What Happens When a Computer Overheats For Too Long?

What Happens If your Computer CPU or GPU overheats? Can it damage your PC's motherboard?

The reason for computer overheating varies from case to case, but what happens when a computer overheats for too long always remains a debate question.

What happens when CPU overheats for too long

If your CPU overheats immediately or when you are playing games you start hearing a beep sound, telling you that the PC is overheating. This may be a temporary or serious problem depending upon design and symptoms.

In this article, we will focus on one point which is, What happens if CPU overheats and what are the symptoms when the PC overheats.

What Happens When a CPU Overheats

The overheating outcomes vary with the design. Usually, when the computer’s CPU overheats, the first sign is:

  • The computer will freeze, hang, or crash.
  • If overheating prologues you will encounter a blue screen of death (BSOD) error.
  • Some PC users face sudden shutdown or automatic restart.
  • If your system comes with an overheating alarm, it will start to blow.
  • The computer fan will also make loud Whirrrl sound.
  • You can also see pixelated lines or strange graphical artifacts on the screen.
  • Continuous CPU heat can also damage the motherboard along with other hardware components.
  • Overheating can also effect the slots on the motherboard including motherboard’s VRM.

If you keep running heavy tasks on an overheated PC it can shorten the life span of the CPU.

In the extreme scenario, you can smell the CPU burning and it will start releasing magic smoke. If you still ignore the overheating, there are chances that the CPU starts melting the whole motherboard.

It is not necessary that all the above-mentioned signs appear at the same time. The situation varies depending on computer hardware quality.

Why Computer’s CPU Overheating Occurs?

There are multiple reasons why your CPU overheats immediately. This problem may arise because of defective hardware or misbehaving temperature monitoring utility.

Most of the time this problem is directly linked with air and water cooling. When users don’t provide CPU enough room to breathe fresh air overheating occurs.

You need to seriously invest in buying the best CPU cooler, or there may be dust and debris built inside that are hindering the way of fresh air to enter. You need to thoroughly clean your PC to prevent computer overheating.

Is there a way to check Computer Overheating?

Yes, you can instantly check your overheating PC. There are plenty of free tools that have overheating protection features. It helps the users to know when their computer overheats.

How to Tell if the Computer is Overheating?

Each part inside the computer has a different threshold for normal temperature. The manufactures of CPUs and GPU have also given their own temp limit.

For example, the normal CPU temp range will always differ from that of the normal GPU temp range. The same is the case with hard disk drive and power supply.

What To Do When Computer Overheats For Too Long

If you have constant CPU overheating problems then you need to follow these DIY tips to prevent computer overheating.

What is a Computer’s Normal Reaction When it Overheats

The normal reaction that users get when their PC overheats is, their PC is locked up while playing games. (Check Popular PC/XBOX games)

If the system has overheating alarm buzzer it will start blowing. The next thing that most users do is reset the switch, pull out the power cord.

The PC will shut itself down to prevent major damage.

How to Tell If CPU is Damaged From Overheating

To figure out that your processor is damaged due to excessive heat you need to check these things:

  • System boots up but shuts down automatically after a short period of time.
  • Reported CPU operating frequency is less than expected.
  • Evidence of CPU throttling.
  • General slowness of system.
  • CPU/system fan noise is excessive.

Can Overheating CPU Damage Motherboard

Overheating does not necessarily damage the motherboard. Mostly it shortens the life of the CPU, and if your PC is getting hotter and hotter it will turn it off.

But on the power draw side, the motherboard’s VRMs may not handle the power draw, it can burn out and degrade the motherboard’s life span.

In extreme cases:

  • Heat can damage the motherboard’s VRM, the CPU will be unable to post on top of other instability issues depending on the level of damage.
  • The capacitors could pop out and render the motherboard unusable.
  • Overheating can also damage circuitry tied to either PCIe lanes or CPU, RAM, etc.
  • All these can cause a specific slot or piece of important hardware to not communicate with the chipset or system causing instabilities right up to no booting at all.

What Happens if my Laptop Overheats

How hot can a laptop get before overheating? You must not try to reach this point just to test the max heat that the laptop can bear. The laptop is a very delicate and compact machine and it gets heated up way fast than a desktop PC.

If a laptop overheats what happens? It shut down immediately, hang, or perform slow.

The laptop user must not place directly on the bed or on an uneven surface. You can also buy the best laptop cooling pad to dissipate heat more efficiently.

What Happens When GPU Overheats

If a GPU overheats while playing a game or running heavy stuff. The GPU will most commonly run fine for a few seconds or minutes. Then performance will decrease substantially as GPU temperature increases to unsafe levels.

The GPU manufacturers have added a thermal protection feature that would slow down their performance in order to reduce the amount of heat.

Can an overheating GPU cause shutdown? Yes, the GPU has the same safeguard feature a CPU has. It will auto shutdown at a certain temperature, or underclock the performance.

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