Maintaining CPU temperatures is necessary to keep optimum performance and get the best out of our PC. This is especially the case when we use our computer to play games, where CPU usage is at maximum and produces more heat.
While it is important to keep our PC’s ambient temperature to a minimum, there will be times where CPU temp will rise, especially during gaming. A CPU is designed to operate at high temperatures, and you should not worry too much about it as this is normal.
However, it is not ideal to always use your gaming pc at a very high temperature as it may affect the overall performance of your PC.
So what is the normal CPU temperature while gaming? A good normal CPU temperature during gaming should range from 60°C and should not exceed 83°C.
Some processors may reach ~90°C, but this is only applicable to high-end ones like the Intel Core i9 series. In fact, some processors have a thermal threshold of up to 100°C. But then again, it is highly discouraged that you run your CPU at these temperatures. You must keep an eye on whenever your CPU temps hit 83°C while playing games to avoid system instability.
- Normal CPU Temperature While Gaming Ranges
- What are the Acceptable CPU Temperatures for Laptops?
- How to Check CPU Temperature
- Why do CPUs Get Hot?
- How to Lower CPU Temperatures
- Signs that you Need a New CPU
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Normal CPU Temperature While Gaming Ranges
So what is the normal CPU temp when gaming? Although there is a normal CPU temperature range that applies in all chips as a whole, however, each processor is designed differently. Some CPU requires more power to run, and therefore, it generates more heat. On the other hand, some CPU requires less power, generating less heat.
Another thing to consider when calculating a good CPU temp for gaming is the CPU’s raw power. The processor generates heat depending on the CPU usage, so the more load you put into the CPU, the more heat it generates. With that said, a CPU with more processing power can complete more instructions per cycle, and therefore more power-efficient, and thus produces less heat.
On the other hand, a weaker CPU may struggle on more demanding tasks and quickly get at full load. Keep in mind that a fully-loaded CPU will consume more power, which in turn generates more heat.
To give you an idea, we have compiled a list below along with the normal CPU temp while gaming as your guide, both for Intel and AMD CPUs.
|Processor Type||Normal CPU Temp|
|Intel Pentium G5600||46°C to 70°C|
|Intel Core i3-10100||48°C to 72°C|
|Intel Core i3-12100F||42°C to 66°C|
|Intel Core i3-12300||50°C to 74°C|
|Intel Core i5-9400F||44°C to 68°C|
|Intel Core i5-10400F||49°C to 73°C|
|Intel Core i5-10600K||56°C to 76°C|
|Intel Core i5-11400F||41°C to 65°C|
|Intel Core i5-11600K||62°C to 78°C|
|Intel Core i5-12400F||41°C to 65°C|
|Intel Core i5-12600K||66°C to 78°C|
|Intel Core i7-9700K||68°C to 80°C|
|Intel Core i7-10700KF||56°C to 80°C|
|Intel Core i7-10700K||61°C to 77°C|
|Intel Core i7-11700KF||56°C to 76°C|
|Intel Core i7-12700K||64°C to 80°C|
|Intel Core i9-9700K||68°C to 80°C|
|Intel Core i9-9900K||70°C to 85°C|
|Intel Core i9-10900K||54°C to 78°C|
|Intel Core i9-11900K||56°C to 80°C|
|Intel Core i9-12900K||70°C to 87°C|
|AMD Ryzen 3 3100||60°C to 78°C|
|AMD Ryzen 3 3300X||67°C to 81°C|
|AMD Ryzen 5 1600||47°C to 74°C|
|AMD Ryzen 5 1500X||52°C to 78°C|
|AMD Ryzen 5 1600X||55°C to 81°C|
|AMD Ryzen 5 2400G||61°C to 79°C|
|AMD Ryzen 5 2600||49°C to 76°C|
|AMD Ryzen 5 2600X||61°C to 79°C|
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600||65°C to 81°C|
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600X||66°C to 82°C|
|AMD Ryzen 5 5600G||59°C to 78°C|
|AMD Ryzen 5 5600X||59°C to 78°C|
|AMD Ryzen 7 1700||41°C to 69°C|
|AMD Ryzen 7 1700X||53°C to 79°C|
|AMD Ryzen 7 1800X||58°C to 82°C|
|AMD Ryzen 7 2700||42°C to 70°C|
|AMD Ryzen 7 2700X||62°C to 80°C|
|AMD Ryzen 7 3700X||66°C to 83°C|
|AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT||70°C to 85°C|
|AMD Ryzen 7 5700G||65°C to 82°C|
|AMD Ryzen 7 5800X||75°C to 85°C|
|AMD Ryzen 9 3900X||79°C to 87°C|
|AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT||73°C to 83°C|
|AMD Ryzen 9 5900X||67°C to 85°C|
Disclaimer: The listed temperatures above are based on average CPU temp while gaming or at full load. Temperatures may be lower or higher than listed above based on various factors, such as CPU cooler used, case fans, and ambient room temperature.
