Your CPU can get hot at times, and it is important for you to learn about how to lower CPU temperature. This way, you will be able to extend the overall lifespan of your processor and keep things running smoothly.
Also, you might want to read our guide on how to lower GPU temperature.
- A high CPU temperature can damage the component in the long run.
- There are several methods that can help with lowering CPU temperatures, such as replacing the thermal paste, using liquid metal, and more.
- Old thermal paste, incorrect placement of PC case, and a poor CPU cooler can lead to high CPU temperatures.
What Should Be An Ideal CPU Temperature?
Before heading on to finding ways to reduce your CPU temperature, you must know the scale of temperatures for your CPU that will be considered fine. This will help you learn what is okay for your CPU and keep you alarmed if you find it facing unusual temperatures.
An ideal temperature range for a CPU can lie anywhere between 40C to 65C (104F to 149F) when you are using it to carry out tasks of a normal workload. However, if your workload is heavy, then your CPU temperature range can lie anywhere between 70C to 80C (158F to 176F).
In case your CPU temperature goes above these ranges, you can take help from this article by figuring out what is causing the rise in the CPU temperature and how you can lower it. You can read our guide on what your CPU temperature should be while gaming.
How To Lower CPU Temperature
Following are some methods that can help lower your CPU temperature.
Clean Your CPU
It is quite common to have dust cover your PC components over time. This dust can block the bearings of fans. Furthermore, it can cover the components to a point where cold air would not reach them, and they become overheated. Your CPU can be at risk of great damage if the dust is not cleaned off of it.
It will start to wear out, and it might even reach a point where you might not be able to fix it. Therefore, you need to clean your CPU, its cooler fan, and the rest of the PC components occasionally. You can do this by using a can of compressed air. However, you can do it without compressed air too. You can use a damp cloth to get rid of dust that would not budge from its place. We also have detailed guides on how to clean PC fans and tempered glass.
It is very important to be extra careful when carrying out this task, as your CPU and the rest of the PC components are extremely delicate and are prone to damage quite easily. After you have carried out this task, make sure to check the temperatures and see if the CPU temperature has lowered.
Reducing Your PC Usage.
One thing that should be kept in mind before you head on to the rest of the solutions to lower your CPU temperature is to check your PC usage. Often PC users avoid paying attention to their usage and blame something else when their CPU temperatures get high.
You are highly likely to face high CPU temperatures if your usage is beyond the usual limit. If you spend an ample amount of time on your PC and use your CPU to its extreme limits, then it is bound to get its temperatures high as well.
It will be a good step to see if your usage is the problem. Giving your CPU some rest is good for its lifespan and your health too.
Clearing Out Wires In The Way
Oftentimes, when you disassemble the components inside your computer case and put them back, the wiring job is not done the best. The wires can come in the way of fans. This stops the fans from spinning and doing their job of circulating the air around the computer case.
Moreover, the wires often cover some of the components, which in this case, can keep the cold air from reaching the CPU. The CPU will overheat eventually. To prevent this from happening, it is important that you tape such wires and put them in a place where they do not cover the CPU or any other component and also do not come in the way of any of the fans that are present in the computer case.
Changing The Place Of the Computer Case
Just because there are fans installed to do the job of keeping things cool does not mean they are enough. The place where you keep the computer case plays a huge role in keeping the temperatures at bay.
If you have your computer case placed in a concise place, then it will prevent the cool air from coming into the computer case, as the hot air will have no place to escape from the area in which the computer case is kept.
Therefore, you must place your computer case in an open area with enough space for air to circulate properly to keep the CPU temperature low. Also, if you reside in a naturally hot area, it is advised that you have an AC in the room that can help maintain the temperature of your CPU.
Putting On New Thermal Paste
A lot of people might be unaware of thermal paste. It is not something that lies right in front of your eyes when the computer case is opened. The thermal paste rests between the heatsink and the processor.
The thermal paste has the job of radiating the heat of the CPU and keeping it cool. It should be reapplied every 2 to 4 years. However, most experts recommend that you change it every year, just to stay on the safe side. We have discussed this in detail in our thermal paste lifespan guide. If you have had a PC for a long time and have not tried this solution, then you should go for it. You can check out our guide on how to clean thermal paste off the CPU.
