How To Cool GPU? Reasons, Solutions, and More

How To Cool GPU? Reasons, Solutions, and More

An overheated GPU can harm other components, disrupt the system, and cause even more damage. In addition, a graphics unit can’t perform appropriately at its peak potential due to thermal mismanagement, and you often have to wait for a game or software to load. If facing this issue, you must know how to cool GPU and get the most out of it. For your information, an overheated GPU can hurt its cores, wasting your money and time. Those who don’t know to check the issues with the card and maintain it at an appropriate temperature level must read this post until the end. 

It’s your duty to keep an eye on the GPU’s temperature and our responsibility to let you know all the crucial steps to take care of the graphics card. We have done thorough research and tested several GPUs before writing this article. Before starting to make some changes in your system or card, you must know the signs and symptoms of GPU overheating, how to spot them, and what you can do to cool your GPU down. Other than that, you must check all the possible solutions to solve the issues and their appropriate method to apply to avoid harm to the element.

What are the symptoms of overheating 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 However, the same symptoms can also occur if your GPU hardware is broken or your graphics card is outdated. As a result, you should use specialized software to examine the GPU temperature to determine whether overheating is to blame for these symptoms. You can also use software tools like Open Hardware Monitor, MSI Afterburner, and HWMonitor.

Some signs of an overheating GPU include the ones listed below:

  • Gaming Issues: When playing graphics-intensive games, if you encounter graphics-related failures like the graphics card not responding, the graphics card failing to recover from timeout, or anything similar, or whenever your game begins to lag, glitch, or crash.
  • Screen artifacts: If red tiles or other defects appear all over your screen, your GPU may malfunction–these graphics defects are called GPU artifacts. The artifacts of the screen are a symptom that your GPU is running above its peak potential, and the temperature is way more than the safe limit.
  • 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 stressed from overheating since loud noises imply they are not functioning as well in removing heat.

How much heat can a GPU handle?

Since GPUs continually operate under demanding conditions that produce a lot of heat, they are built to withstand high temperatures. In general, temperatures under 140°F (60°C) are entirely safe for your GPU, while temps between 140-194°F (60-90°C) aren’t harmful. However, you should consider additional cooling at the higher end of the scale. Hardware damage is very likely to occur at temperatures above 212°F or 100°C. But, the amount of thermal paste used, ventilation, the age of the GPU, and the manufacturer all affect how much heat your GPU can withstand. 

Why is my graphics card overheating? Possible reasons

The main causes of GPU overheating are as follows:

  • Overloading GPU: The first sign of GPU overheating is if you apply too much processing load to your GPU. In general, your GPU will generate more heat the more work it is put through and vice versa. So, before using the graphics card, you must keep this fact in mind. 
  • 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 if the thermal paste has expired. As a result, heat accumulates, which leads to your GPU overheating.
  • Insufficient Airflow: When your GPU is facing the wall, the airflow that helps it dissipate heat from the system is constrained. If there is insufficient airflow, there would be more heat production which ultimately makes it difficult for your GPU to cool properly.
  • 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.

How to cool GPU? Possible solutions

If your GPU is overheating, the steps listed below will help you cool it down.

Limit GPU overloading

If you can’t disable the overclocking, then limit it. No doubt, 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 and make it overheat. So it is advised to carefully check the system requirements for the application or the game you need to run and act accordingly.

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 that stops the problem if it’s still heating up. Overclocking is not needed for an average gamer, and only very burdensome tasks may require overclocking. It is advised to overclock as little as possible because it can affect your GPU considerably.

Hardware inspection

Carefully examine your GPU’s fans to ensure they are not broken (although this is extremely uncommon). If they are worn out, replace them to address the overheating issue. Also, make sure that you thoroughly clean every component and look for loose wires. These might be some issues causing the GPU to overheat because it might not have enough power, or the airflow could be disturbed.

Cleaning the GPU fans

To help your GPU fans dissipate heat more effectively, clean them thoroughly, 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 scorched.

Replace thermal paste

Depending on the caliber of the GPU thermal paste, thermal paste does not lose its effectiveness after a few months and can last up to ten years. It will be helpful to continue to think about changing the thermal paste on your GPU every three years to improve efficiency. However, this is a difficult task. Therefore, you must read about removing older thermal paste and then applying a new one. 

Boost airflow

Has your computer begun to overheat after you just moved it into a home? In that scenario, ensure your GPU has adequate airflow to function correctly. It is advised that you check the airflow of your room and that of your case. Gaming cases are suitable for this problem as they are specially designed to keep heating issues at a minimum. Moreover, if you can buy a cooling system, that would help you considerably.

Added more fans

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 add 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.

Conclusion

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. This post can help you get all the answers related to how to cool the GPU, along with other necessary information. For your information, it is common to observe GPUs becoming hotter with time for several reasons. Continuous loads also eventually degrade hardware. Thus, you should be aware of the symptoms that indicate a complete GPU replacement is necessary. 

In contrast, there could be several reasons behind the thermal mismanagement of graphics cards. Each has its own symptoms, which are included in the related section earlier in this post. Other than that, you can take help from various steps to help your card keep itself cool. You must start with cleaning your cooling system, doing hardware inspection, and replacing the thermal paste. If it’s not working out, change the cooling system. However, those who can’t take this step can follow other given steps in the related section to better understand the issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

How hot is too hot on a GPU?

If a GPU is running at below 140°F (60°C) temperature, it’s running under optimal temperature limits. Additionally, any temperature rating of 140-194°F (60-90°C) is also considered good and not harmful. But if it touches or crosses 212°F or 100°C, it’s too hot plus can be damaged.

How do I cool off my GPU?

Several solutions are there that you can try to cool down your overheating graphics card. Try to limit the overclocking, disable overclocking, inspect the GPU hardware to identify any defects, clean its fans, add more fans, replace thermal paste, etc.

Is 80 degree too hot for GPU?

No, 80°C isn’t too hot for a GPU. For your information, a temperature between 140-194°F (60-90°C) is considered high but not damaging. If your GPU runs at such a temperature or more, it’s time to start thinking. But if it goes beyond the 212°F or 100°C mark, you must take some serious action.

Arslan Ashraf
Arslan Ashraf is a tech enthusiast and an experienced technical writer at GamingDairy. He has been writing all types of guides, tutorials, and tips for gamers, developers, and other people who use computers. His way of writing is quite unique: he starts with testing every single piece of Hardware and does a long list of experiments before writing the actual masterpiece. Well, if you have any queries, ensure to connect with him!