I'm a software guy, not much of a hardware buff. So I've got a bit of a noob question. How hot is it ok for a CPU to get under load?
I'm using a Core 2 Duo e4400 with the stock cooler. Encoding to h264 with mencoder or playing warcraft 3 gives me temps of about 80*C. Is this likely to be hurting my hardware at all? Idling, my cpu hovers anywhere between 25*C and 45*C, which seems fine. But if I'm encoding a DVD for instance, or just gaming for an extended period, I worry that my hardware is being damaged over time.
Aside from damage, how much performance difference is there in running a CPU at a significantly hotter/cooler temperature?
Any advice? Do I need to invest in a better cooling setup?
If you7 are not overclocking, stock cooler should be fine. Check all 4 pushpins are fully engaged, or safer, remove, clean and reapply thermal compound of your choice. When refittig, check all 4 pushpins engage and stay engaged. When securing the final one it is common for opposite one to disengage.
Thanks for the info everyone, I will look into cleaning and re-applying thermal compound (this is likely the reason for high temps since I removed and re-installed my heatsink from the cpu recently to remove dust).
If it's still too high, I guess I'll look into a new cooler. Many thanks for clearing that up for me.
gators, are you using the stock cooling gear? or better after market stuff?
That's pretty much the plan, but I only have, I guess, intermediate experience actually building PCs. Thermal paste isn't something I've played with much. Last time I removed the heatsink, I noticed that the "paste" was now a dry, caked on patch that seemed like it was going to be difficult to remove from my CPU or heatsink surface.
On to the random PC building tutorials for me, unless someone points me somewhere more helpful.
Update, had my first go at cleaning my CPU and heatsink and re-applying thermal compound with significant success. Idle is now down at about 35*C (which for a hot, dusty room is okay I think). Encoding a DVD VOB to h264 now gets me up to about 53*C and encoding while playing a game of starcraft (in wine, so stress is on CPU not graphics card I think), I got peak temps of 58*C. This is down from 80-85*C doing just one of these at a time.
Still not amazing, but alright for a high stress task on the stock cooler. Thanks for the info everyone.