CPU overheating is a common issue for PCs and one that can cause a range of different problems when it comes to performance. Keeping your PC’s CPU at the right temperature is crucial to ensuring that you get the most from the equipment. If you don’t then you may find that the PC is slow or is spontaneously shutting down or locking up. Your CPU can even melt if the PC temperature gets too hot and that can be disastrous. So, what can you do to ensure that your PC’s CPU remains at the right temperature?
Make sure you know what the current temperature is
Most systems – e.g. Windows – don’t actually offer a way to identify the current temperature but you can do this using a free programme (e.g. Core Temp). This will give you information about the current state of the CPU temperature and also the average temperature that is being recorded.
Understanding what’s best for your PC
If you’re using free software to identify the current temperature of the PC CPU then you can also use this to see what temperature range it can handle. Look for the “Tj Max,” as this is the highest operating temperature that this particular piece of hardware can stand. Remember that this is the maximum temperature that your hardware can tolerate, which means it’s the point at which it will probably shut down in order to protect itself. If you want to preserve the life of your hardware then you need to make sure that it’s running at a much lower temperature. As a general rule of thumb we would recommend that you try to ensure the temperature remains under 60° C to sustain optimal performance. If the temperature starts to rise then there are a few steps you can take to manage this:
- 60-70° C. Clean the dust out of your PC.
- 70-80° C. Make sure that your fans are functioning properly, as this is definitely hotter than you need to be. Check that you don’t have dust bunnies clogging up and causing overheating.
- 80-90° C. For most PCs this is the point at which you can start to do long-term damage so carry out checks on the fans and for dust and if you’re overclocking then lower your settings.
General steps to help keep temperatures low:
- Regularly clean out your PC. Sometimes a spike in temperature can simply be the result of a dirty interior caused by a buildup of dust and grime over the years.
- Remove old thermal paste. This is what transfers heat from the CPU to the cooler and if it has dried out then it can cause overheating and may need to be replaced.
- Buy a new CPU cooler. This may be the only option if you have higher end chips in your PC and a stock cooler.
Keeping your PC’s CPU at an optimal temperature will improve the way that you’re able to use your hardware and ensure that it continues to perform for the long-term.