Check Hardware Temps

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As we all know, anything that runs on electricity generates an amount of heat to some degree, whether it’s your television, mobile phone or desktop PC. And in the case of a modern computer, several parts inside can get incredibly hot, even up to the boiling point of water! Generally speaking, the hotter an electrical component operates, the shorter its lifespan could potentially be because of the extra stress it has to endure.

Know what's coming with AccuWeather's extended daily forecasts for Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands. Up to 90 days of daily highs, lows, and precipitation chances. CPU Temperature Monitor is an application that will help you to check the CPU temperature by collecting the data from various sensors. In a complex technological environment, hardware resources are important, and monitoring them can give you continuous uptime, maintain peak-performance, and minimize the business risks.

Computers have always had devices inside them such as heat sinks and fans to try and cool the hardware components down as much as possible and stop any problems related to excessive heat occurring. Sometimes though the processor, graphics card, power supply or even a hard drive might be getting hotter than needed because of inefficient cooling, dust build up or simply a faulty fan somewhere. The CPU could run into problems such as shutting down the system unexpectedly if it gets too hot.

Are you worried your computer might be running a little hotter than it should be, an overclocker trying to push the system to its limit, or just somebody who is curious to know how hot a certain hardware component is getting or if the cooling fans are running properly?

Most components inside a modern PC include some form of monitoring sensors that can tell you things like temperatures, power draw, fan speeds etc. One of the ways to find these values on most systems is in the BIOS. But obviously you’re not going to sit in there all day just to look at those values! An easier way is to use a Windows utility to get the information for you and then you can monitor things from the relative comfort of your desktop.

Here’s a selection of tools that can monitor your system hardware and give you information you might find helpful such as your CPU temperature, or cooler fan speeds, or even the output values of the power supply. Do note that this list is for hardware monitoring tools only, if you want a combined hardware information and monitoring program such as Speccy or HWInfo, then look at our other article which includes these tools.

1. HWMonitor

Made by CPUID who are also responsible for CPU-Z and PC Wizard, HWMonitor is a great tool for displaying the majority of your systems temperatures, fan speeds and voltages. There are no real options as such, apart from a function to save monitoring or SMBus data to a text file. 3 sets of values are displayed; the current values and the minimum / maximum values since the program was started.

Temps

What most people like about HWMonitor is the clear and easy to read layout of all the values in one window for you to quickly scan for what readings you’re looking for. It doesn’t do anything else like controlling fan speeds or setting warning alarms, but for a simple display of all the relevant values, HWMonitor is hard to beat. There is a setup installer or separate 32-bit / 64-bit portable versions available.

Download HWMonitor

2. Speedfan

Speedfan has been around a long time and is widely considered to be one of the best tools around to monitor just about every temperature, fan speed and voltage your system can provide and also control the speed of the fans if they run too slow or too fast and therefore noisy. Warnings can be set for the temperatures, there is S.M.A.R.T. information for the hard drives, and just about any value the program displays can be logged to a file. You can even set a trigger event of running a program or sending an email etc if a temperature reaches a certain value.

A graph is also available for any of the Temperature, fan speed or voltage readings you want to include. Speedfan does require a bit of setting up to get things configured to your liking, but there aren’t many other tools around with such control of fan speeds, alarms, logging etc. Sadly there is no portable version, but the installer contains no adware of any kind, so is well worth installing.

Download Speedfan

3. Open Hardware Monitor

We said previously that HWMonitor was hard to beat at displaying all the needed values in an easy to read window, well Open Hardware Monitor is probably the one tool that beats it and has been our clear favorite monitoring tool for a few years. In addition to temperatures, fan speeds and voltages, this tool can also display detailed CPU / GPU frequencies and load, memory information, hard drive storage space and remaining life and data throughput of SSD’s.

Add to that an optional plot graph for all available temperature sensors, and a desktop gadget that can display any value from the main window by right clicking on it and selecting “Show in gadget”, and you can see why Open Hardware Monitor is such a great program. Each value can also be renamed or hidden and some readings have a Parameter option to to adjust things like the offset etc. Open Hardware Monitor is a portable program and to get all the available readings make sure to run the program as Administrator.

Download Open Hardware Monitor

4. Core Temp

As the name suggest, Core Temp focuses mainly on providing accurate information for the core temperature values which are those from inside the CPU itself as opposed to the metal casing. There is also offset correction options and a Overheat Protection option which can set up notifications or sleep / hibernate / shutdown the machine when a certain temperature is reached. Owners of the Logitech G15 keybaord have an option to enable Core Temp readings on their LCD display.

The program doesn’t support older processors like Pentium 4 or Athlon XP, but does have an interesting plugin feature where you can add in things like a sidebar gadget, graphs and also the option to get real time temperatures sent direct to your Android smartphone. Be careful if using the installer version as it contains InstallQ adware, or simply use the 32-bit / 64-bit portable version by clicking on “More Downloads”.

Download Core Temp

5. Real Temp

Real Temp is similar to Core Temp in that it concentrates mainly on the core temperatures inside your Intel processor, not AMD. This is a different reading from the other single CPU temperature value found inside your BIOS. The “Distance to TJ Max” value could throttle or shut down the machine if it reaches zero, but the TJ Max value itself is actually unknown for most desktop processors, and therefore the options to edit this value are best left to experienced users.

