What is My CPU’s Max Temp & How to Avoid Reaching this Temp? 

 “Why is my PC overheating?” “Have I crossed my CPU’s max temp?” Whenever a PC unexpectedly locks up, lags, or shuts off completely, these are the questions we ask ourselves. Unfortunately, most PC owners don’t know the answers to these important questions. They don’t know their CPU’s temperature range. Hence, they don’t know how to maintain a safe CPU temperature either. If you don’t want to cause permanent damage to your CPU, you need to know the answers to these questions. 

Every CPU is designed to endure a specific amount of heat. However, playing video games or streaming HD videos for long hours can raise your CPU’s temperature beyond this heat threshold. So, how hot should your CPU get? What is the normal CPU temp you should aim for when using your PC for intense activities like gaming? Let’s answer these questions one by one. 

Do you have a particular question about CPU max temp? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

How Hot Can My CPU Get?

Your CPU’s max temp or heat threshold will depend on its features. Different processors have different heat thresholds. You should check what type of CPU you have on your system to find the right answer to this question. But, in general, a safe CPU temp is anything between 40°C (104°F) to 60°C (140°F). When gaming, your CPU’s temp may fluctuate between 61°C-73°C (142° F-164° F). That’s the average CPU temp while gaming & it’s fine for most new-age CPUs.

However, you should start worrying if your CPU’s temp exceeds 80°C (176°F). For most CPUs, that’s way beyond the overheating mark. Your PC will simply stop functioning if your CPU ever becomes that hot. Ideally, your CPU temp should be the same as the ambient room temperature (24°C or 75°F). Your CPU can reach 40°C (104°F) to 60°C (140°F) in a hotter environment. It should not exceed the 80°C (176°F) mark when under full load. 

To answer the question, “What’s a Good CPU Temp?” in more detail, I scrolled through different tech forums & created the following list. It’s a list of the most popular CPUs in the world & their average heat thresholds under full load. If you find your CPU (or a similar model) on this list, note the safe temperature level for future reference. 

   Processor Model

Normal CPU Temperature (Under Full Load)

Maximum Temperature (Heat Threshold)

Intel Core i3-7350K

45°C (113°F) to 60°C (140°F)

100°C (212°F)

Intel Core i5-6600K

42°C (107.6°F) to 53°C (127.4°F)

72°C (161.6°F)

Intel Core i5 4690K

60°C (140°F)

74°C (165.2°F)

Intel Core i7-7700K

50°C (122°F) to 70°C (158°F)

100°C (212°F)

Intel Core i7-4790K

Below 70°C (158°F)

73°C (163.4°F)

Intel Celeron

67°C (152.6°F) to 85°C (185°F)

73°C (163.4°F)

Intel Core 2 Duo

45°C (113°F) to 55°C (131°F)

105°C (221°F)

Intel Pentium Pro

75°C (167°F)

85°C (185°F)

AMD A6-7400K

45°C (113°F) to 57°C (134.6°F)

70°C (158°F)

AMD A10-7850K

50°C (122°F) to 60°C (140°F)

72.4°C (162.3°F)

AMD A10-5800K

50°C (122°F) to 55°C (131°F)

74°C (165.2°F)

AMD Athlon 64

45°C (113°F) to 60°C (140°F)

78°C (172.4°F)

AMD Phenom II X6

45°C (113°F) to 55°C (131°F)

62°C (143.6°F)

AMD Phenom X4

50°C (122°F) to 60°C (140°F)

62°C (143.6°F)

AMD Duron

85°C (185°F)

90°C (194°F)

AMD Opteron

54°C (129.2°F) to 60°C (140°F)

69°C (156.2°F)

As you can see, gaming CPUs like the Intel Core 2 Duo or the AMD Duron can easily withstand temperatures higher than 90°C (194°F) without overheating. But that doesn’t mean your CPU can do the same. You should Google your CPU’s model & check its maximum heat threshold. Then, check your CPU’s current temperature. Here’s a helpful video guide on how to check your CPU’s temperature:

Use this method to check whether you’re maintaining a safe CPU temp while gaming, streaming videos, etc.  

What Is A Bad CPU Temp?

Once your CPU reaches a temperature of 80°C or higher, you should start worrying. That’s the max CPU temp while gaming for most modern CPUs. Once a CPU reaches such a high temperature, it activates a safety mechanism called “thermal throttling.” When this mechanism is activated, the CPU starts running slower. 

The maximum processor usage is reduced & the CPU attempts to revert to safe operating temperatures on its own. This sudden slowdown can cause your system to crash. Don’t worry: thermal throttling isn’t the problem that needs to be fixed here. The problem is that you let your CPU reach a “bad” temperature. 

Running a CPU outside of its recommended operating temperature is extremely detrimental to its health. If you keep making the mistake of overheating your CPU, the thermal throttling will continue. In addition, sudden shutdowns will cause permanent damage to your CPU’s sockets. Such damage can render your PC’s motherboard useless.

What Is A Safe CPU Temp & How to Maintain It?

A safe CPU temp range is anything between 40°C (104°F) to 60°C (140°F). A safe CPU temperature range while gaming is anything between 61°C to 73°C (142° F to 164° F). To maintain these safe temperature levels, I suggest you take the following steps: 

  • Allow better airflow into your PC. Buy an open airflow case for your PC. Make sure every single fan inside your PC is working properly. 
  • Messy cables often disrupt the unfiltered flow of air in & out of your PC. To ensure that doesn’t happen, arrange all cables around your PC neatly. 
  • Install your system in a well-ventilated area. Place it in a region that receives cool fresh air throughout the day.
  • Take your PC for maintenance at a nearby PC repair store. Ask the repair experts to reapply the thermal paste to your PC. Every PC comes with this paste applied on its insides. This paste becomes dry over time. Reapplying this thermally conductive compound to your PC can help it cool faster. 
  • Fans can’t function properly if they’re covered with dust and debris. Clean your PC’s fans regularly by using cans of compressed air. Here’s a helpful video guide on this process:

Don’t forget to clean the rest of your PC as well! 

What Is the Max Temperature for A CPU?

How will you know if your CPU is reaching its max temp? Look out for the following warning signs: 

  • PC fans are running more intensely than usual & causing loud noises
  • Your computer is lagging frequently 
  • Lines appear across the screen

As soon as you notice these signs, take steps to cool your PC down. First, shut off all programs or applications. Then, shut your PC down. Next, clean it and keep it shut for a while. Upon restarting the device, check the CPU temp to see if it’s back to normal levels. 

Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.

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