So, how hot is too hot for a GPU? How can you prevent overheating moving forward? The GPU’s temperature will vary depending on the load it takes up, and protecting the graphics processing unit will depend on the type of GPU you’ve got.
The normal operating temperature will typically lie between 65 to 85 degrees Celsius or 149 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit under normal load. For example, AMD GPUs such as AMD Radeon RX 6000 can remain safe while heating up to 110 degrees celsius.
An average GPU will throttle or struggle to maintain performance at 80 to 85 degrees celsius. Moreover, it is a bad idea to let your GPU temperature reach over 90 degrees celsius because it can cause the GPU to downclock. Downclocking is the process that compensates for overheating by lowering the working capacity of the GPU.
What happens if GPU temperature spikes
Today, most graphics cards have been designed to tolerate high temperatures and provide high performance that lasts a long time. However, you do not need to worry when your GPU downclocks. The best thing to do is reduce the load on it and let the cooling system do its job.
If your GPU temperature continues to rise or spikes too much, you can rest assured that the downclocking feature will kick in and prevent the GPU from frying itself. The longer you use the GPU at higher loads, the more it will heat up. The GPU speed will slow down when the heat reaches a safety limit.
The GPU will then maintain enough speed to continue performing without overheating itself again. When the GPU reaches a normal temperature, it will function at its normal speeds.
How to Protect Graphics Card from Overheating
It helps take precautionary measures to prevent your GPU from overheating and frying beyond repair. Follow these steps to keep your GPU temp in check at all times.
- You should always allow proper airflow into your PC or laptop. Your PC fans should not face a wall, and if you have a gaming laptop, invest in laptop cooling stands. If your equipment does not easily access cool wind, the air cooling system will be ineffective, and hot air will build up inside.
- You could invest in a third-party cooling system if your PC is built. It can also help use a third-party tool such as heat monitoring software.
- Making a routine of applying high-quality thermal paste can be a great way to maintain your GPU performance.
- A high-quality heat sink can make a huge difference and keep your important components cool during intense tasks. It is also important to ensure that the heat sink is working perfectly when using your PC.
- Regularly clean your gaming setup with a hand vacuum or a air duster. It will remove excess dirt and prevent dust buildup from clogging your airflow cooling system. Dust can also cause avoidable overheating and damage.
- You can invest in additional GPU fans to promote effective cooling. If you do not have liquid cooling systems, a PCI fan card or a GPU cooler can be good to stop overheating issues.