Monitoring CPU temperatures can be a real challenge, but it’s a vital piece of information that can make or break the hardware on your network and provide you with great troubleshooting data.
In this article, we’ll dive into some of the best CPU temperature monitors you can use to make sure your network stays cool, and under control.
CPU Thermometer is another lightweight CPU temperature and load monitor that comes with a very straightforward user design. Like CPU Temp, CPU Thermometer will display your CPU’s temperatures and loads across individual cores. That’s about the extent of CPU Thermometer and If all you need is CPU temp and load info, it is fine to use. HWMonitor is a hardware monitoring program that reads PC systems main health sensors: voltages, temperatures, fans speed. The program handles the most common sensor chips, like ITE® IT87 series, most Winbond® ICs, and others.
Here is our list of the Best CPU Temperature Monitors:
- SolarWinds CPU Load Monitor (FREE TRIAL) Part of the Engineer’s Toolset, this tool is ideal for monitoring CPU temperatures and status across a medium to large-sized network. This tool is ideal for business environments where uptime is a priority.
- Speccy Minimalistic hardware monitor with detailed CPU monitoring and easy to read interface.
- Open Hardware Monitor Simple hardware monitor that provides real-time temperature stats. OHM is free and open-source.
- AIDA64 Extreme Detailed hardware monitor, with built-in stress testing elements. Ideal for hobbyists and technicians.
- SpeedFan Real-time CPU temperature monitoring, along with fan speed control and automation.
- BurnInTest Live graphical CPU temperature monitor with CPU specific stress tests and additional hardware testing features.
- HWMonitor Barebones hardware monitor with CPU temperature and load monitoring. Has minimal reporting and event logging features.
1. SolarWinds CPU Load Monitor (FREE TRIAL)
If you’re looking to monitor CPU temperatures accurately across your network, SolarWinds CPU Load Monitorhas the sensors and reporting you can rely on. CPU Load Monitor is part of a larger suite of over 60 tools called the Engineer’s Toolset that helps you keep tabs on what’s happening in your environment.
Like many SolarWinds products, CPU Load Monitor is primarily built to serve system administrators and managed service providers with its device autodiscovery, and inventory management. Once your devices are scanned into Load Monitor you’ll see that there is plenty of information about the device available to you; we’ll just focus on the CPU and heat management features for now.
A feature I personally enjoy is the automatic threshold alerts, which will alert you if a device passes a specific temperature. You or your tech team can choose to be alerted via the dashboard, email, or SMS. This makes CPU load monitoring simple and almost effortless for most environments. You do have the option to configure these thresholds manually to suit your preference and networking needs. I find this feature really useful, especially for environments that heavily rely on their network uptime.
While most devices have temperature based kill switches, it’s still important to make sure you set your CPU alerts low enough. This is so you or your team will have enough time to physically reach the device before permanent damage occurs.
You can download the Engineer’s Toolset with CPU Load Monitor on a 14-day free trial.
Speccy is a fairly popular PC hardware monitor that lets you dig into your hardware without having to crack open the case. Speccy can pull a variety of different system information, such as your memory usage, hard-drive I/O, operating system, and of course CPU temperature.
What I really enjoy about Speccy is its quick install and ease of use. In under a minute I can have all of the PCs hardware stats available to me. The CPU tab displays your average temperature, as well as the individual temperatures across each of your cores which is convenient if you’re troubleshooting an overclocking issue or CPU heat problem.
In addition to the CPU temperature, Speccy also reads out fan speed, bus speed, socket type, and model, making this an ideal tool for hobbyists and PC enthusiasts.
Speccy is a great tool if you’re just curious about your home PC, or want to take a look at your hardware without actually opening up your case. Speccy is really geared towards home use and not a business environment. The lack of real-time monitoring, inventory management, and benchmarking restricts its effectiveness in a corporate setting.
If you’re looking for a fast, convenient CPU temperature monitor, Speccy can get the job done. Speccy is compatible with any modern Windows system and is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. It comes in both free and paid versions.
3. Open Hardware Monitor
Open Hardware Monitor (OHM) is a free open-source tool similar to Speccy that provides detailed real-time information about your hardware current status. OHM provides granular detail under the hood of your PC to troubleshoot even the most obscure of CPU temperature issues. Installation of OHM is fast and just requires you to unzip a single folder. On launch, your system’s current temperatures and readings will populate the screen to give you a real-time look at what’s happening in your case.
