Technology Explained

PC Operating Temperatures: How Hot Is Too Hot?

Philip Bates Updated 13-12-2019

Are you worried about your computer’s temperature? Excessive heat can affect your device’s performance and your hard drive’s lifespan.


But how can you tell if it’s overheating or just hot? What is a good temperature for your Central Processing Unit (CPU)? And what are the signs you should look out for?

How Is Heat Generated by Your PC?

The simple fact is, heat is a natural by-product of electricity. Anything that uses energy to set in motion an activity—whether that’s a computer, a car engine or our own bodies—results in heat transference. Of course, the amount of electricity needed is dependent on the task being performed.

Components inside your computer easily exude heat, notably the CPU (what is a CPU? What Is A CPU and What Does It Do? Computing acronyms are confusing. What is a CPU anyway? And do I need a quad or dual-core processor? How about AMD, or Intel? We're here to help explain the difference! Read More ) and Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) What Is the Difference Between an APU, CPU, and GPU? Confused about computer processor acronyms? It's time to learn the difference between an APU, CPU, and GPU. Read More  as electricity is carried across circuits and experiences resistance.

Overclocking generates excessive heat How to Choose and Mount a CPU Fan: Everything You Need To Know Are you looking to mount a new CPU fan? Finding the right CPU fan requires a great deal of research. Not only do different fan sizes populate the market, a byzantine maze of CPU socket... Read More , for instance. This is when you operate your CPU at a higher clock speed than intended by its manufacturers. You can typically find out ideal clocking rates by visiting the site of your processor’s maker, but unless you’re well-versed in speeds, these won’t mean much to you.

The main benefit of overclocking is a more efficient and faster operating system, but it also requires a higher voltage to perform tasks. This greater need for electricity results in your CPU exuding more heat.


Playing games, watching Blu-ray and DVDs, ripping, burning and sharing files can all put a strain on your CPU, as does normal system maintenance, editing, and encoding. As you can imagine, with several tasks being carried out at once, overheating can be a very real concern.

Some users try to counteract this using a process called underclocking; this lowers heat transference by replacing the oscillator crystal inside the component. But this naturally decreases the system’s efficacy too.

How to Spot an Overheating PC

CPU stands for Central Processing Unit

Even though heat affects performance, your PC temperature rarely gets high enough to disrupt everyday use. However, if your computer is sluggish or regularly freezes, that’s a major indicator that you’re exceeding the maximum recommended CPU operating temperature.


The internal fans may also be noisier than usual, meaning they’re working faster in an effort to lower the motherboard and processor temperature. It does this by venting hotter air away from important components via the heatsink (a naturally heat conductive component typically made of aluminium) and out of the case.

Computers have a fail-safe which shuts down overheating parts to prevent permanent damage. In some instances, the whole system will shut down and refuse to fully restart until it has sufficiently cooled. Even then, if there is malfunctioning hardware, it might allow you access to files briefly before shutting down again.

If you have access to the computer’s interior, unplug the computer from the main electric, then gently touch the components. Expect them to be quite warm, but none should be too hot to touch. Take care when doing this, in case you hurt yourself or damage anything inside your machine.

Is It Overheating or Just Hot?

Don’t panic if you hear your PC’s fans working. That’s perfectly normal. Any strenuous tasks performed by the CPU, GPU, hard disk drive (HDD), and to a less extent the optical drive (DVD or Blu-ray) will raise your PC temperature. Computers typically generate heat without a detrimental effect.


Of course, if your fans constantly run at considerable, noisy speeds, that’s a sign of overheating. However, if you don’t hear the fan, that could also be the problem.

A broken fan can be the reason your system is too hot, but how else can you tell if the machine is too hot? Your main indicator is your PC’s performance.

You might have noticed it runs slower than normal, even when attempting to complete basic tasks like opening numerous tabs in your browser or running two programs at the same time. Your PC might keep shutting itself down or restarting without any prior warning. And of course, if it freezes completely and shows you the Blue Screen Of Death, something’s definitely wrong!

Naturally, performance issues don’t necessarily mean the ideal CPU temperature is being exceeded. Malicious software could also be affecting your computer, so decrease this risk by employing solid security measures.


