How to Reduce CPU Temperatures (11 Effective Ways)

Have you experienced playing games and the computer just suddenly turns off on its own? There may be a number of reasons behind this problem but it is very common for a computer to shut down when the CPU temperature is too hot.

How do I lower my CPU temperatures?

This questions has been asked many times after experiencing the problem when gaming. The risks are just too high to leave it as it is, and might lead to replacing your CPU, or worse, replacing your motherboard.

To keep yourself from facing such dilemma, we have compiled a list of ways to effectively reduce your CPU temperatures. More on this below.

What Happens When the CPU Temperature is Too High?

In most cases, and with how computers are designed today, the entire system shuts down when a CPU reaches a specific temperature to keep it from going up in smokes. This assures that your computer is kept from possible and further damage.

Regardless, regular high temperature readings when using your computer for long periods of time could risk and damage the CPU. This also risks damaging the motherboard down the line. This is a reason why you need to make sure your CPU temperatures are kept at low levels.

How Hot Should my CPU Be When Playing Games?

There really is no definitive answer to such question because of how diverse games are designed. Some games may be CPU dependent while others are RAM or GPU dependent. Not to mention that the “safe” temperature readings vary from one CPU model to another.

No matter the case, a CPU temperature should play around 75-80 degrees celsius when gaming. When the computer is doing small processes or in an idle state, it should be around 45 degrees celsius to a little over 60 degrees celsius at most.

Ways to Reduce and Maintain your CPU Temperatures at Low Levels

Method 1
Allow better airflow

One of the easiest ways to reduce your CPU temperature is to allow better airflow inside the computer system. Unfortunately, many people fail to get this right.

There is a thing that we call positive airflow(more air goes in the system unit and less out), negative airflow(more air goes out than it goes in), as well as neutral or balanced airflow. It is best to go with a neutral airflow setup as opposed to going either positive or negative airflow.

Unless you have full control of each and every single fan’s RPMs, having more intake fans than exhaust fans, or the other way around, can be adjusted and manipulated in a way to still get the best airflow.

Method 2
Cable management

  1. Method 2- Cable management

    People usually ignore the importance of keeping a tidy cable management. The fact that they take up a large amount of space is what makes a poor airflow. Taking some time to tidy your cables inside the computer is an effective way to promote better airflow.

Method 3
Location of your System Unit

Among the common reasons why gamers have a higher CPU temperature reading has something to do with where their computer system is located. Chances of seeing higher temperatures is likely to happen if it is placed in a poorly ventilated area.

Even with the tidied up cable management and proper airflow setup, temperatures still show higher readings even in idle state. Make sure you move your computer to a well-ventilated area before it starts to develop problems.

Method 4
Clean your computer fans and parts

Fans are what keeps the air to continuously flow in and out of your computer system. At the same time, they accumulate dust on the blades in the long run, a reason why it is vital to have them cleaned regularly.

A simple task like this usually is what solves a number of temperature drop problems. Do this on a regular basis to ensure you keep the temperatures maintained.

To do so, you need the right tools and equipment to make sure you are doing it right.

Things you need:

  1. A can of compressed air
  2. Dust mask
  1. 4.1 Remove the screws
    1

    Remove the screws from the back of the covers

  2. 4.2 remove the cover of the computer case
    2

    Carefully remove the cover of the computer case

  3. 4.3 wear your protective gear
    3

    Make sure you wear your protective gear

  4. 4.4 Use the can of compressed air
    4

    Use the can of compressed air to blow the dusts off

  5. 4.5 Blow the dusts
    5

    Blow the dusts off from the fans

    NOTE: Make sure you hold the fans and never allow them to spin as you hit them with the compressed air. This leads to damages in the header of the fans.

  6. 4.6 Use the compressed air
    6

    Use the compressed air to dust off the power supply fans

  7. 4.7 Clear off the dusts
    7

    Clear off the dusts around the casing using the compressed air, especially in areas where fans are installed

  8. 4.8 Refit and screw the covers back
    8

    Refit and screw the covers back

Video

Method 5
Close the case at all times

  1. 5. Close the case at all times

    It has been debated through the years that an open computer system is far better than keeping it closed. It may seem logical since an open case allows more air but it also attracts more dusts.

