Maintaining an optimal CPU temperature is essential, and I’m pretty sure any gamer can tell you that. This is because running intensive computer tasks can cause a PC to overheat. Video games, in particular, are more demanding and CPU-intensive than other programs.
Therefore, it’s not uncommon to wonder what the average CPU temperature while gaming is. Well, let me tell you that the answer isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. Depending on the model or capacity of your CPU, the answer to this question varies a lot.
However, in this article, I’ll explain all there is to know about ideal CPU temperatures, including the reasons behind your CPU overheating and what you can do about it. So read on!
Table of Contents
Why Is CPU Temperature Important
Videogames can put a lot of stress on your computer system. The computer’s graphics processing unit (or GPU) handles the graphical workload. It is responsible for rendering images, the resolution quality, and frame rates. The CPU interprets program commands and carries them out. It operates on peak performance to ensure you don’t experience any lagging or frame drops.
Both the CPU and GPU generate heat as they carry out these tasks. If the temperature rises too much, internal components can get damaged. As a result, you may lose your data, and the CPU performance will get affected. You may also be required to replace your hardware devices if the damage is severe. This is why it is essential to monitor the CPU temperature of your PC.
Factors Affecting the Average CPU Temp While Gaming
So, what should be the average CPU temperature when you’re playing a video game? Of course, this depends on the type of CPU you’re using. Different CPUs generate different amounts of heat. Other factors that may affect average CPU temperatures include:
- The number of cores per processor
- The number of CPU threads
- The overall CPU speeds
- How old the CPU is
Such factors influence the average temperatures of your CPU. Therefore, we recommend you look up your CPU’s type and model. This will help you determine its optimal temperature.
Average CPU Temperature While Gaming
We’ve discussed why optimal temperature ranges vary from computer to computer. However, there are some basic parameters that experts agree upon.
The average gaming CPU temperature for most PCs is around 65° to 75°C. If you have an old computer, the average temperature will likely hover on the upper end of this range. There may be spikes of higher temperature values. This is normal when running intensive programs. However, higher temperatures should only present as spikes and should not be sustained.
If the sustained CPU temperature while gaming is regularly above 80°C, this is a cause for concern. The risk of overheating and thermal throttling increases. Both of these can harm the internal components of your PC.
Average CPU Temperature While Idle
A CPU is described as ‘idle’ when it has completed all tasks and is not used by a program. The average idle CPU temperature for most PCs is around 35° to 50°C. Anything greater than 50°C is concerning. Spikes of high temperatures are expected, but such temperatures should not be sustained.
How to Check CPU Temperature
There are a few ways you can monitor the temperature of your CPU. Unfortunately, no tool within Windows allows you to do this directly. If you wish to measure the temperature of your CPU, you will be required to use third-party applications. We recommend the following programs:
- MSI Afterburner: it measures CPU temperature and other metrics.
- Core Temp: an easy-to-use tool to measure CPU temperature.
- HW Monitor: a software that measures system values such as voltages and CPU temperatures.
- NZXT CAM: free software that allows you to monitor and control CPU temperatures, performance, and other metrics.
You can use these programs regardless of the brand or model of your computer parts. In addition, many of these programs provide real-time data. For example, you can measure the CPU temperature during a session.
How to Prevent High CPU Temperature
Now that we know how to monitor CPU temperatures let’s discuss the measures you can take to prevent overheating.
Method#1: Clean Dust from Inside the Computer
Dust accumulation is a big issue for CPUs. Experts recommend that the inside of the PC is cleaned every few weeks. You may use compressed air cans to do this. Cleaning the dust from inside your computer is not difficult. If you wish to do so, we have a few tips:
- First, make sure the computer is turned off.
- Next, ensure that the compressed air can is at a distance of 6-inches from the internal components.
- Finally, you may use a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol for hard-to-reach areas to clean out the dust.
Method#2: Invest in a Good CPU Case
If your CPU consistently registers high sustained temperatures, the PC case might be contributing to the issue. We recommend using a mesh PC case for the CPU. This ensures the flow of cool air through the internal components. These cases also provide cooling support through the presence of multiple fans and cooling radiators. This may be a worthwhile investment if you run many CPU-intensive programs on your PC.
Method#3: Regulate Ambient Temperature
This refers to the temperature of the environment where you store your PC. The effect of the environment on CPU temperatures is generally minimal. However, in certain climates, the impact may be more significant. You may use an air conditioner to regulate the temperature if you feel this is contributing to the issue.
How to Cool a High CPU Temperature
High CPU temperatures can be very harmful to the internal components of the computer. Therefore, you must intervene as soon as possible if you regularly measure high CPU temperatures. We recommend the following methods.
Method#1: Change Thermal Paste
If your CPU temperatures are higher than they should be, consider changing the thermal paste. This is recommended if you have been using your PC for a long time. You must change the thermal paste once every few years to maintain peak performance. Thermal pastes also vary in terms of composition and effectiveness.
Method#2: Upgrade CPU Cooler
Investing in a better CPU cooler is recommended if you regularly run intensive programs on your PC. However, deciding on the best CPU cooler for your needs can be tricky. You will need to consider several factors. First, make sure that the motherboard supports the CPU cooler you select. This is a compelling long-term solution that can save the components of your PC from a great deal of harm.
Method#3: Fan Settings
You can change your CPU’s fan settings through the computer’s BIOS. To do so, complete the following steps:
- Turn off your computer.
- Press the power button.
- When you see the logo, press the BIOS key. This will vary according to the brand and model of your computer. For example, for Windows computers: try F2, F12, or F10.
- Once you have entered the BIOS settings, select Cooling.
- Fan settings will be accessible through the CPU Fan Header.
- Adjust fan speed levels according to your needs.
Method#4: Throttle the CPU Manually
This step is not recommended as a long-term solution. However, if your PC keeps shutting down due to overheating, CPU throttling may help. CPU throttling slows down the computer so that the PC uses less energy. To do so, you may disable certain features in the BIOS. As a result, the power draw will be lowered.
Defining the average temperature ranges for a CPU is difficult. This is because the brand and model of the CPU, as well as other internal components, all play a part. Generally, the average idle CPU temperature is between 35° to 50°C. The average CPU temperature while gaming is around 65° to 75°C.
If the sustained temperatures of your CPU are higher than these temperature ranges, you should be concerned. This article has covered some of the preventative measures you can take and solutions for the problem. If you have noticed sudden shutdowns and slower CPU performance, get your CPU inspected by a professional, as there may be some damage to the internal components.