When you use your computer, your processor/CPU will heat up, this is why you have a CPU cooler to keep the CPU’s temperature tame.
If your CPU becomes too hot, then your computer will suffer from thermal throttling, and potentially shut down, this is why you need to ensure that your CPU has an ideal temperature.
Ideally, you don’t want your CPU hot at all, the lower the temperature the better, but an acceptable temperature range is 35C-85C(idle & max load).
What Is A Safe Temperature For CPUs?
The ideal temperature depends on what state your computer is in. If your computer is idle, then you want a temperature around 35C.
However, if you’re performing CPU intensive tasks, then your CPU will heat up significantly, the ideal temperature for a CPU under load is around 85C.
Safe Temperatures For Intel CPUs
Intel processors are known to run fairly hot, so you can expect the average temperature to be higher than a Ryzen processor.
In general, the more powerful your processor is, the hotter it will run, for example, the Intel Core I9 will run hotter than the Intel Core I7 processors on average.
This is likely due to higher clock speeds, and more cores running, so since the CPU is putting in more work, it will most likely run hotter.
- I9 12th Generation – Is a huge improvement over the I9 11th generation chips, it seems that Intel have managed to lower the average operating temperature of their chips by around 10C.
- I7 12th Generation – Is another huge improvement, the performance is significantly better, and the operating temperatures are slightly lower.
- I5 12th Generation – Again, a huge improvement over the 11th generation I5s, the thermal issues have been addressed by Intel across the board.
- I9 11th Generation – Are extremely hot running chips, they are able to peak at over 100C at max load, you’ll need a decent AIO cooler to keep these chips tame.
- I7 11th Generation – The I7 11th generation chips aren’t as bad as the I9 processors, but you’ll still need a beefy cooler to keep the chip tame.
- I5 11th Generation – The I5 11th generation processors do get pretty hot for an I5, they’re able to get as hot as 80C, this is much hotter than the I5 12th generation chips.
|Intel Core I9 12th Generation||79-90C|
|Intel Core I7 12th Generation||65-85C|
|Intel Core I5 12th Generation||55-70C|
|Intel Core I9 11th Generation||80-100C|
|Intel Core I7 11th Generation||70-85C|
|Intel Core I5 11th Generation||60-80C|
|Intel Core I9 10th Generation||69-93C|
|Intel Core I7 10th Generation||75-80C|
|Intel Core I5 10th Generation||73-78C|
Safe Temperatures For Ryzen CPUs
- Ryzen 9 5th Generation – Are pretty cool, considering the 5th generation Ryzen 9 chips come with a lot of cores. It seems that the 5th generation Ryzen 9 chips peak at around 86C.
- Ryzen 7 5th Generation – Run cooler compared to the Ryzen 9 5th Generation chips, this is most likely due to fewer cores and lower clock speeds.
- Ryzen 5 5th Generation – On average run pretty cool, it seems to peak at around 67C at full load which is lower than the Ryzen 7 5th Generation chips.
- Ryzen 9 3rd Generation – Run cooler than their 5th generation counterpart with a max temperature of around 78C.
- Ryzen 7 3rd Generation – Runs slightly cooler than the Ryzen 9 3rd gen chips with a maximum temperature of 76C.
- Ryzen 5 3rd Generation – Are pretty cool under load which is expected for a Ryzen 5 processor. It peaks at around 70C.
|CPU/Processor||Average Temperature Range|
|Ryzen 9 5th Generation||70-86C|
|Ryzen 7 5th Generation||65-82C|
|Ryzen 5 5th Generation||55-67C|
|Ryzen 9 3rd Generation||65-78C|
|Ryzen 7 3rd Generation||65-76C|
|Ryzen 5 3rd Generation||55-70C|
Does Intel Run Hotter Than Ryzen?
Comparing Intel processors with their Ryzen counterparts, it does seem that Intel processors do run hotter on average.
This is because Intel processors generally run at higher frequencies/clock speed, and they consume a lot more power which contributes to the temperature.
Also, AMD processors also run cooler due to them having a soldered IHS whereas Intel processors are more traditional using thermal paste between the IHS and the die.
