Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor Maximum Operating Temperature

Last Reviewed: 17-Feb-2017
Article ID: 000006863

My processor thermal monitoring software or BIOS reports that my processor temperature is higher than I expected. How hot can it be to run safely? 

The thermal specification that defines the operating condition is called the maximum processor case temperature (Tc). See specifications in the Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor datasheets. The thermal specification may vary by processor frequency, stepping, and CPUID. You can also use our product specifications and comparisons tool.

Make sure you measure the processor temperature. The maximum operating temperature specification is called the maximum processor case temperature (Tc). For Pentium® 4 Processors, the measurement location for Tc is the geometric center on the top surface of the integrated heat spreader (IHS) on the processor. For detailed instruction on how to properly measure Tc, reference the Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor Thermal Design Guides.

The Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor datasheet lists the thermal dissipation specifications of Intel® Pentium® 4 Processors at various operating frequencies. For Intel® Pentium® 4 Processors, the highest frequency processor available dissipates more power than lower frequencies.

Evaluate the temperature of air entering the fan heat sink for confidence in the system's thermal management. For boxed Intel® Pentium® 4 Processors, the testing point is at the center of the fan hub, approximately 0.3 inches above the fan.

You can also see Intel® Boxed Processor thermal management.

Processor temperature may be higher than expected due to:

  • No thermal interface material used between the processor and heat sink.
    Thermal interface material is especially critical for boxed Intel® Pentium® 4 Processors at 3.06 GHz. Unlike previous Intel® Pentium® 4 Processors in the 478-pin package, the thermal solution for the processor requires the use of Thermally Conductive Compound, included in the plastic package with the installation manual.
  • Improper installation.
    Reinstall and insure you properly seat the fan heat sink.

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