How do I Prevent CPU Overheating?

Rolando Braza

Overheating of the central processing unit (CPU) can cause the computer system to malfunction when some of its parts melt owing to CPU overheating. Worst, it can cause fire that can burn the computer and other properties near it as well. You can prevent a disastrous CPU overheating by choosing a computer casing with the right size and dimensions, avoiding the overload and abuse of the computer through hardware modification to increase the speed and performance of the CPU, and keeping the cooling fans efficient by performing a regular preventive maintenance. You must also install your computer in a well-ventilated place that will allow intake of cool air by the CPU. The area must likewise not be crowded to give room for hot air expelled from the heated parts of the CPU to dissipate.

A Central Processing Unit (CPU).
A Central Processing Unit (CPU).

When you make a computer purchase, make sure that the CPU casing has enough room to circulate air taken in by the cooling fans. The casing must also have enough room for hot air released by the CPU parts, such as the hard disk, video card processor, and the chipsets of the motherboard, to flow out of the casing with the aid of the heat sink and the cooling fans. Make sure also that the casing you choose has enough vents to allow hot air to freely flow out of the CPU.

Heat sinks help prevent CPU overheating.
Heat sinks help prevent CPU overheating.

Some computer users want their computer to go beyond its performance limits. They resort to overclocking to increase the speed of the CPU. This is done by altering the voltage and frequency of the computer system, causing more heat that sometimes exceeds what the cooling system can handle. If you are one of these computer enthusiasts, you must consider installing more efficient cooling fans that can take care of the additional heat brought by the modifications you make to your machine and effectively prevent CPU overheating. You may want to consider a gas or water cooling system.

It is not enough to have sufficient cooling fans inside the computer casing. These fans must also be regularly cleaned to make them function efficiently. Wires and cables inside the CPU must be neatly arranged and positioned in areas that will not block the path of air circulated by the cooling fans. A regular check must also be made on the cooling fans to maintain their tip-top condition.

The time and investment you make in keeping the temperature inside your computer at a manageable level is negligible compared to the amount you will spend to repair or replace your computer when CPU overheating occurs. If your budget precludes you from equipping your computer with the appropriate ventilating system, you can adopt cost-effective measures to avoid CPU overheating. You can slide out the CPU from the casing and let the air inside the room or an electric fan cool the CPU. Prevention is better and costs less than a cure.

A heatsink is the part of a computer designed to move heat away from a computer's central processing unit.
A heatsink is the part of a computer designed to move heat away from a computer's central processing unit.

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Discussion Comments


Good point about overclocking. More than a few people have dived right into overclocking without doing their homework and have ruined their computers because of it.

Have a look at the setups by some of the guys heavily involved in overclocking -- the folks who know what they are doing. I've seen everything from multiple fans to water cooling systems that that have enough rubber tubing in them to equip a distillery.

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