OHM reads out CPU voltages, temperatures, bus speeds, CPU loads, and fan speeds. You’ll be able to immediately see if your CPU is running hot, and specifically on what core. If you’re a PC enthusiast and are working on overlocking or underclocking your machine, OHM allows you to quickly see your CPU voltages in real-time. This can come in handy if you suspect your CPU may be too underpowered when trying to optimize your case’s temperature.
In addition to CPU monitoring, you can also view your real-time memory usage, available disk space, and hard drive temperature. Although OHM lacks built-in benchmarking, it’s resizable window makes it easy to put on a second monitor and watch as you make changes to your machine.
Once again, this tool is geared more for individual troubleshooting and lacks key features like detailed reporting and inventory management. Open Hardware Monitor can be downloaded directly from their website and run on any Windows machine as well as any x86-based Linux operating system.
4. AIDA64 Extreme
AIDA64 Extreme certainly lives up to its name when it comes to monitoring hardware usage and CPU temperatures. If you’re looking to dive even deeper into your machine’s hardware and perform in-depth diagnostics, AIDA64 Extreme covers all the bases.
With built-in stress tests and reporting you won’t need any third-party software to pair with your CPU temperature monitor. AIDA64 Extreme has an easy to use stability test that gives you real-time readouts of how your hardware is performing. With a simple check of a box, you can stress test your CPU, GPU, memory, hard drive, and cache.
Whether you’re doing a custom PC build or just need to make sure a machine will vent heat correctly, AIDA64 Extreme has over 50 pages of data points and sensor readings to aid you in optimizing or troubleshooting your machine.
The built-in benchmarking is what really makes AIDA64 Extreme unique and ideal for overclockers and even IT support technicians looking to troubleshoot hardware issues. For example, if you’re trying to replicate a CPU core temperature problem that only happens when the PC is under stress, you can easily create your own test and see exactly when and where the problem arises.
AIDA64 Extreme is compatible with all modern Windows environments and currently costs $29.96 (£23.76). You can also download a trial version.
What SpeedFan lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for in power and configurability. SpeedFan is a CPU temperature monitor and fan speed controller that gives you a wide range of customizable options to keep your case cool and performing optimally.
You can expect to get all of the standard voltage, fan speed, and temperature readouts from SpeedFan in addition to creating rules for your fan speeds. You can configure SpeedFan to automatically ramp up fan RPMs when temperatures reach a specific threshold. This feature also comes in handy when trying to reduce fan speed noise.
Unfortunately, SpeedFan does not have any built-in benchmarking for tests, however, it does have an event log that notes hardware changes and temperature fluctuations. While SpeedFan can also pick up and monitor other hardware temperatures, it was nice to see that the software could even detect SMART data and RAID controllers, making this applicable to monitoring server hardware as well.
Due to the primitive-looking interface and its range of configurations, SpeedFan is really aimed more towards technicians and power users looking to get the most out of their machines. With that being said it could be possible to damage your CPU or other hardware if you misconfigure your fan settings, so always double-check your settings.
Due to its development over the past 20 years, SpeedFan has an extended range of compatibility, meaning you can install SpeedFan on more archaic systems dating all the way back to Windows 9x, ME, and NT.
SpeedFan is free to use and is compatible with nearly all versions of Windows.
BurnInTest wraps detailed hardware monitoring into an intuitive dashboard that makes testing your hardware quick and simple. BurnInTest can easily stress test all of your Windows or Linux based hardware in just a few minutes. In addition to stress tests, it can also provide real-time temperature readouts while your machine is idle, or under stress.
BurnInTest specifically has a Maximum CPU Temp test which stress tests the CPU and helps you gauge your CPU performance under a maximum load. You can easily scale up, or dial down the stress tests to trigger specific temperatures and ensure your cooling systems are properly calibrated.
In addition to the active tests you can run, BurnInTest also offers passive monitoring of your CPU’s temperature. This is broken down by each core and displayed in real-time in a graph format along with readouts from your other hardware. This feature allows you the flexibility to run your own stress tests or applications and still use the software to monitor your temperatures.
Lastly, this software comes with an event log and reporting feature to note significant findings during your tests. I found this particularly useful when running extended hardware tests over the course of a few hours.
You can try an evaluation version of BurnInTest for free on their website. Pricing starts at $53.10 (£42.13).
If you’re looking for a free, barebones temperature monitor with no frills or extra features, then HWMonitor is for you. This software gives you immediate real-time readouts of all of your system’s temperatures and loads. A top column automatically records the minimum and maximum temperatures during your session. You do have the option to reset this data if needed.
