How to Test a CPU Fan

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Testing a CPU fan is a relatively important preventative maintenance process, as today's modern processors generate large volumes of heat. A failed CPU fan will leave but moments of reaction time before critical CPU damage and forced shutdown by the processor's thermal management protocols. Testing to see if a CPU fan is still working is a very easy procedure that requires nothing more than some free software and a few moments time.

Things You'll Need

  • SpeedFan
  • Download and install SpeedFan.

  • Launch SpeedFan from its desktop icon. This icon is placed there during SpeedFan installation.

  • Wait for a few moments while SpeedFan detects all temperature sensors and fans within the computing solution.

  • Review the information in the middle left portion of the program window. This area will display all installed system fans and their respective rotational speeds in real time. The processor's fan will be labeled as "CPU0" or "CPU1."

  • Note the fan speed of the CPU. If the fan speed is zero, immediately shutdown the computer and replace the CPU's cooling fan, as it is not rotating. If the fan speed of the CPU seems low, 500 or less RPM, then it may be indicative of a failing fan which needs to be changed soon.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do have a failing CPU fan, it is imperative you change it or take it to a technician who can change it for you, as overheating the CPU will lead to an unstable system, or a fully failed system.

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