How to Monitor Your CPU Temperature

Nobody likes it when their computer overheats, especially a laptop. Overheating can cause problems for your hardware, so it’s useful to know what the temperature of your PC is. When it comes to monitoring computer temperature, there are plenty of programs out there which can help you. Read on and see which CPU temp monitor works for you.

Using Core Temp for Basic Heat Monitoring

Core Temp is a CPU temp monitor that only measures temperatures of processors. Considering how important the CPU is for your computer, you need to know if it’s overheating or not.

Once you install Core Temp and run it, it will be in your system tray, either as a single icon or multiple ones. The more cores your CPU has, the more icons you’ll see. You can right-click on any icon to either hide or show the main window, with the information about your processor readily available. If your processor’s temperature comes close to the so-called Tj. Max value, you know you have an overheating problem, so keep it as far from that number as possible. This CPU temp monitor can show you that value, but if not, you can always Google it for your specific type of processor.

Configuring Core Temp

Going to the Settings bar will allow you to set Core Temp’s features. For example, you can set this CPU temp monitor to start every time you boot Windows. If you do this, make sure you set it to appear minimized, as it will take up less space and won’t bug you. Furthermore, you can choose to hide it and get some room in your taskbar.

A great feature of Core Temp is that you can show your CPU’s temperature in your notification area. You can even set at which time intervals it will appear by changing the Temperature Polling Interval. Alternatively, you can just set the program to appear as an icon in the notification area.

Naturally, Core Temp has far more options, but in terms of basics, these are all of the ones you need. Core Temp doesn’t take up a lot of room and can work quietly in the background, notifying you of how hot your CPU is at all times if you want it to. But it’s only good for a basic overview. For a more detailed overview, you’ll need a different program.

Using HWMonitor for Advanced Temperatures Monitoring

As stated above, overheating processors are a problem. However, you ought to pay attention to other components’ temperatures as well. Maybe it’s your graphics card or the motherboard that’s piping hot. Sometimes a hot hard drive can crash and you might lose important data because of it. Luckily there are programs out there which can monitor your PC across the board for hot temperatures. HWMonitor is one such program, and it can be downloaded for free.

Once you start up HWMonitor, it gives you a whole list of different details. These include temperatures, various other values, as well as the speed at which your components are running. If you scroll down to the “Core #” section, you will be able to see how hot your CPU is. You will want to pay attention to the “core temperature” section, as it is important. Of course, every component has its own section, and you can look at them with this program. Unfortunately, you can’t really do much else, as it is just a piece of monitoring software.

AMD and Its Processor Temperatures Issue

Nearly every AMD processor reports two different types of temperatures. One is called “Core Temperature” and the other is “CPU Temperature.” The one you should really pay attention to is the “Core Temperature.” It mimics an internal temp sensor that’s in the processor’s socket, which reads the “CPU Temperature”. Whenever you enter BIOS to check your CPU temperature, you will always get the “CPU” type, not the “Core” type. As noted, Core Temp will show this type of temperature, whereas HWMonitor will show you both types.

There’s a reason why you should pay attention to “Core Temperature” more. At high levels, it is far more correct than “CPU Temperature,” giving you the right values which you can use to act later. However, if your PC idles, the Core temperature can be strangely small. Sometimes it will show that it stands at about 15 degrees Celsius, which is just not possible for a CPU. If it heats up, though, you will get the proper value.

What to Do in Case of a Wrong or Missing Reading

Like all software, even Core Temp and HWMonitor can glitch or make mistakes. It’s nothing to panic about, as you can check a couple of things to make sure everything is working fine.

Sometimes it happens that a user is looking at two CPU temp monitors and that their given temperatures mismatch. Again, it’s important to know what the difference is between core temperature and CPU temperature. If you’re really comparing two of the same temperatures, the results should be the same. Remember, you’ll need to look at the core temperature.

There are also times when a computer just cannot support Core Temp. Core Temp is a new program, and it requires new OS and new software to work. Unfortunately, the only things you can do in that situation is to either buy a new computer or use different software that works with the Windows version and the hardware you have.

However, maybe the problem is with the CPU temp monitor itself. Make sure you have a new version of Core Temp. Older versions normally cannot provide a correct value if they cannot recognize new hardware. Update your monitoring programs and they should work fine. Normally these updates are automatic, but you can do it manually, just in case.

Of course, there are many other ways your monitoring programs can glitch or freeze, but the most common solutions are the ones above. Each of them can give you an idea of how to cool down your processor, or how not to overheat it.


All in all, you’ll only benefit from installing a CPU temp monitor. As a final note on overheating, here are a few things you can do to keep your PC cool. For all laptop users, make sure their vents are free to regulate air flow. Usually, a laptop overheats if you keep it in one spot for long periods of time. Both laptops and computers will also benefit if you blow the dust and dirt away from them. Get some compressed air (like a blow-dryer with a cold air option, for example) and get rid of all the dust. Fans will move more quickly and without interruptions, and your computer will be cooler.

Software-wise, you might want to turn off any process that uses a lot of your processing power. Simply open the Task Manager and shut down any program that does this. If they are important programs, check why they’re causing your CPU to use more power and overheat in the process.


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