The display is simple and gives you a full view of all your CPU stats on a single screen. At a glance, you can check your CPU’s voltage, temperature, fan speeds, and utilization. HWMonitor doesn’t have any fancy reporting features but does the option to save your monitor data in text format for review later.
While HWMonitor is fairly basic, there is a pro version of the software that gives you some additional features and capabilities. The pro version includes remote monitoring via TCP connection for both PCs and Android devices, as well as the ability to save monitoring data in graphical bitmap files. These extended features could definitely prove useful to a power user but still fall short when implementing in a business environment.
HWMonitor works on both Android and Windows systems and is free to use. The pro version starts at $25.25 (€19.95).
Choosing a CPU Temperature Monitor
While there are clearly plenty of options to choose from, picking the right CPU temperature monitor is important, especially when accuracy and uptime are taken into account. For system administrators of medium to small-sized businesses, CPU Load Monitor will give you the control and alerting features you’ll need to keep your hardware monitored across your entire network.
Hobbyists and overlockers will find either BurnInTest or AIDA64 Extreme to be useful for both real-time CPU monitoring and built-in benchmarking. Both tools provide a range of customizable options that should cover nearly all hardware tests you need to perform.
Do you have a favorite CPU temperature monitor? Let us know in the comments below.
Are you looking for the best server hardware monitoring software? Do you need to monitor CPU usage, memory utilization, system temperature, disk space, and more?
Then you’re in the right place.
In this guide, I list the best FREE and premium server hardware monitoring tools.
Why is server hardware monitoring important?
Hardware monitoring software is designed to monitor the health and performance of your hardware assets. Failed hardware can lead to poor server performance or even worse system outages, this can cause downtime for critical business systems. At a glance hardware monitoring can help with the following:
- Identify server hardware health issues such as high temperature, bad disks or high CPU usage
- Provide alerting and notification of server and hardware issues
- Capacity planning and forecasting
- Minimize server and application downtime
List of the best 7 Server and Hardware Monitoring Tools.
1. SolarWinds System Management Bundle
The system management bundle is a collection of four tools that give you complete visibility into server hardware and applications. These tools provide comprehensive monitors for the health and status of multi-vendor server hardware and hundreds of applications including SQL server, VMWare, Active Directory, Office 365 and more.
The management bundle includes the following tools:
Server and Application Monitor
Cpu Ram Temp Monitor
The server and application monitor tool gives you the ability to monitor and inventory IT hardware and software assets. Monitor server CPU, memory, disk space, network utilization and more. This tool also provides basic monitoring of VMware and Hyper-V hosts and virtual machines. There are 1200 monitoring templates to help you quickly monitor server performance.
The virtualization manager tool provides in depth monitoring, performance management, capacity planning and optimization for virtual environments such as VMware, Hyper-V, and Nutanix. One of my favorite features of this tool is you can monitor virtual hard disks and be alerted to disk space issues for zombie VMs, unneeded snapshots, and orphaned VMDK files. This can really help reclaim unused disk space.
Storage Resource Monitor
Get a comprehensive view of the performance and capacity of your storage environments. This tool provides a single pan of glass into all your storage devices making it easy to view capacity and monitor performance. This tool can monitor just about any SAN, NAS or storage device including HP, EMC, NetApp, Pure Storage, Nimble and more.
Web Performance Monitor
The Web performance monitor tracks user experience and tests web transactions for internal and external websites and web based applications. This tool will help you quickly identify slow or failing components down to the server, database or hardware level.
The System Management Bundle is a powerhouse set of tools that will help you monitor and manage critical server hardware and software assets. In addition, it gives you a single pane of glass to monitor server hardware and application performance. SolarWinds has a 30-day free trial Click here to Download Your Free Trial
PRTG is best known for its network monitoring tools but it can also be used to monitor servers and hardware. You can monitor CPU, RAM, hardware drives, printers and more. It has built in sensors for vendors like HP, Dell, Cisco, and IBM.
All hardware data can be viewed from a centralized web based dashboard. Most administrators don’t have time to stare at a dashboard to monitor their servers and hardware. PRTG has an alert system that can send you a notification via email or text message on certain events. For example, when the CPU temperature reaches a certain threshold it can send an email notification.
The install process is easy and only runs on Windows servers. Once installed you can have it auto discovery devices to monitor by providing it a range of IPs to scan.
PRTG starts are $1750 for 500 sensors.
3. Nagios XI
Nagios XI is a complete server and hardware monitoring solution. It can monitor Windows servers, Linux, Unix, Solaris, MAC and more.
