I've just built my first PC last night and probably messed up the heatsink application, so I have been monitoring closely and now seeking for advise.

I was told that it should be max at 40 C at idle (i3, stock), and I was getting 45 C in bios. The general consensus was that it is safe to use, but hot and I should reapply for best results.

I have installed windows, some drivers, and hwmonitor. And I am getting radically different temperatures. Most often around 22 °C for the cores, +5 for the package while idling and downloading windows updates; spiking to 37-40 °C periodically.

That sounds good right? Not only well within safety margins so far, but what you would expect from a properly install heatsink (aka, I would not benefit more than a degree or two from re-applying) Can I trust hwmonitor or does it display inaccurate data? Does my bios temperature being so much higher make sense?

  • Did you apply thermal paste to cpu or heatsink?
    – Davidenko
    Dec 17 '14 at 16:15
  • It came applied to the heatsink.
    – Jonathon
    Dec 17 '14 at 16:26
  • 1
    Can you (always) trust specific software reading sencors? Not really, various ones have read incorrect at different times on different boards. what you can trust (more) is users who indicate that is does work on the specific hardware. You can trust (more often) manufactures bios/uefi and software to be very close. You can trust once you know how it works with that hardware correlated with something, when you know what is "normal" for it. Even with manufactures software you have to know what or where the sencor is to know what it is reading (ex: that is under the cpu not a core temp)
    – Psycogeek
    Dec 17 '14 at 17:00
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    Note that during BIOS load, the CPU doesn't have any power management drivers loaded, so its running full frequency and voltage, without scaling. That makes it a rather warm phase of boot, so don't take it as an accurate reflection of "normal". Once your OS is loaded however the temp should drop quickly (CPUs heat fast and cool fast if your heatsink is correctly installed, compared to other components like disks and ram.) If your motherboard manufacturer has a utility for monitoring sensors in the OS, it will give you the most reliable readings. Dec 17 '14 at 17:17

I3 processors have a Tcase of 72°C. So you don't have to worry over 40°C while idling or installing windows. I had the same temperatures on idle and never went over 65°C while on full load. Later on installed aftermarket cooler, temperatures are lower, but I did it because of noise.

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