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  1. #1
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    Take your PC's temperature for free!




    TOP STORY

    Take your PC's temperature for free!


    By Fred Langa

    Overheating in PCs can cause unexpected hangs and shutdowns and even shorten the life of your computer.


    Fortunately, it's easy to monitor your system's temperature and to correct the most common causes of overheating.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/take-your-PCs-temperature-for-free/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    I use Piriform's "speccy" - seems quite good.

  3. #3
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    Hi Fred, I just wanted to comment on the temperature plan. One thing of note... lots of people use a vacuum to clean out dust. Most should be cautioned not to touch any electronic components with the tip of the wand as most of these build up static electricity and will zap a motherboard or other sensitive gear. Don't ask me how I know that.

    Next is the software for reading temps. Some software does NOT read the values correctly. I forget which ones now but remember many years ago having to put in a "fudge" factor to calibrate the temps and such. Just a warning not to believe everything you see. Because I run the Folding program from Stanford University on my computer my CPU's and GPU's run 24/7 at 100% load. Needless to say I spend a lot of time keeping things cool. So...

    I would like to recommend the CPUID program called Hardware monitor. I use it constantly on several machines here and it works very well. Tells me the temps of CPU's, GPU's, Hard drives, and voltages too... fan speeds etc. Since you mentioned CPUz I was surprised you didnt mention this in your article since it is made by the same folks.

    Good to see you still writing, I still remember the old days on "BIX" with Karen Kentworthy and many others.

    Take care,
    Rick

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    Fred - Thank you for the article. I believe this is an important subject for every level of PC user.

    I downloaded and tried SpeedFan 4.44 on my Dell Dimension 8400. It didn't detect any temperature sensors and the only function on the PC that is displaying is the CPU Load of the two processors. Did I miss something?

    FWIW - It did identify the temperature sensor on one of my two external MAXTOR drives.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Dell doesn't enable the motherboard temperature sensors. No, I don't know why...
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to BATcher For This Useful Post:

    FortneyJT (2011-10-14)

  7. #6
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    An excwellent article, but I'm wondering why there was no talk of earthing/grounding yourself before opening the pc.

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    Also, when using compressed air, some have a tendency to see how fast they can spin the fan. Bad move. The bearings are only designed for a certain speed. Exceeding it can destroy your fan!

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    Dear Fred:

    I have been following your advice for the past 25 years and this is the first time that I have responded to any of your wonderful articles. But, I thougt that you would mention one precaustion, i.e, keeping the laptop cooling vents open. People hear the term laptop and think it is ok for them to place the laptop firmly on their laps without any regard for the cooling vents that will inevitably be blocked by this positioning. Also, I caught my grandaughter sitting on our guest bed using her computer which was flat on top of the bed. Further, my son called me from Atlanta complaining that his fairly new computer had a burned out mobo. I simply asked him where he used his computer and where is was positioned and guess what?...mostly on his bed or on his auto's felt car seat. Nuff said!

    Thanks for listening,

    Kingfish

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    loved this article! One question tho, what model computer do you have? I have had several laptops and I do not remember any of them having the fan just out in plain site like that where I can access it to clean it cause believe you me I would of done it alot. In the case where someone cannot access the fan on the laptop what would you sggest as to means to getting cleaned then? I hate to just blow the dust around. Anyways thanks again for a great and informative newsletter as always!

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    Excellent article . . . first I've ever heard about monitoring temps with PC/laptops.

    I have a question, several of us have computer desks with a compartment with a door to close, for the PC tower to fit in. This goes against the grain of what I was told long ago - towers need to breath. I don't want the tower on the work area, but not feeling good about it being in an enclosed area either. I've mostly been keeping the door open.
    The more things change, the more grey hair I get

  12. #11
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    Are any of the temperature-monitoring softwares able to autostart in a User login without entering the Admin password? Thanks much.

  13. #12
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I prefer a program that is self executing (no install required) that can be placed in a directory for all to access.
    Like CPUID's HWMonitor.

  14. #13
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
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    I prefer Realtemp for monitoring CPU & GPU temperatures. It is simple and has low overhead.
    http://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/

    I would stay away from Coretemp. The developer does some extra calculations in the background related to CPU speed calculation (don't know why he does this) and it can generate a lot of CPU overhead.

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    Over Heat on HP 9207us

    For using a computer at home, it's pretty hard to keep people aware of what causes heat. I bought an external Belkin fan that is in a device for holding the computer and it does keep the system very cool. And many people will spend too much purchasing a system and don't want to spend a small amount to protect it.

    I had a case where there was a server and about 6 to 8 computers. The server was wedged in between a wall and a long desk used for computers. Need I say that the network would not run for even a couple of hours without comming to a halt. The space where the computer was wedged was so tight that it was almost impossible to get out. To make things worse there was a large window right above the server with sun shining on the top of the server most of the day.

    A few years ago I purchased a HP 9207us and it ran hot right from day one. After a couple of years it burned up it's motherboard and of course HP will not even respond to emails on that subject. If you look on the Internet for HP overheats you will see many items on the overheating of HP series 9000 and most other HP systems. The bad part of this is that a person is used to having it run hot so you don't recognize a gradual worsening of the heat situation.
    Last edited by partner; 2011-10-13 at 15:03. Reason: Added info

  16. #15
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    overheating

    I had an issue with an old Dell laptop (more than 10 yrs old) which kept freezing, rebooting, etc. at random times. I cleaned out the insides as recommened in this article, but the issues kept happening. I saw an add for a laptop 'cooler' - basically, fan(s) located in a case which blows air, either into or away from the bottom of the laptop. Some of these things cost upwards of $50 (cheapest I saw was about $10).

    I didn't want to spend $ on this laptop, but it was still functioning, so I got a 3/4 inch square piece of wood trim, cut it down to 10 inches and then placed it under my laptop. This raised the backend up which created a larger gap between the bottom of the laptop and the top of the desk. This cut down on much of the issues. If I run this laptop for more than 4 hours, it gets a little 'weird', but most of the time it works OK.

    The increased clearance seems of keep the heat from getting too high in the laptop case.

    I have used this technique on other laptops, and seem to be getting good results. I think the best shape for a laptop riser is a 3/4 inch triangular piece of wood trim. It doesn't 'roll over' as much.

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