Are my CPU temperatures too high?

I have a P4 3gb processor and it started to give me the warning beep.

So i checked the bios as the cpu temperature is a steady 62 C and the PWM is 75 C

the warning beep came on when i was doing a lot of tasks.

The warning beep was because the PWM reached 85 C i think but i have changed this to 90 C to get back on the PC and post this post.

Firstly are these temperatures too high, what does WMP mean and what can id o to reduce the temperatures if they are too high?


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Those temperatures are rather on the high side ... should ever get above 60C.

The PWM temperature is the temperature inside the pc.

You can keep the temperatures down by adding additional cooling fans.
I would say your on the high side of toasty.

High temperatures are more likely to cause premature device failure so you should do something about it really.

A good (and often cheap) way of lowering temperatures is to check your thermal compound which allows the conduction of heat from the CPU to the heatsink. Sometimes if this compound is cheap, it can go hard and can crack which decreases the surface area of the CPU in contact with the heatsink. Often there just isn't enough compound on the CPU to make a good seal. I would suggest you look for a tutorial on how to remove your CPU heatsink.
Once you get it off use a near pure alcohol solution to remove the old thermal paste and replace it with a thin coating of Artic Silver (which is the best thermal compound available). If you put to much on the top of the CPU it will squeeze out and could cause problems.

If that doesn't work, then it would be worth buying a new heatsink. They are fairly cheap and you can pick up some near silent heatsinks which are truely fantastic. I have a thermalright XP120 on my AMD 64 FX53. The load temperature is about 40-45 and normally its about 30. That uses a 120mm fan which is close enough to silent that you won't notice it. If you go with such a solution, make sure it will fit your motherboard as its really quite big.

More often than not just jamming  case fans into your machine won't help cool your computer, so make sure your computer is sucking air in from the front bottom (cold air falls) and blowing it out of the back top. (hot air rises so the hot air is going to go to the top of the case).
my pc runs hot at around 50-60c
90 is too hot your chip will burn out prematurly
i would check your fans and see if they are blocked or if they are not functioning at all
as mentioned the easiest way is to add more fans
try and organise wires and cables in such a way to create better air flow
also move your tower away from heat sources like radiators
as you mentioned the chip was getting hot you can buy bigger fans for the processor
but i would try the basic stuff first
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In my opinion the processor cooler is the problem so I would try change with one more suitable.
Check thislink also tos see
auraorangeAuthor Commented:
I have had the side off and i always have airflow in mind when building a pc, however the cpu fan seems to be blowing about as much air as a dying battery hand held fan.  I think ill check the cooling paste and change the fan.

ill update soon.

just reading through the thread; anyone care to defien PWM & WMP ?
auraorangeAuthor Commented:
PWM - Cyber said its the temperature inside the case. and WMP is a really badly timed typing error by me.  I'm glad you noticed!

To start off, that alarm is a safty device. It's always bad to disable safty devices.

The temperature of a processor is measured by sensor on the motherboard. (Under the processor.)
Almost every motherboard comes with a program for reading this sensor.

P4 3Ghz CPU's are rated for either 67.7 C or 69 C depending on which one you have.

Note, this is the temp if you were to touch it.
The temp at the sensor will be slightly lower than the actual temp of the CPU's surface.

Above that temperature permanent damage will likely occur due to breakdown of the materials used to manufacture the CPU.
~ Resins begin to melt and/or internal insulation materials begin break down causing electrical arcing on a microscopic level.

It I were you I'd set the alarm for 60 C and set it to shutdown if it reaches about 63 C.

If you can't keep it that cool then improve the cooling.
At least get a better CPU cooler and more case fans.
The military specification for electronic equipment for what you call PWM is 154 F (67.7 C).

It's concern is for basic electronic components. (Caps, diodes, IC chips, ......)
The reason is the same.
~ Resins begin to melt and/or internal insulation materials begin break down causing permanent damage.


And as for basic heat transfer physics.
You can't cool something if what you are cooling it 'with' is warmer than what you are trying to cool.
The CPU is cooled with the air from inside the case.
If the air in the case is hotter than the CPU then you aren't cooling it.
This might be out of date info because the page was talking about P2, P3, and first generation Athlons, but, I found where someone quoted both AMD and Intel recommendations about the ambient temp inside the case.

They both recommended it not exceed 45 C.
From another P4 temp thread:

Hmmm... 60C semms to be about right.   : / (just over half way down)

This one says 40's:

More here. The 4th one down is a .PDF from Intel, if you don't have HiSpeed Connection, you might want to SAVE AS to your HD, then open it with Adobe (1.5meg size)

The temp part of the thread starts about here: "P5GDC-Deluxe - Posts then 2 short beeps, then shuts down"
This may seem odd, but I check airflow using smoking incense sticks. The smoke tells me if the air is circulating well inside the case. My cover is off and I have two chassis fans in addition to the CPU fan, and the two fans in the power supply. My CPU temp never goes above 40.

