CPU temperature reading high

June 30, 2007 at 22:06:04
Specs: XP professional, P4 3.2ghz/1gb
Hi, I have been reading through these forums for a few days now, and I was hoping that some of you experts out there could help me out a little bit.

For a few months now, my PC has been randomly restarting/turning off when under any stress(namely when I play video games of any sort, including Roller Coaster Tycoon I). Of late, I have been under the assumption that the temperature of the CPU is my problem. Based on the information in my BIOS, as well as from SpeedFan, my CPU is supposedly idling at about 60-65 degrees Celcius, and under 50-100% load it can reach 80-90 degrees celcius. I have bought an extra fan, cleaned the case, and done just about everything i can think of to lower the temperature, all to no avail.

This led me to believe that perhaps the problem was not with the CPU itself, but with the device that measures the temperature of the CPU. I just put a temperature probe between 2 of the fins of the heatsink, with the sensor of the probe right next to the contact between the heatsink and the processor itself. The reading from the probe is a good 20-30 degrees celcius cooler than the temperature reported by SpeedFan. At near idle CPU usage, SpeedFan is reading around 70 degrees celcius, while the probe is reading 47. Under 50% load, SpeedFan peaks at over 80 degrees celcius, while the probe is in the low to mid 50's.

I am inclined to trust the temperature probe, as those numbers are more in line with what the actual temperature should be. Does anyone have any advice/ideas that could be used to make sure that the problem is actually with the device that is reading the temperature, and not with the CPU itself? And if that is the problem, what can be done to fix it, short of buying a new motherboard(which I am not really able to afford at present). Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to provide.

See More: CPU temperature reading high

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June 30, 2007 at 22:43:15

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June 30, 2007 at 22:54:28
Don't quite understand what I'm supposed to do with that. Think maybe you could elaborate a little? Thanks.

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July 1, 2007 at 09:25:42
I posted that so you could actually take the time to see the TDP disclosure for Intel CPUs before you start claiming that the CPU is severely overheating.

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Related Solutions

July 1, 2007 at 11:37:59
Give CoreTemp a try:


You may also wanna check the board manufacturer's website to see if a BIOS update is available & if the update addresses temp reporting errors.

And in case you didn't know, the P4 Prescott is notorious for running hot. It is commonly referred to as the "hot potato"



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July 1, 2007 at 15:05:02
If you read my post, you will see that I never stated that the CPU is severely overheating. I stated that the reading given off by the BIOS and SpeedFan is overly high. If you are stating that a CPU temperature of 90 degrees Celcius under a 50% load isn't high, then maybe you should read your own information. If your only help is going to be to show me something that has nothing to do with the question I asked, please just stop posting, as it is completely pointless. My question was whether or not there is any way to replace the temperature reader on the motherboard, and that is it. Based on readings from a temperature probe, I have concluded that the reading given by the BIOS is 20-30 degrees higher than the actual temperature, and THAT is the problem. Please read the entire post if you intend to reply. Thanks to anyone who is actually providing assistance.

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July 1, 2007 at 15:08:05
In response to Jam, I am aware that Prescott processors are notorious for running hot, but the processor itself is not hot. The temperature probe puts the temperature at 50-55 degrees celcius under load, while the BIOS and SpeedFan are reporting a temperature that is 20-30 degrees hotter. My problem has NOTHING to do with the actual temperature of the processor, but with the fact that whatever it is on the motherboard that is reading the temperature malfunctioning.

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July 1, 2007 at 15:13:19
Running CoreTemp just crashed my computer after telling me that my processor was not an Intel Core Processor. But regardless, I am assuming that CoreTemp uses the same methods of reporting temperature as the BIOS and SpeedFan do. There is only 1 device on the motherboard that measures CPU temperature, and no matter which program you use to report the reading from that device, if the device is malfunctioning, you will obtain the same incorrect readings.

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July 1, 2007 at 16:25:14
"There is only 1 device on the motherboard that measures CPU temperature"

Exactly! 'Motherboard' being the key word. CoreTemp doesn't use the board sensor...it reads from the CPU.

"If you read my post, you will see that I never stated that the CPU is severely overheating."

Neither did I.

"If you are stating that a CPU temperature of 90 degrees Celcius under a 50% load isn't high, then maybe you should read your own information."

No, I didn't state that at all. Maybe you should try rereading this comment:

check the board manufacturer's website to see if a BIOS update is available & if the update addresses temp reporting errors.

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July 1, 2007 at 18:04:59
jam... that first post was not directed at you. It was directed at Sabertooth who stated that I was claiming that my CPU was severely overheating. The post where I specifically mention your name is the one in response to your post. Sorry for the mixup.

Your post was helpful, and I did check the website of my board manufacturer. There are no updated BIOS available.

Do you have any idea why the CoreTemp program wouldn't work on my PC? I definitely have an Intel processor, so I don't know why it said that I didn't, and I have no idea why it crashed the computer the 2nd time I tried to run it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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July 1, 2007 at 18:22:02
Jam, I did some research on the CoreTemp forums, and discovered that my processor is not supported by the program. So I guess that I cannot use that program to find the temperature of the CPU. I will just have to trust the temperature that I got with my external temperature probe I guess.

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July 1, 2007 at 18:26:39
Aces I would trust the CPU temperature reading that you are getting from the bios. It could be that the thermal compound between the CPU and heatsink was not properly installed.

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July 1, 2007 at 19:18:02
Do you really think that thermal compound is accounting for a 30 degree difference between the temperature reported from the BIOS and that reported from the temperature probe? I know for a fact that the temperature probe is accurate, as I tested it on other things before placing it inside the computer. How else can you explain a 30 degree difference between the probe and the BIOS/SpeedFan? If the probe had been reporting the same temperature as the BIOS, then I could understand, but given the difference, I do not believe the BIOS is accurate.