This is why delidding Intel processors are quite popular, it gives the user the possibility to improve upon the thermal application between the IHS and the die.
However, let’s compare Intel processors with their Ryzen counterparts to see how hot they can become:
- Intel I9 10th Gen Temps: 69-93C
- Ryzen 9 5th Gen Temps: 70-86C
Ryzen 9 processors will run cooler than their Intel counterparts, the average temperature is generally lower.
- Intel I7 10th Gen Temps: 75-80C
- Ryzen 7 5th Gen Temps: 65-82C
With Intel I7 10th gen, the temperatures are still hotter on average compared to the Ryzen 7 5th gen although the Ryzen 7 5th gen chips can get slightly hotter.
- Intel I5 10th Gen Temps: 73-78C
- Ryzen 5 5th Gen Temps: 55-67C
The Ryzen 5 5th generation processors will run significantly cooler than their I5 10th generation counterparts.
Do Laptop CPUs Run Hot?
Due to the lack of cooling some laptops have, they have the potential to run extremely hot, even hotter than their desktop counterparts.
But with laptop CPUs, there is a larger variety, you’re able to get laptops that consume very little power which is good for lower temperatures.
So if you find a laptop with an Intel processor with the ‘U’ suffix, it means it’s mobile efficient, this pretty much means it consumes little power, and won’t get as hot as other processors.
The ‘Y’ suffix with Intel processors takes it a step further, it stands for “Mobile Extremely Low Power”, so it will generate even less heat than the ‘U’ processors.
With AMD, there are also mobile processors that are mobile friendly, if you find a laptop with an AMD processor with the ‘U’ suffix, it means it’s ultra low voltage.
Lower voltages is good news when it comes to generating less heat, this is why undervolting is popular with laptops as it reduces heat.
What Causes A CPU To Run Hot
A hot CPU can be caused by many different factors, some can be software related, and some can be hardware related.
The first and most likely factor for an unusually hot processor is that it’s under load. You may have background tasks using your CPU causing it to run hot.
This is expected since multitasking tends to use up a lot of CPU power, but if you’re certain that there’s no background tasks running, then you may have a malware issue.
Another likely reason for a hot processor is a defective fan. If your CPU fan isn’t spinning, or isn’t spinning fast enough, then your CPU will run hot.
Poorly applied thermal paste can also contribute to a hot processor, the goal with thermal paste application is to allow maximum contact with the cooler heat spreader and the CPU.
A poorly setup cooling system in your PC case can contribute to higher CPU temperatures, the goal with case fans is to allow hot air to escape, and allow cool air to enter the system.
What can make a PCs cooling setup bad is poorly configured fans, you need the correct configuration of exhaust fans and intake fans.
Dust and debris is a factor that can raise the thermals of a CPU, when a computer is clogged with dust, air won’t be able to effectively leave and enter the system.
So you will end up with a PC unable to cool itself due to hot air building up within the system. This is why cleaning your PC regularly is a big deal.
How To Correctly Cool A Processor
Quick Tips To Fix A Hot CPU:
- Replacing any broken fans
- Cleaning blocked vents with compressed air
- Re-applying thermal paste
- Improving your airflow setup
- Undervolting CPU
Always check the physical health of your system, ensure that fans are spinning correctly, and that there’s no blocked vents.
If there are blocked vents, there are ways you can clean them, the most popular way is to use compressed air as it forcefully removes any dust and debris.
If your computer is old, and you haven’t replaced the cooler, then there’s a chance that you may need to re-apply thermal paste.
As time goes on, thermal paste will dry up and lose its effectiveness, you should reapply thermal paste only if you suspect that it’s causing thermal issues.
Also, undervolting your CPU has the potential to massively improve thermals, this is if you know how to do it correctly, you should be able to maintain the same performance.
Undervolting is extremely popular with laptop users but desktop users can also take part in undervolting if they choose so.
In conclusion, the best CPU temperature depends on many factors such as processor type, CPU cooler, load, and overall system health.
A hot processor can be caused by many different things, the most popular reason for a hot CPU is that it’s running under load.
Just ensure that you have no malware, your system fans are working as intended, and you regularly clean your computer and you shouldn’t have to worry about CPU thermals.