Knowing how to check CPU temperature is important as you will know if your computer is overheating. Excessive heat can destroy many components in your computer. It is therefore advisable to identify these problems early on, before they cost you time and money.
We will show you how to check your computer's CPU temperature, what is a good CPU temperature, and how to cool your system down if necessary.
How to check your CPU temperature
Windows does not have a built-in method of monitoring CPU temperature. You can check this in your BIOS / UEFI, but this is inefficient and won't let you keep track of the temperature over time.
Instead, you should install an app to monitor the computer temperature. There are several for the job, but we're going to use Core Temp here as it's simple and easy.
Download Core Temp from its website and install it like any other app. However, pay attention to the supplied software during installation. On the Choose Additional Tasks Deactivate the page Build your kingdom with Goodgame Empire Box to avoid installing additional garbage.
Once installed, you can open Core Temp to see the CPU temperature easily. At the bottom of the window you can see the current CPU temperature for each individual core. In addition, the software shows the Minimum and Max The temperature of each core has been recorded so you can see how it behaves over time.
Keep an eye on them burden Percentage too. Here's how much work each CPU core does. If temperatures get hot while your CPU is barely under load, this may indicate a problem.
The Tj max The field (stands for Temperature Junction) shows the maximum operating temperature of your CPU. When this temperature is reached, your CPU will throttle itself or even turn itself off to avoid damage. If you run your CPU at this level for an extended period of time, it will be damaged.
Configure core temp
Core Temp is a simple app, but you can change some quick options to make it work better for you Options> Settings.
On the General On the tab you can change the polling interval if you want more or less frequent updates. Use the display Tab to change the colors for different levels or display temperatures in Fahrenheit (Celsius is used here as this is most common with CPU temperatures).
On the Notification area The tab allows you to change the icon that appears on your system tray. For example, you can choose to display the temperature for all or just the hottest cores.
If you want to keep Core Temp active for long-term monitoring, use the Options Menu to choose from Switch MiniMode, So it doesn't take up that much space and is then activated Always on top, so it doesn't hide.
Core Temp also has one Overheating protection Function that can run a specific program or shut down your PC when temperatures get too high. Hopefully you don't need this.
What is a good CPU temperature?
There is no such thing as a perfect CPU operating temperature because conditions vary widely. The temperature of the room your computer is in, what you do on the computer, and other factors such as the age of your computer can affect the heat of your CPU.
In general, however, you can follow these guidelines for CPU temperatures under a given load:
- Below 60 degrees C. is completely normal.
- Between 60 and 70 degrees C. is fine, but you should consider removing dust from your machine and making sure there is enough airflow to prevent further temperature rise.
- Between 70 and 80 degrees C: This is pretty hot. So if you haven't overclocked your PC or are doing something particularly demanding, such as: B. An intense game, you should try to cool your system down shortly.
- Between 80 and 90 degrees C: Working in this area for too long can damage your CPU.
- Above 90 degrees C: It's too hot; Shut down your computer as soon as possible.
For more information, see our guide to PC operating temperatures.
How to lower the CPU temperature
If you are concerned about your CPU temperature getting too high on a regular basis, there are several ways you can bring it down. For more help, we previously took a closer look at how to prevent your computer from overheating.
Clean your computer
One of the main causes of excessive heat is dust and other foreign objects in your system. Build-up dust on the fans and other components can block airflow and make them work harder than necessary.
If you have a desktop, open the case and use can air and a cloth to remove the dust. Pay special attention to the fans. A laptop isn't that easy to clean, but you can potentially gain access and remove debris by removing a few screws.
Ensure proper airflow
With the dust removed, you should also make sure your computer is getting enough air. When using a laptop, do not leave it on a blanket or other surface that could easily block the ventilation hole. On a desktop, make sure the computer's fans have room to work. If possible, you may need to redirect some cables to improve airflow.
Look at your hardware
If you're overclocking your CPU, the standard cooler is likely not enough to keep it cool. You need a more powerful cooling system to keep the temperature of your CPU low.
The thermal paste originally applied to your CPU can also degrade over time. This can cause your CPU to run hotter than when it was new, even if you kept the case clean. Consider reapplying thermal paste if you want to.
Dangers of a hot pc
Computers are built to withstand some heat, so you don't have to worry about temperatures a little higher than usual when you work hard. However, it is not safe to use your PC in extreme temperatures for long periods of time.
Possible minor damage includes shortening the life of the CPU due to the increased exposure to heat. If your system gets extremely hot it may shut down to prevent further damage. This is frustrating and can cause you to lose work. Keeping a hot CPU running all the time can also lead to failure.
If you can't hear your fans running like crazy all the time or your computer feeling hot to the touch, your CPU temperature is likely safe. However, it is not a bad idea to check the CPU temperature occasionally so that you can diagnose problems in advance.
CPU temperature monitoring made easy
We've looked at how to monitor your PC's CPU temperature and how to deal with the data it finds. Hopefully your CPU is running at a healthy temperature and you don't need to take any action right now.
However, this is not the only problem that can affect your CPU. You should also know what to do when your CPU usage is higher than usual.
Photo credit: Grigvovan / Shutterstock
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About the author
(1582 articles published)
Ben is the Assistant Editor and Onboarding Manager at MakeUseOf. He left his IT job to write full-time in 2016 and has never looked back. For over six years he has been a professional writer reporting on technical tutorials, video game recommendations, and more.
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