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Processor Thermal Margin

By Poppa Bear
Jan 31, 2009
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  1. I am running an Intel DG33FB motherboard and have installed the appropriate Intel Desktop Utility to monitor temperatures etc.

    The temperature shown for the Processor Thermal Margin is 59 degress celsius, and displays a green light indicating it is within the safety limits, yet the Upper Sensor Threshold level is shown as 14 degrees.

    Can anyone please explain how to interpret this, and exactly what the Processor Thermal Margin indicates?

    Cheers PB
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    I recommend using CoreTemp and RealTemp as better programs for temperature monitoring. The difference between Tjmax and the current CPU temperature should be as large as possible (i.e. the CPU temperature should be as low as possible compared to Tjmax), which shows that your CPU is running nice and cool.
  3. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 266

    Thanks for the input. I hear what you're saying, but I still don't understand how the Processor Thermal Margin can have an upper limit of 14 and lower limit not applicable with the actual temperature at 59. If it's 59 below the upper limit, which is 14, then my processor would be running at 14 - 59 = minus 45 degrees; which is obviously not the case.

    I just don't get it.

    ps The following is a quote from Intel re this topic found on another forum since making the original post:

    On the basis of this quote I would assume the actual temperature of my processor would be: 59 - 14 = 45. In other words the 59 shown in the Processor Thermal Margin is not the actual temperature.
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    The Processor Thermal Margin is actually reporting the difference between Tjmax (the maximum theoretical safe temperature for the CPU) and the actual temperature of the CPU. So if the PTM is higher, it means your CPU temperature is much lower.

    Dunno about the Upper Sensor Threshold though.
  5. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 266

    Thanks Rage,

    I understand the basic concept. The Upper limit is still a mystery.

    The option to change parameters for the purpose of sounding warnings in the event of over-heating is shown in the window: "Set Sensor Threshold". For example, the motherboard default upper is 85C and the actual is 41C. The upper can be set to whatever you choose.

    With the PTM the upper is 14C and it shows the actual as 59. However, unlike all the other parameters, the upper cannot be changed. I can only assume It must be a predetermined value for the purposes of calculating.

    Anyway, when it's all said and done, my warning system is showing all green lights, and that's the bottom line.

    Cheers PB. :)

    ps As an afterthought, maybe the upper limit is telling you how close you can get to the actual maximum temperature.

    In other words, if you ever get to the actual temperature it's too late and irreversible damage may have occurred. So the upper limit sets the margin of safety and that's when the warning sounds.

    This would mean my processor is 59C under the upper limit, but the warning would sound when it reaches 59 minus 14 = 44.

    Consider the post over from my point of view.
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