Knowing the temperature of its PC / processor

Knowing the temperature of its PC / processor
If your CPU too hot, it can cause unwanted reboots the computer, instabilities, or even destroy the processor itself. We will first indicate how to measure CPU temperature, and then propose some solutions to better cool.

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Knowing the temperature of my processor

There are several ways to know the CPU temperature:
  • By Accessing the setup Bios
  • Using software such as Core Temp Monitor or HardWare; it gives more all temperature values ​​of the PC (motherboard, graphics card, hard drives, ...), here is a ranking of the best software in this category (HW Monitor, SIW, Aida32, Everest, etc.).
  • By installing a probe material on the processor


When talking about temperatures, there are actually several measured in a CPU.
The 2 most used are:
Tj (junction temperature), internal, and T Case (case temperature), still lower than Tj (between 10 and 20 ° less than Tj as CPU).
In general, the temperature measuring software give Tj, some give 2.
Here is shown the maximum measured temperature of multiple processors 775 and socket 939.
The general methodology is described below:

Temperature Intel

The maximum temperature an Intel model dependent but is usually around 70 ° C for the Pentium 4, 60-70 ° C for the generation Core2 and 70 ° C for the Nehalem generation (i3 / i5 / i7 ). Cell processors support up to about 100 ° C.
Consult the data sheet on the Intel website:

For example, there are Case T = 72 ° C for the Sandy Bridge i5 2500K and i5-4430 Haswell Case and T = 67 ° C for the Ivy Bridge i5 3570K

Beyond this value, a thermal protection device intervenes and blocks the processor to its lowest frequency, blocking the CPU ratio to a minimum.

If the temperature rises further, the CPU is cut automatically, no thermal destruction is possible in principle with the latest processors.

Obviously, the more CPU temperature will be low over its lifetime will be long, and there will be an overclocking margin for example.

Temperature AMD

As for Intel, the maximum temperature T Case tolerated for AMD processors is around 60 to 75 ° C.
There too must consult the processor specs on AMD website :

For example, it was 61 ° C FX 8150 and 8120:
http: // / ...
and 71 ° C for Athlon II X4 635:
http: // / ...

Although AMD says nothing for its mobile processors, there is information on specialized sites, and also there as Intel, it is usually around 100 ° C:
http: // / ...


The temperature reported by the BIOS of the system can be different from the actual temperature of the processor if the measurement is taken at a different place.
We have already talked about the difference between Tj and Tcase.
Temperatures hearts are often data Tj, the CPU of the case Case T are often given by a sensor on the motherboard close to the socket, and differs slightly from the true Case T.
In addition, the reported temperature is affected by the accuracy of the temperature sensor, the tool used and the analog / digital conversion of the signal.
It is therefore recommended to admit a certain margin in comparison to the maximum operating temperature and the temperature reported by the BIOS.


To better cool the processor, there are several solutions:

1) To improve the air exchange in the housing (active cooling by fans):
  • Ensuring that fresh air from outside is facing components whose temperature is high (CPU, graphics card, etc.), for example with side fans (the top one is perfect for coolers' top flow ', the bottom is for the graphics card)
  • Ensure that the air from the hot parts to be discharged to the outside of the housing. The ideal air flow to cool a PC is well forward / bottom rear / top, the air inlets with blue (if possible with dust filters), red hot air outlets (backward or up)
  • Trying to balance the airflow entering the exhaust air flow by installing as many ventilos in that suction extraction, for example 2 ventilos 120mm fresh air intake, a front and a other on the side, and hot air extraction also 2 ventilos 120mm, one rear and one on top (minimum version: a suction fan of 120mm in the front and a fan 120mm extraction in back)
  • Casing with power up (right minimum installation, left side ventilators):
Knowing the temperature of its PC / processor
  • Casing with power down (better cooling because hot air rises naturally):
Knowing the temperature of its PC / processor

2) Opt for a cooler (radiator fan +) more efficient (attention to noise and congestion) of several comparative coolers can be found online:
  • comparison 18 coolers 2014
  • Comparison of 25 coolers 2015

3) Clean the CPU cooler and the radiator as the graphics card (at least annually). Indeed the dust is accumulated between the fan and the radiator, see the picture here. Remove dust accumulated in these two elements using a can of compressed air for example, or a clean brush so you can dismantle the fan.

4) Use a software tool such as cooling CPU Idle.

5) Switch to the watercooling: it is much more expensive and complex solution, but more efficient, especially if you overclock.
You will find different cooling solutions in this article: cool your computer

If a laptop

In the case of a laptop, see the article:
my portable heater, what solutions
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