Question Q9450 temperature normal?

Oct 18, 2019
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Hi there,

I have a quick question. Is my idling temp normal for my Q9450 cpu?

My room temp is around 32 degrees Celsius. The CPU temp is around 38-42 degrees Celsius while idling and goes up to around 60-63 degrees Celsius during 5 min stress tests. I mainly play League of Legends on it and play for about 2 hours straight, maybe 3 at most and it shows that the cpu max temp was also around 63ish.

With this said I take it that it stabilises at around 63 degrees under load.

I'm still relatively new at all this technical things so I'm just making double sure that all is okay? My google searches indicate that it is but I wanna make sure.

Also, one last thing, would it be necessary to buy an aftermarket cooler and new thermal paste, or is my stock intel cooler alright?
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Stock cooler? What is the make and model of your chassis and how is the airflow setup in your case? If you're using an overclocking grade board, what sort of voltages are you pumping through that Q9450? Speaking of boards, list your specs like so:
CPU:
Motherboard:
Ram:
SSD/HDD:
GPU:
PSU:
Chassis:
OS:
 
It has been well known for a decade that the temperature sensors in 45nm Core 2 Quads like yours are completely inaccurate below 45C, so any readings below that should just be ignored. 63C under load sounds really cold for the stock cooler, but would be normal for the stock speed of 2.67GHz.
 

Rdslw

Estimable
Hi there,

I have a quick question. Is my idling temp normal for my Q9450 cpu?

My room temp is around 32 degrees Celsius. The CPU temp is around 38-42 degrees Celsius while idling and goes up to around 60-63 degrees Celsius during 5 min stress tests. I mainly play League of Legends on it and play for about 2 hours straight, maybe 3 at most and it shows that the cpu max temp was also around 63ish.

With this said I take it that it stabilises at around 63 degrees under load.

I'm still relatively new at all this technical things so I'm just making double sure that all is okay? My google searches indicate that it is but I wanna make sure.

Also, one last thing, would it be necessary to buy an aftermarket cooler and new thermal paste, or is my stock intel cooler alright?
63 is low for LOAD temp. but I just checked that TCASE 71.4°C
if you comapre to modern 9700k TJUNCTION 100°C (which should be ~5*C from TCASE) then you see that this CPU is just more-less limited to that temp.
for anything modern, its ideal temp.
for yours its still not bad one, also very stable and safe, CPU can work like that for months, even years.
 

CompuTronix

Judicious
Moderator
Jaco147,

On behalf of Tom's Moderator Team, welcome aboard!

Both BFG-9000 and Rdslw are partially correct.

In early 2008 when the first 45 nanometer processors were launched, a significant percentage of users with the popular Core 2 Duo E8400 reported Core temperatures which would "stick" around the mid 40's. This means the Digital Thermal Sensors (DTS) that measure Core temperatures would stop responding below the mid 40's, indicating false idle temperatures, but would resume normal indications above the mid 40's. Nonetheless, many 8000 series processors were unaffected and would respond normally to temperatures throughout the full operating range.

By the time the 9000 series was launched, Intel had largely resolved the problem, so your idle temperatures appear to be reasonable. However, to correctly address BFG-9000's concerns, we can summarize by saying that for thermal protection, sensors tend to be more accurate at high temperatures. But due to calibration issues such as linearity, slope and range, idle temperatures may be less accurate.

Concerning Rdslw's statement regarding Intel's "Tcase" Thermal Specification, he's simply been misled by Intel's Product Specifications website, just like the vast majority of other users. The Tcase specification itself is very misleading. Just to be clear, Tcase is not Core temperature, so it's not a thermal "limit", but is instead a thermal "value" that's only measured in the factory on the external surface of the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS) which users can't monitor. Although Tcase is useful for developers of cooling solutions, for end users Tcase is an irrelevant Thermal Specification.

The thermal "limit" for your Q9450 is NOT Tcase; it's instead "Tjunction". In their Datasheets, Intel refers to Maximum Junction Temperature or Tj Max, which is also known as "Throttle" temperature. For your Core 2 Q9450, that temperature is 100°C, just like most "modern" Core i processors, but it's not OK to run it that hot. Your Core temperatures are good, especially considering your high ambient temperature, which is 10°C above the international "standard" for "normal" which is 22°C or 72°F.

