[Gllug] Is it possible for CPU temperature sensors not to work?

John Winters john at sinodun.org.uk
Sat Feb 11 12:41:58 UTC 2012

I've just put together a system from bits, using an old Intel E5800 
processor (dual core Pentium) with the standard Intel cooler and a 
Gigabyte motherboard.

I don't put systems together often, but when I do I tend to worry that I 
might not have fitted the heatsink quite right so I check the CPU 
temperature under a bit of load.

Getting "sensors" working right under Linux involves sacrificing at 
least a couple of goats, but I've always reckoned that the CPU 
temperature would be reliable.  However currently I'm getting:

john at midnight:~$ sensors
Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 0:      +41.0°C  (high = +78.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 1:      +34.0°C  (high = +78.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

regardless of what's happening.  Straight after starting from cold it 
reads like this.  After 10 minutes running a kernel build (both cores at 
100%) the reading stays exactly the same.

Either my cooler is doing a gratifyingly good job, or the temperature 
reading is bogus.  Is there any way to check?

Shutting down the system and going into the BIOS shows a CPU temperature 
(just the one) of 11°C.  The system is in a pretty cold place, but that 
too seems surprising.

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