Why Is My Graphics Card So Hot, graphics cards are a vital element of any gaming PC. The process they run is pretty intensive and can produce a lot of heat, so we need to make sure that they don’t overheat.
Thankfully, there are a few methods you can use to ensure your new graphics card stays cool and performant while also reducing the chances of it over-heating.
Why is my graphics card so hot? When under load, it is common for graphics cards to get hot.
Since they are responsible for all the drawing on your computer’s monitor, they have a very intensive duty to manage all the time and that can mean they must work rather hard sometimes.
However, if it’s running below 80 degrees Celsius when you have a lot of things going on at once, Why Is My Graphics Card So Hot that is normal.
Now, we will talk about many reasons why graphics cards run hotter than they should, and then how one can reduce this issue.
Why Is My Graphics Card So Hot?
Graphics cards are more susceptible to extreme heat than other computer parts. They can give you a lot of problems at temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit and start shutting down automatically when it’s between 1333-1570 degrees as it may get destroyed if it overheats.
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Thermal throttling is a short circuit in your graphics card that forcibly prevents it from reaching excessively high temperatures.
It ensures a longer life span for your computer components, and therefore leads to fewer examples of improper operation.
When you have a graphics card, it’s good to keep it running under what we call “good thermal range.” This will keep your computer safe and make sure your graphics card keeps working in the proper fashion.
If the operating temperature of your graphics card rises above the normal level for an extended period of time, then this may negatively impact its performance due to getting dangerously hot below normal temperatures.
If thermal throttling doesn’t work, your PC will shut down because there has to be something seriously wrong. If it doesn’t avoid a major disaster, it is safer to shut down the computer than to risk permanent failure.
Your Fans Aren’t Spinning Fast Enough.
Graphics cards are meant for games, not the real world so their cooling mechanisms often don’t have enough oomph to keep them cool if you’re playing memory-intensive games on a hot day.
Graphics card’s cooling fan system is called “fan curve.” Fan curves allow the intensity of the fans to scale up and down as needed based on temperature.
Frame Rate Targeting Control (FRTC) technology enables advanced graphics cards to target a maximum frame rate when playing an intensive game.
Fortunately, you can quickly fix this issue in program such as MSI Afterburner or EVGA Precision X1.
I use MSI Afterburner to take care of in-game details like my FPS (frames per second) and my GPU temperatures.
Regardless, I’ll show you how to use both of these programs, so no matter what you choose – regardless of which one you choose – you can change your fan curve.
Using MSI Afterburner
This is a free program that you can download from their website, which allows you to set specific fan settings and change the color of your fans based on certain conditions.
Once you’ve downloaded this, run the installer program and make sure that you’ve installed both RIVA Stats Tuner and MSI Afterburner.
After installing MSI Afterburner, you want to open up the program and click on the gear wheel icon that is found within the MSI Afterburner tool.
If you are ready to start making some adjustments, then click on the ‘Settings’ tab. Why Is My Graphics Card So Hot After that click on the ‘Fan Control’ tab. Now have a look at where it says “Enable User Defined Software Automatic Fan Control”. Tick this box and hit OK.
Enabling this feature will open up a graph for you to see which of your stories have garnered the most interest. Which points on the solid and when they peaked.
I have set mine to respond to changing environmental conditions by increasing the speed of the blades at different temperatures.
Let me show you the exact temperatures and corresponding fan speed I have chosen:
- 40% Fan speed at 30 degrees Celsius
- 60% Fan speed at 50 degrees Celsius
- 70% Fan speed at 70 degrees Celsius
- 90% Fan speed at 80 degrees Celsius
- 100% Fan speed at 90+ degrees Celsius
I bump my fans up to 70% when I reach 65 degrees Celsius, but this is aggressive by most recent standards.
The device comes with default heats that are easily adjustable. You may increase then at a speed you find comfortable.
We know it’s important to apply your theme settings right away, so that you have the opportunity to try out a new look even if it wasn’t your intention when you click on the Windows button in the recent apps screen.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the temperatures of your GPUs, then you probably know that there is a temperature sensor called the Onboard Sensor Display (OSD) for monitoring the exact temperatures of them but not necessary if you haven’t so here’s how it can be done.