What are the Acceptable CPU Temperatures for Laptops?
On the other hand, normal CPU temperatures for laptops may differ. This is because most laptops are not designed to have good ventilation that is as good as a PC. Luckily, chips are designed to operate even within high temperatures.
When under full load, laptops should not exceed higher than 80°C – 90°C. Otherwise, there would be a significant risk of overheating, affecting not only the processor but all the other components as well.
If you would like to buy a laptop with a powerful CPU to handle games, have a read of these most outstanding laptops for less than $2000.
How to Check CPU Temperature
To identify whether our CPU is operating under normal temperature, we must first learn to check the actual CPU temperature. There are multiple ways to check your temperature, which we have listed below.
By Accessing your Motherboard’s BIOS
If you want to check your temperatures without downloading any additional applications, then accessing your BIOS is just right for you. There are several ways to access your BIOS, each based entirely on your motherboard’s manufacturer. We have listed the common motherboard brands below, along with the key to accessing BIOS.
|ASRock||F2 or DEL|
|Asus||F2 (for PCs), F2 or DEL for Motherboards|
|Acer||F2 or DEL|
|Dell||F2 or F12|
|Gigabyte||F2 or DEL|
|Lenovo||F2 (Laptops), F1 (Desktops), F1 (ThinkPad)|
Note: Tap these keys multiple times when you see the manufacturer’s logo on the screen just right after you turn on your computer.
As soon as you have entered the BIOS screen, you can immediately see the current CPU temperature. But take note since you are still in BIOS, the temperature displayed is the idle temperature instead of a full load.
Using CPU Software
Aside from accessing the BIOS, you can only get the idle CPU temperatures and use your CPU’s software. The main advantage of using this software is that you can monitor your CPU temps in real-time, whether at idle or full load, and you are sure that it is free of any malware. Just make sure that you get it from the manufacturer’s official website.
For Intel CPUs, you may use the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility. But unfortunately, this tool will only work on selected chips, particularly un unlocked processors capable of overclocking. But if you happen to have an AMD CPU, you can use AMD Ryzen Master Utility, which supports all Ryzen CPUs, excluding the Athlon and A6, A8, and A10 lineups.
Using Third-Party Software
Using third-party software is one of the most commonly used tools in terms of temperature monitoring. Just like the CPU software, these third-party apps can also monitor your real-time CPU temperature while gaming.
Below is the list of the CPU temp monitoring tools that we recommend, in no particular order.
The first on our list is Core Temp. This lightweight tool is great for monitoring your CPU temperature while under full load. It also shows basic information about your CPU, and it supports multiple languages.
HWMonitor is also on our list because of the accuracy of temperatures it provides. Aside from CPU temperature, it also monitors your other hardware, such as the GPU temperatures, CPU usage, fan speeds, as well as the temperatures of other hardware, such as the hard drives and motherboard. HWMonitor also comes with a pro version, with added features like Remote Monitoring, Graph Generator, and Improved Interface.
Another worth mentioning is RealTemp. Similar to those we have mentioned above, RealTemp is also a great tool for monitoring temperatures while gaming. And what I like about this tool is that it has built-in features like Sensor Test and even XS Bench, wherein you can do a quick benchmark on your CPU.
