Ok Fella's...........Asus pt6, core i7 920 at 2.66 ghz, 6 gb corsair dominator ram, nividia 8800 gtx, three fans including a zalman 9900led cpu mounted...........I overclocked her to 3.80........the four cores are running at (temps) 52, 48, 50, and 47 C in idle..............In FSX, they're running at 73, 75, 71. and approx 68 C.........these temps are reading out through the "Core Temp" downloaded program..............I'm asking, are these temps within the safe zone, or do I have to put more into cooling? All seems to be running mostly stable, but I want to make sure to avoid heartache......Thanks for ANY input.....I'm always ready to learn more....THANKS.
As you're an FSX enthusiast, your running the right hardware combination for the highest frame rates. Concerning temperatures, please read the following, then test your rig and report your findings. You're doing fine, but I wouldn't push it any higher at this time, so before you spin your wheels, here's what you need to know.
Temperatures and overclocking are all about specifications, so it's very important to be specific. If we're not, then the topic makes about as much sense as comparing apples-to-oranges thermal fruit salad in a blender! 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&ProcFam=3052&SearchKey=
All Core i7 9xx 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-core-temperature-guide
"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 i7 9xx variants) applies to overtemp protection such as Throttle and Shutdown, so you don't toast your transistors. As such, any i7 9xx 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=3251&p=6
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 is a memory cyclic workload which 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 = 115% workload), and can push an overclocked i7 9xx with HT enabled at Vcore Max 1.375, right on past Tcase Max to ring the Tjunction Max bell like a fire alarm!
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.
To make sense of CPU temperature and Core temperature, compare them to a 4 cylinder car with 5 temperature guages; 4 of the 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 guages, and is the temperature guage with which we're all familiar. We know the red zone (hot) for the i7 9xx starts at 68c (Tcase Max) on the engine temp guage and 73c (Tjunction) on the cylinder head temp guages, 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,
Hey "CT"......thanks so much for your great response..........WOW.....how did you get your 920 to 4.1??.........is the key a cooling issue or just what?.......I'll do anything to get my FSX as smooth as possible..........otherwise it won't be "REAL".................I'm shooting for real as can be........so far all looks good for starters for I never OC'd in my life....and it's scarey I'll admit......but I don't want to go stupid and drop my $ 800. up grade in the trash.....I do at times see some unexplained verticle lines on my screens ( 3- 19's on TH2G) and I just want to make sure that something bad is not happening.......these are periodical and don't always appear.........after my OC finds a safe haven, I then will OC my nividia 8800 gtx, which I will attempt with Rivatuner........if it's cooling I need, OR another CPU temp monitor you would suggest, I'm all ears..........the "Core Temp" program monitors core temps, as you so explained........is there a good CPU temp monitor program I can get a hold of?..........and what are the safe limits for temps in my setup ?........I thank you for your insight far in advance.....................
I already gave you Intel's limits in my post above, so please read it again ... carefully. It also mentions that "SpeedFan monitors Tcase (CPU temperature) and Tjunction (Core temperature)". As for overclocking your 8800-GTX, I don't recommend it for FSX. You will actually lose a few frames by doing so, due to increased interrupts from the graphics card to the processor cores.