Subject: Normal versus Maximum CPU Operating Temperatures
By: Jackpine (IP: 192.75.48.*)
Written on: 18-05-2006 18:04

I read the article on this site about maximum CPU temperatures, and was wondering if there is any information available on normal operating termperatures?

I realize that the temperature varies due to many factors, such as how much processing the cpu is doing at any one time, but are there figures available that show normal, idle temperatures? This may give an other indication if an installed cpu is operating correctly, and has been installed correctly.

By: Ray (IP: 195.92.168.*)
Written on: 19-05-2006 00:11

Most reviews of heatsinks mention the stock item in passing and show idle vs max temp comparisons. I'm surprised you haven't seen any ... here's a couple of examples &

As ever, you have to place a certain amount of trust in the expertise of the reviewers, as well as any potential commercial bias and accuracy. For example, the stock Intel cooler comes with a pre-applied heat pad that requires some initial heat for it to make a proper bond - these pads are made from phase change material and I wonder how many reviewers actuall remove, clean, re-apply and heat-cycle the stock pad every time they do a review?

HTH, Ray
By: Tillmann (IP: 217.224.10.*)
Written on: 25-05-2006 15:04


idle temperatures are entirely irrelevant, and give neither an indication of the performance of the cooler (due to fan temperature control), nor do they tell you whether the CPU or heatsink are installed correctly. It is true that many reviewers include idle temperatures in their roundups; I don't see why (what IS relevant, however, is the noise level of the cooler when the CPU is idle. That info is missing from almost all reviews, though).

The only thing that matters is maximum temperature. If your (non-overclocked) CPU never exceeds its maximum allowed temperature, fine. That's all that matters.

By: Ray (IP: 81.77.195.*)
Written on: 31-05-2006 02:49

Ummm ... I am prepared to be shot down in flames about this.

Idle temps ARE relevant - for example;-

1) how many posts recently have been made by (rightly) panicked people who see 2x and 3x "normal" temps at idle. This has resulted, from memory, in re-checking heatsink fittings and long-overdue dustoffs. OK, one could argue that 100% load temps would tell the same story. I'd say idle temp comparisons do not result in a blown chip. If all that's required is a mere inspection & dustoff/clean/reseat then mission accomplished? And much cheaper.
2) if idle temps were never checked then how can one tell the efficiency of the HSF/paste/chipset etc vs 100% load. Worst case scenario ... just-below-limit temps at 100% load AND the same result at idle, oh and the fan gets louder too. Result = short chip life because it's ALWAYS running "hot".
3) assuming most people run their PC's "normally" for most of the time that the machine is switched on. Therefore, without idle temp comparisons how would anyone know if their PC is running too hot during normal use (aside from the smoke)?

Cheers, Ray
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