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Old 03-04-2004, 09:04 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2003
Distribution: Ubuntu Hardy Heron
Posts: 83

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Question CPU HOT, HSF cold

OK, this is more a general hardware concern then a linux concern. But since I spend so much time hear, I figured I may as well ask you guys.

Got lm_sensors working last night on 2.6.2 and tuned the factors to match my bios. Well, my bios is saying I have a case temp of 30C and CPU of 61.6C! This is full load, btw.

I start freaking out and tear the side of the case off. I reach in and low and behold, the heat sink is cool to the touch. Well, not COOL, but equal to the case temp. Here's my relevant setup:

Gigabyte GA-7VT600-L
AMD 2600+ Barton
1 80GB 7200rpm WD
2 256MB pc3200
Thermaltake SILENT BOOST Highest Performance Cooler with AS3 (

Now, I first thought that maybe I had bad contact between the HSF and CPU. However, for the HSF to be luke warm to the touch, I'd think the CPU would be pegging WELL OVER 70C due to inadequate heat dissipation.

You guys think maybe my sensors are foobar? Or is there something else that may be the problem?
Old 03-04-2004, 09:36 AM   #2
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Distribution: Fedora
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a temp of ~60 C is not unusual for this CPU with a full load and still way within the limit. Though with the specs of your cooler it should maybe be a bit lower.
I have a Arctic Copper Silent 2 (cheap but adequate and silent) on a 2400+ (@2600+/166), and on normal workload (browsing, listen to mp3s) it's around 40C. On full load when playing games it goes up to 60 C (I did this measurements only on Windows so far). The reason you might be shocked by the 60C is that most (windows)tools (and the BIOS itself too) which come with the mainboard itself, by default read out the temp diode of the socket, which gives considerably lower numbers than the diode which is in the CPU itself. Though the temperatures are quite similar when the CPU is running idle, only a few degrees difference (if any at all), the difference becomes quite drastic when the CPU is on full load. I have several Asus mainboards, and the included tool Asusprobe gives back a temp of ~38C when running idle, and ~45C when on full load. MBM5 , set to read out the CPU diode, gives me an idle temp of ~40C and a full load temp of ~60C.
I made the experience that many users don't know the difference, and thus post and tell numbers which are read from the socket diode and not the CPU diode.

I haven't tried out lm_sensors yet, but I guess as you set it up specifically to match your mainboard, it reads out the CPU diode and thus gives out a perfectly reasonable full load temp.
Old 03-04-2004, 11:48 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2003
Distribution: Ubuntu Hardy Heron
Posts: 83

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Thanks for the piece of mind. The reason it may be a tad high is because I have fairly poor case ventilation. It's a case from a Koolance rig that had water cooling built in, thus case ventilation wasn't a problem since the HD, video card, chipset, and CPU we all WC. I got sick of the mantainance, and pulled the WC crap out of it and went back to air cooling.


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