Monitor GPU, CPU, Hard Disk Temperature, Set Temperature Alerts

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Off late I have been noticing my laptop was getting hot, too hot, after a little time of running. Obviously, a big factor of this is the atmospheric temperature which, on certain days, reaches almost 40 °C (104 °F) in the afternoon. So I decided to keep an eye on hardware temperatures to avoid damages. There are many hardware monitoring tools out there, of the ones I tried, I liked RealTemp and OpenHardwareMonitor the most.



As you can see in the image above, RealTemp has a clean, minimal interface. Here it displays the current GPU temperature, processor temperature, Distance to TJ Max, minimum and maximum temperature, system load and system uptime.

TJ Max (temperature Junction Max) is the maximum temperature that your processor can stand. When TJMax becomes 0, your system will automatically shut down to prevent hardware damage.

Other features:

  • Sensors testing – to detect problems with DTS sensors
  • Logging feature – to keep track of minimum and maximum temperature
  • High Temperature alerts – notifies you when the system temperature reaches a defined value
  • True portable application – requires no installation or registry modification
  • System tray notifications
  • Displays MHz, TJMax, CPUID, APIC ID and Calibration settings
  • Works with all Intel single Core, Dual Core, Quad Core and Core i7 processors
  • Compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit)

Download: RealTemp

Open Hardware Monitor


Open Hardware Monitor is an open source application. It monitors temperature sensors, voltages, fan speeds, load and hardware clock speeds in real-time.


  • Desktop Gadget
  • Ploting of temperature graphs
  • Sensor names can be edited (double-click sensor or select the sensor and press F2)
  • Works with many processors
  • Display can be limited to certain sensor types
  • Hard disk S.M.A.R.T. sensor reading can be disabled to allow unused disks to be turned off
  • Minimize to system tray
  • Portable application
  • Compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. It also has a 32-bit Linux version.

Download: Open Hardware Monitor

Open Hardware Monitor supports more hardware and sensors, however, if what you are looking for is a simple tool to monitor GPU and processor temperature, go with RealTemp.

So what is the ideal system temperature?

Ideal system temperatures are not generally specified in any of the books that you get along with the computer. Though, you can find these off the internet by making a quick search with your processor name. To answer the question, ideal temperature should be about 10 or 20 degrees above the ambient room temperature. Even if its running a bit above that, it’s really not a big concern. Generally the Intel processors are known to run at a higher temperature than other processors. Also their tolerance limit is much more higher.