The Explorer: None Like It Hot

Excessive heat is a CPU's worst enemy. Here are software utilities that can help.

Fred Langa, Contributor

July 22, 2003

2 Min Read

Diminishing Returns
There's a ton of evidence that CPU coolers help a lot on systems that run hot, but I didn't know what I'd see on my system because MBProbe had already shown that my CPU is extremely well-cooled to start with. And in fact, none of the cooler software I tried produced any noticeable results at all.

But I took this as a sign of success, not failure: With my system's already-excellent mechanical cooling (via airflow) there just wasn't much left for these software-only coolers to do. It was further proof that the engineers who designed my system did their homework well.

With that reassurance, I uninstalled the CPU cooler tools, but left MBProbe running. It's a permanent addition to my system tray to help make sure that my system stays thermally healthy for what I hope will be a long life.

No Surprises
In a perfect world, we'd never have to think about heat issues in PCs: All vendors would design their systems well, fans would never die, dust would never choke off a system's airflow, and everything would work perfectly.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for that perfect day. Instead, I'll run a small, free monitoring tool to keep an eye on what's going on inside my PC, and if I need to, take steps via software or hardware to correct any problems that arise.

What about you? What monitoring or cooling tools have you tried? What results have you gotten? What heat-related problems have you seen? Join in the Discussion!

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Fred Langa's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Fred Langa, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

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