What Is A Safe Motherboard Temperature?

Mehak Sohail | Last Updated On November 17th, 2021

If you’re experiencing abrupt shutdowns or freezes on your computer, there’s a good chance your motherboard is overheating.

An overheated motherboard leads to a variety of major PC problems if not taken care of properly. So, it’s important that you understand what a healthy motherboard looks like. Apart from this, you may also want to check if your CPU is overlocked which may also be one of the reasons for overheating.

If you’re using your computer for normal activities (browsing, watching movies), the motherboard should range from 20 to 50 degrees celsius. If you’re using your computer more intensely (gaming, video rendering) the motherboard can safely range between 50 to 80 degrees celsius.

In this in-depth guide, I’ll go over:

  • What a safe motherboard temperature is
  • Why an overheated motherboard is dangerous
  • How to check your motherboard’s temperature
  • How to lower high PC temperatures
  • And much more

Let’s jump in.

What’s A Safe Motherboard Temperature?

There are two different temperature ranges you should look out for when monitoring your motherboard.

When Your Computer Is Being Lightly Used

If you’re simply browsing the web or watching Netflix, your motherboard’s temperature should range from 20 to 50 degrees celsius. These are extremely safe temperatures and indicate that your motherboard isn’t overworking at all.

If your motherboard’s temperature reaches 60 degrees celsius while performing light activities, this is a major cause for concern. This indicates that your motherboard is overheating without performing any rigorous activities.

In this case, it’s most likely that your computer’s fans are not functioning properly and need some maintenance.

When You’re Performing Intensive Activities On Your Computer

If you’re putting your computer under heavy-load with activities like gaming or video rendering, the motherboard temperature should range from 50 to 80 degrees celsius.

The maximum temperature you should let your motherboard reach is 85 degrees celsius. A temperature above 85 degrees celsius risks damaging your PC’s components.

Read the next section to learn how to reduce a high motherboard temperature.

If you complete these tasks and still have motherboard temperatures above 85 degrees celsius, I recommend taking your computer to a professional IT store. You can also test your motherboard using a multimeter.

What Is A Motherboard

Simply put, the motherboard is the piece of hardware inside of a computer that connects all of the other components.

It houses the processor (CPU), memory (RAM), video card (GPU), hard drive, and so forth.

The motherboard essentially acts as a communication hub between all the parts in your computer, allowing them to function together.

For this reason, if your motherboard is overheating, it can easily affect the other parts in your computer as well.

Most computers can safely range from 20 to 80 degrees celsius depending on usage intensity.

Furthermore, the best motherboard depends on which processor/CPU you have. Generally speaking, more expensive motherboards are compatible with better components and come with more features. For laptops, you can check here what is a good processor speed for it.

How To Tell If Your Motherboard Is Overheating

Let’s go over the tell-tale signs that your motherboard is overheating. Any one of these symptoms is a cause of concern and should be further investigated.

Unexplained Shutdowns

If your computer is randomly shutting down without any warning or notice, there’s a good chance your motherboard is overheating.

The reason that PC’s abruptly shutdown due to overheating is to avoid damage to the motherboard and components.

If the PC is unable to maintain safe temperatures, it automatically shuts down as a pre-emptive safety measure.

Blue Screen

If you’ve faced the notorious blue screen of death (BSOD), an overheated motherboard could be the cause. The BSOD is usually caused by hardware or hardware driver issues.

So, if you often find yourself staring at a blue screen, you should check the temperature of your computer.

Freezes & Slowdowns

An overheated motherboard can first be noticed by instability issues such as freezing or slowdowns.

When a computer overheats, it makes it difficult for all the different parts to communicate with each other. In turn, your computer will slow down and sometimes freeze without warning.

If you constantly face these issues while performing rigorous tasks such as gaming or video editing, you should check your motherboard’s temperature. You might also want to check which motherboard is best for video editing.

Rattling Sounds

A rattling sound from your computer is extremely distinct and easy to notice. The cause of the rattling is because your fans are either overworking or working improperly.

Either way, if the fans are improperly malfunctioning, your computer is sure to overheat.

If this is the case, simply open your computer cabinet and inspect the fans.

The Dangers Of An Overheated Motherboard

The motherboard’s main function is to host and connect all of the other components in your computer.

