Hot outside, hot inside too

It’s hot, hot, hot here in Round Rock, TX. And alas, when I say it’s hot here, I mean in the house! Our inside cooling stack for the main A/C apparently iced up yesterday, and quit working. I’ve had to cut the main unit off, so our only cooling in the house right now is literally trickling down the staircase (the coolest place in the house) from the still-operational upstairs unit and providing some cooling for the whole house.

HW Monitor temps go up with the ambient temp

As the ambient temps go up, so do the readings inside my PC!

But the upstairs unit was designed to cool about 15,000 cubic feet, and our entire indoor house volume is about 45,000 cubic feet, so the best we can do on the lower level is about 80 °F (about 26.7 °C). It’s actually 84 °F (30 °C) in my office right now, and therein lies the real subject for today’s blog: PC operating temps.

Take another look at the preceding screenshot. I can’t help but notice the following across-the-board temperature increases:

Item Read Normal

1. TMPIN0 50 °C 46 °C
2. TMPIN1 31 °C 27 °C
3. Cores 36-50 °C 32-50 °C
4. 160 HD 37 °C 33 °C
5. 320 HD 39 °C 35 °C

Surprise! The inside temperature gain (3-4 °C) is just about the same as the temperature gain that HWMonitor’s sensors are reporting. This may seem patently obvious (DUH!!!), but points out something essential about keeping PCs cool. Room temperature also plays a major role in a PC’s temperature readings, as well as the number and type of fans you put inside the box. Don’t forget that when you cool things down, you’re always cooling them with reference to the ambient temperature. As the ambient goes up, so also do all the other things inside its envelope, including the innards of any PCs inside that space. In other words, if the room gets hot, so will the PC, so thank goodness that what is hot to a human is merely tepid to electronic circruitry. None of the temperatures showing in HWMonitor are hot enough to worry about; you’d need at least another 15 degrees Celsius across the board to start raising flags. I certainly don’t plan to let things get that hot in my house!

The moral of this story, however, is that not only will I enjoy life more when the A/C gets fixed tomorrow, so will my PC!


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