When it comes to gaming, graphics card is the one that is working on a continuous basis. The graphics card has to process millions of requests and respond to them so that various functions could be carried out during gaming. Due to the continuous processing, it gets hot easily and can lead to various problems. If the graphics card gets too hot and the temperature isn’t maintained, a graphics card failure can occur too.
The main component which gets too heated up in the graphics card is the GPU. The memory also gets heated up during long gaming sessions but it doesn’t damage the graphics card. In this post we’ll explain some of the best methods to decrease the temperature of the GPU in graphics card, so that you have a safe gaming experience.
What should the temperature of the GPU be?
Different graphics cards have different temperature standards but generally speaking, if the temperature rises above 80 degrees Celsius, then you should start worrying. If you see that the temperature of the GPU rises above 80 degrees Celsius then you must take measures to decrease the temperature to 70 to 75 degrees Celsius or lower. Temperature above this can cause damage to the graphics card.
There are some graphics cards that are designed to go safely beyond 90 degrees Celsius. However, this might reduce the lifespan of the GPU in the long run even if it doesn’t cause damage at that time. If you want to keep your graphics card safe, it is always recommended to keep the temperature of the GPU in the range of 50 to 60 degrees Celsius.
How to check the GPU temperature?
There are various software and hardware tools that allow you check to the temperature of the GPU. Some of the software are free to download and you can easily monitor the GPU temperature using them. Following are some good GPU temperature monitoring software:
If you are a Windows 10 user, the new version (Windows Insider build 18963) allows you to check the GPU temperature in the task manager. The GPU monitor will allow you to check the GPU utilization rate, GPU memory, dedicated GPU memory, and shared GPU memory.
Ways to lower the GPU temperature
Graphics card gets very hot during gaming or other intense graphics processing tasks and they must cooled down to prevent any damage. Apart from immediate image, overheating can also decrease the lifespan of the graphics card. Below we have jotted down some of the most effective methods to lower down the graphics card’s GPU temperature:
1. Replace thermal paste
In some cases, the thermal paste of the graphics card may dry out. When the thermal paste dries out, it loses its effectiveness and thus contribute to the increase in temperature. Replacing the thermal paste helps to decrease the temperature in this case. The thermal paste is present between the GPU and the heat sink and it gets fried due to heat and needs to be replaced.
To replace the thermal paste remove the fan and the heat sink and then apply a good quality thermal paste on it. The Artic Silver 5 is a good quality thermal paste and it can last long when applied on the graphics card. If a high grade thermal paste is used, it will help in lowering the temperature of the GPU.
2. Disable overclocking
When you overclock the GPU of your graphics card, you make it work on its full potential. When the GPU works too much, it gets too hot and then results in overheating of the graphics card. If you want to get rid of this overheating issue, you’ll have to disable overclocking and take it back to the GPU’s original clock setting.
You can use the right tools and software for disabling or downgrading the overclocking. After disabling the overclocking, you’ll notice a drop in graphics card temperature and a decrease in the clock speed or frequency too.
3. Clean the fan and heat sink of dust
With time dust accumulates on the fan and heat sink and this makes them less efficient. The specks of dust are one of the reasons that make your fan work improperly. You have to get rid of the dust bags that are accumulated in the graphics card as this will improve the temperature. For cleaning the dust from the GPU, you’ll need screw, baby wipes, and can of compressed air. Now follow these steps:
- Wipe the outer sides of the graphics card and get rid of the dust.
- Use a screw driver and unscrew the graphics card.
- Now twist the cooler so that it comes out of the graphics card.
- Now disconnect the fan and take it outside and use compressed air to remove dust.
- Use the baby wipes for cleaning the fan and the graphics card.
- Let all the things dry before assembling them.
- Connect the fan to the card and install it again.
- Screw everything and check if everything is fitted before you connect the graphics card to the computer.
4. Improve airflow in the case
The graphics card must be getting hotter because of the improper airflow system through it. To improve the airflow of the environment. You can improve the airflow by changing the fan placements effectively. Also, you can decide whether you want to increase or decrease the number of fans in the case in order to regulate the temperature. If there are too much or too less of fans, they can create dead spots which result due to inefficient air flow.
You can also go for a more spacious cabinet for the components if you want to improve the airflow. A full tower PC case is good as it is equipped with good ventilation features. In such a case, there is no congestion of components and the air circulation is improved by far.
5. Tweak fan speeds
It is also possible that the fans might not be working at the required speed and that’s why resulting in the overheating of the GPU. There are some overclocking software such as the MSI Afterburner, which allow you to adjust the fan speed according to your requirement. You must monitor the GPU temperature, and when it reaches a certain temperature, you can tweak the fan speed. If you do so, you’ll make sure that the fan is working at 100% capabilities even when the graphics card is too much overheated. This act will reduce the overall temperature to a significant level.
Also, it might be possible that fan’s automatic speed control function isn’t working properly and the fan doesn’t reach the maximum speed. When the fan doesn’t reach the maximum speed when the graphics card is working on full load, the GPU will get heated up during gaming.
6. Add a cooler
A graphics card is already equipped with a cooling solution but most of them use only the heat sink fan which is not enough to reduce the temperature. If you feel that your graphics card gets overheated during gaming, you can add a cooling solution that decreases the temperature. A water or liquid cooler is very effective and it can easily bring down the temperature.
Water or liquid cooling systems are the best for overclocked GPUs. If you have an overclocked GPU, then there are high chances that your GPU will get overheated and for this, liquid cooling is the best option. However, before buying, make sure that it fits properly in the graphics card otherwise it won’t be of any use. Liquid cooling systems are expensive, but they are worth it; you’ll notice that the temperature of the graphics card will remain below 50 degrees Celsius with a liquid cooling system.
7. Update the driver
Another tip that helps in lowering the temperature of the GPU is to update the drivers. The drivers are responsible for the behavior of the graphics card and they have a big impact on their performance. The GPU manufacturers also focus on improving the firmware processes so that the cards give a better performance. An updated driver will lead to a less-power hungry performance and make the card more efficient. This way, the graphics card’s GPU won’t get overheated even when it’s working on full load.
8. Lower in-game graphical settings
If all the above methods don’t work and you still notice a rise in temperature of the graphics card during gaming, you should try to lower the in-game graphical settings. You can reduce the texture levels and anti-aliasing settings to a medium level so that there is lesser burden on the graphics card.
Keeping your GPU temperature at a low level is the key to increasing the life of your graphics card. This way you’ll have a graphics card that lasts for long and doesn’t need any maintenance. We have discussed many methods to lower the temperature of the GPU and we hope that most of them work for you. Have a safe and cool gaming!