No matter if you’ve recently built a computer, or if you have an older system, it’s a good idea to monitor the temperature of your CPU.
Monitor the temperature of your processor, but know what it should run at. Here’s how. We’ll show you what the normal range is for your processor, and we’ll tell you how hot it should run.
As every processor is built to run at a slightly different temperature range, and there really isn’t a single way to define normal temperature ranges for CPUs.
If you want a quick answer we have tried to give you a one-size-fits-all answer below. But just know that it is never a good way to determine whether or not your CPU temperature is too high.)
In any case, just by reading through this guide, you should be able to determine if your processor is running at the proper temperature and know how to determine this yourself.
What should be the temperature of my computer processor?
There’s no way to tell you whether or not your CPU is running hot enough or not. “Normal” CPU temps will vary considerably depending on the processor that you’re using. We recommend you read this guide in its entirety to better understand how to properly check and see what temperature each core of your CPU is running at.
As a generalization, if you have an Intel processor, then you might say that a temperature of over 40-45 degrees Celsius at idle and/or 80-85 degrees Celsius at full load is likely the sign of a serious problem.
You should probably take notice of a CPU core temperature over 40-45 degrees Celsius while idle and/or a temperature over 70 degrees Celsius under full load if you have an AMD processor.
So, if your CPU is hitting that temperature regularly, you will likely want to look deeper into the problem and see what is going on.
Again, this is just a generalization. It probably isn’t the best way to assess whether or not your processor’s temperatures are appropriate or not. Here’s how to check and understand if your processor’s temperatures are acceptable.
Average processor temperatures under full load
Most desktop processors today shouldn’t exceed temperatures of 45-50°C when idle, or 80°C when under full load. The chart below shows the temperature range for several types of processors during full load.
Below are the average temperatures of a number of processors.
|Processor||Average temp under full load|
|AMD A6||45°C - 57°C|
|AMD A10||50°C - 60°C|
|AMD Athlon||85°C - 95°C|
|AMD Athlon 64||45°C - 60°C|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2||45°C - 55°C|
|AMD Athlon 64 Mobile||80°C - 90°C|
|AMD Athlon FX||45°C - 60°C|
|AMD Athlon II X4||50°C - 60°C|
|AMD Athlon MP||85°C - 95°C|
|AMD Athlon XP||80°C - 90°C|
|AMD Duron||85°C - 95°C|
|AMD K5||60°C - 70°C|
|AMD K6||60°C - 70°C|
|AMD K6 Mobile||75°C - 85°C|
|AMD K7 Thunderbird||70°C - 95°C|
|AMD Opteron||65°C - 71°C|
|AMD Phenom II X6||45°C - 55°C|
|AMD Phenom X3||50°C - 60°C|
|AMD Phenom X4||50°C - 60°C|
|AMD Ryzen||70°C - 80°C|
|AMD Sempron||85°C - 95°C|
|Intel Celeron||65°C - 85°C|
|Intel Core 2 Duo||45°C - 55°C|
|Intel Core i3||50°C - 60°C|
|Intel Core i5||65°C - 75°C|
|Intel Core i7||50°C - 65°C|
|Intel Pentium II||65°C - 75°C|
|Intel Pentium III||60°C - 85°C|
|Intel Pentium 4||45°C - 65°C|
|Intel Pentium Mobile||70°C - 85°C|
|Intel Pentium Pro||75°C - 85°C|
How to Check Your CPU’s Temperature
You need to know your CPU temperature before you can determine if you are running at safe levels.
There are several ways to accomplish this.
The CPU core temperature can be accessed through the BIOS of your motherboard. Although this reading will only show your idle temperature, it is not useful if you are stress testing your system because BIOS will always boot the system with higher voltage levels to ensure that the processor is initialized.
Using third-party software will help you gauge the temperature range in which your processor runs (both at idle and under load).
Several programs are available which will allow you to monitor the CPU temperature, as well as other components.
- Core TempCore Temp checks the temperature of an x86 based processor. It is one of the best CPU temp monitors since it supports all manufacturers like AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), Intel, etc.
HWMonitor reads PC system sensors like temperature, fan speed, voltages, etc. CPU Monitor is a CPU monitoring tool for Android and Windows operating systems. It can be used both on PC and mobile devices.
- Open Hardware Monitor
There is a free tool called the Open Hardware Monitor that can be used to monitor the CPU temperature, fan speed, and voltages of a PC. The Open Hardware Monitor shows monitor temperature from AMD and Intel sensors.
- Real TempReal Temp is a lot like Core Temp in the sense that it monitors only CPU temperatures and that it has an easy-to-understand interface.
There is many more you can find here – BEST CPU Temperature Monitors Software for PC (FREE)
What signs should I watch for if my processor is running too hot?
As a result of the overheating of a processor, you will encounter one or more of the following situations:
- Generally, computers run slower now.
How can I fix my computer running slow?
- The computer restarts frequently.
What causes Windows to restart without warning?
- Randomly, the computer turns off.
Why does my computer suddenly shut down without warning?
An overheated processor shortens the life expectancy of a computer.
You may not have the thermal sensors in the ideal location on your computer depending on your computer’s hardware. If this is the case, the reported temperature may be inaccurate. If your computer is operating near its maximum temperature, or if you are experiencing some of the issues listed above, you may wish to try the following suggestions.
What can I do to get my processor cooler?
Consequently, to handle this challenge, you need to make sure that your processor is running at a cool temperature. Here are some tips for cooling your processor.
- Keep the computer clean – Clean your computer case and ventilation system – Over time dust, dirt, and hair can accumulate inside the computer case, preventing air from getting into it or out of it. Make sure the case and ventilation system is cleaned.
- Improve computer’s environment – Ensure the computer is installed in a good location – The computer shouldn’t be in an enclosed space, such as a drawer or cabinet unless there is adequate ventilation. There should be no less than two inches of air around the computer.
- Verify fans – The motherboard and computer may have a fan monitor, which displays the RPM of each fan. If not, you need to check each fan individually and look for any spinning issues or unusual noises.
- Thermal paste – A recent processor replacement or repair may require you to reapply thermal paste. Clean and then reapply thermal paste if that is the case.
- More fans – Consider adding additional fans to the computer. Nearly all desktop computers already have a processor fan, a case fan, and a heat sink. However, most cases accommodate additional fans.
- Alternative solutions – Those who are more advanced or those who overclock may also want to think about water-cooled solutions in order to keep their processors cool.
Applying any (or all) of these tips will help you achieve better temperatures for your CPU.
Your only options are to buy a laptop cooler or to buy a new laptop if you have a laptop.
Let me end this up by saying… Many users do not have to run their processors at extremely low temperatures.
It is true that the cooler your processor’s cores run, the better it will perform.
Where really good CPU temperatures matter most is when you plan on overclocking your processor. In simple terms, the cooler your processor runs, the higher it can be overclocked.
When you do not intend to overclock your processor, as long as its temperature remains normal or slightly above normal while under load, then that’s fine.
While you may not get as many years as someone with better cooling, you are likely to upgrade your computer within 4 to 5 years, which means you probably won’t miss the longevity better cooling might provide.
As a result, you should not freak out if your CPU’s core temperatures aren’t extremely low. But, if they have reached extremely high levels, then you need to freak out.