Intel P4 CPU temperature limits

Hi All. I have recently changed my motherboard, CPU and case. Motherboard is ASUS P4P800S-X, CPU is P4 3.2 and case is Thermaltake Lanmoto. I am using Motherboard Monitor to monitor the CPU. The CPU temperature in idle mode is 55 C, case is 32 C. With some load the heat goes up above 60 C. Are these values normal? I am afraid to run any stress test thinking that something will burn. I have done quite a bit of research and have the impression that these temperatures are quite high as a starting point. Help will be highly appreciated. Thanks.

Is your CPU a Northwood or a Prescott?

Those sound like Athlon temps. :wink: Any time there is any doubt, you are well-advised to go get a true thermal monitor and slip a probe under the heat sink. Does the MB offer a temp readout in BIOS? BIOS often runs the CPU at 100%, so you can get a good indicator there, assuming the diode is correct.

P4 won’t burn up, it will automatically slow down if it gets too warm. I think the throttling kicks in around 70C depending on model. My 3.0Ghz Northwood runs about 54-55C under load.

Like rdgrimes says you can’t rely on Mobo temp probes. But it does give you an idea. Northwood processors run a lot cooler than the Prescotts, From my seaching the web it seems the Prescotts run about the temprature you are describing with stock cooling, if it is a Northwood that is a high temp. My Northwood runs around 30 deg C at idle and goes to 50 deg under extreme load.

His board is an Asus and that should give accurate temps, unlike Abit motherboards.
Either use Asus Probe (which your board should have come with) to confirm your results, or go to bios to get your temp.

Check that… I blew the dust out of the heatsink and my CPU runs at 48-49C under load.

CPU is Intel P4 HT 3.20E GHz, 800 MHz system bus, 1 MB L2 cache. I assume it is called Northwood. I used the BIOS and it gives me 55 C at startup and is the same number given by Motherboard Monitor. I am not using ASUS Probe, because it is giving error messages like “Asmihwlo not found” at startup.

It’s a Prescott core CPU and they run hot. Mine ran at 46 C idle and 65 C under load with the stock HSF. After replacing the stock HSF with a Thermalright XP-90 it runs at 40 C idle and 56 C under load. What model Zalman HSF are you using? Are you using Artic Silver or no-name thermal grease? Make sure that the old thermal pad is completely removed from the CPU and put just a small amount of thermal grease on the CPU. More is not better. These CPU’s require a lot of airflow thru the case to keep cool.

My Power Supply is Zalman ZM400B-APS. I intend to replace the CPU fan with a Zalman CNPS7700. An hour ago I ran a test and the CPU went up to 69 C under load. From what you say I gather that the CPU temperature can go down to acceptable limits for a Prescott if I replace the fan and use the thermal grease that came with the Zalman fan. Am I right?

The stock HSF just can’t handle the heat under load. The Zalman will help a lot.
Take a look at his one. The Thermalright XP-90 has worked for me.

I am not sure the fan comes with thermal grease, But I am sure the Zalman will help a lot, The only minus with these fans is that they are quite heavy, if you get the pure copper one. The instructions are quite explicit about gently moving your computer after it is installed. I have had no problem but it is always good to know.Common sense. Like Pipermanid says to much grease is not better :slight_smile:

For optimum heat transfer, you need to lap the CPU and heatsink, then use a VERY thin coat of thermal paste to fill the small air gaps. Do a GOGGLE search.

I hope zalman is not your only choice, don’t get me wrong these are good coolers but you have more to choose from.
The one I have on my P-4 3.2E OVER CLOCKED to 3.36 is the Arctic Cooling Freezer 4. It cost less than the zalman too and my temps are 41c idle and 49c load.
On my other prescostt (3.0) I have a Hyper 6 with two quite fans and it runs 38c idle 48c load.
On my Northwood I have a thermalright SP94 with a 92cm quite fan, it runs 32c idle and 41c load.

For cooling a Prescott leave the stock fan in the box and get a good after market fan. you should be happy with the zalman but just make sure it fits your MB and use a little AS5.

Hi All

I have a Gigabyte 865PE board with a P4 LGA775 3GHz CPU. Just yesterday i was playing games on my machine i noticed that everything started slowing down severely, i checked the mainboard and noticed that the CPU fan wasnt functioning. I immidiately switched my system off, wasnt sure what temperature it was doing then since i just pulled the plug, all i know is the heat sink felt as hot as the sun.

Is it possible that the CPU has been damaged long term wise, should i get a replacement. I checked to see if the PC would still boot up and it does, that after i let it cool down for a while. All i know is the CPU fan doesnt work anymore and im not sure how that happend.

Anyone have advice for me.

Think you are OK as the CPU has a throttle function that goes to half throttle when overheating (slow Down). Check that your CPU fan is properly plugged in to the Motherboard or replace the Fan and see if that works for you. Must make sure the fan is working before running the computer for extended time !! HTH:)


So in other words the lifespan of the CPU wasnt necessarily shortened. I’ll replace the fan since it still under warranty, i only bought it 2 months ago. Just cant believe the fan stopped working. PC health status in the bios shows the fan only spinning at 1100 RPM and for some reason the speed cant be adjusted automatically, then after a minute the fan just stops. I checked and it is plugged into the CPU fan socket as outlined in the motherboard manually, but thanks for all the help.

Slussh… Since you going to have to replace the fan why not get a good heat sink and good cooling fan/fans. I know it is a little more money but it would be worth it. It must get awful hot in S Africa.
The amount of silver past is about the size of a kernel of rice. ( what brand or cooked or uncooked, I don’t know) Spread it evenly.

I’ll try to get my hands on some good thermal paste, im wondering, what could a dodgy power supply have on all this. Cause when i turned my PC on, before all this happened, i thought i could smell something burnt…just a thought.

Something burnt smell probably isn’t a good thing! Don’t mean to scare you. Maybe when you remove the CPU fan and CPU, try plugging the CPU fan in a different fan connection and see if it’s really the CPU fan or the CPU fan power connector. Can remember but I believe with the CPU uninstalled the fans will still work and it only takes a second to check.