CPU throttling is your processor’s defense mechanism against overheating.
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) serves as the brain of your computer, and it is responsible for executing tasks and everything that’s going on on your screen. With such a heavy workload, it’s no surprise when the CPU slows down or heats up.
CPU Throttling is the automatic reduction of the CPU’s clock speed to prevent overheating and instability. It’s like when you’re brain makes you feel sleepy when you are tired. However, it can perplex you if your CPU throttles even under low temperatures. Let’s discover the reasons behid this phenomenon.
Why is my CPU Throttling at Low Temps?
Here are the 3 reasons why:
- Faulty Temperature Sensors or Monitoring Software
- BIOS Settings and Power Management
- Inadequate Cooling System
Now, let’s dive deeper:
Faulty Temperature Sensors or Monitoring Software
Your PC’s temperature sensors and monitoring software work together to keep track of your PC’s real-time temperature. The temp sensors detect and report the CPU’s temperature to the system. So when faulty or calibrated improperly, the sensors may produce inaccurate temperature readings.
The monitoring software that processes temperature data and system performance metrics can also have bugs and malfunctions. These can cause the system to mistakenly detect high temperatures and unnecessarily trigger CPU throttling even when the actual temp is low.
BIOS Settings and Power Management
Your BIOS settings and power management configurations can also cause your CPU to throttle even at low temperatures. The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) settings control different hardware settings and functions, including your CPU’s performance and power management.
These settings can be tweaked to prioritize energy efficiency over performance. In this case, your BIOS can activate power-saving features that limit the CPU’s clock speed and voltage, resulting in CPU throttling while the temperature is, in reality, low.
Inadequate Cooling System
An insufficient cooling system and wrong temperature readings can lead to CPU throttling. A malfunctioning CPU cooler, inadequate airflow, and dried-out thermal paste can cause the temperature of your CPU to skyrocket even under manageable loads and easy tasks.
Your monitoring software might show low temperatures, but your CPU is, in reality, overheating. This event forces CPU throttling to prevent your processor from overheating and to avoid potential permanent damage. A good cooling system is crucial for optimum performance and heat dissipation.
How to Fix a CPU Throttling at Low Temps?
To do this, you can check your temperature sensors and monitoring software, review the BIOS settings, apply thermal paste correctly, enhance your cooling system, or seek professional assistance. Not only will these steps resolve CPU throttling, but they will also improve your PC health in general.
Here are the methods you can use to fix CPU throttling at low temps:
Verify Your Temperature Sensors and Monitoring Software
Checking your temperature sensors and monitoring software is crucial to ensure that they provide accurate temperature readings. You can do this by cross-verifying temperature readings using different software. Ensure you only use reliable software like HWMonitor, Core Temp, and Open Hardware Monitor.
Different software uses various algorithms or sensor calibrations to help you identify any wrong and inaccurate temperature readings. Look for consistency across multiple monitoring software to ensure you have correct information about your CPU’s temp.
You can also use external temperature sensors to verify the accuracy of your monitoring software and hardware. If an infrared thermometer is available, try using that to measure your CPU’s temperature directly and compare it to your primary readings.
Review and Correct Your BIOS Settings
Access your BIOS settings by restarting your computer and pressing the designated key while it boots up. The key may differ depending on your motherboard manufacturer, but it’s usually Del, Esc, F2, or F10. Always read your manual and follow the directions properly before proceeding.
Once inside the BIOS settings, navigate to the power management or CPU settings section using your mouse or keyboard. You are looking for options related to CPU power management, performance modes, or energy-saving features.
Once you find “Power Saving Mode,” “CPU Power Management,” or something of the sort, check your current power management settings and ensure they are not overly aggressive. Overly aggressive power-saving modes or features can cause your CPU to throttle even at low temps.
Now, set these options to a balanced or performance-oriented mode, allowing the CPU to work at its full potential. You must also check “CPU Thermal Throttling” or “Thermal Control” or related settings that control your CPU throttling’s threshold.
Set these settings to the highest safe amount WHILE considering the specific temperature limits and thresholds recommended by your CPU manufacturer. After adjusting the BIOS settings, save your changes and exit the menu. Monitor your CPU’s temperature and performance right after restarting.
Apply Thermal Paste Properly
Correct thermal paste application is crucial in effective heat dissipation between the CPU and its heatsink. Start cleaning the CPU and heatsink surfaces to remove the old thermal paste or any residue and dirt. You can use a lint-free cloth to ensure they are clean, dry, and free from contaminants.
Next, ensure you use the right type of thermal paste for your CPU. There are silicone-based, metal-based, and liquid metal thermal pastes, each designed for different processors. Refer to your manufacturer to determine the most suitable thermal paste for your CPU.
