How to check CPU temperature - CPU temperature Software, Reasons for Overheating CPU
Checking CPU Temperature and Motherboard Temperature
So there are two basic ways to check the temperature of your system and this is either through the BIOS or using a software application that comes with your motherboard.
Not all motherboards are able to monitor CPU and motherboard temperature's but nowadays most motherboards should be able to.
You are also able to monitor fan speeds in rpm (revolution per minute) and sometimes alter them in order to keep your CPU running at a lower temperature and some motherboards even have a feature that allows you to specify in what temperature range you wish your CPU to run at.
Checking CPU temperature through BIOS
So the first way to check your cpu temperature and motherboard temperature (often referred to as system temperature) you have to enter your systems bios / setup.
Sometimes it can be hard to enter the bios especially when you have a very fast loading computer, so here are the basic steps
1. Upon Startup press DEL to enter SETUP (another name for BIOS) it may differ from motherboard it may be F1 or sometimes F2, if you having trouble seeing what key to press it should tell you at the very bottom of the screen press the PAUSE BREAK key on your keyboard so you pause your screen to take a closer look.
2. Once in BIOS , navigate to your motherboards Power or PC health Menu
3. Here you will see CPU TEMP, SYSTEM TEMP
Checking CPU temperature while in Windows/Linux
So for this method you can check the CD that came with your Motherboard for any software that allows you to check your CPU temperature. For this example I am using an ASUS motherboard which uses the ASUS AI Suite program to monitor CPU temperature, System temp and Clock speeds.
So you can simply install the program from your Motherboard CD, and open the program up which looks like below using the cpu temperature monitoring software
CPU temperature software
So it is common to find your motherboard does not come with a cpu temperature software application but there are a few free ones out there, below is a list of some free cpu temperature software.
Remember it will only work if your motherboard supports cpu temperature monitoring not all motherboards do so you may need to try out a few cpu temperature software programs to see which one works for you.
Everest - Monitor for PC and MAC (worked for my intel cpu temperature monitoring)
Safe Temperature Ranges
So safe temperature ranges can vary a lot depending on the type of CPU you have and the temperature is greatly affected by
- Type of Cooling you are Using
- Whether or not you've overclocked your CPU
- General Air flow in Case and Room
AMD and Intel CPU temperature
From my experience Intel CPU temperature can run much hotter than AMD Cpu's especially the Pentium Prescott range, and I had problem with an old cpu that used to run at around 100 degree's celsius , If you find your intel cpu temperature running extremely hot don't totally freak out as the chances of your burning out the chip are very low as Intel have an inbuilt thermal protection system allowing the CPU to reach temp's above 100 and still be fine. But this does not mean you should allow this to go on for a long time.
Intel CPU temperature
Idle: 40 - 55 Load : 55 - 85 (intels are known for running hot so don't stress too much unless your close to 100 or so, you can setup alerts for when your CPU hits a certain temp)
AMD CPU temperature
Idle: 30 - 45 Load: 50 - 70
Keeping your CPU running cool
Thermal paste with a Brush
Reasons CPU is overheating
It is not uncommon for a CPU to run hot and usually it is quite an easy fix the following are the most common reasons
1. Thermal Paste underneath your CPU has been applied poorly and not in a nice thing layer, if this is the case you can simply go out and buy some more , its very cheap and look for a thermal paste that comes with a brush to make applying it easier.
2. Your CPU needs a desperate clean and is clogged with dust , this is very common in old houses that get dusty easily, simply clean it out with a brush or can of compressed air. My secret method , cheap method is too use a simple manual foot pump for a swisse ball:P works great and cheaper than buying cans of compressed air.
3. You CPU cooling system has not been fitted properly or is generally poor, this being said the stock fan's that come with CPU's are usually adequate aslong as you aren't overclocking or doing anything extreme.
Signs of High Temperature on CPU
Running your CPU constantly at a high temperature can be very damaging and may have the following implications
- Reduce the Life of your CPU
- Randomly Freezes or Resets your computer
- CPU totally burns out (this would take some time, at very high temps to occur, remember intel cpu temperature can get very hot especially prescott series)
Another great way to monitor your cpu temperature is to include desktop widgets to monitor your CPU temp at all times.
Let me know if you have any questions as I've played around with CPU temperatures a lot overclocked a few CPU's and have setup some watercooling too cool some of the hotter CPU's. goodluck :)