Will a computer automatically shut down if a component heats up too much?

Victor Ong December 7, 2012


So I’m building a computer, and so I’m wondering if my CPU/GPU would automatically fail and stop if it heats up to much. I don’t want them to break, so I was wondering if I could safely play with the fan settings and clock speeds, and if it gets too hot, will the computer automatically shut down or will the components shut down by itself?


  1. kevin daly
    January 10, 2013 at 1:39 am

    The discussion is of great interest to me 18 months ago I had a computer built for me but budget wise & experience pushed me toward an AMD CPU. The last computer I had had a Intel CPU & it failed the very first CPU that has ever failed on me & I have had computers since 1993. The case I have has space for 4 fans so I hope the CPU is operating at the proper temperatures!

    Are there programs that will give me the temperature & the safe limits on CPU operation as a small screen at the bottom of my monitor??

  2. Rohit Jhawer
    December 14, 2012 at 4:59 am

    All modern systems do shutdown when they are heated to the max. But this happens very rarely. The main cause for overheating are GPUs. if you want to keep a track of the heat try this software named (Hwinfo)

  3. Alison Gent
    December 14, 2012 at 2:29 am

    No, they don't have any thermal testings in the CPU to notify the user if it gets to hot. However if you really are worried then I suggest buying one of these and checking it periodically.


  4. Sri Vastav Reddy
    December 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Yes it does shut's Down without any information..
    happen to me once when i accidentally removed the fan's plug. and had no idea what's going on.after a 1 hour of frustration then i noticed this. :(

  5. Paul Pruitt
    December 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Maybe overclocking will hurt your machine, I really don't know. I think though I have seen machines blue screen if they overheat. You can monitor the temperatures of the CPU, hard drive and motherboard I believe with the freeware Speedfan: http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php.

    There is other freeware which seems to concentrate on the temperature of just the processor(s). Maybe even with reports available with temperature of the cores plotted over time.

    Also there appears to be a concept called TJMax which is the safe maximum operating temperature of a core. The freeware Real Temp can show it to you: http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/2089/Real_Temp_3.70.html.

  6. Anonymous
    December 8, 2012 at 7:13 am

    I advice to ditch the air cooling and create a water cooling system. Cools your parts way better than air, but it need to be well engineered.
    OT: it depends on your BIOS settings. Some old BIOS don't have that option to configure, so it all comes down to your motherboards's manufacturer. Do a little research on that. Good luck.

  7. Jim Chambers
    December 7, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    As some others have said, the CPU, GPU and motherboard have temperature sensors. Most motherboards come with utilities that indicate CPU and MB temperature as well as fan speed etc.. You can also get this info in Bios. If you plan to overclock, don't use the stock CPU heatsink/fan. Buy a quality unit designed for your CPU that will provide much better cooling than minimal cooling of stock unit. ALSo have at least 2 x 120mm chassis fans

  8. Alex Perkins
    December 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Most motherboards normally will detect that something is far far too hot and shutdown the computer.

  9. Dimal Chandrasiri
    December 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I believe you are going to build your pc and it's common on the upcoming MBs and GPUs contain temperature censors. I was using an intel 946GZIS MB few years back and I dint know that my processor fan had failed! the pc booted up and after few seconds it immediately shut down since of the processor over heat. os I'm pretty sure that modern devices have that capability on them! since the OC hype going on these days!

  10. Roomy Naqvy
    December 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Yes, thats why they have the fans. Overheating of CPUs is a common problem.

  11. Âdil Farôôq
    December 7, 2012 at 11:04 am

    not possible

  12. Giggity Goebbels
    December 7, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Intel processors afaik will either poweroff,or freeze.also they dont shutdown,they turn off.it will only fail,if you switch on the computer immediately again,and the bios have the beep code of overheating processor,as it wont turn off.30 seconds and your processor is toast.

  13. Jan Fritsch
    December 7, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Pretty much all motherboards have a CPU overheat protection which
    (1) clock down the CPU if it is getting to hot (modern CPU's at least)
    (2) will shutdown the CPU ~ which basically will crash your system

    It will also shutdown if other motherboard components or chips overheat.

    Graphics cards almost the same except it will not clock down but simply kill off the drivers causing any software using it to crash (on XP it will cause a BSOD)

    Other components vary ~ hard drives unfortunately tend to run hot.

    To get a graceful shutdown on overheat you are best off to use some temperature monitoring software that offers this function.

  14. ha14
    December 7, 2012 at 9:03 am

    if heat passed the thresholds then you will notice a slowing machine but modern processors do reduce their clockspeed when they get warm to try and cool themselves.

    if your hard drive gets overheating probably will shutdown.

    clock speeds is overclocking this can cause problems if not done correctly, first you have to be sure that your processor has the overclocking capabilities then you have to process with caution,

  15. Douglas Mutay
    December 7, 2012 at 7:17 am

    I am afraid no...they don't have thermostat

    • James Bruce
      December 9, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Yes, they do. It's called a thermistor, and is the reason your BIOS can report temperatures of the CPU and case. Have you never looked in the BIOS?

      • Douglas Mutay
        December 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm

        I totally agree with you. But as for his question, he is asking if a computer will automatically shut down if a component heats up too much. For that purpose it needs to have a thermostat. A thermostat has a two metals in it and when they experience a temperature change, their responsive movements produce pressure that either presses against the electric contact or pulls away from the electric contact. And its calibrated to perform the requisite movement at just the correct temperature. And that what would have answered his question. But as far as i know computers doesn't have these components.
        They do have thermistor, and even if this device is based on the same principle as a thermostat, it is used in a different manner. A thermistor uses a metallic compound which conductivity changes according to temperature. And this conductivity will increases as temperature increases and the amount of electricity moving through the compound will also changes according to temperature. The thermistor in pc components is calibrated to read changes in conductivity as reflecting changes in temperature. But it will never shut down the computer if the temperature rise.
        A thermistor will read changes in conductivity and can only report it. If a thermostat was built into a pc it would have switched it off if a given temperature was reached.

        • James Bruce
          December 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm

          All modern computers have an automatic shutoff temperature. Check in your BIOS. There is one setting for "warning beep" and another for "shutdown". Here's the first screen cap I found in google: http://techreport.com/review/6744/foxconn-755a01-6ekrs-motherboard/4

        • Douglas Mutay
          December 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm

          Very very interesting. Thank you for this info. I have just discovered that my own pc has this feature built inside and actually it's quite soothing to know that it's working like that. :-)

  16. josemon maliakal
    December 7, 2012 at 6:11 am

    It's time for service

  17. Junil Maharjan
    December 7, 2012 at 4:26 am

    You can set in your bios for automatic shut down when a cpu heats ups. CPU heating too much can damage it.

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