Sorry, Correction when I overclock to 4.08 I get the 80-82 degrees with full load prime95. I ran prime95 for 8 hours and didn't get any errors or shut down because of heat. At what temperatures does the cpu protection kick-in and shut down?
Thanks the noob.
The maximum safe temperature for a processor varies widely by model, as does the temperature the system will shut down at. After a bit of searching, the maximum temperature before you start doing immediate damage is 105C, but you never want to get it that high. From intel's datasheet, the temperature the CPU shuts down at varies slightly with each system. Various other places suggest that it's around 95-100C, which is still higher than you really want to be running the system at. Running at a constantly high temperature isn't good for the CPUs lifetime. You should be fine if your temperature peaks around 80C, although I wouldn't try to push it much beyond that.
For comparison, my laptop has a core 2 duo @ 2Ghz, it's safe up to 100C but automatically shuts down at 85C. Idle temperature is usually around 60C and its stable between 70-80C after several hours on full load. Mobile parts have a tendency to run warmer than desktop parts though, so I'm not sure how useful a comparison that is.
Personally I wouldn't be comfortable with 80 C on my i7 920. Basically higher heat = shorter live span. But you might just want to check your temps while using your computer and see what it will normally hit as a high because you might not hit 80 C outside of Prime95
I use adobe photoshop cs5 with a semi full load performing some math functions related to the software. All processors at 75-80% full load and/or approx 5 seconds at a time. These were both great answers. Thanks the noob.