There are two groups of users worried about the temperature of their computer: overclockers… and pretty much anybody with a powerful laptop. Those things just cook you! So have you ever wondered exactly what temperature your CPU is running at?
There’s a couple of applications that you can use to monitor the temperature. The one I prefer is Core Temp, just because it’s incredibly lightweight, but if you want some power information you can use Speed Fan instead.
Using Core Temp
After downloading and running the application, it will minimize to your system tray:
The dialog view gives you a little more information, including the CPU model, etc.
If you’d like the app to start minimized every time, go to Options \ Settings:
You can make the application start minimized by checking the “Start minimized” box.
I’d recommend that you change the read interval from the default of 1000 to the max of 9999. Otherwise the numbers will just blink like crazy in the tray and drive you nuts.
The System Tray Settings dialog will let you change from one icon per core to a single icon.
Using Speed Fan (Advanced Users)
If you want to see more information, you can use an application called SpeedFan that even lets you control the CPU fan. This application should only be used by more advanced users, since you have to enter information about your motherboard and chipset.
Note that I grabbed these screenshots off the SpeedFan website since the laptop I’m writing this on doesn’t seem fully supported.
I do know that this application works, having used it in the past. I’ll write up more about this in a future article, but felt it was important to mention here.
There’s a couple of things you can do once your laptop is seriously overheating.
- Turn it off, go read a book. It’s been years since you opened one.
- Open up task manager and figure out which processes are killing your CPU, then stop them.
- Make sure that you aren’t blocking any of the vents on your computer. There are usually vents on the bottom or side of the laptop.
- Making the fan run faster should help the computer stay cooler. If SpeedFan doesn’t work for you, your motherboard manufacturer might also include some utilities to tweak the fan speeds.
Got any other ideas for reducing temperature on your computer?
Download SpeedFan from almico.com (advanced users only)
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 03/2/08