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I have an old Northwood compatible Shuttle XPC that I upgraded from a 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 (Northwood) to a 3.4 GHz Pentium 4 (Northwood). Now, I'm wondering if it is cooling it well enough. I've seen it in the low 60's (C) while idling, but CPU World says the maximum operating temperature is 68 degrees. The BIOS's default temperature for increasing the fan speed was 60 degrees, with the fans reaching full speed at 70 degrees. I've lowered the lower threshold to 56 degrees, but that causes the fan to kick in quite a bit more. Is that the maximum ambient temperature and I'm OK or is that the temperature reported by the CPU (in which case I should be concerned?

I'm wondering if perhaps I didn't do a good enough job applying the thermal grease.

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Pentium 4's always got hot. 60C does not sound wrong to me, but a lot depends on your cooling (Correctly applied grease? Big/small heat sink? How warm is the air in the case? ... ...) –  Hennes Sep 30 '12 at 23:31
    
Thanks. It is a fairly big heatsink with "pipes" that run up above to a fan that blows out the back of the case. Shuttle calls it an "ICE." I think the grease is applied OK, although I always feel like I've put too much or too little (perhaps too little in this case). –  Timothy R. Butler Sep 30 '12 at 23:37
    
I have yet to find the first person who applies too little. But you can always re-apply and compare temperatures. -- On a different note: Is this your CPU: ark.intel.com/products/27504/… ? –  Hennes Sep 30 '12 at 23:45
    
That's reassuring to hear. As to the CPU, yes, that is the one... Am I reading its temperture specification correctly? –  Timothy R. Butler Oct 1 '12 at 0:22
    
Hi, so basically thermal paste takes quite a while to get to its optimum thermal transferring state. In the beginning, after a fresh application of thermal paste, you will always find high temperatures that make you uncomfortable. If they aren't high enough to be raising flags, then wait for a few days and leave your computer on, the temperatures will slowly drop as the paste attains its peak form in about a week. –  AlanTuring Oct 1 '12 at 1:11

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