Sometimes we tend to get so engrossed in gaming that we become oblivious that our CPU isn’t running at an optimal temperature. Keeping your CPU’s temperature in check not only improves the overall performance but also extends your CPU’s lifespan.
With that being said, there’s isn’t a straightforward answer to explain what should be the optimal CPU temperature while gaming. Instead, you have to consider several factors such as weather, types and the model of processors, room temperature, and so on.
A CPU must undertake most of the system’s tasks, so it tends to heat up real quick. In scenarios, if your CPU temperature goes beyond the optimal temperature limit, it causes severe damage to itself and other internal parts.
Besides, a CPU running at a higher temperature can reduce its performance, cause data corruption, and in some cases, can also lead to solder melting.
This article will cover what should be an optimal CPU temperature for gaming and how to optimize your PC for improved cooling. Suppose you want to make your CPU run faster and healthier.
In that case, you should read this post because you will understand the average CPU temperature for idle and gaming PCs in this article. Besides, we’ll also discuss tracking your CPU temperature and other helpful tips to help keep your CPU. So, without wasting any more time, let’s dive straight into it.
Optimal CPU Temperature While Gaming
An idle CPU temperature doesn’t matter. What matters more is its temperature while performing heavy-duty processing such as gaming – when the CPU is being put under constant stress.
That said, anywhere between 75°-80°C (158-176°F) can be considered the best CPU temperature range, provided you’ve got a cooling system installed and not overclocking the CPU. In some cases, the CPU’s temperature could go beyond 80°C, which isn’t considered optimal for longer gaming sessions.
But then again, you also have to consider that different types of games put different types of stress on the CPU. Games that rely heavily on graphics will undeniably put your CPU under more pressure. The temperature limit for all processors varies greatly, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re using an Intel or AMD processor.
As already mentioned, the ideal CPU temperature while gaming should not go beyond 176°F (80°C). In most situations, a CPU should run anywhere in the range of 167°-176°F (75°-80°C). Although Intel and AMD have indicated that their processors have no issues performing at 95 – 110°C (203 – 230°F), it still poses a risk to keep your CPU running in that temp range.
Modern AMD Ryzen CPUs come equipped with a protection feature that shuts itself down if the CPU crosses ideal temp and overheats to prevent damage. Meanwhile, Intel’s Core i7 8700K, hailed as one of the best gaming CPUs, can handle heavy loads while maintaining an optimal temperature range.
Besides, most PC games now also rely heavily on the GPU to draw power, which wasn’t always the case. Back in the day, games were heavily dependent on the CPU to run optimally. However, with the recent change in architecture and the introduction of GPUs, games now rely heavily on them to meet their performance requirements, such as graphics and frame rates.
Is Too High A Temperature Dangerous?
While there’s much debate around the topic, anything that runs at a higher temperature than it’s supposed to can have detrimental effects. Sporadic change in temperature isn’t good for your CPU’s health, which can eventually reduce its life span and performance.
Furthermore, overheating isn’t just limited to the CPU. Other components like GPU, CPU cooling system, and power supply can also cause PC temperatures to rise.
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) and the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) consume the maximum power out of all PC components. Therefore, it makes them more susceptible to overheating compared to other PC components.
Another factor that leads to overheating is an overclocked CPU, implying you’re running the CPU at a higher clock speed than its recommended default settings. No denying an overclocked churns out an improved performance, but eventually, it leads to overheating.
High temperatures can potentially stretch and warp the materials of your system’s hardware components, which eventually can reduce the longevity of its lifespan.
Ultimately, keeping your hardware temp under control isn’t just about performance, as it can have a significant impact on the lifespan as well.
How To Monitor CPU Temperature
Now that you know that an ideal CPU temperature ranges between 75°-80°C (158-176°F), the next step involves how to check CPU temperature on your Windows PCs and laptops? That said, Windows doesn’t offer built-in features or programs that show the current CPU temperature.
