Download the Real Temp application from TechPowerUp. This displays the temperatures for all the CPU cores at real time. It is extremely useful in case you have an older CPU and need to determine whether the CPU needs a fresh layer of thermal paste, or the CPU cooler needs some cleaning up. This type of app constantly monitors the temperature not only for your CPU, but for your GPU, hard disk/SSD, motherboard, etc. By checking their sensors, including temperature, voltage, and fan speed, and it delivers instant information in regard to the overall health of the system.
Is your CPU overheating? Learn how to check CPU temperatures and discover which is the best CPU temperature software that you can download for free.
AMD System Monitor includes an option to record information to an xml when running other applications/games and is able to record CPU utilization, CPU frequency (including boost frequency), GPU utilization and GPU frequency. AMD System Monitor Compatibility.
Difference Between CPU Temp and Core Temp
Checking CPU temperature is supposed a straightforward affair, but the varying definitions of CPU temps have confused many people (and techies). But no worries we're here to explain everything in plain English and clear the air once and for all:
CPU Temperature = Tcase
Tcase is CPU temperature measurement taken from the center of the CPU's topsurface (heat spreader). This temperature is measured by a diode embedded between the CPU cores.
When Intel, AMD and tech articles mention 'CPU temperature', they are referring to Tcase (unless otherwise stated).
In short, Tcase is the only temperature that most computer users should bother with (unless you intend to overclock heavily). It is useful for determining your CPU's idle temperature, normal temperature and maximum temperature.
Core Temperature = Tjunction
Tjunction (also known as TJ) is the CPU core temperature, measured by a digital thermal sensor DTS located within each CPU core.
While Tjunction is of little concern to most people, serious overclockers do need to pay attention to their CPU's Tjunction Max (or TJ Max). Tjunction Max is the highest temperature a CPU will tolerate before it throttles (lower its clock speed to prevent overheating).
Therefore the goal of a hardcore overclocker is to push a CPU's speed as far as possible without going over its Tjunction Max. However, we do not recommend this practice as running a CPU at such high temperatures will shorten its lifespan over time.
What is the Best CPU Temperature Software?
The good news is that there are a handful of excellent CPU temp software that you can download for free: Core Temp, HWMonitor, Real Temp and SpeedFan.
Among these popular freeware, we find HWMonitor to be the best CPU temp software for most people due to the following reasons:
- It measures actual CPU temperature (Tcase) - This makes its results simple to understand and compare. On the other hand, Core Temp and Real Temp measures Tjunction, which can be confusing to novice users who are learning how to check CPU temperature.
- It produces consistent and accurate temperature readings - While SpeedFan measures Tcase as well, its users have reported inaccurate readings for certain CPU models.
- It's an all-in-one temperature monitoring software - Besides checking CPU temperature, you can also monitor the temperatures of your hard drives and graphics cards as well.
If you're intending to overclock your CPU past the maximum safe temperature recommended by Intel or AMD, then we suggest Real Temp instead. With two calibration points (Tjunction Max and Tjunction Idle), it is the most accurate CPU temp software for measuring core temps.
How to Check CPU Temperature in Windows
1. Download and install HWMonitor.
2. Restart your computer and leave it to idle at Windows desktop for 20 minutes (to give time for CPU temps to stabilize).
3. Open the HWMonitor program to check CPU temperature:
4. Your idle CPU temperatures will be listed under Core #0, Core #1, Core #2 and Core #3 (outlined in red above). If your CPU has just two physical cores, the software will only display Core #0 and Core #1.
Now that we have our idle temperatures, let's find out what is your maximum CPU temperature. To do that, we'll need Prime95, a torture test that will push your CPU to its limit so we can record its highest operating temperature.
5. Download and install Prime95.
6. Open Prime95 > Choose 'Small FFTs (see image below) > Click OK
7. After running Prime95 for 20 minutes, open HWMonitor again to check CPU temperature. Take note of your Core #0, Core #1, (Core #2 and Core #3) temperatures - These readings will indicate your maximum CPU temperature.
Running Prime95 for 20 minutes is more than sufficient for checking CPU temperatures. To test your CPU's long term stability, you should leave Prime95 on for 12 to 24 hours.
Recommended Motherboard CPU Combos
Best Amd Cpu Temp Monitor
Budget Computer: AMD Athlon 3000G CPU + Gigabyte B450M DS3H Motherboard
Mid Range Computer: AMD Ryzen 5 3400G CPU + Gigabyte B450M Aorus M Motherboard
Gaming Computer: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 CPU + Asus AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus Motherboard
Home Theater PC: AMD Ryzen 3 3200G CPU + Gigabyte B450 I Aorus Pro Wi-Fi Motherboard
- Recommended Motherboard CPU Combos
- AMD CPU Socket Types
- How to Check CPU Temperature
- Intel CPU Temperatures - Idle, Load, Max Temps
- How to Apply CPU Thermal Grease
- How to Install a CPU
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Real Temp is a temperature monitoring program designed for all Intel single Core, Dual Core, Quad Core and Core i7 processors.
Each core on these processors has a digital thermal sensor (DTS) that reports temperature data relative to TJMax which is the safe maximum operating core temperature for the CPU. As your CPU heats up, your Distance to TJMax will decrease. If it reaches zero, your processor will start to thermal throttle or slow down so maximizing your distance away from TJMax will help your computer run at full speed and more reliably too.
- Reads temperature information from all Intel Core based processors. Pentium 4 processors are not supported.
- Ability to individually calibrate Real Temp for each core of your CPU.
- Program is based on temperature data gathered using a Fluke 62 IR Thermometer.
- Test Sensors feature will check your DTS sensors for any sign of problems.
- Keeps track of Minimum and Maximum temperatures with full logging features.
