How to Find Out CPU Temperature

Updated April 17, 2017

The ability to check the CPU (Central Processing Unit) temperature is an important aspect of computer management. The temperature of the CPU affects the performance and the longevity of the computer. As the temperature increases the performance decreases. CPUs that run hot for extended periods of time do not last as long as those with more effective cooling capabilities. Checking the temperature regularly also gives the user knowledge of the average temperature of the CPU, and when the temperature increases, provides a good indication to clean the computer.

Download and install Speedfan. Speedfan is freeware available for use on PC and Mac Intel platforms.

Double click the Speedfan icon to launch the program. The program starts, but usually takes a few seconds to collect the data.

Locate the "Readings" tab and check the listed temperature in the middle right-hand side of the screen. This field is identified by a label reading "CPU:" or "Core 0:;" "Core 1:;" for up to seven cores. A green check next to the temperature indicates the CPU is operating at acceptable temperatures, a blue arrow indicates it is operating below the specified temperatures, and a red flame means the operating temperature is too high. Speedfan also monitors voltages and fan speeds and, if the computer supports it, allows control of the fan speed.

Download and unzip Realfan. Realtemp is available free of charge and is designed for use on all Intel single Core, Dual Core and Quad Core processors but will not work on Intel Pentium 4 or AMD processors.

Double click the Realtemp.exe icon to run the program.

Check the temperature readings indicated under the "Temperature" heading. There is a separate temperature listed for each core. Compare this information to the CPU manufacturer's documentation for optimal temperatures.

Things You'll Need

  • Speedfan
  • Realtemp
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Heather Lindsay is a stained glass artist who holds a master's degree in library science, a bachelor's degree in anthropology with a minor in art, and has enjoyed working in special libraries with photograph collections.