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CPU Temp at Idle

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September 27, 2012 5:19:29 PM

I just set up my new ASRock X79 Extreme 6/GB mobo. Sure does look pretty. As I understand it, I can overclock this thing until fire starts coming out the back end. :cheese: 

I was wondering what normal CPU temperature ranges are High --> Low

Right now it idles at 42 degrees C.

I had read some posts where they were saying the idle temp for their CPU was 32 C.

Am I running hot?

I have 2 fans - one on the heat sink and one on the back of the case.

Do you think 2 more fans will drop the CPU idle temp to 32 C?

More about : cpu temp idle

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September 27, 2012 6:17:23 PM

It depends on the CPU, what CPU do you have and what speed is it at?

It also depends on the cooler being used. This is why you can't compare temps of other peoples to your own unless the setup of their machines are identical.

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September 27, 2012 6:21:04 PM
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With a stock CPU cooler, 42°C is normal, 32°C is low, but good. To bring your CPU temp down, you must consider several factors:

1. Ambient (room) temp - warmer climates will suck in warmer air into the case, thus keeping temps higher. Naturally, cooler climates mean cooler temps.

2. After market CPU coolers FrozenCPU or Newegg are good sites to find hardware.

3. Thermal Paste. If changing your CPU cooler from the stock unit, pick up Artic Silver 5 thermal paste. Remember to completely remove all old paste (90% Isopropyl Alcohol is a cleaning agent) before applying AS5.

4. More or aftermarket case fans.

5. Placement of case fans. There is intake and there is exhaust. Generally, you want intake fans at the bottom. The typical ATX case will accomodate an 80mm fan at the front to pull in cool air for the 3.5" device bays; however, most 'gaming' or higher quality cases will accomodate both an 80mm and 120mm fans.

6. Air pressure/Air flow. There are some who believe that negative air pressure works best; and some who swear by positive air pressure. Negative air pressure means you have more fans in exhaust mode, where the thought process is you're removing more hot air, thereby keeping your internal case temp low. On the other hand, positive air pressure means more intake fans to suck in cool air, where this thought process is you have more cool air coming in, so the devices will cool off faster.

7. Cases. Like I mentioned before, your case plays a big role in how cool your system is. For example, take a look at my case. Notice that this case is full mesh. Heat is not a problem in my case, as there is so many ways for heat to escape.

8. Cooling system. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle is your cooling hardware. There is air (fans and heatsinks) or there is liquid (water and radiators). Depending on your budget and reach of overclock, there are several ways to keep your cool. Air cooling is cheaper and easier to install. Liquid is more expensive and sometimes difficult, but the amount of cooling is (supposed to be) worthwhile.
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a b V Motherboard
September 27, 2012 6:23:46 PM

Ummm.....don't you think it would help to mention what cpu you have??

There is no normal cpu temp. Your cpu temp depends on several factors including ambient room temperature and case airflow. Everyones is different.
September 27, 2012 7:16:22 PM

I meant to tell you about the CPU, sorry.

Here's what I have -

CPU - Intel Core i7-3820 3.6GHz
Case - Thermaltalke V4 Black Edition, VM 3000 series
Mid-Tower
-comes w/ Rear Exhaust Fan 120x120x25mm Blue LED fan 1,300 rpm, 17 dBA
-all fan mounts are 120mm - 2 top, 1 bottom, 1 side panel
-I left the top 5.25 bay open as they recommend when Front Top Fan is used

The only fan I have installed is the back fan that came with the case and the fan on the heat sink of course.

Heat Sink & Fan - Cooler Master, Hyper 212 Evo
-comes with 120mm fan

Do you think a CPU temp 42 C at idle is too hot, or is that well within range?

Under load, how hot can I let the CPU get without dramatically affecting the life/function of the CPU?


