Idle Temperature of CPU

One of the more interesting parts about building computers for myself is that I always get to pick out my new parts.

As soon as AMD released their AM3+ socket, I knew immediately what CPU I was going to get (the FX-6300 6 core).

Once CPU installation was complete, it did not take long for me to notice something unusual.

Every time I would boot up my computer, regardless if it had been idle or not, CPU temperature would quickly hit 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit).

It was only after I noticed this that did some research on CPU idle temps which lead me here.

It seems like CPU idle temperature can vary greatly between different processes and cores on your CPU.

One of the most CPU-intensive processes is the Vmware workstation CPU benchmark which used the CPU at 100% for over 600 seconds; this CPU temperature reached 106 degrees Celsius (224.8 degrees Fahrenheit).

Another CPU-intensive CPU benchmark is prime 95 small fft which takes around 4 minutes to complete; CPU temperature reached 97 degrees Celsius (206.6 degrees Fahrenheit) during that time span.

As you can see, the idle temperature of your CPU can vary greatly even if it sits idly doing nothing at all.

For me though, I can take my CPU out of its case and let it sit out in the open air unoccluded by any fans or obstructions and CPU temperature will still quickly hit 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit), so I’m guessing there might be something wrong with my CPU.

I’m not sure if CPU temperature ever really becomes a problem for CPU at idle, I’ve never seen any long-term CPU damage because of the CPU temperature.

At first, it might seem like CPU temperature isn’t something to be worried about but there are many reasons why you should put fans on your CPU to lower CPU idle temperature if possible or necessary.

One example is that laptop manufacturers set their laptops to throttle CPU speed when the CPU hits above 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit) so that you can continue using your laptop without breaking it from overheating.

Another reason is that the VMware workstation CPU benchmark takes around 600 seconds which means that your CPU will always emit heat while stressed. This means that every computer part would eventually start breaking from CPU going over its heat threshold too much.

Another reason is that CPU idle temperature does affect CPU longevity in the long term. Every CPU model has a maximum amount of voltage before CPU damage occurs, many CPUs idle at that max voltage(or near it).

If CPU temps are routinely above 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) when stress testing, then you can be sure that you will emit more heat in the long term and may become dead sooner than it should.

Does temperature affect the CPU?

So yes, CPU temperature affects CPU longevity in a negative way in order to make your computer last longer in the future, you need to lower your CPU idle temperature going forward before it becomes an issue.

First, make sure is no dust or hair blocking CPU fan, CPU fan is the CPU’s main cooling device.

If CPU idle temperature still reaches 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) with CPU fan blowing air on it at 100%, then consider getting a CPU cooler that blows more air or getting a CPU cooler that can dissipate heat better.

Ryan MacWha

I am Ryan! I write about performance-driven and reliable SSDs. I can save your time in decision-making. How about you?