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The Ultimate Guide to GPU Temperature

Written by September 21, 2019

Intensive graphics processing, such as what’s commonly required for modern gaming applications, often require your machine to run at fairly high temperatures. Components can heat up, and if your P.C. isn’t located in an ideal setting with some good airflow and a cool overall temperature, you might see a steady decrease in the lifespan of your device!

Keep reading to learn more about managing GPU temperature, and making sure you always run at an optimized level for your particular device. When you notice that your hardware is experiencing particularly high temperatures, it’s probably not an indication that something good is going on. However, there are no actual universal GPU values that are acceptable. Graphics cards usually differ because of the building process and design. For this particular reason, their maximum GPU temperatures might differ.

It is actually very important to take the time to learn about this if you are serious about using your computer. You should know about optimal temperature levels in relation to your specific model when it comes to AMD cards in particular, because these have a maximum GPU temp that might range anywhere from 56 to 95 degrees celsius. It really depends on the particular graphics card included. Some cards might have wildly varying values, although others are more closely related. For example, products in the Nvidia range are notable for having values that are much more consistent, when comparing different models in their range. It’s very important to take the time to consult the manual, so you can get a grasp of what to expect, and how to operate your equipment in the safest, best possible way. The maxim GPU temp value should not be reached when your device is idle, but rather when it is under consistent strain and performing demanding tasks.

How can I monitor the GPU temperature?

Thankfully, monitoring GPU temperature levels is a process that’s quite straight-forward. However, different methods might provide different degrees of accuracy. There are two different ways to check o the GPU temperature. It’s possible to achieve that through BIOS, as well as using a specific monitoring software designed for this purpose. In most cases, BIOS is considered a good option to get some overall information – an overview of your GPU temperature, if you will. On the other hand, people who prefer detailed and accurate information often look into one (or more) of the may GPU temperature monitoring software solutions out there. There are many free or paid alternatives on the market, each offering a set of useful tools, some of which might be complete game-changers for you (no gaming pun intended!). Keep reading to learn more about BIOS and GPU monitoring software items, and find out what to expect from either solution.

Using BIOS to monitor GPU heat levels.

Using BIOS is often regarded as the easiest way to check the GPU temperature of your device. After all, it is a readily accessible built-in solution that’s basically at your fingertips. The main hassle with this system is that it is not always immediate to operate, and it does not produce very accurate results. BIOS needs you to restart your P.C., because it cannot properly give you temperature information when the values are under load, due to the way the system is set up. You can definitely use these measurements for a broad reference, and in some cases, it might really be all that you will ever need. However, if you are in need of precise measurements and more detailed data, this method is probably not going to cut it. For people who are looking for better solutions to get accurate temperature information, it’s much better to use temperature monitoring tools.

Specialized GPU temperature monitoring software.

There is an increasingly wide range of software solutions for GPU temperature monitoring currently available on today’s market, with more and more options being added by various companies and developers. Some of these products are free and open-source, while others are paid third party options, and other software again may come bundled up with graphics cards or other products. In most cases, these programs can provide accurate and up-to-date information, and they are easy to read and operate. Keep reading for a list of some of the best GPU temperature monitoring software options on the market today:

OpenHardwareMonitor: This particular application is undoubtedly one of the most popular solutions out there, not only because it is free and completely open-source, but also because it provides so many useful data and information. It can also give you details on the speed of your fan, voltage, and so much more. There is also a really active online community around this particular tool, so it is quite easy to crowd-source support and advice if needed.

SpeedFan: This is very similar to the aforementioned entry, although it offers more expensive detail, as well as being able to access other S.M.A.R.T. data directly from your hard drive. It is one of the most popular options out there because it simply does its job well with no frills and with easy metrics that just tell you whatever you need to know.

Nvidia Control Panel: This utility form Nvidia itself is ideal for the purpose, and it also offers many other tools, useful to monitor GPU temperature.

AMD Catalyst Control Center: This is similar to Nvidia’s software, but it’s AMD’s own take to this innovative control panel application, making it simpler to use and understand under may circumstances.

MSI Afterburner: This is primarily a tool for overclocking. However, it also provides really accurate temperature monitoring features, giving out precise information.

ASUS GPU Tweak: This is yet another overclocking utility, which also specializes in providing excellent GPU temperature readings, with a particular focus on accuracy.

