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How do You Lower PC CPU Temperature?

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How do You Lower PC CPU Temperature

Your CPU is overheating – a critical and dangerous aspect of your system. If your PC is performing worse with each day passing, it might be due to high CPU temperatures. In time, this can create havoc on your system. You need to lower PC CPU temperature until it’s too late.

Is My CPU Too Hot

Is your PC restarting often? Does it perform slower than usual? It might be because of high CPU temperatures. Leaving it unattended, can ultimately destroy your CPU and motherboard. This leads to one asking how to decrease CPU temperature.

If you don’t like long guides, here are a few ways to lower your PC CPU temperature:

  • Remove dust buildup from inside your case, including the CPU fan
  • Make sure the sun isn’t hitting your PC directly
  • Check your fan speed isn’t set to minimum
  • Consider replacing the thermal paste
  • Lower CPU Performance until you find the real problem why it gets hot

Let’s go through all of those methods and see how it might affect your CPU temperature and system performances.

Clean dust buildup from inside your system’s case

Dust isn’t building up only on your furniture. It can sneak inside your PC case as well. As there is a lot of air circulation going on daily, it can accumulate over time. No dust leads to lower PC temperatures.

The reason dust is so problematic is that dust can act as insulation. This means it will actually keep the components warm, even though cold air is moving through.

CPU Dust

I strongly suggest you use some kind of painting brush to remove dust from your case. Don’t use a vacuum as there is a small chance of electric discharges. You only have to do this every once in a while.

Check if your CPU fan is actually working

This would probably be on the top of the list. Make sure the fan is actually spinning. It’s a cheap component, and it can break from time to time. If it’s not spinning, it’s time to get a new one. This is the most important component which helps lower CPU heat and move it away.

Replacing a CPU fan is easy, and the price is not that high. Try to move it with your hands first. Maybe you get lucky, and it’s just stuck because if dust buildup. 

CPU fan speed set to a minimum

It’s worth mentioning to check the possibility your CPU fan is just not working up to its full potential. Restart your PC, go inside BIOS. Most firmware has a CPU fan setting. Make sure it’s NOT set to a minimum. 

If you don’t have this option inside your BIOS, download dedicated software. There are plenty online. Compatibility isn’t usually a problem. Most of the programs will be able to speed up your CPU fan and cool down your PC.

Check the thermal paste

While there isn’t a correct answer to how long thermal paste lasts, its lifetime is usually around 5 years. However, there are exceptions. Inspect it and try to look for imperfect contacts between your CPU and heat sink.

Sometimes, the thermal paste can go bad sooner. This is especially true if you are playing a lot of demanding games. Replacing thermal paste is not a complicated task. But it does require some skills.

Too Much Thermal Paste

If you are not comfortable changing your thermal paste, ask any pc repair specialist. It shouldn’t cost a lot, and it will help maintain your PC healthy for a long time.

Read here if you want to know how long does thermal paste last.

Move your PC case to a different spot

One of the most important reasons why temperature rises in your PC is because of where you place it. While letting it sit near a window might sound like a good idea, it’s not. This is especially true if the sun is directly hitting it during the day, as it will not help you lower CPU temperatures at all.

Try moving your PC to a dark corner of your room. Or at the very least, make sure sunlight isn’t hitting it. Most system cases are black, which attracts a lot of heat, fast.

Another problem you might have is keeping your PC inside a cabinet, or small enclosure, under your desk. Air needs to circulate. If the path is not clear, air won’t do a great job cooling your system.

Lower PC performance until you fix the problem

If you don’t have a dedicated video car, the CPU works harder to offer integrated GPU. Maybe you started playing a more demanding video game lately, and it’s driving the CPU to the max. 

If that’s not the case, try to lower PC performances until you find the real reason. Windows settings let you specify how much CPU power it case use. Try splitting the cores in half, and see how temperatures settle.

Other advice would be to check if CPU temperatures are hot when you don’t perform demanding work. If it’s still getting hot, recheck the cooling system.

Add additional cooling power

Another way to quick fix is to add additional cooling power. Buying an extra case fan can do the trick. It’s easy to install and will enhance air circulation between your components. Bigger is better in this case.

If your budget allows it, get the biggest one your system case can handle. Make sure to check sound ratings. Some case fans can get really loud, really fast.

What’s the ideal CPU temperature anyway?

Ready for the sad part? There isn’t any correct answer, and it varies from one CPU to another. However, you can consider the table below, as it gives some ideal temperature ranges you should keep in mind.

Idle TemperaturesWorking TemperaturesCritical/Dangerous Temp
20-30 degrees Celsius40-70 degrees Celsius85-90 degrees Celsius

As you can see, if your CPU temp goes above 90 degrees Celsius, you have a serious problem. The best advice I can give you is to not use your PC until you fix the problem. High temperature can actually cause motherboard dilatation. Ultimately, the CPU won’t have perfect contact with the socket. These types of problems will be costly and time-consuming.

You might also be interested in reading how long do CPUs last.

You don’t want to check your CPU temperature from BIOS. The reason is that BIOS will tell you how hot your CPU is when it’s not in use. You want to know the real temperature when you have 10 browser tabs open, and maybe some Youtube music playing in the background.

Get to work

You want to make these tests home before going to a repair shop. A lot of the time, the main culprit is dust buildup. If you still don’t know how to lower PC CPU temperature, then it’s time to ask an expert. Remember it’s cheaper than buying a new system altogether. I hope this helped.