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September 27, 2012 7:28:54 PM

42°C is within normal operating temperature range. Intel has the TCase at 66.8°C, so, don't let your CPU temp get higher than that.
September 27, 2012 7:38:53 PM

T_T said:
With a stock CPU cooler, 42°C is normal, 32°C is low, but good. To bring your CPU temp down, you must consider several factors:

Hi T_T,

Thanks for the help, very good and to the point info.

Do you have a link for your case? I'm interested to see that.

I used Artic 5 and put on about 2 grains of rice in amount and spread on whole CPU with credit card and I tinted the heat sink. Then I ran the system and it went to 42 C at idle. Then I took off the heat sink and scraped the thermal past down to a very thin layer, about 1 grain of rice. When I ran the system it still went to 42 C. From now on I'm just putting on the 1 grain of rice quantity spread very thin, about the thickness of a cigarette paper and I'll tint the heat sink. The thermal paste was only meant to fill any imperfections in the surface (which we can't even see.) I used a non-lint cloth to clean the CPU and heat sink and to wipe excess paste off the credit card so I wouldn't transfer lint to the CPU that will create heat - a cloth that came with my glasses worked good for that. As I understand it you can also get non-lint cloths at office supply stores that they sell for cleaning monitors.

I'll look at the liquid coolers, should be an interesting project.

I think I'll add 3 fans. I'll install the 2 top fans as intake, the side panel fan as exhaust and the back fan is already installed as an exhaust fan. That way we'll give equal service to both theories. It will be interesting to see how much that lowers the CPU temp. I bet it gets close to 10 C reduction.

How hot do you think I can let the CPU get without dramatically affecting life or function? Is there any rule of thumb or range that people look to?
September 27, 2012 7:41:22 PM

Wow, you guys are quick - answered before I even posted my last comment.

Thanks!
September 27, 2012 7:41:42 PM

Best answer selected by skydoggie77.
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a c 103 V Motherboard
September 27, 2012 7:55:10 PM

If you still want to see the case I'm using, click on "my case" in topic number 7 my first reply to your post.
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September 27, 2012 7:58:03 PM

Well, I would be amazed if simply adding more fans gave you a 10 degree decrease. It is going to depend on the abilities of your CPU cooler, I suppose if it has cooler air for it's fan you will see some decrease but 10c is pretty significant by only reducing ambient case temperature, unless of course you have a hot pocket sitting over the cooler, in that case adding fans may "relocate" that hot pocket, hopefully out of the case.. You are also aware you can put too much thermal paste on the CPU as well which can lead to higher temps?
September 28, 2012 1:00:23 AM

chugot9218 said:
You are also aware you can put too much thermal paste on the CPU as well which can lead to higher temps?

Hi Chugot9218,

I had read that was the case. That's why I scraped off the excess, to test it. It didn't make any difference in CPU temp, but why have it on there if it's not doing any good and it may heat up at higher temperatures. I am now in the "very thin layer of thermal paste, spread it over the whole CPU, and tint the heat sink" camp. Also I like using a credit card, you can get a very thin layer that way.
September 28, 2012 1:01:58 AM

Thanks everybody, you have been very helpful. I hope I can return the favor some day.
October 1, 2012 6:26:58 AM

2141255,11,1200184 said:
Well, I would be amazed if simply adding more fans gave you a 10 degree decrease. It is going to depend on the abilities of your CPU cooler, I suppose if it has cooler air for it's fan you will see some decrease but 10c is pretty significant by only reducing ambient case temperature, unless of course you have a hot pocket sitting over the cooler, in that case adding fans may "relocate" that hot pocket, hopefully out of the case./quotemsg]

Hi Chugot9218,

You were right I added three 2,000 RPM fans and it didn't lower the CPU temperature at all. It did reduce the Sandy Bridge temperature about 4 degrees though and the motherboard a degree or 2. That was worthwhile.

I bought a liquid CPU Cooler -- CORSAIR H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

Let's see how much good that does. I'll post back here once I've installed it.

I actually should get temps under load as well as idle so I'll do that too. It will be interesting to see how much lower temps are with the liquid CPU cooler.
!