What software cools down CPU temperature?

Keeping your computer’s CPU cool is important to maintain performance and prevent potential damage from overheating. There are several software options available to help monitor and control CPU temperature.

Why is CPU temperature important?

The CPU (central processing unit) is one of the main components in a computer that generates a significant amount of heat. Modern CPUs have billions of tiny transistors packed densely together, and when electrical currents pass through them, heat is produced. If the CPU gets too hot, it can start throttling performance, introduce instability, or in extreme cases become permanently damaged.

Most CPUs have a maximum safe operating temperature around 70-100°C. Once this threshold is exceeded, measures need to be taken to bring the temperature back down. Some key reasons to keep an eye on CPU temperature include:

  • Prevent thermal throttling – When the CPU hits high temps, it will automatically slow down to produce less heat. This reduces performance.
  • Avoid crashes/instability – Excessive heat can make CPUs unstable and more prone to crashes or errors.
  • Lengthen hardware lifespan – Running hot accelerates aging and wear on the CPU and other computer components.

By monitoring and controlling CPU temperature, thermal throttling can be avoided, stability maintained, and the usable lifespan of the hardware extended.

Software options for monitoring CPU temperature

Here are some common software utilities that can be used to monitor CPU core temperatures:

1. Core Temp

Core Temp is a compact, no frills application specialized in CPU temperature monitoring. It displays current CPU temperatures from various sensors, covering the majority of Intel and AMD processors. Key features include:

  • Real-time graphing of temperature fluctuations
  • Minimum/maximum temperature recordings
  • Custom high temperature alerts
  • Support for current and older CPU models

Core Temp provides just the essential temperature information you need without unnecessary extra features. It’s a simple go-to tool for quickly checking on CPU core temps.

2. Open Hardware Monitor

Open Hardware Monitor is an open source temperature monitor with extensive hardware support. It can track CPU temperatures as well as voltages, fan speeds, and more. Key features include:

  • Reads CPU temperature from digital thermal sensors and thermal diodes
  • Graphs and visualizes temperature data
  • Displays current/minimum/maximum readings
  • Monitors GPU, hard drives, motherboard chips, and other hardware

Open Hardware Monitor gives you a detailed look at your system’s thermal performance beyond just CPU temperature. It’s ideal for simultaneously tracking multiple component temps.

3. Real Temp

Real Temp focuses on accurate core temperature monitoring for Intel processors. It uses digital thermal sensor data rather than less precise calculation methods. Key features include:

  • Reads temperatures directly from Intel CPUs
  • Low resource usage for minimal impact on system
  • Temperature tracking for each individual core
  • Automatic fan speed control based on temps

For Intel platforms, Real Temp provides precision core temperature tracking. It’s especially useful for monitoring temps across multi-core CPUs.


HWMonitor is a full featured system monitoring utility for PCs. In addition to CPU temperature, it can display voltages, fan speeds, and SMART disk drive statistics. Key features include:

  • Reads CPU and GPU core temperatures
  • Displays minimum, maximum and average sensor readings
  • Graphs trends over time for temperature, voltage, and fan speed
  • Supports latest AMD and Intel hardware

HWMonitor gives you a comprehensive look at everything going on in your system from a hardware sensors perspective. It’s great for simultaneously monitoring multiple aspects like temps, voltages, and fan speeds.

5. SpeedFan

SpeedFan focuses on advanced fan speed control based on system temperatures and voltages. In the process, it also provides monitoring and logging of voltages, fan speeds, and temperatures. Key features include:

  • Controls system fan speeds based on detected temperatures
  • CPU and GPU temperature monitoring
  • Automatic system fan speed profiles
  • Graphing of monitored stats over time

For those looking to regulate fan speeds to optimize cooling, SpeedFan gives you fine grained control over system fans paired with CPU/GPU temperature monitoring.

Software for controlling CPU temperature

In addition to monitoring CPU temperature, some utilities offer ways to better control CPU temps and cooling. Common approaches include:

1. CPU throttling/underclocking

Reducing CPU clock speeds lowers temperatures by reducing power consumption and heat output. Software like ThrottleStop allow underclocking the CPU by limiting maximum clock multiplier. Key steps include:

  1. Download ThrottleStop and open the ‘FIVR’ tab
  2. Check the ‘Disable Turbo’ box to disable CPU turbo boost
  3. Adjust the ‘CPU Multiplier’ option to reduce max CPU clock speed
  4. Click ‘Apply’ and check temperatures

CPU underclocking creates a cooler, more energy efficient CPU but with reduced performance. It’s a tradeoff between temps and computing power.

