The cooling system of your computer is one of the most important features of the machine. Without a proper cooling system the electrical components in your PC would simply be unable to function. A dead give away that your computer is overheating is if it begins to hang, freeze, or gets stuck, much in the same way you would expect a virus to affect a PC, but commonly happens when running hardware intensive programs such as video games or movies. Keeping your computer running within safe temperatures is very important, especially now that the temperatures have risen outside for the summer. Here’s how you can make sure your computer’s not overheating and how to fix it if it is.
Why an Overheated Computer Is Dangerous
Put simply, if your computer is becoming too hot, you are considerably shortening the lifespan of the hardware inside your computer and even running the risk of completely destroying the components inside. Irreparable damage to the internal workings of a computer may render it impossible to successfully recover sensitive data. Apart from data loss, a fried component tends to negatively affect the other internal organs of the PC. For example, if a CPU where to fry, it would damage the board surrounding the CPU making it impossible to just replace the CPU. In addition to numbering the days of your computer, excess heat will also severely hamper your computer making it run much slower than usual. In order to maintain your computer and keep it from slowing down, you should strive to make sure that your computer is running at low to moderate temperatures.
Because of the many different computer makes and models available, the safe temperature range that a computer should run at varies. The safe operating range depends on several things like processor speed, manufacturer, and architecture which makes it impossible for a single temperature to apply to all CPUs. Generally speaking however, AMD and Intel both have maximum temperature ratings for their CPU’s listed in and around 80C. Rest assured, if your CPU gets anywhere near this temperature, you know you’ve got some serious problems. Most PC experts recommend the CPU stay below 40C at idle state and below 55C at peak load.
How to Check the Temperature of Your PC
Just because it feels like your computer has turned your room into a sauna doesn’t mean it’s quite overheating yet, but it may be some indication that problems are arising. Likewise, placing your hand over your computer’s ventilation system isn’t an accurate enough way to judge how hot your computer is running. However, it can be a good gauge of whether your computer is getting progressively hotter or climbing to critical temperatures. Your computer case should not be so hot that you feel like you should pull the back of your hand away. So how exactly do you determine how hot your system’s running? You’ve got a few options open too you.
There are plenty of free system monitoring tools out there which can give you a full temperature read-out. A recommended free Windows program that can do exactly this is called HWMonitor, which displays the voltage, temperatures, and fan speed of the CPU, video card, and hard drives. There are of course other easy to use system monitoring software available such as Real Temp, Core Temp, and SpeedFan to name a few. Unfortunately, when using programs such as these you’ll need to make sure that your hardware is supported due to the fact that these programs are limited in the amount of different sensors they can read.
The other way to check your computer’s temperature can be done without the use of additional software through your system BIOS. Simply restart your computer and enter the BIOS through the boot screen. You should have an option to press a key (usually Delete) to enter the BIOS setup shortly after booting. Once you’re inside the configuration, navigate through the BIOS menu using the on-screen ques and instructions. There should be a menu that details your computers hardware and CPU and will have a field for your CPU temperature. This temperature will generally reflect the temperature of the idle state of the CPU as there are no intensive programs running.
How to Keep Your Computer From Overheating
The first and most important step to keeping your computer from overheating is making sure plain and simple that the insides are clean. Dust will undoubtedly be one of the biggest culprits responsible for raising your computer’s temperature. Dust buildup will form a blanket of insulation that can radically reduce the life span of your system and every inch of your computer that is covered with dust will raise temperatures across the board. It’s something so easy to take care of that it is absolutely ridiculous not too.
So what happens now that you’ve found all this dust clogging up the insides of your computer? Arm yourself with a Philips screwdriver and a can of compressed air and get to work. Use the can of compressed air with the thin narrow straw attached to the nozzle to blow the dust off all the components inside your PC’s case. Among the really important things to dust out is the fan on top of the CPU, the filters over the fans, and the fan on the power supply. Of course look for all inlets, heat sinks, and fans which may have dust accumulated on them. Keep the can upright as much as possible to avoid liquid coming out of the can. If liquid does come out of the can, don’t panic, it shouldn’t harm the computer. Use the screwdriver to remove any fans inside the case which don’t allow for easy cleaning. If you prefer, you can use a damp cloth to clean out the fan blades instead of compressed air as sometimes dust is hard to get off that region.
If your computer is overheating, please resist the urge to take the side of the case off the computer like you’ve probably seen everybody else do. It’s a common rookie maneuver that will often only compound the problem. Most computers are intricately designed to ensure that cool air is being circulated to all critical components while simultaneously dissipating heat. Removing the side of the case will disrupt the designed circulation of the system.
Instead, shut down the computer and give it a few moments to cool down. Take this time to plan a course of action that involves cleaning if necessary and checking that everything in the system is working and up to date. This includes upgrading your BIOS and looking for damaged fans and heat sinks. Look around for cracks, missing pieces and make sure that all hardware is securely in place and all fans are running properly. Any broken fans or damaged heat sinks can be bought and installed for relatively cheap and will go a long ways towards keeping your computer cool.
If you’re not comfortable cracking open your PC and installing new parts, this is the point that you may want to consider finding a professional, and this is where Nationwide Computer Service Now can help. We have some of the most skilled computer technicians in the nation who are experienced in building, installing, and maintain computer hardware of all shapes and sizes