CPU temp question

Does anyone know where to looking up the operating temps for various CPUs ?

I’ve recently acquired a tchotchke that tells me the temp (as does MotherBorad Monitor, which I had previously been using), but I don’t know what a “good” temp is. The highest I’ve seen is 90F, which I’m thinking is well into the safe range, but I’m wanting to do some upgrades to the CPU and MBD and I don’t know where the “dager zone” is (though I’m assuming it varies based on MBD/CPU).


It varies depending on CPU. My AMD regularly runs in the 50’s © and has even gotten up to 60 once or twice. My P4 runs pretty steadily at 36 to 38©. Supposedly both are rated to run up to 90©, but I wouldn’t want either to get close.

50 C = 122 F
60 C = 140 F
90 C = 194 F

36 C = 97 F
38 C = 101 F

A quick and dirty rule of thumb is that every 10 deg C above room temp cuts the expected life in half. This rule is notoriously inaccurate at both ends of the scale, i.e. there’s not much of a dropoff in reliability from say 30 to 40 deg C, and after say 80 deg C things really go downhill quick. But, for quick and dirty rules, it ain’t bad.

You can get the temp specs from the manufacturer (Intel, AMD, etc) but be careful. These are often the max temp before the device stops working pretty much immediately, not the max temp you can safely run the device at long term. In other words, if you run your CPU at 95 deg C and it’s rated for 90, it probably won’t last the hour. But if you run it at 80 deg C, it may not last for six months, so obviously even though 80 is below its max spec of 90 you wouldn’t want to run it that hot.

If you want to be safe, keep it under 45 deg C. Many big name computer manufacturers run their CPUs at slightly higher temps, up to about 55 or 60 deg C, just to save on the cost of heat sinks, fans, etc. They are willing to take a slight hit to the reliability numbers to make it cheaper because they figure you’ll probably upgrade before the long term reliability comes into play anyway.

90 F is about 32 C so you’re safe.

Here’s a page that lists CPU critical temperatures. Looks like your CPU is WELL beneath the danger zone. Hell, you can probably overclock it by ten degrees or so…

Well, slap my monkeyhide and call me Milton, I screwed up that link. Here it is: http://www.pantherproducts.co.uk/Articles/CPU/CPU%20Temperatures.shtml

Many thanks, SPOOFE; this is exactly what I was looking for.

And thanks, too, engineer_comp_geek, I didn’t know that (I’ve been a PC tech for a long time, but never learned anything about the specifics of temperature’s effect (even rule-of-thumb) on CPUs).

Be sure that your monitor program is reading the correct sensor and not the northbridge/power supply sensor. 90F is kinda low for a modern CPU.

I thought it might be low, too, but that’s the highest of the sensor readings. I think maybe they may all be off, but I don’t think it’s by more than a few degrees, as I’ve used a separate hardware thermometer and gotten readings that are within 4-5 degrees.