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I'm new to building my own computers and I was wondering about maximum temperatures.

I understand that the room temp can affect the computers temp but how relevent is it? I understand that if my room temp is 20°C none of my computer parts could be lower than that. But if my room is 27°C instead of 20°C would this cause my computers parts to heat up more/faster?

My new computer I built myself for gaming is

i7 2600k
16gb ram ddr3 1600
hd6970 2 gb
240gb ssd ( bought a nas with 3 2tb drives in raid 5 for my home network )
850w modular psu

I also have my old hp computer

i3 2120
8gb ram
1tb hdd

I also have 3 laptops in my household, but I am not worried about their temps, they heat up my legs but they are never under stress.

Due to size and money reasons I used an old case and it only has one of the sides left on it. Is this bad for the computer and will the extra dust cause problems? Or should I leave it this way or take the missus wrath and buy a case? If so is there any certain case I should get? I don't care about looks I just want card reader and usb slots and for it to run as cool or cooler than now, my case has 1 fan.

Also what are the max temps for my new and old computer parts? Is 40°C under load ok for my CPU, what about 70°C for my GPU is that ok too, or should I worry? What are normal and safe temps for my components?

I have looked around but there seem to be lots of different answers. I know that 100°C is bad but I want my parts to last as long as possible and this site always seems to give good replies without arguing or flaming.

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Considering how much money you must've spent on those parts, a good case would be a very cost-effective investment. Having the side off will obviously cause more dust build-up, which is a big no-no. I'd suggest doing routine cleaning of the internals more often if you decide not to get a new case. – kotekzot Mar 27 '12 at 16:21

On Room Temperature's Effects on your System:

Theoretically, room temperature affects computer temperature. However, fans and heatasinks tend to be efficient enough that this only becomes a factor if your room is really, REALLY hot. I.e. I've only had a problem with this once, and it was because my computer was on top of a heater and partially covered by a blanket on accident. Short answer: don't worry about this unless your room is a sauna.

On Leaving the Side of Your Case Off:

It's not a bad idea per se, but it may not help airflow any, either. Many cases are designed so that air flows through the case through the fan grilles (in the front and out the back, or vice versa), and taking the side off eliminates that benefit, but adds the advantage that your computer is exposed to the room's air temp and circulation rather than potentially being hotter inside the case. This topic is debatable, but with your specs, especially if you're not overclocking, I doubt this will cause thermal issues for you. Short answer: do this or don't, but don't worry too much about it if you're not overclocking.

On Buying a Case:

If you only have one case fan, you're probably not getting optimal airflow. Leaving the side off may help, but realistically any of the cheap cases for sale on Newegg will probably do you better than what you have now. Try for something with at least two fans, one at the front and one at the rear, to make sure air continues passing over all of the parts. Pretty much every case on there also has the external ports you want. Short answer: not that big a deal, but consider buying a new case, they're cheap, and better than what you have.

On Safe Load/Temps:

There are a lot of different replies to your questions about max load and temperature because ... well, there are a lot of different answers and a lot of different tolerances for a lot of different parts. In general, I tend to consider 57C the maximum safe threshold for a consumer-grade, non-custom-cooling-unit, non-overclocked CPU (but that's very cautious by many people's standards) and a a little over 70C the max safe threshold for a GPU with an active fansink, but that's just from my anecdotal experience.

Really the best way to determine these things is to load/overclock your parts until you get a thermal hang. However, that runs the risk of damaging your components, so in lieu of that, I'd suggest just trying to find a happy medium among the estimates you've seen when you've asked this question elsewhere. Short answer: there is no short answer.

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thanks when i have the extra cash i will buy a coolmaster case i seen a nice one with front and rear fan its about twice the size of mine with all the stuff i got on mine. – dave Mar 26 '12 at 20:50

if my room is 27c instead of 20c would this cause my comp parts to heat up more/faster ?


i used an old case and it only has 1 side on it is this bad for the computer and will the extra dust cause problems

The disrupted airflow might. cases are designed with sides that help direct airflow from fans over hot components. With sides off, the airflow might not actually flow over the hot components at all or insufficiently.

also what are the max temps for my new and old computer parts, Is 40c under load for cpu ok and what about 70c for my gpu is that ok or should i worry what are the normal and safe temps for my components

Chip manufacturers quote specific temperature limits for specific chips - check the makers websites.

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i have seen my gpu hit 70 but mostly it sits at 60 under load my cpu i have never seen seen above 50 i feel better now thanks – dave Mar 26 '12 at 20:49

Room temperature: you room is open, don't worry (unless you're in a sauna like Zac said :)). The problem with room temperature is with closed room (for servers usually) where you have little air exchange with the external and a lot of machines inside generating heat. Without cooling, the room temperature will increase and have a chance to increase so much that the machines will be at risk. In your case, the temperature is around 27°C and will stay like that because if it increase too much, you will open the door or the window and won't let it increase forever as in a closed room.

Lack of side of the case: of course air flow is not well directed with the case side open but the air in the case is the same as in the room and not overheated like with a closed case so this is a nice thermodynamics debate. In fact, I had many athlon in the past overheating a lot, I opened the cases and all the problems disappeared so I guess room temp without a very adequate flow from cooler is better than closed case with good flow but this is my own experience and may be subjective.

40°C for a CPU is low and pretty safe. Not sure for i7 but I had several machines (from 10 to 60) working around 80°C for many years (7-8) without cpu problems but they were Athlons that work at higher temps than intel ones usually. My intel machines (i5 and dual core) work around 50°C now. I don't know for GPU but 70°C doesn't sound too much from what I've seen.

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if my computer last more than 4 years i will be very pleased cheers – dave Mar 26 '12 at 20:49
sure and it will if that depends only on temperature problems! Good luck! – laurent Mar 26 '12 at 21:14

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