Being able to monitor the temperature of your PC is really important. If your temp’s get too high you risk damaging your computer, losing performance, or having to deal with crashes and failures.
The damage heat can cause to your sensitive and often expensive components can be significant if left unchecked, which is why it’s really important to make sure you’re able to keep track of them.
This will help you learn how your PC is coping with various different workloads and stresses, as well as how different environmental conditions and cleanliness are affecting your PC’s ability to keep itself cool.
A good CPU monitor uses sensors throughout your system to track how hot various different components get, and while they have a focus on preventing your CPU itself from overheating, they will quite often be able to check other components including your graphics card, storage drives, and even your motherboard and RAM.
The best monitoring tools are often quite small and easy to use programs, but some are easier to use than others and have clearer, more streamlined interfaces.
In this article we’re going to look at some of the best free temperature monitoring tools for Windows computers, evaluating how well they perform, their usability, and compatibility.
This will help give you a much better idea of how many options you have and will allow you to try a few different tools to make sure you’re getting consistent, reliable results which will ensure the longevity and performance of your system.
HWMonitor is a very detailed tool that was made by the same team who created CPU-Z, a very popular piece of freeware that is also capable of monitoring and profiling systems.
This tool works with Windows and is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit systems, meaning it’s very versatile and will enable users to monitor their temperatures even on older systems.
This is actually more important because older systems are more likely to heat up and throttle the performance, so keeping track of this is a way for users on older systems to keep an eye on things and prevent throttling or crashes.
It’s a tool that’s very easy to install and is available both as an installable or non-installable version depending on user preference.
The tool reads a variety of metrics and tracks CPU temperature as well as voltages, fan speeds, and other component temperatures.
The interface is very clear and simple to use in its summary format, but those who want a more in-depth look at these metrics can use the ‘sensor only’ mode to view a longer and more detailed list of information from various different sensors in your system.
This tool is lightweight, reliable, versatile, and easy to use making it one of the best temperature monitoring systems available.
Speccy is another free monitoring tool and was developed by the team who produced CCleaner, one of the most popular programs for drive management and removal of waste files.
Their reputation based on the success of CCleaner alone is stellar among tech nerds, and speccy has some telltale signs of its creator’s touch.
It’s a fairly lightweight and fast application, with easy-to-use interfaces and a range of helpful and easy-to-access information about temperatures for almost all your components, including storage drives.
This app can also create detailed reports about your hardware’s performance over a certain period of time. The tool is updated quite often meaning it is constantly being improved and offers a ton of utility for its size, and is also available in a creator bundle for those interested in CCleaner or the other products this team offers.
HWiNFO is another great free tool that provides a lot of monitoring capabilities including CPU temperature monitoring which is the most crucial of all.
This is a great choice for those who are using older operating systems as it works on all Windows versions as far back as Windows 98, for those individuals who are stuck waaaaay back in the past.
This tool can monitor various components including individual chipsets and it also has the ability for users to customize specific notifications for any component which is being monitored, making it easy for you to keep track of performance while working on other tasks.
It is also compatible with several other third-party applications and extensions.
Open Hardware Monitor
This is a very simple monitoring tool that has a very minimalist and easy-to-navigate interface, making it ideal for use while gaming or performing other high-load tasks.
It can monitor SMART information about your storage drives, and also monitors clock speeds, fan speeds, and of course temperatures for various important components.
It’s compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows and works with everything from Windows XP to Windows 10. It is also compatible with some Linux-based operating systems, which is a neat feature if you change your OS down the line.
It works with most major manufacturers including Intel, AMD, and NVidia, and as an open-source project, there is a high level of trust and community assistance available.
Core Temp is a tool that is very lightweight but also very powerful, allowing you to monitor crucial metrics when performing difficult tasks.
The tool allows you to track the temperature of each individual core in your CPU and see changes occurring in real-time which is incredibly useful for monitoring performance when overclocking or stress testing.
Various processors by Intel and AMD are supported, and it works well on Windows systems.
It is also very easy to use with a simple and clear user interface and clear readings, making it very simple to use even for beginners.
It’s also possible to install extensions that add several neat features such as remote monitoring from separate devices.
Speed fan is another great tool with many awesome features such as temperature monitoring and altering the fan curve of your system, which allows you to tailor your cooling and manage your temperatures according to your own usage and workloads.
This tool is compatible with all versions of Windows from 95 to Windows 10 and works with x86 and 64-bit processors.
It also has some neat features that allow more experienced users to track additional data, such as hard drive SMART information and storage temperature.
Real Temp is a fairly popular and simple way to keep an eye on your CPU temps without massively adding to your workload, however, there are a few caveats, unfortunately.
This tool only works with Intel processors and doesn’t work at all with AMD or Pentium 4 CPUs, meaning alternative tools are required for users of these systems.
The beauty of this tool is in its simplicity and leanness, it doesn’t come packed with features and versatility. It is simply for temperature monitoring and it is focused on doing that as efficiently as possible.
CPU Thermometer is a tool that works with Intel and AMD processors, and functions with 32-bit or 64-bit systems from Windows Vista to Windows 2008, Windows 7 and Windows 10.
It’s a fairly basic tool and has a very minimal interface which is quite easy to understand and work with.
It allows you to set a max temperature for your CPU, meaning it will display a warning at this temperature, or you can also set it to shut down your system or reboot depending on your preference which is a very simple way of ensuring your system is protected from heat damage.
This monitoring system is a very powerful series of sensors and tools designed for those who want as much information and flexibility as possible from their monitoring software, making it a great choice for overclockers in particular.
There is a 30 day free trial of this tool, but the full version is a paid program. However, the level of detail and assistance this tool provides is excellent. It is compatible with most modern versions of Windows be they 32-bit or 64-bit.