AMD Overdrive - Thermal Margin fluctuates quite drastically.

Hi all,

I installed my CPU and GPU (AMD Athlon X4 860K & Radeon R9 280). Only stock coolers & 1 intake, 1 exhaust case fan.

My BIOS states CPU temperatures are ~70'C at idle.....but reading about AMD's, it appears their Thermal Margin* is the best judge of temperatures for the CPU.

*For anyone wondering, my understand of TM is it's measuring how far your temperatures are from Max...ie higher numbers mean further from max, and better.

I leave Overdrive running at all times, so I can quickly check.....and similar tasks can have a significantly fluctuating thermal margin. E.g. transferring ~50GB in mp3 files from my external HDD to my new internal HDD (SSD is boot drive) seemed to push CPU temps to near max.

Am I best to stress test to ensure I won;t run into overheating issued? I've heard about Prime95, so thinking I could run that for a few hours. Any recommendations on applications to log the temperatures? (I can't seem to find a way to log the temps over time in OD).
 

das_stig

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Jul 24, 2009
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70c idle is not right, that is way above what it should be on at 100% load or you have a bad temperature sensor.

Check the heatsink is seated correctly.

Don't even attempt to stress test or you may do damage !

I would never attempt to do an overclock using a stock heatsink !
 

das_stig

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Jul 24, 2009
550
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70c idle is not right, that is way above what it should be on at 100% load or you have a bad temperature sensor.

Check the heatsink is seated correctly.

Don't even attempt to stress test or you may do damage !

I would never attempt to do an overclock using a stock heatsink !
 
As I mentioned, it appears from AMDs public information, that only the Thermal Margin gives an accurate indication of CPU temp and it's pretty common the BIOS will not recognise accordingly.
They don't document anywhere the 'max' temperature, only the Thermal Margin.

I believe I've read somewhere 72'C being the max (unofficially as AMD don't confirm), and the TM usually sits between 30-40'C (sometimes north of 50'C), so when using those numbers, I can assume the CPU temp is somewhere between 22'C and 42'C, depending on load.

Edit:
Not looking to overclock. Got a great deal on the CPU, hence I ended up with an unlocked version. Any overclocking (slim potential in future), I'd definitely be upgrading the cooling accordingly.

I'd read this regarding thermal margin.
 
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