7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 27, 2013 11:45 AM by Ruben Ramos

    Intel Extreme 3960X Processor Temps, TDP, & Wattage Re Folding 24/7

    Shaun Gupta

      Hi all,

       

      I purchased a high performance gaming PC near the end of 2012 featuring your Intel Extreme 3960X processor (NON-overclocked, aside from the stock Turbo mode built in by Intel) and have just begun folding with World Community Grid, a project that works on various disease research and humanitarian projects.  I would like to allow the computer to work as much as possible 24/7 to benefit this project (aside from when I'm gaming, etc.) but am concerned about a few things, so I wanted some input.

       

      I've had 0 problems during real world use or gaming.  When folding at 100% capability (on the stock liquid cooling provided by the manufacturer), I've noticed my individual core temperatures approach the TJMax of 91C (most cores in the high 80-90 range, once in a while one of them going over 90 but never above 91).  I have noticed only very minor throttling (below the turbo speed of 3900 MHz...I've seen it briefly hit 3800 but it never stays throttled), and the processor maintains these temperatures without crashing.  I realize higher temperatures may impact processor life to a small degree, but are these temperatures and this workload (100%) safe for 24/7 (or close to it) operation?  If not, is there a recommended temperature I should NOT go over for a 24/7 load?

       

      Additionally, the utility I'm using to monitor (Core Temp) reports TDP as 130 Watts, but I notice Power Draw is reporting ~165W.  Is this a concern?  Again, the processor is NOT overclocked; I can't explain this unless it is a function of the Turbo mode.

       

      Thanks for any help/advice!

      Shaun

        • 1. Re: Intel Extreme 3960X Processor Temps, TDP, & Wattage Re Folding 24/7
          Freddy Gonzalez

          Hello Shaun Gupta,

           

          All Intel® processors are designed to run at the max speed with heavy workload 24/7 basis without affecting the performance of the tasks

           

          As any other electronically product; whenever the processor usage is being extended is expected to reduce the lifetime of the processor, this is the reason why we recommend using a cooling solution that maintains your system with the thermal specifications.

           

          Please confirm how are you seeing this Power draw going up to 165w? This because based on the specifications of the processor this unit was designed to use a cooling solution that dissipates over 135W not the one reported in your 3rd party software.

           

          Also, please provide what is the temperature reported in the BIOS and system information for further research.

           

          Regards,

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          • 2. Re: Intel Extreme 3960X Processor Temps, TDP, & Wattage Re Folding 24/7
            Shaun Gupta

            Hi Freddy and thanks for the great reply!

             

            Good to know max speed 24/7 is within normal parameters and I should expect the chip to be able to handle it.  One question I would have is, does that include Intel's Turbo speed (in this case the 3.9 GHz the chip autoclocks to instead of the rating of 3.3).

             

            When you say it reduces the lifetime of the processor, you're saying unless there's unfortunate premature failure (which can happen with anything), I should expect a decent lifespan out of it, just a slightly reduced one, correct (for me, that would be 4 years+ [and I'm guessing expected life is probably longer than that])?

             

            I'm seeing the power draw go up to 165W using Core Temp (and this is only WHILE it is under load).  It fluctuates and uses much less than this (only around 25W) at idle.  If you have another suggestion to monitor this, I'll certainly give it a try.  I'll also check to see what things look like in the BIOS and post that information later today; however keep in mind that info won't be under load since I'll be in the BIOS.

             

            Thanks for the help!

            • 3. Re: Intel Extreme 3960X Processor Temps, TDP, & Wattage Re Folding 24/7
              Shaun Gupta

              Okay, I let the system cool down in the BIOS menu, and the temperatures I'm getting are:

               

              CPU Temp: 41C

              Motherboard Temp: 32C

               

              Turbo and all CPU functions (SpeedStep, etc.) are enabled, and everything's set to Auto, so no overclocking should be happening. 

              • 4. Re: Intel Extreme 3960X Processor Temps, TDP, & Wattage Re Folding 24/7
                Shaun Gupta

                Decided to check into some things and reversed the fan for the radiator (switching from exhausting out the back to intaking in through the radiator).  I'm seeing better temps - at 100% it no longer seems to hit 91 so far...ends up in the low to mid 80's (with one core in the 70's) most of the time.  Still seeing a higher than TDP wattage estimate though (and it shows the same on Intel's own Power Gadget 2.5).    

                • 5. Re: Intel Extreme 3960X Processor Temps, TDP, & Wattage Re Folding 24/7
                  Ruben Ramos

                  Hi Shaun Gupta,

                   

                   

                  Your processor has a TCase value of 66.8°C; anything from the Tcase and below will be the expected temperature of the processor in normal use, anything that doesn't stress out the processor (watching movies, burning CDs, browsing the internet, creating documents, etc.)

                   

                  When the processor is stressed out meaning that you are running heavy processor applications that take control of the CPU or uses it at 100% the temperature will go beyond the Tcase. It can perfectly reach 80 to 85 degrees and the processor will still be OK. The cooling fan is in charge to keep that temperature there.

                   

                  If the processor temperature reaches 100 degrees or more it will send a signal to the motherboard to shut down to prevent mayor damages and most likely it will not be possible to turn the computer back in until it cools down.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Intel Extreme 3960X Processor Temps, TDP, & Wattage Re Folding 24/7
                    Shaun Gupta

                    Ruben, Thanks for the additional information.  According to my motherboard sensor, running the World Community Grid folding software at 60% (meaning it uses 100% processing for 6/10 of a second) CPU temperature (I'm assuming T-CASE, since the individual core temps are higher) is rarely above the 70C mark - I've seen it go to 73C or so at 100%.

                     

                    To be on the safe side I'm upgrading to a beefier cooler (Corsair H80i probably) that should allow 100% folding at cooler temps than I'm currently getting.  (But I've had ZERO stability issues, even with this setup.)

                     

                    So from what I understand from the feedback I've gotten here, even now but especially with a beefier cooler and running at stock/within specs, as long as my CPU isn't throttling down or going above that 91C on individual cores, I should be fine running at full load 24/7.  It may somewhat effect processor lifespan, but I should still get a decent (several year) lifespan out of it unless there's some sort of random premature failure issue (that might have happened anyway).  I really appreciate the feedback!

                    • 7. Re: Intel Extreme 3960X Processor Temps, TDP, & Wattage Re Folding 24/7
                      Ruben Ramos

                      Hi Shaun Gupta,

                       

                      You are very welcome!