AIDA64: This is widely considered one of the better options out there, as it also offers a wider range of specific system information, not only thermal monitoring and information about GPU temp!

Ungine Heaven: Last, but definitely not least, Ungine Heaven is a really fantastic tool, capable of analyzing the stress on your graphics card as well as providing detailed insights concerning GPU temperature.

At the end of the day, each solution provides its pros and cons, and it is definitely up to you to determine which would suit your particular scenario in the best way. These applications can help you understand the exact values of your GPU temperature, so you can get to know more about your idle and average operational temperature. The best way to measure idle values is usually to do so just a couple of minutes after booting up your system and making sure that there is no application of software currently taking up so much space.

What should you do if the temperature is just too high?

At times, you might find that your device’s GPU temperature is far above what would normally be considered an acceptable value for your particular device. Keep reading to learn more about what to do if this seems to be the case.

Getting rid of dust and keeping your device clean.

Cleanliness is not just a matter of having your gear looking pretty and nice. It’s really about functionality more so than anything else! In particular, dust can be a huge hassle, and in the long run, it can chew away at the quality of the performance of your devices and decrease their ability to process within the equipment’s recommended standards of GPU temp. Dust is the enemy, and as you know, it never rests. Dusting the shelves and corners of your homes is an ongoing chore, and in some environments, dust can be truly relentless. In addition to pet hair and other debris, dust can actually be quite a threat to your devices. Over time, there might be a lot of dust and particles built up, seeping in through the various openings in your computers. When your fans have to work through years of collected dust and cat hair, for example, they’ll struggle to perform as best as possible, and as a result, your GPU might fall above recommended values. To avoid overheating, make sure that you clean the dust off of your devices as regularly as possible. Cleaning dust from your computer can be quite difficult, but it is not impossible, and you can achieve excellent results with regular tools and without a specific technical background or specialized tools. All you might need is an air compressor with moderate strength. Aim the airflow at the fan openings of your computer and try and get the dust off. Make sure not to be too close to your device when you do this because some air compressors are so powerful they could actually damage or misplace some of the inner components of your computer. In addition to that, you can also use brushes and tiny specialized computer vacuum cleaner to remove dust around and under each key on your keyboard. In fact, the keyboard is yet another place from when dust can creep into your device. If you feel like your computer actually needs a really in-depth cleaning session, you can also remove the chassis and carefully processed to remove dust and other debris. If you choose to do this on your own, please be advised that you need to be really careful, especially if you’re working on a laptop.

The best thing you can do for your computer (and probably from most of your electronic devices where dust can creep in) is to keep them clean on a regular basis, reducing the possibility of dust build-up and other harmful debris that might clog and clutter your

Manage your cables and check them regularly.

One of the most underestimated aspects of heat dissipation is actually cable management. In fact, cables that aren’t properly laid out can impair proper heat dissipation, causing some build-up in critical areas, and possibly even blocking the airflow that would be vital to maintain optimal GPU temperature.

Make sure that the airflow is good

There is a reason why your computer is built with fans and openings: let them breathe and give them enough room! Some people try to cram as much equipment and gear as possible within a very short space, or perhaps they place their computers in furniture and bookshelves where they’re all closed in, without any proper airflow whatsoever. This could be a really bad mistake, and it is usually one of the most common reasons why your devices might be building up significant extra heat, in addition to dust, which is another leading cause of abnormal GPU heat levels on most devices, especially when they are a bit older and haven’t been properly taken care of. It is of the utmost importance to make sure that you keep the airflow stable and free in order to avoid excessive GPU temperatures. Try rearranging your space and how you organize your stuff, and you might experience a radical change, in some scenarios!

Some people actually set up their devices in less than optimal situations, blocking the airflow that would normally be quite necessary.

One of the most underestimated aspects of heat dissipation is actually cable management. Some people aren’t even aware of this, and they don’t understand that a spider web of cable leaning against your computer can (and does) affect the heat levels coming in and out. This means that heat from the processing is trapped in, and cooling from the outside can’t easily reach the insides of the device, where it could actually soften the blow of heat coming from processing. In fact, cables that are not properly laid out have the potential to impair proper heat dissipation greatly. This might cause many problems, such as heat build-up in critical areas. Possibly, improperly managed cables could even block the airflow and ventilation openings of your device, which would be vital to maintain optimal GPU temperature.