To show your on-screen display, you should go to the monitoring tab. You can choose as many or as few stats to measure as you want.
Black outlined checkmarks are going to be the actively measured stats within a specific framework.
After that, click on each Stat you wish to measure and ensure the box is highlighted blue. Finally, check the Show in On-Screen Display check box below
Go ahead and do this for every statistic you plan to measure which will just be GPU usage and temperature, and then click apply.
Next time you enter a match, look at the top left of your screen to see your measurements and other stats.
If you notice your graphics card temperature exceeds 70 degrees Celsius, it’s probably a good idea to consider cooling it.
However, it’s not until you get into the higher 70s that this becomes a concern, and if you are going over 80 you’re likely going to experience thermal throttling. You should definitely increase your fan curve at this point.
Once you know where your graphics card sits when it’s under heavy load, Why Is My Graphics Card So Hot you can increase the fan curve in that range.
For example, when I was playing Red Dead Redemption 2 recently I noticed that my graphics card had gotten up to 75 – 79 degrees Celsius.
By increasing the fan speed in these occasions I was able to get my graphics card back down a bit and make it much more cooler during gameplay.
One final tip we want to add, increasing fan speed will increase volume.
I can start to hear my GPU at around 50% fan speed, and it becomes extremely loud at 80% fan speed, so unless the room is constantly above 80 degrees Celsius, I will try to keep my fan speed below 80%.
Using EVGA Precision X1
Before we move on to the tips section, I want to remind you that we’ve already covered many product management fundamentals in a previous section. We will not be going into too much detail here.
First, download the EVGA Precision X software from their website.
After that, you need to run the installer setup for the application and open its window when finished.
Once the application is open, click on the arrow button in the bottom right twice (as shown above) to see hide or unhide all.
To enable fan curve control, you must first check the tick box for “Enable Fan Curve Control” and once it’s enabled it’ll turn purple.
You have the option of choosing from a variety of presets or creating your own. They help you to adjust the graph and make it more accurate.
In addition, you have the option to have a graph that is adjusted automatically based on your previous selections.
Previously, I used MSI Afterburner (Aggressive preset) and got a better result. However, the new version of MSI Afterburner is significantly more multifaceted and can also be used as a sound recording tool.
I increased the fan speed gradually to fine-tune my setup’s performance. It was only when I found the highest level of intensity that I achieved a good balance between quiet operation and cooling performance.
When you locate the first preset you would like to try or adjust it manually, press “Apply,” and your changes will be made.
If you want the changes to start saving, open up your system settings, go to date and time, and click change. Then select Start with Windows as it starts. Or if you’re in a rush just type in Start with Windows.
To turn on the display view of the digital frame, make sure the OSD (or On Screen Display) option in the sidebar is active or blue.
If it isn’t, please click the OSD option in the sidebar until your screen turns blue. If a “Cannot reach widgets” message appears on your screen, please be advised that you may need to re-login by clicking Sign out and then Sign In again.
To control what you measure, click on the HWM tab on the top navigation. To ensure that collection is working properly, make sure it is enabled in the right sidebar.
You can also disable it temporarily by clicking the Off switch to its right until you’re happy with its functionality.
Choose whether or not you want to keep the graph’s measurements by clicking the “X” in the top right corner of the graph.
If you don’t want to remove a measurement but want it to show up in the OSD, above the top left corner of each graph, you have three options:
In order to have an OSD item show up on-screen, make sure that it has been activated in the Control Manager. If the Activation checkbox is unchecked in the Control Manager, it will not show up on-screen.
To add new measurements, click on the color-coded and numbered buttons at the top of the HWM page, choose the measurement from its list in the dropdown.
Cleaning Your GPU Fans And Case
Dust can quickly build up on fans and make it harder for them to pull in the necessary air to cool the GPU.
This can lead to your central processing unit (CPU) reaching higher temperatures. However, this is likely not the case for newer ones that haven’t been in use long.
