Measuring and monitoring the temperature of your PC and all its components (processor, graphics card, motherboard, hard drive/SSD, etc.) is essential to ensure the stability of your system and avoid premature damage to your computer’s components.

In this article, we will see a list of software that allows you to control the temperature of your computer and its various components in real time.


  • Preamble: the temperature of a PC
    • Overheating PC: the consequences
    • The ideal temperatures
    • Monitor Computer Temperatures
  • Find out the temperature of a Windows PC
    • No. 1: with HWMonitor
    • #2: with CoreTemp
    • No. 3: with Speccy
  • How to prevent your PC from overheating?

Preamble: the temperature of a PC

To be healthy and to function properly, a computer must operate at a moderate temperature.

Motherboard, processor, graphics card, disks: each component has an ideal temperature range to operate efficiently, defined by the manufacturer.

Overheating PC: the consequences

A component (processor, disk, etc.) that overheats can slow down and crash your system.

Beyond a certain temperature threshold, a component may stop working and cause the computer to shut down suddenly to preserve its integrity.

The processor is for example equipped with a protection system based on a thermal circuit breaker, capable of automatically switching off the computer when its temperature exceeds a dangerous value for the PC.

Laptops are the most affected by these problems of heat and high temperatures due to their very thin chassis and their not always efficient ventilation system. Many laptops also collect dust, increasing the heat inside the chassis and altering the speed of the fans responsible for dissipating the heat.

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The ideal temperatures

Refer to the component manufacturer’s manual for information on ideal temperatures and those that should not be exceeded or the component may be damaged.

Generally speaking, here are good temperatures for:

  • the processor (CPU): below 90°C.
  • the hard disk/SSD: below 50°C.

According to Intel’s temperature guide (for its Intel Core processors):

  • Core temperatures above 85°C are not recommended.
  • Core temperatures below 80°C are ideal.

Monitor Computer Temperatures

To measure and monitor temperatures on a Windows PC, you can use third-party software which is very effective. Here is a small selection:

  • for the processor: CoreTemp.
  • for the graphics card: MSI Afterburner.
  • for the hard disk/SSD: CrystalDiskInfo or Hard Disk Sentinel.
  • for everything (CPU, GPU, motherboard, disks): HWMonitor or Speccy.

Find out the temperature of a Windows PC

No. 1: with HWMonitor

HWMonitor is hardware monitoring software that reads information from your computer’s main sensors: fan speeds, voltages, temperatures, CPU, graphics card, motherboard, and disk frequencies.

To know the temperatures of your PC with HWMonitor, open the software and simply view the contents of Temperatures below each component.

In the screenshot below, we have the temperatures of the CPU (67°C), SSD (40°C) and graphics card (54°C).

#2: with CoreTemp

Core Temp is a lightweight software that monitors CPU temperature along with other vital information like frequency, utilization rate or power consumption. Core Temp is able to display the temperature of each core of each processor in the system.

The strong point of CoreTemp is that it is able to display the CPU temperature in real time in the notification area (systray), perfect for monitoring!

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In the capture above, are displayed (from left to right): the temperature of the processor (56°C), its frequency (0.9 GHz), its utilization rate (6%), the RAM used ( 61%) and power consumption (22 W).

No. 3: with Speccy

Speccy is a lightweight, free system diagnostic software that displays a detailed list of all hardware and software components in your computer.

On the main page, Speccy displays the temperature of each of the PC’s components: processor, graphics card, motherboard and disks.

In the capture above, we have the temperature of the processor (52°C) and the graphics card (51°C).

How to prevent your PC from overheating?

To prevent your computer from overheating, follow these tips:

  • Vent dust regularly : Computers have fans that draw air from the room and circulate it through the case to remove heat. Dust can accumulate inside the case and cause an overall temperature rise. On a desktop PC, remove dust using a vacuum cleaner, cloth, cotton swabs, etc. ; on a laptop, use a can of compressed air.
  • Ensure optimal ventilation : do not place your desktop PC in a confined space. If you have a laptop, don’t put it on a soft surface that might block the ventilation slots. If necessary, buy more powerful case fans for your desktop PC or buy a cooling mat for your laptop PC.
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