This might likely be the reason behind the unusual CPU temperature. After application of the thermal paste, do keep a check on the performance of your CPU, and if you see a noticeable change, then you might have just figured out the problem.
Improving The Cooling Elements
Mainly, the cooling element for a PC would comprise the fans. The fans are usually enough to do a job of keeping your CPU cool and keep things working perfectly. If you are someone who has heavy usage and uses the PC for gaming and video editing purposes, then the fans might not be enough for you.
Therefore, if you feel like you need to step up and take things to the next level, then there are options for you, like water-cooling your CPU. This is a whole system that gets installed within your computer case. Installing a liquid cooler is also a pretty easy task.
It does the job of radiating the heat of your CPU and the rest of the components even better. If you install it, you can shake off the thoughts and worries of your CPU getting overheated.
Installing More Fans
Despite having fans installed in your computer case, the air might not be well circulated. It might be because lesser fans are doing the job of exhaust, and the hot air is not being let out enough.
There is a possibility that even the cold air that comes in doesn’t do its job due to the excessive amount of hot air that is inside the computer case. Therefore, installing more fans is a good idea so that the air can come in and go out evenly.
This way, the hot air would not stay inside the computer case for long, and your CPU won’t be at risk of becoming overheated.
Speeding Up Your Fans
If you have already performed the task of cleaning and even adding new fans, yet there is still the problem of overheating, then this might be because your fan speed is not high enough.
Your fans might not be letting the air in and out at the pace that is required. They might be taking way too long to circulate the air inside the computer case. You can try to increase the fan speed by following the steps below.
- Enter Settings.
- Click on Update and Security.
- Click on the Recovery tab.
- Click on Restart, located under Advanced Startup.
- Click on Troubleshoot.
- Click on Advanced Options.
- Click on UEFI Firmware Settings.
- Click on Restart.
After the system boots and enters the BIOS, look out for the Fan speed control setting and increase it.
Undervolt Your CPU
Another important method that we would like to mention in our how-to lower CPU temperature guide is Undervolting. This is a process in which we restrict a CPU’s power consumption by reducing the voltage it receives. It is a tried and tested method known to be completely safe. The idea is to find the minimum voltage your CPU can run on without losing its performance. This may sound like a dangerous idea, but, as mentioned before, it is completely safe and perhaps one of the most effective ways to maximize the performance of our CPU.
Undervolting can be done either on the firmware level by tweaking the BIOS or using software like Intel Extreme Tuning Utility or ThrottleStop. Users from team red can use Ryzen Master. We suggest the latter method as these software are more user friendly and tweaking in BIOS is only recommended when you know what you are doing.
- Download and install the appropriate software: If you are using an intel CPU, download Intel Extreme Tuning Utility. If you are using AMD CPU, download Ryzen Master. Install the required software and run it as an administrator.
- Benchmarking: Find your way into the Basic Tuning Tab. This is where you will benchmark your CPU. Stress test your CPU and monitor all the important readings like temperatures, clock speeds, and power drawn. Repeat the process two more times.
- Advanced Tuning: Next, head to advanced tuning and find a slider labeled “Core Voltage Offset.” This is where we control the voltages received by our CPU. By default, it will be set as 0.000V.
- Set the baseline: This is more of a trial-and-error method. The goal is to find the lowest voltage your CPU runs at without losing performance. We recommend starting with a smaller decrement, like -0.020mV. Apply the undervolt and run the same benchmark again and observe any changes. If your CPU performs exactly how it was performing previously, you can apply another decrement. Repeat this process until you find the minimum optimum voltage your CPU runs at while maintaining the same score at the benchmark. This is the voltage we will recommend you to undervolt your CPU at.
- Apply the settings and quit: Your undervolt has been successfully applied. The next step is to apply and save the settings and exit the program. Try gaming for a while and notice if you see a drop in your CPU temperatures.
Disable Irrelevant Apps Launching At Startup
When you have too many apps scheduled to launch, as soon as your system boots up, your CPU will spend extra power to get those apps ready for you as soon as the system starts. This will cost additional processing power from the start. Your CPU will automatically run hotter as soon as it’s powered on. Disabling these apps will provide your CPU with a sigh of relief.