Here's the nominal operating range for Core temperature:

Core temperatures above 85°C are not recommended.

Core temperatures below 80°C are ideal.



Core temperatures increase and decrease with ambient temperature.

Intel Desktop processors have temperatures for each "Core" and a temperature for the entire "CPU". Core temperatures are measured at the heat sources near the transistor "Junctions" inside each Core where temperatures are highest. CPU temperature is instead a single measurement centered on the external surface of the CPU's "Case" or "IHS" (Integrated Heat Spreader) where the cooler is seated.

Core temperature is considerably higher than CPU temperature due to differences in the proximity of sensors to heat sources.


Intel Desktop processors also have two Thermal Specifications. For Core temperature it's "Tjunction" which is also called "Tj Max" (Temperature Junction Maximum) or “Throttle” temperature. For CPU temperature it's "Tcase" (Temperature Case) which is maximum IHS temperature.

Both Thermal Specifications are shown in Intel’s Datasheets, which are detailed technical documents. However, Intel's quick reference Product Specifications website only shows Tjunction for 7th Generation and later processors, or Tcase for 6th Generation and earlier.

Tcase has always been a confusing specification. Here's why:

When users of 6th Generation and earlier processors see their Thermal Specification on Intel’s Product Specifications website, most don’t realize what Tcase actually means. Since there are numerous software utilities for monitoring Core temperature, users assume Tcase must be maximum Core temperature. This is a basic misconception which has persisted since 2006.

Tcase is not Core temperature.

Tcase is IHS temperature. It's a factory only surface measurement that users can't monitor.

Tjunction is Core temperature. It's measured at the heat sources where temperatures are highest.

Since users can monitor Core temperatures but not IHS temperature, Core temperature is the standard for thermal measurement. Accordingly, the limiting Thermal Specification is Tjunction; not Tcase. Unfortunately, Intel has no documentation that describes the relationships between specifications and temperatures in a practical sense. In order to get a clear perspective of processor temperatures, please read the Intel Temperature Guide - https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/intel-temperature-guide.1488337/

It's a "Sticky" which is permanently posted at the top of the CPUs Forum for everyone's benefit.

Once again, welcome aboard!

CT :sol:
 
Reactions: Jaco147
Oct 18, 2019
12
0
10
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Okay so here are the full specs:

Motherboard - Msi g41m-e43
CPU - Intel Quad Core Q9450
Graphics Card - Gigabyte GTX 650 1GB
RAM - 4GB DDR3
Power Supply - Vantec van-4600 (460W)
Hard drives - Seagate 160gb 7200.12 & Seagate 250gb 7200.10
Chassis - Cooler Master (not sure which one. It's one of the older ones)
OS - Win 10 Pro

And thanks for the replies so far. Also, I double checked the temp when stressed for 5 mins and it hits 60 at around 3 mins and then just stays there expect for one core which is constantly between 60-63.

So I should be good with the stock cooler?
 
Oct 18, 2019
12
0
10
0
Jaco147,

On behalf of Tom's Moderator Team, welcome aboard!

Both BFG-9000 and Rdslw are partially correct.

In early 2008 when the first 45 nanometer processors were launched, a significant percentage of users with the popular Core 2 Duo E8400 reported Core temperatures which would "stick" around the mid 40's. This means the Digital Thermal Sensors (DTS) that measure Core temperatures would stop responding below the mid 40's, indicating false idle temperatures, but would resume normal indications above the mid 40's. Nonetheless, many 8000 series processors were unaffected and would respond normally to temperatures throughout the full operating range.

By the time the 9000 series was launched, Intel had largely resolved the problem, so your idle temperatures appear to be reasonable. However, to correctly address BFG-9000's concerns, we can summarize by saying that for thermal protection, sensors tend to be more accurate at high temperatures. But due to calibration issues such as linearity, slope and range, idle temperatures may be less accurate.

Concerning Rdslw's statement regarding Intel's "Tcase" Thermal Specification, he's simply been misled by Intel's Product Specifications website, just like the vast majority of other users. The Tcase specification itself is very misleading. Just to be clear, Tcase is not Core temperature, so it's not a thermal "limit", but is instead a thermal "value" that's only measured in the factory on the external surface of the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS) which users can't monitor. Although Tcase is useful for developers of cooling solutions, for end users Tcase is an irrelevant Thermal Specification.

