What should be the temperature of my computer processor?

Computer CPUThe appropriate operating temperature of your processor depends on its manufacturer, top clock speed, where the sensor is located, and what programs it is currently running. However, this document should give you a general idea of what temperatures are acceptable under certain conditions.

The majority of today's desktop processors should not exceed temperatures of 35°C and most run between 21°-32°C. Below is a chart listing many types of processors and their average temperatures. Keep in mind, this is only to give our users a general idea of what their processor should be running at. If you believe your computer is running too hot, you can skip to the bottom of this document for information about the safe temperature range for your processor.

Processors Average temperature
AMD A6 45°C - 57°C
AMD A10 50°C - 60°C
AMD Athlon 85°C - 95°C
AMD Athlon 64 45°C - 60°C
AMD Athlon 64 X2 45°C - 55°C
AMD Athlon 64 Mobile 80°C - 90°C
AMD Athlon FX 45°C - 60°C
AMD Athlon II X4 50°C - 60°C
AMD Athlon MP 85°C - 95°C
AMD Athlon XP 80°C - 90°C
AMD Duron 85°C - 95°C
AMD K5 60°C - 70°C
AMD K6 60°C - 70°C
AMD K6 Mobile 75°C - 85°C
AMD K7 Thunderbird 70°C - 95°C
AMD Opteron 65°C - 71°C
AMD Phenom II X6 45°C - 55°C
AMD Phenom X3 50°C - 60°C
AMD Phenom X4 50°C - 60°C
AMD Sempron 85°C - 95°C
Intel Celeron 67°C - 85°C
Intel Core 2 Duo 45°C - 55°C
Intel Core i3 50°C - 60°C
Intel Core i5 50°C - 62°C
Intel Core i7 50°C - 65°C
Intel Pentium II 65°C - 75°C
Intel Pentium III 60°C - 85°C
Intel Pentium 4 45°C - 65°C
Intel Pentium Mobile 70°C - 85°C
Intel Pentium Pro 75°C - 85°C

How will I know if my processor is running too hot?

If a processor gets too hot you will notice one or more of the below situations. Often these issues will be encountered when running programs or especially when playing an advanced game.

  1. Computer runs much slower
  2. Computer restarts often
  3. Computer randomly turns off

Continuing to use a computer that has a processor that is exceeding its temperature will reduce the life expectancy of the processor.

Note: Depending on your computer's hardware layout, the thermal sensors may not be positioned in an optimal location. This may cause the temperature to be reported cooler or hotter than it actually is. If your computer's temperature is approaching the maximum or you are experiencing the above issues, you may want to try the below recommendations to reduce it.

What can I do to get my processor cooler?

The cooler the processor runs, the more performance you are going to get out of it. Therefore, if you are looking to overclock your processor or if it is getting too hot, you may need to consider some or all of the below recommendations.

  1. Keep the computer clean - Over time dust, dirt, and hair can build up and prevent air from getting in or out of the case. Make sure your computer case and ventilation is cleaned.
  2. Improve computer's environment - Make sure the computer is running in a good location. The computer should not be in an enclosed space such as a drawer or cabinet unless there is plenty of ventilation such as the back of the drawer or cabinet is removed. The computer should not be in a tight space, there should be at least a two-inch space on both sides of the computer as well as in the front and back of the computer.
  3. Verify fans - Make sure all fans in the computer are properly working. Some motherboards and computers have fan monitors that displays the RPM of each of the major fans in the computer and if they are operating properly. Otherwise, you need to check each of the fans and look for any spinning issues or listen for any abnormal noises to determine if the fans are properly working.
  4. Thermal paste - If the processor or fan has been replaced or worked on it may be necessary to clean off and then re-apply the thermal paste that helps transfer the heat away from the processor.
  5. More fans - Consider installing additional fans into the computer. Almost all computers will come included with a heat sink and fan, as well as a case fan. However, most cases have the availability to install a second case fan that can help bring in additional air and help keep the computer cool. Computer enthusiasts and many overclockers may also create their own air ducts with fans to help bring in additional air or take out more of the hot air.
  6. Better fans - Many computers and processors will come with cheap fans to help bring down the overall cost of the computer. Installing improved fans or heat sinks that can move the heat away from the processor better and faster can keep the processor cool.
  7. Alternative solutions - More advanced users or users who are overclocking may also want to consider alternative solutions such as water cooled solutions to keep their processors cool.

My computer displays the temperature in Fahrenheit and not Celsius

Visit our JavaScript Celsius to Fahrenheit converter to convert a Celsius value into Fahrenheit.

Third-party information

For more specific information about the processor you are running, you need to either consult your product documentation or visit Chris Hare's Processor Electrical Specification page.

Additional information