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Do Intel CPUs Overheat? (Important Facts!)

When getting new components for your PC, or doing a completely new build it’s important to do some research about how good or bad certain components are. Also, if you’re having a specific issue reoccur then you may be wondering if it’s common for the brand and component. Today, I will explain whether Intel CPUs are known to overheat.

Intel CPUs do not overheat during normal operation. If you overclock your CPU without installing an aftermarket fan, the fan or cooler you’re using has malfunctioned, or the thermal paste hasn’t been applied correctly it can cause a CPU to overheat.

Below, I will explain how common it is for Intel CPUs to overheat, what the operating temperature of an Intel CPU should be, and what causes CPUs to overheat in general, if it’s covered by the Intel manufacturers warranty.

Are Intel CPUs Renowned for Overheating?

Intel i5 CPU

If you’ve been looking into computer components you may have noticed that certain generations of components have been known to have issues or aren’t as good as the model before or after it. Also, double-checking there aren’t any known major issues with certain components is good to know before buying one. So, here’s whether Intel CPUs are known for overheating.

Intel CPUs are not renowned for overheating. The overwhelming consensus from people who use Intel CPUs is that they perform really well, and together with AMD CPUs they are the best on the market. There are no known issues with Intel CPUs overheating.

I did a bunch of research to see whether this is an issue, and could only come up with one article explaining that some people were having issues with the Intel i7 CPU. But, upon looking into it further they don’t provide any evidence for how this is a known issue. 

In my opinion, if this was a known issue it would be easy to find a lot of complaints on the Intel forums, and people making Youtube videos about it. However, none of these exist. 

There is only one video that has the title Intel CPUs Overheating Issue. Upon watching the video though the person who made the video explains that they made a mistake when installing it which caused the overheating issue.

How to Prevent My Intel CPU Overheating?

If an Intel CPU overheats it has safety features in place to ensure it doesn’t damage itself. One is that it will turn your computer off, and the other is that it will slow down your computer to cool it down. If you notice any of the issues and are trying to stop your Intel CPU from overheating, or want some preventative measures, here’s what you should do.

First ensure it’s installed correctly by looking at the correct procedure for installing an Intel CPU, shown below. If you’re planning to overclock your CPU you will need to install an aftermarket fan, as overclocking causes a CPU to overheat.

The main thing to watch out for is applying the thermal paste correctly as this affects how well heat is drawn off the CPU and into the heat sink. Also, if the heat sink isn’t installed right, it won’t make contact correctly and won’t draw heat off the CPU.

On the official Intel website, they state that there is NO recommended temperature that an Intel CPU should safely run at because it differs a lot due to the exact build of a PC. 

Most people report that somewhere in the range of under about 122 °F to 176 °F (50 °C to 80 °C) is the operating temperature for most CPUs. And anything over about 194 °F (90 °C) can cause your computer to slow down, or shut off because it has overheated. Intel provides a max temperature for each of their CPUs on this page of their website. 

Overclocking is a major cause of overheating

Overclocking a CPU does improve the speed of your CPU. But, you do need to get an aftermarket fan, otherwise, your CPU will overheat. You will get about the same performance boost if you get a faster CPU as well. 

So, if you’re deciding whether to overclock or get a better CPU the key consideration is the cost of an aftermarket fan compared to the cost of a faster CPU. I discussed this in detail in this article about whether all CPU coolers are the same.

But, it’s well known that if you are going to overclock your CPU you will always need to install an aftermarket fan. However, overclocking voids the warranty for Intel CPUs.

If you notice your computer is running slow check the CPU temperature

Generally, you shouldn’t be too concerned with your CPU overheating provided you’ve installed it using the manufacturer’s recommendations. And it’s very helpful to watch a video of someone doing it to see the process first. But, there are two reasons you should check what the CPU temperature is by using a free program such as HW Info

Then compare the temperatures you’re getting with the maximum operating temperature of your CPU in the owners manual, or for Intel CPUs, on this page of their website. If it’s running too hot, you should verify that the stock or aftermarket fan you have is working. And that it hasn’t come loose.

It’s very commonly reported online that people who have an issue with their CPU overheating find that the fan or cooler has malfunctioned. Or, the wires have come loose and the fan isn’t cooling their CPU.

Which Intel CPUs Are Known for Overheating Problems?

Some generations of CPUs that Intel has brought out have not provided a speed increase over the previous year’s model, and most people are in agreement that certain models should be avoided. But, are there any Intel CPUs that are known to overheat?

No Intel CPUs have known overheating problems. The vast majority of people who use Intel CPUs report they have no issues with them. In cases where an Intel CPU overheats, it’s because the fan/heat sink has malfunctioned or the CPU or fan/heat sink isn’t installed correctly.

The main factors that cause a CPU to overheat:

  • The thermal paste is not applied correctly
  • The fan has malfunctioned or the wires have come loose
  • The heatsink isn’t installed correctly or has come loose 

Does Intel’s Warranty Cover Overheating?

Intel CPUs come with a warranty that covers faults with the products that occur within 1 to 3 years after purchase. Overheating can occur with all types of CPUs, but with Intel CPUs specifically here’s whether overheating is covered by the warranty.

The Intel warranty covers overheating provided the CPU has not been overclocked. Overclocking a CPU voids the Intel warranty. If the fan and heatsink fail, they will replace or repair them under warranty if the CPU has failed. But, overheating can be caused by an installation issue.

The first point of contact if you want to get make a warranty claim is your Intel Technology Provider if you used one when getting your Intel CPU. They can help you process your warranty claim faster. This is generally the store that you bought it from. 

If you’re unsure where you bought it from is an Intel Technology Provider or in any other case, you should contact Intel on their official support page here.

Most Intel products have a 3 years warranty. But, the length varies from 1 to 3 years depending on the exact make and model.

Conclusion

Intel CPUs are not known to overheat. Overheating typically happens if the CPU was not installed correctly, or the fan has failed. The fan is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.

Sources

I started building and fixing PCs in high school. After a couple of years of offering consultancy to a PC repair shop, I became the goto guy for all my acquaintances for PC/Laptop related buying advice or troubleshooting.