I have a P4 2.8GHz, but it's close enough. Prescotts have a reputation for running very hot so the extra cooling from chassis fans should bring the temperature down. And also check if there are cables in the way. The smoke will tell you that. That is if you want to do what Im doing... :)

As for the issue of the CPU cooling by itself by slowing down, I'm not sure if the 3GHz PCs will do that, but I have a gut feel they'll do.

So if you can, buy a tower chassis (old/used doesn't matter as long as there's no rust) and stick in some chassis fans. It won't cost you a ton of money and it'll help extend your CPU's life.

Just curious, are you using an aircon inside the room where the computer is running?
A little used trick when space is a problem used to get more air moving is to stack the fans.
Need to make sure the fans are the same (or have the same airflow at least.)

Also all fans aren't created equal.
Of 2 fans that look the same one might move twice as much air as the other.
Make sure you have high flow fans.

Here's a good source of fans (and other things)
They carry general electronics parts (not just for PC's) so watch the voltages and connectors used.

1. You may want to invest in a better aftermarket HSF, especially if you're still using stock setuip.
2. You need to improve the ventilation inside your case. Install fans in the right places to make sure that there is positive airflow. Organize your cables to improve airflow. Better yet, use rounded cables.
3. Your case may also be too small or the room the PC is in might be warm. That might affect things.
auraorangeAuthor Commented:

Ok so originally my temperatures were "So i checked the bios as the cpu temperature is a steady 62 C and the PWM is 75 C"

Then i fitted a new fan with a much larger heatsink and a case fan that blew the air out of the case where the cpu is.

and i got to these new temperatures in the bios:

CPU - 58
PWM - 56
system temp - 32

Then i suddenly noticed in the bios the CPU fan speed was 0 and the system fan was 2800 for example.

The system fan was located next to the cpu and the cpu fan point was further away so there was part of my problem.

Now i have the new fan and heatsink with it plugged into the cpu fan point on the mainboard

finally the case fan that was blowing out, i turned it so i sucks cool air and blows it into the case

now i have these temperatures:

cpu - 55
pwm - 52
syst temp - 32

From the start i am now down from 62 to 55 C with the CPU, is this low enough and the case fan I have by the cpu is that now correct or should it be blowing out?

cheers for all the feedback, Mat

auraorangeAuthor Commented:
ive checked again and now my temperatures are back to

cpu 62
pwm - 62

im completely stuck
Hmmmm... Where is the case fan located? In the back or bottom front?
Did you check the thermal compund on top of the CPU like I said?

If you have fans pulling in cool air at the bottom of the case  and then fans blowing out warm air at the top you should be fine. if you temps are still too high then its one of two problems.

Your CPU fan isn't doing its job properly. Whcih could be caused by the motherboard not recording temperatures correctly or not allowing the CPU fan to get up to speed.

The other thing is the thermal compound, try the arctic silver I suggested above.

If your temperatures don't come down I would say there is a problem with the motherboard. Its either not reporting the CPU temp correctly or its not controlling the fan speed correctly to keep the temperature down.

Either way if you have changed the thermal compound and HSF, and have made sure that the air flow in the case is spot on and your now using rounded cables instead of ribbons, then I would say theres something wrong with the board. In which case send it back for repair or buy a new one.

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Are your wires organized well enough? The fact that the temperatures went down for a while says something. You really need to keep those wires tidy to create good airflow within your case. If wires are blocking the path of the air, then no amount of fans would help solve your heat problems.

Also, are there any overclocked devices in the system?
auraorangeAuthor Commented:
The original thermal compound was still moist / wet so it came off easily.  The new fan had a decent amount of thermal compound on it.

Although i have a new fan blowing the hot air out right by the cpu I still have not fixed another fan to pull cool air through the front so once ive done that I will update my posts further.

As the termperatures were very high at as high as 68 yesterday before i put the new fans in the temperature changes didnt seem to drop consistantly, however, from cold I have run the pc today and the cpu temperature has not risen beyond 58C so thats not bad and i assume with a front fan, the situation can only improve.

My guess with running the pc for 3 months at these high temperatures without fixing the problem is the cpu and / or motherboard and damaged to some extent and maybe thats why the temperatues are struggling so much.

I have always used quite big 4 bay cases, but unlike all the other cases I have purchased, this one doesnt have any holes in the side for ventilation so only the back panel and lower part of the front of the case are actually letting cool air in.  

I think someone suggested earlier to change the case so if the front mounted fan doesnt bring the temperature down I will change the case.  The case is really heavy and thick metal with no holes, perhaps I should have thought about this earlier.

What temperature do I need to aim for?