2. Adjusting fan speed curves

Raising target fan speeds at given temperatures improves cooling. Utilities like SpeedFan allow customizing curves that control fan speeds based on CPU temp. Key steps include:

  1. In SpeedFan, go to the ‘Temperature’ tab
  2. Select a target fan and click the ‘Edit’ button
  3. Drag points on the graph up to increase desired fan speeds for given temps
  4. Click ‘Ok’ to save new settings

A more aggressive fan speed curve keeps the CPU cooler by ramping up fans faster as temperatures rise.

3. Improving case airflow

Optimizing airflow and ventilation in a PC case helps reduce CPU/system heat buildup. Steps include:

  • Ensuring case intakes are unobstructed and have dust filters
  • Adding more intake/exhaust fans or larger fans
  • Removing empty PCI/drive bays blocking airflow
  • Adjusting fan orientations for front-to-back airflow over components

Improved case cooling maintenance and fan configurations enable heat to more easily radiate from hot components like the CPU.

4. Replacing stock CPU cooler

Using an upgraded aftermarket CPU cooler like large air coolers or all-in-one liquid coolers can drastically improve cooling over a stock cooler. Steps include:

  1. Selecting a high performance cooler compatible with CPU socket
  2. Removing old thermal paste from CPU and cooler
  3. Applying new thermal paste before installing upgraded cooler
  4. Connecting new cooler and verifying temps are now lower

Upgraded cooling solutions with larger heatsinks, heatpipes, and fans provide the most significant CPU temp reductions.

5. Improving case cooling maintenance

Simple cooling maintenance like cleaning can lower temperatures. Steps include:

  • Use compressed air to remove dust buildup on CPU cooler and case fans
  • Replace old, dried out thermal paste between CPU and heatsink
  • Eliminate cables blocking airflow through the case
  • Clean dust filters on case intakes

Keeping your CPU cooler and case interior dust-free and unobstructed improves overall cooling efficiency.

What software is best for cooling the CPU?

The best software for cooling your CPU depends on your specific needs:

Software Strengths
Core Temp – Streamlined just for CPU temp monitoring
– Easy to use and minimal clutter
Open Hardware Monitor – Tracks CPU alongside GPU, drives, mobo, etc.
– Good for whole system thermal view
Real Temp – Accurate Intel CPU core temp readings
– Handy multi-core temperature logs
HWMonitor – All-in-one voltage, fan, temp tracking
– Helps identify thermal issues
SpeedFan – Advanced, custom fan speed control
– Useful for setups focused on cooling

If you just need simple, convenient CPU temp monitoring, Core Temp is a good bet. For controlling fan speeds to optimize cooling, SpeedFan is a top choice.

Those looking to monitor their whole system – CPU, GPU, drives, etc – will get the most out of Open Hardware Monitor or HWMonitor. Overall, choosing software with the particular features that best match your needs will provide the right tools for monitoring and controlling CPU temperature.

Tips for managing CPU temperature

Here are some general tips for proactively managing CPU temperature:

  • Monitor temps under load – Check max temps when CPU is busy, not just idle. Tools like Prime95 or IntelBurnTest can simulate heavy loads.
  • Target under 75°C – Ideally keep temps under 75°C for best performance and stability under load.
  • Check software settings – Adjust power plans for better cooling over performance.
  • Improve case airflow – Optimize fan placement and remove interior obstructions.
  • Upgrade stock cooler – Consider a large air cooler or all-in-one liquid cooler for big heat dissipation.
  • Re-apply thermal paste – Freshen up dried out paste between CPU and cooler.
  • Undervolt CPU – Reduce CPU voltage in BIOS for lower temperatures.
  • Clean components – Use compressed air to remove dust buildup on CPU cooler and case fans.

Keeping temperatures in a safe range ensures you get the best performance and lifespan out of your CPU. Monitoring software combined with other cooling methods gives you all the tools to prevent overheating.


There are many software tools available to monitor and control CPU temperature. Core Temp, Open Hardware Monitor, Real Temp, HWMonitor, and SpeedFan are among the most popular and helpful options. Pairing temperature monitoring software with other cooling methods like improved case airflow, upgraded CPU coolers, new thermal paste, and CPU underclocking/undervolting provides a complete solution to manage CPU heat.

Keeping your CPU running cool avoids stability issues, preserves hardware lifespan, and prevents performance throttling from thermal limits. Take a proactive approach by selecting CPU temperature software tailored to your needs and implementing additional cooling strategies as necessary. With the right temperature management, you can keep CPU cores chill and system performance high.