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Mac Pro 8-core CPU temperature
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Nov 6, 2007, 10:34 AM
Hi all...

I would have posted this on the Mac Pro & PowerMac sub-forum for its technicality, but since this is somewhat related to BOINC and SETI@home with a bunch of you guys using V4s and V8s, I would prefer asking here.

I have my V8 crunching SETI@home 24/7, with Hardware Monitor monitoring the CPU temperatures and other vital stats. After reading the Intel Quad-Core Xeon Proc datasheet, I'm a little edgy about the operating temperature of these X5365 CPUs, currently registering at 65 - 70ºC on load for each temperature diode, and fail-safe temperature set to 73ºC to disable BOINC via Hardware Monitor.

I also have smcFanControl speeding up the fans because my ambient temperature varies thanks to myself being in a tropical region, my ambient temperature can reach 33ºC at times, but down to 28ºC when air-conditioned.

My question is, what is the maximum temperature for these CPUs before they run into the risk of being fried/permanently damaged..?
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Nov 6, 2007, 12:37 PM
Originally Posted by Elphidieus View Post
... After reading the Intel Quad-Core Xeon Proc datasheet ...
I'd go with whatever Intel lists as the max operating temp in their specs. Then nice down BOINC & the workers until the cores stay comfortably below that limit.

What range did Intel give for the quad-cores?
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Dec 26, 2012, 05:09 PM
Xeons are designed by default with thermal management built right in meaning they will not overheat. they will automatically reduce the voltage to the cpu when temps get too hot and thereby reduce the temp.

From intel's ARK page on the x5365:

Thermal Monitoring Technologies

Thermal Monitoring Technologies protect the processor package and the system from thermal failure through several thermal management features. An on-die Digital Thermal Sensor (DTS) detects the core's temperature, and the thermal management features reduce package power consumption and thereby temperature when required in order to remain within normal operating limits.

The link to the x5365 Clovertown Quad Core 3.0Ghz Xeon Intel ARK page for everything you want to know about this processor is:

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Jan 6, 2013, 05:33 AM
I have been running BOINC on my 2.8 GHz Xeon QC for two years now with no issues. I don't live in a tropical region, but it does get up to the low to mid 30s C in the summer. Even now it's purring like a kitten with the CPU at 83˚ C.

I don't think renice-ing would help anyway, BOINC is at the lowest priority level (20) already. Even if you could lower it more, without something else to take priority over BOINC it is still going to use all of the free CPU cycles.

You would probably have better luck with BOINC Manager↓ Preferences or Tools↓ Computing preferences… there you can set what percentage of processors to use on a multi-processor computer and what percentage of the CPU time (cycles) to use. You can also set those preferences at any of the projects you run from your settings page, such as your SETI account page.

And keeping the inside of your Mac Pro clean and relatively dust-free is probably most important of all.

Happy New Year of crunching!

Edit: After putting the side panel back on it's now running at 81˚ C. Silly me.
( Last edited by Penguirl; Jan 6, 2013 at 06:01 AM. )
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Jul 21, 2013, 03:25 PM
Its probably only 20C or so here right now but I just ran Handbrake for 15 minutes on my 8 core 2008 Xserve and nothing climbed over 50C. I do seem to have about 16 fans though and some of them run as high as 12krpm.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
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Jul 22, 2013, 03:26 PM
Peak temp on the Intel processors is listed at 100C.

You shouldn't need SMCFanControl. If you do, its a problem.
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Jul 30, 2013, 02:54 PM
I spotted my late 2008 MBP was running a bit warm of late (~70C) without much workload so I decided to do a rebuild and reapply the thermal paste. So far its shaved 10C off the CPU temp.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
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