On Windows, you can check which applications are most CPU-intensive through the Resource Monitor. Just search for the app on your desktop and you’ll see which programs are running in the background (and probably a few that have recently been terminated). Don’t worry: this list will be extensive, and that’s perfectly normal.

Aside from a broken fan, poor airflow caused by badly-positioned components or blockage of the vents might also be the cause of overheating. Where is your PC? An enclosed space can trap heat in; dusty surroundings can clog up the vents. Find out more about how heat affects your computer How Heat Affects Your Computer, And Should You Be Worried? From time to time, we all get concerned about our computer's temperature. But should we be worried? Read More .

What Temperature Should Your CPU Be?

Your computer is designed to operate at its maximum capacity at room temperature—that is, a comfortable room which feels neither too hot nor too cold. It’s simple to say, but everyone prefers a different temperature!

internal computer fan

So what is a normal computer temperature? Scientifically speaking, ambient room temperature is between 20°C/68°F and 26°C/79°F, averaging at about 23°C/73°F. Anything exceeding 27°C /80°F is potentially damaging to your computer. Obviously, this is especially something to watch out for in the summer.

The cold is certainly not as hazardous as excessive heat. Temperatures slightly below 20°C/68°F aren’t something to be fearful of.

A simple mercury thermometer can give you an accurate gauge of your worktop.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your CPU, accessible through your Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). This is basically the system that instructs the hardware to load the operating system, just after the computer powers up. By necessity, this means you have a narrow window in which to access your BIOS How to Enter the BIOS on Windows 10 (And Older Versions) To get into the BIOS, you usually press a specific key at the right time. Here's how to enter the BIOS on Windows 10. Read More .

Your CPU will run at a higher temperature than the room, so don’t panic when you initially see it. What is too hot for a CPU to operate at? You should consult your system’s documentation as it is dependent on what conditions your hardware is expected to function under normally.

So how hot can a CPU get? Generally, your processor shouldn’t run at anything greater than 75°C/167°F.

How to Maintain a Safe CPU Temperature

Keeping your computer’s environment cool is key. That can be as simple as opening a nearby window or placing an oscillating fan in the vicinity.

Potentially simple solutions include changing its surroundings (moving your computer or laptop to a cooler room in the summer, for instance), and using a can of compressed air to unblock vents.

Laptops are easier to cool down How to Fix an Overheating Laptop: 3 Key Tips and Solutions The greatest threat to your laptop is overheating. Here's how to cool down your laptop and prevent it from getting too hot. Read More  than computers, but they are also prone to generating excessive temperatures due to smaller heatsinks and narrower vents.

If you’re concerned your CPU is overheating, you do have options, including installing your own fan—but this is not advisable for anyone unfamiliar with internal workings.

Should your fail-safe kick in, reducing the risk of damaging components, your device will crash. It’s likely you’ll need a new fan for the heatsink. It may be another fan that’s not working sufficiently, but unless you know this, it’s not advised to switch on your computer as this may permanently damage your CPU.

You can replace an internal fan relatively simply, but on some models, taking off the casing can void your warranty. Laptop and Windows tablet fans can’t be easily replaced. And if you’re not experienced enough, there’s no point in jeopardising your data. Take it to your local specialists.

What Is a Good Temperature for Your Computer?

What should you take from all this? Ideally, your room should be about 23°C/73°F, but anything in excess of 27°C /80°F can be detrimental to your computer.

What should the normal operating temperature of your CPU be? Your processor shouldn’t be hotter than 75°C/167°F, nor significantly colder than 20°C/68°F.

There are numerous things you can do to keep your PC cool, including:

  • Keep your PC well-ventilated.
  • Clear dust from vents and fans.
  • Give your computer time to cool down.
  • Consult the manufacturer’s manual.

It’s also important to remember that problems with excessive heat are easy to fix, and rare unless you put your system under considerable strain.

Keep an eye on things with a temperature monitoring app. This will alert you should any problems occur. And if you need to look into a new cooling system for your PC, The 6 Best Cooling Systems for Your PC Looking to improve the performance of your PC? Start with the cooling system. Here are the best cooling solutions for your PC. Read More check out our list of the best ones.

