What is the CPU?
A CPU is a central processing unit and is one of the most misidentified components of a computer. Many people mistakenly call the desktop the CPU, while others call the CPU the brain of the system. The CPU is not the desktop or brain; the CPU is an efficient and speedy worker. The brain of a computer is the operating system, and the CPU only processes the commands given by the operating system. The desktop is the box that contains the motherboard and CPU. The CPU processes commands and requires lots of power and produces extreme heat. They design computers, from an engineering standpoint, around the goal of keeping the insides of the desktop cool.
CPUs can reach temperatures ranging from 35° to over 80° C. Computer engineers and laptop repair specialists use various techniques to control the internal temperature of computer desktops to prevent CPUs from melting the surrounding hardware.
Processors will have a heatsink, which is soldered on top of it to pull the heat off the CPU and fans to blow the heat out. Water-cooling systems are also used in many cases where intense processing is required. Water is more efficient at removing heat and works similar to the system on cars.
Diagnosing CPU Overheating
Computers are designed to protect the CPU from too much heat. Prolonged exposure to heat can cause severe damage to the CPU, rendering it useless. Most machines will shut down once the CPU reaches a specific temperature. If your computer shuts down abruptly frequently, your CPU is probably getting too hot.
Computers have internal thermostats to monitor temperature and processes that are initiated once dangerous temperatures are reached. Most computers have beeping systems, which correspond to beep patterns to CPU overheating. Visit the computer’s website or read the manual to understand the beep patterns, as each manufacturer has unique patterns.
All motherboards have at least two fans to keep temperatures at safe levels, one attached to the heat sink and another connected to the power supply. If you listen to any computer, you can hear the whirling sound of the fans. If you notice the fan seems to be louder than usual, your CPU may be overheating. Sometimes fans stop working; it will show this at boot time, as a little warning sentence will appear, making you aware of a fan failure.
If you suspect your CPU is overheating, you can follow a few steps to prevent serious damage.
1. Locate the CPU (look for a heatsink, as the CPU is under it)
2. Remove the heatsink and clean it using compressed air.
3. Remove the CPU by lifting the lever on the side and gently wipe it to remove any dust.
4. Last place, the CPU and heatsink back on the motherboard.