How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

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How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

Prices, specifications, availability and terms of offers may change without notice. Price protection, price matching or price guarantees do not apply to Intra-day, Daily Deals or limited-time promotions. Quantity limits may apply to orders, including orders for discounted and promotional items. Despite our best efforts, a small number of items may contain pricing, typography, or photography errors. Correct prices and promotions are validated at the time your order is placed. These terms apply only to products sold by HP.com; reseller offers may vary. Items sold by HP.com are not for immediate resale. Orders that do not comply with HP.com terms, conditions, and limitations may be cancelled. Contract and volume customers not eligible.

HP’s MSRP is subject to discount. HP’s MSRP price is shown as either a stand-alone price or as a strike-through price with a discounted or promotional price also listed. Discounted or promotional pricing is indicated by the presence of an additional higher MSRP strike-through price

The following applies to HP systems with Intel 6th Gen and other future-generation processors on systems shipping with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Pro systems downgraded to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1: This version of Windows running with the processor or chipsets used in this system has limited support from Microsoft. For more information about Microsoft’s support, please see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle FAQ at https://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle

Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside, and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

In-home warranty is available only on select customizable HP desktop PCs. Need for in-home service is determined by HP support representative. Customer may be required to run system self-test programs or correct reported faults by following advice given over phone. On-site services provided only if issue can't be corrected remotely. Service not available holidays and weekends.

HP will transfer your name and address information, IP address, products ordered and associated costs and other personal information related to processing your application to Bill Me Later®. Bill Me Later will use that data under its privacy policy.

Microsoft Windows 10: Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows 10. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers, software or BIOS update to take full advantage of Windows 10 functionality. Windows 10 is automatically updated, which is always enabled. ISP fees may apply and additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See http://www.microsoft.com.

HP Rewards qualifying and eligible products/purchases are defined as those from the following categories: Printers, Business PCs (Elite, Pro and Workstation brands), select Business Accessories and select Ink, Toner & Paper.

If your computer gets too hot, its performance will suffer and the CPU could get damaged. Here's how to keep tabs on PC or Mac's temperature.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

An overheating computer is no joke. If your CPU gets over a certain temperature, it can actually “throttle” itself, causing you to lose performance. Heat can also decrease the lifespan of your PC, not to mention burn your thighs if you’re using your laptop on bare legs. But most PCs don’t have built-in temperature-monitoring tools, so you’ll need to download some software if you want to see how hot it’s running.

Windows: Monitor Your CPU Temperature with Core Temp

There are dozens of temperature-monitoring programs out there, but for most users, I recommend Core Temp. It provides plenty of information without being as overwhelming as more thorough utilities, and it comes both as an installer and in standalone EXE format. Plus, it allows you to monitor your temperature from Windows’ taskbar, which is great if you want to keep an eye on it over time.

Download Core Temp, install it (being careful to uncheck the “Goodgame Empire” bloatware), and launch the program. The top portion of the window lists the CPU you have in your system, its current load, and a few other technical tidbits. The real meat is at the bottom of the window, where it says Temperature Readings.

You’ll see the current temperature in the left column, alongside the lowest and highest temperatures the program recorded since you last launched it. If you’re using an AMD CPU, you’ll probably just have one value here, while Intel CPUs will likely have one temperature reading per CPU core—just keep an eye on the hottest core to keep things simple.

I highly recommend heading to Options > Settings and playing with the options available, especially the Notification Area tab, which will let you view your CPU temperature in the taskbar. I personally recommend selecting Highest Temperature here—then click the system tray’s arrow and drag Core Temp’s icon to the taskbar to keep it visible at all times.

MacOS: Monitor Your CPU Temperature with Fanny

If you’re using a Mac, iStat Menus is widely regarded as the best system monitoring app around, and if you’re an advanced user looking to keep an eye on your Mac’s internals, it’s well worth the $12. However, for most folks, Fanny is a much simpler choice—and it’s free.

Download Fanny, unzip the app, and drag it to your Applications folder. When you start it up, you should see the icon appear in the menu bar. Fanny bills itself as a Notification Center widget, but this requires you to slide it out every time you want to check the temperature—not ideal.

Instead, I recommend changing the Fanny icon to display the temperature. Click on Fanny’s menu bar icon and choose Preferences to adjust the app’s settings. Change the Menu Bar setting to CPU Temperature, and you’ll see the icon change to a value in degrees celsius, which is ideal for monitoring your CPU temperature as you work.

How Hot Is Too Hot?

If your CPU gets too hot, it will reduce performance to try and reduce the temperature—meaning whatever you’re doing at the time will probably run slower. It’ll also keep your fans spinning at high speeds, meaning lots of noise. Plus, high temperatures over long periods of time can decrease the lifespan of your CPU, not to mention other components like the fan and battery.

You should check your CPU’s temps every few months or when experiencing performance issues.

Checking your system’s CPU temperature is similar to checking your car’s oil: You don’t need to do it daily, but it’s something to keep an eye on every few months, especially if you regularly strain your system with higher loads like you’ll do with the Best CPUs for Gaming.

Luckily, checking your CPU temperature is pretty easy and doesn’t require you to open up your PC and stick a thermometer inside. Instead, every CPU comes with digital thermal sensors built-in, so all you need is a bit of software to read their measurements.

Below we’ll break down what a healthy range of temperatures is for a CPU, how to check your CPU temperature and what to do if your CPU’s temperatures are too high.

What’s a Good CPU Temperature?

When the CPU is idle, or not being used by any program, a healthy temperature is anything under or around 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). Under higher load, such as when playing a game, rendering a video, or other intensive tasks, your CPU consumes more power and, thus, runs at a higher temperature. This is more important than idle temperatures (assuming idle temps are fine) and you’ll want to periodically monitor your CPU temperature under load to ensure it’s adequately cooled during such conditions.

Under load, you want your CPU to ideally stay under 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit), though some CPUs may run hotter when they’re in ultrabooks, gaming laptops, or small-form-factor (SFF) computers. You have some wiggle room to creep past 80 degrees Celsius, but anything above 95 degrees Celsius (203 degrees Fahrenheit) is critical. At this point, some CPUs will begin throttling, meaning the clock speed will slow down to ensure it doesn’t overheat, and your PC may turn off.

More advanced users who want the utmost confidence that their CPU can handle aggressive workloads should stress test their CPU to 100% using a program like Prime95 or AIDA64 . When running such a stress test, keep a close eye on the temperatures, using the tools mentioned below, and back off once they reach too high a number, i.e. anything above 95 degrees Celsius. We consider an ideal stress test to be one hour long, though your maximum temperature will likely level off after 10-15 minutes.

How to Monitor Your CPU’s Temperature

Checking your CPU temperature is as easy as firing up a monitoring program and using it to read out the value. Examples of these programs are HWMonitor, Core Temp, or NZXT’s CAM. These three are just a few examples of many, and for the purpose of this how-to we’ll show you how NZXT’s CAM and Core Temp work because we have found that these two are the easiest to use for casual purposes.

CAM is developed by PC case, power supply and CPU cooler manufacturer NZXT. While it’s intended to be used with their product, it works really well as a casual monitoring tool even if you don’t own any NZXT hardware.

Once installed, CAM offers a well-presented user interface (UI). The first block features the CPU’s status, which shows the load, temperature, clock speed and cooler fan speed. You can click on this block to access further details, as shown in the image below.

As you can see, the current temperature of this system’s CPU is 41 degrees Celsius, which is a healthy idle temperature.

CAM also has an overlay, which automatically turns on when you enter a game when CAM is running. This overlay can show you your CPU’s status while in-game, providing you with load temperature measurements.

You can also use the Core Temp tool to monitor the temperatures, which is a simpler tool that works with a more basic UI. Just be sure to untick the freeware in the installation menu first.

As you can see, this CPU has been running at a temperature of 46 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 75 degrees Celsius (167 degrees Fahrenheit) and is, therefore, running at a normal temperature. The stress test temperature was achieved by running Prime95 for about 30 minutes, though the CPU hit its maximum temperature of 75 degrees Celsius within 10 minutes.

With Core Temp, the best way to monitor your temperature while gaming is to just have a good session, and then check back in with the program to see what the maximum recorded temperature is. Again, if this figure is at or beyond 95 degrees, you should be concerned. Anything between 80 and 95 degrees may have room for improvement.

What Should I Do if my CPU Temperature Is too High?

If under load your CPU temperature is exceeding 80 degrees Celsius, you should check your system to ensure the CPU’s cooling is adequate.

Here’s a checklist of things to look for:

  • Is your PC clean and free of dust (including radiator)?
  • Are all your PC’s fan’s spinning under load?
  • How old is your PC?
  • When was the last time you applied fresh thermal paste between your CPU and CPU cooler? If it’s been over three years, consider re-applying the thermal paste.
  • Does your model CPU cooler specify a higher cooling capacity than your CPU’s rated TDP?
  • Are you using a SFF PC, too small of a CPU cooler or a laptop?

For SFF PCs and laptops, it’s possible that there’s minimal cooling, as the device was never intended to be used under high loads for extended periods of time. For example, most laptops come with very compact cooling solutions that work well for short term performance bursts but need to slow down during extended gaming sessions to stay below the shut-off threshold. Gaming laptops are often bulky because they’re packed with extensive cooling systems.

If you are using a full-size gaming PC, however, and think your cooling should be adequate, you may want to re-apply thermal paste to your CPU. Most thermal paste’s performance seriously degrades after about three years. Applying fresh paste and cleaning the system from dust can offer much better cooling power and significantly better performance. This applies both to pre-built and custom-built PCs.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

Movement and electricity generate heat, and everything measures heat in different ways. Cars have a temperature gauge on the dashboard to let the driver know when the engine is too hot to function properly. Unfortunately, an indicator for overheating is not automatically included in most computers. Extra noise and slowed processing speeds may be symptoms of an overheating central processing unit (CPU), but there is no flashing red light telling you to figuratively pull over and check under the hood. Fortunately, free software exists that can help you check and monitor your CPU’s temperature.

Why check CPU temperature?

Checking your CPU temperature is part of monitoring your PC’s health. Overly hot temperatures, like with humans, is a symptom of a deeper and sometimes critical issue. An example of this may be that one component is not compatible with another component. Computers can also become too hot because of poor maintenance habits, such as not managing dust, setting items on top of the computer or over vents, or in the case of a laptop, using it while it sits on a blanket or pillow. Overheating can damage internal components beyond repair or shorten the lifespan of those parts.

Open Hardware Monitor, HWMonitor, or other downloadable hardware-monitoring software is especially helpful to use while gaming or pushing your computer a little extra. For example, you can open Spotify and play a podcast, enter a call on Discord, and then open up your favorite competitive game. While playing and listening, keep checking the temperatures and you’ll learn a bit more about your PC’s limits.

When driving your car uphill, checking the revolutions per mile on your dashboard can be helpful. Although it’s okay to go up to four, five, or even 6,000 RPM, you wouldn’t want to be repeatedly pushing your car that hard for too long. The same can be said for your PC’s temperatures. Ideally, lasting or long-running temperatures should not exceed the components’ maximum temperatures. To best ensure that the components don’t overheat, look up the thermal limits or max temperatures for your PC components and CPU, and assess your system’s temperatures based on those numbers.

Ways to check your PC temperatures

Open Hardware Monitor

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperatureImage via Open Hardware Monitor

Once downloaded, simply type “Open Hardware Monitor” in the Windows search bar in the bottom left corner of your screen to open the program. As shown above, the software will display three categories: Value, Min, and Max. These indicate the current temperatures, the minimum functioning temperature, and the maximum functioning temperature, respectively.

HWMonitor

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperatureImage via HWMonitor

Similar to Open Hardware Monitor, you can access information about your computer’s temperature by typing “HWMonitor” into the Windows search bar in the bottom left corner of your screen. A window will appear with the information shown in the image above, including the same three categories: Value, Min, and Max. Value indicates the current temperature, Min is the minimum functioning temperature, and Max is the maximum functioning temperature.

Like with any machine, computers require maintenance and monitoring so that they can function to their best potential and live a long life. Plenty of software options are out there to help check your CPU temperatures, and these are just a couple of the most trusted options available. If you’re looking for something more advanced, programs like MSI Afterburner are also an option. MSI Afterburner lets you monitor your CPU temperature and helps carry you out more advanced functions like adjusting fan curves and overclocking hardware, such as your GPU.

Temperature is a very critical condition to a computer, especially to the key components like processor (CPU) inside your computer. But how can you check and monitor it before it’s too late?

There are basically 2 ways.

1. You can find out your CPU temperature prior you boot Windows 7, that is go to the BIOS and for most of PCs there is an option in BIOS that displays your CPU temperature.

2. Download small utilities that enable you to monitor your CPU temperature.

For some tools out there some only support either Intel or AMD, but this Core Temp tool supports both AMD and Intel CPU. It also supports 64-bit edition as well.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

The uniqueness of it is that it shows the temperature of each individual core in each processor in your system! You can see in real time how the CPU temperature varies when you load your CPU. It’s also completely motherboard independent.

However for AMD, it only shows the whole temperature rather than individual core

It also shows the number in your notification area as well.

**Important notes**

The installation package of CoreTemp contains a few adware that require your permission to be loaded onto your computer during the installation. Make sure click the Decline button to say “No” to any of them. What you need is only the Core Temp, nothing else.

That’s it. It’s a small tool that enables you to monitor your CPU temperature. As I’ve mentioned before in one of my post on how you can monitor the temperature of your hard drive. You should always have an idea of how hot your CPU is. It’s also an important tool when you are over-clocking your CPU. You don’t want to over-heat your CPU.

It’s also worth mentioning that Core Temp is also now going mobile that helps you monitor the processor temperature in your Android and Windows Phone devices.

If your computer gets too hot, its performance will suffer and the CPU could get damaged. Here’s how to keep tabs on PC or Mac’s temperature.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

An overheating computer is no joke. If your CPU gets over a certain temperature, it can actually “throttle” itself, causing you to lose performance. Heat can also decrease the lifespan of your PC, not to mention burn your thighs if you’re using your laptop on bare legs. But most PCs don’t have built-in temperature-monitoring tools, so you’ll need to download some software if you want to see how hot it’s running.

Windows: Monitor Your CPU Temperature with Core Temp

There are dozens of temperature-monitoring programs out there, but for most users, I recommend Core Temp. It provides plenty of information without being as overwhelming as more thorough utilities, and it comes both as an installer and in standalone EXE format. Plus, it allows you to monitor your temperature from Windows’ taskbar, which is great if you want to keep an eye on it over time.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

Download Core Temp, install it (being careful to uncheck the “Goodgame Empire” bloatware), and launch the program. The top portion of the window lists the CPU you have in your system, its current load, and a few other technical tidbits. The real meat is at the bottom of the window, where it says Temperature Readings.

You’ll see the current temperature in the left column, alongside the lowest and highest temperatures the program recorded since you last launched it. If you’re using an AMD CPU, you’ll probably just have one value here, while Intel CPUs will likely have one temperature reading per CPU core—just keep an eye on the hottest core to keep things simple.

I highly recommend heading to and playing with the options available, especially the Notification Area tab, which will let you view your CPU temperature in the taskbar. I personally recommend selecting Highest Temperature here—then click the system tray’s arrow and drag Core Temp’s icon to the taskbar to keep it visible at all times.

MacOS: Monitor Your CPU Temperature with Fanny

If you’re using a Mac, iStat Menus is widely regarded as the best system monitoring app around, and if you’re an advanced user looking to keep an eye on your Mac’s internals, it’s well worth the $12. However, for most folks, Fanny is a much simpler choice—and it’s free.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

Download Fanny, unzip the app, and drag it to your Applications folder. When you start it up, you should see the icon appear in the menu bar. Fanny bills itself as a Notification Center widget, but this requires you to slide it out every time you want to check the temperature—not ideal.

Instead, I recommend changing the Fanny icon to display the temperature. Click on Fanny’s menu bar icon and choose Preferences to adjust the app’s settings. Change the Menu Bar setting to CPU Temperature, and you’ll see the icon change to a value in degrees celsius, which is ideal for monitoring your CPU temperature as you work.

How Hot Is Too Hot?

If your CPU gets too hot, it will reduce performance to try and reduce the temperature—meaning whatever you’re doing at the time will probably run slower. It’ll also keep your fans spinning at high speeds, meaning lots of noise. Plus, high temperatures over long periods of time can decrease the lifespan of your CPU, not to mention other components like the fan and battery.

“Normal” temperatures, though, can vary wildly depending on the CPU in your computer and what type of computer it is. A thin-and-light laptop that crams a powerful CPU into a small space with little airflow, for example, will likely get hotter than a desktop PC with a low-power CPU, even when performing the same tasks. And a CPU running at 70 degrees is likely to be just as effective as a CPU running at 40 degrees in that given moment.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

That said, your CPU does have a maximum threshold, a specific temperature it will try to avoid going over. This is known as the maximum temperature junction, or TJ Max. It varies from CPU to CPU, but for most chips, it lies somewhere between 95° C and 105° C. So if your computer is regularly hitting that temperature, it’s probably throttling itself (and, if it can’t decrease the temperature, it may even shut itself off to prevent overheating.)

If you’re regularly seeing that kind of heat, you have a few options. First, open up your computer—either by removing the side panel on a desktop or unscrewing the bottom case on a laptop—and blow out any dust bunnies with an air blower. This should help improve airflow and reduce temperatures. You can also adjust your CPU’s fan behavior, allowing it to run at higher speeds more often.

If you have a desktop, you may even want to reseat the CPU cooler to make sure it’s making good contact with the CPU, and if your computer is rather old, some new thermal paste could help lower temperatures as well. If you have a thin-and-light laptop known for overheating, though, these tips may only take you so far—and you’ll just have to deal with the excess heat. The next time you buy a laptop, be sure to read thorough reviews that include heat and fan noise before you commit.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

To check CPU temperature in Windows 11, here are several ways. By performing a CPU temperature check, you can learn the condition of your PC. In this post, MiniTool would show you how to check CPU temperature in Windows 11.

Quick Navigation :

It is important to check and monitor the temperature of CPU. If it gets overheating, your PC may encounter various errors like crashing, black screen, unexpected system shutdown, etc. What’s worse, your computer hardware components like video cards, motherboards, memory modules, and hard drives can be damaged due to the high temperature of CPU. As a consequence, the lifespan of your PC will be shortened.

How to check CPU temperature in Windows 11? We mainly divide the methods into two categories (Windows built-in program and third-party tools). You can select one according to your preference.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

How to change the default audio output on Windows 11? If you don’t know, read this post now to check the detailed steps.

Check CPU Temperature in Windows 11 via BIOS

BIOS (basic input/output system) is a firmware that is built on the chip of the computer’s motherboard, which can help you check the temperature of your CPU. How to check CPU temperature in Windows 11 via BIOS? The following steps show you how to perform a CPU temperature check on ASUS laptops.

Step 1: Turn off your PC by holding the Power key. Alternatively, you can also click on the Windows > Desktop icon and then tap Shut down in the elevated menu.

Step 2: After the device is turned off, press the Power key and click on the F2 key continuously before the PC boots up to enter the BIOS.

Step 3: You can see the temperature of CPU after you enter the BIOS. To obtain more details, navigate to the Monitor tab by pressing the right-forward arrow key. As shown in the picture below, you can see the CPU frequency/temperature, motherboard temperature, CPU fan speed, and other information about your PC.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

What is Windows 11 entertainment widget? How to make use of it? Well, you can check for answers to the questions in this post.

Check CPU Temperature in Windows 11 via Third-Party Programs

Third-party programs can check the temperature of your computer too. Here, we introduce you some popular and reliable CPU temperature checkers.

#1. Core Temp

Core Temp is easy to use and works fast. It shows the temperature of all individual cores of the processor. Every central processor has a Digital Thermal Sensor (DTS) inside all its products. Compared with traditional thermal sensors, the DTS offers higher and more accurate resolution temp reading.

This CPU temperature checker enables you to conduct high-level expandability and customization. Besides, it has a platform for add-ons and plugins. It means that you can extend the functionality by adding new features.

Step 1: Click here to move to its official website and then click Download to get the installation file.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

Step 2: After the download ends, open the setup file and follow the on-screen instruction to install the program.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

Step 3: The program will be opened automatically after installation. You can see the condition of your CPU in the prompted window.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

What can you do to check if port is open? If you are also bothered by this issue like others, this post is worth reading.

#2. NZXT CAM

NZXT CAM can manage temperature, devices, and performance. It is efficient and easy to use. Besides, it is fast enough and can offer you access to control everything on the PC. To be specific, this program allows you to view what is running on the computer ranging from the processor’s load to bandwidth consumption.

Hence, you can track the issues with the computer quickly and then boost the performance of the device. In a word, NZXT CAM is a good option for monitoring the CPU temperature of your PC.

#3. Speccy

Speccy can show you a quick summary of the result. You can find the details of your PC components like motherboard, CPU, graphics card, RAM, and so on. Then you can save the result as an XML, text file, or snapshot.

This program is lightweight, advanced, and fast. It can help you improve the performance of your PC without upgrading the hardware.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Position: Columnist

Having writing articles about computer tech for a long time, I am rather experienced especially on the aspect of computer optimization, PC enhancement, as well as tech terms explanation. The habit of looking through tech forums makes me a great computer issues collector. And then, many articles related to these issues are released, which benefit plenty of users. Professional, effective, and innovative are always the pursuit of an editing worker.

If your computer gets too hot, its performance will suffer and the CPU could get damaged. Here’s how to keep tabs on PC or Mac’s temperature.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

An overheating computer is no joke. If your CPU gets over a certain temperature, it can actually “throttle” itself, causing you to lose performance. Heat can also decrease the lifespan of your PC, not to mention burn your thighs if you’re using your laptop on bare legs. But most PCs don’t have built-in temperature-monitoring tools, so you’ll need to download some software if you want to see how hot it’s running.

Windows: Monitor Your CPU Temperature with Core Temp

There are dozens of temperature-monitoring programs out there, but for most users, I recommend Core Temp. It provides plenty of information without being as overwhelming as more thorough utilities, and it comes both as an installer and in standalone EXE format. Plus, it allows you to monitor your temperature from Windows’ taskbar, which is great if you want to keep an eye on it over time.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

Download Core Temp, install it (being careful to uncheck the “Goodgame Empire” bloatware), and launch the program. The top portion of the window lists the CPU you have in your system, its current load, and a few other technical tidbits. The real meat is at the bottom of the window, where it says Temperature Readings.

You’ll see the current temperature in the left column, alongside the lowest and highest temperatures the program recorded since you last launched it. If you’re using an AMD CPU, you’ll probably just have one value here, while Intel CPUs will likely have one temperature reading per CPU core—just keep an eye on the hottest core to keep things simple.

I highly recommend heading to and playing with the options available, especially the Notification Area tab, which will let you view your CPU temperature in the taskbar. I personally recommend selecting Highest Temperature here—then click the system tray’s arrow and drag Core Temp’s icon to the taskbar to keep it visible at all times.

MacOS: Monitor Your CPU Temperature with Fanny

If you’re using a Mac, iStat Menus is widely regarded as the best system monitoring app around, and if you’re an advanced user looking to keep an eye on your Mac’s internals, it’s well worth the $12. However, for most folks, Fanny is a much simpler choice—and it’s free.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

Download Fanny, unzip the app, and drag it to your Applications folder. When you start it up, you should see the icon appear in the menu bar. Fanny bills itself as a Notification Center widget, but this requires you to slide it out every time you want to check the temperature—not ideal.

Instead, I recommend changing the Fanny icon to display the temperature. Click on Fanny’s menu bar icon and choose Preferences to adjust the app’s settings. Change the Menu Bar setting to CPU Temperature, and you’ll see the icon change to a value in degrees celsius, which is ideal for monitoring your CPU temperature as you work.

How Hot Is Too Hot?

If your CPU gets too hot, it will reduce performance to try and reduce the temperature—meaning whatever you’re doing at the time will probably run slower. It’ll also keep your fans spinning at high speeds, meaning lots of noise. Plus, high temperatures over long periods of time can decrease the lifespan of your CPU, not to mention other components like the fan and battery.

“Normal” temperatures, though, can vary wildly depending on the CPU in your computer and what type of computer it is. A thin-and-light laptop that crams a powerful CPU into a small space with little airflow, for example, will likely get hotter than a desktop PC with a low-power CPU, even when performing the same tasks. And a CPU running at 70 degrees is likely to be just as effective as a CPU running at 40 degrees in that given moment.

How to monitor your computer’s cpu temperature

That said, your CPU does have a maximum threshold, a specific temperature it will try to avoid going over. This is known as the maximum temperature junction, or TJ Max. It varies from CPU to CPU, but for most chips, it lies somewhere between 95° C and 105° C. So if your computer is regularly hitting that temperature, it’s probably throttling itself (and, if it can’t decrease the temperature, it may even shut itself off to prevent overheating.)

If you’re regularly seeing that kind of heat, you have a few options. First, open up your computer—either by removing the side panel on a desktop or unscrewing the bottom case on a laptop—and blow out any dust bunnies with an air blower. This should help improve airflow and reduce temperatures. You can also adjust your CPU’s fan behavior, allowing it to run at higher speeds more often.

If you have a desktop, you may even want to reseat the CPU cooler to make sure it’s making good contact with the CPU, and if your computer is rather old, some new thermal paste could help lower temperatures as well. If you have a thin-and-light laptop known for overheating, though, these tips may only take you so far—and you’ll just have to deal with the excess heat. The next time you buy a laptop, be sure to read thorough reviews that include heat and fan noise before you commit.