GPU temperature monitoring guide

By on June 8, 2011
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How to keep an eye on CPU & GPU temperatures, and comparison of software that works best

Now you know safe temperatures, second thing is how to measure it. There’s a lot of software in market for this and luckily most are freeware. All GPU monitoring software give you basic info like temperature, voltage, core clock etc. but there are some other crucial features that should be there in monitoring software, such as:

CPU/HDD monitor – it’s always nice if you don’t have to run a separate software / widget and it’s already included in your GPU temperature monitoring software.
Max temperature record - most software show real-time results only, or long logs, but Max recorded temperature is an important value, as you wouldn’t have to keep eye on real time values all the time, and just come out of game and take a look at max value to see how high it went at the most intensive time.
Alarms - is another important feature that combines the max record feature + real time monitoring + danger temperature values. Software monitors temperature itself without your monitoring and as soon as it goes in danger zone, it alerts you to take notice; or increases fan speed; or shuts PC down. This is real great for automation.
OSD or in-game overlay - Although considered important by many; it is a rather inefficient way of monitoring temperature as you have to keep an eye out yourself, and also is a distraction on screen. Moreover OSDs are buggy when used with other overlay software like Xfire / Steam and even with anti cheat softwares like X-ray, Punkbuster, sXe, etc.
Overclocking - Many GPU monitors also include option to do software overclocking. This includes changing voltages, core clock speeds, fan speeds etc. For overclockers this is a blessing as they can do it in real time and monitor the resulting FPS and temperatures using same software.

Here is a list of famous software used for this purpose along with chart to show what software lacks which feature. This list is prepared based on my knowledge and if any feature has been included over time or is not known to me, then please do inform us.

Alarms In-game
nvidia nTune
ATI tray tools
MSI Afterburner
EVGA Precission

Each software has its pros and cons; there is no all-in-one software. But based on your needs you will find your preferred software.

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Dad in the day, Gamer by night. Loves everything Geek. By profession an Engineer but my hobby has been Video gaming on PC since 1989.

  • J_M

    Everest should be listed – it would get a checkmark in every column you’ve chosen to include.

    Conspicuously absent is any mention of MCP/SPP/VRM temps.

    • karar

      Everest was mainly a benchmark tool and secondly it is discontinued. so there is no support for new hardware.

      the same same company made AIDA64, but its a commercial / business software and not a free solution for home users.

      The other temperatures are not mentioned as this is a general temperature guide, and not an overclocking guide. You need to monitor e.g. temperature of VRAMs when doing overclocking only.

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  • Alkhall

    I believe Everest was primarily monitoring software with a couple benchmark modules.

    AIDA64 is developed by the same author, Tamas Miklos, who started with Everest’s predecessor, AIDA32.

    AIDA64 has both business and personal products, and although both are licensed, the Extreme edition is well suited for ‘home users’.

    I agree that the motherboard NB, SB and VRM temperatures have no bearing on the article.

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  • Tampa Fatboy

    Everest and AIDA are not small appz..wouldnt dare use either of them to monitor my temps while gaming or benchmarking. Nvidia tools are best for the Nvidia and screw ATI tools running in the background for the ATI cards. GPU-Z would be mny choice for the card and Coretemp for everythng above a P4…just my 2 cents.

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