Related topics: Computer Maintenance, Computer Parts, CPU, Graphics Card, Hardware Tips, Overheating.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Observer
    January 20, 2020 at 7:31 am

    See ? How the author is babbling with words, these all-know experts on the internet never stops writing articles and many of them have no idea what they are talking about

  2. xxx
    July 9, 2017 at 9:24 am

    This article is completely wrong! My system idles at 32C and it is water cooled!
    Telling people their processor should run between 23 adn 27c, just a 4c spread? Where the hell did you pull this from? Your ass?

    • Tech Man
      November 6, 2018 at 10:45 pm

      He said that's room temperature. He did make it a bit confusing, but he later says a max of 75 C

  3. Ben K
    March 25, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Nothing on my computer is running, exept for chrome, and my CPU is at 80 celcius

    plz help

    • Tech Man
      November 6, 2018 at 10:45 pm

      Do you have a laptop?

  4. Gabriel
    January 30, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    My computer's GPU can run at 68°C and run fine, plus there's no loud fan or anything like like that. I'm not sure if this is bad or not because there's no signs that it is!

  5. yussef961
    January 15, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    good article but so stupid to say room temperature should be under 27 0f course not. an ambient temperature of 35 or even 40 is fine provided the computer is well ventilated

  6. Christo joseph
    December 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Ambient temperature in winter day reaches 27c in kerala and in summer it goes to 34-35c. There's nothing i can do about it, an A/c will help but can't afford the electricity charges. But i have provided 3 fans in the system and there's good airflow. MB temp is 33c now(27room temp) and cpus idle from 37-44c. Under load, it won't go above 61c which i think is good.

  7. Anita
    July 28, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    It is 80 degrees in here and I was playing Sims 4 and had Google Chrome open when my GPU reached 165 degrees according to Open Hardware Monitor. Guess I'll have to wait till the weather cools down to play anything remotely demanding. Not that I have a wimpy system either: Intel CPU, 4 Ghz, 64 bit operating system, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, and 16 GB total RAM. I'm just glad I wasn't trying to play Thief.

    • tech1187
      July 29, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      Interesting to say here. Either you are a bit overclocked or you have an obstruction someplace. Sitting at 73c is a tad bit warm if not careful If you have overclocked your system, I would say try adjusting your voltage a bit till the temp drops (be careful when doing this), or replace the cooling fan with a better one. Just an idea here.

      • Anita
        July 29, 2016 at 10:50 pm

        Temperatures I gave are in Fahrenheit. I have not overclocked my system, but the weather is 80 degrees F (this is room temperature at the minute). My system currently has the cooling system it came with from the factory. In the spring, the GPU was running at room temperature doing the same thing. It might be time to get a can of air out and dust off the fans or something. The case vents on top, and in back, but there is nothing on top of the case.

        • tech1187
          July 30, 2016 at 12:48 pm

          Good to hear from you again. Yes, I am aware that you are using Fahrenheit. 73c is the same temp you are talking about any how just to let you know. Now since we are on the same page, you have told me what to look for in your system. It is a great idea to rid and dirt or junk from the radiator and clean out the whole system at the same time. lol you probably know that already and planned that. Now since you are using water with a top fan, this is one thing to look for. Since you may have a 200mm fan on top (or bigger) make sure it is working correctly and also make sure that you have another fan blowing through the fins of the radiator from the outside in. This will pull cool air into the system and push it out via the top. I have seen people have there fan back words where it does not cool as well. Hope this helps.

    • Dave
      August 12, 2016 at 1:26 am

      Hey there, I was poking around trying to find info about safe motherboard temperatures and happened to see this...believe it or not 73c is perfectly normal and safe for a GPU (including the 970 specifically). GPUs in general are designed to run hotter than CPUs and most have a "target" temperature of around 80-85c (meaning, they will begin to downclock/reduce performance slightly around that temperature to avoid getting any hotter). And, the temperature in which they "thermal throttle" (shuts off the GPU to avoid destroying it) is generally 95-100c+. So actually 73c is not only a safe temp for your 970 but it's actually low enough that you can know you are getting the maximum performance out of it :D good luck and happy gaming! :)

  8. Lukasz Zarnovski
    July 13, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    my CPU reached fu**** 70C , when FANS worked on max .