Nagios is a flexible solution allowing the monitoring of servers with or without an agent. In addition to it’s out of the box monitoring it also has 3500 different addons available for monitoring your servers.
- Complete IT infrastructure monitoring
- Customizable Web Interface
- Server monitoring
- Easy to use
- Capacity planning
Nagios comes in a standard edition starting at $1,995 and an enterprise edition starting at $3,495. Licensing is based on the number of nodes you have, each device with an IP address is considered a node and requires a license.
HWMonitor is a great tool for monitoring computer hardware. The tool shows all of the monitored hardware on a single window. This tool can handle the most common sensor chips, can read modern CPUs on-die core thermal sensors and also read hard drive temperatures, and GPU temperature.
HWMonitor is a free tool. There is also a pro version that allows for remote monitoring, saving of data and improved interface.
SysGauge is an easy to use hardware monitor for local or remote computers. This tool can monitor CPU usage, memory, disk space, disk activity, disk transfer rates, IOPS, for individual disks or all physical disk on a computer.
The SysGauge GUI provides a single customizable interface for monitoring a single task at a time. It does not have an advanced dynamic dashboard like other products such as SolarWinds that allows you to view multiple system resources across multiple systems. It does give you a quick view of resources one at a time. For example, if you want to see CPU usage you will need to click on the CPU usage on the left hand side.
This is a nice tool if you have a few systems you need to monitor. I do not consider this an enterprise level tool.
SysGuage comes in in a free version for up to 10 monitors, the Pro version ($50) allows for 50 monitors, ultimate version ($125) 100 monitors and the server version ($125) allows 200 monitors.
Zabbix is an IT infrastructure monitoring tool that can monitor server performance and track changes to the hardware. Zabbix is a free and open-source, it’s meant for big networks that don’t want to spend a fortune to monitor their systems.
- Templates for monitoring various server hardware
- Auto discover assets
- Server uptime reporting
- Configuration change auditing
Zabbix is available for Red hard, CentOS, Oracle Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, SUSE and Raspbian. Unfortunately, no Windows install.
7. ManageEngine OpManager
ManageEngine OpManager provides multi vendor monitoring of server hardware and applications. Servers can be monitored by SNMP or WMI protocols to ensure system resources are performing as expected. OpManager will monitor server CPU, memory, processes, services, event logs, scripts, URLs and more.
- Real-time server performance monitoring
- Server availability and health monitoring
- Proactive server monitoring with multi level thresholds
- Monitor application performance
- Monitor VMware ESX servers and Guest OS performance
- Windows services monitoring
- Server process monitoring
The 10 Most Important Features for Effective Hardware Monitoring
Here is my list of the top 10 features a server hardware monitoring tool should have. In a business environment, you need a monitoring tool that will help quickly identify the root cause of an issue. To find the root cause you need to monitor all server resources to track performance, capacity planning and to potential hardware issues.
A premium server monitoring tool should include all of these features. To find the best solution that fits your needs I recommend you download a trial of multiple products to see what works best for you.
1. CPU Utilization Monitoring
When monitoring a server or any critical device you must monitor the CPU usage. Most performance issues are related to high CPU utilization or a lack of CPU resources. I like to see on my dashboard the top 10 systems by CPU usage. This is a quick way to see current CPU usage and spot any potential issue. Then I can click on one of the systems to get more details.
2. Memory Utilization
The next biggest performance killer is memory utilization. If your servers and applications don’t have enough memory they will have poor performance. Some products like SolarWinds SAM let you monitor memory by processes. This lets you easily identify exactly what is consuming all the memory on your servers.
Another reason I like to monitor the memory 24/7 on all systems is so I can effectively manage my resources. Sometimes vendors or other admins will say they need some ridiculous amount of memory on their server. I always recommend starting at a minimum amount of RAM then adding more if it is needed. Sometimes vendors will ask for 64GB of ram, so I’ll start them at 8 or 16 then monitor it. Most of the time I never need to add the amount of memory that is requested. If it is ever a question I can show them the monitoring reports to prove the server or application does not need the crazy amount of resources that they are requesting.
The above picture is a server’s memory usage for the last 12 hours. I’m using SolarWind SAM to monitor all my servers. I can quickly pull up the memory usage on any node being monitored. If someone asks about poor performance or requesting more memory I can look at the graphs and easily see if it needs more memory or not.
3. Storage and Disk Monitoring
If your server runs out of disk space then the server and applications will stop running. If your VMWare datastores run out of space all the VMs on that datastore may crash. Not good.
