Question CPU Load_CPU Temperature Spiking


Oct 16, 2018
I built my first PC about a year ago and since then, I have really only used it for CSGO, university work, and Rocket League so nothing too strenuous; however, even at idle, I have noticed that my CPU load randomly goes from 1% to up to 100% for absolutely no reason. Even going into Chrome causes the CPU load to spike to almost max. I have Malwarebytes Premium as well as Avast cleanup Premium and they show no signs of Malware which isn't surprising since this issue has been persistent since day one. My hardware is listed below:

CPU: Intel i7-8700k (Not overclocked)

CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i V2 (Software says pump is functional)

Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E (Warning Red Light comes on while playing AAA games)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (3000 MHz)

Storage: ADATA SU650 SSD


Power Supply: Corsair TXM Gold 80+ Gold (550W)

I want to rule out any software issues before I start troubleshooting hardware. Thank you so much in advance.


Intel Master
... built ... about a year ago ... at idle ... load randomly goes from 1% to up to 100% ... for absolutely no reason ... Chrome causes the CPU load to spike to almost max ... no signs of Malware ... issue has been persistent since day one ... i7-8700k ... Corsair H100i V2 ... want to rule out any software issues ...
"Spikes" or "fluctuations" in workload and Core temperatures are normal and expected, but do not happen "for absolutely no reason". There most certainly are reasons.

Core temperatures respond instantly to changes in load.

Intel’s specification for Digital Thermal Sensor (DTS) response time is 256 milliseconds, or about 1/4th of a second. Since Windows has dozens of Processes and Services running in the background, it’s normal to see rapid and random Core temperature “spikes” or fluctuations, especially during the first few minutes after startup. Any software activity will show some percentage of CPU Utilization in Windows Task Manager, where unnecessary Tray items, Startups, Processes and Services that contribute to excessive spiking can be disabled.

Moreover, 6th Generation processors introduced "Speed Shift" technology in Windows 10, which responds much faster to changes in workload than "SpeedStep" due to having many more Core speed and Core voltage transition levels. This allows the processor to more rapidly complete brief tasks then quickly return to idle, which reduces overall Power consumption and increases efficiency.

Since 7th through 9th Generation Speed Shift is twice as fast as 6th Generation, some users complain of Core temperature spikes which can also cause fluctuations in fan RPM at idle. To address those issues, motherboard manufacturers have implemented BIOS updates that include separate SpeedStep and Speed Shift settings with more flexible fan curves and time delay options.

The spikes in CPU Utilization and Core temperatures are quite normal and expected, and are simply due to the processor's ability to very rapidly respond to fluctuations in Windows foreground and background activities. It's nothing to be concerned about, so you can put your mind at ease.

If you'd like to get yourself up to speed on this topic, we have a guide you can read: Intel Temperature Guide. See Sections 4 and 13.

CT :sol:
Opening Chrome spikes my 7700K's CPU usage to ~50% for 1-2 seconds when initially opening the first tab of Chrome....(which is normal)
As the clock speed will hit 4.7 GHz for a few seconds, you can absolutely expect almost instant 65C temps on a few cores for that one second or so...

With NVME storage, I'd expect quite similar results with your 8700K..(it might take a fraction of a second longer at most opening from SATA SSD

With no resource hogging apps or malware, adequate RAM, and all updates downloaded/applied, no cloud syncing in progress, you should be at 1-3% CPU usage sitting at desktop with no browser open...

Perhaps your OS got botched/confused due to an update, etc...or your storage could be flaky.

Nuke and pave, it takes 5 minutes to install WIndows 10 to fast storage from a USB media tool...(10 more minutes for needed drivers if you already have them downloaded)

If it was just a glitch, your usage will be normal again..