Dr Grumps, the lower you can keep the temperature the better, but I think a general rule of thumb is for the cpu to be in the low 40s when idling, and no more than about 55C when working hard. I think AMD specify the maximum temperature as about 80C, but this would not be conducive to a long life. With fan cooling you should be able to get the temperature to within 10C of the case internal temperature, so it is also a good idea to keep the case well ventilated.
I have an xp2000 cpu and am managing to get my temps to about 26c idling and about mid 30s when working (hard). My cooling solution is the Zalman flower cooler but the overall best was the Thermaltake Volcanoe 7+, I was getting temps in the high teens with that, the only down side was the noise. If you plan to overclock you need to get lower temps.
When working hard, my XP2000 has been getting into the high 60's which is a bit worrying. I brought the "processor in a box" so it came with an AMD approved heatsink/fan. I also have a Coolermaster case fan so I would have expected a lower temperature.
Idle temp is about 53.
Any suggestions on a better cooling system would be appreciated as I don't know what a Thermaltake Volcanoe is.
The Zalman web site has information on all there coolers:- Zalman click here You can get them, and several others from Overclockers click here. This is a well respected company specialising in products of interest to those who want to push their pc's to the limit.
The Thermaltake Volcano is described on the Thermaltake web site click here It is available from Dabs click here
JamesF, the only problem with removing the existing heatsink is the risk of breaking the lugs off the processor socket. You need to press down quite firmly with a flat bladed screwdriver on the heatsink clip to release it, and if you are not very careful you can break the socket lug. If that happens you may need a new motherboard.
You will also need to wipe all the heatsink compound from the processor before fitting the new heatsink.
ive built two identical systems(one for me the other for a mate)and found that the CPU's generally operate slightly differently for example my mates XP cpu(1800+)when first turned on runs at 38c i think it was where as mine runs at 43c when first turned on(1800+)cpu
but as a rule a cpu even after being on for say about 3-4 hours wants to reach a max temp of about 65-69c and not go any higher than that