Does Windows provide a means to check my CPU temperature natively?
If not, are there any software tools which can reveal this information?
Windows doesn't expose this information out of the box - you need to install any of a myriad of tools to find it. (For something lightweight, I like Open Hardware Monitor.)
There is no built-in Windows utility to do this, so you need to use another tool.
My personal favorite is SpeedFan. SpeedFan can monitor CPU temperatures, GPU temperatures, S.M.A.R.T. data, hard disk drive temperatures, and more; and if you want to you can also adjust fan speeds with it too.
You might want to take a look at HWMonitor, which shows a wide variety of system sensors.
In addition to temperature, it also shows system voltages, fan speeds, and power consumption - not only for your CPU, but all the hardware connected to your computer that has sensors (including your graphics cards and hard drives).
For a more "advanced" tool (showing much more information), you may want to use HWiNFO.
*** First note that I have only used NVIDIA System Monitor and have no user-knowledge of other tool software for this purpose.
If your PC has an Nvidia graphics card, or installed monitor software, their System Monitor tool is available at nvidia.com. IT IS AMAZING!!!
Add the program to your desktop and you can open the program and instantly know CPU, GPU, and hard disk drive temperatures, as well as memory % in-use, vital multi-core CPU % in-use for each, net data transfer speed and identifies CPU clocking speeds and more.
It also shows fan speeds and allows you to change their settings from auto to manual control easily (I use this feature as a temperature spike preventive on hot Summer days).
I physically clean the inside of my pc more often since I used this program to record a 30° CPU average temperature drop after a good cleaning.
No, there is no native Windows 7 method to monitor temperature; a third-party utility is required. Coverage of all temperature sensors (CPU, graphics, motherboard, and hard disk drive) woule be ideal.
Windows does not provide the necessary tools for monitoring your CPU temperature.
For third-party applications I recommend Core Temp. It displays the current, minimum and maximum temperature for every core. It also includes an "always on top" mode or it can display the current temperature from your system tray.
I use BatteryCare.
It shows the CPU as well as hard disk drive temperature with a simple UI. It has some really awesome features if you are using it on a laptop. To clear some myths about batteries, please read this article.
I have also installed SpeedFan, but rarely do I use it. It is pretty complicated to use plus risky if you don't know what you are doing.
Thank you for your interest in this question.
Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).
Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?