The CPU (or processor) is the brain of your computer, so it’s vital that it runs nice and smoothly. Under duress, the CPU temperature can start getting hot, at which point your PC may start slowing down, crashing and – over the long term – the CPU may die. Here’s how to cool down your CPU – from tracking temperatures, to working out how hot it should be, to finally fixing the problem.
How to Monitor Your CPU Temperature
Checking your CPU’s temperature is very easy. If you’re using Windows, Speccy is a great diagnostics tool that tells you everything about your PC, including the CPU temp. MSI Afterburner is another great tool for monitoring your CPU and GPU temperatures.
Mac users can grab Fanny, which doesn’t go into as much detail as Speccy but sits as a widget in your notification center for easy access to your CPU and fan stats. Linux fans can check their CPU temperature using the psensor tool.
How Hot Should My CPU Be?
This is where things get a little complicated. Different CPUs are built in different ways; as such, they each have their limits as to how far you can push them. A temperature of 80°C, for instance, can be shrugged off by some processors and seriously damage others.
Regardless of your processor model, ideal idle temperatures don’t differ too much. “Idle” is when you boot up the PC but don’t open anything, and the operating system isn’t doing other intensive things (such as Windows’ Superfetch process). At this time, an average idle temperature around 30 to 40°C should be fine.
When Under Heavy Load
If you’re using an Intel CPU, search for the specifications of your processor. You’re looking for a statistic called “TJunction” or “TJ Max.” This number is the absolute maximum it can take before problems arise. Then, as a general rule of thumb, try to keep the processor’s temperature 20 to 30°C below that maximum at all times to ensure you’re not toeing the danger line.
For example, the Intel Core i5-9500 has a TJunction of 100C. If you used this processor, you’ll want to make sure that it never goes above the 70 to 80°C range. AMD is a little easier: just find the “Max Temps” specification on your processor’s product page. The Ryzen 5 2600X has a max temp of 95°C, so try to keep it below 65 to 75°C to maintain its health…Read more>>