It acts as the “heart” of your computer and sends signals to each component.

Think about it.

If a heart gets injured, the overall functionality of the person will be extremely diminished.

So, an overheated motherboard can significantly damage your other PC components as well as the motherboard itself.

This is why it’s extremely important to monitor your motherboard’s temperature and take care of your computer.

How To Check Your Motherboard’s Temperature

There are 2 ways to easily check your motherboard’s temperature.

Third-Party Application

Using a third-party application such as HWiNFO or HWMonitor is my preferred method. These applications are free to use and allow you to keep track of your temperatures while logged into your PC.

After installing HWiNFO, run the program and click on ‘Sensors’. From here, you’ll be able to see the temperature of your motherboard, CPU, and GPU.

BIOS (Basic Input-Output System)

You can also check your motherboard’s temperature inside your computer’s BIOS. To access BIOS, you’ll need to reboot your PC.

During the startup process, press the “Delete” or “F1” key to enter the BIOS setup.

From there, use your arrow keys and navigate to “PC Health” or “Monitor”. Your motherboard temperature will be displayed there.

How To Fix High PC Temperatures & Overheating

As you can tell, an overheated motherboard can lead to a variety of complications, the most serious being computer failure.

So, it’s important to take care of your computer. I have outlined a list of solutions you can easily implement yourself at home.

1) Check Your Fans

The first and easiest thing you can do is check if your fans are working. Simply open up your PC cabinet while the PC is turned on and see if the fans are rotating.

Furthermore, you should check if you have enough fans installed in your computer. I recommend that each computer has at least two fans. One to intake fresh air and the other to disperse out hot air.

If you want to add more fans to your PC, here are the best coolers depending on which CPU you have.

If your fans are working properly, the next thing you should check is the placement of your fans.

An ideal PC setup would have one fan at the front of the PC and one fan at the back. There shouldn’t be any fans at the bottom of the cabinet as air can’t enter or exit from there.

2) Proper Airflow & Ventilation

Proper airflow and ventilation are simple ways you can prevent your motherboard from overheating.

Make sure your computer isn’t tucked away in a corner or covered by any cloth/clothing.

It’s vital that your computer has room to breathe. If your computer doesn’t have enough air around it, the cooler will have difficulty circulating air. This results in an overheated motherboard.

Furthermore, make sure the layout of your computer components allow proper airflow inside the cabinet. The fans shouldn’t face any obstructions when pulling and pushing air from your computer.

Also, be sure that there aren’t any cables or wiring disrupting the airflow inside of your computer.

3) Cleaning & Dusting Your PC

If your motherboard is overheating, dust is the most common problem. So, open your computer cabinet and take a look at the situation.

Depending on how much dust you see, I recommend two different options.

If you see light dust, you can simply use a can of compressed air to lightly spray the dust out.

If you see heavy dust deposits, you may need to remove and clean each fan individually. You can find a number of YouTube tutorials to follow for a computer deep-clean.

In any case, make sure you completely dust off all of the fans inside the PC.

4) Disable CPU Overclocking

If you’ve been overclocking your CPU for a better gaming performance, this is most-likely why your motherboard is overheating.

Even though overclocking provides a smoother gaming experience, it can be short-lived if it also causes your motherboard and CPU to overheat.

5) Upgrade Your PC Components

A great way to cool off an overheating motherboard is by replacing some outdated components. If some of your computer parts have been used for many years, it could be the cause of an overheated motherboard.

For example:

  • SSDs (solid state drives) generate less heat than conventional HDDs (hard disk drives)
  • Newer GPUs produce less heat than older generations
  • Use the lowest wattage power supply your computer can run

Older hardware components are usually inefficient and draw a lot of power.

Conclusion

As a general rule of thumb, a safe motherboard temperature is anything under 80 degrees celsius.

If you’re noticing problems such as decreased performance or random shutdowns, I highly recommend you check the temperature of your motherboard and CPU.

If your CPU needs to be replaced, make sure that you will remove it from the motherboard safely.

An overheated motherboard can be extremely harmful to your PC’s health and cause computer failure.

So, it’s vital to make sure your computer is clean and that the fans are working properly.

If you are building your pc and interested in how to connect the power button to a motherboard, we have an article for you.

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