What should be the temperature of my computer processor?

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope
Computer CPU

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.

Note

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:

  1. Computer runs much more slowly
  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. 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.

  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. 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.
  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.
  4. Thermal paste - If the processor or fan was recently replaced or repaired, you might want to clean it and re-apply thermal paste.
  5. 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.
  6. 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