Are you worried that your graphics processing unit is producing more heat than usual? If so, you have every reason to be concerned. Not only can an overheated GPU hurt its cores, but it can also harm other parts of your computer.
Nobody wants their pricey piece of equipment—a GPU is one of the most expensive pieces of computer hardware—to be harmed by overheating. It is crucial to keep an eye on the GPU’s temperature.
Let’s examine the signs and symptoms of GPU overheating, how to spot them, and what you can do to cool your GPU down.
How hot can your GPU tolerate?
Since GPUs are continually operating under demanding conditions that produce a lot of heat, they are built to withstand high temperatures. The amount of thermal paste used, ventilation, the age of the GPU, and the manufacturer all affect how much heat your GPU can withstand.
In general, temperatures under 60°C are completely safe for your GPU, while temps between 60°C and 90°C aren’t harmful, however, you should take additional cooling into consideration at the higher end of the scale. Hardware damage is very likely to occur at temperatures above 100°C.
It might not be safe to expose the GPU to temperatures beyond 80°C if it is too old, the thermal paste has dried out, and there is insufficient airflow.
GPU overheating causes
The main causes of GPU overheating are as follows:
- Overloading GPU: How much processing load you are applying to your GPU is the first sign of overheating. In general, your GPU will generate more heat the more work it is put through and vice versa.
- Not Cleaning GPU: The second most typical reason for your GPU to overheat is the buildup of dust, dirt, and lint on its components. There is a good chance that poor cleaning is to blame for your GPU overheating unless you have a routine for doing so.
- Insufficient Airflow: When your GPU is facing the wall, the airflow that helps it dissipate heat from the system is constrained. This makes it difficult for your GPU to cool properly.
- Old Thermal Paste: High-quality thermal paste enhances heat flow from the GPU, maintaining the efficiency of its heat sinks. But as time passes, it becomes harder and prevents the heat from leaving the system. As a result, heat accumulates, which leads to your GPU overheating.
The signs of an overheated GPU
Some indications that your graphics card is overheating include loud fan noise, screen artifacts, and graphics-related issues. However, the same symptoms can also occur if your GPU hardware is broken or if your graphics card is out of date.
As a result, you should use specialized software to examine the GPU temperature to determine whether overheating is to blame for these symptoms. Tools for observing GPU temperatures include Open Hardware Monitor, MSI Afterburner, and HWMonitor.
Some signs of an overheating GPU include the ones listed below:
- Fan noise: As they work to dissipate the extra heat, overspeeding fans are one of the earliest and most obvious indications of GPU overheating. The GPU fans are under stress from overheating since loud noises imply that they are not functioning as well in removing heat.
- Screen artifacts: If red tiles or other defects start to appear all over your screen, your GPU may be malfunctioning.
- Games That Lag, Glitch, or Crash: You can safely assume that your graphics card is under stress whenever you experience graphics-related errors while playing graphics-intensive games, such as the graphics card not responding, the graphics card failing to recover from timeout, or anything similar.
Blue screens, computer malfunctions, and abrupt shutdowns under heavy strain are further potential causes of GPU overheating.
Different Techniques for GPU Cooling
If your GPU is overheating, the steps listed below will help you cool it down.
- Cleaning the GPU Fans: To help your GPU fans dissipate heat more effectively, give them a thorough cleaning, making sure no dirt or lint remains within. Cleaning fans safely involves using an air compressor or rubbing alcohol on the fan blades. Additionally, before reinstalling it on the computer, make sure it is completely dry.
- Disable Overclocking: The GPU cores generate more heat the faster they are clocked. Therefore, if your GPU is overclocked, think about lowering its clock speed. Try running your GPU at underclocking settings to see if the issue is fixed or if it is still heating up.
- Examine the hardware: Make sure your GPU’s fans are thoroughly inspected to rule out damage (although this is extremely uncommon). If they are worn out, replace them to address the overheating issue.
- Boost Airflow: Has your computer begun to overheat after you just moved it into a home? In that scenario, ensure sure your GPU has adequate airflow to function properly.
- Replace the thermal paste because it does not deteriorate quickly and can last up to ten years, depending on the quality of the paste your GPU has. In order to improve efficiency, it will be helpful if you continue to think about changing the thermal paste on your GPU every three years. However, this is a difficult task.
- Limit GPU Overloading: Running numerous graphics-intensive applications at once tends to overstress GPUs, which results in increased heat production. Overtaxing your GPU might destroy its fans and other parts in addition to making it overheat.
The various techniques mentioned above enhance the heat transfer away from your overheated GPU. If they don’t perform as well as you expected, you might want to think about adding more fans to your computer case. You can increase airflow out of your system and minimize GPU temperature by adding extra fans.
A water cooling system for your graphics processing unit may also be installed if your budget permits it. Your GPU temperature will drastically decrease if you mix air cooling with water cooling.
Does GPU overheat result from outdated graphics drivers?
Your hardware’s performance is hampered by outdated graphics drivers that prohibit it from performing at its best. Even if your GPU is not under stress, this can lead to an overflow. As a result, updating your graphics driver enables your GPU to operate at peak efficiency and reduces the amount of heat it generates.
Cool Down Your Hot GPU
A GPU that operates at a high temperature for an extended period of time can harm other components of your computer. So monitoring your GPU’s temperature and keeping it cool will extend the life of your hardware.
Visit the manufacturer’s website to learn the highest temperature your GPU can handle. Keep it a little bit below the upper limit.
Not to mention, it is common to observe GPUs becoming hotter with time. Continuous loads also eventually degrade hardware. Thus, you should be aware of the symptoms that indicate a complete GPU replacement is necessary.
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