I have recently installed a new heat sink & fan combination on my Core 2 Quad since my CPU was hitting about 70C under load. This has managed reduce temperatures while running Prime95 to about 54C, which I'm taking as a win (this is ~30 minutes after fitting).

I'm a little confused though. The temperature readings given above are for CORE temperatures, but HWMonitor is showing a 5th "CPU" temperature (4 temperatures being the individual core temps) which is showing 21C idle, when idle temperatures for the cores vary between 37C and 42C.

I guess there are two questions here:

  1. Are my CPU/Core temperatures decent, and is it safe to overclock when these are stock clock temperatures?
  2. I gather that the maximum safe operating temperature for a C2Q is ~70C, so which temperature should I measure against, the core temperatures (which are higher), or the CPU temperature reading?
  • The CPU temperature is the actual temperature of the whole CPU as measured (usually) from underneath it by a sensor on the motherboard.
    – Majenko
    Mar 19, 2011 at 23:56
  • Which particular CPU do you have? 70 degrees sounds low for a maximum.
    – user3463
    Mar 20, 2011 at 5:35
  • @Randolph Potter - Core 2 Quad Q9450 Revision C1. Mar 20, 2011 at 19:13

1 Answer 1


From my understanding 70C is maximum stable temp which you don't want to be near on a regular basis it will kill the chip faster... keeping it around 60C-65C is safe. Read this for more detail http://www.yougamers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=82284 use CPUz to get the information about your cpu to compare to the posters finding... i.e. the processor model/stepping

  • the link seems to be dead. where can I find more details?
    – Federico
    Jun 8, 2018 at 11:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .