What temperature should my computer be running at?

Trajke17 December 11, 2011

How much heat can my computer handle? It has the following components:

MSI N1996 motherbord
AMD Athlon LE-1620 Procesor
Nvidia GeForce 7300LE Card
1GB DDR2 of Ram

  1. Jeff Herman
    December 17, 2011 at 4:41 am

    All very good points.

    Heat is the enemy of any piece of electronic gear and excessive heat will destroy a computer and fast.  A couple warning signs that your computer is running hot are if the fan seems to be running a lot, maybe even when the computer is idle; and in the case of a laptop, when you can feel a lot of heat emanating from  the keyboard.  A computer may also shutdown unexpectedly to protect itself from damage, if it reaches an excessive temperature. So this can also be a sign it is running hot.

    The question is why is it running hot?  I agree with all the posts below and will add that I run my laptop on a cooling pad to help ventilate it and keep it running cool.  My fan rarely runs.  I know of a kid that broke a new laptop that her father bought her for college by leaving it running while laying it on the bed where it could not get adequate ventilation.  Cooked it in just a couple weeks.

    Another factor can be dust.  About twice or three times per year, I open each of the computers in our home and give them a good blowing out with a can of compressed air.  I also take one of my wife's make-up brushes, disassemble and dust off the fan components. Be sure to clean and replace the make-up brush exactly where you found it.  You will be astonished by what you find inside a computer!  I've seen cleaner automobile engines. 

    So this routine is fairly easy in the case of a desktop computer--there is lot of room to work in that cabinet.  It's much more challenging with a laptop where everything is crammed tightly together in a plastic shell with a 100 tiny screws.  For a laptop, I recommend searching for dis-assembly/re-assembly instructions on the manufacturer's site or letting someone who has done it before help you.  I've done it for friends quite a few times.  My computers last for years and years longer than most.

  2. Temuss
    December 14, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Jeff has a good point.  If you have hard drives stacked close together that will increase your case heat quite a bit.

    Humidity is also a factor to think about as it’s harder to get proper air flow

  3. Anonymous
    December 12, 2011 at 1:57 am

    AMD and Intel both have maximum temperature ratings for their CPUs listed around 80C. If your CPU gets this hot, you've got some serious problems. Most people try and keep the CPU temperature below 40C at idle and below 55C at load.

    What Temperature Should a Computer Run At?

    December 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Hello, you can find out the optimal temperature conditions for your computer to run when entering BIOS.  BIOS, should also tell when system will start giving you warnings or alarms for heat.  Keep in mind that you also have to consider room temperature.

  5. Mike
    December 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    The Athlon LE-1620 has a maximum operating temperature of 69°C. For the Geforce 7300 LE the threshold should be somewhere around 120°C.

    So as long as they stay under ~60°C respectively 90°C at full load you should be fine.

  6. Jeff Fabish
    December 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    It depends, different components can run at different temperatures. At peak usage, your processor shouldn't really exceed 203°F (95 °C) and your graphics card should be about the same, though it may get higher when the demand for graphics is higher.

    You may test your hardwares temperature with Core Temp (don't install Yono or UpdateIQ with it), Speed Fan, CPU ID, Real Temp. Various diagnostic utilities read temperatures as well, such as CrystalDiskInfo, HD Tune and HDD Health (unrelated to HD Tune). If you think the hardware is too hot, make sure the ventilation system is free and that it's not crammed into a small shelf. Check and make sure all the fans are functioning properly, you may consider even adding more (or better) fans.

    How To Fix An Overheating Laptop

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