P4 3.06Ghz Optimum Operating Temperature

  Gary 19:34 02 Jun 2003

I have a computer with a P4 3.06Ghz processor and am trying to establish what the optimum operating temperature is. (Mine is at 59C for the processor zone, 45C for the memory region and 50C for the PCI slot area and I think it is probably a bit on the hot side). I have looked on the Intel website but have not been able to find out. Does anyone know what the level is or where I can find more details?

Anyone who has the same processor - could you possibly post the temperatures your computer runs at (from the Intel Active Monitor application if possible), both when on but not working and when working at as close to 100% CPU usage as possible? Such posts will provide a useful comparison for me - please also indicate a basic spec for the rest of the computer - CD/DVD drives, hard drives, PCI slot cards etc.


download the pdf datasheet for your processor on the intel website click here

  wawadave 20:52 02 Jun 2003

sounds too hot you must be useing a micro case. try a good large case fan.

  Gary 21:01 02 Jun 2003

--sorry to sound stupid here, but what's a microcase? The computer is house in a midi tower case.

  BillEmm 12:16 03 Jun 2003

Gary, These 3GHz Intels generate heat - lots of it - and need very effective cooling. 59 degrees C is high but not quite in the danger zone. Anything above 60C should be cause for concern.
What would worry me more is the general temperatures around the motherboard. I would not expect more than 35-40C in this area which suggests you have a general ventilation problem.
Too much cabling/devices/cards within, causing air flow obstruction? Maybe an over ambitious upgrade programme without regard to upgrading ventilation (fans: more and bigger!). What about your PSU? Is it hot also?

Just a few thoughts.

  Gary 12:35 03 Jun 2003

The PSU in the computer is 500W and has a fan on the rear of the case and also one underneath the PSU inside the case sucking air through the unit.

There is one system fan on the rear of the case and one mounted on the heatsink of the processor. There is also a fan in the graphics card and a system exhaust blower in the bottom PCI slot to suck out the heat generated by the PCI cards and specifically my TV tuner card which gets quite warm.

The spec of the computer is as follows:
P4 3.06Ghz
1024Mb DDR
2x 120Gb HDD
DVD Drive
CD-RW Drive
Creative Geforce 4 Ti4800 Graphics
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum
3.5" FDD
56k Modem
TV Tuner Card.

What I should have mentioned in the original post is that the temperatures I quoted were when the processor is running at 75% (according to Windows' Task Manager) -- do you still think this is too hot? (It is at Processor Zone = 40C, System Zone 1 = 34C, System Zone 2 = 35 currently and has been powered up but not working all morning).

  Gary 13:05 03 Jun 2003

can anyone recommend any websites that would describe ways in which I could further improve my system ventilation? Alternatively, does anyone have any ideas themselves about how I could modify the setup in the post above to be more efficient? (The computer is in a midi tower case).

Thanks in advance,


your first consideration should be to get a bigger "full" tower case, and if you havent already switch to round ATA cables.

  BillEmm 18:14 03 Jun 2003

Gary, Your PSU is not a problem but I have to agree with horiz5 up to a point. Your case is inadequate for your system. I would not suggest the need for a 'full' sized unit - unless you intend to install umpteen more devices. Round ATA cables are a help but the overall consideration is getting a ventilation system that meets your needs.

Also I note that you have two HDDs - 7200rpm are they? If they are, I hope they are not in close proximity to each other.

I have recently built an up to date system and opted for the Coolermaster ATC 201 midi case. This has two intake fans in the front, which blow nice cool air over my 4 HDDs, and two extractor fans - one in the 'roof' and the other at the rear. There are alternatives - Lian Li for one - but beware some of the cheaper options.

Another alternative is water cooling. OK if you like working in a pumping station. No offence to the Water Brigade!

  Gary 21:34 03 Jun 2003

I have today spoken with my suppliers about this issue and they think that these temperatures are OK considering that the processor is working hard. I have been using this supplier for about 7 years and they have always been very good and have been very helpful so I'm sure that they genuinely believe it will be OK. However, I'm not convinced that it is OK. Can anyone tell me what temperatures they would expect this system to normally be?

  DieSse 22:33 03 Jun 2003

"There is one system fan on the rear of the case"

Have you made sure this is blowing air out of the case?

What cooler do you have on the processor - an intel packeaged one, or some other? Have you used heat-sink compound, or did it have a pre-applied pad? Too much compound can be as bad as noe at all.

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