It’s similar to checking your car for oil. You don’t have to check your CPU temperature every day, but you should. This is especially important if your system is subject to high loads such as the Best Processors for Gaming.
It’s easy to check your CPU temperature without opening up your computer and sticking a thermometer in. Every CPU has digital thermal sensors, which can be read using a little software.
We’ll explain what a healthy temperature range is for a CPU and how to check it. Also, we’ll show you what to do if the temperatures get too high.
What is a good CPU temperature?
A healthy temperature for the CPU when it is not in use is below 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit). Your CPU will run at a higher temperature when it is under more load. This is much more important than idle temperatures, so you will want to monitor the CPU’s temperature during load to make sure it stays cool.
Your CPU should stay below 80° Celsius (176° Fahrenheit) under load. However, some CPUs can run hotter in ultrabooks or gaming laptops. There is some room for error if you exceed 80 degrees Celsius. However, anything higher than 95 degrees Celsius (203 degrees F) is dangerous. Some CPUs may start throttling at this point. This means that the clock speed slows down to avoid overheating, and your computer might turn off.
Advanced users who need to be certain that their CPU is capable of handling high workloads can stress-test their CPU to 100 percent using programs like Prime95 or AIDA64. You should keep an eye on temperatures using the tools below and stop if they get too high. Anything above 95 degrees Celsius. An ideal stress test should last one hour, but your maximum temperature will likely drop after about 10-15 minutes.
How to monitor your CPU’s temperature
It is easy to check your CPU temperature by simply opening a monitoring program, and then using that program to display the value. HWMonitor and CoreTemp are examples of such programs. NZXT’s CAM is another example. These are only three examples. We’ll be showing you how Core Temp and CAM work for casual purposes.
The PC case is made by power supply, CPU cooler manufacturer NZXT. It is intended to be used in conjunction with their product but it can also be used as a casual monitoring tool, even if your NZXT hardware doesn’t have it.
Once installed, CAM provides a user interface (UI) that is easy to use. The CPU’s status is displayed in the first block. It shows temperature, load, clock speed, and cooler fan speed. Click on the block to see more information, as shown in this image.
As you can see the CPU’s current temperature is currently at 41 degrees Celsius. This is a healthy idle temperature.
CAM has an overlay that automatically turns on when you enter a new game while CAM is running. The overlay provides load temperature measurements and can display your CPU’s status in-game.
Core Temp can also be used to monitor temperatures. This is a simpler tool with a basic UI. Make sure you untick any freeware from the installation menu.
This CPU was running at a temperature between 46 and 75 Celsius (167 degrees Fahrenheit). Prime95 was used to test the stress temperature. However, it took only 30 minutes for Prime95 to complete. The CPU reached its maximum temperature of 75° Celsius in 10 minutes.
Core Temp allows you to monitor your gaming temperature by simply having a good session and then checking back with the program to determine the maximum temperature. If this number is higher than 95 degrees, it’s a sign that you need to be cautious. There may be improvement in temperatures between 80 and 95 degrees.
In what circumstances should I act if my CPU temperature is too high?
You should make sure your CPU is cool under load if it exceeds 80 degrees Celsius
- Here is a list of things you should look out for:
- Is your computer free from dust and other debris (including radiator)
- Are all the fan’s on your PC spinning when you load them?
What is the age of your computer?
When was the most recent time you applied thermal paste between your CPU cooler and CPU? Consider reapplying thermal paste if it has been more than three years.
Is your model cooler capable of cooling your CPU at a greater temperature than the TDP rated for it?
Are you using an SFF PC, a small CPU cooler, or a laptop?
It’s possible for SFF PCs or laptops to have minimal cooling because the device was not intended to be under heavy loads for long periods. Most laptops have very small cooling systems that are good for short-term performance bursts, but slow down during prolonged gaming sessions to keep the shutdown threshold below 0. Gaming laptops can be bulky due to their extensive cooling systems.
You may want to apply thermal paste to your full-sized gaming computer. After three years, most thermal paste performance begins to deteriorate. Re-applying the paste and clearing away dust can improve cooling performance and system performance. This is true for both pre-built and custom built PCs.