Slow running applications can be due to slow storage systems. All of these reasons are a good reason you should be monitoring your storage systems.
SolarWind storage resource monitor is one of the best storage monitoring tools I’ve seen. It can monitor SAN systems like HP, Nimble, Pure Storage, Dell, EMC and so on.
4. Monitor Bandwidth utilization
Knowing how much traffic is flowing in and out of your servers is another must have feature. When monitoring servers I always monitor the network interface cards on them so I can track how much data is being sent and received.
If someone reports a service or application being slow I can check the servers network interface to see how much traffic is going through the server. This makes it easy to determine if its a server issue or a network issue.
On my dashboard, I like to have a list of the top 10 interfaces by network traffic. This gives a quick overview of the top nodes by traffic on the network.
5. Historical Performance Logs
The server monitoring tool you pick should have the ability to record performance metrics for up to 30 days. This will come in useful when someone says “hey our applications were running really slow the other day”. or “between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM it takes a really long time for our data to process”
By having historical performance logs you can go back to specific dates or time frames and see the performance of your servers.
For example, here is the CPU load on a server for the last 30 days.
Here are the last 7 days of the CPU and Memory load on a server
You can see over the last 24 hours this server CPU usage is very high but memory usage seems fine.
6. Alerts and Notifications
You can’t just sit and stare at a dashboard all day waiting to spot performance or hardware issues.
You need a solution that can alert and send you a notification through email or text messaging. You also need the ability to customize alerts and adjust threshold levels. You may want to get storage alerts when the disk has only 1GB of free space rather than getting alerts when it is 90% full. Tor and firefox.
Alerts and notifications can also get very noisy and overwhelming so you may want to start with just the critical alerts.
7. Customized dashboard
Most server and hardware monitoring tools come with prebuilt dashboards. The prebuilt dashboards are a great starting point but you want the ability to modify them. Each environment is different and if you have multiple administrators they may need to monitor different servers than you.
I’m a big fan of the top 10 lists. I’ve customized my dashboard to include things like
- Top Nodes by CPU Usage
- Top Volumes by disk space used
- Top Interfaces by Traffic
- Top nodes by packet loss
- and so on
Customizing the dashboard to fit your needs is the fastest way to troubleshoot and be proactive on server and hardware issues. For example, I can quickly see when a servers hard disk is almost full by monitoring the top volumes by disk. I can be proactive rather than wait for the disk to fill up and users start to report issues.
It’s also a good idea to setup email alerts on things like this.
8. Monitor Services and Processes
So what if resources keep maxing out on a server or multiple servers. How do you know what is causing the CPU or memory usage to spike?
You could log in to each server and watch the running processes but that would be very inefficient plus it doesn’t give provide you with a report or historical data.
With a tool like SolarWinds SAM you can monitor the processes on each server and know exactly what causes high resource usage. SAM also has templates to monitor specific server applications such as:
9. Reporting and Inventory
I’ve mentioned reporting several times but it’s worth mentioning again. It’s important as an administrator to be able to provide detailed reports on system hardware and performance. You need to know what hardware you have, make, model, server hardware type, disk size and so on. If you’re going to monitor all servers and hardware it might as well have a built in inventory function.
Most tools will provide pre-built reports, while other tools give you the ability to create your own reports. I’ve found most of the built in reports to cover most of an administrators needs.
10. Server Uptime and Availability
The last feature on my list is the ability to report on server uptime. Monitoring and reporting on server uptime lets you know the availability of your server. Ideally you want 100% up time or 99.9% uptime.
The monitoring tool you choose should have this feature. In addition, you want the ability to report on availability for the last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days and specific time frames. Uptime is a metric that management likes to see, it also helps in reporting issues such as users complaining they couldn’t load their apps at a certain time of the day.
If your looking for a server and hardware monitor tool then you can’t go wrong with any on this list. I personally use SolarWinds SAM to monitor server hardware and applications, I also use SolarWinds NPM to monitor my network. Their products are very easy to install and easy to use.
Don’t just take my word for it, I recommend you download multiple products to find what best fits your needs.
Recommended Tool: SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
This utility was designed to Monitor Active Directory and other critical services like DNS & DHCP. It will quickly spot domain controller issues, prevent replication failures, track failed logon attempts and much more.
Cpu Ram Temperature Monitor Review
What I like best about SAM is it’s easy to use dashboard and alerting features. It also has the ability to monitor virtual machines and storage.