“I wish my computer was hotter,” no one ever said. Overheating your PC can cause unexpected shutdowns, data loss, and hardware damage.
Any PC can benefit from simple measures to reduce the temperature of the computer. Proper cooling will contribute to PC performance and component longevity. Best of all, it’s easy to do.
How to Check PC Temperature
Checking PC temperature is easy. Knowing what to do with this information requires more know-how. HWMonitor allows you to check your PC’s component temperatures and voltage readings. When it comes to things like overclocking. increasing the voltage on your parts will raise the temperature of the PC and lead to overheating.
Programs like HWMonitor read three main variables: CPU (CPU) temperatures, GPU (GPU) temperatures, and fan speeds. These variables change as your computer does more work. PCs engaged in gaming or intensive processing are «under heavy load», while PCs in an unused state are «idle». The idle temperature readings are different from the temperatures taken when the computer is under load.
It is normal to have different temperatures for different parts of the PC. A dual-dissipation GPU, i.e. with two fans, will run cooler than a CPU with a single stock cooler. If any of your parts are heated to 70-80 degrees Celsius, during downtime, you may have overheating issues in your hands. This issue is not a cause for immediate concern. PC components, by design, need to get hot. However, precautions should be taken to prevent further heating.
We’ll start with free fixes for overheating.
Dust builds up on any PC, no matter how modern or spacious the case is. Dust clogs vents and fans and traps hot air. Regular cleaning can help maintain cooling airflow.
WARNING. Before you start cleaning your equipment, you need to prepare two simple things.
- Make sure that system off and the power cable is unplugged.
- Before touching any internal components, ground yourself to discharge static electricity. in your body. Wear an anti-static wrist strap to stay grounded throughout the procedure. Alternatively, ground yourself to a massive piece of metal, such as a radiator, and avoid clothing that contributes to static charging (eg, running shoes, wool sweaters).
To clean PC parts and components, you only need three items:
- compressed air bottle
- microfiber cloth
- 99% isopropyl alcohol
A common first step is to clean every single fan on your computer. This includes your CPU fan, external fans, and the power supply fan (although you shouldn’t separate this fan from its device). Run them through with a can of compressed air to remove dust, and wipe the blades with a cloth and alcohol.
Simply cleaning the fans will make a big difference to your computer. Dust settles on your computer because your fans are clogged or inefficient. If you take your computer with you to a repair shop is often the first thing PC repair technicians do.
The rest of the details will require a quick rewind of your fabric. Don’t worry about leaving your computer dust-free. Just try to remove as much visible dust as possible.
Set higher fan speeds
Default fan configurations can contribute to overheating. Your fans may be too slow to really cool parts of the PC. Some GPUs experience high temperatures because the GPU driver software only activates the GPU fan under certain load ranges. This is when you should take control of your fan speed. Programs like SpeedFan provide exactly this service.
Click up arrow, to increase the fan speed percentage. 100% is the maximum speed your fan can reach. By keeping each fan running at about 50%, your computer will run at a cool idle temperature. To maintain these safe temperatures, you may need to change the fan speed when your computer is under heavy load.
MSI Afterburner, an overclocking tool, allows you to automatically increase the fan speed when you play games or work intensively on your PC.
Most users ignore component cables, which can take up quite a lot of space. This can lead to overheating and dust collection problems. If your cables are scattered, you won’t be able to maintain proper airflow inside your PC case. This means that your computer cannot effectively draw in cold air and expel hot air, trapping heat and dust. To resolve this issue, plug, move, and configure cables to free up space on your computer.
Managing component cables can seem risky. To route cables, the components must be detached and re-inserted. However, doing a dive will result in easier component replacement, better airflow, and a cleaner look.
Maintain proper airflow
Maintaining proper airflow is vital to keeping your PC cool. However, maintaining proper airflow isn’t just about keeping your computer clean. It also has to do with the orientation of the fan. Proper airflow doesn’t just require additional fans. It also means maintaining an average level between positive and negative pressure.
Positive airflow is when it’s cool, outside air rushes into the system. Negative airflow is when hot, internal air rushes out. Aim for a neutral airflow, where an equal amount of cold air enters and hot air is exhausted. If you’ve ever wondered how to properly orient a fan, there should be an indicator on the fan itself to indicate the direction of airflow.
These steps are not expensive, but upgrading or replacing PC components to cool down temperatures can save components and power for your computer. If your computer shuts down frequently due to overheating issues, it’s usually better to spend a few dollars keeping your parts safe rather than moving to a new computer.
Reapply thermal paste
Ready PC users may care less about thermal paste, but high-quality thermal paste (Great Britain) is critical for correct temperature measurement. The thermal paste fills the space between the heatsink and the component. The heatsink distributes the heat generated by your PC components to the metal sheets. The metal sheets are then cooled by fans.
The better the quality of your thermal paste, the more heat is transferred between your component and the heatsink. Low-quality thermal paste will stop working over time, causing PC parts to heat up. Reapplying thermal paste to an old CPU heatsink will reduce the temperature that the part can take.
You can only reapply thermal paste to two components: your CPU and GPU. Thermal insertion is easier to apply to your CPU than to a GPU, as these components are often separable. Reapplying thermal paste to your GPU will void your warranty as you will have to open the device.
Buy big fans
Most of the fans that come with your original case are small and won’t provide the best support for your system. This is especially true if you want to install next generation high performance PC components such as the latest GPUs.
Fans are often cheap, durable, easy to install, and can greatly improve your PC’s airflow and overall temperature. Before you try to buy the biggest fan you can find, check out the specs of your PC case. More often than not, these specifications will clarify how many fans you can install, the size of the fans, and where they should be placed.
Be sure to orient these fans in such a way as to ensure proper ventilation and airflow. If you need help finding a new fan, check out our list of the best cooling systems for your PC.