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[ The PC Guide | System Care Guide | System Care: Protecting Your PC | Care of Specific Components ]

The Processor

The system processor requires no maintenance. In fact, in earlier PCs the CPU was one thing you could pretty much install and completely forget about. Newer processors don't really require any maintenance either, themselves; however, they require the use of cooling mechanisms and these can and do require some attention.

When the interior of the system is cleaned, the following should be performed as well (in fact, whenever the system is open, it is worth checking up on these):

  • Check Processor Temperature: Touch the edge of the processor (or edge of the heat sink as close to the processor as possible.) How hot is it? If it is too hot to leave your finger on for more than at least a second, it is most likely hotter than you want it. Consider improving the cooling level somewhat by either adding a larger heat sink or a better cooling fan.
  • Check and Clean Heat Sink and Fan: You will want to examine the heat sink and fan and clean them; dirt can cause the fan to clog up. If the fan is not turning smoothly, or you suspect that it is close to failure, replace it. The heat sink will not dissipate heat well from the processor if it is clogged with dirt, so it should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or air blower.

Next: System Memory

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