How to Monitor Computer Hardware Temperatures

The reason to monitor computer hardware temperatures is that every device we use requires a combination of hardware components to work. Every device has hardware components such as Processor, Ram, GPU, etc. When you are using your device these electronic components are consistently working which generates heat. The heat range can vary depending on the usage of these components. Normally, there is no issue with this heat as these components are designed for a specific heat range.

These components usually have their heat sink to dissipate heat and manage their temperature. However, a malfunctioning heat sink or any other issue such as bad thermal paste or even dust buildup can cause an overheating issue. An overheating component can reduce performance or completely fail. So, it is necessary to monitor computer hardware temperatures so we can prevent this from happening.

Now a day most devices such as mobiles, tablets, etc. are completely sealed and require experts to open and solve these issues as they are designed for a limited lifespan but when it comes to your Desktop PCs especially the non branded ones you can easily fix these problems. Laptops can also be fixed but requires a bit more effort and care from the user part. In this article, we will show you how to monitor your hardware temperature in Windows 10 and will also give you a few tips on fixing overheating issues. This article is applicable for both Laptops and Desktop computers using Windows.

Note:The hardware temperatures can vary depending on the load and ambient temperatures. So always try to test your hardware temperatures under load conditions and different ambient temperatures before considering it as a problem.

Monitor Computer Hardware Temperatures

It is always a good idea to monitor hardware temperatures on your computer to make sure that everything is working correctly. Especially, gamers require full performance out of their hardware to get the best gaming experience. Unfortunately, Windows does not have embedded hardware temperature monitors but luckily a lot of free software can do this job.

Max Temperatures

The maximum temperature hardware can take can vary from hardware to hardware. Most of the time manufacturers provide us with detailed information about the hardware max temperatures on their website. Usually, external GPUs are rated and have a heat sink capable of handling higher temperatures but fixing a CPU temperature issue is usually easier than fixing a GPU temperature issue in your PC. So my preference for max temperatures is as follows. I have noticed performance issues when my hard temperatures exceed the following maximums.

  • Max Temperature for CPU under load should be around 75-80 Celcius (167-176 Fahrenheit).
  • Max Temperature for GPU Under load should be around 85-90 Celcius (185-194 Fahrenheit)

Note: Laptops will have much higher temperatures than these limits as the hardware components are packed together

Usually, most software shows temperatures in Celcius. Remember the above numbers I provided are my personal preference for fixing a problem these figures might not be the absolute max for your hardware and your hardware might rate lower in the max temperatures rating so please check it before considering it as a problem. Although, if your computer is nearing max temperatures that means something is malfunctioning.

Softwares to monitor computer hardware temperatures.

Here is the list of some of our favorite software and how they work.

Please note that all the links that we provide are from the software official websites and are safe to use.

Speccy (Download Here)

Speccy is a very handy and easy to use software by Piriform with a very easy to understand UI. You can download speccy by opening this link and selecting free download. So, install speccy after downloading and open the software. As you open the software you will be able to see temperatures for your hardware. You can click on the specific hardware to see more details

Use Speccy to Monitor Hardware Temperatures

These are idle temperatures as you can see in these pictures it can vary under load. So always try to find out temperatures underload to get a more accurate reading of your components. You can keep this software on and play a game or use the following software to perform a stress test.

Warning: Please perform stress test at your own risk as it can max out your hardware and can cause it to fail if performed for longer periods.

Open Hardware Monitor (Download Here)

This is one of my favorite software to monitor pc temperatures as it provides more detailed information and usually picks up all the working sensors on your pc. However, the UI is very basic and not as user friendly as Speccy and might be difficult to understand. Because this software is not just a temperature monitor but a monitor for all your hardware functions.

Use Hardware Monitor to Monitor Hardware Temperatures

I recommend using the above-listed software to check computer hardware temperatures in your PC and also compare them both for a more accurate reading. Use both software under load

Speccy can be downloaded and installed easily however the Open Hardware Monitor comes pre-installed and just need to be extracted to run.

MSI Afterburner (Download Here)

MSI Afterburner is one of the best software to monitor your hardware while gaming. You can enable the in-game overlay of MSI Afterburner to get the real-time statistics of your Hardware. This is a very handy software to monitor your hardware temperatures, usage, etc. Not all games will max out your hardware but if you are getting high temperatures on lower loads there might be a problem in your hardware. Monitoring is not the main function of this software so it can be confusing for a new user to enable monitoring. So here is how you can set up Msi Afterburner for monitoring.

Warning: Please don’t make changes in the software without knowledge. As this software is used primarily for overclocking purposes changing any settings can damage your hardware.

First Download and Install the MSI Afterburner. It will ask you to  Install RivaTuner Statistics during installation. It is very important to accept and install RivaTuner Statistics to enable monitoring.

Next, open up the software here you will see the main screen click on the settings icon

Use MSI burner to Monitor hardware temperatures

Now click on monitoring.

Select the item you want to monitor and tick show on-screen display and select OK. You can scroll down to find your CPU to set it up for monitoring during games. The items you selected will say “in OSD” in properties.

Now, this software will display the selected monitoring options in-game. With this software, you can monitor hardware temperatures while gaming.

Monitor Hardware Temperatures

You can also double click on the bottom of the software to open/detach the MSI Afterburner hardware monitor.

Causes of High Temperatures

There can be many reasons that your hardware is overheating. From a simple issue such as dust or old thermal paste to the faulty heatsink or fans. Here are a few causes of high temperature.

  • Casing With Bad AirFlow
  • Very high ambient temperature (especially during summers)
  • Hardware enveloped with dust.
  • Bad Thermal Paste
  • Failing Heat Sink.
  • Failing Fans.

Some of these issues can be fixed depending on the hardware. If you are using a Desktop computer you might be able to fix them your self. However, for laptops, it might be difficult for you, or it might void the warranty if you open it up. Although if you don’t have any knowledge about the hardware components do not try to fix it your self and hire a professional.

Potential Fixes

Here is a list of potential fixes.

  • Placing your Computer in a room with low ambient temperature or upgrading the Casing for better airflow.
  • Cleaning dust of your hardware components with a blower. This might not apply to laptops.
  • Changing the thermal paste of the CPU or external GPU to fix the overheating problem. Changing CPU thermal paste is easier and recommended but for GPU it will void the warranty of the GPU when you open it up. So it is not recommended to change the thermal paste just blowing of dust or adjusting the fan speed might work out. Also, opening up a laptop can void its warranty as well.
  • Setting hardware fans to manual and set speed to max. If you are facing a high temp issue you can manually set the fan speed to get better performance however this will drastically decrease the life span of your fans. You can use software such as MSI Afterburner.
  • Replacing heat sink or fan if possible.

You can use these tips to reduce your pc temperatures however please note that use high-quality thermal paste whenever you change it. I will write another article regarding the quality and prices of thermal pastes.

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About the Author: Zeeshan Khan

Zeeshan is a Journalist, Computer Geek and a Technology Enthusiast with a knack for Writing. He is currently working as a Technical Writer for AIIT Solutions and techhowtodo.com.

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