Core Temp is an advanced software utility with a clear-cut purpose: it monitors the temperature of the computer's CPU cores and can automatically power off the PC if it gets too high, in order to protect the hardware by preventing overheating. It is mainly oriented toward power PC users but not too difficult to be figured out by the less experienced ones.
Setting up Core Temp does not take a long time. However, since it is ad-supported, it offers to download and install third-party components that it does not actually need to work properly. They can be excluded from the setup however, if you pay a little attention and do not rush through the wizard.
Classical interface and system tray indicators
The interface does not contain attractive elements but in the case of a system monitoring tool, it doesn't have to. Core Temp is wrapped in a small window that shows the process information and temperature readings, enabling users to select a preferred CPU core.
It also creates icons in the taskbar notifications area for each core to show its live temperature; they are intuitively color-coded to quickly determine the current safety level concerning temp overheating by just glancing in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Examine processor information and temperature readings
You can find out the model, platform, frequency, revision and CPU ID, along with the low, high and load temp for each core, as well as adjust the temp offsets for each core or apply the setting to all of them.
Enable overheat protection with automatic or custom settings
Core Temp is able to automatically prevent overheating by taking into accounts its optimized settings; it can show notifications only when the critical temperature is reached. Alternatively, you can activate this protection module when the temp surpasses a user-defined value.
Schedule notifications, app launches and PC shutdown
Additionally, it is possible to enable balloon popups and make Core Temp flash in the taskbar, schedule an application to launch (EXE or BAT), as well as program the computer to sleep, hibernate or power off (with or without delay) on temperature overheating. All these settings may be restored to default.
Other tools and settings
You can view system information collected by Core Temp, reset the high and low temp readings, create a dump with all processor data and export it to a plain text document for closer examination and comparison with future dumps, as well as take a screenshot of the main frame and save it to a PNG image for the same purposes. Core Temp's window can be set to stay on top of other frames.
Evaluation and conclusion
The tool has a great response time and shows accurate information concerning system components and temperature readings. It worked smoothly on 64-bit Windows 8.1 during our evaluation, without triggering Windows to hang, crash or pop up error messages. It used very low CPU and RAM. Owners of older operating systems can use it as well (up until Windows 2000, including XP).
In a nutshell, Core Temp may be small-sized and not very attractive, but it delivers effective solutions to monitoring CPU core temperatures and scheduling automatic tasks to prevent overheating.