What happens when CPU temperature is too high and how to prevent dust from causing heat

Heat temperature performance The heat generated by the processor of a computer or a smartphone can have a decisive impact on the performance of the device, the higher the temperature we make the area where the processor is present reach.

Too much heat on the CPU not only leads to sudden shutdown of the computer (done for safety, not to damage the processor), but therefore it also affects performance. In the following guide we will show you what leads to performance loss and what we can do to reduce the risk of overheating and performance loss.

READ ALSO: CPU cooler and new fans to lower the PC temperature

1) Heat and performance on PC CPUs

PC processor When computer CPUs overheat the system takes action to reduce further damage and decrease the heat generated: in most cases this translates into a lower clock frequencywhich inevitably leads to a drop in performance when we start the heaviest programs.

An example of this technology is the one called Turbo Boost by Intel (or Turbo Core by AMD). On the page dedicated to Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 five factors that affect the frequency increase of an Intel CPU are listed:

  • Type of work
  • Number of active cores
  • Estimated current consumption
  • Estimated energy consumption
  • Processor temperature

Speaking only of the processor temperature we find that the Intel CPUwhen they reach a certain thermal limitthey begin to reduce the frequency to prevent it from becoming damaged.

This thermal limit for Intel processors is 100°Cwhich means a great resistance to heat for modern processors and little or no impact of heat on computer performance (note that in older processors, those of two or three years ago, if you exceed 92 or 95 degrees the PC shuts down suddenly).

Unfortunately, it must be emphasized that any processor, if subjected to such high temperatures for a long time, ends up ruining itself and reducing their life, also causing errors such as the blue screen. average, the CPU should not reach a temperature higher than around 80-85°C when fully loaded for an extended period of time.


If the temperature should be too high, we must follow some simple advice to keep it as low as possible:

  • Clean the PC from dust: we remove all the dust inside the PC, starting from the case fans up to the dust accumulated on the heatsink and on the fan.
  • Use new heatsink: change the base air cooler to a enhanced heatsink can make all the difference, keeping the computer temperature under control.
  • Use a liquid cooler: if we play a lot of PC games or heavy programs it may be a good idea to switch immediately to a liquid dissipatorso as to always keep the temperature low.
  • Change the paste ends of the CPU: often changing the paste ends of the processor (once every 2 years) we will reduce the risk of overheating, since the heat will flow more easily from the CPU to the heatsink.

To learn more we can read our guides on how to clean a computer from dust come on how to dust the Laptop to clean it inside and out.

2) Heat and performance on mobile CPUs

Phone processor Even if the frequencies involved are not comparable, even on smartphones and tablets it is possible to run into one decrease in device performance due to heat.

When the phone or tablet is too hot, the mobile CPU drops the frequency to a minimum and also deactivates some of the cores inside: in this way, the temperature does not reach too dangerous peaks for the phone’s integrity, but inevitably we will run into a drop in performanceespecially when we open a heavy app or mobile game.

This heat can also be generated by external causes: leaving the phone in the car in the sun or leaving it charging while we play will cause the temperature to rise dramatically, until the very hot phone.

Cool Mobile CPU

To cool down a mobile processor, just follow a few simple rules of use and avoid any situation in which the internal temperature could rise:

  • We avoid covers that are too tight or thick: Heat may have a harder time escaping from the back of the phone, accumulating and reducing performance.
  • Let’s reduce the use of wireless charging: Wireless charging is convenient but generates additional heat, significantly slowing down the CPU.
  • We use a smartband or a smartwatch: these wearable devices can be configured to notify us when we go away without our phone, receiving a disconnection notification (thus avoiding leaving the phone in the car).
  • We turn off the phone: if the phone gets too hot, turn it off completely for 10 minutes, wait for it to cool down, then turn it back on to check performance.

On this subject we can read our guides on how to measure phone temperature on android and iphone come on how to cool down your smartphone (Android and iPhone).


Heat is the eternal enemy of any electronic component and can make the PC or phone very slow and underperforming: it is therefore essential to keep the device cool, well cooled and away from situations in which it can overheat, so as to prolong its life and maintain excellent performance.

Other articles list i programs to see temperatures and heat on PC hardware components come on what to do if the phone gets hot while charging.


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