How to Test CPU Cooling Fans (8 Steps)

By T.M. Wit

i Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

With increased processing power comes the need for more cooling. Newer processors are becoming more powerful and are generating more and more heat. In order to maintain the safety and performance of your system, you must have adequate cooling. Due to the importance of CPU cooling to your computer's longevity and performance, a fully functional fan is recommended. This article will give you several easy to follow instructions so you can make sure your fan is performing up to par.

Physically checking your CPU fan

Step 1

Take off the side of your computer's case so you can see the CPU fan.

Step 2

Consult your motherboard's instruction booklet and ensure your fan is plugged in to a power lead adequate for its needs.

Step 3

Turn on your PC and make sure your fan is spinning. If it is not spinning then turn your computer off immediately.

Step 4

Unplug your processor's fan and plug it into another power lead. Use your motherboard's instruction book to find alternative power leads. Each motherboard is a little different but they will generally be located immediately to the right of the processor.

Step 5

Turn your computer on and confirm your fan is spinning.

Testing your fan's functionality

Step 1

Turn on your computer with the side of your case still removed.

Step 2

Download “Prime95 stress test.” This program will ensure your processor is working at 100% capacity.

Step 3

Run the stress test and watch your fan. If it begins to spin faster after the stress test has started then your fan is functioning properly.