There are several factors that impact the performance of any computer, including a gaming computer, and one of the most important here is hardware temperatures. Keeping parts in an optimal temperature range, and specifically avoiding risks of overheating important components, plays a major role in optimal operations and speed, plus has a direct impact on long-term machine lifespan.
At Xidax, we provide high-quality custom gaming laptops, gaming computers and other computing solutions that are designed to maintain optimal temperature ranges during all normal operations. What are some of the basic important factors here, including CPU and GPU temperature ranges your system should stay within, how to track your current machine temperatures, and some methods to help cool down your setup if you’re dealing with overheating concerns.
Optimal CPU Temperatures for Gaming
As most gamers are well aware, high-powered gaming computers and related devices tend to run at higher temperatures than other standard computers. Gaming applies plenty of overall strain to a computer’s components, and this strain is often transferred into heat.
Generally speaking, there are a fairly wide range of temperatures your CPU processor may run at – the most important factor is ensuring they don’t exceed certain maximum thresholds. This threshold today is usually considered to be 176 degrees Fahrenheit, or 80 degrees Celsius; your machine should not exceed these at any point. From an average standpoint, ideal gaming computers will run at between 167-176 degrees Fahrenheit.
GPU Temperature Ranges
In today’s day and age, modern games and computing devices tend to pull the vast majority of their performance demands from the GPU rather than the CPU. This is for a few reasons, but the fact that GPUs are specifically designed for high-res images and video displays, while CPUs handle a larger range of device tasks, plays a big role. However, this means the demand for quality cooling for GPUs has increased significantly in recent years.
GPU manufacturers like NVIDIA and AMD have found several solutions for limiting temperature, but there is a pretty wide range of average temperatures depending on your exact GPU. Most are capped at a max temperature of 203 degrees Fahrenheit, or 95 Celsius, but optimal temperatures are closer to the 185-degree range. Temperature in the GPU may be impacted by several factors, including the game itself, the GPU’s cooling design, room temperature, fan presence and a few others.
How to Track Temperatures
Here are some basics on how to track your device temperatures using built-in tools from industry leaders like NVIDIA, Intel, AMD and others:
- CPU temperature: There are several utility programs found here, including Intel Extreme Tuning Utility and Ryzen Master Utility (for AMD). These allow for a full range of temperature tracking, plus assistance with issues like overclocking. Some of these only work with specific motherboards within that company’s range of products, while others will be more versatile.
- GPU temperature: There are also control panels used for GPU panels, such as the AMD Catalyst Control Center. Typically installed alongside graphics card drivers, these allow for full monitoring of GPU temperature.
In addition, you might consider additional monitoring tools. Options like SpeedFan or OpenHardwareMonitor are free and simple to use, and there are many others you can download if you use a different graphics card that isn’t compatible with one of the above programs. Our pros will also be happy to recommend specific testing products or programs if you’re in need.
Temperature Issues and Remedies
Are you experiencing high temperatures in your CPU or GPU and trying to get to the bottom of what’s causing them? Here are several of the most common causes, plus general approaches for dealing with them:
- Cable setup, fans and airflow: One of the top potential causes of high CPU or GPU temperatures is a setup where you aren’t allowing for proper airflow, often due to placement of cables. While you may have a number of pieces or cables involved in your setup, you need to maintain an open-air cooling design that allows for heat to be transferred away from the machine as it works.
- Dust concerns: Another major cause of high temperatures is dust buildup, which may accumulate inside a CPU or GPU case over a period of months. If it’s not cleaned, it may impact internal airflow and the ability of the machine to cool itself. A top tool to fight off dust: Compressed air, which you should keep a canister of around at all times to clean any dust of your PC on a regular basis.
- Lack of fans: Fans are also vital for limiting device temperature. Case fans reduce internal CPU temperatures drastically in many cases, and you can absolutely have multiple such fans in your setup to promote better airflow.
- Ambient temperature: Also important here is ambient temperature, or the temperature of the surrounding room and structure the computer is located within. Hotter places require better HVAC systems and ventilation – if you do not have these, you may see your system suffer.
- Overclocking: Overclocking, or pushing a component too hard and beyond its limit, can also be an issue for temperature. However, GPUs and CPUs today come with an overclocking profile that you may be able to alter to meet your device’s changing needs.
GPU Cooling Fan Methods
If you know you’re dealing specifically with GPU temperature issues, there are a couple specific fan methods that are typically used to deal with these:
- Blower fan: A fan that takes air from inside the case and blows it out through rear vents on the GPU card, the blower fan is ideal for limiting heat buildup in side a case.
- Open-air: This fan moves air from above fans and blows it out to the sides, and provides a quieter, faster and cooler alternative to the blower fan. Because it’s 5 degrees Celsius colder than the blower fan and is also available in a wider range of options, the open-air fan is the much more common choice here.