Is 90°C Safe For CPU While Gaming

The Central Processing Unit is one of the most important components in a computer and its condition and temperature directly affects the performance of a PC.

Generally, a temperature of up to 80oc is considered to be the ideal temperature for a CPU, sometimes when working under heavy load like gaming, the temperature might go higher even up to 90 degrees or more.

If this happened to you, you might be wondering is 90°C safe for CPU while gaming and if it’s normal or if you should be concerned about your PC.

Turns out, 90°C is NOT SAFE for your CPU while gaming.

Reaching 90 degrees CPU temperature can be harmful to your PC and that is something you should definitely worry about, if it happens often.

In this post, we’ll go through how a 90°C temperature affects your PC while gaming and what are reasons for overheating and how to lower it.

How Does 90°C Affect The CPU?

Heating up is very normal for CPUs, just like every other electronic device. It uses electric signals to process and transfer data for everything you do on your PC.

How Does 90°C Affect The CPU

When the workload is heavy, the CPU is under a lot of stress to process all that data and it will lead to an increase in temperature. You may have experienced the same with mobile phones while gaming.

Also Read: Is 80 degrees ok for a GPU?

Normally CPUs tend to work under 80 degrees celsius with day to day workloads. While gaming or running heavy tasks like 3D rendering, graphic/video editing, the temperature can rise up to 85 or even above.

You can safely ignore this and continue working on the PC, unless you notice the temperature is rising more and reaching 90 degrees.

Your PC will start to reduce performance when the CPU temperature is high. Gaming will be a kind of nightmare with annoying lags and sudden crashes. Continuous high heat will damage not only the CPU but also other parts of the motherboard as well.

Plus, overheating will significantly reduce the lifespan of the processor and other components.

Most manufacturers have designed their computers to automatically shutdown if the temperature is too high to prevent permanent damages to the CPU. So if that happens, its the temperature is NOT SAFE.

Why Is My CPU Temperature 90°C?

There are several common reasons for unusual heating of CPUs. Let’s discuss some of the most probable causes and how to resolve them on your own.

Cooling System Failures

There are many cooling methods for PCs, but air cooling and liquid cooling are the most popular among them. Cooling fans are responsible for the air flow inside the casing, specially managing the heat generated by CPU and GPU.

Gaming with high graphic levels will use the CPU in maximum capacity and put it under a lot of stress, making the CPU produce more and more heat .If the cooling system can’t handle the temperature inside, the CPU will heat up quickly and it will remain too hot because there is no way to circulate the heat.

If your fans are not up to the mark and not enough to deal with high temperatures like 90 degrees celsius, the chances of CPU overheating is pretty high.

Also Read: PC fans too loud when gaming

So, make sure that your fans are working properly and they are not blocked by any surfaces near the casing. If required, you can use a customised fan setup with additional fans. You should also clean the fan blades on a regular basis to avoid dust gathering on them, which will directly affect the fan speed.

On the other hand, liquid cooling is pretty effective against heat but it can be an expensive solution, depending on your budget.

The thermal paste of the CPU is also important for the cooling system to transfer heat from the CPU. Once the paste is used for a long time, it will degrade and may not be effective as before. It is highly recommended to re-apply the thermal paste If you haven’t changed it recently to keep the cooling system healthy.

Blocked Air Flow

Even If the cooling system is working fine, CPU temperature will rise if the inside of the casing is blocking the airflow. When the CPU is increasing temperature due to heavy workloads, it must have a good airflow to cool down.

Dust accumulation is the main reason for a blocked air flow. It will affect the ventilation inside the casing and make it harder to circulate air. Regular checkups and cleaning with recommended methods will keep the dust away.

blocked airflow

Another reason for blocked air flow is internal hardware and wiring. You must ensure that the cooling system does have a well directed path to circulate the hot air to outside.

If there are any components or wires blocking the airflow path, the heat will keep rotating inside and increase the temperature. Having a well structured casing will get rid of this problem quite easily.

Also check if the ambient temperature levels are having any impact on the PC air flow. When the room temperature is high, the ventilation system is not useful to cool down the CPU. If your PC is kept somewhere warm, consider moving it to a place with more fresh and cool air or getting an air conditioner.

Heavy Workload

If you are continuously pushing your PC to its limits with high performance gaming, it is no wonder that the CPU is used heavily thus heating to 90°C. Although it is fine to use the PC with maximum performance, you should consider taking breaks from time to time.

Other than games, internet browsers and Media editing software consume a lot of processing power of the CPU. Being unable to handle the workload will cause the CPU to heat up quickly and reach higher temperature limits up to 90 degrees.

Heavy Workload

To overcome this problem, make sure that your PC has required specifications for certain games you are playing. Upgrading the hardware will be helpful to process more efficiently and balance the workload of the CPU.

Also Read: PSU making buzzing noise when gaming

Background apps are a commonly forgotten factor when talking about the CPU usage. These applications are silently consuming a large portion of the CPU processes, which will eventually lead the CPU to work tirelessly.

Make sure to check whether you have any unwanted background processes running and terminate them if found using Windows task manager or any similar program. 


Overclocking means increasing the CPU clock rate higher than the default level to speed up its performance. The processor will run at a higher speed and perform more faster after overclocking.

It is normally a good method to increase the CPU performance, but on the other hand it may cause the CPU to overheat.

Ensure that your CPU is capable of and supports overclocking. Tuning it with the help of a professional is always good for your computer. If you don’t require overclocking with the current workload, disable it and see how the CPU temperature is affected.


There are types of malware that will wear down your PC’s resources even without you noticing. These are a huge threat to the system and will slow down the PC.

They are designed to keep the CPU at maximum level until it overheats and causes problems. If you are facing CPU heating issues even in idle, this might be the reason. There are certain malwares that will run simultaneously with games and affect the performance of CPU.

Scanning your PC regularly with a good antivirus is recommended to keep the malware and computer viruses away. Be safe with untrusted downloads and sites, external devices you plug and share files. 


CPU temperature reaching 90 degree celsius is a sign that your PC is not in good condition. High temperature levels will not only affect the PC performances but also damage the hardware inside.

Failed cooling systems and air flow might be a cause of unusual increase of the temperature inside the casing. Heavy workloads, background applications and harmful malware can consume more CPU and wear down the processor, resulting in more heat output from the CPU.