  9. Tanner
    May 9, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    I idle around 17 Celsius.

  10. Tanner
    May 9, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    My cpu never goes over 32 Celsius and I'm overclocked to 4.1ghz. My cpu fan is laid back at around 730 rpm. Aftermarket cpu cooler is a necessity if you are going to overclock.

  11. Carp Salopia
    May 6, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    My CPU Temp Is 42 Degrees Celsius Idle.Is That Ok? Or should i help it even more? i do play games but they aren't 3D Extreme Realistic Graphics games... :P

    • Tanner
      May 9, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      It depends if you're overclocked or not mainly. but If it idles at 42 Celsius then i would recommend an aftermarket cooler. It could get to harmful temps when you game.

  12. Harold
    May 1, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Was gaming and my CPU reached 200.5 C according to CAM

  13. frost
    April 30, 2016 at 2:33 am

    I got a cpu temp at 75c under load :(

  14. PowerShot
    March 11, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Poorly written, did you not now nothing about computer temps, you would surly get scared by reading this crap when your cpu was at 50 celsius in a program that demanded much. You don't kill cpu at 75 Celsius, far from it, and you don't run at that temp all the time anyway, even in a game that demand much.

    I would do something with my temp if 75 Celsius was my idle temp. Colder is anyway better, but you don't kill you cpu at 75.

    What would us overclocker do if that was the case?

    Give me an average and good temp, and max temp for what a computer can run at. That was what I was searching for. Here is noting. After you reach 98 to100+ on cpu your computer will shut down, or down throttle it self. 75 Celsius is a good temp at a prime 95 stress test (100% load), not a bad one that, if air cooling. But I was researching mobo max temp in stress, and normal. What I heard is you can reach over 100 Celsius in a stress test on mobo, but wanted to confirm this more closely.

    • texmexschnitzelburger
      July 20, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      Your CPU will work at 90-100°C, but not very good.
      You usually don´t want your CPU and hotter than 60°C at full load. Look up "Toms hardware" or "linus tech tips". These are the go-to websites for anything PC-related.

  15. Hobbes
    February 12, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    I think it's hilarious that they recommend delidding (a dangerous process, usually only carried out by hard-core overclockers, which will void your warranty and can make your computer unusable) as though it's just as easy as installing an aftermarket cooler (an easy, nearly risk-free measure, performed by nearly anyone with a high-powered PC.)

  16. Jed
    January 31, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    got a coolmaster stormtrooper 7 fans in total in it my cpu temp is 16C my rooms 28c my gpu gets to 38c under heavy loads

  17. Tim
    January 13, 2016 at 1:21 am

    My computer gets to 100 C when im gaming WHY!!!!!, i have to buy fans but my pc only supports like 2 :(

    • nue
      April 2, 2016 at 5:45 am

      thermal paste replacement

  18. Anonymous
    November 23, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    erm, my cpu runs about 30 c during load like 90% load, isnt that too cold?

    • Anonymous
      November 23, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      I have an i5 4690k clocked at 4.6 GHz with a kraken 61x btw in an h440 case

    • Tanner
      May 9, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      CPUs can get "too cold" but the temperatures are impossible to reach indoors and on air or water cooling. I think that AMD's Athlon 64s start to get the "cold bug" at -40 C or so as the material properties of the silicon-on-insulator substrate change enough to hinder normal transistor operation. Intel CPUs just use bulk silicon as their substrate and I've seen people use liquid nitrogen to cool them to -100 C or so.

      • anoyn
        May 31, 2017 at 4:51 am


  19. Anonymous
    October 20, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    My Computer usually runs at 71C 0.0 what should i doooo~

    • raw0625
      December 2, 2015 at 2:38 am

      Thats about average for a cpu. idk what this rtical is talking about when it says anything about 80 degrees fahrenheitis too much

      • Aaron
        December 20, 2015 at 8:17 pm

        That's for the room itself, if the room it's in is above 80F, the air won't cool your computer properly.

  20. Anonymous
    October 17, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    I guess like so many things, this is relative.

    My elderly Dell Inspiron laptop (an original 1100) originally ran a P4-gen Celeron. Temps would regularly hit 70C+ running Win XP. It now runs Puppy Linux. Runs so much cooler, that I've uprated to a 2.8 GHz genuine P4; although it has a higher TDP, it runs at least 15-20C cooler. And you have to remember this is an OLD machine; much deeper and bulkier=more space inside for air to circulate anyway. When I uprated the CPU, I replaced the thermal paste, and I take her apart for a regular spring-clean once a year. She'll average 40-45C now; I'm happy with that.

