Laptop overheating and shutting down due to high temperature is a widespread issue. If you are using your laptop as a gaming laptop or as a high performance desktop replacement then your CPU and GPU will stress a lot resulting in overheating if proper cooling is not taking place. Overheating can cause permanent damage to your laptop including hard disk failures.
If your laptop is becoming hot while playing games or while doing CPU intensive tasks such as video conversion then it is time for you to keep a tab on the temperature of your CPU and GPU. With the following apps you can easily monitor your CPU and GPU temperatures on your Windows laptop.
I was having an ASUS laptop which was consistently experiencing overheating during heavy use. Since I am a developer and I need to run processor intensive tasks such as running app build tools and device emulators along with having multiple chrome tabs opened. This overheating was causing a lot of trouble as my laptop would randomly shutdown. Before the shutdown there was generally a loud noise of the cooling fan inside the laptop trying to cool the laptop.
This forced me to hunt for probable causes of the laptop heating as well as for probable solutions to avoid such heating. Below you can find a list of apps I gathered in order to monitor the temperature of my Windows based laptop and used them to find out when my laptop temperate was increasing. Note that all the apps below are free. Description of these apps are picked from their respective websites.
Apps for monitoring CPU & GPU temperature
1. Real Temp
Real Temp is a temperature monitoring program for Windows designed for Intel single Core, Dual Core, Quad Core as well as Core i7 processors.
Each core on these processors has a digital thermal sensor (DTS) that reports temperature data relative to TJMax which is the safe maximum operating core temperature for the CPU. As your CPU heats up, your Distance to TJMax will decrease. If it reaches zero, your processor will start to thermal throttle or slow down so maximizing your distance away from TJMax will help your computer run at full speed and more reliably too.
Screenshot of Real Temp:
Real Temp is supported on:
- All Intel Core based processors. Pentium 4 processors are not supported.
- Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8 (32 & 64 bit)
GPU-Z is a lightweight system utility designed to provide vital information about your video card and graphics processor. It also displays overclock, default clocks and 3D clocks (if available) along with GPU Temperature.
GUP-Z includes a GPU load test to verify PCI-Express lane configuration and can create a backup of your graphics card BIOS. No installation required but an optional installer is available.
Screenshot of GPU-Z:
GPU-Z is supported on:
- NVIDIA, ATI and Intel graphics devices
- Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10 (both 32 and 64 bit versions are supported)
3. Core Temp
Core Temp is a compact, no fuss, small footprint, yet powerful program to monitor processor temperature and other vital information.
What makes Core Temp unique is the way it works. It is capable of displaying a temperature of each individual core of every processor in your system!
You can see temperature fluctuations in real time with varying workloads. Core Temp is also motherboard agnostic.
Screenshot of Core Temp:
Core Temp is supported on:
- Intel, AMD or VIA x86 based processor
- Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 2003 Server, 2008 Server (R2), 2012 Server
4. Speed Fan
SpeedFan is a program that monitors voltages, fan speeds and temperatures in computers with hardware monitor chips. SpeedFan can even access S.M.A.R.T. info and show hard disk temperatures. SpeedFan supports SCSI disks too.
SpeedFan can even change the FSB on some hardware (but this should be considered a bonus feature). SpeedFan can access digital temperature sensors and can change fan speeds accordingly, thus reducing noise.
Screenshot of Speed Fan:
Speed Fan is supported on:
- Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, Windows 7, 2008, Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012. It works with Windows 64 bit too
HWMonitor is a hardware monitoring program that reads PC systems main health sensors which includes:
- CPU temperature, voltage, power consumption and utilization.
- Mainboard voltages, temperatures, fans speed.
- GPU voltage, temperature, utilization.
- HDD temperature
Screenshot of HWMonitor
Once you figure out that your CPU and GPU temperatures are going beyond the recommended limits, you can take preventive actions such as using a laptop cooling pad or reducing the CPU workload. Once you take these preventive measures, make sure to check your CPU and GPU temperatures again using the apps listed above. If nothing works, then you may need to take your laptop to the service center as it could be a manufacturing defect (as was the case with my laptop).
Is your laptop experiencing overheating and random shutdown? What measures did you take to fix this problem?