We recommend that you check the level of your CPU fan motor resistor. If it is OK, then check your hard disk or CD-ROM drive for misalignment with the others.
The solution here is to use compressed air but you can’t just blow out the dust with a cloth because it will get into some places that are inaccessible.
This is the safest way to clean you fans and also the best for getting every speck of dust-out.
You should unplug your graphics card, remove it from your PC and use a can of compressed air to clean off its cooling diode block.
You should keep two things in mind so that you don’t overwork the fans, or damage your GPU.
First spray the GPU fans with air to make sure they are not spinning. 2) Hold onto the fan and or insert a toothpick into the space between the blades of each fan to keep them from spinning while you blow out dust from them with a can of compressed air.
If you don’t turn off the fans on your GPU, you may cause harm to them. This will definitely not result in optimal performance.
Second, it is essential to keep the can of compressed air upright while spraying your computer hardware. If you flip over the can, Why Is My Graphics Card So Hot it will spray liquid all over your expensive computer parts which will without a doubt cause more issues than you had to start with.
If you want to play it truly safe, you could completely disassemble the GPU, remove the fans and clean them. However, if you’re short on time, there’s a faster way to clean the fan.
The most common dust collectors tend to be case fans, particularly the ones in use inside of the computer’s case. Some other forms of dust collection include case fans and filters that surround it.
The dust filters of your computer should be easily removed. Do not vacuum them inside your computer; simply wipe them down or let them air out.
I have the Fractal Design Define R6 computer case, so I was able to slide my bottom dust filter out without too much trouble and also remove the side filter with a little bit of effort because I could pinch the clamps and its easy release feature popped it off rather quickly.
After that, I will wipe it down using a paper towel or use my vacuum. A good rule of thumb is to never use a vacuum on your computer, but sometimes it can be removed for cleaning separately for a more detailed cleaning if needed.
After you clean all these fans and filters, be sure to replace your components in the appropriate area of your PC case and then turn on the machine.
The dusty and dirty components of a computer system should be removed and cleaned outside of the actual case if you want everything to come back cleaner than it was before.
Alternatively, you can blow out the dust inside the computer case beforehand with a can of compressed air.
Some videos have recommended using a vacuum, but that’s too memorable so I would not like to use it.
Opening your case up can increase circulation and help you get cooler air and better airflow, so it will allow you to keep your computer running longer and at a more efficient rate.
Replacing Your Old Thermal Paste
Sometimes, when you’re an old product manager, you lose your thermal paste’s functionality to help transport the heat and keep your GPU cooler.
Some fixes require you to get your hands a bit dirty, but it’s important that when you’re pulling apart sensitive electronics, especially ones as small as these, you are very careful not to injure or break delicate components or connectors. You don’t want to take any risks with motherboards and GPUs so be sure to handle them with the utmost care.
One should then use an alcohol wipe to clean up the old thermal paste on the CPU.
Once the thermal paste is removed and replaced by the new thermal paste, you want to make sure you clean up any of the residue that might have been left behind in order to maintain optimal cooling throughout the GPU.
This can help lower your GPU temperature, but it depends on what is causing it to run high in the first place.
I would recommend trying a non-technical solution before you get into things like the video cards or the motherboard. If you rip those apart first, you might not be able to get them working again
Lowering Your Graphical Settings Or FPS
You wouldn’t think that a game about riding in trains and having shootouts would have any real performance problems, Why Is My Graphics Card So Hot but I was surprised when Red Dead Redemption 2 would make my GPU overheat like a House of Flying Daggers movie! So crazy.
This isn’t bad news at all, and it’s actually rather easy to fix. In Red Dead Redemption 2, I managed to lower my GPU temperature by editing the graphics settings to reduce graphics quality and limiting the frame per second (FPS) to 60 FPS since I wasn’t going over these limits much while playing anyway.
This reduced the strain on my GPU to render high quality images, giving me benefits both in more durable components as well as a capped frame rate since I was so used to it.