Aside from what we have listed here, there are still lots of tools that you can use in monitoring your CPU and GPU temperatures while gaming. These include HWiNFO, Speccy, AIDA64, and many more. Just always remember that when monitoring your CPU temperature, it is better to use multiple tools for more accurate results.
Why do CPUs Get Hot?
It is our job to keep normal temperatures while gaming if we want to use it a little longer. Maintaining good CPU temperatures will not only make your system stable, but you can also increase your computer’s lifespan. But no matter how we take care of our PC, it will eventually get hot. Some of it is because of common reasons, such as clogged fans, poor airflow, and insufficient or dried-out thermal paste. But some are not; that is why it is worth keeping an eye on. So below are just some common causes on why CPUs get hot.
Poor ventilation is one of the most common reasons why most PCs tend to get hot. It is because our cooling fans and heatsinks rely heavily on airflow, particularly inside the computer case. So no matter how good your CPU fan is, if you can’t keep a good amount of airflows inside your case, your CPU fan would be just as good as any common fan you can get on the market, especially in longer heavy usage.
Heavy Load on the Processor
Processors get hot because it uses power. And the more load it uses, the more power it consumes. As a result, the temperature rises along with other components.
To check your CPU load, just open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del keys on your keyboard. Click on More details located on the bottom left of the Task Manager window for more detailed information.
To see more specific reports on which of these applications are utilizing your CPU, just click on the Performance tab, then choose CPU.
By using this built-in Windows tool, you can see all the processes that are currently running on your system. If you notice high utilization of your CPU, try closing other programs that are not being used.
Another reason why CPU temperatures rise is because of dust that is building up in your system fans and heatsinks. Keep in mind that clogged dust will restrict airflow on your system, so it is important that we clean them up every once in a while.
Adjusting your CPU clock speed through overclocking would result in higher temperatures. Moreover, overclocking your components might also require you to increase the CPU voltage, which can result in more heat production. So if you are thinking about overclocking your CPU, it might be a good idea to invest in a decent CPU cooler first.
Improper Cable Management
Similar to clogged dust, improper cable management may also get in the way of air flowing inside your case, restricting a good airflow. This is why these days, cable management is a must. Not only does it allow proper ventilation in your gaming PC, but it also makes your computer looks clean and pleasant to the eyes.
Not Enough Thermal Paste
Having an insufficient amount of thermal paste would also make your CPU hotter. This is because when we place our cooler on top of the CPU, the base of the heatsink does not touch the CPU’s IHS completely. Rather, it leaves some air gaps, resulting in poor heat dissipation. So the job of the thermal paste is to fill those gaps for a more efficient heat transfer from the IHS to the heatsink.
A faulty RAM, or any component for that regard, may also contribute to additional heat inside the case, resulting in higher ambient temperature. Always remember that whenever a single component generates too much heat, you can expect that those heat will be distributed among the different components inside your computer, especially the CPU. So make sure to have your entire PC well-maintained every now and then to avoid this from happening.
Malware, short for malicious software, are those unwanted software that infects our hard drives. They come in different forms, such as viruses, worms, trojan horses, adware, and many more. What malware does will depend on the type.
For instance, you may wonder why your CPU load is full when you are not even running any programs, causing your CPU to work harder. In this situation, it might be possible that your hard drive is already infected with malware. What’s worse about malware is that it is hard to spot. The only way to avoid this is to make sure you have your PC protected by updated anti-virus programs and by trying to avoid downloading files and programs from sketchy websites.
How to Lower CPU Temperatures
Despite all those reasons that we mentioned above that might cause your CPU to overheat, luckily, there are steps that you can take to keep your CPU core temperatures at a normal level.
Although it might sound simple enough, PC placement plays a significant role when it comes to overall CPU temperatures. For one, placing your computer within a heat source should be avoided at all costs. Because no matter how good your coolers are, if your intake fans are absorbing all those warm air from the outside, it will have a direct effect on your case’s ambient temperature. With this, try placing your PC where there is good ventilation and far from any heat source.
