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Most accurate CPU temp software

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January 26, 2012 7:51:30 AM

So I'm highly confused at the moment. I've always used SpeedFan. But with my latest rig (Core i5 2500K, ASUS P8Z68-V/Gen 3) I'm doubting its accuracy. Basically, it was reporting CPU temps at well over 70 C with the stock cooler while running games. I thought, holy crap, I need a new cooler so I bought a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo. Temps remained mostly the same (or so it appeared). Reapplied the thermal paste 3 times. I checked the BIOS CPU temp after letting run up to over 70 C and it was showing a mere 30 C.

Now I thought, there's no way it could cool that fast so I started getting suspicious. I tried out CoreTemp, RealTemp, and HWMonitor. I ran all side by side, but only HWMonitor and SpeedFan report overall CPU temps. There was a 30 degree discrepancy though. While testing it with BF:BC2 Single player, SpeedFan was reporting 70+ while HWMonitor was only reporting around 40-45. All 3 of the newcomers to my PC reported similar core temps too with SpeedFan being the only one different. It's core temp reports were at least close though and not a 30 degree difference.

Thing is, at idle, there seems to be far less of a discrepancy. HWMonitor reports 34 CPU overall while SpeedFan is reporting 42 CPU overall.

So, is SpeedFan just not accurate with Sandy Bridge, or just flat not accurate at all?

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January 26, 2012 8:20:35 AM

I've not tried SpeedFan, but I've been using HWMonitor since I built my PC and it works great. I have no reason to doubt its temps since they are all within the reported/recommended range.

at stock.....

Idle temps are between 28-33 degrees, load temps are about 55 degree's under Prime95

and with 4.5GHz OC....

Idle temps are between 30-33 degrees, and load temps are up to about 66 degree's under Prime95.


EDIT: Have you checked if SpeedFan is reporting temps in Fahrenheit? rather than Degree's Celsius? This could explain the different numbers.
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January 26, 2012 2:09:21 PM

Get rid of Speedfan before it messes up everything... that's one application that is the least reliable for anything..... IMO.
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January 26, 2012 2:15:36 PM

Coretemp is really good, and AMD overdrive shows each cores heat but its your choice.
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January 26, 2012 2:16:27 PM

I agree with davcon. use coretemp and realtemp and find where the median values are. That is most accurate.

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January 26, 2012 6:03:00 PM

Thanks for the advice. SpeedFan is gone. Now I'm curious to what my temps were with the old HSF. Now I feel like I've wasted $40 and a lot of Arctic Silver 5. Oh well, i guess it's a good thing to have if I decide to start overclocking.

Now that I've got this sorted, time to install that new SSD :) 
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February 16, 2012 12:39:58 AM

I also experienced discrepancies using SpeedFan. SF reported CPU @ 180F, GPU @ 104F.

AI Suite/Probe II reported CPU @ 82F & EVGA Precision tool reported GPU @ 104F.

Core Temp reports CPU @ 82F.

Real Temp reports CPU @ 82F.


I have an i-5 2400, and I have the same CPU cooler that you do. SF is certainly not accurate for CPU temps.
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June 22, 2012 1:10:10 AM

B16CXHatch said:
So I'm highly confused at the moment. I've always used SpeedFan. But with my latest rig (Core i5 2500K, ASUS P8Z68-V/Gen 3) I'm doubting its accuracy. Basically, it was reporting CPU temps at well over 70 C with the stock cooler while running games. I thought, holy crap, I need a new cooler so I bought a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo. Temps remained mostly the same (or so it appeared). Reapplied the thermal paste 3 times. I checked the BIOS CPU temp after letting run up to over 70 C and it was showing a mere 30 C.

Now I thought, there's no way it could cool that fast so I started getting suspicious. I tried out CoreTemp, RealTemp, and HWMonitor. I ran all side by side, but only HWMonitor and SpeedFan report overall CPU temps. There was a 30 degree discrepancy though. While testing it with BF:BC2 Single player, SpeedFan was reporting 70+ while HWMonitor was only reporting around 40-45. All 3 of the newcomers to my PC reported similar core temps too with SpeedFan being the only one different. It's core temp reports were at least close though and not a 30 degree difference.

Thing is, at idle, there seems to be far less of a discrepancy. HWMonitor reports 34 CPU overall while SpeedFan is reporting 42 CPU overall.

So, is SpeedFan just not accurate with Sandy Bridge, or just flat not accurate at all?


Make sure you don't get confused with CPU temp and CORE temp. They are different temperature readings. Your CPU temp could be in the 30's or 40's while the CORE temps could be in the 60's and 70's because the heat originates from the cores...

Hope this helps.
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