Surface topography and workpiece temperature are the foremost characteristics for the service performance of the workpiece. The main objective of this paper is to develop a surface topography (including scallop height and waviness) model and a workpiece temperature model for the optimal machining strategy in ball screw whirling milling. The geometry of the tool and workpiece during the machining are analyzed to reveal the process of the chip generation, cutting tool trajectory and relative motion of the tool-workpiece. Furtherly, theoretical models for predicting the surface topography and temperature of the workpiece are developed, in which the cutting conditions, tool geometry, un-cut chip thickness and area are taken into consideration. The effectiveness of the proposed models is verified by cutting experiments on a whirling milling machine. The analysis of sensitivity factors indicates that the maximum depth of cut makes a great influence on surface topography, while the cutting velocity and maximum depth of cut make a great influence on workpiece temperature. Moreover, the optimal machining strategy to minimize the workpiece temperature and achieve a certain surface topography is proposed in the process of ball screw whirling milling.