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.
Heat is the inevitable byproduct of all electronic operations. Have you ever wondered at the size of that heat sink sitting on top of a desktop system’s much smaller CPU?
Heat is also the scourge of all electronics hardware. Mild overheating will shorten the life of a system’s components; excessive overheating can cause a PC to cook itself to death. At the very least, a PC that’s running too hot can have erratic behavior, data errors, spontaneous reboots, and other intermittent — and often baffling — problems.
Sometimes, the first and only sign of serious heat-related trouble is a sudden failure such as the one described by reader Richard Thornton: