Core Temps vs. Chip Temp

Hi all,

I'm trying to understand the difference and limits of core temps vs. the overall chip temp. My core temps on my Q9450 (quad) are all in the high 50c to low 60c yet my overall chip temp in the BIOS is around 38c or lower.

I know Intel has a "high thermal limit" on the chip recommended at 70c, but is that for the chip itself or for each core? If for whole chip, what kind of core temps should be alarming vs. regular.

Also, how can the cores be running so hot yet the overall chip stays cool (other than probe placement). Are hot cores and a cool chip a sign of good a good heat sink? Or is it a bad heat sink because it's not cooling the cores themselves.

Any help with this is much appreciated.

6 answers Last reply
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  1. Those temps look pretty average for a quad-core CPU. One thing I'd like to clarify - where are you getting the core temps from?

    I've heard that Core Temp gives the most 'correct' readings of temperature. Also, when have you read the BIOS temperature reading? On inital startup? After restarting after running your system for a while?
  2. I'm not sure where your reading temperatures but I'm going to guess that in BIOS your reading a temp of 38c but your using coretemp for some program within windows?
    So you may be comparing idle and load as well as two different programs.
    Double variables.
    In addition if you update your BIOS it may be able to read off your temperature more acceurately.

    I would worry too much because worst case scenario it'll throttle itself.

    Another reason for temperature differance may be that the chip temp is arbitrary place on the chip(not the processor cores so less is taking place there) and it is an inaccurate/meaningful measurement which would essentially do little more than perhaps indicate case heat near the processor and the core heats are more indicitive of how the CPU is doing in terms of keeping within it's thermal envelope.
  3. Those temps are odd to me, speedfan almost always shows my E6750's 1st core as 1 degree under the CPU temp and the 2nd 1 degree over the CPU temp with little variation. A 20c difference does not seem right at all, and my CPU temps under speedfan are always identical to BIOS readings.
  4. Those temps are after gaming for an hour or so, or running Prime 95 just to put a load on the system. Also, using HW Monitor and Core Temp for readings. Someone told me that those programs are calibrated for the 65nm chips and they are giving 10c higher readings than they should be with the 45nm chip. Anyone else heard anything like that? (also my BIOS is updated if anyone is wondering).
  5. Kraynor said:
    I've heard that Core Temp gives the most 'correct' readings of temperature.
    Real Temp is more likely to have an accurate Tjmax.
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