    My old Compaq desktop...hah! Don't talk to me about room temps, and allowable increases. This thing runs an old dual-core Athlon 64, which pulls nearly 120W TDP; even on a hot day, I've yet to see the temps exceed 30C. If it gets above 35C, I start getting worried..... And these ARE genuine temps, take my word for it.

    The original K8 cooler that it came with is the biggest lump of ally I think I've ever seen..!

  21. Anonymous
    August 11, 2015 at 10:27 am

    well my computer should be dead by now if the max is 27 C mine have about 38-45 C should i be worried?

    • Anonymous
      October 7, 2015 at 6:53 am

      Jesper I thought so too BUT underneath its states CPU temperatures around 75°C and under are okay. Itll be nice when I can afford a liquid cooler :)

    • Anonymous
      October 17, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      No need at all to worry; that's pretty cool by modern standards.

    • Peter
      December 17, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      27C is the limit of how hot the ROOM should be, not the CPU. The CPU itself could probably sustain temperatures toward 90C until it starts to actively burn itself to death, but most CPUs slow themselves down before ever getting that hot.

  22. Anonymous
    June 21, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Darned Thermal Pad residues makes my PC burn like hell within minutes when idle.
    I'm thinking of using a nail polish remover
    (INGREDIENTS: 20% Acetone, IPA, Ethyl Acetate).
    Is that a good idea? I don't have any IPA available but I do have Ethyl.
    So which one should be it? Nail polish or Ethyl? Thanks.

    • Hobbes
      February 12, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Don't use acetone (or anything containing it). It'll clean the residue, but it'll also clean off half your skin, and probably damage some components. You can get a 16-oz (about 475ml) bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol from your local drugstore or supermarket for about $2-4 USD. Alternatively, you can order a dedicated thermal paste removal kit off Amazon for $6. (search for "thermal paste remover.")
      If you want to lower your temps more, you can get some aftermarket paste; I suggest Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. (About $7.50 for 3.5 grams, which is far more than you will ever need.)

  23. Daniel
    April 13, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    I got a Athlon(tm) 7750 Dual-Core Processor (Kuma)AM2+ (940), and lately my machine began to shutdown when i've played for a while, the second time it happened i thought it was an overheatingproblem and yes it seems it is, my cpu is at 70c at IDLE and 80-85c while playing hearthstone and streaming in the background, god know what it will be when i play starcraft 2, its where the shutdowns happened, havent really tracked temperature while playing more graphicintense, but it speaks for it self, its way to hot by default, and fan is working perfekt, i've cleaned everything, its like new shiny hardware, but the temperature doesnt change at all :( dunno what da hell to do, maybe some new thermal paste would help? thats my only answere, anyone here have a clue? thankful for any kind of help asap

    • ben
      May 2, 2015 at 4:26 am

      As you stated replacing the thermal compound would be a good idea.
      I also suggest buying a laptop cooling pad. They are basically a board with a fan (or fans) that you place your laptop on top of and it blows cold air into it from underneath

  24. Al Catraz
    April 9, 2015 at 1:40 am

    I am a computer tech - I find that a "tune-up" is required ever so often - clean dust from the fans/air-paths/and HEAT-SINK! Replace the Heat-Sink-Compound if it cakes-over the CPU!

  25. David
    March 10, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    I would not recommend opening your computer case to cool it off unless you have a broken fan and/or using an external fan. Your computer was most likely built to maximize air flow between the hottest parts of it (CPU, GPU, etc.) and the environment. Taking it off can disrupt this cycle. Sometimes, your only option might be to just give the computer a break and go do something else while it cools down.

  26. Dan Zavesky
    February 10, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Well i think alot of those stats were based on just normal pcs i use a cyberpower with 2 dual cores amd and it runs very hot for games im avg 75 c to 85 c easy but i think some of the tips were right too. you need all your fans running and it needs to be well ventilated i think may be some of the problem.My room is enclosed and my pc tower is huge i think it needs its own fan maybe blowing directly on the pc as well.