Reapplying Thermal Paste
After a long period of time, thermal paste tends to get dried out. If this happens, your thermal paste will become inefficient in dissipating the heat to the cooler. So if you think that it’s been a while since the last time you have applied thermal paste on your CPU, try checking it to make sure it’s still functioning as it intends to. A new application of thermal paste can improve your CPU’s temperature by up to 10-15 degrees Celsius in some cases.
Reducing CPU Loads
To help maintain a good CPU temp, especially when gaming, try closing unnecessary applications in the background. These programs still use resources from your CPU even if you are not using them. If you are not sure where to locate these apps, you can open Task Manager and close those programs directly from there.
Once you have opened that Task Manager, look for those programs that you don’t need and close them by right-clicking on the item, then select End task.
Investing in Aftermarket Coolers
When playing games, there will be times that the stock coolers that came with the CPU will not be enough. This is where aftermarket coolers come into play. These coolers are designed to perform significantly better than stock coolers, allowing for safe CPU temps while gaming. With the right choice, your PC will not get at any risk of CPU overheating.
Get a Better Computer Case
Investing in a good chassis is another option to keep your PC cool. Since this is where all your components are installed, make sure that it is spacious enough so that you will not be restricting any airflow inside the case. Also, when you are shopping for a new case, never fall for those common marketing ploys such as elegant looks and lots of RGB lighting. Those features are just bonuses, so make sure that you prioritize performance rather than looks.
Clear your Computer from Dust
Another solution that could lower your CPU temperatures without breaking the bank is by cleaning your computer from dust. As you know, no matter how good your coolers are, whether it is top-of-the-line air coolers or expensive water coolers, if those heatsinks and radiators are clogged with dust, that would be just as good as useless. So make sure to clear your PC from dust every once in a while to maintain optimum performance from your coolers.
Invest in Watercoolers
Investing in watercoolers might be expensive, but they sure get the job done in maintaining CPU temperature within the normal range. When buying watercoolers, just make sure that you also choose those from reputable brands, as low-quality watercoolers might be at risk of leaking. Also, if you choose cheap watercoolers to save money, you might just as well buy an air cooler with a similar price as it might even perform better.
Signs that you Need a New CPU
If you are unlucky even after taking all those solutions in trying to reduce your CPU temperature, it might be the time that you need a new CPU as the processor itself might have a problem. But before buying one, try other steps, such as plugging the CPU into another computer to see if it helps. If it’s not, then you might consider investing in new ones.
So basically, if you notice that your system is slowing down and is always suffering from overheating even after taking up all the solutions, there is a high chance that the CPU itself is faulty and is in need of a replacement.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Is 85°C good for CPU?
As much as possible, you should avoid hitting 85°C as this exceeds the normal CPU temp while gaming. However, it would entirely depend on what CPU you are using. Most modern CPUs can still function with a temperature of up to 100°C. Still, reaching 85°C on a regular basis is not ideal and is not recommended.
What should be the idle CPU temperature?
Idle temperatures should range between 30°C to 40°C. It can get lower or high a little bit, depending on the ambient room temperature. But if your idle Core temperature is reaching >50°C, close monitoring may be necessary.
Is a high CPU temperature dangerous?
Yes. You should avoid reaching high temperatures under any circumstances. Having a hot CPU will not do you any good, but rather, you will increase the risk of CPU overheating. Aside from this, those extra heat will not only affect the CPU but also all the hardware inside your computer case.
What is the ideal CPU temp for gaming desktops and laptops?
Generally for desktop CPUs, ideal temps are around 75°C or below under heavy load. For laptops, ideally under 90°C
The CPU is one of the most important components of a PC, as it is considered the brain of the computer. With that said, it is essential that we must take good care of it to extend its lifespan further. One way of doing that is by keeping it within the acceptable normal CPU temp. As long as it is below 83°C, you should be fine. But then again, lower temp is always better.
If you would like to continue learning about CPUs, you can learn what factors affect CPU performance here www.gizmofusion.com/factors-affecting-cpu-performance.
James Cosgrove has been the lead writer at GizmoFusion since 2019. He has a huge passion for the latest technology and gadgets. He loves to talk and write about this interest. He hopes that visitors to the website will find his reports informative and helpful when it comes to making the best choices for their needs.