The Intel Core Duo processor is a high-end CPU marketed by Intel. It is more powerful than the Celeron and Pentium processors. Like all CPUs, the Intel Core line of processors has a certain temperature range that must be maintained to ensure safe operation. The operational temperature is the temperature at which the CPU will perform at peak performance, and it should not be exceeded.
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Issues That Affect Processor Temperature
The primary factor affecting the temperature of the Core Duo processor at any one time is the amount of calculations that the device is making per second. This is often referred to as the "load." High-load operations such as games, video, and image editing cause the CPU to reach a high temperature faster than low-load operations such as web browsing and word processing. This is because the former operations require more calculations per second. As more electrons move through the processor per second, more heat is generated due to friction.
Normal Operational Temperature
The Intel Core Duo processor has a normal operational temperature of around 4.44 degrees C Celsius--40 degrees Celsius. Temperatures reach dangerous levels at around 65 degrees Celsius, or 62.2 degrees Celsius. Sustained operation at or above the maximum recommended CPU temperature will cause damage and eventual failure. Fortunately, every computer has a built in heat-management system that is designed to mitigate heat from the CPU and keep it within tolerances.
The Fan and Heat Sink
The fan sits atop the Intel Core Duo processor and draws hot air away from it. Most fans have multiple speed settings that change according to the temperature of the CPU. If the fan were to stop operating, the ambient temperature of the computer chassis would, in turn, heat the CPU, and the CPU would be damaged. Also, be aware that over time the fan can accumulate a layer of dust--you should remove this dust at regular intervals because it can act as a layer of insulation.
The heat sink is a computer component that draws heat away from the CPU. It is in direct contact with the Intel Core Duo, and is composed of a material with low thermal resistance. When the CPU becomes hot, this material draws the heat away.
There is software available for most operating systems that displays the current temperature of the CPU. This is important, as it gives early warning that the computer's heat management system is not working properly. Over time, the user can gain a feel for the CPU's normal operating temperature under different levels of load and can thus react appropriately when an anomalous temperature is reached.
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