  27. KoolBreeze420
    January 14, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    75 Cel. seems a little low my system runs at around 55 cel. while just resting but once I start gaming it can easily reach 105 cel. and this is without any overclocking I think that the max safe operating temp is going to be higher then 75 cel.. What brought me to this page was to try and determine what the safe max running temp is, so that I Can try a few overclocking settings in an attempt to improve gaming performance..

    • Dan Zavesky
      February 10, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      if your a gamer then your pc on avg will run 10 to 20 c higher than a regular computer

      • Tanner
        May 9, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        not always true

    • Andy
      February 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      You can't be serious? Feels like troll bait to me.

      My c2q q8300 (95w) ran full load @ 55c
      My Xeon x5450 (120w) ran full load @65c

      I get twitchy when my 2500k(95w)@1.195v @4ghz hits 64c in Small FFT's in Prime95 for two hours, even though its over 30c away from TjMax.

      If you don't know what any of that means, please read many many articles on sites such as,, and on forums specifically for your motherboard and processor.

      Google/Bing/Whatever is your friend here.

  28. sonylisation
    September 4, 2014 at 11:58 am

    This is just embarrasing to read! The writer clearly has no idea of what he/she is writing about and clearly no regard for component or human safety.

    Point one: you cant generalise a number like that when it comes to such a broad spectrum as a cpu or gpu heat tollerance!
    Evidence 1: I own a i7 (3770k) and it runs at 50-90°c (depending on room tempurature and what kind of load its working with) and thats totally normal in a well ventilated case.
    Evidence 2: i also own an Ati Radeon HD 4850 and that runs at 70-80°c in IDLE! But never exceed 88°c!

    Point nr 2: NEVER touch a component inside the case when in use! Yoy dont want to cause a short or burn yourself on the hot components, or get something stuck in a fan!
    There are sensors to tell you the general temperature for every major component in your computer. Or atleast every component that needs such a device or security messure.

    Please read your post thuroughly before posting it! These kind of ideas are why we cant have nice things!!!

  29. Len
    September 2, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    House dust is not "mostly dead skin".

  30. Donald P
    September 2, 2014 at 5:37 am

    My computer is at 42C. as I write this. It usually starts at about 35-36C. and climbs to 42-43C. This HP pc has been like this since I bought it about 4-years ago.

  31. Brian
    September 2, 2014 at 3:40 am

    I hear a lot of bad advice here. In general, a desktop should run between 30 and 50 Celcius, and a laptop usually can run up to 70 C, depending on the CPU and the load placed on it. Check CPU usage in a monitor program. I use Speed Fan 4.49 version.

    If your laptop or CPU cannot get itself below 40 C at idle in a room below 78 F, then you may have one of the three problems:

    1. Heat sink and or fan is inadequate,, case fans inadequate, or not enough room (cramped case) to move air around.
    2. You are trying to overclock beyond the CPU / mobo capabilities,
    3. Nobody mentioned this, but is soooo verrrrry important!!!!
    -remove the heat sink from the CPU and see if there is too much or too little amount of heat sink compound, like Arctic Silver. People put too much on, only need the equivalent of a grain of rice, and before that, you have to take a credit card or razor blade and sweep the compound over the heat sink and the CPU to fill in those "microscopic" holes. Sometimes the CPU must heat and cool for 20 cycles to cool down as the compound spreads effectively.
    hope this helps from my years of experience.

  32. pmshah
    September 2, 2014 at 3:27 am

    There is another aspect to overheating - Wasted Energy. I used to have major problems with Athon 64 overheating and shutting down. I had to place a table fan blowing air directly on to the motherboard after removing the cover. I live in an area where we have , what you might consider extreme variation of temperatures. The ambient in summer can go as high as 44° C and as low as 4°C in winters.

    I also noticed that laptops too has problems if they were placed directly on the
    table. I simply rolled up 2 newspapers and placed them below the laptop making clear and heightened passage for air underneath. This solved the problem.

    For my PC I switched to "T" suffix Intel processor and have never had problem again. In fact they are so efficient that my my power bill has halved! Goes without saying that PC system in my place is the biggest consumer in my place.

