What should be the temperature of my computer processor?
The 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.
Average processor temperatures under full load
The majority of today's desktop processors should not exceed temperatures of 45-50°C when idle, or 80°C when under full load. Below is a chart listing many types of processors and their average temperatures under full load.
Keep in mind, the average temps below are provided to give you a general idea of the temperature of a processor.
|Processor||Average temp under full load|
|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||65°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 following situations:
Continuing to use a computer that has a processor that is exceeding its temperature will reduce the life expectancy of the processor.
Depending on your computer's hardware layout, the thermal sensors may not be positioned in an optimal location. If so, the reported temperature may not be entirely accurate. If your computer's temperature is approaching the maximum, or you are experiencing the issues listed above, you may want to try the following recommendations.
What can I do to get my processor cooler?
The cooler the processor runs, the better it will perform. Therefore, if you are looking to overclock your processor or if it is getting too hot, you should consider some or all of the following recommendations.
- 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.
- 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. A computer should not be in a tight space, there should be at least a two-inch space on both sides and in the front and back.
- 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.
- Thermal paste - If the processor or fan was recently replaced or repaired, you might want to clean it and re-apply thermal paste.
- More fans - Consider installing additional fans into the computer. Nearly all desktop computers come with a processor heat sink and fan, as well as a case fan. However, most cases accommodate additional fans.
- 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
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.