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Here's my setup

  • Intel i7 940 - stock speed
  • 12GB DDR3 RAM
  • ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
  • 2x 10k RPM Velociraptor Hard drives

At no load, room temperature my cpu cores consistently read: 43 43 46 43 (Celsius)

The 3rd core is always a little hotter... don't know if maybe the thermal paste was spread uneven or something or if that core is always constantly selected by Windows by background tasks.

I built this computer last December, when the heat was actually worse because I had broken the stock fan. I'm currently using a highly rated aftermarket cpu fan/heatsink (can't remember the name). Those numbers seem to be the best I could do after removing the fan & heatsink and reapplying it several times.

I know the i7 runs hot, but this seems very hot. I've seen much lower numbers posted from people using the i7 920, albeit most had much less RAM than me (does the extra RAM generate more heat?).

Thanks in advance.

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What is the temp of your room? – MDMarra Sep 2 '09 at 11:57
Room temperature of course :)... The closest thermostat says 73f – Giovanni Galbo Sep 2 '09 at 12:10
up vote 5 down vote accepted

worry not, 43c isn't anywhere NEAR hot.

here's a thermal guide for the Core i7 920 (Source: Tom's Hardware)

-Tcase / Tjunction-

--65-- / --70--70--70--70-- Hot

--60-- / --65--65--65--65-- Warm

--55-- / --60--60--60--60--Safe <--

--25-- / --30--30--30--30-- Cool

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The temperature is definitely not hot - but it is not right either if Giovanni is using a "highly rated aftermarket cpu fan/heatsink". – caliban Sep 2 '09 at 11:48
since we don't know anything about the ambient temperature i refrain from terms like 'not right'. all we know is the CPU temperature which is perfectly safe at 43c. – Molly7244 Sep 2 '09 at 11:55
I ran the Sandra "burn in test" for 10 minutes and it looked like core #3 hit a peak of 70c... a little hotter than I would have liked on a September morning; but I guess I shouldn't worry too much since it takes an act of God (or synthetic benchmark) to get the cpu to anywhere near 100% load. I guess my dreams of calculating the last digit of pi will have to wait until my next cpu though... :) – Giovanni Galbo Sep 2 '09 at 12:07

The RAM does not affect significantly the temperatures measured off your CPU cores.

Honestly, at no load (are you sure no load is running? OS background processes checked?), it is slightly high, but not worryingly high.

I noticed you said you reapplied "[thermal paste] several times"... and I hope to the IT gods that you did not put several layers of thermal paste!!! That's usually the first mistake of novice PC assemblers - the more the merrier adage does not apply to thermal paste application!

If you did, I suggest you

  1. Stop using the PC immediately
  2. Remove the CPU and clean the surface of the CPU and the heatsink thoroughly (with a 5% alcohol solvent and a microfiber would be good)
  3. Run down to the PC hardware shop and get some good thermal paste (Artic Silver 5, etc).
  4. Follow this guide as to how to correctly apply thermal paste.

Ideally, at no load, the i7 core should be reading at about 35 to 40 Celsius.

Other things to check :

  1. Case airflow
  2. BIOS settings (Fan control settings especially)
  3. Fan orientation
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Nope... I wiped it clean with alcohol first. This is one of the places where more really isn't better! – Giovanni Galbo Sep 2 '09 at 11:51
Thank the heavens! :) heheh seen too many systems fried because of wrong thermal paste application. – caliban Sep 2 '09 at 11:52
For instructions, I prefer this site: While they probably show the same thing (I skimmed yours), I think the pictures are better on Arctic Silver's website, which can help many people more than a textual guide. – Kruug Jan 29 '13 at 16:40

Temperature is ok. No worries!

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