Check The Temperature Of Your CPU

If your PC keeps crashing for no apparent reason, and if those crashes tend to occur when the machine is busy doing lots of things, there's a pretty good chance that the problem is down to an overheating CPU.  Maybe one of the fans in your system has stopped working, or an air vent is blocked with dust.

To help diagnose such problems, here's a wonderful little Windows utility that tells you the current internal temperature of your CPU.  If the chip has multiple cores, it'll even give you a separate reading for each. And if there are multiple CPUs, that's catered for too.

It runs on Windows XP and above, and supports a wide variety of CPU types from Intel and AMD.  And it's only a 0.5 MB download.  Plus, it's available in 32- and 64-bit versions, including a portable version that can be run  directly without needing to be installed.  

The program is called CoreTemp, and you can get it from  




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by Lowndes (not verified) on 20. May 2012 - 16:25  (93745)

BE CAREFUL when you use the CoreTemp download site. There are three add-ons that follow the CoreTemp download click and they are obvious, not cleverly disguised or confusing. They do ask permission and CoreTemp still downloads without them. It's just the price we pay for free software!!

by Lloyd (not verified) on 21. September 2010 - 13:07  (58201)

I use Real Temp. Lots of overclockers seem to like it.

by kimisrael on 5. September 2010 - 17:37  (57314)

Most motherboard web sites have free downloadable utilities that hook to the bios itself for the most accurate readings and usually are relatively small for the fact that they monitor everything the bios does.

by man28drake (not verified) on 7. September 2010 - 2:53  (57380)

core temp is accurate as well as other third party software as long as they get the reading from the DTS inside the cpu cores.

by Jake MAverick (not verified) on 3. September 2010 - 15:20  (57207)

does NOT support Pentium 4 or d, wd have been usueful to mention that before i installed it! Grrr!!!

Use Speedfan instead, it's a goody!

by jclarkw on 9. March 2012 - 22:34  (90153)

>>[Core Temp] does NOT support Pentium 4 or d... Use Speedfan instead, it's a goody!<<

Does anybody know if SpeedFan will work an old IBM ThinkPad A22p with an overheating problem?

It contains a Pentium III (SL5TF, as I now know from servicing the cooling fan -- don't know the motherboard) and it obviously senses temperature (somewhere) and adjusts the fan speed accordingly. Thanks! -- jclarkw

by MidnightCowboy on 3. September 2010 - 18:10  (57217)

This is the support list link which is clearly visible from their main page.

As you can see there are too many to list one way or the other. With so many possibilities I don't think it unreasonable to expect anyone interested to check this for themselves first.

by AJNorth on 3. September 2010 - 14:36  (57203)

I should like to second torresmagnifico; 'SpeedFan' has been on my Dell XP laptop for several years. It works exceedingly well, monitors virtually every temp sensor - and allows one to adjust their laptop's individual fan speeds should they wish; it remains under development. A huge added plus is that it also reads the SMART chip in HDDs and provides a comprehensive report.

Also, as DesElms mentioned, CPUID has some excellent monitoring software, as well (also continuing to be developed), though many may favor the extra data and control available with SpeedFan.

by Nora Brinley (not verified) on 7. August 2011 - 5:17  (77064)

..the "Drive Fitness" monitor in "Speedfan" is excellent, actually works. With multiple machines, with multiple drive we keep a close eye on it.


by MidnightCowboy on 1. September 2010 - 8:18  (57086)

For anyone worried about installing additional software you can of course check the same sensors read by these third party programs from your BIOS.

See the note about these being lower than when the PC is in normal use and make sure NOT to save any changes when you exit.

Long before you have a real temperature problem though you should notice an increase in fan speed (more noise). If this high fan activity becomes constant then there might be something to worry about. This should also be evident during periods of high CPU use such as AV scans and possibly during reboots (depending on what your ambient temperature is) although it should drop again after.

by man28drake (not verified) on 1. September 2010 - 10:02  (57091)

I do prefer automated notification rather by manual monitoring since human are prone to judgment error... for example, if you watching or listening with your speaker on a high volume, how can you heard your over-speeding fan? its nice to have sensors and automated controls that alerts you if temperature is getting to high the allowable range, right?

by MidnightCowboy on 1. September 2010 - 11:16  (57095)

Agreed 100% although some folks have a phobia about installing software so this was one way they could check temperatures without doing so. Good point about not hearing the fan over speaker volume which would certainly apply to my new machine, but not the old one. This sounds very much like an express train at anything over 4,000rpm and very difficult to miss!

by Mr. Anonymous (not verified) on 1. September 2010 - 5:13  (57080)

Also not sure why anyone is downloading a setup file for this application. Just get the zip from the official site, make a folder for it and decompress it into there.

