The optimal range for any hardware will be different for each device and will usually be described in detail by your manufacturer. Because this is a wide range, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what temperature rate each component should be operating at, but broadly speaking, you should be close to the following ranges for your CPU and GPU:
- 30°C to 60°C at idle or light activity.
- 60°C to 90°C when performing heavy duty or gaming.
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These ranges differ, sometimes dramatically, depending on the temperature of the room the hardware is in, the cooling solution used, and the level of airflow in the case. If you are outside of these ranges, don't panic, check with your specific hardware manufacturer first to make sure they don't have a higher operating temperature.
When it comes to safe operating temperatures, there's one simple rule to follow: lower is always better. You can't cool your PC too much (at least not by traditional means), so anything you can do to lower the operating temperature of your CPU or GPU will be a worthwhile upgrade.
For more hardware guides, check out the best pre-built gaming PCs in 2021 and the best NVIDIA graphics cards on Pro gaming guides.