We hold our computers and laptops close to our hearts since they have become so important in our daily lives. To some, it is a means to earn living, to some entertainment and gaming but this era never has a dearth of usage for them.
CPU forms the heart and core of a computer as it is responsible for the speed and performance of the system. It also houses many important parts of the machine like the motherboard, hard disk, etc. So it becomes mandatory to check on the health and temperature of the CPU.
Why is it important to monitor the temperature of the system – It is a good practice to have the knowledge of peaks of your system’s capabilities and its limitations. This way you are better equipped to utilize the full potential of your system and save it from damages and overheating. There is not just one component that needs monitoring but loads of it like fan speed, CPU temperature, CPU load, RAM usage, and the list goes on. If we do not take care of even one of them, it would lead to overheating and eventually system damage and a system crash, if the issue continues.
Is a separate CPU temperature monitor needed? – Excessive heating might seem harmless but it can have serious adverse effects. If you are not the one to possess a system with inbuilt water coolers then if you leave your system unmonitored, CPU might initiate a shutdown as “fail-safe” in order to prevent damage to parts of the system from overheating. In the worst case scenario your entire system might shut down without warning. Hence getting help from a good CPU temperature monitoring tool becomes mandatory as it will guide you in keeping your computer healthy and safe.
Ways of protecting your system from overheating – There are many ways of keeping ahead of the overheating of your computer. There are software which can change the speed of your fan, you could run troubleshooter or do a clean boot, clean or change your PC fan, keep your BIOS up-to-date, equip your system with a quality CPU cooler. Installing a good CPU temperature monitoring tool for your CPU is amongst one of the best and efficient solutions.
What to look for in a CPU temperature monitor – Before deciding on which CPU monitor to buy; you must consider the following points and evaluate your requirements with the available options:
- The ability of the tool to check internal voltages
- Can you set your CPU speed with it?
- Will you be able to monitor all the core’s temperature with the software?
- Whether you can set up an automatic shutdown of the system with the software, in case overheating happens
- Are you able to see the GPU temperature in the software?
- The ability of the software to customize the processor’s minimum and maximum speed
- Is it having a portable hardware monitor?
Based on the above criteria, we have chosen some of the best CPU temperature monitors in the market:
- Speccy – We found it as one of the best tools available. It is able to scan and show all the hardware on your computer and does not interfere or waste your system resources while it is running. Both 32-bit and 64-bit computers are supported by it and it is compatible with Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 versions. It has a free and paid version. The CPU temperature monitor paid tool can be your one-stop destination to determine your PC’s health. It tells you real-time temperature and you can also take a screenshot with this software. A detailed report from this software will help you in deciding the next steps to be taken.
- HWMonitor – The USP of this software is its simplicity and that you get a complete report in one screen, divided into layouts. Apart from monitoring temperature, it also shows the incoming voltages in real-time so that you know if there is too much of it. This way you would know if your machine is in a vulnerable situation or not. It is very fast in giving reports, one of the fastest available. Log files are also supported by it. You can even know your system’s fan speed with this apart from the motherboard’s temperature. This comes under CPU temperature monitors which are available for free. Its PRO version is also there which is paid and has the added capabilities of remote monitoring and graph generation. It also has a better user interface than the free one.
- SolarWinds CPU Load Monitor – This is something which networking people use extensively as apart from monitoring and alerting system’s overheating, it also enhances network security. It has the capacity of automated network discovery. Since network devices rarely have a mechanism to measure temperature, this CPU load monitor comes very handy to track the activity of networked devices and listing them in the inventory. It can record memory utilization and interface statistics. You could try it if you have the need to monitor networked devices since it has a 14-day free trial.
- Open Hardware Monitor – This is an open-source software that gives an extremely detailed report that can also be exported. A very easy-to-use software, it shows report on one screen with a device-manager like look and feel. The information includes CPU/GPU load and frequencies, space in hard drive storage, memory utilization, fan speed, voltage, clock speed, and some additional information on your SSD. There is also a graph plotted for all the temperatures. You could customize the display by hiding or renaming some values, adjusting the offset, etc. It is a portable software and doesn’t need installation. You would need to download and run it as an administrator to make use of all its features. Users would find it great since it is free and is also compatible with many versions of Windows like Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and also Linux.
- Core Temp – You should definitely consider installing this software if accuracy is your concern as this gives extremely accurate data. As the name suggests, it can monitor all the core values of your CPU. It supports real-time monitoring of AMD, Intel, and VIA processors. DTS (Digital Thermal Sensor) is used to collect data from each core of the CPU. It has means to either provide a notification or program your PC to go in sleep mode whenever there is overheating of its components. One good part of this software is that it has hoards of add-ons like Core Temp Monitor app which can monitor your Windows and Android phones. There is also a grapher plug-in that can provide display visually. It can be used for a variety of OS like Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8,10, 2003 Server, 2008 Server, 2012 Server, and 2016 Server.
- Speedfan – For Windows users and beginners, this is the best CPU temperature monitoring software. Its report is easily understandable. Apart from monitoring temperature, fan speed, voltage, and hard disk temperatures, it also keeps track of many things in your system which ensures proper functioning of your PC; like controlling fan speed in case it is very noisy or slow. It is a very old program, even older than Windows XP. It is possible to set up notification with this software if the system overheats. It can also send an email or run a program when a malfunction of PC happens. You can do a deeper analysis of your system with its graphical representation of data. It is very easy to use and automatically detects temperature sensors so there is no need to set up complicated configurations. It is available for Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, Windows 7, 2008, Windows 8, Windows 10, and 2012.
