Cpu Gpu Temp Display


On my new Windows 10 desktop I wanted an on-screen display (OSD) of system performance overlay while gaming - similar those benchmarking videos one finds on YouTube. While I don’t overclock my CPU or GPU, I still do want to know the utilization and temperatures, as these give me a hint as to whether the system is thermal throttled or bottlenecked.

Aug 22, 2019 To keep GPU healthy, it’s necessary to monitor the GPU temperature usually and you can check the GPU temperature of your Windows 10 PC with the 2 useful ways below. Note: Generally, the GPU temperature can be detected when the GPU is present on the dedicated graphics card. Check GPU Temperature in Windows 10 via Task Manager. I downloaded and started up Mordhau as my first game but my performance monitor says that the temperature on both the cpu and gpu reaches 95C after a short time. The mainboard itself is also around 86C. At idle the cpu and gpu are about 35C, the same as my old pc.

Starting from knowing absolutely nothing, I started by trying a few tools recommended by various netizens. I started with MSI Afterburner, but removed it as I don’t like the skins, is missing temperature data for my chipset, and I’d prefer to avoid accidentally blowing up my system!

In reality, all I needed was two pieces of free software:

  • RivaTuner Statistics Server (RTSS) 7.3.0 Beta 6, which although is installed with MSI Afterburner, is actually a separate program.
  • HWiNFO64 6.34-4300 which has support for my B550 / Ryzen 5000 combination.

The usual disclaimers - don’t download from untrusted sources, and don’t blindly follow what random stranges say (I am, of course, referring to myself).

There are three ways to setup the OSD, and all of them need RTSS running.

  1. HWiNFO sending data to RTSS, or
  2. RTSS using internal HAL data source (HWiNFO not required), or
  3. RTSS getting data from HWiFO.

In HWiNFO, Config > OSD (RTSS):

  1. Check Enable hotkey for toggling, and set the hotkey, I use Control-Shift-F12
  2. Select the stats you want sent to RTSS, and for each,
    1. Check Show value in OSD and any other options (I like Units in superscript)
    2. Define the Position (Line and Column)
  3. Under the Custom tab, you can rename the elements, e.g. rename GPU Core Load to GPU - just to be consistent with the statistic called CPU which is actually the CPU temperature from the motherboard.

Note that in RTSS, the OverlayEditor.dll should be disabled (more on that later).

EntryLineColumnShow LabelColour
Total CPU Usage11Pink
Physical Memory Used12Pink
CPU (Temperature)13YPink
GPU Core Load21Green
GPU Memory Allocated22Green
GPU (Temperature)23YGreen

When running a DirectX game, hit the hotkey, and you’ll get something like this:

The downside is you don’t have the flexibility to design your own layout. So, on to Option 2...

GpuSee cpu and gpu temp

In RTSS - the left side of the main window will show a list of Application profile properties with Global selected by default. Under that, click Setup:

Navigate to the Plugins tab, check the OverlayEditor.dll (the check mark will darken when chceked), then select it and hit Setup. In the editor:

  1. Click Data Sources > Edit.

  2. Hit Add, and under Internal HAL, check the statistic you want, e.g.

    • CPU usage
    • RAM usage percent
    • GPU1 usage
    • GPU1 memory controller
  3. A couple of data elements are always available, i.e.

    • Framerate (FPS)
    • Frametime (ms)
  4. Back in the editor, click Layers > Add or hit Insert - this adds a new static label with the words Text layer:

  5. Now we change it to display a statistic instead.

    1. Double click the newly inserted Text layer and in the Layer properties dialog:
    2. Hit the + button under Hypertext.
    3. In the dropdown (that says Framerate by default), select what statistic to show, e.g. CPU usage and check Add current value macro, then hit OK
    4. Adjust any other properties like the text colour, background colour and alignment.
  6. Keep adding labels for all the data elements.

  7. Save and close the Overlay editor.

Back in the main RTSS window, make sure Show On-Screen Display option is On. You can also adjust the position of the OSD relative to the corners. In the first screen shot above, I anchor the OSD to the top right corner which is shown in blue, offset by (45, 12) pixels.

I designed the display to look like this:

Being able to design your own layout is rather sexy, but the internal HAL data source has limitations - it can retrieve the GPU temperature but not my motherboard and CPU temperatures.

So, on to option 3...

This is my preference, and not so complicated once you understand how it works. First off, make sure all the HWiNFOShow value in OSD that we checked previously is unchecked. We don’t want HWiNFO to send data to RTSS.

