N/APosted on - 05/07/2011
I use a thermal monitoring program and it started to show something disturbing for two days. It says the CPU temperature is 116C. When I play games, it crashes sometimes and after the crash, I see that weird reading. Is it the program that is showing wrong reading or is it really the GPU?
CPU overheats way beyond limit
To answer your queries, we have to make two approaches. First off is identifying which is overheating, is it really the CPU or the graphic GPU?. Then we determine if it’s a hardware problem. If it checks out fine then we will need to find out what software process is causing high CPU/GPU usage.
Finding out if it’s a hardware issue
It’s quite easy to check and verify if it’s a CPU overheat or a graphics card overheat. If you are using a desktop computer, simply unscrew the side of your CPU casing where the motherboard faces you. A laptop computer on the other hand, may require you to unscrew the bottom plate under the keyboard. If you are unsure on how to proceed with this, then just feel the ventilation ports on the sides. Hot air should be blowing out of it by now.
Try touching the CPU heatsink on its side (it’s a big aluminum plate with a fan on top of it). A very hot CPU will feel really hot to touch. Then proceed to do the same on your graphic chipset which may be mounted as a card inserted in your motherboard slot. It has a mini fan not as big as what CPU has, but anything that has a fan on it means it needs cooling. Some techs use digital thermometers to actually display the physical temperature readings although simply touching it works in many cases.
Overheating CPU and graphics GPU always crash games that are process intensive. In most of the other cases though it simply hangs/freezes the operating system (Windows) itself.
After you’ve identified which component is abnormally overheating, let’s find out if the temperature could be lowered by looking at the software side of the problem.
Pinpointing software as the likely culprit
Knowing fully well now which component is overheating, let’s see if any software or process is causing the hardware problem.
Run task manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL
The task manager contains valuable information as to what is causing high CPU usage, hence directly contributing to increase in temperature. Pay close attention to the processes and performance tabs. The processes tab contains information as to which application or process is using high CPU usage in percentage form. The performance tab gives you a visual indication on how the CPU spikes at certain points. An overheated CPU may cause a full 90-100% reading on your graph.
Look for the process hogging up the greatest CPU percentage and end it. Now check if the temperature of your CPU has decreased. Do the hardware visual identification as well. If it cools down a bit, then you found your culprit. Reducing the number of open or running applications also contributes to less activity and less CPU heat in return. If you intend to do gaming, make sure all other applications (browsers, office documents, media players) are not running. Some motherboard chipsets are less tolerant of multiple apps running and tend to cause the CPU to heat up.
The resource monitor (click on the performance tab – for Vista and Win7) gives you further details on Disk, CPU, Memory, and Network activity as well. A virus or malware infection could be identified on the resource monitor, especially when it shows an unknown process taking up CPU cycles, and high network usage. Try ending that unknown process and check the temps. If the process keeps on popping up even when you end it, chances are it may be viral. Run the program below (Process Explorer).
For Windows XP or Windows 7 Vista users unable to run task manager, there is an app called the "Process Explorer" which allows viewing of unknown processes that may be viral in nature.
Concluding whether it’s a hardware or a software issue
Now that you’ve done both steps, by this time you should have a clue as to what is causing the overheat. For example, if you see nothing wrong with your processes, CPU cycles are normal, then it’s time to conclude that the CPU or graphic card may need replacement, depending on which you found hot (based on step 1). If you found out that the temps decreased when you stopped or halted some processes using up CPU cycles, then follow step 2 recommendations to either reduce the number of running programs or if a virus is found, take steps to remove the infection to restore the operating system to its normal state.
I hope that I’ve given you enough insight on the matter.
CPU overheats way beyond limit
I hope this solution may help your problem.
First you need to unplug all the cables that are connected to your CPU. Then go to a place where you can open the case of your CPU and check the components inside if they are covered by dust. Because dust is attracted by your CPU when it runs. It sticks to parts of your CPU like in your heat sink of your motherboard. When your heat sink is dusty your heat sink can't perform well and makes your computer crash, because your motherboard overheats. Just maintain your PC clean and it will be fine.
CPU overheats way beyond limit
There are several hardware fixes that can cure overheating.
1. Fix Internal Cooling
The first and most important thing you need to do when your laptop is overheating, is to clean the fans that provides cooling for the CPU and graphics card. Over time they build up layers of dust and dirt that slow them down and block the flow of air. Consult your laptop’s manual or manufacturer to find out how you can open the laptop to access and clean these parts. Before you attempt to do any cleaning, however, follow these steps:
Shut down the computer > Remove the battery > Unplug the power strip > Ground yourself
Carefully clean the fans with a cotton swab dipped in a drop of alcohol. Make sure the alcohol has completely evaporated before you reconnect the laptop to the power. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dust and dirt that clocks up the fans. To prevent damage to the fan, do not let it revolve in the wrong direction. If you want to use canned air to clean the fan, arrest the fan by holding it down.
Next, you can clean the exhaust port by sucking out the air with a vacuum cleaner. The exhaust port usually sits on the side of the laptop. It’s the opening that blows out hot air. The intake grills are small openings that allow air to be sucked into the laptop by the revolving fans. They can sit on the sides or at the bottom of your notebook. To clear the intake grills, spray them with canned air.
Finally, you can apply fresh thermal grease to the interface between the CPU and its heat sink. Again, please consult the laptop’s manual or manufacturer to obtain instructions on how to disassemble these components.