  33. John Williams
    September 1, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    I'd take slight issue with the following -
    "If you have access to the computer’s interior, gently touch the components. Expect them to be quite warm, but none should be hot enough to elicit you pulling your hand away."

    Some "silent" fanless graphics cards often have the black finned heatsink running at 50 Centigrade. That's a bit of a shock if you touch it!
    Pulling your hand away is a good thing, but a better guide would be "It's pretty hot but I wouldn't want to keep my hand there for very long."

    If a heatsink is so hot it will burn you it has probably already shut the electronics down. Just like an overheated car - open the hood by all means, but keep your fingers out for twenty minutes.

    • Philip Bates
      September 5, 2014 at 10:34 am

      You're completely right: I meant to fix that in an edit. Naturally, make sure it's all switched off first. And I didn't really mean touch an important component and certainly not the heat-conductive material. Sorry, I should've clarified.

      Thank you for commenting. :)

  34. Jimmy.
    September 1, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    It is a serious issue that needs to be raised, and well done to the
    team for raising awareness.

    • Philip Bates
      September 5, 2014 at 10:36 am

      Thanks, Jimmy; glad you enjoyed it. People do generally ignore overheating until it's too late and an important part needs replacing (etc.). I fully admit that I was guilty of this a few years ago, but thankfully, the system was saved relatively easily.

  35. John Williams
    September 1, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Fluff ...
    All electronics "breathes in" drawing cooler dusty air in from your fluffy bedroom carpet. House dust is mostly dead skin. PC fans are never strong enough to blow the dust out. The same thing happens with electric heaters, hair dryers etc.

    The dustiest computers belong to girls. Girls also use more laptops and run them on the bed, the carpet, a cushion etc. Girls laptops are hot - and not in a good way..

    The dust gets impacted - a quick squirt with a can of air is not enough - you must dismantle it. You can barely tease it out with a toothpick sometimes. You would think the muck was glued on. If you still smoke it probably IS glued on with tar vapours.

    Unless you built it yourself with Artic silver or some other quality heat paste, you should check under the fan. All the paste will usually be dry and useless.

    You wouldn't run a car for over a year without servicing it. Your car isn't even "on" 20 hours a day like your PC - so clean it and do it properly.

    Your PC is designed to run at 35 Centigrade max - same as your body. But it's a max. When you reach 35 C ambient, you can no longer cool yourself and you shut down. So does the PC. You will peg out long before the PC!

    Most consumer electronics are nothing like as sophisticated as a modern PC motherboard. Most MB's are now built to be overclocked, but very few are. All electronics running at higher than "normal" temperatures - due to dust - will have a shorter lifespan. Sadly, we throw stuff away so quickly these days no one seems to care.

  36. Punky260
    August 31, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Sorry, but the numbers are totally taken out of the air.
    There are several dozen 'modern' CPU-Types with totally different operating and dangerous temperatures - extremely more when it comes to graphics cards, mainboards and RAM. So you can't just pic a number and say thats too hot.

    Please tell the people how to find out there their individuel numbers instead of throwing around temps you just assume as bad...

  37. Jared
    August 31, 2014 at 9:42 am

    You may safely operate any consumer grade computer consistently in temperatures of over a hundred degrees. That is perfectly aok. Engineers stress test chips well beyond that. Do you actually think customers in the middle east have better computers, or something? It amazes me how many writers for this site routinely get their facts wrong. In fact, why the hell am I here?

    • rob
      September 1, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      I ask myself that question more and more these days when it comes to this site.

  38. Adrian
    August 30, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I live in the tropics where the average temperature is about 29 °C sometimes reaching a high of 34 °C. I've had several computers and they've all lasted over three for one which developed a sort of fungus on the CPU touchpins (that I suspect was a humidity issue rather than a heat issue).

    • Martin
      April 6, 2015 at 9:09 am

      MY HP PC has lasted over 6 years now,
      An i3 with 6 GB RAM + Nvidia Gefore GTX 660 TI Graphic card + PSU is the only mod I made it still runs and play the wildest games in ultra high still runs and runs perfectly because I take care of it, clean it once in a while, re installed win 7 64 bit a few times over the years else runs like a charm..

      HP is the F PC's of the PC's remem 6 years old and still top PC bac then it was state of the art.. How many can say that? :)