I would set my sights a 40 - 45 with a prescott.

I have a coolermaster stacker. Its quiet (it uses 120mm fans) it has plenty of ventialtion, its open layout inside helps the airflow. It also has front 120mm fans on the hard drive bays.

I have to say that you cannot go wrong with this case. It looks great, its cool, and its extremly quiet.

If your problems persist with this case then its a problem with your motherboard.

auraorangeAuthor Commented:
Just ti confirm i always keep my cables tidy................

I have just checked the amd 3000 pc opposite me and that sitting at 45c and only has a different case with lots of ventilation holes and a fan mounted in the side of the case (as standard) and the cpu fan and the performance of the amd 3000 is probably twice as good as the 3gb intel.

Im going to try changing the mobo over the weekend now as i am happy everything else is correct or i may also change the case at the same time.


AMD CPU's run cooler than P4's because they don't run "as fast" they are just better optimised.

I have an AMD FX53 that runs at 35 degrees at idle and about 45 on load. I have (as i said above) the coolermaster stacker, and an XP120 heatsink with a 120mm fan mounted on it.

My dad has a computer (that I usually have to mend when I visit) and thats a P4 3.4 presscot. THis idles between 40 and 45. Not sure what the load temp is off the top of my head.

This is the heat sink he has:

Its nice and quiet but most of all it keeps it quite cool.

You don't need to buy a case that can accomodate a side fan. What you need is a case with an air duct that sucks in cool air and directs it to your CPU. If you already have one and you're still getting these heat problems, I think you should go for a similar case with holes for the intake fans to suck in air.

Seems like your processor and motherboard have "gotten used" to running at your very high temps! ;)
Based from what I've read about proper cooling inside a PC case, installing a fan on the side panel may only disrupt proper airflow within your case. The most efficient setup is still intake fan(s) at the front, and exhaust fan(s) at the back. It also helps to have a dual-fan power supply.
The purpose of a fan is to disrupt air.
A side fan as an intake will only help because 'disruption' from that angle will serve to prevent hot spots in areas with low air flow which are typical of front-back only fan arrangements. These areas would be the small spaces between drives and between add-in cards in the main board slots. Front-back fans simply don't reach those places well (if at all) and a side fan will. This works best if you make sure the exhaust fan*s* total capacity exceeds the capacity of all the supply fans.

Something to keep in mind is the difference in total capacity of your 'in' and 'out' fans and that the PC case is not a closed system.

If 'out' is bigger your vents will have air coming in..
If 'in' is bigger your vents will have air going out.

Whichever is bigger (in or out) is your total cooling flow.
It is incorrect to add the in and out airflow to get a total flow because you are measuring the same air twice.

The location of the vents and whether air is moving in or out of them can matter.

If your 'in' is bigger and you add more 'in' fans then you are slightly pressurizing the case which makes it harder for those 'in' fans to move air in. (They won't be moving air at their full rated flow.) This is called positive ventillation.
Most critical electronic equipment (my specialty was electronic control systems) is designed with negative ventillation only and with stratigically placed 'in' VENTS because it is a more effective way to get cooling everywhere it's needed.

On a PC use the 'in' fans mostly to disrupt air inside the case and go big on the 'out' fans for a huge total air flow.

Yes, an 'in' duct to the CPU is a good thing but if you have an overall positive ventillation in the case it's flow and cooling efficiency will be reduced significantly.
If you have a closed box and put two fans of the same capacity blowing in (with no way for air to get out) how much air will get in? - About as much as if you had two holes in the box and no fans.
auraorangeAuthor Commented:
Over the weekend I changed the motherboard and still the temp was high, and so i changed the 3gb for my 2.8gb cpu and the temperature problem resolved.

Someone did suggest that the cpu may have got "used" to being hot, or is that just a case of its been insuffiently cooled, got damaged and runs hot now until it dies prematurely.

Im not sure who to give points to as CHRISS P suggested a mobo problem, but it appears no-one suggested a cpu problem that i can see.

Thanks MAT

Just give points to whomever you think provided you with meaningful and relevant information. :)
Umm, Ya tink maybe the fact that a 3Ghz throws off 10% more heat than a 2.8Ghz in the first place might have a wee bit to do with that?
60 degrees is still high for an idle CPU. But i'm glad you have got it sorted.

When you come to upgrade next maybe you could consider an AMD? they are cooler and perform better in 3d applications i.e. games etc. The new X2 range (which are dual core) are also better at multitasking than intel processors. It might be worth thinking about if you are still having heat problems.

Heres to a cooler future ;)


auraorangeAuthor Commented:
i have marked people on relevence and who gave the advice that made the largest impact of at least reducing temperature before resolving the problem,

thank you very much for all the very good feedback.

No probs all the best Mat.
Thank you much.    : )
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