No matter how calm and cool it may look on the outside, your PCs could be hot on the inside. As you add more power--and more pieces of hardware--to your PC, the hotter it tends to run. And heat can cause serious damage to your computer's components. Touching the case or listening for fans isn't the best way to judge the true temperature of your system; you need internal help from a utility like SensorsView Pro.
This shareware utility monitors the temperature of some of your PC's key components, including your CPU, hard drive, northbridge, motherboard, and VGA, and can alert you when temperatures reach dangerous levels. SensorsView Pro also is designed to monitor your system voltages and fan speeds (if this functionality is supported by your motherboard) and monitors your system's CPU and memory usage.
All of the results are displayed in easy-to-read graphs, and your CPU temperature also is shown in your system tray, so you can check it at a glance. But I found that not all of SensorsView Pro's features worked for me. I installed the app on a Vista laptop, and it was able to monitor the temperature of my hard drive, but not my CPU. When I installed it on a Vista desktop, it could measure both temperatures. On both of these computers, though, it was unable to monitor my voltage or fan speeds, saying it couldn't locate the necessary sensors. So you may want to take it for a test drive before purchasing a full license.
Advanced PC users--especially those interested in overclocking their systems--will appreciate SensorsView Pro. But it's not really designed for novices; while it tells you the status of your system, it doesn't tell you the causes or suggest any possible solutions.