand. Unless there's serious doubt about the cooler installation, I really don't want to pull it.
To facilitate installation of the Rosewill, I also pulled the sink from the Northbridge. After the CPU cooler was installed, I reinstalled that, including an alcohol cleaning and a very small dose of Arctic Silver.
Tcase is out to lunch. It reads 10C higher than core1.
I looked at the Core 2 Quad and Duo Temperature Guide, and I realize that what I'm trying to do is to basically keep Tcase under 70, preferably under 65. The guide tells me that Tcase under load is reliably 5C lower than Tjunction, so this translates to a high core temp under 75 tops(YOW!), ideally under 70.
Anyway, I ran FS2004 (a single threaded app) two different ways, and these are the temps I got:
Fan PWMs on "Smart Fan III" (system fan running 85-90%, cpu fan appx 65%):
cores 58/62 (est. Tcase=66)
GPU core 77, ambient 55 (this is supposedly a respectable core temp for this GPU).
Both fans on 100%:
cores 55/58 (est tCase=62)
GPU core 75, ambient 51
Idle, with fans 100%, but the computer still in the desk with the case closed:
GPU core 66, ambient 46
Idle, fans on auto (system 80%, cpu 60-65%
GPU core 68, ambient 49
Basically, I'm wondering if this is a hot system because of the location/ventilation/small case, or if I have might have a problem at the cooler. Should I be "worrying," or should I be satisfied that everything seems to run? This machine can't be properly calibrated, but calibration is for humans. The supposedly calibrated internals are not running away at the fans; On "auto," the motherboard is leaving a few degrees of cooling capacity on the table -- making me wonder if the actual temps are lower than what I'm seeing in Real Temp, and and making me wonder if the real temps are "dangerously" high. Are they?
"I put a dot of Arctic Silver http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Silver 3, about half the size of a pea, in the center of the CPU. Both surfaces had been cleaned with alcohol beforehand. Unless there's serious doubt about the cooler installation, I really don't want to pull it. "
I would check the instructions on how much of that grease to apply. I use AS5 and the instructions for intel dual core chips says to put a line of it down the center. (again read the instructions before you apply. AS3 may be diferent. I have only used AS5).
I have a e8400 and a thermaltake big typhoon cooler. Under load and OC'd at 4ghz I'm getting 53c (Tcase). And from what I've read, I think your temps are rather high since you are at stock speed. But they are certainly well within tolerable range. The e8400 can go to the low 70's c (Tcase) according to Intel's processor spec website, and the core temps are usually about 5 degrees warmer than the tcase temp.
If you haven't already done so read the following thread:
also, the real bench program you want for your cpu is Prime95 using the small fft stress test. That will push your cpu to its max and give you a good indication of what kind of heat you can expect (in addition to testing for stability if you overclock).