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There are some applications which claim to be able to detect the temperature of various components inside your PC, for example: Speedfan. How do they detect the temperature without using any external tool?

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There are sensors, spread all over your pc. They depend on the hardware you use, but almost every motherboard has a thermal sensor at the cpu socket. So all what those tools do is polling those sensors for information. You can do that on your own with a little bit of programming, for example by using WMI.

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