Computers run hot like any other electronics, which is why their fans are always working.
However, since high temperatures can damage PC components, you should always monitor how hot your CPU gets.
During monitoring, you may get different readings, and you should learn what they mean so you can determine if they’re safe.
As a result, you should know if 60˚C is within the safe limit.
Is 60 Degrees Celsius Hot For A CPU?
60 degrees Celsius is generally considered a safe threshold, no matter what type of load your computer is handling.
However, if your computer is idle, you may want to lower the temps to 30˚C or 40˚C.
CPU temperature depends on different factors, including the brand and the tasks you perform on your PC.
CPU manufacturers may consider various temperatures as normal or the maximum for their products.
These values are determined by the materials used in these processors.
For example, if 50 degrees Celsius is safe for one brand of CPU, it may be near the maximum threshold for another.
You can search your CPU brand to find its normal and maximum allowed temps.
Generally speaking, modern CPUs have high maximum thresholds.
However, the type of task you perform on your computer affects your CPU usage and temperature.
As a result, your CPU should be in a specific temperature range depending on how light or heavy your task is.
Safe CPU Temperatures
As mentioned, the CPU temps rise and lower depending on the tasks you perform on your computer.
The heavier the task, the higher the temperature can go.
The CPU gets hot because electrons move to transfer data, and movement creates heat.
The faster the electrons move, the hotter your CPU gets.
As a result, more intensive programs make the CPU hotter.
However, depending on the task, there’s a limit to how hot your CPU can get.
Generally speaking, when your PC is idle, you can expect the CPU temps to be between 30-40˚C.
You may not be doing anything on your PC, but background processes are running and raising the temps.
If you perform light tasks like word processing or light browsing, you can expect the temps to rise to 40-65˚C.
However, heavier tasks, such as gaming and video editing, can drive your CPU temps up to 80˚C.
Whether these ranges are safe largely depends on your CPU brand and model.
Today’s high-end CPUs can tolerate temperatures of up to 90˚C or higher.
For example, Intel core i7 1185 CPUs have a maximum operating temperature of 100 ˚C.
It’s best to consult your CPU manufacturer’s website and check its safe operating temps.
That said, these maximum temperatures are the highest points that trigger throttling.
It doesn’t mean you can operate your computer at these temperatures for extended periods.
The general rule is to keep your temps below 70˚C or 80˚C if you’re overclocking.
If the temps go over 80˚C, consider cooling down your CPU.
Are High CPU Temps Dangerous?
The highest temperature your CPU should reach is 80˚C under a heavy load or 90˚C if your CPU is high-end and can tolerate it.
These thresholds mean that your PC can operate safely without affecting its performance.
But what if the temps go higher than these suggested temps?
Can your PC be damaged if they’re too high?
Your CPU can tolerate temperatures higher than the safe threshold—but not for too long.
Depending on the materials used in making your CPU, it may get damaged with prolonged use.
Here are some things that might happen to your computer if it gets too hot.
1. Lowered Performance
CPUs have thermal protection mechanisms that activate when their temps reach a critical threshold.
This throttling system lowers your PC’s performance to reduce the load on the CPU and cool it down to the allowed degrees.
So, one of the first signs of high temperatures can be lowered performance.
If your PC frequently slows down, you should consider tracking and lowering the temperatures.
2. BSOD And Crashes
Sometimes the high temperatures won’t go down simply by reducing performance.
In other cases, the temps go up so critically that the system doesn’t have enough time to respond, and it crashes.
You may see frequent blue screens of death when your PC is under a heavy load.
In addition, you may experience frequent restarts without apparent causes.
All of these scenarios can indicate your CPU is running hot.
3. Physical Damage
The throttling mechanisms used in PCs are mainly to reduce damage to the internal components because they’re susceptible to harm from high temperatures.
As a result, you may not immediately see physical damage due to high temperatures.
In addition, the CPU itself is more resistant to heat than other components.
However, your CPU temps can damage your internal parts in the long run if you don’t control and lower them.
The main reason is that a hot CPU can increase the temperature inside the case and affect other components that aren’t as resistant to heat.
For example, you may see the internal wires melt, causing electrical shocks.
In other cases, the plastic parts inside the PC case may warp or get cracked.
In severe cases, your motherboard gets damaged or the hard drive fails, leading to data loss.
4. Lowered CPU Lifetime
Even if your CPU doesn’t get damaged, uncontrolled overheating can take a toll on it and lower its life expectancy over time.
