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Journeyman III

Is it safe to run a 2990wx at 68 degrees for extended periods of time?

Title says it all.  I'm considering cooling options for a workstation and I'm wondering if it would be safe if I have the 2990wx running at its maximum temperature for maybe 6-16 hours per day, every day.

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Re: Is it safe to run a 2990wx at 68 degrees for extended periods of time?

nicholasjs, Maybe just me, but I would not and I do not think you would need to with the cooling options available.  I am not AMD, so can not really comment on safe.  You might open an AMD Online Support Ticket and ask them if it would reduce processor life.  At some temperature the chip starts to limit voltages and clocks to control temperature.  My specifications below:

MSI X399 Creation, Threadripper 2990WX, 3xSamsung SSD 970 EVO RAID0, 4xSSD 960 EVO on

MSI AeroXpander RAID10, 1TB & 500 GB WD Black, G.SKILL Flare X F4-3200C14Q-32GFX,

Windows 10 x64 Pro, EnerMax-MaxTytan-EDT1250EWT, Enermx Liqtech TR4 280 CPU Cooler,

Radeon RX580, UEFI E7B92AMS.120, AGESA SummitPI-SP3r2-

I do not remember temperatures but not near 68C but I am not OCing.  I suggest you be sure to get a cooler with a cold plate that covers ALL of ALL chips in the module.  Please tell us more and we will comment more.  Thanks and enjoy, John.

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Journeyman III

Re: Is it safe to run a 2990wx at 68 degrees for extended periods of time?

I may make a ticket if nobody from AMD answers here.  My workloads are heavy AVX2 with offloads to a GPU when I can.  I can't really get into more detail than that.

I don't think I would go outside of the PPT, TDC, and EDC limits (e.g. 250 watt TDP, I don't know the others).  After budgeting I can set up a custom loop, which kind of renders my question moot, but I'm still debating on that.  I'm also curious on if the 68 degrees is a 'safe' cap or the point where the chip may start getting damaged, regardless of my decision.

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Re: Is it safe to run a 2990wx at 68 degrees for extended periods of time?

nicholasjs, 68 is the limit:


Based on my experience, unless your video cards need it, an AIO cooler (less than $150) will do fine.  I have an discontinued NZXT Phanon case (full tower) that has two 200mm fans (really 193mm) at the top and the two 140mm fans under the radiator and all is well.  I connect the pump and all fans directly to 12 volts.  I'm not a OCer but you can change at least some of those limits you show.  Enjoy, John.

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Re: Is it safe to run a 2990wx at 68 degrees for extended periods of time?

I googled this line "will running cpus at max temperature for extending time shorten life span" Most answers I read seems to indicate the the life span of the CPU will be shortened if running at near Max temperature on a constant level. Most are around 4-5 years old but I believe still valid. But most modern CPUs have many safety features that prevents them from being damaged due to excessive heat.

You are running your Ryzen at it Maximum rated Temperature (68 C). If the temperature is correct, the CPU is definitely throttling excessively to keep it from shutting down due to excessive heat. Which means it is running much slower than it should be to lower the power usage and thus the heat generated.

Here one from Tom's Hardware Forum about an Intel CPU running at Max constantly: Results of constant, very high temperatures - [Solved] - CPUs

Correct answer from Forum from one User. This answer probably also applies to AMD CPU in general:


Pinhedd  Jul 11, 2014, 2:02 PM
Heavy load said:

Hey there,

I recently installed a program called BOINC, which utilizes my CPU and GPU for projects such as SETI@home, where volunteers "donate" their CPU power in order to help calculate some very complicated calculations.

Now, the last time I was actively getting information about overclocking and did some experiments myself was in the time when single-core 1GHz was the best money could buy. I installed a water cooling solution to my case, and the temperatures were manageable. However, even back then I remember running my CPUs at temperatures up to 100 degrees Celcius and it didn't cause any visible damage to it.

My i7-3770K can be a beast when it comes to calculating stuff compared to those older processors. However, luckily cooling has improved too. Still, my temperatures are constantly around 100 degrees when I'm giving my CPU power to BOINC. I also keep my computer on 24/7, so this is literally a constant high temperature that my CPU is being exposed to.

Now, it has just been 3 days, but I am concerned if modern processors can bear that. I would imagine there would be some official word on how much temperature they can handle. However, I couldn't find such info from Intel's site. People are happy to give opinions that they "wouldn't like to run their computer above x degrees", where x is a seemingly random figure between 70 and 100 degrees. I have never seen linked evidence basis for these claims, but I may have just been looking at the wrong places.

I also read the Intel CPU temperature guide at - I found the following paragraph:

"Tj Max is the Thermal Specification that defines the Core temperature at which the processor will Throttle to protect against thermal damage. Although Intel's Core i processors are capable of operating above 90C, we also know that excessive heat kills electronics. Sustained Core temperature greater than 80C is too hot for stable gaming or processor longevity."

And now for the actual question:

If I constantly keep my CPU running at very high temperatures, what are the actual risks I may encounter? 105C is the maximum encountered temperature according to CPUID HWMonitor, I would assume the system shuts down the core temporarily if it reaches that, to avoid it getting higher. I have heard that batteries lose max capacity if exposed to high temperatures, but I don't know what happens to processors, so I'm not sure what to make of the longevity argument. And as we are not talking about "dramatic" temperatures (I would believe 120+ is considered dramatic if the system considers 105C the practical maximum), I doubt the processor can literally be fried unless the fan suddenly stops working. Or am I wrong? What happens at constant extreme temperatures, and where can one find substantiated claims about values for what is a high temperature and what is too high? I was thinking of E-mailing Intel personally, but thought that this issue might be of interest to others as well so a public question didn't seem like a bad choice.

