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Why does my Processor idle @ 19C, when my GFX Card idles @ 50C?? Help?

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January 13, 2009 7:56:04 PM

Hey all - I feel I need to do some serious changing of the ways my graphics card gets cool. My processor idles at 19 degrees Celcius, while my Radeon 3870 idles at 50 degrees Celcius!! This doesn't make any sense! I'm looking at the temps, and it's telling me there is 0% gpu stress, yet the temps never go below 50! wtf?

My processor's temps never get above 35C on full load (don't you love HDT heatsinks :p ) AND it's been overclocked from 2.0ghz to 3.0ghz. So obviously it makes me feel a little uncomfortable to know my graphics card is a good 30C higher than my processor when it's NOT working hard. What must it be at when I'm playing COD4,5? or Crysis? (which it does a pretty good job at, I'll admit)

Help? ty
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2009 8:05:38 PM

GPU's are designed to run at higher temps. 50c isn't uncommon for a GPU. You don't really need to worry unless your load temps are pushing 85c - 90c.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2009 8:32:20 PM

First off, your CPU temp is just wrong :) 
It's OK, it's an easy mistake to make. The thing is, your CPU temp sensors just report a raw number that is meaningless in itself. These numbers have to be calibrated and interpreted by software to make sense.

For an excellent... no, the finest source of information on this anywhere, look right here in our own forums:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/221745-29-core-quad-t...

As shortstuff says, GPUs run hotter. You may need to do some fan speed tweaking in Catalyst Control Center.
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January 13, 2009 9:10:38 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
GPU's are designed to run at higher temps. 50c isn't uncommon for a GPU. You don't really need to worry unless your load temps are pushing 85c - 90c.


Oh I didn't know that - that's hot! That's 122F! I wouldn't wanna touch that thing lol - I guess I'm glad GPU's have high melting temperatures...right? lol

Proximon said:
First off, your CPU temp is just wrong :) 
It's OK, it's an easy mistake to make. The thing is, your CPU temp sensors just report a raw number that is meaningless in itself. These numbers have to be calibrated and interpreted by software to make sense.

For an excellent... no, the finest source of information on this anywhere, look right here in our own forums:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/221745-29-core-quad-t...

As shortstuff says, GPUs run hotter. You may need to do some fan speed tweaking in Catalyst Control Center.


But I did use software, prox. I used coretemps - as found in this wonderful Tom's article: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/240001-29-howto-overc...

Please tell me if they are still incorrect though - I believed Coretemps to be an accurate measure of core temperature. Before installing my new heatsink+fan I was idling @ 35 (also according to Coretemps) with the stock hs, after the new heatsink+arcticsilver I began idling @19 (wooooohooooooooo!!!). I should have added the 19C idle was obtained in a 67F room temperature environment. Now it is 70F in my room, and I'm idling at 21C-22C.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2009 9:20:22 PM

I prefer RealTemp.

If your CPU was really at 19C, that would be 66F :) 
Possible if the room it's in is down in the mid-50s somewhere I suppose. Heatpipe direct type coolers , even at their best, run about 15C over ambient on C2D.


a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2009 9:22:24 PM

To clarify, it's all about where the software sets the TjMax value, as discussed in that link.
January 13, 2009 9:24:52 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
GPU's are designed to run at higher temps. 50c isn't uncommon for a GPU. You don't really need to worry unless your load temps are pushing 85c - 90c.


Proximon said:
First off, your CPU temp is just wrong :) 
It's OK, it's an easy mistake to make. The thing is, your CPU temp sensors just report a raw number that is meaningless in itself. These numbers have to be calibrated and interpreted by software to make sense.

For an excellent... no, the finest source of information on this anywhere, look right here in our own forums:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/221745-29-core-quad-t...

As shortstuff says, GPUs run hotter. You may need to do some fan speed tweaking in Catalyst Control Center.


I see, I was reading through that link - thanks very much, I'll check on that calibration - I read through your link - very informative, thank you very much for that. What of my GPU temps? I'm just using the software that came with my radeon 3870 to read that - any special knowledge needed?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2009 10:00:27 PM

No, that is generally considered accurate as far as I know. I usually hear 80C listed as "warm" for GPUs, and 90C as "hot", but then I hear there is no real problem, at least with ATI, until well over 110C.

ATI and Nvidia likely have exact temp limits listed... let me see...
- nothing from ATI.
-nothing solid from Nvidia.

I did see 85C mentioned at one place, and 90-100C mentioned elsewhere for Nvidia GTX 260.
!