Computers play a significant role in our lives, and any potential issues need to be appropriately examined. If you notice your computer getting hot, you may be wondering what a safe CPU temperature is.
It’s perfectly safe for your CPU to reach 70 degrees Celsius if you’re gaming, performing high-load activities, or overclocking your CPU. However, you should monitor the temperature to ensure it doesn’t reach over 85 degrees Celsius. If your CPU reaches 70 degrees Celsius when idle or when you’re simply browsing the web, there may be a cooling issue present.
Although the normal CPU temperature depends on your specific model, 70 degrees Celsius is generally safe.
In this in-depth CPU temperature guide, I’ll discuss:
- Ideal CPU temperatures
- How to reduce CPU temperatures
- The best way to check your hardware temperatures
- and much more
Let’s dive right in.
Are My CPU Temps Too High?
“Normal” CPU temperatures will vary depending on the exact processor you have. However, I’ll give you an accurate one-size-fits-all answer with standard guidelines on CPU temperatures.
These generalizations will help you identify serious problems that need to be looked into further.
Idle CPU Temperatures
For both Intel and Ryzen processors, if your CPU is over 40 to 45 degrees Celsius while idle, there may be a concern.
This is because normal idling CPU temperatures range from 30 to 40 degrees Celsius.
If your CPU reaches above 40 degrees Celsius while idle, you should try reducing the temperature using the methods I describe below.
CPU Temperatures When Under Load
When your CPU is under load during tasks such as gaming, a good temperature range is 70 to 80 degrees Celsius. However, if your CPU exceeds this limit, you must implement effective cooling methods to avoid damage and maintain your CPU’s performance.
Furthermore, modern CPUs from Intel and AMD are equipped with a protection feature that automatically turns your computer off if your CPU begins overheating.
5 Signs of a CPU Overheating
Let’s discuss the warning signs that your CPU is overheating. These are all common symptoms that occur when your CPU requires more efficient cooling. Overheated CPUs can end up damaging your motherboard and other crucial components, so it’s vital to take action when temperatures rise.
1. Sluggish Performance
If applications are taking longer to load and basic tasks begin freezing your computer, there’s a good chance your CPU is overheated.
You can try to remedy a sluggish performance by restarting your computer. However, if this doesn’t offer a solution, check your CPU temperature and see if it’s reaching critical levels.
2. Loud Fans
Another early sign of CPU overheating is when your fans start spinning rapidly and producing a noise that’s louder than usual. If loud fans become common inside your computer, you’ll need to take a closer look at your computer.
3. Random Shutdowns
As I stated earlier, many CPUs have an automatic power-off function when temperatures get too high. When this happens, your computer has essential hard-crashed. Your computer automatically turns off to prevent the CPU from melting.
4. Errors and Glitches
When your CPU overheats, you may notice a variety of different errors and glitches as you’re using your computer.
- Cursor disappearing
- Hiccuping sounds
- Clicks failing to register
If you notice abnormal glitches occurring, be sure to monitor your CPU temperature.
5. Texture Artifacts
This symptom relates to gamers and is seen as you’re playing video games. An overheated CPU can potentially start showing unusual technical glitches as you’re gaming. These artifacts present themselves as random blocks of color, missing textures, missing polygons, and so forth.
6 Ways You Can Lower CPU Temperatures
If you’re facing an overheated CPU, here are a few tips you can follow to lower CPU temperatures.
1. Clean Your Computer
When’s the last time you properly cleaned out your computer? If it’s been a while, dust has accumulated, which reduces the effectiveness of your fans and clogs the airways inside your computer.
So, purchase a can of compressed air, open up your computer case, and get to work. You should remove all the dust that’s coating your fans and clogging the vents. However, be sure to hold the hose a safe distance back to prevent damage to the components of your system.
2. Reapply Thermal Paste
Once your computer is thoroughly cleaned out, the next step is to reapply thermal paste to your processor. Generally, thermal paste lasts up to five years. However, CPUs without thermal paste face substantial overheating risks. So, if it’s been over five years since thermal paste has been reapplied, I recommend doing so immediately.
3. Fix Your Cable Management
Although your cable management doesn’t need to be absolutely perfect, bad cable management can restrict the airflow inside your computer case. So, I recommend rerouting your cables in a way that allows more airflow inside your case. Make sure any cables don’t obstruct the vents and important computer components.
4. Upgrade Your CPU Cooler
If you’re still getting high CPU temperatures after completing the tasks above, you should consider upgrading your CPU cooler. Aftermarket CPU coolers are better at cooling your system than the stock CPU cooler your CPU came with. So, look into getting a better air cooler or even a liquid cooler for your CPU.
5. Install Additional Fans
First, you should ensure that your current fans are configured in a way that provides efficient airflow. You should have at least two fans that intake air and one fan that exhausts air.
However, if your fans are correctly configured and you’re still getting high CPU temperatures, you may need more airflow inside your case.
For this reason, you should consider adding additional fans to your case.
6. Upgrade Your PC Case
You can also consider upgrading to a PC case that offers plenty of ventilation and support for additional fans. I recommend purchasing a bigger case than your current one so your computer components won’t be as close together.
Look for a case with a ventilated front and top panel and plenty of options to add more fans.
In summary, CPUs that reach 70 degrees Celsius while under load are perfectly safe. However, CPUs that reach 70 degrees Celsius while idle have an underlying issue that needs to be resolved.
Overheated CPUs affect the performance of your computer and can potentially melt down, requiring you to replace the CPU.
For this reason, it’s essential to monitor the temperature of your CPU consistently. Regular inspections drastically reduce any severe problems that may arise in the future.
Furthermore, it’s important to look up the recommended temperatures for your specific CPU. Each CPU model has different specifications, so the above temperature guidelines may not apply. However, 70 degrees Celsius is generally safe, and you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
What CPU Temperature Is Too High?
When your CPU is under full load, temperatures above 85 degrees to 90 degrees Celsius are potentially dangerous to your computer. If your CPU reaches temperatures in this range, you should inspect the CPU cooler and fans inside your computer.
Furthermore, CPUs that reach over 80 degrees Celsius while under 50% or less usually have an underlying cooling issue that needs to be resolved.
What CPU Temperature Is Ideal When Gaming?
Normal CPU temperatures while gaming range from 60 to 80 degrees Celsius. If your CPU reaches these temperature thresholds while gaming, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
However, if your CPU ranges above 80 degrees Celsius, you may notice performance issues and overall instability.
Where Can I See CPU Temperature?
You can also find the temperature of your CPU by accessing the BIOS setup when your computer starts up. However, this method is inconvenient since you’ll need to restart your computer each time you want to check your CPU temps. For this reason, I recommend using HWiNFO since it can be accessed right on your desktop.