Thanks everyone!



Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Gigabyte Z77X-D3H with 2012 Bios (04.06.05)
Intel Core i7-3770K @ 3.50GHz (not overclocked) with stock cooler
AMD Radeon 6870, slightly overclocked but stable, the temperatures are around 70-80C when the card is under heavy use
16GB Kingston RAM at 1333MHz
SSD + 1 internal, 2 external HDDs


it's hard to find an authoritative source on the prolonged effects of elevated but subcatastrophic temperatures because the effects are unique to each manufacturing process.

Integrated circuits are not made of flesh and water, they will not boil away and/or burn up when operating at 100 degrees centigrade. 70 degrees may seem hot to us, but that's a nice afternoon breeze to a microprocessor. 100 degrees is still well below the point where catastrophic damage will occur to the microprocessor itself. Indeed, part of the semiconductor fabrication process involves baking the microprocessor at temperatures exceeding 1,200 degrees for a period of up to 24 hours to activate and disperse dopants.

The biggest risk of excessive but subcatastrophic short term heat is not to the microprocessor die itself, but to the package and socket. The microprocessor can take the heat, but the surrounding components may not. This is what caused to the famous Xbox 360 red ring of death, the integrated circuit itself was fine, but the heat caused the mainboard to warp.

If temperatures reach catastrophic levels (upwards of 150 to 200 degrees), the fiberglass PCB may be damaged and if the temperature continues to rise the solder binding the CPU die to the contact pins will eventually melt.

However, even if temperatures remain chronically high but subcatastrophic the lifespan of the CPU may be reduced. How much so is very hard to tell. This process is known as electromigration and it occurs in all integrated circuits. The Lorentz force caused by current moving through a metal interconnect can cause metal atoms in that same wire to be dislodged from their crystal lattice structure. The probability of this occurring is proportional to the temperature of the material, so it will occur more often in a hotter medium. Over time, the resistance of the decaying interconnect increases until it decays completely.
The effects of electromigration usually manifest first as instability which can be addressed by increasing the supply voltage. Eventually it will fail completely, but this process can take many years.
Here another old SuperUsers Forum explaining the queston you are asking: temperature - Safe long-term CPU temp? - Super User

24down vote

As far as I know (if someone has precise data, please report), there are no serious statistics data about modern microchips lifetime estimations as a function of its running temperature.
I know of two reasons for this:

  1. When we could know data about lifetime estimation of a microchip technology, this is, after years from manufacturing, that technology is... obsolete.
  2. Only microchips corporations could be interested in researching to obtain such precise info about their products (or the competitors ones). And they are not willing to share it; even if they do, I wouldn't believe them very much.

So, I believe that end-users only have the (often intuitive-only) knowledge of experienced IT specialists.
This is the mine:

  • Microcircuitry engineering is something like cooking: it involves a lot of probabilistcs and will often have a rather random results. So, you don't know how good a microchip is until you have fabricated it. Even then, deterioration will have too a bit of probabilistic behavior.
  • 40ºC (104ºF) or below is heaven for every microchip.
  • 50ºC (122ºF) is a not bad temperature for any microchip.
  • Microchips starts getting damaged on its lifetime at 60ºC (140ºF). (This is something I have read in other links that anything above 60 will shorten lifespan of CPU)
  • A chip running at 70ºC (158ºF) during 24 hours and 7 days a week, will probably last 2-6 years.
  • A chip running at 80ºC (176ºF) during 24 hours and 7 days a week, will probably last 1-3 years.
  • A chip running at 90ºC (194ºF) during 24 hours and 7 days a week, will probably last 6-20 months.
  • In this matter there is no difference between main computer chips like GPU, CPU, Northbridge, Southbridge... etc.
  • Given a temperature, it is harder for the chip to maintain it at high processor usage than at low processor usage. For example: a CPU that achieves 70ºC (158ºF) during 10 hours on nearly-inactive Windows desktop suffers less than a(nother) CPU that achieves 70ºC (158ºF) during 10 hours of intensive CPU processing (i.e: SuperPI). Some hardware engineers report this could be due to that in the second case the CPU uses most of the microcircuitry, and in the first case only a small part of it.
  • The general rule: microcircuitry is like an ellectrical printed circuit board that has the tracks very close between them (there are often only 4-5 molecules between two tracks), so heating is slowly melting the tracks as time goes by. Keep things as cold as possible.
  • The general rule when reading the manufacturer's data: they want for you not to care about refrigerating anything, because then it will get broken just after the warranty period (sometimes only a few weeks after it; it is incredible, I know). "It is just bussiness", Alcapone dixit.
  • Preventing is important (better than waiting for failures to repair): when things start to fail, it could be due to tracks melting in the microcircuitry, or due to minor tracks dilatations. The second case is a temporal problem. The first one is probably a definitive one

To get a more authoritative answer is best to Contact AMD Support via Email and see if they agree with the links I posted. You can Open a Email Ticket from here: Online Service Request | AMD .

Unless an AMD Engineer happens to see this thread and may give a better answer.

If interested here is AMD Recommended Liquid CPU Coolers for Ryzen Threadrippers: Thermal Solutions for Ryzen™ Threadripper™ Processors | AMD

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Re: Is it safe to run a 2990wx at 68 degrees for extended periods of time?

CPU World that gives Specs on all CPU in from past to present agrees with the links I posted:

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