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(?) about temperature of a computer?

  1. Jul 9, 2012 #1
    What's the maximum and lowest temp a computer can survive, without killing it?
    I was just curious I mean no computer in particular just a average pc not a lap top though.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    http://www.pantherproducts.co.uk/index.php?pageid=CPUtemperatures [Broken]

    for a table of maximum temps before meltdown / burnout
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Jul 10, 2012 #3
    i dont think there's any practical lower limit on temp of the CPU to run at. basically, the cooler the better.

    Components of the computer that have moving parts however need to be in a reasonable range. Running hard drives cold, for example, actually makes them more unreliable and prone to failure (research.google.com/archive/disk_failures.pdf)
  5. Jul 10, 2012 #4


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    I think you would run into problems with electrolytic capacitors at low temperatures, they become very lossy even at "normal" temperatures that you might encounter when using a computer outside in the winter(say -30 degrees C). Also, glues etc. tend not to like the cold so some componentes might litterarly crack.

    At even lower temperatures the resistance of various components starts to change to the point where things mmight stop working, and at even lower temperature (say -200C) most semiconductors will freeze out.

    It is surprisingly difficult to get normal electronics to work even a liquid nitrogen temperatures.
  6. Jul 10, 2012 #5
    i heard they can make supper conductors with extreme temps though :)
  7. Jul 10, 2012 #6
    From the table you gave me the max temp could go as high as 100°c
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  8. Jul 11, 2012 #7
    I think he is talking about CPU and not the components on Motherboard at normal temperature.

    AFAIK , Silicon Semiconductor Chips stop working at ~(-)240 Degree Centigrade.So the CPU and GPU will freeze below that point.

    I know some people who used Liquied Nitrogen setups for Overclocking their AMD processors.They are highly effective in reducing sudden surge in temperature.
    I think Liquied nitrogen brings temperature to around Minus 70C.
  9. Jul 17, 2012 #8
    Generally 30 - 60 ℃ is considered normal for CPU. If the temperature is too low, the CPU can not start or can't operate properly;if too high, it will restart or crash. CPU can work at 25-75 ℃, 40 - 50 ℃ at leisure, 50 - 65 ℃ when busy, 65 - 78 ℃ is normal when working at full speed.

    The temperature of Motherboard and hard drive is lower than CPU.Temperature between 40-60 ℃ is acceptable for motherboard. For ordinary IDE or SATA hard disk, it should below 55 ℃.

    The graphics is rather special, it depends on the model and version your graphics.40 - 50 ℃ is normal for general version.
  10. Jul 17, 2012 #9
    Fun pictures of LN2 cooling for OC'd systems http://www.tomshardware.com/picturestory/474-toms-hardware-overclocking-competition.html

    As some of the comments note, these are not "for looks", but rather raw cooling for seriously OC'd systems.

    As some posters have noted, if you are cooling stuff for an OC system, it's pretty much just going to be graphics card, memory, and CPU
  11. Jul 17, 2012 #10
    @f95toli & rishi
    Yeah, i was talking about the CPU specifically. I've dabbled a little bit with building an OC'ed system cooled with liquid nitrogen. you can easily achieve temps below -100C but its not something that you can run the computer normally with. Liquid Helium can get it even cooler but its way too expensive and you will run into problems of the semiconductors freezing.

    I apologize for the confusion and should have been more specific, when I said practical I meant that you cannot use extreme cooling on a regular basis, your chip will die in short order due to the violent changes in temperature and if you somehow managed to stay that outcome, the cooling would cost too much in the long run. Its only use is to show off the mental overclocks you can achieve with a few benchmarks and pat yourself on the back.

    The computer as a whole is made up of several different parts, each of which achieve their best performance at different temperatures. The CPU as many have noted work best went cooled below freezing but thats bad for your motherboard and even worse for your hard drive. When stuff gets warmer, your hard drives start to function much more reliably but the CPU performance degrades as the temp rises.

    With proper insulation, it is possible to cool your CPU, GPU and RAM isolated from the rest of the system so you can get those components to work MUCH cooler than the rest of the system improving performance. But the trade of is that you have to spend a lot more money and you're presented with a new set of associated problems.

    Practically speaking, for the average computer in the average home, you want to keep the air temperature around 20C-40C inside the case. If the air inside the case is below 20C, you potentially run into problems with dew/condensation (water on electronics may case them to spontaneously catch on fire lol i know its a paradox) and over 40C and your CPU/GPU temperatures may rise to the point that the system becomes unstable.

    IMO, and take that with a pinch of salt, around 60C air temp inside the case and i'm fairly certain the CPU would begin to fail, CPU temps tend to be around 20-30 degrees above air temp with stock air cooling inside the case. So if its 60C in the case, 80C for the CPU is approaching its maximum, the motherboard would probably shut the system down around 75C depending on settings.
    Approaching freezing, I don't believe your hard drives would be very reliable and will tend to fail much more often. Its not killing the computer per say but it would be a nuisance buying new hard drives every few months.
  12. Jul 17, 2012 #11
    I think the best point you are making is that it's not important to freeze your CPU, GPU, or memory, but rather to keep them within the safe operating range as you turn up the voltages, clock speeds, etc. Too cold (freezing) isn't good either. I haven't used LN2. IMO, it's too much effort, cost, etc. It's been awhile since I've done water cooling, but it isn't a big deal. When I did S@H and F@H, I used to OC a lot.
  13. Jul 17, 2012 #12
    Mother boards are not designed to run processors at the speeds allowed by extreme cooling such as liquid nitrogen. Even if you could apply liquid nitrogen on a continuous basis any commercial mobo would fry in short order as occurs routinely when people attempt to set new world overclocking records. Cooling the entire mobo down involves problems with condensation and, as far as I know, has only been achieved using total immersion in special cooling fluids such as mineral oil. I've never heard of an overclocker going to the extreme of combining immersing the mobo in fluids like mineral oil and using liquid nitrogen for the cpu, but I suppose it could be possible to achieve even higher stable overclocks. You might go through a few processors before finding one capable of handling the strain, but until someone actually tries it there is no way of knowing for sure.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  14. Jul 17, 2012 #13
    thanks for letting me new i was just curious you know the saying curiosity killed the cat lol :). ! more (?) can i build my own liquid cooling system cheaply?
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