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Confused about CPU temperatures

At the moment I use SpeedFan to monitor the temps of my i7 720 D0, but I find it quite confusing due to the fact that it has one temperature for CPU, and 5 others (5?) for cores, from 0 to 4. When people talk about temperatures on these forums, do they usually refer to CPU or core temperatures, and what is the reason for SpeedFan showing 5 cores?

My i7 (OC'd to 3.8Ghz) runs at 58C for the 'CPU' and a mean of 72C for the cores when maxed out using IntelBurnTest on the high setting with 8 threads running. Are these ideal temperatures, considering I have a Noctua NH-D14? Note that I have all my case fans on a low RPM and the Noctua Ultraquiet fan adapters installed to reduce noise.

Thanks
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  1. Best answer
    The reason SpeedFan shows 0 - 7 for cores is hyperthreading of the i7, which 4 cores act like 8 total. You first 4 temps are what you need to monitor. We are concerned with the cores... not the CPU temp. I would recommend using RealTemp or HWMonitor instead of SpeedFan. I've found that SpeedFan isn't as accurate as RealTemp.

    Your temps are fine at a 3.8Ghz overclocked i7 920! I won't worry about your temps unless you see an increase at full load.
  2. tecmo34 said:
    The reason SpeedFan shows 0 - 7 for cores is hyperthreading of the i7, which 4 cores act like 8 total. You first 4 temps are what you need to monitor. We are concerned with the cores... not the CPU temp. I would recommend using RealTemp or HWMonitor instead of SpeedFan. I've found that SpeedFan isn't as accurate as RealTemp.

    Your temps are fine at a 3.8Ghz overclocked i7 920! I won't worry about your temps unless you see an increase at full load.


    Thanks for clarifying which temperature is most important, but HT doesn't really explain why SpeedFan shows Core 0, Core 1, Core 2, Core 3 and Core 4!

    Anyway, RealTemp gives similar results to SpeedFan for the cores. In terms of overclocking further, would you say it's worth a temperature increase of around 6C to go past 4Ghz, or should I just leave it as it is?

    Thanks
  3. Best answer selected by und.
  4. und said:
    Thanks for clarifying which temperature is most important, but HT doesn't really explain why SpeedFan shows Core 0, Core 1, Core 2, Core 3 and Core 4!

    Anyway, RealTemp gives similar results to SpeedFan for the cores. In terms of overclocking further, would you say it's worth a temperature increase of around 6C to go past 4Ghz, or should I just leave it as it is?

    Thanks

    Did you click on the "Configure" button to see if the other cores show up? When you load SpeedFan, it defaults to only show some much or certain things. You'll need to go into the "Configure" tab to move the other cores up or rearrange it to show the temps you want.

    It would be safe going up a few degrees to get it past 4Ghz with your temps, as long as passes Prime95 for 2+ hours and your system remains stable. If a gaming system, you won't really see much benefit in doing so but if you are wanting to benchmark, it'll help you out.
  5. tecmo34 said:
    Did you click on the "Configure" button to see if the other cores show up? When you load SpeedFan, it defaults to only show some much or certain things. You'll need to go into the "Configure" tab to move the other cores up or rearrange it to show the temps you want.

    It would be safe going up a few degrees to get it past 4Ghz with your temps, as long as passes Prime95 for 2+ hours and your system remains stable. If a gaming system, you won't really see much benefit in doing so but if you are wanting to benchmark, it'll help you out.

    Thanks a lot for the help. It's much appreciated.
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