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Optimal CPU Temps

Last response: in CPUs
April 25, 2013 7:56:18 AM

Greetings everyone! I just built my very first rig not too long ago and had a question concerning optimal CPU temperature. What temperture is best at idle vs. moderate load vs. full load? My Asus Suite II onboard temperature sensor currently pits me at 44-45°C under idle conditions. Putting moderate strain on the system (Playstation emulator, Photoshop, Soundforge) causes the temperature to briefly spike to 52°C upon activation, but then returns to 45°C. I do not use a liquid cooling system (see specs below) and only use one fan attached to the heat sink (it can support two 120 mm fans for push and pull; the current fan installed pulls heat from the sink and out the case back). Motherboard temps read 32°C, which sounds reasonable to me.

Any advice you guys can offer would be much appreciated.

System Specs
Processor: I7-3930K
CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (w/ 120 mm fan)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver CMQ2-2.7G Céramique 2 Tri-Linear Ceramic Thermal Compound (applied via the "pea method") - OEM
Power Supply: Corsair 850W
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro
RAM: G.Skill 4x4 gb, 1600 MHz, quad channel
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 2 gb, Twin Frozr cooling fans
Case: Thermaltake Chaser Mk-1
OS: Windows 8, 64-bit, OEM

More about : optimal cpu temps

a b à CPUs
April 25, 2013 10:18:46 AM

The core temp at idle should be around 30C, depending on your ambient temp.

Download something like Core Temp to check your temps.
April 25, 2013 12:59:43 PM

ihog said:
The core temp at idle should be around 30C, depending on your ambient temp.

Download something like Core Temp to check your temps.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give this a shot and report my findings. Is this monitoring program in any way better than the stock sensor suite supplied with the motherboard?
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a b à CPUs
April 25, 2013 5:37:54 PM

In my opinion, yes. Most are.
April 26, 2013 7:11:49 AM

ihog said:
In my opinion, yes. Most are.

Ok, here are my results. Your program appears to show slightly higher temps. Overall, is my system running at safe parameters?

a b à CPUs
April 26, 2013 9:46:00 AM

Idle temperatures are of little concern. Load temperatures are most important. Run Prime95 Small FFT's, which is the standard for thermal testing, and is a steady-state 100% workload that yields steady temperatures. Since thermal saturation is reached within 7 to 8 minutes, a 10 minute test is adequate. Post your results including Ambient.

Intel's spec's for the i7 3930K:

Standard Ambient 22C
Tcase (CPU Temperature) 66C
Tcase to Tjunction Offset + 5C
Tjunction (Core Temperature) 71C
Tj Max (Shutdown Temperature) 91C

Hope this helps,

Comp :sol: 
April 26, 2013 9:56:18 AM

Thank you for the suggestion CompuTronix, I'll try it later tonight. I should note that I am not quite comfortable playing with voltages/"serious" overclocking yet. Should I run Prime95 using the stock/factory setting?
a b à CPUs
April 26, 2013 10:03:10 AM

You can use Prime95 Small FFT's for thermal testing, whether at stock default settings, or overclocked.
April 26, 2013 1:44:02 PM

Ok, here is what I got after a minute of use; I cut it short due to the high temps I saw listed. Should I have run it the full length of time you suggested or was I right to cut it short? Room temperature is 21°C.

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April 26, 2013 5:12:36 PM

I did a little more experimenting today, and got some improved results. Just to make sure there was nothing wrong with my installation, I reinstalled my CPU fan with fresh paste (using the "pea/single drop" method), made sure the 120 mm fan attached to the heat sink was properly aligned, etc. Once again, I was getting the ~50°C idle temps listed by Core Temp (and the single 45°C temp listed by my Asus Suite II temp monitor).

I played around with my fan settings in Asus Suite II and got some better results. My CPU fan speed was initially running at ~900-1000 rpm; increasing the speed to 1400 rpm dropped the Core Temp readings to 46/44/41/44/45/43, while the Asus Suite II reading was 38°C.

So with that, do you think placing another 120 mm fan on the other side of my heat sink for a push-pull setup will further drop the temperature more (or at least maintain the 35-40°C sweet spot while using less power or spinning at lower rpm)? Or are there any other suggestions that may be better?
April 26, 2013 8:17:29 PM

I don't see your response. See my attempted Prime95 results 3 posts above, and let me know what precautions/preparations I should make (if any) before giving it another try.