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Motherboard Temperature High: Causes, How to Detect and Fix in 2021

Most people just buy or build a custom PC and then forget about it. But I am not most people. I constantly monitor the internals of my PC. And whenever there is an issue, I crack it open and see what I can do even if it’s something related to the motherboard.

One day, running my favorite AAA game on the max settings, a tool gave me an alert for the Motherboards Temperature getting High. I was alarmed as it never happened before. So I immediately stopped the game and started researching why and how I can fix it. Here’s what I found:

Temperatures above 80°C are considered high for the motherboard. Prolonged use at temperatures above risks irrevocable damage to your PC’s components. This can be due to poor ventilation and can be fixed by cleaning the fans and ensuring proper ventilation or the motherboard might be failing.

How Do I Fix High Temperature On My Motherboard?

1. Check the Fans

Open the box of the CPU and check the fans inside if they are working or not. There are two fans inside the CPU, one will be on the front to pull cool air inside and the other in the power supply to push hot air outside the case.

If any of these fans not working, immediately replace them to avoid damage. If the power supply’s fan is not working you may need to replace the whole power supply.

Sometimes the dust is accumulated on the fans which develops friction in the fans and reduces their speeds. So, clean the fans to allow maximum ventilation inside the CPU case.

2. Clean the motherboard

Sometimes the dust accumulated on the motherboard serves as a cause of overheating of the system. Dust accumulated resists the flow of current through the circuit and hence it dissipates heat.

dusty motherboard causing temperature high
You don’t want your computer to be like this.

In this case, first, disconnect your PC from the power supply and then clean the motherboard with a brush and Motherboard Cleaner Liquid (MBC) easily available in the market. Dust can also block the heat sink installed in the CPU and air inlets cannot circulate fresh air properly.

3. Try replacing parts with more efficient ones

Hard Disk has disks and spindles inside it which rotates for its function. These rotations do mechanical work and hence increases the temperature.

It can be avoided by using Solid State Drive (SSD) which is purely an electronic component, and it not only nullifies temperature effects but also provides high-speed data transfers and more room in the CPU case. Similarly, Pen-drives can be used for data transfer instead of CD-ROMs.

4. Maintain Proper Ventilation

Try to keep your system in a room that is properly ventilated. Do not keep your CPU in a closed cabin that is closed from all sides as it will cause confirm damage to your system. The air outside the case should be cooler than the air inside. It does not mean that you keep the CPU under the air conditioner but proper ventilation would be enough.

5. Kill background apps

When you are not using some apps, do not keep them running in the background as they increase the load on your memory and hence acquire more power to carry out other processes which result in increase in temperature of the system.

6. Reapply Thermal Paste

Thermal Paste is present between processors and sink pipe to maximize the heat transfer. When this paste dries out, it causes problems and serves to overheating of the CPU. By reapplying this paste we can solve overheating issue in most of cases. Here’s a helpful example on how to reapply the thermal paste:

However, if you are not confident with doing this yourself, it’s a good idea to look for a friend or a professional.

7. Use Motherboard Standoffs

Standoffs prevent electrical discharge to the PC case. Usually they come with the PC case while some manufacturers offer them with the motherboards. Either way, they are a necessary component. If you are not using it, the PC components may get fried or increase motherboard temperature.


If absolutely nothing works, and the PC stops working altogether, then you should consider replacing the motherboard.

What Tools Can I Use To Find If My Motherboard Temperature Is High?

There are only a handful of software tools you can use for motherboard temperature check. Some motherboard manufacturers come with their own software for hardware monitoring but they are only compatible for the respective brands. Alternatively, you can use thermal cameras but they are expensive.

Here are the top tools to check motherboard temperature:

1. Open Hardware Monitor

Open Hardware Monitor is the best tool to find motherboard temperature. It is open-source so any one can see the code and is available for free with full options. The tool works for both Intel and AMD systems and works on both Windows and Linux operating systems.

Tools for Motherboard Temperature high

It has an easy to use interface. And you can easily expand the components and sub-components to reveal more information. You will not be overwhelmed with a lot of information this way.

2. HWMonitor

HWMonitor shows hardware details focusing on voltages, temperatures, and fan speeds. It works for both AMD and Intel systems. Although, its only supported on Windows PCs and runs on Windows 10 unlike the Open Hardware Monitor reviewed above.