A small benchmark can be performed using the XS Bench button and there are alarms that can be set for CPU and GPU temperatures. A reading for AMD or Nvidia cards can be turned on from the settings window as can temperatures in the system tray area. Real Temp is a portable only program.

Download Real Temp

6. Hardware Sensors Monitor

This program isn’t free and the full version is a rather pricey $34 if you want the extras of HDD S.M.A.R.T. and GPU monitoring or CPU throttling. The demo also only runs for 10 minutes at a time and has a 14 day limit, but Hardware Sensors Monitor can still be useful to quickly check the motherboard, hard drive, graphics card and CPU temperatures as well as fans speeds and voltages, complete with a couple of small graphs if you click on the arrow next to the section title.

There are options in the settings window to make corrections to the temperatures, and several alarms can also be configured, but probably isn’t worth troubling yourself with in the free versions 10 minute time limit. Only an installer version is available.

Download Hardware Sensors Monitor

7. OCCT

OCCT is not actually primarily a hardware monitoring program, but a system stress tester which is useful to run and see what temperatures your system reaches under maximum load. There is however, no need need to use that part of the program if you don’t want because one of the 2 main windows is a standard hardware monitor complete with graphs to display sensor information such as power / CPU voltages, both sets of CPU temperatures, various frequencies and also memory and CPU usage.

There are 3 different displays; graph, text or a mixture of both and extra values could be available in the settings which can be enabled or disabled. OCCT uses a built in version of HWMonitor to provide its values which can be changed to other 3rd party tools such as Aida64 or Core Temp. Portable or installer versions are available, but you can’t get rid of the awful color scheme!

Download OCCT

You might also like:

Find Your Maximum CPU Temperature11 Tools to Find out Information About Your Computer’s Hardware2 Tools to Monitor Specific Processes and Trigger actions10 Stress Test Tools to Determine the Stability of Your Computer5 Free Tools To Monitor And Log Your Internet Traffic

Bob1 year ago

Core Temp Free Utility

Are there any power supplies with heat sensors? I’m curious how fast that power supply fan needs to run. At 5 volts its totally inaudible. But what if its stressed?

Reply

Some of the Corsair PSUs have monitoring for all sorts of things, I have an AX860i and can see fan speed, temperature, load, efficiency, etc.

Reply
Simon2 years ago

CPUiD HWWizard used to be the best tool by far in my opinion then they dumped it for some reason and now their charging users to support the bs their puttin out here

Reply

HWinfo does indeed trump all these.

Reply
Alex Edwards4 years ago

Also – MSI Afterburner good for graphs of GPU temps and stats for tuning

msi.com/page/afterburner

Reply

Good overview – Intel’s Exteme Tuning Utility very good too, with graphs etc – downloadcenter.intel.com/download/24075/Intel-Extreme-Tuning-Utility-Intel-XTU-

Reply
Chris Weller4 years ago

I want to install a program such as these, but I’m a bit confused about which of these might be “Gadgets” as opposed to programs or apps. I had “Gadgets” installed on my Windows 7 machine with all of this information and loved them, but was warned repeatedly not to install them again on my Windows 10 machine as they are unsafe.

I want an always on floating on the desktop solution.

Reply

As the screenshots show, these are all tools that have their own window on the desktop.

Something like Open Hardware Monitor has the option of a gadget which you can manually switch on.

Reply
innn7 years ago

HWinfo kicks their ass.

Reply

your blog kicks ass, raymond!
really!
~rob :)

Reply
Th1eF`13 years ago

Nice tool Raymond!

Reply

Leave a Reply

When computers overheat it is typically due to the central processing unit (CPU) being too hot. This can happen for a number of reasons such as lack of ventilation, dust or malfunctioning parts. If you begin to notice that your computer is hotter than normal, you will want to know how to check your CPU temp.

Why Would You Need to Check CPU Temp?

The CPU is responsible for completing the instructions received from the hardware and software. When it’s too hot it can cause considerable damage to your device. It’s good practice to periodically check your CPU temp to ensure you aren’t inflicting any unnecessary harm on your device.

Overclocking

Your computer may be too hot because you’re overclocking your CPU. Overclocking is when you modify your processor to achieve higher performance than it was originally made for. This can cause your CPU’s temp to increase because it is being forced to work harder than the manufacturer intended.

Thin Computer

If you own a thin computer, then you might notice it gets hot faster than other computers. Manufacturers have done away with fans on some new, smaller laptops. Though thin laptops may not have fans, they still have the same powerful processors which can overheat. Owners of these thin computers usually need to buy exterior accessories to cool their computers.

Old Computer

After using your device for many years, there may be dust buildup that stops the fans from cooling the CPU. Keeping your computer clean from dust can help extend its life by years. Perform regular checks on your computer’s parts to ensure the fans are clean. They may even need replacement parts to run more smoothly.