- Head over to the settings.
- Find the tab labeled “Apps.”
- Scroll down to find “startup.”
- Find the list of apps launching at startup and their impact.
- Disable irrelevant apps with high impact from launching at startup.
Use Liquid Metal
Liquid metal is known to perform miles better than your average thermal paste regarding thermal conductivity. It provides a much better cooling solution and will reduce CPU temperatures by a few degrees. Liquid metal has an average thermal conductivity rating of around 73 watts per meter kelvin (w/mk). Before you install liquid metal, check out our guide on how to clean thermal paste off your CPU.
- Open your PC case.
- Remove the heatsink from your CPU.
- Wipe the previously applied thermal paste off the CPU using alcohol pads.
- Apply a few drops of liquid metal thermal component.
- Reapply the heatsink.
- Observe the change in CPU temperatures.
Revert Any Overclocking
Gamers love to test the limit of their hardware by squeezing every last bit of performance out of it. This does grant a few more fps in games but at the cost of higher clock speeds which leads to higher temperatures. Overclocking is only recommended if your PC has sufficient cooling to support it. If you are struggling to bring CPU temperatures down, then it is advised to revert any overclocking and run your hardware at base clock speeds.
Invest In Air Conditioning
Ideally, the temperature of your room will greatly impact the temperature of your components. Higher room temperature will inevitably result in higher CPU temperature. If your PC is situated in a room with a higher temperature than other rooms, and moving your PC is not an option, then we recommend investing in air conditioning. Air conditioning will bring your room temperature down by a lot, directly impacting your CPU temperatures, which are also supposed to go down with your room temperature.
Try Changing Drivers
We always recommend updating your drivers on time and downloading them specifically from the OEM website. However, there can be an exception to this. Sometimes, the manufacturer can roll out a malfunctioning driver update that can make your hardware behave in unpleasant ways. In this case, it is recommended to roll back to the previous version of the driver and observe the temperature difference. If your temperatures appear more stable, stick to the previous version and wait for a new patch from the manufacturer.
Get Yourself A New Computer Case
Sometimes, even your computer case can be a problem. It might not be suitable for the components or have the right amount of space to let the air in and out. If the case is too small, the components can get closely packed with each other, which can cause overheating issues.Having a computer case that gives your components, including the CPU, a little more space can help a lot too. The air will be able to reach and keep the CPU much cooler. The CPU can also be safe from the other components’ heat. Therefore, choosing a new and bigger computer case can also be a solution to this problem in some cases.
What Happens If Your CPU Gets Too Hot?
Running your CPU at a higher temperature for long periods will inevitably shorten its lifespan. CPUs start to thermal throttle when they reach a certain temperature limit. That is when your CPU automatically lowers its core and memory speeds and compromises the performance to save the hardware. The CPU continues to run at these lower clock speeds until a safe temperature is achieved.
If the temperature is not stabilized and continues to rise, the built-in protection of your CPU will automatically shut it down, and you will not be able to use it until the temperatures go down. Higher CPU temperatures will also bombard you with blue screens of death and other system malfunctions. You will leave a lot of performance on the table. The system will perform slower and freeze occasionally. You will notice consistent frame drops in games. All of these will shorten the lifespan of your CPU by a considerable margin.
This was everything you needed to know about how to lower CPU temperature. It is necessary for you to keep an eye on your CPU temperatures. You must take immediate action when you see an unusual rise.
It is important to regularly maintain your PC, clean it and look out for any issues. Most of the small issues that are ignored can seem to be a cause of greater problems in the future. You must look out for these underlying issues to protect your CPU from irreparable damage.
This will also help in boosting your CPUs performance and increase its lifespan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Thermal paste is necessary for a CPU, as the component can get damaged quickly without it due to overheating.
As soon as your CPU hits 90C or above, you should know that it is in an extremely vulnerable position and can become damaged at any time.
You don’t have to worry about damage as long as you assemble the system properly. If the system is not assembled well, then you might be at risk of leaks.
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