- Reporting and logging of the Intel PROCHOT# thermal throttle activity bit.
- Quick, very accurate and repeatable benchmark.
- Displays MHz, TJMax, CPUID, APIC ID and Calibration settings.
- High temperature alarm and shutdown feature based on CPU or NVIDIA GPU temperature.
- No installation or registry modifications required.
- Support for Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10 (32 & 64 bit)
See the Installation & Calibration Page.
DownloadsThe latest version is available in the downloads section.
Changes in Version 3.70
- Support for Sandy Bridge CPUs.
- VID based power consumption estimates for the newer CPUs.
- Improved log file formatting.
- Added a single system tray icon that reports the maximum core temperature.
- RealTemp GT updated for the 6 core Sandy Bridge E CPUs.
- i7 Turbo GT 1.30 multiplier monitoring tool.
Changes in Version 3.60
- Added Core i Turbo multiplier and Turbo TDP/TDC overclocking for Extreme / K series CPUs.
- Added ATI GPU and improved NVIDIA GPU monitoring with CrossFire and SLI support.
- Added a system tray / notification area font selector.
- New Fahrenheit and 3 digit system tray option.
- Fixed Core 2 Extreme multiplier reporting.
- Fixed Core 2 mobile CPU C0% based load reporting.
- Changed how Core 2 Super Low Frequency Mode (SLFM) is reported.
- Improved sensor test consistency.
- Bug with Reset button on ATI systems fixed.
- RealTemp GT for the 6 core Gulftown CPUs was also updated.
- Separate i7 Turbo GT multiplier monitoring tool for 6 core Gulftown CPUs added.
Changes in Version 3.40
- Core i7/i5/Xeon socket 1156 support including accurate turbo mode reporting.
- new information window for Nvidia GPUs with improved SLI support.
- correct reporting of Super Low Frequency Mode (SLFM) for Core 2 mobile CPUs.
- correct reporting of Intel Dynamic Acceleration (IDA) for Core 2 mobile CPUs.
- added VID reporting to the main GUI for Core 2 based CPUs.
- added a Fahrenheit=1 INI file option.
- added the option to view a Task Manager based or a C0% based load meter.
- added the ability to toggle C1E state and view the SpeedStep (EIST) state.
- improved dual and multi-monitor support including Anchor mode.
- includes RealTemp GT, a 6 core version of RealTemp for Gulftown CPUs.
- includes i7 Turbo, a high precision multiplier monitoring tool for all Core CPUs.
- and includes LoadTester, a variable load, single core testing program.
- Skull=1 or Skull=2 INI option for reading each CPU on a Dual Quad system.
- thanks rge, burebista and somebody on TPU for all of your ideas and help.
Computer Temp Monitor Software
Changes in Version 3.00
- Core i7 temperature and frequency support including Turbo mode.
- NVIDIA temperature reporting with highest GPU temperature displayed in SLI mode.
- Ability to run a file or shutdown based on user defined alarm temperature.
- Updated interface with modern XP / Vista style and border in Mini Mode.
- Start Minimized Vista issues finally fixed.
- New RivaTuner plug-in support.
- Extra information on the main screen and the retirement of the toggle button.
- Switch to UNICODE for better international support.
- Adjustable GUI colors and bold System Tray font option.
- TJMax updated based on new Intel documentation and further testing.
- Calibration formula simplified.
- All new CPU Cool Down Test for a more thorough look at your sensors.
- Clock Modulation & Minimize on Close options.
- New CPU Load meter, log file headings and Distance to TJMax in the System Tray.
- 101 other improvements including initial Windows 7 Beta support.
Changes in Version 2.70
- Redesigned user interface (GUI) with larger temperature fonts.
- Added a movable Mini-Mode that is turned on and off with a double left mouse click on the GUI.
- Added an Anchor position so the GUI will move to a fixed screen position after a double right mouse click.
- Anchor position can be customized by holding down the Shift key while double right clicking.
- The correct physical core order of Quad core processors is now reported based on APIC ID.
- Added reporting of Minimum and Maximum VID as well as current VID.
- A new user selectable high temperature alarm with two alarms for Quad core processors.
- More accurate MHz calculation as well as FSB and CPU multiplier reporting.
- New program Up Time feature.
- Bug fix for log file output when using a Single or Dual core processor.
- Fixed and improved the Default button in the Settings window.
- Button labels and functionality changed in Settings window to follow the Windows style guide.
- Improved multi-threading and memory usage for better long term stability.
- Start Minimized option improved for better Vista support. See the documentation for more info.
- Option to save the Log file in .CSV format for easy Excel support.
- Gamer Mode temporarily retired.
Changes in Version 2.60
- Added a new Settings screen where all adjustments can be made in real time including TjMax.
- Temperatures of any core are now displayed in the System Tray area. Thanks W1zzard!
- 4 font options for the System Tray.
- Choice of Current, Minimum, Maximum or Average termperature displayed in the System Tray.
- Test Sensors feature improved to increase repeatability.
- CPU real time MHz calculation was re-worked for better SetFSB / ClockGen support.
- Calibration options now include one digit after the decimal point for finer adjustments.
- Experimental Gamer Mode introduced which allows core temperatures to be seen in some games.
Changes in Version 2.5
- Added minimize to System Tray support.
- Correctly reports CPU MHz for the new 45nm processors.
- Displays CPU voltage identification (VID).
- Start minimized option and now opens and closes in the same location.
Changes in Version 2.41
Best Cpu Monitor App
- adjustable Idle calibration for each core and expanded range from -3 to 3.
- adjustable TjMax for each core.
- log interval options expanded from 1 to 60 seconds.
- a change of timers used for the benchmark feature to better support overclocking from within Windows.
- Reset button added to the gui to reset minimum and maximum temperatures.
- better support of the Enter and Tab keys.