In general you want to have the smallest gap possible between idle and load temperature.
For example if cooling system try to chill the chip at idle, and you have high temp under load, this is bad.
Large gap in idle/load is what can kill your chip prematurely.
As a side reference TSMC silicon is rated at 105 Celsius. By that I mean the die can run 27/7 at 105 for its rated lifetime.
Intel usually rate tjunction at ~100c
The 3770k is rated at 105chttp://ark.intel.com/products/65719/Int ... o-3_90-GHz
Note: This is not directly related to tcase numbers you see on desktop intel processor.http://www.intel.com/support/processors ... 034526.htm
What is Tcase vs. Tjunction?
These terms are related to processor temperature for desktop and mobile systems based on Intel® Processors.
To allow optimal system operation and long-term reliability, the processor must not exceed the maximum case temperature specifications as defined by the applicable thermal profile.
Tcase is the temperature measurement using a thermocouple embedded in the center of the heat spreader.
This initial measurement is done at the factory. Post-manufacturing, Tcase is calibrated by the BIOS, through a reading delivered by a diode between and below the cores.
Tjunction is synonymous with core temperatures, and calculated based on the output from the Digital Thermal Sensor (DTS) using the formula Tjunction = (Tjunction Max – DTS output).
So to maximize your CPU longivity:
a) Keep you Intel CPU tjunction at 100c or lower (check you CPU datasheet), alternatively Tcase at 65c
b) Reduce gape between idle and load temperature. (Preferably you idle temp would equal your load temp)