Why does a Pentium CPU run hotter when "working hard" (executing complex software) than when the OS is idling?
It is always executing *some* instruction, and in that sense, is never idle.
I understand that CMOS gates dissipate power only when changing state. I*presume* what's going on is that when the CPU is executing software, it is executing a greater variety of machine instructions and therefore heating up a larger proportion of the circuitry in the chip (since there is special circuitry for each kind of instruction).
Am I on the right track? This is one of those dumb questions where I'd like to know the exact answer, rather than just guessing.