It comes in both free and paid options but for finding motherboard temperature, the free version is enough. But if you are a power user, you might be interested in the paid version options.

3. Speccy

Another of the motherboard temperature tools is Speccy which comes from the makers of the popular CCleaner tool. Like the HWMonitor, it is available for free and comes with a paid option with more features.

motherboard temperature high speccy

However, sometimes you can encounter motherboard temperature high with Speccy. It shows unrealistic values like 107 degree Celsius! Reading as high as these are false and you can ignore it. Try using a different tool if you get wrong readings.

What Causes Motherboard To Overheat?

The computer is made up of highly complex chips and internal hardware that works as a system to ensure its functionality. Such working may cause an increase in the heat release of the motherboard which has to perform the main functions of combining multiple components of the computer. Many factors can play role in the overheating of the system:

  • Improper Ventilation
  • Overclocking
  • Loose heatsinks
  • Incorrect Voltage settings
  • Use of cheap or local Power Supply Unit
  • Absence of a fan on the chipset of the motherboard
  • A BIOS that has not been updated
  • Wrong Sensor Data
  • A possible defect in manufacturing

The improper ventilation of the computer’s system is a common issue that can lead to overheating in many cases. The cause of this problem can be an improper flow of air in the system. The prior existence or installation of at least two fans, one fan for the front and one fan for the rear of the system. Similarly, all kinds of wires should be tightened and made sure that loose wires do not interfere with the smooth airflow of the motherboard and around it.

Overclocking is another common issue and a plausible cause of overheating in the motherboard. Overclocking can cause the system to run at a high speed which is more than the speed it was originally designed to run at. This can cause the overheating of the system’s components and hence overheating of the motherboard as well. The better approach is to disable overclocking as it might be heating the system.

heatsinks for motherboard temperature high
Those fins are the heatsinks.

The heatsinks are preinstalled in the computer and reduce the heating of the system. The heatsinks may be loose at times and not in proper contact with the chipset of the motherboard. This can affect the functionality of the heatsinks. In this situation, the use of a thermal paste can make sure that the heatsinks are in tight contact with the motherboard’s chipset. This can ensure its proper functionality.

If the voltage settings of the computer are tempered, this may cause improper functioning of the BIOS. This can lead to issues such as the rise in the temperature of the motherboard. To stop this from happening, check the voltage of the computer from the BIOS settings. Ensure that the settings are either auto or the default settings of the system.

Computer, Power Supply, Wire, Accessories, Background
Power supply unit

The power supply unit of the system is crucial to the functionality of the system. The use of a local power supply unit or a cheap one can save money but damage the system by increasing its temperature. A good power supply unit should be used in the system.

If the above steps are not sufficient to reduce the temperature of the motherboard, an additional step can be to install a separate fan of the motherboard’s chipset manually. A small fan that can be a good fit for the system can be used for this purpose, this can also be a fan from the Pentium 2 or Pentium 3 systems.

Sometimes, the older versions of BIOS or BIOS that has not been updated for a long time can be the reason for the improper functioning of the temperature controllers in the motherboard. Updating the BIOS is also a good practice for temperature control.

At times, the incorrect monitoring of the motherboard’s temperature can generate false alarms about the high temperature. If you doubt that the system is not heating up but only showing a high temperature then it may be due to incorrect sensor data. The software used can be misleading.

The Thermal Imaging Camera
Thermal Camera in action

In this case, it is better to check the motherboard manually by checking the heatsink and seeing for yourself if the temperature is too high. Third-party software can also be used for the correct monitoring of the data. To be sure, you can use a thermal camera or even a glass thermometer.

In rare cases, the rise of the motherboard’s temperature can be a result of a default manufacturing defect that exists in the system. In this case, all the above situations will prove inadequate in lowering the temperature of the motherboard. Here, the vendor for your system or the service center can help in replacing the system altogether.

How Can High Motherboard Temperature Affect My Computer Performance?

