Two groups of users are almost always worried about the temperature of their computer: overclockers … and almost anyone who has a powerful laptop. These devices sometimes get very hot. Have you ever wondered exactly what temperature your system processor is running at?
There is a lot of Windows software that you can use to help monitor the temperature. This article introduces you to two popular options. But before that, let’s talk a little about CPU temperature.
What is the normal temperature of the processor?
When the CPU is idle or not being used by any software, the healthy temperature is below or about 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). But when the device is doing something, such as playing a game, rendering a video, or something like that, your device’s processor consumes more power and therefore operates at a higher temperature. CPU temperature information is more important in this case than component temperature when idle. You should check your CPU temperature periodically to make sure it cools down enough in such conditions.
The ideal CPU temperature should remain below 80 ° C (176 ° F) while the system is operating. Of course, some gaming laptops and ultrabooks may get hotter. Just over 80 degrees Celsius is acceptable, and if the temperature rises above 95 degrees Celsius (203 degrees Fahrenheit), helping the system is critical. At this point, some processors start to slow down to ensure that the device does not overheat and the computer may shut down.
More advanced users who want to make sure that their system CPU does not slow down under more aggressive tasks should try apps like Prime95 or AIDA64. Be sure to be careful when performing such a test and end the test when the temperature is close to 95 degrees Celsius.
Check CPU base temperature: Core Temp app
The most important temperature to measure on your computer is the processor or CPU. Core Temp is a simple and lightweight app that runs easily on the system and monitors CPU temperature without interfering with different parts of the device. The app offers several different options so you can customize it to your liking and even works with other apps like Rainmeter.
Download Core Temp from its home screen and install it on your computer. Be very careful to uncheck the mobile software on the third page of the installation! This option is checked by default for some users.
When you run this app, its icon appears on your system and shows the CPU temperature. If you have a multi-core CPU (most modern processors are multi-core), several icons will be displayed for you.
Right-click on the icon to show or hide the main window. A set of information about your CPU, including the model, speed, and temperature of each of its cores, will be displayed.
Pay special attention to the value of «TJ. Max », because this is the highest temperature (in degrees Celsius) that the manufacturer has rated for your CPU performance. If your CPU is close to that temperature, it will be considered overheated. It is usually best to keep the core temperature at least 10 to 20 degrees below TJ. Hold Max. There may be a problem when your system temperature is close to the stated value unless you have overclocked your device.
On most new processors, Core Temp can be TJ. Recognize Max. But to be sure, you need to find and check the specific maximum of your processor. Any TJ processor. Max is different and you need to know the exact amount because it is very important. You need to make sure your CPU is at the right temperature.
Go to Options> Settings to configure some of the more useful Core Temp features. Here are some settings we recommend you look at:
General> Start Core Temp with Windows: You can turn this option on or off; It’s up to you. Turning it on allows you to always control the temperature of your system without the need for a reminder. But if you only need the app occasionally, there is nothing wrong with turning it off.
Display> Start Core Temp Minimed: If you have “Start Core Temp with Windows” enabled, you may want to enable this option as well.
Display> Hide Taskbar Button: If you want this app to always be running, it is a good idea to enable this option so that the space on your taskbar is not wasted.
Notification Area> Notification Area Icons: This option allows you to customize the display of Core Temp in your system notification area. You can choose to display only the app icon or CPU temperature. Selecting the highest temperature option is recommended. You can also customize fonts and colors with this section.
If you decide to display the CPU temperature in the notifications section, go to the Temperature Polling Interval section in the Core Temp settings section and change it. The value of this section is set to 1000 milliseconds by default, but if the flashing numbers bother you, you can increase it. Just keep in mind that the higher you set it, the longer it takes Core Temp to notify you that the system processor is hot.
Core Temp can do a lot more. For example, by going to Options> Protection, you can set the options to be alerted if the CPU overheats. But in general, the above principles are sufficient to take care of the CPU and its temperature.
For advanced system-wide monitoring: the HWMonitor app
In general, CPU temperature is the most important temperature to monitor. But if you want to see the temperature throughout your system (motherboard, processor, graphics card and hard drives), the HWMonitor app can provide them with much more information.
Download the latest version from the HWMonitor homepage. The ZIP version is recommended because it does not need to be installed, but you can download and install the full version if needed. After running it, you will encounter a table of temperature, fan speed, and other values.
To find the CPU temperature, scroll down and find the CPU input. For example, our system processor is an Intel Core i7 4930K CPU. Note that Core Temperature is different from CPU Temp, which appears on the motherboard of some PCs. In general, you want to control the core temperature, but other information will be provided to you.
Safely look at other options and check the temperature of other system components. There is nothing else you can do with HWMonitor, but it’s a good app.
Important note about AMD CPU temperature
Unlike most Intel processors, AMD processors report two temperatures: “CPU temperature” and “core temperature”. This is why you need to be more careful when checking the given numbers.
“CPU temperature” is the actual temperature sensor in the CPU socket. On the other hand, “core temperature” is not essentially temperature. This is an arbitrary scale that is measured in degrees Celsius and is designed to mimic a temperature sensor.
The BIOS often shows the CPU temperature, and the result may be different from apps like Core Temp that show the kernel temperature. Some apps, such as HWMonitor, show both.
CPU temperature is more accurate at low levels, but not at high levels. The core temperature is more accurate when your CPU heats up, that is when the temperature values are really important. Therefore, in almost all cases, you must pay attention to the core temperature. Very low temperatures (such as 15 degrees Celsius) may be displayed when your system is idle, but more accurate and useful numbers will be displayed as the system warms up.
Methods of reducing CPU temperature
If your device’s CPU temperature is too high, you should check the system to make sure the CPU cooler is sufficient.
Here is a list to help you identify the items you need to check after the CPU overheats:
- Is your computer clean and dust free?
- Are all PC fans spinning?
- How old is your computer?
- When was the last time you applied fresh heat paste between the processor and its cooler? If it is more than three years old, reapply the thermal paste.
- Are you using an SFF computer, a small CPU cooler or a laptop?
Since SFF computers and laptops were not supposed to be under a lot of working pressure for a long time from the beginning, it is possible that at least some cooling was used for them. For example, most laptops use compressed air conditioners, which are good for a short time, but if you play with them for a long time, they will get hot and may be damaged. Gaming laptops are usually large because they have a lot of cooling systems.
However, if you are using a game case and you think you have enough cooling for your CPU, but the device temperature has risen again, you may need to use more thermal paste for the CPU. The performance of most thermal pastes is severely reduced after about three years. Applying fresh paste and cleaning the system from dust can greatly improve the cooling power and significantly increase the performance.
CPU temperature monitoring is an important and good job, and everyone should do it once in a while. But if your computer is constantly overheating, there is probably a more serious problem that you need to address.