Correct adjustment of a computer’s cooling system is not as simple as it might seem. It is important to understand that absolutely all computer components (from the central processor to the hard drive) need a proper cooling. Even the graphics card which has it’s own separate cooler (and sometimes several coolers) requires a correct air circulation in the system unit. But the wrong air circulation is not the only reason for the graphic card to overheat. It can be many reasons for this to happen and we will consider them all within the framework of this article.
Table of contents: 1. Which temperature of the video card is considered normal 2. Video card is strongly overheated: what should i do - Cooler clogging - Bad air circulation inside the casing - Thermal paste dried out
Which temperature of the video card is considered normal
Before talking about the video card overheating we need to determine which temperature can be considered a permissible maximum. In order to find out the temperature of the video card chip, you can use various special applications, like: Speccy, GPU Temp, GPU-Z and many others.
Temperature that the programs listed above will determine is simply a figure that does not tell much to the average user. The question is which temperature is considered a permissible maximum for the video card. There are a lot of different opinions, but you can definitely say that the graphic card temperature may go pretty much higher than the temperature of a central processor.
NVIDIA and AMD themselves are stating that the maximum temperature of their video cards is about 105 degrees Celsius. This figure is relevant for most video card models, but still there are some exceptions.
If the temperature of the video card exceeds the allowed maximum, the device will start missing beats and eventually will be forced to slow down. In a situation where such measures do not help to cool the graphics card, a forced reboot will occur.
But we must keep in mind that 105 degrees Celsius is a maximum possible, but not desirable temperature. It is much better if the video card temperature does not exceed 95 degrees Celsius even when it’s fully loaded. Some graphic cards can operate normally only at a temperature of 30-60 degrees Celsius.
Video card is strongly overheated: what should i do
If the video card is overheated and there are problems with skipping frames or automatic rebooting, it is a sign that this problem has to be solved urgently. Here are the most common reasons for the video card to overheat and the most effective solutions.
The most common cause of the graphic card overheating is poor cooling. Most often, the cooler does not work properly because of the large amount of dirt accumulated in it. In this situation, to restore the normal operation of the cooler, it is going to be enough just to clean it.
To clean the video card cooler, you need to turn off the computer and disconnect the system unit from the power supply. Next, you need to remove the video card from the motherboard and clean the cooler. Some graphic cards have coolers that are quite easy to remove, so it will be very easy to clean them. If you can not remove the cooler, use any kind of toothbrush or piece of cloth to clean it.
All the above recommendations are only relevant if the cooler operates. If it does not rotate while the computer is running, it indicates it’s failure and the need for repair or replacement.
Bad air circulation inside the casing
Often, computer users do not even think about how the air inside the system unit will circulate. They act on the principle “the more coolers i have, the better is the cooling”, but this is not always the case. It is important that the cooler’s air streams do not overlap each other. If this happens, the video card will heat much more and much faster than with the proper cooling. Make sure that the coolers installed inside the system unit are providing correct air circulation. Usually, cold air is taken from the bottom of the system unit, and the hot air comes out at the top of it. If the hot air “stucks” at the video card area, it may easily overheat the device.
Thermal paste dried out
For many people it is quite surprising to find out that there is a thermal paste in the video card. Despite the fact that when installing the video card in the system unit, there is no need to smear thermal paste, there is some on the chip. Over time, the thermal paste may dry out. This will cause the chip to overheat.
In this situation, you will need to purchase thermal paste and replace it on a graphics card chip. It is important to properly remove the cooler from the chip and put it back, without damaging the chip.
Experts recommend that you replace the thermal paste in your video card every 2-3 years.