Monitor CPU Temperature

key review info
application features
  • Monitor CPU temperature
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Get temperature readings for your CPU. Core Temp can also alert you when the system processor works in too hot of an environment as well as take protective action when user-defined thresholds are reached.

Before you start using the application make sure that your CPU is on the supported units' list. The freebie can work with no problems on all Windows operating systems, regardless if they are 64-bit or 32-bit. It installs quickly and starts recording how hot your central processing unit is as soon as you launch it.

Core Temp sports a very simple interface that is not enriched with useless menus or details. It is straight to the point and provides temperature readings on the main application window. In the case of multi-CPU environment the app lists the temperatures separately for each unit. If multiple cores are present the readings are presented together for each of them.

Besides the actual temperature values for each core of the processor, the main application window also provides details on the CPU. It lists model, platform, current frequency, revision number, Voltage ID (which is not the VCore reading) or CPUID. Per core temperature info shown in the lower part of the screen includes current load for each of the cores as well as the highest and lowest temperature values recorded.

Main app window is actually the most important part of the program as all the other tools included make for bonus features that increase the functionality of the product. These allow you to view more detailed information on the processors on the system besides the basic one offered in the main application window.

CSV logs containing temperature values taken every 10 seconds (you can adjust this to a different frequency) can also be enabled (these are saved in the installation folder of the application). Users of Logitech G15 and G19 keyboards can enable the G15 applet in order to have the Core Temp data on the keyboard's LCD display.

All the configuration settings of the application are stored in the “Options” menu. That is where you get to see the true flexibility of Core Temp. You can change the temperature scale to Fahrenheit or Celsius, modify the temperature read interval (milliseconds) or the temperature log frequency.

The application can be set to use alternative frequency detection if available, change the colors of the temperature reading according to the critical level or use system resources for on the fly bus clock detections. All these belong to the general settings category of the program.

System tray elements can also be configured. Core Temp can show the temperatures of each core in the tray as well as clock speed and CPU load. But enabling all of them makes the system tray a very busy area, and confusion as to what the values stand for is bound to occur. You can also keep everything simple and have the highest temperature of all the cores displayed.

Windows 7 users can enable taskbar features like displaying information (temperature, frequency and CPU load). The details will not be available as values in the taskbar, but as a level bar on Core Temp’s taskbar icon. This may be useful if you keep it pinned, but I would rather have a look at the numbers.

Overheat Protection is a newly and long awaited feature that can dip your system out of disaster’s way by turning it off should scorching temperatures envelop the CPU. Setting this up is no rocket science. Once enabled the feature you just set the temperature that should trigger the action and the application will comply.

As far as the actions are concerned, you do not have too much of a choice. Only putting the system to sleep and powering it down are available. A wider array of options which comprised system restart or hibernating it would make overheat protection more flexible.

Alerts on the action triggered by increased heat include displaying a balloon popup, flashing the app’s icon in the taskbar or you can choose a program to be executed. The latter can be used as a substitute in lack of richer shut down options, but still does not fully compensate.

Contrary to what beginners may believe, retrieving information about the temperature of system components and interpreting it is not a job restricted to professionals. Core Temp is one of the best examples of how you can turn on high temperature safety without too much effort. The knowledge required is the upper limit of your CPU so that you can set a value close to this to trigger computer shutdown.

Core Temp does not offer complicated settings but an improper configuration (like enabling too many items in the system tray) can make it really annoying. The list of CPUs supported covers a wide range of units. Resource usage is no concern as during our tests the requirements were about 7MB of RAM.

The Good

Core Temp wastes no time and shows temperature values as well as details on the processing unit the moment it is launched. Temperature offsets can be applied for all the cores or individually, for each of them.

Overheat protection is reliable if you want to avoid frying up your CPU as it can display you of high temperatures and trigger actions such as putting the system to sleep or shutting it down.

The Bad

The list of preset actions to choose from under “Overheat protection” window should include a wider range.

Logs are saved only in CSV file type, which is fine for an advanced user, but not exactly friendly format for a less experienced user who would feel more comfortable with HTML.

The Truth

Core Temp does not address beginner users specifically (after all, it is designed to cover overclocking needs), but it is very easy to use and configure. It offers the values on a platter, so all you have to do is take the protection measures in case of an overheating CPU.

It is a reliable tool that supports AMD CPUs starting with Athlon64 and Core series from Intel. Additional info, like load per core or details about the processing unit(s) is also available in Core Temp.

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This article is also available in SpanishMonitoriza la temperatura de la CPU

user interface 5
features 4
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5

final rating 5
Editor's review