So, I have a dual-core i3-3220, and SpeedFan is saying it's at 40c on first core, and 42c for the second core on 10% load, which sounds great. But then, my BIOS is reading 55c for the CPU (doesn't separate the cores), which doesn't sound so great. I tend to trust my MSI motherboard BIOS, rather than a third party, free program, but I've heard that SpeedFan is a pretty accurate temperature reader. What's going on?
The bios readings are from a sensor located under the cpu. It is calibrated to be accurate enough to control fans and what not. Speedfan is getting a temperature from the CPU core it self.
It is important to know that Intel says those sensors are for thermal protection and may be less accurate at lower temperatures, but should be damn good at higher temperatures as they are what tell the cpu its too hot and to throttle.
In general, In the bios you have NO power saving features so the temps are higher.
If you just want to see temps, I recommend HWmon. it is faster and lighter then SF(should give the same temps).
Alright thanks a lot man. I'm idling in the mid 30s-40, and my GPU is idling in the low 30s, which seems excellent. I'm also getting three more 120mm case fans, which should lower my temps even more, and provide some cooling to the RAM which has basically no cooling right now.
I know it doesn't need much, but the closest fan is at the front of the case, so the RAM receives almost no air. My HD is nice and cool, around 25c idle/low load, but that's because it has a fan running right on it.