Super low idle temps, are they accurate?

Hey guys, not sure if this is a silly question or not but I recently bought an AMD FX-6100 and have it overclocked to 4.5ghz with a low voltage of 1.375. I bought an Antec 300 case (1 120mm fan up front blowing air in, 1 140mm fan on top blowing in, 1 120mm on the back blowing out) and put a Zalman 9900MAX 135mm HSF and applied it with Artic Silver 5 thermal compound. I let it all set for a few days before tweaking the BIOS settings and once I found a frequency, voltage, and max temp I was comfortable with, and more importantly ran stable overnight on Prime95 I started monitoring temps thoroughly. I realized I wasn't getting a good reading from SpeedFan (actually no core temp reading at all, I found out that what I thought was my core temp was just one of three gauges from the Motherboard). Anyway, I got HW Monitor and was set, I noticed that at idle my core temps are well below room temperature. Anywhere from 10C to 15C at idle, when I run Prime95 for a few hours my temps max out around 45C (which I am pretty satisfied with). I am wondering if it is common for an idle temp to be well below room temperature? I stick my hand in the case and it is quite cool I just don't know if its 10C cool. I've read about certain cooling systems that can get temps below zero but that is most definately not what I am working with. Here are some links of my hardware if you're not familiar with them:

Zalman HSF:
Antec Case:

I would just like to hear that other people experience low temps and that this could very well be an accurate reading.
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  1. You should not be able to cool below ambient temperature without a phase-change system, sticking the PC directly in front of an AC, etc (some other ways to do this i know, though these aren't typical). Also, those that do cool below ambient temps have to deal with condensation buildup, which is a separate issue. I would say there is something wrong here.
  2. Maybe to explain that a little clearer. In nature, the tendancy of different temperatures is to equalize. If you are blowing ambient temperature air over ambient temperature parts, you would still have ambient temperature parts. That is the best case scenario for cooling a pc with using something to reduce the temperature of the cooling below ambient temperature. Since pc components generate heat, you should expect above-ambient temperatures on your parts, and also for the air exhausting your case (since the air "collects" heat when it passes through your system)
  3. I agree, thats why I thought these temps are too low to be accurate. My ambient temps are right around room temp 22C or 71F and I expect to see my core temps slightly above this. As for troubleshooting my problem, I've tried a handful of monitoring programs and haven't seen any difference with the results. So I'm wondering if maybe I was messy with the thermal compound and got some if it on the slot or outlying areas and that could be throwing my temps off. When I was installing my Zalman 9900MAX I tried to install it by myself with the motherboard still mounting to the case to save time (my kids were running around going crazy and it was close to time to make them dinner, but since I had just gotten my CPU cooler in the mail I couldnt resist trying to get it installed ASAP). Upon installing it I found it impossible to get all of the screws from the bracket to the mount and I felt the cooler slide around a little bit on the CPU, then I decided to take the board out of the case and do it with a little more patience. I tinted the cooler with thermal compound and put a tiny dot on the processor, perhaps this was too much? Can too much thermal compound cause inaccurate readings? Can a messy application process cause inaccurate readings? I'd like to think my setup is just so awesome that it can defeat the laws of nature and science, but this can't be true :( . I appreciate the help and am open to anyone's input.

    I found this forum that states fx-6100 sensors are off by 10c. if that's the case 20-25c are your ambient temps and your idle temps? and 55c would be your load temps. That sounds better to me than those you listed. I could not, however, find much confirmation on this yet.
  5. Best answer

    here's a couple more forums. Second seems to suggest this is a problem with the software not having been updated for AMD's newest architecture yet.
  6. Yeah kelthic I think this must be true because I downloaded AMD Overdrive and I get 24C at idle which I think is much more accurate. It must be a software problem. This isn't the only software problem I have with this chip. I have trouble with some benchmarks, they will run just fine and show decent results then when it takes me to the website it will say my graphics card and processor are not recognized or not supported. The benchmarks dont bother me so much because I can see that I get great performance in everything I use the computer for so I am happy. Well I really appreciate your help and your research, well done my friend I'll put this as solved.
  7. Best answer selected by stickg1.
  8. Not a problem, happy to help! :)
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