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CPU temperature relative to ambient?

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August 23, 2012 1:16:56 AM

Hi All,
Whats the ideal (or more practically, achievable) CPU temperature relative to ambient?

For example, with an ambient of 28 deg C, my core i7-3770k idles at 41-43 deg C with a Noctua NH-D14.
So thats about 12-15 deg C above ambient.

I have the following questions:

1) Generally how much above ambient should I expect:

a) Idle
b) Load
c) Overclocked

2) Is this difference constant? Meaning, as the ambient temperature increases, will the CPU tems increase by the same amount?

Just to have an idea of how good is the cooling, and how much overclock potential my setup has, since temps here never really go below 25 deg C.

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a c 109 à CPUs
August 23, 2012 1:29:00 AM

1) You should look at some thermal results on the web, look at a lot to get a rough average. They SHOULD post ambient temps to give you a Delta temp.

2) Yes, this amount is constant. If your ambient temperatures go up 1 degree, so will your CPU.

Generally speaking, you should be able to OC your 3770k to around 4.5Ghz without any issues considering you have a very beefy cooler. That seems to be the average clock speed most people can achieve :)  Unless you get extremely lucky, 4.8Ghz would seem pushing it.
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August 23, 2012 5:55:19 AM

mocchan said:
1) You should look at some thermal results on the web, look at a lot to get a rough average. They SHOULD post ambient temps to give you a Delta temp.

2) Yes, this amount is constant. If your ambient temperatures go up 1 degree, so will your CPU.

Generally speaking, you should be able to OC your 3770k to around 4.5Ghz without any issues considering you have a very beefy cooler. That seems to be the average clock speed most people can achieve :)  Unless you get extremely lucky, 4.8Ghz would seem pushing it.


Thanks for the reply!

From what I can find online, the Delta T for this cooler:
@ 75W is 14 deg C
@ 120W is 21 deg C
@ 180W is 29 deg C.

The tdp for this processor @ 95% load is 146W, so I'm expecting somewhere around 22-24 degrees delta T.
Overclocked @ 4.7 GHz is 220W which might be a bit high.

I think my casing also affects the cooling performance:
Antec P280
3 exhaust fans (Antec TwoCool, 120mm, 2 on top, 1 back)
2 intake fans (Noctua NF-12P, 120mm, PWM)

But it might be possible to achieve 4.5GHz as you say.
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a c 109 à CPUs
August 23, 2012 6:01:50 AM

Ah so you have one of those 'silence' oriented cases I see :)  I personally use one similar to it.

From what I've noticed, the temperatures inside the case/components is only off by around 2C-3C from an airflow oriented case. I don't think you should be too concerned.

However, yes, you should be able to reach around 4.5Ghz stable. Though I would definitely back off the overclock if you see temps higher than 85C at that clock.
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August 23, 2012 6:19:38 AM

Best answer selected by proton007.
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