Run it afterward.

by Phylis Sophical on 1. September 2010 - 1:14  (57065)

Warning!! On the last setup screen there is a box checked for "Boost your PC Now - Create a desktop icon to PC Booster". When you Google that product, almost all links are marked red by WOT.

by cq (not verified) on 31. August 2010 - 16:33  (57052)

core temp does not Pentium 4 HT :(
any suggestion? i do need a portable software with overheating notification. thanks

by Drongo on 31. August 2010 - 19:12  (57056)

Not likely that you actually need it. Yours is probably set from the manufacturer to shut down automatically at 100 C to avoid problems.

by man28drake (not verified) on 1. September 2010 - 5:14  (57081)


how can you save your work if your PC suddenly shutdown without warning?

That's the beauty of overheat protection options from core temp where you can be noticed of such event before your system's own sensor shuts your PC down. now tell is this feature not beneficial to you???

by man28drake (not verified) on 31. August 2010 - 15:56  (57049)

HWMonitor as its name implies only monitors H/W's while core temp has a this feature called 'Overheat Protection' which most if not all doesn't have... so for me core temp is the clear winner in this category.

by 26Dolphins on 31. August 2010 - 13:55  (57045)

If you only want to monitor Temps, I'll side up with DesElms on HWMonitor.
Has a portable version, supports 32bit & 64bit systems and does a good job.

by malc_b (not verified) on 31. August 2010 - 12:25  (57040)

Hmm, Avira doesn't like the installer download and claims it is malware. I flagged this up to author who pointed me towards this

So softpedia also have concerns it seems. Softpedia says

Reasons why this program is marked as ad-supported:

· Offers to download or install software or components (Search Enhancement) that the program does not require to fully function

I'm still confused as what the installer is doing but it would seem the program might ad-supported which Avira thinks is malware.

by Faust (not verified) on 31. August 2010 - 2:42  (57019)

If you're running a Dell laptop, best to get I8kfanGUI. It hasn't been updated in awhile, but it remains the best way for Dells to manage their temp. (*May* work for other machines, but not guaranteed.)

by DesElms on 31. August 2010 - 2:06  (57017)
by Mr. Anonymous (not verified) on 30. August 2010 - 15:40  (56995)

SpeedFan is too bloated and not as accurate as CoreTemp. SpeedFan also has far too many confusing options for novice users which leads to people thinking that their are either having computer troubles, or that they somehow need to underclock their CPU.

Stay away from SpeedFan unless you like inaccurate, bloated software with confusing options.

by Faust (not verified) on 31. August 2010 - 2:44  (57020)


It's perfectly accurate (reading temp sensors is pretty straight forward, after-all) though there is indeed more than your average user needs, and probably would be too terribly confusing to the average anonymous poster.

by Mr. Anonymous (not verified) on 1. September 2010 - 5:10  (57078)

"Faust said: and probably would be too terribly confusing to the average anonymous poster."

Now, reading temperatures is not "straight forward," as you seem to think. There are a few different methods to read the temperatures of a processor and SpeedFan isn't as good at it as Everest, Sandra or even CoreTemp. SpeedFan often shows a 5-10 degree difference on any system I've ever seen it running on.

Most users do not want to fiddle with offsets. They just want it to work out of the box and to be as accurate (or close to) as possible.

SpeedFan has its uses. It also has its shortcomings. Just like any software, including the ones I listed above.

by MidnightCowboy on 31. August 2010 - 8:22  (57028)

For the more tech savy who also like to create things themselves, lets not forget the potential of Samurize and Rainmeter. For Windows 7 you will need Rainmeter (Samurize is not supported) but it will read Speedfan and display the results however you set it to. There's an example in the thread below showing two temperatures and one fan speed which I added to a default Rainmeter config.

If you're still with XP then Samurize is easier to work with (GUI) and much more configurable allowing for the creation of alarms, multiple displays and other stuff. Great fun if you're bored or just have a sad life like me :D

by Paul McDonald on 31. August 2010 - 3:23  (57023)

I have to agree with both Mr. Anonymous and Faust

Speedfan does accurately read the temperatures from my experience but yes, it can be a tad confusing to use (I am quite good with computers but needed a more experienced friend to help me set it up).

Cheers from Fremantle, Australia :-)


by torres-no-tan-m... on 30. August 2010 - 11:49  (56988)

Thanks for the heads up on this one.

I have been using SpeedFan which not only gives fan speeds but also temperatures of both your CPU and HDD.

Works on Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, 2003, XP, Vista and Windows 7 (including 64 bit).

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