The high temperatures are dangerous for the health of your computer. If you use your computer at high temperatures for long times, then it can damage your processors, graphic cards, and hard disk which leads to a decrease in performance over the period. By keeping your computer below the threshold temperature, you can maximize the performance of your computer.

motherboard temperature high performance
Chart showing Computer Performance with High Temperatures compared to normal temperatures.
Credits Hardware Unboxed

Being the heart of the computer’s system, the health of the motherboard is extremely important for the healthy functioning of the entire computer and its processes. Hence, when the temperature rises above this threshold the entire system is affected by the heat being generated by it.

What happens if the motherboard heats excessively?

The rise and fall of temperature cause any matter to expand and contract respectively. The rate of expansion and contraction varies with the material of the components in question. However, this expansion can cause higher mechanical stress on the joins that hold the components of the board together.

High stress and rapid changes in the stress can cause the solder to fracture or result in cracks. This can break the electrical connections.

The chemical reactions tend to occur more at higher temperatures than at lower temperatures. Hence, the capacitors will undergo wear and tear more quickly at relatively higher temperatures.

The electrical conductivity of the temperatures also drops if their temperature rises. The connectivity drops as the temperature rises. If the components lose their connectivity, then the components face damage.

What Is A Safe Motherboard Temperature?

The safe temperature range of the motherboard is less than 80 degrees Celsius to work in good condition. CPU is made up of many components such as graphic cards, RAMs, Hard disks, etc., and the computer works by exchange of data between these components which occurs in form of electric impulses. 

The more data is exchanged between the components, the more electric impulses will be generated and hence more heat will be produced. When the system needs extra power to complete certain tasks then it raises the temperature and hence achieves some extra power.

Also Read: Best Motherboards for NAS

But when it surpasses the threshold temperature the performance begins to go down and certain lags and stutters occur. And in extreme cases, the system turns off itself.

Average Temperature while idle

When the computer is in idle mode, i.e. no one is using it or when the system boots up, then the temperature of the motherboard should be between 20 to 50 degrees Celsius. Depending on the temperature of surroundings.

The temperature of the CPU can be higher than that of the motherboard because it has a dedicated heat sink which helps in the cooling case but in all cases, it should be less than 80 degrees.

Average Temperature while doing normal tasks

When you are doing some routine tasks like typing a document, reading a document, utilizing media, or doing web surfing then the temperature of the motherboard remains mediocre roughly between 40 to 60 degrees. Such type of light usage consumes less power and does not affect the health of your system at all. 

Average temperature while gaming

While in gaming mode, all computer parts such as graphic cards, RAMs, etc. are trying to give their maximum performance and hence generates more heat. Although, heat sinks play role in reducing the temperature but at beyond threshold temperatures it fails.

So, in this case, the temperature can go up to 75 to 80 degrees. You should not use your computer over long periods under such circumstances as it is very lethal for the performance of your system.

The usage in such extreme conditions can lead to permanent damage and you may need to replace your motherboard. So, take proper breaks and maintain proper ventilation for such type of usage.

FAQs

How hot can your motherboard get?

The motherboard can reach temperatures over 80 degrees even up to 90 degrees Celsius. However, the computer will shut down and if any tool like Speccy is showing temperatures over 90, then its most likely showing a false reading. At those temperatures, programs like Speccy won’t even execute.

Is 40 degrees Celsius hot for a motherboard?

No, 40 degrees Celsius is perfectly normal for the motherboard. If you are using a tool to check the temperature, then not just 40 degrees Celsius, but any temperature under 80 degrees Celsius is acceptable. The motherboard operates at this temperature when the computer is idle or doing low intensity tasks.

What are the signs of motherboard failure?

Temperatures over 80 degree Celsius without any intensive activity is a sign of motherboard failure. Other signs include; crashing to Blue Screen, computer slowing down, freezes or glitches, and not recognizing compatible hardware.

Does motherboard get hot?

Yes its normal for the motherboard to get hot because it is the hub of all activity on the computer. All the hardware is linked with the motherboard. And there is a lot of electron movement which heats up the system. Cooling systems and fans help reduce the excess heat.

Is it dangerous to add burnt RAM into a motherboard?

Yes, it can be hazardous to insert a potentially burnt RAM into any motherboard. An example of this is that a faulty PSU that generates a higher voltage than the standby line’s voltage. This can actually kill the motherboard. Hence, you should avoid the use of potentially burnt RAM and opt for normally working ones.

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