In addition to dirty or worn down parts, old computers run a higher risk of acquiring malware that can corrupt your device and steal your data. Download Panda Security’s free antivirus on your device to clean up any potential threats.

System Freezes

Sometimes a crash or shutdown has nothing to do with your software and hardware. It is the computer trying to protect itself. When a device has been running too hot for too long, your computer will turn itself off to prevent any further or long-term damage.

You may also notice that as your computer’s programs slow down when the CPU gets hotter. When you have a lot of information on your computer, the processor has to work harder to keep up with all of the information and it heats up faster than normal.

Decluttering your computer can help if you want to make your computer faster. You can do this by freeing up space on your RAM, hard disk, deleting old files and removing unnecessary programs.

How to Find the CPU Temp Manually

There are a couple of ways that you can manually check CPU. If you are a Windows user, you may be wondering how to check CPU temp on Windows 10.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to check this, so you will have to opt to check your basic input-output system (BIOS). The BIOS is located on the motherboard and is the first software that starts when you power on your computer. It’s responsible for making sure all of the hardware in the device turns on and runs properly.

The BIOS can be found in computers from decades ago and is slowly being phased out. Many new PC’s operate with the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) software. This new software runs much faster and has fewer limitations. You can check your BIOS/UEFI software when you reboot your computer. As your computer restarts it will give you a designated key to access your processor settings (typically: F12, F2, ESC or DEL).

How to check BIOS/UEFI from advanced start menu in windows 10:

Step 1: Go to Settings in the taskbar.

Cpu And Fan Temp App

Step 2: Scroll to Update & Security.

Step 3: Select Recovery in the side panel.

Step 4: Hit Restart now under Advanced startup.

Step 5: Select troubleshoot from reboot screen.

Step 6: Select Advanced options.

Step 7: Click UEFI Firmware Settings.

Step 8: Click Restart to confirm.

From here you’ll be taken to a screen where you can find what your CPU temp is under the PC Health Status or System Hardware Monitor.

How to Find the CPU Temp With An App: Core Temp

If you are looking for a fast way to check your CPU temp, it can be done quickly by downloading apps. There are apps to check CPU temp on both Windows and Mac devices. One of the most accessible ways to monitor the temperature of all your computer’s processors is with the Core Temp app.

Follow these steps to check CPU temperature with Core Temp:

Step 1: Open the application from your desktop.

Step 2: Locate the temperatures of your processors at the bottom of the widget.

Step 3: Maneuver to the bottom of your taskbar and select “show hidden icons” to quickly access core temps.

If you are looking to check CPU temp for macOS then you can download the Fanny Widget that allows you to monitor your fans and CPU temp right from your menu bar. For more control, you can even download SpeedFan, which allows you to manually control the speeds of your fans. For gamers and those wishing to access more information, you can download HWMonitor for a more detailed layout.

What’s the Best CPU Temp for Your Computer?

To keep your computer in the best possible shape, it is ideal that you keep your temps under 60°C. Anything under this temperature and your computer should be able to perform its best without inflicting damage to your computer.

If you find that your computer is consistently sitting between 60°C and 80°C, then it’s probably time for a cleaning. Check to make sure your fans are running properly and not hindered by dust.

Make sure that your processor is not reaching temperatures over 90°C. This will cause serious damage to your computer. If CPU temperature is high, look into replacing fans and reverting any overclocking adjustments you might have made.

5 Tips for Keeping Your CPU Temp Down

Keeping your computer free from any internal harm and external damage is the best formula for a long-lasting device. Try some of these tips and techniques to keep all of your parts in top shape:

1. Clean Your PC

There are a few ways to keep the inside and outside of your computer clean. You can use a dust rag and a disposable compressed air duster to keep debris off of the interior and exterior. You can also open the casing to carefully vacuum around the fans and other hardware components.

2. Replace Your Thermal Paste

There are times when an overheating issue can be easily solved by removing the old layer of thermal paste and adding a new one. This is what transfers the heat from your CPU to the cooler, and when it dries up your CPU temp can increase.

3. Purchase a New CPU Cooler

If you are still having trouble cooling down your computer, it might be time for some new fans with a new cooler. You can easily install a water cooling solution in addition to your fans, or even in place of them.

4. Use a Laptop Stand

An effective way to increase airflow and protect your device is to use a laptop stand. A hard and flat surface is the best way to keep your laptop free from suffocating. Laptop stands also hold your computer at the optimal angle for staying cool and user performance.

Check Hardware Temps On Windows 10

5. Keep Your Laptop Malware Free

Core Temp Fan Speed

Malware is software written for the purposes of harming you and your device. Malware can be used by governments to attack other foreign government systems. It can be used to spy on personal information, destroy files, make threats and send you advertisements. Installing antivirus software is the most effective way to keep your hard work and personal information secure.

Check Hardware Temps Windows 10

If you have an old computer that is constantly running too hot, it might be time to perform some of these basic checks. Consistent monitoring of CPU temps can prevent early retirement of your computer. Unfortunately, if you cannot seem to lower the temperature no matter what you do, then it might be time for new parts or even a new computer.

Check Hardware Temps Online

Sources: Chron Howtogeek Computerhope Hardwaresecrets