The right amount of thermal paste is as important as its quality and type. Too much or too little paste will hinder efficient heat dissipation and add unnecessary costs. As a rule of thumb, a small pea-sized or rice grain-sized amount of thermal paste at the center of the CPU is enough.
Spread the thermal paste evenly using a plastic applicator or card and ensure no air bubbles or uneven parts. Slowly and carefully place your heatsink and make sure that there is proper contact with the CPU. Do it gently and use even pressure for best results.
Tighten the heatsink screws evenly by going in a diagonal pattern in order. Once the heatsink has been properly installed, check for excess paste and remove any using a clean cloth. The efficient heat dissipation will help maintain lower CPU temperatures and prevent CPU throttling.
Improve Your Cooling System
Your cooling system saves your CPU and entire system unit from overheating and throttling. That’s why it should always be working effectively and sufficiently. One of its vital aspects is airflow. Sufficient ventilation and proper air circulation will keep your entire case’s temperature low.
The strategic placement of fans is as important as their amount. Position intake fans at the front of the case to bring in cool air and exhaust fans at the rear to expel hot air. If your PC case has more fan mounts available, you can consider adding more fan fans to improve airflow.
If you have optimized airflow but still experience CPU throttling, consider a larger heatsink with more heat pipes or an all-in-one liquid cooling solution. When upgrading your CPU cooler, ensure it is compatible with your CPU and that your PC case can house it.
For high-end and heavy-duty builds with overclocked CPUs, liquid cooling can offer next-level cooling capabilities and is worth considering. Checking your cooling system and ensuring it suffices your system’s needs will ensure your CPU stays cool and functions optimally.
How to Prevent CPU Throttling at Low Temps?
You can prevent this issue through regular cleaning, avoiding heavy overclocking, proper PC placement, and keeping your system up to date. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, so here is how to save yourself the trouble and money caused by this problem.
- Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
Dust and debris can build up over time and cause your system to struggle to reach optimal performance. Cleaning and regular maintenance will ensure that obstructions and dirt do not cause your CPU to overheat. Keep your entire case clean, including the fans, heatsink, and every other component.
- Avoid Heavy Overclocking
Overclocking can increase your CPU’s performance and pushes it beyond its default specifications. However, it will generate more heat in exchange and can cause the processor to go over safe temperature thresholds. Avoid overclocking aggressively since it can trigger throttling.
- Place PC In a Well-ventilated Area
Avoid putting your PC in small compartments or cramped spaces where heat can easily build up. A great computer location is an open area on your desk or a dedicated computer tower stand with better ventilation. Ensure that you keep it away from other heat-generating appliances and direct sunlight.
- Keep Your System Up to Date
Keeping your system up to date can also assist in preventing this problem. Regularly updating your operating system, drivers, and firmware can improve their compatibility, stability, and functions. These preventive measures will keep your CPU from throttling and extend its life span.
What are the Effects of CPU Throttling at Low Temps?
This can cause reduced processing power, decreased responsiveness, impaired multitasking capabilities, latency in gaming, decreased battery life (for laptops), and inconsistent performance. CPU throttling lowers the clock speed and voltage of the processor, which results in less processing power.
This can slow your computer down in heavy gaming and video editing tasks. It can also lead to delays and lags in system responsiveness and cause noticeable sluggishness even in simple tasks like opening programs, browsing the web, and navigating your operating system.
Throttling, even at low temps, can also get in the way of your PC in handling multiple tasks and processes simultaneously, resulting in decreased productivity. Gamers can also experience slower response times, stuttering, and lower frame rates due to CPU throttling.
CPU throttling, even at low temperatures, can be a frustrating issue that affects your computer’s performance and user experience. Faulty temperature sensors and monitoring software can cause this, incorrect BIOS settings and an inadequate cooling system.
You can fix CPU throttling at low temperatures by verifying temperature sensors, reviewing BIOS settings, applying new thermal paste correctly, and enhancing your cooling system. These steps resolve the issue and contribute to overall system health and performance.
By maintaining a clean system, avoiding excessive overclocking, placing your PC in a cool and open area, and keeping your software and hardware up to date, you can minimize the risk of CPU throttling and ensure stable and efficient performance.
These preventive measures are free but can save you from the effects of PCU throttling at low temps, including reduced processing power, decreased responsiveness, impaired multitasking capabilities, latency in gaming, and decreased battery life for laptops.
If you encounter any difficulties or are unsure about any steps, seeking professional assistance from a computer technician or contacting the manufacturer’s support is recommended. With the proper troubleshooting steps, correct solutions, and preventive actions, you can resolve this issue successfully.
Hey, I’m Hammad. I write for this website to help you with the IT advice about PC, RAM, CPU, Motherboard, PSU, and other PC components.
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