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Why Does My CPU Temperature Fluctuate So Much? [Explained]

Have you ever wondered why your CPU temperature changes so much? If you monitor your CPU temperature, you might have seen it go up and down by several degrees in a matter of seconds.

You might have also felt concerned that these fluctuations could harm your CPU or affect its performance. Well, you can relax.

In this article, we will take a closer look at why these fluctuations are more common than you might think, and why, most of the time, they’re perfectly normal.

Constant Activity of CPUs

CPU Activity

Unlike some other components in your PC, the CPU is always working. Even when your computer is idle, the CPU executes background processes and tasks to keep your system running smoothly.

The CPU consists of multiple cores, which are mini-processors that can perform different tasks simultaneously. Each core has a voltage, which is the amount of electrical power supplied to it.

The voltage changes depending on how much work the core is doing. The more work the core does, the higher the voltage it needs. The higher the voltage, the more heat the core generates. The more heat the core generates, the higher the CPU temperature.

This is why the CPU temperature can fluctuate as the cores switch between different tasks and voltages.

Varying Intensity of Tasks

Task intensity on the CPU

Another reason why the CPU temperature can fluctuate is that the CPU has to deal with workloads that vary in intensity by huge amounts in very short amounts of time. A CPU workload is a measure of how much work the CPU is doing at any given moment.

The CPU workload can change depending on what applications and processes are running on your computer.

For example, browsing the web or checking your email are low-intensity tasks that require little CPU power. On the other hand, gaming, video editing, or rendering are high-intensity tasks that require a lot of CPU power.

When the CPU switches from a low-intensity task to a high-intensity task, or vice versa, the CPU workload changes dramatically. This causes the CPU cores to adjust their voltage and frequency accordingly, which in turn affects the CPU temperature.

As a result, the CPU temperature can fluctuate as the CPU workload changes.

The Nature of Your CPU

Ryzen 3600 Processor

The final factor that also affects your CPU temperature’s fluctuation is the nature of your processor. Different CPUs have different architectures, designs, and features that can affect how they handle heat and power.

For example, if you own a Ryzen CPU, you may notice more fluctuations than other CPUs. This is because Ryzen CPUs have a feature called Precision Boost, which allows them to adjust their frequency and voltage dynamically based on the workload and the temperature.

This can result in more variations in the CPU temperature, but it is normal.

I personally had this worry when I first purchased my first Ryzen CPU, but it turned out it was a normal behavior. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for CPU temp to go up and down?

Yes, it’s completely normal for CPU temperatures to fluctuate. This happens because the CPU constantly adjusts its workload, leading to changes in temperature.

What CPU temp is bad?

Anything under 90-95°C is safe for most CPUs. Typically, a normal operating range is between 65°C and 80°C, though this can vary based on the effectiveness of your cooling solution.

Why does my CPU clock speed fluctuate?

Your CPU clock speed fluctuates because the CPU is never truly idle. Even when it seems like your computer isn’t doing much, there are always background processes and tasks happening. These require the CPU to adjust its speed to handle the workload efficiently, leading to fluctuations in clock speed.


We hope this guide has been helpful in easing any concerns about your CPU’s temperature fluctuations. If you have any questions or need further clarification, don’t hesitate to drop a comment below. We’re here to help and would love to hear from you!

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Hi, I’m Abdelkader, a gamer and the founder of Gamer Around. I’ve been into gaming for the past 20 years and I love to share my passion and experience with you. Throughout these years, I managed to build a decent amount of knowledge and experience in PC hardware, but I’m always learning and improving.

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