    With a closed computer case, you guarantee you improve airflow and keep dusts at bay at the same time. This also promotes and ensures you are less likely to clean them more often.

Method 6
Apply thermal paste

  1. 6. Apply thermal paste

    Reapplying the thermal paste usually does the trick. There are cases where a thermal paste is left out and dried out. This poses a threat to your CPU. Going for a better quality thermal paste leads to better results in transferring heat between the heat sink and the CPU.

    When applying a thermal paste to your CPU, make sure you refer to our How to Correctly Apply Thermal Paste to CPU guide to get it done right and see ideal temperature readings after.

Method 7
Invest in a better CPU cooler

  1. 7. Invest in a better CPU cooler

    Stock fans or coolers may be fine but they are not as efficient as an aftermarket CPU cooler or fan. Getting an aftermarket CPU cooler should be preferred and considered, especially if you are overclocking your CPU.

    This should also reflect a huge difference in CPU temperatures. Refer and check out our Best CPU Cooler for Gaming review to make the right investment.

Method 8
Invest in a case fan

  1. If your computer has 2 case fans installed, then you will surely see an improvement in temperature readings if you invest and get another case fan or two. These additions ensure your computer has better and more efficient airflow.

Method 9
Get a better PSU

  1. 9. Get a better PSU

    It also is ideal if you get a better power supply. A modular PSU allows you to have full control of the wires, keeping the wires from messing with the airflow inside the system unit.

    Know the difference between full vs semi vs non-modular power supply before you get a PSU and check our reviews on the best power supply for gaming to make the right selection according to your needs.

Method 10
Set higher fan speeds using SpeedFan

To manually adjust the speed of the CPU fan also is an easy and straightforward way to adjust the temperatures and get cooler readings.

  1. 10.1 Download the file from the SpeedFan’s
    1

    Download the file from the SpeedFan’s download page here

  2. 10.2 install the downloaded SpeedFan software
    2

    Open and install the downloaded SpeedFan software

  3. 10.3 adjust the speeds
    3

     

    Open the software and click on the Up Arrow or the Down Arrow, respectively, to adjust the speeds according to your computer’s load.

     

    NOTE: At 50%, you should have cool temperatures with low processes and idle speeds. Make sure you adjust the temperatures when gaming to maintain low temperatures.

Method 11
Adjust your processor’s maximum power load via control panel

Among the easiest way to reduce your CPU temperatures is to reduce the CPU’s maximum capacity or load. What makes this great is the fact that you don’t need to spend on anything at all.

  1. 11. Open your Control Panel
    1

    Open your Control Panel

  2. 11.2 Click on the Hardware and Sound
    2

    Click on the Hardware and Sound

  3. 11.3 Go to Power Options
    3

    Go to Power Options

  4. 11.4 Click on the Balanced option
    4

    Click on the Balanced option before you click on the Change plan settings

  5. 11.5 Click on Change advanced power settings
    5

    Click on Change advanced power settings

  6. 11.6 Click on the + sign
    6

    Click on the + sign you see beside the Processor power management from the Power Options window that shows up after clicking on the Change advanced power settings

  7. 11.7 Click on the + sign you see beside the Maximum processor state option
    7

    Click on the + sign you see beside the Maximum processor state option

  8. 11.8 Reduce the setting from the default 100% to 80%.
    8

     

    Reduce the setting from the default 100% to 80%.

     

    IMPORTANT: Don’t put 0 in the settings as this leads to Fatal Errors. Staying not less than 75% should keep you safe.

  9. 11.9 Click on the Apply button
    9

    Click on the Apply button to confirm the changes and see a continuous drop in CPU temperature within 10-30 seconds

Video

Conclusion

Keeping your CPU temperatures at low levels is what makes a happy computer. Improvement in performance and faster response rates are among the things you will benefit from a well-maintained computer.

By following these methods, to experience and achieve lower CPU temperatures will be at hand.

1 Comment

  1. Snowyrose says:

    Thank you for the advice! While I didn’t need to download your program as my motherboard comes standard with fan management software, your advice on lowering cpu power usage worked like a charm! Just as you said, lowering it to 80 dropped my core temp by a whopping 15 degrees Celsius! An addition point of advice though: sometimes, your minimum settings may be set to 100% as well so you’ll also need to change those to 80%! 🙂

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