Prolonged exposure to excessive heat can damage the pins and circuits inside the CPU and lead to the premature death of your CPU.
So, it’s always advisable to keep the temperatures below the recommended ranges to prolong your hardware’s lifespan.
How To Measure CPU Temps
Measuring your CPU temps is essential in maintaining your system’s overall health and performance.
Occasional spikes can’t be a base for judgment because they can indicate running programs, such as antiviruses, in the background.
Unfortunately, Windows has no built-in tool to measure and monitor CPU temps.
The only way is through the BIOS, which is difficult and not necessarily accurate.
The good news is that you can use many third-party tools that give you accurate readings plus many other features, such as individual cores and the highest allowed temperatures for your CPU model.
Core Temp is a free tool that’s easy to use and gives you many useful readings.
Can You Get Different Readings For Each Core?
Some CPU temp monitoring tools allow you to see each core’s temperatures.
This way, you can better control your processor’s performance and take action when things look concerning.
The CPU temperatures that the readings show you are the average of all the cores’ temperatures.
However, each core’s temperature may not be the same as the others.
For example, while one core is 60˚C, another can be 70˚C.
In such cases, you may wonder if these discrepancies indicate a problem.
In most cases, these differences are natural because of the way CPU cores work.
Each core takes on different tasks to get the job done, but the job that each core does may not be as heavy as others, leading to different temp readings.
In addition, some programs are single-threaded, meaning they only use one core of your CPU, no matter how many cores it has.
As a result, one core temperature gets considerably high while others are low.
However, if the difference between the core temps is considerable, you may want to take action to cool down the CPU.
How To Reduce CPU Temps
Even if your CPU can tolerate high temperatures, keeping the temperatures down as much as possible is always recommended.
In addition, you may notice that your CPU gets hotter than usual when running idle.
For example, although 60 degrees Celsius is a safe temperature, it may indicate a cooling problem if you notice your CPU runs at this temperature for a prolonged period, even when the PC is idle.
Another situation that urgently calls for better cooling is overclocking.
When you overclock, you push your CPU to work harder than the normal operation level specified by the manufacturer.
Overload leads to overheating which requires more robust cooling solutions.
In such cases, you should take action to reduce your CPU temps.
Here are some things you can do.
1. Keep Your Computer Clean
Dust buildup is the first thing you should eliminate while cooling down your PC.
It can be so effective that you may never need other cooling solutions because a bit of dust can be all it takes to trap heat inside.
If your case vents are clogged with dust, air can’t get out freely, rendering your cooling system useless.
It can also prevent the fans from moving fast enough.
So, clean your computer regularly and prevent further dust accumulation by keeping the device in a dust-free place.
2. Keep Ambient Temperatures Low
If your room is hot, your PC will inevitably overheat.
It’s important to place your computer in a cool and well-ventilated room to avoid high ambient temperatures heating up your computer.
Although your room should be well-ventilated, you shouldn’t keep it somewhere with too much airflow because that can increase dust.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t place your PC case inside cabinets with little airflow because—as you can imagine—it increases internal temperatures.
3. Invest In Strong Fans
If you perform normal computing tasks, your stock cooling system will do.
However, if you play heavy games or overclock your CPU, you need more robust cooling systems.
The fans should be strong enough for the demanding jobs that your CPU and GPU perform.
You can add more case fans to increase the airflow and remove hot air and take in cool air more quickly.
If you think your fans can’t cool down your PC’s innards, you may want to invest in a water-cooling system to get better results.
4. Reduce The Load On Your CPU
If your CPU temps are higher than they should be for your task, you should reduce the load on your processor.
The more tasks the CPU has to do, the hotter it will get.
Note that the temperature may not be of concern if it doesn’t remain high for too long.
Temperature spikes are normal when you perform something demanding if they go down when the task is done.
However, if you want to keep your CPU temps down while the PC is idle—or even while performing demanding tasks—the best thing to do is close background tasks.
This way, you reduce the load on the processor and it only performs vital tasks.
5. Check The Thermal Paste
A CPU’s thermal paste plays a vital role in keeping it cool.
The heatsink, which dissipates the CPU’s heat, is attached to the CPU through the thermal paste.
If the heatsink isn’t seated correctly, making a perfect connection with the CPU, it can’t cool down the processor effectively.
Old thermal paste is one of the most critical factors that can impair the contact between the heatsink and the CPU, leading to increased temps.
Reapplying the thermal paste and reseating the heatsink can reduce the temps significantly.