The thermal "limit" for your Q9450 is NOT Tcase; it's instead "Tjunction". In their Datasheets, Intel refers to Maximum Junction Temperature or Tj Max, which is also known as "Throttle" temperature. For your Core 2 Q9450, that temperature is 100°C, just like most "modern" Core i processors, but it's not OK to run it that hot. Your Core temperatures are good, especially considering your high ambient temperature, which is 10°C above the international "standard" for "normal" which is 22°C or 72°F.

Here's the nominal operating range for Core temperature:

Core temperatures above 85°C are not recommended.

Core temperatures below 80°C are ideal.



Core temperatures increase and decrease with ambient temperature.

Intel Desktop processors have temperatures for each "Core" and a temperature for the entire "CPU". Core temperatures are measured at the heat sources near the transistor "Junctions" inside each Core where temperatures are highest. CPU temperature is instead a single measurement centered on the external surface of the CPU's "Case" or "IHS" (Integrated Heat Spreader) where the cooler is seated.

Core temperature is considerably higher than CPU temperature due to differences in the proximity of sensors to heat sources.


Intel Desktop processors also have two Thermal Specifications. For Core temperature it's "Tjunction" which is also called "Tj Max" (Temperature Junction Maximum) or “Throttle” temperature. For CPU temperature it's "Tcase" (Temperature Case) which is maximum IHS temperature.

Both Thermal Specifications are shown in Intel’s Datasheets, which are detailed technical documents. However, Intel's quick reference Product Specifications website only shows Tjunction for 7th Generation and later processors, or Tcase for 6th Generation and earlier.

Tcase has always been a confusing specification. Here's why:

When users of 6th Generation and earlier processors see their Thermal Specification on Intel’s Product Specifications website, most don’t realize what Tcase actually means. Since there are numerous software utilities for monitoring Core temperature, users assume Tcase must be maximum Core temperature. This is a basic misconception which has persisted since 2006.

Tcase is not Core temperature.

Tcase is IHS temperature. It's a factory only surface measurement that users can't monitor.

Tjunction is Core temperature. It's measured at the heat sources where temperatures are highest.

Since users can monitor Core temperatures but not IHS temperature, Core temperature is the standard for thermal measurement. Accordingly, the limiting Thermal Specification is Tjunction; not Tcase. Unfortunately, Intel has no documentation that describes the relationships between specifications and temperatures in a practical sense. In order to get a clear perspective of processor temperatures, please read the Intel Temperature Guide - https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/intel-temperature-guide.1488337/

It's a "Sticky" which is permanently posted at the top of the CPUs Forum for everyone's benefit.

Once again, welcome aboard!

CT :sol:
Thank you so much for the informative post! Much appreciated.
 
In early 2008 when the first 45 nanometer processors were launched, a significant percentage of users with the popular Core 2 Duo E8400 reported Core temperatures which would "stick" around the mid 40's. This means the Digital Thermal Sensors (DTS) that measure Core temperatures would stop responding below the mid 40's, indicating false idle temperatures, but would resume normal indications above the mid 40's. Nonetheless, many 8000 series processors were unaffected and would respond normally to temperatures throughout the full operating range.

By the time the 9000 series was launched, Intel had largely resolved the problem
This is simply not logical. Intel would've had to respin to a new stepping to fix the DTS, and not only were the Q9450 and E8400 you are referring to the same C0-stepping from January 2008, the Q9450 is actually made of two E8200 dies on one substrate. In any case there were hundreds of complaints at the time about all of the 45nm models including the last-ever E0-stepping ones from August 2008. For example all of my Q9650 + Xeon E5450 (each made from two E8400 dies) have this sticking "problem," and Q9650 is E0-stepping only.

