Monitoring your CPU is one way to check the overall health of your system. Since the CPU handles all, if not most, processes, it is one of the components that determines the health of a PC.
Although you can monitor the temperature from within the BIOS, other vital information such as fan speed, core utilization, and power consumption cannot be obtained with practical accuracy. Third-party applications found on the Internet offer you these features.
However, only a few of them will provide crucial CPU details with maximum accuracy. In this article, we have gathered some of the best CPU monitoring apps that provide the necessary and accurate CPU details as per the needs of the users.
Best tools to monitor CPU temperature
The list of apps listed below offers apps with a variety of features like CPU temperature, CPU utilization, fan speed, etc. However, these apps can also take up a fair amount of memory. Depending on the specifications of your PC, you can use a simple and lightweight application or a sophisticated one that provides maximum system information.
Note: The list mentioned below is not in any particular order.
Open hardware monitoring
Open Hardware Monitor is a lightweight application that you can use for free, even for commercial use. Being an open source application, most CPU monitoring applications like HWMonitor and CPU Temperature use the Open Hardware Monitor source code to create an application with additional features.
To get Open Hardware Monitor for your PC,
- Go to the official download page of Open Hardware Monitor and click Download Open Hardware Monitor.
- Extract the downloaded file and open the folder.
- Run OpenHardwareMonitor executable
(.exe)file to get the CPU temperature readings.
HWMonitor has a simple user interface that can track all your system information. It uses the Open Hardware Monitor source code and some additional features, such as measuring processor voltages, CPU temperature, processor utilization, and clock speed. In addition to this, the app also has access to the SMART feature.
You can get details about all storage devices connected to the system using SMART. This includes temperature, utilization, airflow, and speed (read speed and write speed). However, unlike other apps on the list, HWMonitor does not offer CPU fan control.
Downloading and installing the app is quite simple.
- Go to the official CPUID download center and download HWMonitor.
- Once the download is complete, run the executable file and follow the installation steps.
- After the installation is complete, run the application to get all the system details.
Unlike HWMonitor, HWiNFO is a completely different application and nothing related to each other. HWiNFO is a slightly heavier application, as it provides even more detailed information about your hardware.
This information includes CPU ID, vendor, code name, technology, temperature, and many more. HWiNFO not only collects CPU details, but can also access information about system memory, motherboard, video adapter, monitor, audio, network, and ports.
If the simplicity of HWMonitor isn’t for you, you can use HWiNFO to get detailed information about your hardware.
- Download HWiNFO from the official HWiNFO website.
- Run the executable file, follow the installation process and run the application.
- Now go to the Sensor tab.
- Scroll down to see core temperature.
- For CPU details, expand core processors and click on the CPU that appears inside. Here you can see all the detailed information about the CPU.
Core Temp is another lightweight app that gives you CPU details along with CPU temperature readings. CPU details include CPU model, platform (socket), frequency, CPUID and many more.
In addition to temperature readings, it also shows CPU power consumption. When reading CPU temperatures, Core Temp displays a red exclamation mark to indicate that a core is running at an extreme temperature.
To monitor CPU temperature using Core Temp,
- Download Core Temp and install the application by running the executable (.exe) file.
- Just run the app and check temperature readings.
Speed fan is a great app to control the fan speed on your system. In addition to this, you can also use the app to read the temperatures of the CPU, GPU, and storage device. The app also allows you to get voltage readings, current FAN speed, and clock information in a simple, easy-to-read user interface.
To install the Speed fan,
- Download Speedfan and run the executable (
- Once the installation is complete, run the application.
- In the readings tab, you can see all the details about the PC.
RealTemp is another lightweight application that monitors your CPU. Shows the minimum and maximum temperature reached on all cores, the current temperature and the distance to TJ max. To download RealTemp,
- Download the RealTemp zip file.
- Extract the file you just downloaded and run the RealTemp executable file.
If you have a graphics card in your system, chances are you have heard of MSI Afterburner. Afterburner is an overclocking tool from MSI that also has a section that monitors hardware.
It allows you to check the temperatures on all your cores, memory clock speed, memory and GPU usage.
Although it was developed by MSI, you can install and run Afterburner on any PC, even one without an MSI component.
- Download MSI Afterburner from the official MSI download center.
- Install and run the app.
- The first page of MSI Afterburner contains the details about the system GPU.
- Click the Monitor icon to watch hardware monitor.
- Here you can see GPU temperature, GPU usage, memory clock speed and CPU temperature.
corsair link 4
Like MSI Afterburner, Corsair Link 4 is another hardware monitor app that works on any PC without Corsair hardware. It also allows you to control all the fans connected to the PC. However, unlike MSI Afterburner, you cannot overclock with Corsair Link 4.
- Download Corsair Link from the Internet.
- Extract the downloaded file and run the executable file to install the application.
- Browse to the install location and run CorsairLink4.
- Go to the Home tab to see the temperature on all your cores.
Check CPU temperature on Mac
Most of the apps mentioned above do not support installation on a Mac. So, here are the steps to check the CPU temperature on a Mac.
using the terminal
You don’t need a separate app to check your CPU temperature on macOS. You can see all the temperatures of your CPU cores using the Mac terminal.
The steps mentioned below only apply to Macs that use an Intel processor. If your Mac uses an M1 or M2 processor, you may be out of luck as there is no feature that allows you to monitor CPU temperature without using a third-party app.
- Press Command + Space and type terminal to open Terminal.
sudo power metrics – samplers SMC |grep -i "CPU die temperature"and press Enter.
- Enter the admin password and press Enter.
- CPU die temperature represents real-time CPU temperature readings
Mac fan control
Macs Fan Control offers real-time fan speed and temperature monitoring. It also allows you to control the speed of the fan. In addition to this, it also has a customizable fan speed preset.
- Launch the app store and search for Macs Fan Control to download Macs Fan Control.
- Click Get to install Macs Fan Control on your macOS.
- Once the installation is complete, run the application.