How to check CPU Temperature & Monitor on Windows 10

If your CPU temperature is not normal, it can have serious consequences. More serious consequences of an overheated processor are PC crashes or damage so severe that your CPU becomes unusable and your computer stops working without replacing the processor and processor cooler. In this guide, you will learn how to check and monitor your CPU temperature under Windows.

CPU temperature

When the temperatures crack the 30-degree mark in summer, your hardware also starts to sweat. Especially the CPU often reaches its thermal limits when exposed to heat for a long time and can be damaged to such an extent that it becomes unusable. Here you can learn how to monitor the temperature of your CPU under Windows 10. We’ll also show you how to remedy the situation if it really does get too hot inside your computer.

  • An overheated CPU leads to system crashes and total failures in computers.
  • A failed processor fan is also a possible cause for a temperature increase.
  • Modern processors are throttled or switched off completely when the temperature rises unnaturally.

What CPU temperature is normal?

There is no secret: the cooler the processor, the better your system will work. In principle, the CPU temperature should not exceed the 70-degree mark, but it also depends significantly on the workload. The following values serve as guidelines and are all within the absolute normal range:

  • For example, at low CPU load, in normal office applications, the temperature should not be higher than 30 – 50 °C.
  • However, it can and may rise to over 90 °C during heavy work loads, such as when rendering videos or playing games.
  • The maximum temperature should be below 100 °C if possible; that depends on the processor type.

If the outside temperatures are too low, the parts of your PC will naturally cool down as well. Condensation could then form and damage your computer. So, heat, especially gazebos and caravans, to room temperature and wait an hour before starting a supercooled PC.

For a few years, the rumor circulated, especially among hardware hobbyists, that Intel’s processors were much more heat resistant than the models from the competitor AMD. However, current measurements prove that there are no longer any significant differences in today’s processors in this regard.

Attention: Not only heat but also cold can cause great damage to your PC in the broadest sense. When booting a supercooled computer in a heated room, condensation can form inside the case and cause damage to the sensitive hardware.

How to check CPU temperature?

Most computer and motherboard manufacturers offer corresponding tools that read out the CPU temperature and a lot of other information about the hardware. If your computer is a pre-installed system, this is often also supplied directly. However, in most cases, you can also download the tools directly from the manufacturer’s website.

Core Temp

In the case of our Lenovo Legion notebook, we are unfortunately unlucky: The manufacturer doesn’t offer its own tool to read and monitor the CPU temperature. For this reason, we fall back on the 3rd party alternative Core Temp.

Core Temp

The overview window of Core Temp

In addition to basic information about the processor, Core Temp also displays the frequency, voltage specification (VID), as well as temperature and utilization of the individual CPU cores. In the end, you have the option to save the result of your measurement in a log file.

The freeware program is compatible with all common CPU models and has an additional practical function: If you reduce the application’s window, it will display the temperature values of all processor cores in the taskbar.

HWMonitor

You can display much more comprehensive information with the tool HWMonitor, which is also free of charge:

In addition to various voltage values (CPU, RAM, supply lines) and information about utilization and performance, you can also see the rotation numbers of the connected processor and case fans in this tool, for example. The tool can also display the SMART data of the graphics cards and the HDD and save all values in a log file if required.

HWMonitor

The overview window of the HWMonitor

Most monitoring tools also offer the option of setting up overheating protection as a safety feature. If the temperature exceeds the specified threshold, it sounds an alarm or shuts down the system if it is permanently exceeded.

Good to know: For systems with a current AMD Ryzen processor, the monitoring programs currently read two CPU temperatures. One of them refers to the core temperature; the other extrapolates the motherboard values.

Enjoying this guide on how to check CPU temperature? You might also interested to read in Remove and Apply Thermal Paste on CPU.

What can I do if the CPU temperature is too high?

If the processor temperature of your PC or notebook is continuously too high, you need to take the necessary steps to prevent failures and irreparable damage. In the following list, you can find helpful tips that can help lower the CPU temperature.

  • With the freeware program SpeedFan for Windows 10, you can manually increase the fan speed of your system and thus provide relief.
  • Another short-term solution for PC systems is to open the case. This can reduce the accumulated heat that has developed inside. If that’s still not enough, you can also place a fan in front of the tower.
  • To rule out that a defective CPU is the cause of the heat misery, you can check your processor for possible faults with the CPU Stability Test.
  • Dust and dirt often cause the processor fan to stop working correctly. Therefore, make sure the environment is as dust-free as possible and clean the fan regularly if necessary.
  • When working with the laptop, ensure that the fan is not covered on the underside and that regulated heat exchange occurs. Soft surfaces like bed covers or the couch are unsuitable as a location.
  • The fan is already running at maximum, and the temperature is still too high? Then your only option is to reduce the computing power. Close running background programs or terminate unnecessary operating system processes.

Efficient cooling contributes to the well-being of the CPU

If your computer only has passive cooling (heat sink only), installing an active cooler (heat sink + fan) can help reduce the temperature. However, you will achieve the best results with a water-based cooling system, which can absorb much more heat than air.

Tip: You have already followed all the advice, and yet your system is on the verge of heat collapse? In this case, the installed hardware and software probably exceed the capabilities of your CPU. You can only solve this problem with a more powerful processor in the long run.

How to check the utilization of your processors

High CPU temperature with high processor utilization are quite normal. Here’s how to find out how busy your CPU is:

  • Enter the key combination [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc] and click on the “Performance” tab in the Task Manager.
  • Here you can see the current CPU utilization on the left (a).
  • In the graph on the right, you can see the processor utilization of the last 60 seconds (b).
  • If the display has been at a full stop for at least one minute, temperatures above 60 °C are okay.

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