After apparently too many people tried to RMA their processors for this reason, Intel released an official errata statement about the sensor:
Code:
"The digital thermal sensor (DTS) accuracy is in the order of -5°C +10°C around 90°C ;
it deteriorates to ±10°C at 50°C. The DTS temperature reading saturates at some temperature
below 50°C. Any DTS reading below 50°C should be considered to indicate only a temperature
below 50°C and not a specific temperature.
In other words, the equivalent of "they all do this, it's normal," and never fixing it. But if any processor does not respond normally above 50°C then that is grounds for RMA. Note that responds is not the same as accurate:
Code:
According to Intel, if the actual temperature is below 50°C the temperature can’t be
trusted at all. With calibration, the slope error can be offset to an extent, but the reported
temperatures will never be as accurate as those which are reported by the DTS on 65nm
processors. Furthermore, the sensors can sometimes "stick," particularly at lower temperatures,
and the worst of these sensors can’t be calibrated properly.

Unlike their 45nm counterparts, the DTS for 65nm is much less affected by slope error, so
that even a temperature readout that has not been calibrated can give a reasonably close
representation of the actual temperature.
 

CompuTronix

Judicious
Moderator
BFG-9000,

You are absolutely right; good catch. That makes perfect sense. My apologies, sir. I stand corrected.

Having owned, built and overclocked many Q9650's, which, exactly as per your statement, are comprised of two E8400's, I never once encountered the DTS problem on the Q9650's, but I instead saw the problem on E8500's. I was aware of it since the E8400 first launched, and followed the problem for some time through several sources, including the Real Temp thread at XtremeSystems.org. I was later unaware of the progress of the complaints and Intel's eventual response.

This is the first time in all these years I've ever read the information you've provided. If you could post a link to the source, I'd like to add this to my notes. It's interesting that since 1st gen Core i socket 1366 was also 45 nanometers, and was Intel's 1st native Quad Core, in addition to improved DTS sensors, these processors curiously continued to included the single analog thermal diode between and below the Cores to emulate the factory thermocouple IHS temperature.

Regardless, the conclusion you posted above certainly follows in the finest traditions of typical corporate boilerplate washed through Intel's legal department. Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention.

CT :sol:
 
Sadly, Intel have recently hidden away their datasheets and errata as "confidential documentation" (due to Spectre/Meltdown?) so now requires a sign-in to even see the article title names in the technical library. The same sensor was used in 45nm Bonnell Atoms so it was actually large OEMs who raised the issue with Intel and not the liquid-nitrogen crowd you'd expect.

This information was revealed at the very same Intel Developer Forum that finally disclosed the Tj Max of every Core 2 Desktop processor, which had been kept secret for years (after all the earliest Core 2 was from July 2006). It was reported on the front page of Tom's on October 21st, 2008 (this is where the quotes are from) along with the shocking revelation that B2/B3/L2-stepping E4000 and E6000 series chips had a Tj Max of just 70°C. These chips had a Tcase rating of 61.4°C .

Nehalem can be considered 45nm+ in today's parlance, from back when Intel used a Tick-Tock model so the + is equivalent to a Tock. Of course we are up to 14nm+++++ many-Tocks due to delays of 10nm, and it now looks like Desktop will skip 10nm altogether
 

CompuTronix

Judicious
Moderator
I remember reading the minutes from IDF `08. Intel originally intended that 65nm Core 2 processors use DTS sensors for Throttle protection only; not for Core temperatures. Instead, "CPU" temperature was monitored using the old Analog Thermal Diode where calibration accuracy varied with Super I/O voltage levels for A to D, model specific lookup tables and BIOS updates. When utility developers quickly discovered how to read Tj Max and monitor Core temperatures, the wizard behind the curtain was exposed. All Intel's horses and all Intel's men couldn't put the genie back in the bottle again.

As you mentioned, forced by the tip of the OEM and community cattle prods, Intel reluctantly, but finally disclosed Tj Max values, and discontinued the Analog Thermal Diode after 45 nanometer processors. Then in 2016 for 7th Generation and later, Intel changed the Product Specifications website from Tcase to Tjunction, yet they won't update earlier processors on their website from Tcase to Tjunction, both of which should follow the proper terminology as it's shown in the Datasheets as Tcase Max and Tj Max.