- AIDA64 Extreme – It’s a paid software but worth all the penny. It is a comprehensive analyzer with the capacity to monitor CPU, RAM, and GPU performance. Its interface is like Windows Console manager and very intuitive so that a novice can also interpret it. You will also be able to run a stress test on all the components of your PC in a variety of combinations, to check its stability. It supports more than 250 different kinds of sensors and is ideal to monitor almost all your IT assets. It is available for 32 bit and 64 bit Windows versions. Its SensorPanel is customizable. A unique feature of this software is that it can be displayed on external devices and can be seen on more than 50 LCD/VFD screens.
- RainMeter – It is a very different software from others which have been listed so far. It is a free, open-source utility which along with monitoring your CPU temperature can also customize your desktop. It shows a lot of data like CPU and RAM usages, disk usage and temperature, time, date, weather, and a lot more. It is installed as skins, which are small programs downloadable all over the world via the internet and provide some piece of information about your system. The default skin shows only CPU and RAM usage but by downloading and adding more skins you get many other features. It is a great choice for non-technical users who want customizable software. It can be used on Windows 7 to Windows 10.
- HWinFo – It is available in both portable and installable versions for Windows users. It can monitor hardware ranging from CPUs, GPUs, hard drives, motherboards, etc. With easy navigation of user interface and in-depth reporting, it stands out amongst other CPU monitoring software. It has the ability to monitor in real-time and also alert you if there is a performance issue or overheating of the system. There are add-ons available to enable better viewing of data like the HWinFoMonitor plug-in which will give you CPU performance in the form of bars and graphs. It has a 32-bit version for Windows called HWinFo32 and a 64-bit version called HWinFo64.
- Real Temp – This is a great option if your system is powered by the Intel processor since this works only with Intel processors. It is a free software that can analyze systems for current temperature as well as show minimum and maximum temperature of your system from the time the PC was turned on. It can work with single-core, dual-core, quad-core, i5, and i7 Intel processors. You can eliminate the risk of overheating by setting up alarms in the software. It is a portable system and does not require any installation. All you need to do is run it and start monitoring your CPU.
- CPU Thermometer – This is a very basic program which only shows CPU temperature and CPU loads of each core in real-time. It is extremely easy to use which is its plus point. The temperature is shown as a tray icon in the taskbar which makes it easily viewable without the need to open extra windows. It is not meant for deep analysis but good for users who prefer simplicity and do not need loads of data to be monitored. It does not have any advanced options or customizations. The only customization is that you can change the unit of temperature between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
- SIW – A detailed program that monitors CPU temperature as well as few important chips and power supply in your PC. One caveat is that your chip needs to have a sensor attached to it else it will not be compatible. So you must check your chip specification before installing this software. You can get to know the speed of your CPU with this one and also keep an eye on sound devices, virtual machines, storage devices, and a few other crucial parts.
- Moo0 System Monitor Portable – This provides real-time analysis and a report of almost 30 types of information. Those include CPU health, information about network, the status of memory, and many other important details that would guide you in keeping your system’s health optimal. It has been recommended by the experts as well since it is free to use yet has many advanced features that are available in only paid software. The installation of the software is super easy, guided by its series of popups, to give you a hassle-free experience.
- Game Assistant 2 – For all your gamers, this could be a game-changer. It basically is gaming software that can do the job of monitoring as well. It is deemed as one of the best CPU temperature monitoring software for Windows 10 and determines various parameters like CPU current temperature, fan speed, RAM usage, and more. You can take a screenshot of the results with this one. When the SW is running, it does not consume much of RAM hence does not hinder your system’s performance. Beginners, as well as experts, will find it equally helpful for determining the health of their desktop.
- GPU Temp – It can find out the temperature of your CPU and voltage in it and is simple to use. The temperature is shown in Celsius. It is a very lightweight program.
- ASUS AI Suite – Owners of ASUS systems can utilize this full-fledged software for monitoring their CPU performance and temperature. This software is designed specifically for ASUS Suite. It provides a complete diagnosis of your system and uses a 4-way optimization method to suggest the best settings for your system. Reports can be seen statistically as well as graphically for better understanding. It is also user-friendly since it comes with an all-in-one menu bar.
- CAM – Its capacity to measure the temperature of both CPU and GPU makes it a complete software. You can also get other information, which is not accessible easily, like fan speed, network speed, storage information with this tool. There is an instant warning system when the tool detects abnormal workings in the system. It has provision for FMS (frames per second) tracking as well.
Conclusion: Best CPU Temperature Monitor (Paid and Free)
If one does not want to involve 3rd party software and needs simple tracking, then the windows task manager is also a good option to avail such information. Since it tracks all running processes and how much CPU and memory each process is taking up, you can utilize this information to close applications which are slowing down the system. It is also helpful in managing memory leaks. Some advanced features are also supported by the task manager like overall CPU and RAM usage.
But the task manager does not measure temperature as such, so you might need one of the tools listed here to manage your system better. We know that all PCs get heated up and they can withstand some amount of heat. But we cannot predict when the system might crash due to excessive heat hence having a software to do this for you and alert you in time becomes essential. You will be able to better your system’s performance as well as ensure a longer life for your PC by using any of these tools.
The CPU temperature monitors listed here range from most basic to some which can monitor the temperature of an entire network of devices. Choosing any from this list is guaranteed to give you a reliable tool. You need your machine functioning at all times hence having a monitor for its temperature is a necessary step.