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What Temperature Should CPU Be And What is Normal Temperature?

by Lisa Hayden
CPU Processor Hierarchy

The computer is now our go-to device for most of our work and hobbies. That’s why a malfunctioning desktop computer is a huge bother for us all. 

While plenty of us invest in the latest security software to keep our computers virus- and malware-free, we often overlook the state of the CPU, the brain of our PCs. 

All the crucial functions of the computer happen here. The internal problems of a desktop computer at times is attributed to a very hot CPU thus checking on its temperature is an absolute must for all computer, laptop and notebook users. 

In order to have a healthy, functioning computer, you better read the following information.

Normal CPU Temperature for Windows Desktops

CPU temperature check

A normal CPU temperature is at best subjective since it differs from one manufacturer to another. There are also differences between models; thus, it can be hard to identify a temp that best represents the ideal temperature for CPUs. 

Computers, though, like any other machine, perform best when they remain cool. As long as the CPU temperature does not surpass agreeable limits, you will notice that it handles its tasks efficiently when it stays cool.

An excellent method to check if your CPU temperature is running cool is assessing ambient temperature, which is also referred to as room temperature. 

Room temperatures measuring around 22 to 24 degrees Celsius (71-75°F) is considered to be normal CPU temp. If the computer’s hardware operates at 10 degrees C (50°F) higher than the ambient level, it’s still considered safe enough. 

However, if the temperature hits around 80 degrees C (175°F), then you need to minimize your computer’s load. It means tasks you perform on your computer; simple encoding tasks, using applications and gaming can affect the temperature.

Make sure that you reduce the load to return to a more ideal CPU temp. 

Normal Idle CPU Temperature

normal CPU temperature

Idle CPU temp refers to the temperature of your desktop computer whenever you leave it idle. A normal temperature for idle PCs clocks in between 30 to 40 degrees C or 86 to 104°F

Ideal CPU Temperature for Gaming

A good CPU temperature for gaming stands between 70 to 80 degrees Celsius (158-176°F). However, if it exceeds that limit, then you need to counter it with effective cooling methods to retain ideal temps and avoid damage. 

There are manufacturers though who have made processors which can tolerate higher temps (for example; 110 degrees C). Then again, gaming is an activity which has a significant impact on CPUs.

Intel Core’s CPU model, the i7 8700K is often recommended for gaming since it can tolerate heavy loads and the CPU temp will still reach an agreeable 79 to 80-degrees Celsius (174-176°F). 

Modern CPU models recommended for gaming like the Ryzen from AMD includes a protection feature which shuts the CPU down automatically as soon as it gets extremely hot, thus preventing damage. 

Of course, whether you possess a beefed-up CPU or not, you still need to monitor its temperature regularly. A good way to do this is through third-party applications, which we are going to discuss next. 

Recommended CPU Temperature Monitoring Apps

CPU temperature tools

If you are not too keen on getting the gist of your PC’s UEFI/BIOS systems for checking CPU temps, you can always rely on effective monitoring applications.

These apps utilize similar physical temperature sensors used by your computer’s UEFI/BIOS. Here are some of the most reliable monitoring apps that you can use for your desktop. 

CAM

Simple yet efficient monitoring application that provides the load, temperature, fan and clock speeds of CPUs and GPUs in real-time. It’s available as a free download, and you can use it even if you do not have NZXT parts on your computer. The app also allows clock speed adjustments for users. 

HWMonitor

  • Of the most popular CPU monitoring tools, the HWMonitor is recommended for gaming PCs. It can monitor the minimum and maximum temps of the CPU plus its value in real-time.
  • The app can keep track of fan speed, the use of other hardware parts and temperature. It can also do assess measurements for other factors like clock speeds.
  • Functions might be a tad overwhelming for casual users, but if you’re only after the CPU part, you can simply collapse irrelevant categories so you won’t have to deal with the other columns. 

SpeedFan

SpeedFan app gives its users manual control over their computer’s fan speed to maintain the ideal temperature for the CPU. This is recommended for computers equipped with air coolers. 

Simple Tips for CPU Temperature Maintenance

Intel 7th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processor i7-7700K

There are cooling systems available for maintaining ideal CPU temperatures these days. Fans and heatsinks are the most common. There are also soft cooling and liquid cooling methods available, with the latter the most preferred by gamers. 

You can also invest in one of those industrial computer enclosures; these units are built with several fans, heat sinks and plenum chambers plus it was designed to keep your computer dust-free. 

It is crucial to keep your computer free from dust, dirt and other debris since they can clog your desktop’s insides and lead to overheating. 

Clean your PC regularly with compressed air to remove dirt and dust buildup on the fans inside. 

Humid, hot air can also affect your PC’s system. It is recommended that you keep your PC away from enclosed areas and direct sunlight for sufficient airflow.

Make sure that your CPU has a fan that will pull air into it and another fan to drive air out. These fans should be parallel with the system, so the air that is pulled into the covered space is guided towards the CPU’s case while the fan driving the air out is actually eliminating heated air leaking out of the computer. 

Maintaining optimal CPU temperatures is as important as retaining a virus- and malware-free computer. For a desktop computer that runs effectively, it is best that you take these tips to heart.

Consider using any of those monitoring applications mentioned in this article. You can also check out various cooling systems that will suit your computer usage. 

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