Like others have suggested, just because it is hot outside the case, doesn't mean the processors are running hotter than they are in your desktop at home. All that heat had to come from somewhere, so obviously the heat disposal mechanisms are doing a good job. In most of the datacenters (literally hundreds of machines) here at work, the racks are fed cold air from the ceiling and it's pulled down thru the machines and into the raised floor. Often the heated air spills out of this "river" and into the room thus creating a very warm areas around the rack, but cold air is still coming in from the top. Don't know if your friends server room is constructed like that or not; his may just be sitting in their own heat.Originally Posted by rafaelsherman
Regardless, yes, there IS something "special" about those computers to keep them from burning up. They are P4's. Pentium 4's have integrated thermal throttling, depending on the processor series, either TM1 or TM2. Both methods cause the processor to run slower, to keep the heat in check. TM1 inserts idle cycles between the instructions sent to the CPU core. The more advanced TM2 (available on socket 775s) actually lowers the CPU clock by way of the multiplier. Theoretically, you can take the heat sink off of a P4 and it will run, albeit very, very slowly, without destroying itself. It is recommended however to keep the chips below the throttle threshold with proper cooling. While they don't burn up right away, it can still shorten their overall life span.