The Heat is On: Computers and Temperature

HP Server Temperatures

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The internal chassis temperature for systems based on Core 2 Duo processors in the 775-land package should not exceed 38°C [100.4°F] (39°C [102.2°F] for the boxed Intel Core 2 Extreme processor) when the chassis is used in a maximum expected room temperature of 35°C [95°F]. Most chassis designed for the boxed Intel processor use extra internal chassis fans to improve airflow and many include ducting to bring cool air directly to the processor fan heatsink. Intel® tests chassis with the boxed Intel processor and the Intel Desktop Boards for minimum thermal requirements.

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Operating environment Operating your MacBook outside these ranges may affect performance:

  • Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C)
  • Storage temperature: -4° to 113° F (-20° to 45° C)
  • Relative humidity: 5% to 90% (noncondensing)
  • Operating altitude: 0 to 10,000 feet (0 to 3048 meters)

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General rule of thumb for all PCs: The colder it is, the better it runs.
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General rule of thumb for computer monitors (all types): Operates best at room temperature (72 F/22.2 C) while not in direct sunlight.
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Ambient temperature above 90 F / 32.2 C: It would be rare to operate in this temperature because you’d be sweating profusely just sitting there, but some do. Your monitors and peripherals will run fine but the computer starts acting like an oven. Any air going thru there is also warm (or possibly hot) which at that point doesn’t help very much to cool it down.

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Generally speaking, good operating temperature for a PC is about 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 24 or so Celsius). Cooler than this is of course, better than warmer. Operating a PC in a hot room that is over 80 degrees Fahrenheit can make it very difficult to cool.

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Operating expensive IT computer equipment for extended periods of time at high temperatures greatly reduces reliability, longevity of components and will likely cause unplanned downtime. Maintaining an ambient temperature range of 68° to 75°F (20° to 24°C) is optimal for system reliability. This temperature range provides a safe buffer for equipment to operate in the event of air conditioning or HVAC equipment failure while making it easier to maintain a safe relative humidity level.

It is a generally agreed upon standard in the computer industry that expensive IT equipment should not be operated in a computer room or data center where the ambient room temperature has exceeded 85°F (30°C).

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Intel. (n.d.). Integration of boxed Intel® Core™2 processors in the 775-Land Package. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/CS-031396.htm
Apple. (n.d.). MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010) – Support – Apple. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from http://manuals.info.apple.com/MANUALS/1000/MA1533/en_US/macbook_13inch_mid2010_ug.pdf
Menga, R. (2008, February 26). How Cold Is Too Cold? How Hot Is Too Hot? (Computer Hardware). PC Mech. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from http://www.pcmech.com/article/how-cold-is-too-cold-how-hot-is-too-hot-computer-hardware/
Kozierok, C.M. (2001, April 17). Ambient Temperature and Acclimation. PC Guide. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from http://www.pcguide.com/care/care/gen/envAmbient-c.html
Grundy, R. (2005, November 14). Recommended Data Center Temperature & Humidity: Preventing Costly Downtime Caused By Environment Conditions. AVTECH News. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from http://www.avtech.com/About/Articles/AVT/NA/All/-/DD-NN-AN-TN/Recommended_Computer_Room_Temperature_Humidity.htm