Have you noticed that your PC is slowing down, or maybe just shutting down randomly? If you are an old-school-gamer, then you may have already spotted the culprit – ‘overheating’. One of the reasons why your PC is suddenly acting sluggish could be associated with overheating. So, it is pertinent that you monitor CPU temperature, so that you don’t overclock your PC and push it too far.
Are you wondering, how to check CPU temperature? Keep reading as we explore checking the temperature of the CPU and how to lower the CPU temperature.
How to check CPU temperature?
Quite a few apps are available today, which show the CPU temperature. And, you will also get in-depth details like voltages, processor load, and more. The easiest would be to start with Core Temp.
1. Core Temp
An easy way to find out the current state of the processor and the average temperature is to try the Core Temp software from alcup.com, which facilitates a high level of customization. The good part is that the temperature is listed for each individual core of the processor.
It is pretty cool to find out the temperature fluctuations in real time. You can also choose what you wish to see in the system tray by tweaking the settings of the app. Now, finding if the CPU is overheating would be pretty straightforward.
It is very easy to use the software, download and run the installer. Next, you will need to click the Launch Core Temp box and click Finish. As you launch Core Temp you can view the average CPU temperature, and also view the min and max values in Celsius.
Another system monitor for your Windows PC is SpeedFan, which accesses S.M.A.R.T info, and can determine the temperatures of the hard disk including EIDE, SATA, and SCSI while monitoring the voltage, processor temperatures, fan speeds, and more.
And, the application extends charting, fan control, and user-friendly graphics.
Here’s another cool system monitoring tool – HWiNFO, which gives in-depth insights on every piece of your PC’s hardware. You can run it in sensors-only mode, and go to the CPU section, which reveals the current temperatures and also extends other details.
4. NZXT’s CAM
You can try CAM, which is an easy-to-use PC monitoring software for PC enthusiasts by NZXT. You will love the well-organized interface, which helps in monitoring the CPU temperatures, display FPS for your games, overclocks GPUs, and more.
5. Open Hardware Monitor
Try the free open-source software, Open Hardware Monitor, for monitoring temperature sensors, voltages, fan speeds, load and clock speeds of your Windows PC.
So, in the case, if you find the temperatures rising, you can take steps to control the temperature too. But, the next pertinent question is – what is the ideal CPU temperature?
Ideal CPU Temperature: How Much CPU Temperature is Too Much?
It is quite logical that the maximum temperature supported by any processor would vary in relation to its counterparts. As you monitor CPU temperature using the free monitoring software, you may find ‘Tj. Max’, which stands for temperature junction that is the highest operating temperature of the hardware.
So, if you find that your processor is running anywhere close to the maximum temperature – it should be warning bells for you.
Let’s quickly explore the PC-gaming context, for PC gamers – the two series of CPUs in choice are the Intel Core series and the AMD Ryzen series. And, the listed maximum operating temperatures are between 95 and 100 degrees Celsius for the two processors. If you are not doing some heavy overclocking, then it would probably be quite unlikely to touch those temperatures.
And, here’s a general rule of thumb in the context of CPU temperatures.
|Temperature Range||What it Means?|
|< 60° C||Doing good.|
|60° C to 70° C|| Warmer, but nothing to worry about. And, yes consider cleaning your PC to prevent overheating.
|70° C to 80° C|| Hotter and you may choose to check if the fans are working well.
|80° C to 90° C|| Entering the hotter zone and you would need to check for broken fans or dust accumulation.
|> 90° C|| Should be warning bells for you.
It would be ideal to try and maintain the PC temperature below 75 degrees Celsius when gaming or using the software. And, when you find that the temperatures touch over 75 degrees Celsius, you may find that the PC performance gets affected and it is time to try some cooling down (aka thermal throttling).
So, in the case, you find that your computer is touching the higher ranges of temperatures, then it’s time to check out – how to lower the CPU temperature.
How to lower the CPU temperatures?
Let’s list down the culprits, years of dust accumulation in your PC, clogging air pathways, or broken fans. And, here’s what we can do to limit them leading to lowering of temperatures.
1. Check Air clogging
You may want to check if the fans or vents are blocked. So, open up your computer and use compressed air to blast out the dust.
2 Apply thermal paste
Thermal paste facilitates the heat conduction from your CPU to the heat-sink. And, this paste logically degrades over time leading to spikes in temperature. So, you could apply the new thermal paste.
Quick tip: Try not to use an excessive amount of thermal paste, as it could lead to insulating the CPU instead of conduct the heat. Try the syringes of thermal paste by brands like Arctic and Noctua (under $7 on Amazon) to maintain a positive heat-sink seal improving heat transfer.
3. Replace the heat-sink
You may also choose to replace your heat-sink if the current one is not up to its task.
4. Buy new CPU coolers
You may also try using some new CPU coolers including Cooler Master Hyper 212 (around $30 on Amazon), or the Noctua NH-D14 ( around $75 on Amazon).
5. Try closed-loop liquid cooling solutions (CLCs)
CLCs are a hassle-free solution to cooling temperatures. And, they are more effective than air coolers. You could try and 120mm Corsair H80i v2 ($95 on Amazon) or the EVGA CLC 240 ($120 on Newegg), which are quite popular.
So, the next time you find that your PC is behaving sluggish, check the CPU temperature, keep a regular track. And, in the case of any overheating issues, use the recommended modes to lower the temperature of your computer.