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I7 overclock temps good?

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  • CPUs
  • Intel i7
  • Overclocking
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September 27, 2009 12:56:32 AM

So i overclocked my i7 920 @4ghz with 1.38v

cpu-core i7 920
case-coolmaster haf 932
cpu fan- scythe mugen 2
psu-ocz 700w fatality
gpu-evga gtx 260
mobo-evga x58 sli le
ram-ocz platinum 6gb ddr3

i idle around the low 30's and when running under full load (prime95) i hit about low 60's.

Is this a good temperature and is my voltage ok? im scared im gonna burn out the cpu.

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September 27, 2009 1:42:53 AM

fishmarket123 said:
So i overclocked my i7 920 @4ghz with 1.38v ... when running under full load (prime95) i hit about low 60's.

At what ambient?

Which Prime95 test?

For how long?

My objective is to assure that enthusiasts understand Intel's specifications, standards and test methods, so they can better decide how to apply and manage their overclocking options.

From Intel's Processor Spec Finder - http://processorfinder.intel.com/List.aspx?ParentRadio=...

All Core i7 variants:

Vcore Max 1.375v
Tcase Max (CPU temperature) 68c
Tjunction (Core temperature) 73c

From the Core i7 and Core 2 Temperature Guide - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/221745-29-sticky-core...


"Section 1: Introduction

Core i and Core 2 processors have 2 different types of temperature sensors; a CPU case (not computer case) Thermal Diode centered under the Cores, and Digital Thermal Sensors located on each Core. The case Thermal Diode measures Tcase (Temperature case), which is CPU temperature, and the Digital Thermal Sensors measure Tjunction (Temperature junction), which is Core temperature. Since these sensors measure 2 distinct thermal levels, there is a 5c temperature difference between them, which is Tcase to Tjunction Gradient. Core i7’s / i5’s and Core 2 Quad’s have 1 Tcase and 4 Tjunction sensors, while Core 2 Duo's have 1 Tcase and 2 Tjunction sensors ...

... The monitoring utilities provided by motherboard manufacturers monitor CPU temperature, while some popular freeware utilities monitor Core temperatures ... Real Temp ... is recommended for users interested in monitoring Core temperatures only ... SpeedFan monitors Tcase (CPU temperature) and Tjunction (Core temperature) ... "


The Thermal Specification shown in Intel's Processor Spec Finder is Tcase Max (CPU) not Tjunction (Core), which is a very common misconception among most enthusiasts. Since there's a 5c gradient between the CPU sensor and the Core sensors, (shown in the following Intel document) - http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0709/0709.1861.pdf - just add 5c to the value shown in the Spec Finder to determine the corresponding Core temperature, which is 73c for all Core i7 9xx variants.

Intel's second and frequently misunderstood Thermal Specification, Tjunction Max, (100c for all Core i variants) applies to overtemp protection such as Throttle and Shutdown, so you don't toast your transistors. As such, any i7 Core temperatures which exceed 73c should be considered "overtemp". Further, when specifications are exceeded, then processor degradation becomes a concern, which is explained in the following AnandTech article - http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3...

Prime95 Small FFT's is the Standard for processor thermal testing, because it's a steady-state 100% workload which yields steady-state temperatures, whereas Blend, which is the default test, is a memory cyclic workload that yields fluctuating processor temperatures. Small FFT's will reach 97% thermal saturation within 7 to 8 minutes, so a 10 minute test is adequate. Thermal testing should be conducted as close as possible to 22c (72f) Standard ambient, with case covers removed, the computer clear of any desk enclosures, and all fans at 100% RPM to eliminate cooling variables, and to produce consistent and repeatable results for comparisons. If the Gradient between CPU temperature and "mean" (average) Core temperature is not ~ 5c, then BIOS is incorrectly coded. CPU temperature and Core temperatures can be individually calibrated in SpeedFan by following the Calibrations Section in the Temperature Guide.

OCCT and Burn Test (reminiscent of TAT) use LinPack, which shows thermal signatures that resemble the ups and downs of a bad day on the stock market, and cycle between light workloads, through test segments which spray all processor registers with all one's, (100% thermal load, which equates to 115% workload), and can push an overclocked i7 at Vcore Max 1.375 with HT enabled, right on past Tcase Max to ring the Tjunction Max bell like a fire alarm! :o 

Since there are very few applications or games that will spike, let alone sustain processor workloads beyond 70% to 85%, utilities which load all registers with all one's are not representative of real-world computing. While these utilities are certainly very useful for stability testing, they are inappropriate for thermal testing. The 3DMark benches are excellent for stability testing, as are applications for ripping and encoding.

The best anaolgy to make sense of CPU temperature and Core temperature is to compare them to a 4 cylinder car that has 5 temperature guages; 4 of the 5 guages are cyclinder head temperatures (closest to the heat source), and the 5th guage is the overall engine temperature, which is 5c lower than the other 4 guages, and is the temperature guage with which we're all familiar. We know that red-line for the i7 9xx is 68c on the engine temp guage (Tcase Max) and 73c on the cylinder head temp guages (Tjunction), but if we push the engine too hard and peg all the guages, (95c Tcase overtemp / 100c Tjunction Max) then the engine will shut down.

If you'd like to learn more about processor temperatures, then just click on the link in my signature.

Hope this helps,

Comp :sol: 
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June 10, 2010 1:13:19 AM

am I safe with my i7 at 3.9ghz at 47-55C Idle and 75-79 with prime 95? Usually at load with cinebench or whatever my temps get around 65-68. I am running the voltages my motherboard set as default which is 1.25 vcore and 1.175
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June 10, 2010 3:20:22 AM

vexun11 said:
am I safe with my i7 at 3.9ghz at 47-55C Idle and 75-79 with prime 95? Usually at load with cinebench or whatever my temps get around 65-68. I am running the voltages my motherboard set as default which is 1.25 vcore and 1.175

It depends, who are you asking, the people who posted to this thread almost a year ago?

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June 10, 2010 5:26:49 AM

vexun11 said:
am I safe with my i7 at 3.9ghz at 47-55C Idle and 75-79 with prime 95? Usually at load with cinebench or whatever my temps get around 65-68. I am running the voltages my motherboard set as default which is 1.25 vcore and 1.175


hey mate. you are SAFE. low 60s is a pretty good temperature for an overclock of 4.0GHz at full load so if you can get it down to 58-64 you'll be fine. When you get to high 80s then you should start to worry. Also what revision is your processor d0 or c0? with d0 you can run 4.0GHz as low as 1.116v although its not the same for every cpu so from about 1.116 - 1.125v; c0 you must run at around 1.25 - 1.4v.
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