So for 6th gen and earlier, we're still stuck with Tcase, which has always been a misleading, confusing and irrelevant specification, with the exception of developers for cooling solutions. In my opinion, Tcase should not appear on the product specifications website or in the Datasheets, but should instead be limited to confidential use. Unfortunately, Intel's use of Tcase has resulted in the vast majority of users thinking it must mean maximum"Core" temperature, when in fact it's IHS temperature that they can't even monitor.

Intel created a fantastic mess of mass confusion with Tcase, which could've been avoided with proper wording. The sheer magnitude and persistence of this thermal trainwreck still stops me in my tracks with astonishment.

CT :sol:
 
It's worse than that--after they admitted what the Tj Max values were, they later tried to walk it back and claimed to the developer of Core Temp that what they really meant was those were actually "Tj Target" values, a term that appeared in none of their previous documentation. I think the big switch to official Tj Max numbers happened after the processors started to get nearly hot enough to throttle at stock speeds on stock cooling, and they needed a way to show this was normal to reduce support claims.

The TDP numbers have similarly become a sad joke for marketing reasons. Once used as a way for thermal solution developers to easily know the minimum cooling performance required, it now only refers to the power consumed at base clocks so the marketeers can falsely suggest their CPUs use less power than AMD's. I think the base clocks are actually selected to generate good TDP numbers now.
 

CompuTronix

Judicious
Moderator
Thanks for the trip down memory lane ... yes, I also recall the "Tj Target" debacle when Intel squirmed with subtle embarrassment as they were being prodded into their thermal corner. They just couldn't manage to succeed with fooling all the people all the time, so their cover-up blew up in their faces. Then I recall how pleased I was when the 7th gen Datasheets were launched and the Product Specifications website switched from Tcase to Tjunction.

It's interesting to note wherever Intel contradicts their own terms, which, for example, is seen on their Product Specifications website as well as their IETU utility, since both conflict with their Datasheets, it suggests to me that they have no office responsible for overseeing their documentation for consistent terminology. So apparently the individual authors of these documents and software don't communicate. I find this very disappointing that a company with their obvious depth and breadth of resources can't keep these particular technical ducks in a row. This problem, along with their Tcase mess, is why almost everyone is so confused.

In the wild, the commonly used terms "CPU" temperature and "Core" temperature get flung around like gorilla poo in a cage, which blurs the distinctions between them. Then there's also Package temperature (hottest Core) and Throttle temperature which are two more cans of worms. While the Datasheets use proper terminologies and are therefore the master reference documents, the correct and consistent use of proper terminology is a critical key to keeping technology simplified.

For example, Intel’s Product Specifications website incorrectly shows either “Tcase” or “Tjunction” as specifications. In that context, both are technically improper terms. The Datasheets instead show “Tcase Max” and “Tj Max”. So just to be clear for the benefit of our other Members and readers, “Tcase Max” is a specification, while “Tcase” is IHS temperature. Correspondingly, “Tj Max” is a specification, while “Tjunction” is Core temperature. The term “CPU” temperature is commonly misused as a general term for any processor temperatures, and is sometimes synonymous with "Package" temperature. This is why in the Intel Temperature Guide, I'm careful to only use the term "processor" instead of "CPU" when making general references.

When I wrote the first temperature guide in early `07, Arthur Liberman, the author of Core Temp, was using the term "Tjunction" where you now see "Tj Max". I contacted him and explained that since the term "Tjunction" is Core temperature, it was creating confusion in the community concerning the specification for maximum Core temperature. So I suggested that he change the term to "Tj Max" which is instead the proper specification reference. When he launched the next version of Core Temp, (which he often updates), he had indeed changed that field to Tj Max, as it is today. Over the years I've also corresponded with the author of Real Temp, Kevin Glynn, as well as the author of SpeedFan, Alfredo Milani Comparetti, each of whom are open to suggestions.

In my opinion, most of the confusion surrounding this topic could be eliminated if Intel retroactively revised their Thermal Specifications (with respect to variants) so they're simply expressed as in the following example:

• TcoreMax 85°C: The maximum recommended Core temperature at the transistor junctions within the processor.

• Tthrottle 100°C: The Core temperature limit at which the processor will reduce clock speed for thermal protection.

Although it's highly unlikely this would fit into Intel's box, especially with regard to their stock coolers, I believe that most novices would have no problems understanding these specifications.

CT :sol:
 

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