The Heat Dilemma
Electronics are sensitive to heat. Prolonged exposure to excessive heat is thought to cause premature failure of electronic devices. Since some components on a computer can reach a temperature of 100 degrees celsius or higher, monitoring this heat is crucial.
Arguably, the hottest chip on the block is the central processing unit, also known as the CPU or, simply, processor. The processor is directly attached to the motherboard, and coupled with a heat sink. The heat sink serves to conduct heat away from the processor, usually with the assistance of a fan. While there are also fans attached to the computer case to evacuate that hot air, it inevitably builds up within the case. This causes other components, including the motherboard, to suffer from increasing ambient temperature.
All of the vital components that help your computer function are connected, in some fashion, to the motherboard. The second hottest component in your computer case is usually the graphics card. This card usually sits just below the processor or, in some cases, is permanently attached to the motherboard.