Are you new to building PCs or simply curious about the temperatures that your CPU should run at? You might know how important proper temperatures are for keeping our digital computers running optimally.
But do you really know what the best CPU idle temp is, and what normal CPU temperatures should be while gaming? You’re in luck! In this post, I’ll be exploring what is considered an ideal or normal idle and gaming temperature for a CPU.
I’ll touch on factors like ambient environmental conditions and how they can affect the different temps of your processor. In the end, you should have a better understanding of acceptable cpu temp ranges and how to keep your processor running cool while gaming. So let’s get into it!
Why does the processor get hot?
First, let’s talk about CPU temperatures in general. Like many electronic devices, processors generate heat due to the electricity passing through them. However, the complexity and density of transistors inside a CPU mean that CPUs can get hot — dangerously hot — during operation if they are not properly cooled.
Without proper cooling and thermal throttling (the process by which an overheated CPU slows itself down), the CPU will be in danger of overheating to failure every time it is used. That’s why cooling is one of the most important parts of any PC: desktop, laptop, pocket or any other.
Powerful processing requires powerful heat dissipation to prevent overheating, thermal throttling, and other problems. With these general rules in mind, let’s talk about idle temperatures.
Good CPU idle temperatures
When the CPU is not under heavy load, it is said to be idle . Idle should be the best scenario for your CPU and your entire PC build as it consumes less power and there is no hard work going on.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case, especially if your PC has some fundamental cooling issues that have yet to be addressed.
So what are good idle CPU temperatures?
The nominal temperature, which is considered normal, may differ slightly for different processor type models. This directly depends on its main characteristics: clock speed, number of cores, heat dissipation requirements (TDP) and what system the processor is designed for – for a PC or laptop.
The average maximum temperatures that are considered normal for most processors are:
- up to 45 degrees Celsius in idle mode (Windows desktop running, no programs running)
- up to 65 degrees Celsius under load (during video games, 3D rendering, archiving large amounts of information, and other resource-intensive tasks)
If the temperature of the processor in idle and under load in your PC or laptop significantly exceeds these figures, you need to check the cooling system to avoid negative consequences.
Since when the temperature rises above 75 degrees, the processor will work outside the temperature limits for which it was designed. And this can lead to the degradation of the processor elements and its failure if such work is constant and long enough.
You can also get numbers well below that by opting for something like liquid cooling, though depending on the climate you live in, it can be difficult to get below room temperature* in standby mode.
Maximum temperatures (Tj Max)
In the range of Intel processors, they usually have models that support temperatures of up to 100 degrees in laptop models and unlocked models (K and HK). The newer 7th, 8th and 9th generation Intel multi and dual Core models for desktops support up to 95 and 100 degrees , while those of previous generations range from 70 or 80ºC.
If we go to the AMD range , we have its current Ryzen range with all its chips unlocked and that support temperatures between 95 and 105ºC . In the case of AMD FX we will have maximum temperatures of only 60 or 70 degrees . For their part, the Athlon supports about 95ºC , while the Threadripper only supports maximum temperatures of 68ºC .
Of course, there are many models and generations, so if you want to know a specific model, it is best to look for it on the manufacturers’ websites . At ark.intel.com and AMD.com you can look up your processor model and find out this information.
Causes of heating and overheating
The range of possible causes of overheating of computer components is quite wide. First of all, too high a load on the system can lead to an excessive increase in temperature or computer crash. Do not forget that the hardware resources of any computer are limited and no processor can handle too many tasks at the same time.
In order to check if the processor is overloading any individual programs, the easiest way is to use the task manager (called by the key combination Ctrl + Alt + Delete). In the list of active processes, you can easily sort them by the degree of CPU load and identify especially resource-intensive programs.
In addition to what was said above: some viruses can easily drive the silicon chip temperature into peaks, using the capabilities of your computer for their own purposes. In recent years, with the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, attackers are increasingly resorting to miner viruses that can squeeze all the power out of a PC.
Do not forget that the temperature of the components of a personal computer is affected by the environment. If the computer is in an unventilated room or, worse, located near heating elements, this will adversely affect the thermal state of the processor and other elements of the system.
Finally, the most common cause of overheating is a malfunction of the cooling system. Their range is so wide that it deserves a special section.
How hot can a processor get?
You might be wondering what temperatures processors can reach under load. A general piece of advice to be aware of is that processors work great in temperatures up to 90 degrees. In this range and above, your processor will start to overheat and require thermal throttling (which reduces performance) to prevent permanent damage.
Does overclocking shorten the life of a processor?
Do not try to increase the speed of your CPU if it is already hot. Overclocking can be safe, but it often causes a hotter processor – even when it is not being used. If you want to reduce the heat, lower the voltage or get a better cooling system. But don’t worry too much. As long as your CPU function is cooled properly and stable, overclocking should not damage it permanently.
What is thermal throttling?
Thermal throttling is the process of automatically reducing the clock speed and voltage of a processor when it reaches its maximum temperature threshold. Thermal throttling helps protect your CPU from overheating, but it also reduces performance. So if you’re having problems with overheating, make sure to check the cooling system and environment, as well as consider reducing the clock speed and voltage to prevent thermal throttling.
How can I reduce the temperature of my processor?
The best way to reduce the temperature of your processor is to make sure it is getting adequate cooling. Check to see if your heatsink and fan are clean, dust-free, and properly installed. You can also try adding additional fans to improve airflow, or replacing the fan with a better one. Finally, you can reduce the temperature by reducing the voltage/clock speed of your processor. Keep in mind that this could reduce performance as well.
The temperature of a processor can have an important impact on its performance, durability and even safety. It is essential that you know what temperatures your processor can handle before pushing it too far.
Generally speaking, processors work best in temperatures up to 90 degrees, and any higher than that can cause thermal throttling which reduces performance and increases the risk of permanent damage.
There are many possible causes of overheating, so be sure to check the cooling system and environment as well as software settings if you’re experiencing an issue with processor temperature. By following these steps, you should be able to keep your processor running at safe temperatures and ensure that it remains in optimal condition.
- Also Read: How much RAM should be used at idle? What’s Normal Percentage?
- Related: Is Intel Celeron Good? (For School, Programming or Gaming)?
Thus I conclude our article on knowing the normal temperature of a CPU and on how to lower the temperature of the CPU. Our recommendation is always to pay attention to the temperature and the state of our processor and other hardware.
Only in this way can we extend the life of our computer to the maximum, since, like any product, they also need maintenance.