Display Cpu And Gpu Temp

Instead we want RTSS to get data from HWiNFO, so head back to RTSS, click Setup > Plugins, check the OverlayEditor.dll and hit Setup. In the editor:

  1. Click Data Sources > Edit.
  2. Hit Add, and under HWiNFO64, check the statistic you want. You can use HWiNFO exclusively or mix data sources, e.g. here I use both HWiNFO and the Internal HAL:
  3. Back in the editor, hit Insert to add one layer per statistic to display. Layout everything the way you want it to be displayed, including graphs! To do this:
    1. Double click the newly inserted Text layer and in the Layer properties dialog.
    2. Hit the + button under Hypertext.
    3. In the dropdown (that says Framerate by default), select what statistic to show:
    4. Previously we displayed text by checking Add current value macro, but to display the statistic as a charts, check Add embedded graph instead.
    5. Select use custom template then hit ... to edit the graph properties, e.g. choose a graph style (bar chart, filled area chart or line chart) and set other properties:

By overlaying charts for CPU usage, RAM usage percent and GPU1 usage one on top of the next, I landed up with this:

You can use the menu options to set the z-order (i.e. “bring-to-front” or “send-to-back”) so that in my case, CPU is the top-most, followed by GPU, followed by RAM. The bottom most chart has a semi-transparent purple-ish background color set as well.

To summarize the options:

  • If all you need is simple statistics without temperatures, Option 1. RTSS using internal HAL data source is the most resource efficient, but a bit of work to layout.
  • Option 2. HWiNFO sending data to RTSS is very simple, absolutely no fuss (with fewer options), though it may be less pretty.
  • But, me, I prefer Option 3. RTSS getting data from HWiFO because it gives me a more complete set of statistics, and if you take the time to design the layout, you’ll get graphs to boot!

However, Option 3 does consume the most memory. I did a non-scientific test of RAM usage by RTSS (RTSS, RTSS Encoder Server and RTSS Hooks Loader) and HWiNFO64. Strictly, since the statistics displayed were different, the results are not directly comparable, but for illustration:

OptionRTSS processesHWiNFO64 process
1. Internal HAL7.8 + 1.1 + 2.8 MB
2. HWiNFO sending to RTSS4.4 + 1.1 + 2.8 MB25.3 MB
3. RTSS getting from HWiNFO7.8 + 1.1 + 2.8 MB25.3 MB

Have fun!

The RTSS overlay does not work with some games! More often than not, this applies to on-line games with some form of anti-cheat - if so, best not to use RTSS, lest it triggers a ban. Don’t loose heart, try it with another game.

Updated 2 Dec: edits for clarity, since a reader informed me he couldn’t find the Plugins in RTSS.

Added 13 Dec:

The next post RTSS layout for Cyberpunk 2077 briefly describes my RivaTuner Statistics Server setup to display the framerates.

We’ve all been there: hours into an intense gaming session when all of a sudden, the PC overheats and shuts off. Overheating chips are annoying at best and potentially damaging to your PC at worst. Get ahead of the problem by keeping an eye on your CPU and GPU temps.

You can monitor CPU and GPU temperatures while gaming by downloading a system monitoring utility—such as Smart Game Booster, MSI Afterburner, and HWiNFO—or gaming on sites that include built-in FPS counters—such as Steam, Origin, and Valve.

With the average gaming time increasing by 60%, it’s more important than ever to monitor our chip temps to ensure everything is within a safe range. But no one wants to keep pausing or shutting down their game to do that; so, it’s helpful to know how to do it in-game.

What Is the Ideal CPU and GPU Temp?

Before we get into how to monitor your CPU and GPU temp, it makes sense that you first learn what the ideal temp is, or the numbers you watch won’t mean anything to you.

Remember that the two chips are separate from one another, even though they work together. That means you’ll need to monitor both separately. The optimal running temps are:

  • CPU: 167°-176°F (75°-80°C)
  • GPU: 149 to 185°F (65 to 85°C)

Temperatures higher than those listed above are dangerous and can cause overheating and potential damage and information loss.

CPU Temp ranges for different CPU loads

Below is a really useful comparison table from a Reddit thread showing the different cpu temperature ranges for different cpu loads.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/comments/9lljy9/what_are_ideal_dangerous_temps_for_you_cpu_and_gpu/

Monitoring CPU and GPU Temp When Gaming

The most practical way to monitor CPU and GPU usage is to do so while gaming, without having to stop what you’re doing to check them. The following two solutions will allow you to do just that.

Download an In-Game System Monitoring Utility

If you don’t want to be limited to gaming sites with in-game FPS counters, you can download a game optimizing or system monitoring utility that displays CPU and GPU temps on a corner of your screen while gaming.