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July 1, 2007 at 19:32:15
As mentioned by Jam the CPU temperature sensor is 'inside' the CPU and the chance of it being inaccurate is just about zero, if not lower. :-) Your sensor stuck in the heatsink is not really showing the cpu temperature and if the CPU is not transferring heat to the heatsink like it should, that would account for a large difference between the CPU temperature and the heatsink temperature.

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July 1, 2007 at 21:19:47
The CPU temperature sensor that is 'inside' the CPU was not implemented until after my processor was made if what I am reading is correct. The newish line of Core processors put out by intel are the ones that have the internal temperature sensor. That is the reason that the CoreTemp application will not run on my system. Based on the research that I have done thus far, I believe that the temperature of older CPUs, such as mine, was measured by a chip on the motherboard directly beneath the processor. I have read accounts of this sensor on the motherboard malfunctioning, and that is why I believe that mine may be as well. Nevertheless, I will order some thermal paste and see what it does, although I highly doubt that it is going to decrease the temperature of my CPU from 90 degrees Celcius to a reasonable operating temperature.

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July 1, 2007 at 21:30:09
Find your CPU on the list, then read the instructions on how to properly apply paste:


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July 1, 2007 at 21:39:02
Seriously, if all you have to contribute is 'apply thermal paste', then please just stop. I appreciate your desire to respond, but thermal paste is not going to lower the temperature 10-20 degrees celcius, no matter how you apply it. A CPU running at 90 degrees celcius under 50% load is a malfunction of something, not just a need of a blob of gel about the size of a grain of rice. So, again, while I appreciate your help, please just stop with the thermal paste crap. If nobody has any other suggestions, please just let the thread die, just like my computer is about to.

Seriously, anyone who thinks that thermal paste is going to fix this problem is just plain out of their mind.

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July 2, 2007 at 15:24:50
Email from the manufacturer of my motherboard:

"Dear FICA User,

Thank you for contacting FICA Techincal Support.

If your readings are correct then the temperature sensor on the MB is bad and will need to be replaced. However as this is a soldered component. You would have to unsolder it and replace it.

If you have any further questions or comments please contact us at your convenience.

FICA Support Team"

Anyone have any ideas on where I can get a temperature sensor for a motherboard?

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July 2, 2007 at 15:37:20
"...thermal paste is not going to lower the temperature 10-20 degrees celcius, no matter how you apply it"

Oh really? Hmmmm...tell it to the guy who's PC I repaired recently. He said that he knew what he was doing too. He build his own PC & was 100% sure that he did everything right. He checked & double checked but just could not find the reason why his CPU temp was so high & his PC would restart after just a few minutes.

He finally asked me to have a look & guess what I found? See for yourself:


Notice anything besides all the goop? He had it on backwards! See the line in the paste on the right side where it was making contact with the ZIF socket? LOL! Anyhow, I cleaned it up, applied a "grain of rice sized dab", turned it around the right way, & his CPU now idles in the mid 30's.

You have never once said that you're positive that the heatsink & paste were applied correctly. All you've done is dismiss it as a stupid suggestion. However, you do believe that your temp probe gives an accurate representation of the CPU temp, even though it's getting the reading from a metal plate that is designed to disperse heat. Of course the heatsink is gonna be cooler than the CPU...that's the whole idea! If it was the same temp, it would mean it's not doing it's job!

Something else that's interesting is that you never listed the make/model of your board (I now know it's FIC), the make/model of the HSF, or whether you applied paste or use a pre-installed thermal pad.

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July 2, 2007 at 21:30:36
Aces, you trust a tech support person who probably has never even opened up a PC more than people who have worked on them for decades?

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July 2, 2007 at 21:34:07
Holy crap what did he do apply the whole thermal paste tube on his cpu????

That pic should be on a how to website with a red circle across it in what not to do when installing thermal paste. :)

Did he not realize that his heatsink was slanted when he attached it when it was on the zif lock sleave part?

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July 2, 2007 at 21:55:24
Yeah, Cobra_R, I've seen some pretty messed up thermal installation jobs, but that one beats them all by a mile.

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July 3, 2007 at 01:51:49
Whatever... im just gonna stop posting. The people who post on this forum must have stock in the major thermal paste manufacturers. The reason I never posted the manufacturer of my heatsink is because i know it is functioning properly. All I asked was whether or not it is possible to just replace the heat sensor on a motherboard (granted it was in a roundabout sort of way, but I thought that relating the entire issue would be helpful in the situation), and all of the responses I get in no way address that issue. So thanks for all of your help. If I ever have a problem with thermal paste I will be sure to come back here, since everyone appears to be an expert on that.

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July 3, 2007 at 06:04:04
You'll be missed :-(

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July 3, 2007 at 11:46:15

Jeez Aces, that makes you sound like a petulant 13 year old. :-(

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July 3, 2007 at 20:30:14
Don't blame the people that know how to put a pc together.

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July 5, 2007 at 08:36:09
WOW ... didn't realize that much went down!

Another "genius" just got schooled .... ROFL

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July 9, 2007 at 22:21:46
"I don't know what is wrong but I know it's not that"

That thermal paste jam posted is probably shorting out the bridges on the CPU too.

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July 29, 2007 at 22:41:30
I put too much artic silver on my 1st PC build and my Prescott ran at 90c I just spread a heavy coat on not knowing and figured that looked good...8\ The I went to artic silver's site and saw how to do it right...did...and then Prescott ran at 41c big dif.

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