Hence, you’ll need to download CPU temperature monitor software. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of CPU temp monitoring software on the web. These programs give you details about your CPU and GPU temperature while gaming or any other CPU-heavy task.
Moreover, these programs even allow users to control CPU fan speed to keep their CPU temperature in check.
Popular CPU temperature monitoring software for Windows PCs includes Real Temp, Speedfan, Core Temp, HWMonitor, CPU thermometer, Open hardware monitor, Speccy, Rainmeter HWiNFO, and AIDA64. These programs come in real handy to keep a check on CPU heat and monitor CPU temperature.
Besides, there’s also an alternative method with system BIOS if you’re reluctant to install CPU temperature software to keep an eye on your CPU temp. To use this method, you’ll have to restart your computer and press the ‘delete’ key to access BIOS.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 users can press and hold the ‘shift key’ when clicking restart, which pops up a new advanced startup mode. Once you’re in the BIOS menu, you’ll see a menu that displays the maximum CPU temperature your system can sustain.
However, this method does not allow users to regulate the CPU’s temperature; it only tells you the system’s CPU temperature. To regulate CPU temperature, you’ll have to use third-party programs already mentioned.
How To Keep Your CPU Cool
The most important thing is to keep your PC in a cool, well-ventilated environment. Then, if the problem persists, you can fix the overheating problem by removing the system’s side panel.
First, however, you’ll need to make sure you turn off the PC and remove the main power chord before even thinking of removing the side cover. In most cases, this old but simple method effectively negates CPU overheating as it allows more air to pass through several PC components and dissipate heat quickly.
Next, make sure the fans installed on your computer are running correctly. Most systems come equipped with three fans located on the CPU, power supply unit, and behind the computer casing. Even one of them not working correctly increases the risk of CPU overheating.
To check whether all the fans are working correctly, open the PC case and check whether your fans are working correctly or need a fix.
Last but not least, go for a liquid cooling system to reduce CPU overheating. As the name suggests, this method uses liquids or gels, making it much more efficient at monitoring CPU temperature than traditional air cooling systems.
Overheating shouldn’t be a problem unless the heat generated by your CPU gets excessive. That said, the general rule of thumb always applies, i’.e, to always keep your CPU temperature in check to prevent overheating.
As already mentioned, several factors can lead to a CPU overheating, such as overclocking, outdated hardware, a defective cooling system, and more. Besides, too much stress on the GPU can also lead to an increase in CPU temperature. Hence, it would help maintain an ideal PC temperature that ranges between 45-50 degrees Celsius.
Besides, you should also check which component may be causing your PC to get overheated. To figure this out, we’ve mentioned some popular CPU temperature monitor software.
Besides, we’ve also mentioned several ways to reduce overheating, such as removing the side panel to get sufficient airflow and maintaining an ideal room temperature for your PC to operate. Besides, even cleaning your PC regularly can do a world of good for your system’s overall health and life span.
So, there you go, our guide to maintaining an ideal CPU temperature while gaming. These simple yet effective methods to lower temperature can have a massive impact on your CPU’s lifespan and performance.
We’ve also mentioned the average optimal CPU and GPU temperatures for gaming that you can track using the tools and programs we’ve recommended.
The whole idea of this guide is to help make your CPU run much faster and efficiently and improve its life span. Besides, by now, you must’ve figured out what should be the optimal CPU temperature while gaming.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” so go ahead and take the necessary precautions to keep your CPU in shape.
Martha Davis is a computer hardware specialist who works extensively in designing and manufacturing hardware devices, researching advanced computer technology. She built GadgetGangster.com as a platform to share her insight on computers and PC assembly with the web. Currently, she is carrying out her research on Robotics and Computer Vision and working privately to deliver services. Martha makes sure that readers of GadgetGangster.com master the basics of setting up computer components like motherboard, CPUs, and GPUs through the informative articles that she writes.