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Safe System Temperatures


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#1
jacobt

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Hi everybody,
In searching around on the internet I've found conflicting information as to what the appropriate temperatures for my computers' CPU and motherboard to run at should be. I just recently built this system and the specifications are as follows:

-Asus M3N78 PRO GeForce 8300 HDMI Hybrid SLI MB
-AMD Phenom X4 9500 4M 95W Socket AM2 CPU
-OCZ SLI 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz
-GeForce 9400 GT 1GB PCIe w/DVI
-WD Caviar 500GB Serial ATA HD 7200/8MB/SATA-3G
-Sony 20X DVDRW IDE
-500W ATX POWER SUPPLY

The temperature has been around 40 C CPU and 35 C MB (according to the ASUS "PC Probe" utility) at idle (see screenshot, just Firefox running at the moment) and the temperature is excessively higher under a heavy load. Also, this is with the case open. With the cover in it seems to run about 5 degrees hotter. That is quite a bit.
I have one 60 mm fan in the back, but it is recycled from an old system and I don't know if it is appropriate for this machine.

Anybody if anybody can advise as to what is a safe operating temperature for this motherboard and CPU and what would be a dangerous temperature, that would be greatly appreciated.
Also, I plan on keeping the case open for the time being. I have a couple of new fans coming in the mail soon. If anybody has any other comments on potential issues with this particular build that input would be valued as well.

Thanks,
Jacob

Attached Thumbnails

  • SystemTemp.jpg

Edited by jacobt, 08 October 2009 - 01:09 AM.

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#2
SRX660

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One thing you really can't depend on is motherboard temp utilities. They can be way off on some MB's. While 40 degrees is warm it is not that hot. Most AMD processors will start frying at 85 degrees C. Usually the temp where you start having problems with data loss is around 65 degrees C. Here's my finger temp test method chart.
70C = Burnt Fingers
60C = Painful(the OUCH)
50C = Hot
40C = Pleasantly Warm

I have quit using AMD cpu's lately but many of my older AMd computer always ran hotter than the intel cpu computers. 60 to 65 degrees C was not a concern for me with those older comp's( last one was a AMD 2800)

I know it's not the correct method but it works for me when i stick my finger against the fins on the side of the CPU heatsink. If its too hot to hold my finger against for a second or so, then i have usually found out why the computer crashes.

Something else you can do is to find or borrow a infrared thermometer to tell you what the real temp is. They work very well. Just be careful where you aim it as the heatsink fan can throw it off. Aim for the base of the heatsink.

SRX660
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#3
Digerati

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Your temperature of 40°C is fine (excellent, actually) for the information you gave us. Note the maximum temp AMD calls for with your CPU is 70°C. But then you said,

and the temperature is excessively higher under a heavy load.

What does that mean?

I have one 60 mm fan in the back

60mm? That is very small and may not be enough. How old is that case? Is that the only fan, besides the PSU fan? If your case does not support 120mm or larger fans, preferably in front as well as back, then I would consider getting a new case that does. You want good front to back air flow. Don't worry so much about over and under pressures you may read about - you want flow, cool air coming in from the front, and heated air exhausting out the back.

And for the record, I will never have another case that does not include a washable air filter too.
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#4
jacobt

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Firstly, thanks so much to each of you for your quick responses, I've found this information to be most invaluable. Your insight is greatly appreciated.

Moving on, in response to the following question:
[/u][/url]. But then you said,

and the temperature is excessively higher under a heavy load.

What does that mean?
Though I question the accuracy of the included "PC Probe II" software provided by ASUS I think that it is probably a pretty close estimate.. within a range of 5 degrees anyway.
By default, the CPU temperature alarm is configured to activate at a temperature of 60 C and the MB temperature alarm is configured to activate at a temperature of 45 C. The MB alarm has gone off more than once and the CPU alarm has only come close. Sorry for being so vague on the original post.

I purchased the case as part of a kit, as it has been quite a while since I put together a computer from scratch. The case can be seen here: http://www.tigerdire...p?Sku=A355-2010 (If it is against the policies of this forum to post links to other sites, someone please let me know, I may have missed it in the rules).
I was thinking I might try and retrofit a large fan into the spot where I have two empty 5.25 inch bays in the front, but that is just one idea. Also, my old system is in a pretty nice full tower case. I could possibly disassemble that and put my current setup in that. I don't really like that idea as much though.

Of note also, the case manufacturer's website recommends the following:
90mm Rear
80mm Front(optional)
So with only one 60mm, the system is probably not adequately cooled.

At the time of writing this, the system is at 40 C MB, 40 C CPU, which seems acceptable.

Thanks for your time. Have a great day.


-Jacob

Attached Thumbnails

  • systemtemp2.jpg

Edited by jacobt, 10 October 2009 - 08:54 AM.

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#5
Digerati

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If it is against the policies of this forum to post links to other sites, someone please let me know, I may have missed it in the rules

Linking to your hardware is fine - helps us a lot actually. As long as you are not attempting to sell something or advertise for another site, or drive people away from here, links are fine.

80mm fans are the typical standard, but still considered small. 90mm is better, but 120mm is becoming the new standard. At any rate, anything you could add would improve you cooling. Fortunately, you are not experiencing high heat problems - although the 60°C alarm going off would concern me. Of course, keeping the interior clean of heat trapping dust may cure that issue.

There is a fan in your PSU too that helps move air through the case, but that should not be counted upon for system cooling as its job is to cool the PSU, not the case.
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