My CPU temperature revolves around 40 - 50 C while idle and it immediately shoots up to 90 C while starting a game as old as AOE II Conquerors.

See below the screenshot which I captured using CPU ID HWMonitor. I want to know if its a concern and I should go for some enhanced CPU Cooler. I have heard the CPU automatically shuts down if its too hot but it never happened for me.

My Configuration is :

  • Intel Core i7
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce 210

enter image description here
(click for larger image)

  • 40-50 is on the high end for ambient, but that can depend on your room temps - it's crazy if you have room temps 10-20, but not too far off for room of 20-30. The load temps are a bit high (80 is generally recommended max), but that depends on your system's cooling policy - some systems will prefer quiet over cool. Can you test with other loads? Presumably, AoE isn't a particularly heavy load - but some old games and programs are notorious for spinning in a full busy loop, in the days where letting the CPU idle was wasteful. – Bob Sep 7 '14 at 7:10
  • Thanks. Somehow I feel the readings are erroneous. Can it be a possibility? I have been running this PC in same configuration for last 3 years without any issue. No shutodwn/restart because of heat. – Madhur Ahuja Sep 7 '14 at 8:12
  • If you see screenshot, it says 98 C (Max). It is supposed to shutdown at 88 C (verified in BIOS). But it never happens. – Madhur Ahuja Sep 7 '14 at 8:14
  • You probably have not permanently damaged it yet (or you would know), but you should not let it continue at that high of a temperature for sustained periods. You will know if it was too high when you get Blue-Screen-Of-Death, instance shutoffs, or problems booting (you won't even make it through POST). I wouldn't wait, it can happen fast, and once it does, then you will have at least some permanent glitches for the rest of that CPU life. – user2097818 Sep 7 '14 at 8:16
  • I have replaced my stock cooler with Cooler Master 212 EVO ..and now problem is solved. 35 C in idle conditions and max 50 C under gaming. – Madhur Ahuja Sep 12 '14 at 17:49
up vote 7 down vote accepted

90° C is too hot. Especially since you play an old game on an i7 board. I'm guessing you are using the stock cooler which came with the CPU and you did not overclock it.

How high is ambient temperature? Do you have case fans?

Before buying a new cooler I suggest taking off the cooler, remove the old thermal paste from cooler and CPU 90 % alcohol and apply new paste. Also make sure that it is mounted correctly. On the stock cooler all push pins have to be correctly pushed through. If one is not through the board it doesn't sit right on the CPU.

Edit: I took a look around after you told me that your ambient temperature is at about 31°C and I found this: How-Ambient-Temperatures-Affect-Your-PC. In the test a better cooler was used and I think a different i7 too (you didn't tell the exact model). So reaching 90^C may not bee too far off.

My suggestions:

  1. Change thermal paste and make sure CPU cooler is mounted correctly. This consumes the least time and money.

  2. Add one more fan to inhale cool air or exhale heat from your case if the case has mounting points for one more.

  3. If temperatures are still high (above 80°C) I would consider to buy a better cooler.

  • Ambient temperature is 31 C. Yes, I use the stock cooler. I have no idea about thermal paste. I'll check about it. I do have one 120mm case fan. Does case fans help in reducing CPU temp? I thought they are mainly for wires, motherboard and GPU – Madhur Ahuja Sep 7 '14 at 6:27
  • They sure do. Your CPU is creating heat and if no case fans dissipate it out of the case the case will slowly heat up. There is no need to buy enthusias grade thermal paste. On your next retailer, buy something cheap. The goal is to remove old paste and to mount the cooler new to make sure it sits correct. This might help if you are doubltful Intel stock cooler have thermal pads or paste preapplyed. Make sure this goes all off. – ap0 Sep 7 '14 at 6:33
  • I edited my answer. You may want reread. Guck luck. :) – ap0 Sep 7 '14 at 7:06
  • 4
    It's not just cramming more fans on. Case airflow, a path for cool air in one side and hot air out the other, as helped by all fans (incl. PSU and GPU) is more important than sheer number of fans pushing in air from all sides. – Bob Sep 7 '14 at 7:08
  • @Bob indeed - the OP should also make sure the rear case fan isn't pushing air in, air needs to come in the front, through the case where it heats up, and then out the back. – gbjbaanb Sep 7 '14 at 11:55

The temperatures do seem too high.
I agree with the other comments and answers about fans and thermal paste. However, I did not see anyone talk about the cleanliness of the system. If there is an accumulation of dust and dirt especially on the fans, the CPU cooler, or the vents, and perhaps other components, then temperatures will be higher than otherwise. The case should be opened and cleaned. If there are filters on the vents, they should be removed, cleaned, and replaced.

  • I recently purchased new cabinet - cooler master k280. I do have some dust on CPU cooler. I plan to clean this up this week. Is it necessary to apply thermal paste when you first install CPU and heatsink? My PC was assembled by a local technician and I believe that he might have forgot to apply the paste at all at first time. – Madhur Ahuja Sep 8 '14 at 4:09
  • Missing thermal paste may cause this. You always should apply it. – ap0 Sep 8 '14 at 6:16
  • @JKEngineer, Do you work as a technician engineer? – Pacerier Jun 5 '15 at 7:50
  • @Pacerier I'm not sure what a technician engineer is. I am an engineer with a BE and ME in Chemical Engineering. I currently provide consulting and services using thermal imaging and heat transfer analysis. – JKEngineer Jun 10 '15 at 1:01

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