Explanation Needed: What is Thermal Throttling?
Thermal throttling is probably the most overlooked troubleshoot when trying to diagnose any problematic issue concerning PC's, that suddenly slows to a crawl. Often we'll attribute it to a virus or malware when in reality it could be anything. But in some cases, an overheated processor could be the main culprit in most computer slowdowns.
Let me explain.
So Exactly What Is Thermal Throttling?
When your CPU or GPU take on a heavy workload, a abundant amount of heat is generated. When the cooling solution you have installed into PC can no longer dissipate heat fast enough to keep temperatures at a stable range, you'll notice a drop in performance so that heat can be shed heat. Frequencies to your core components, such as the memory, CPU, and GPU will begin to drop--along with frame rate until temperatures are at an stable range.
Don't think thermal throttling is the worst thing that can ever happen to your computer, all modern GPU’s and CPU's have this feature in place which prevents components on your motherboard from being damaged.
If left unchecked, Thermal throttling can be a detriment to your system, impacting overall performance. Though thermal throttling doesn't necessarily cause any significant damage to your computer, keep in mind the leading cause of throttling is overheating, which can diminish the lifespan of your processor.
Can You Prevent Thermal Throttling?
The answer to that question, in short, is yes. To maintain any stability with your system, you must consider several main factors that can determine the impact of Thermal Throttling. They are case selection, your choice of cooling solution, and importantly, airflow.
Small compact cases with limited open space trap heat and hinder airflow, making it very difficult to keep your processor cool. That's why most PC cases that are on the market have spacious interior making it easy to manage cables and of course, provide more fan mounts. Additional fans to any PC case ensures that heat generated by the components is efficiently removed from the case. It will also lower air temperature inside of your case.
Also, a common cause of heat build-up is dust, which in time can form over vents and fans obstructing airflow and clog intake vents resulting in an overheated processor. As a preventive measure, you should every month blow dust out of the computer. Make this maintenance task a priority. Temperatures within your CPU will be noticeably stable.
At What Temperature Does Thermal Throttling Occur?
If your CPU exceeds above 75 degrees Celsius, chances are you may start to notice a decrease in performance because your processor limiting capabilities will help cool itself down. Again, this is why Thermal Throttling is a necessary feature to have.
What application I can use to check CPU temperature?
Speedfan comes to mind, probably the most used software for monitoring temperatures. It's an open source program that's been around for ages; Speedfan is a highly reliable tool you can use to measure any hardware temperature in your system.
Besides monitoring CPU temperature, fan speed, and voltage, any users through this software can control the fan speed, just in case it operates slow or sound decibels increase. You can also set up a warning if the temperature is alarmingly high.