A few examples of these are:

Many of these tools are free, and most will also display other helpful system info, such as motherboard temperature and fan speed.

See Cpu And Gpu Temp

Some even signal you with alerts if your system is in danger of overheating. All of these features, plus the convenience of monitoring your temps in-game, make these tools worth looking into.

Play on Sites that Include In-Game FPS Counters

A less flexible but more straightforward solution than downloading game-enhancing utilities is just to play online games using sites with their own FPS counters.

You might already be playing on one of these sites without realizing it:

Although you’ll be limited to games that are on the sites, you won’t have to worry about researching, downloading, and figuring out new software. If you just want to get to your game without having to download anything, this might be the way to go for you.

Monitoring CPU and GPU Temp In-Between Gaming

If neither solution above appeals to you, you can always check your CPU and GPU temp outside of gaming time using one of the following methods.

Install a Temperature Sensor

Installing a temperature sensor on your PC case is a bit of a hands-on process, but once it’s installed, it’s a no-brainer. Also sometimes called a temp probe, this device will monitor your temperature and fan speed and display information on an LED screen.

Access the BIOS

It’s incredibly easy to check your CPU’s temp on the motherboard’s BIOS (Basic Input Output System), although it will require restarting your PC.

To do so:

  1. Turn on or reboot your PC
  2. As soon as you hear the boot-up sequence’s signal beep, press the BIOS key.
    1. The BIOS key will vary from PC to PC, but it’s usually Delete, Escape, F1 or F2. The BIOS key will sometimes be displayed during the boot-up process as “Press [key] to access BIOS.” If not, check your PC’s or motherboard’s manual to determine the right key.
  3. Different BIOS sections will be laid out differently, but the CPU settings should be easy to find. The settings will include your CPU’s temp.

This is a pretty straightforward way of getting the information, although it can be a slow process, depending on how quickly your computer reboots.

Run nvidia-sml.exe

Cpu Gpu Temp Display

Nvidia GPU users will find running the “nvidia-smi.exe” command is an easy way to view CPU and GPU temps in just a few steps.

All you have to do is:

  1. Press WIN + R. This will prompt the Run command
  2. Type “cmd” then hit the Enter key
  3. Go to “C:Program FilesNVIDIA CorporationNVSMI” and find “nvidia-smi.exe.”
  4. Drag the file to the black window. Press the Enter key.
  5. The CPU and GPU temperatures, along with other information, should now be displayed in the window.

This method is even quicker than checking the temps in the BIOS, so it’s worth trying if you have a Nvidia GPU.

Preventing CPU and GPU from Overheating

Below are a handful of the easiest things you can do to keep your GPU and CPU from overheating and improve your PC’s performance while gaming.

Clean Your Computer

One of the number one causes of overheating is a computer covered in dust, trapping heat inside the unit. It’s essential to clean your PC regularly—if you’ve been slacking and haven’t gotten around to it in a while, it’s time to get to work:

  1. Purchase a can of compressed air and a microfiber cloth.
  2. Take the case off and remove all dust from it using the cloth and/or air.
  3. Using the air, remove any dust from the circuit board.
  4. Pay extra attention to your graphics card since it’s so susceptible to overheating.
  5. Replace the cover.

Nobody likes doing it, but cleaning your PC is an easy way to keep it running efficiently without overheating. Make sure to clean it every few months at least.

Ensure There is Good Ventilation


Another reason that your CPU or GPU might overheat is a lack of airflow, which causes the heat they generate to stay trapped inside the PC with no way of dissipating. The heat continues to build until the unit shuts off.

Ensure your PC’s vents are open and unblocked, with plenty of room around the unit for air to circulate freely; this might include elevating it or putting it on a hard surface rather than carpet.

Replace the Internal Fan

If your PC is overheating regularly, even though it’s clean and well-ventilated, it might be time to replace the interior cooling fan with a newer or more powerful one.

The CPU, GPU, and other components in the circuit board generate a lot of heat when used, so they need assistance in keeping cool. If your PC has a subpar fan, it might not be cooling them down as effectively as it could be.

Add an External Fan

Another option for keeping your PC's elements at a safe temperature is by adding an external fan, which assists the internal fan in keeping everything cooled down. It’s a good idea to try it if you’ve been experiencing overheating or noticeable slowdowns over a long period.

You can use a small desk fan or buy one specifically designed to clip onto your PC’s case.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to check your CPU and GPU temperature during and in-between gaming sessions, you won’t have to deal with the stress of an overheated PC shutting down unexpectedly. Prevention is the best medicine, though, so make sure to do what you can to keep your unit cool to prevent high temperatures in the first place.