Although this may not be a permanent solution and finding a better fix is recommended by many experts in the field, CPU fans have been used successfully for decades as methods to reduce temperatures until you can find the best possible parts for reducing heat build-up within your box.
When you lower your graphical settings but don’t cap your FPS, your GPU can still run very hot because it will desperately try to render more frames per second. If you do cap your FPS at 60 however then your GPU’s workload rate will be significantly reduced. You see…
You May Have Bad Airflow In Your Case
To keep your PC case operating in the best condition possible, we suggest you equip it with two intake fans and one exhaust fan. By doing so, you will be able to ensure a continuous stream of cool air coming into your case while at the same time expelling hot air out of your PC.
To avoid overheating and the resulting lack of performance that follows, I recommend installing the minimum required hardware into your machine.
If you didn’t mount any fans to the area around your computer case, we recommend mounting a couple of fans.
In regards to computer case ventilation, bigger is better. Larger cases typically have more breathing room for air-flow thereby alleviating any issues with your system’s cooling like a heated GPU or clogged storage racks.
To get better airflow and reduce the case temperature, I removed the storage drive racks and installed additional fans in my PC tower.
Also, I cleaned out my desk to make more room for my laptop since before there wasn’t enough and when I try to use other software besides Google Drive, it kept getting really hot.
I removed five unused storage racks that I wasn’t going to use from my computer’s case because it would have given my intake fans a clearer path to push air onto the components of the computer that needed cooling the most.
The case fans were to push air up from the bottom of the case where there was trapped hot air that wasn’t getting pushed out of the case.
Why Is My Graphics Card So Hot, I could feel the hot air collecting after only one hour of playing a game.
I bought two more case fans and installed them at the bottom, where I had to open up my existing case to make room.
I used this product three weeks ago and it worked well for me. Since then, my graphics card temperatures have been lowered a couple of points.
The air in your computer’s case can also be compromised if there are cables strewn about interfering with the airflow. When you’re working on something or are otherwise connecting or disconnecting cables, it’s best if you take a moment to try and wrangle loose wires and extra cable so that all of the wires stay from obstructing short stack coolers.
Your Environment May Be Too Hot
The space around your PC plays a crucial role when determining the best possible temperature.
For example during the Summer, when most people have their windows open, room temperatures can rise dramatically to higher levels and potentially damage sensitive equipment.
In the winter, some gamers might experience decreased responsiveness during a video game if their rooms are cool or cold.
You need to understand the difference between your AC unit and the simple fans on the market. It’s essentially just like knowing that you can go big or go home with different room cooling units.
Ceiling fans or standalone fans can help cool down your system especially if you aim them in the direction of the case. Some even open up their cases completely, allowing the fans to work more efficiently.
Undervoltage Your Graphics Card
This will likely be the final act anyone will do after they have tried everything else that didn’t quite produce their desired result.
Undervolting is kind of like dieting. Save yourself a few calories, and maybe you’ll get to see the effects in an unexpected way.
This is a very common issue for gamers since big, powerful components tend to heat up quickly, but not all gaming laptops have the cooling necessary to keep them in check.
Undervolting with MSI Afterburner will reduce your temperatures significantly, depending on how much you decide to take it.
I’ve seen this help people make significant differences in the temperature by keeping their temps from reaching dangerous levels.
Hopefully, Why Is My Graphics Card So Hot you were able to get your GPU temperatures lower after reading our tips.
As long as you can keep your graphics card running between 70 and 80 degrees Celsius under load, that is considered pretty good for intense gaming.
Of course, if you can get it to go any lower, it doesn’t hurt to have a graphics card that runs below 70 degrees Celsius while under heavy load.
I suggest to you that you start with some of the easier ones and work your way up to more complex fixes as some of the more technical ones can take longer and cause bigger problems if done incorrectly.
I know it may be difficult to know where to start, but we have included several guides for all of these methods, which you can follow carefully to good effect.
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Hello, My name is Shari & I am a writer for the ‘Outlook AppIns’ blog. I’m a CSIT graduate & I’ve been working in the IT industry for 3 years.