Pay close attention to components case options, and if needed, consider adding some additional fans for better heat control and dissipation. This is a simple solution to a potentially huge problem, and if you are mindful about your device’s airflow, you’ll be able to achieve significantly better results.

Managing surrounding temperature

One of the most important aspects when it comes to enhancing the lifespan of your devices is to make sure that you operate them in an environment that’s ideal. Technology doesn’t love heat and moisture. Therefore, operating a computer in a room that’s very hot and damp might cause excessive GPU temperatures. If possible, it is really important to regulate the temperature of your room. One of the best ways to achieve that is through using ventilation, or even better, air conditioning and dehumidifiers. If you do live in a region that is known for its hotter climate, it is definitely going to be a worthy investment to consider purchasing an air conditioning unit to regulate further the inner temperature of the room where you are going to operate your particular device.

Changing the GPU cooler.

In some cases, it can be a really good idea to change your stock GPU cooler in favor of an aftermarket part. There are many aftermarket models that offer better performance to value ratio, and what’s intriguing is definitely the fact that it is often a relatively cost-effective modification, which can greatly enhance the lifespan of your device in the long run. There are many options out there if you are keen on purchasing an aftermarket GPU cooler. It’s ultimately a matter of how much you can spend, ad how significant of an upgrade are you looking to enjoy.

Changing the Thermal paste.

Changing the thermal paste is something that should be done pretty regularly, as a good habit. While you probably won’t be able to see night ad day differences with your results, this is definitely another important step forward towards getting better results as a whole.

GPU drivers rollback

Rolling back to original drivers can also be a solution when it comes to maintaining ideal GPU temperatures. The main problem is that some devices might struggle to run modern updates, particularly because older hardware might not be designed to perform with more demanding CPU tasks in mind, thus leading to some major overheating.

Disabling Overclocking

Overclocking can cause some processing stress, thus requiring more resources. In turn, this can always lead to situations when you are likely to experience more heat coming from your devices. One of the things you could try in an effort to minimize your GPU temp and restore it within its regular parameters is to try and disable overclocking. In some cases, this might be a viable option if you can do away with overclocking.

What to do if GPU clock speeds underclock?

In some cases, you might find that the GPU clock actually speeds the underclock. This is quite a rare occurrence that’s not commonly seen, but it can and does occur from time to time. In some cases, it is possible to use overclocking utilities like MSI Aferburner as well as ASUS GPU Tweak, as well as other alternatives, as a way to control GPU clock speed and possibly reduce power consumption in relation to your graphics card.

If all else fails…

If you’ve tried all of the above, but you still feel like there is a GPU temperature problem with your device, the best course of action might be to consult a specialized technician. Experience personnel specialized in computer repair and maintenance might be able to help you pinpoint the root of the issue, and optimize the GPU temperature levels and overall performance of your device. In some cases, a repair shop can lead to an expensive bill. However, you might find that your issue is actually not much of a big hassle to fix, and if your shop is honest and reliable, they’ll be honest about it being an easy thing to fix, resulting in a smaller repair expense. At the end of the day, you might feel more comfortable leaving your computer to a trusted professional, and if you have been struggling to find a solution, this might be what you need to keep things going!

Conclusions and Final Observations.

Most modern games have behemoth graphics and lots of simultaneous tasks to run, especially if you are streaming with multiple platers. Things can get really hot in there, and some components can be permanently damaged in the long run if you don’t do something about the heat problem. The first thing you should ask yourself is: do you actually have a problem? How much heat is too much heat? Over the years, dust and debris might actually contribute to a heat increase in your machines, while poorly positioned devices can also give you a hard time. This article barely scratches the surface in terms of GPU measurements, and all the issues that might be related to it. Thankfully, there are many experts out there who really do have an encyclopedic knowledge of this particular topic, and they are always able to assist with support, advice, and excellent solutions. In addition to that, there are many amazing applications and software tools, which might enable you to make the most out of your device’s performance, so you don’t have to stress about heat problem. A combination of maintaining your devices properly, and taking good care of your room and surrounding temperature will usually go a long way! If you have any further questions or concerns, the web is your friend! There are plenty of online resources, as well as a driven, dedicated community to all things hardware and software to help you with your GPU temperature concerns and needs.

The bottom line is: create the best possible conditions for your devices, keep them clean and dust-free, and you should be able to maintain their effectiveness and high-performance value for some time to come!

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