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How to see your computers internal temperature

Posted by Micronion on the September 16th, 2007

When you turn on your computer, it gets hot. This part is obvious — but just how hot does it get? That depends on a lot of different things, but right now you just want to find out how hot it really is inside that sealed metal case. There is a multitude of programs available on the internet (after all, it IS the internet) and there’s probably a way to do this without any extra programs at all, but I’m going to teach you to do this the way I like.

Download & Install SpeedFan

I recommend using a program called SpeedFan which is a neat little tool that not only allows you to see that the insides of your computer are burning up, but also lets you adjust the speeds of your fans (It also lets you see critical hard disk and motherboard information but that’s not why you’re reading this article). You can download the program here (the main site is here). You’ll get a small .exe file which will ask you to install the program. Click through the prompts and when everything’s all done you should start up the program which should look a little bit like this:

Speedfan

If you don’t see anything remotely like that then you either messed up somewhere or the author of SpeedFan changed the interface and I haven’t realized that yet. If you’re a true American like myself and have failed out of “Metric System 101″ then go to “Configure” and then the “Options” tab in the configuration window. Near the bottom of this box you should see a more friendly unit of measure known to us as Fahrenheit. Hit OK then prepare for a surprise….

Read the Computers Temperature

If you’ve done everything correctly so far you’re probably freaking out right now because SpeedFan is telling you that the insides of your computer are over 120 degrees Farenheit (equivelant to 49 C). In case you don’t see it, the temperatures are in the right-side box with the blue, red, and green arrows.

Let’s get one thing straight right now: the temperatures I will recommend in this article are higher than what most websites will tell you is normal. My computer is a bit over-powered and under-ventilated and someday I might be motivated enough to fix that — but nothing has blown up yet…

So when should you panic? In my opinion (and note that this is just a personal opinion) if the highest temerature sensor is under 140 F (60 C) then you’re fine. If it’s over that then start looking for ways to fix it (or bake cookies!). But hold on a second, there’s more than one temperature sensor in your computer! The sensors that are named “HDx” are the hard disk temperatures. These shouldn’t ever go above 110 F (43 C). Next we have the “Remote” and “Ambient” sensors. One or more of those may be your CPU temperature — this tends to be higher and will peak while you work on intensive tasks like photo editing or video game playing. Other temperatures may be the ambient case temperature — this is how hot your hand would feel if you stuck it in the case (which you should never do — unless you know what you’re doing, like me).

Congratulations, you’ve learned that the insides of a PC are warm enough to fry an egg (well, maybe not). Unless you’re having major problems or otherwise need to lower the temperature inside your case then this article has hopefully helped you. If there’s something else you’d like to see here don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

7 Responses to 'How to see your computers internal temperature'

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  1. Jeoh said,

    on September 19th, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    Some motherboards support changing the fan speed, which might lower the temperature as well. You can change the speed by clicking the arrows, which you can find below the actual fan speeds. Note that this will most likely cause more noise.

  2. Chad said,

    on July 10th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    love the heads up, but how do you know its working? Is it just when the temp starts to drop. btw im using this for my laptop and my laptop is practically on fire O.o hopefully this will help me in the long run ^^

  3. mei said,

    on July 20th, 2009 at 3:34 am

    Hi,

    just wanted to tell you thank you for your tutorial! It really helped me out a lot!


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