How To Tell If Your Graphics Card Is Dying?

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how to tell if gpu is dead

Hey, gaming lovers! Are your PC issues increasing day by day? I won’t be lying if I say we all often face glitches and unusual hiccups while playing our favorite video games.

Mostly the problem would go away as soon as you update your RAM, or maybe uninstall a big file, or sometimes get your SSD jump into the game. Still, what would you do if nothing seemed to work?

I have been there, mate, and I know how tough it feels when the hardware guy tells you that your GPU is dead. Not only is it a big loss financially, but it also hurts most of us emotionally, seeing our beloved graphics card lying on the shelf dead.

But guess what? I have come up with a trick to save you all from living through this pain. In this article, I will talk about all the red flags that would tell you your graphic card is dying long before the damage is done.


How Do You Know If Your Graphics Card Is Dying?


From gaming to 3D work, graphic cards are the most important component to take your system to the next level.

But when you talk about the signs of graphic cards dying, you can have many symptoms. If your screen is going black or showing weird artifacts, there’s a possibility that your graphic card is dying.


#1- Graphics Glitches While Playing Games


Are you frustrated with glitches that appear while you’re watching videos or playing games too? You may have noticed weird colors or frame tearing. It happens when the GPU fails to render the graphics correctly.

Graphics Glitches While Playing Games
Image Credits: ThatOneCalledKay

Faulty drivers and a malfunctioning displays are the main culprits that cause such issues. So, always ensure that your games are compatible with the specs of your PC. If you don’t, then you’ll find yourself paying a high price for it.


#2- Loud Fan Noise or Inactive Fan


Many graphics cards contain cooling fans that spin at a higher RPM (rounds per minute) while the GPU is in operation.

So don’t be curious if your computer’s fan is too loud. It is because when the machine grows hotter than usual, the fan rotates at a higher speed to cool down the system.

The bearings in the fans tatter when you put an extra load on your GPU. So, if you are playing more powerful games than your GPU can handle, you will soon find the GPU dead.


#3- Unstable Performance


You all are well aware that a graphics card is meant to keep your frame rate consistent as you operate the PC. Heavy games cause the graphics processor to work under extra load.

It can exploit your graphic card and can damage the performance of your PC, which no one has ever wished for.

When you play games round the clock, it causes overheating, which can affect your system’s performance. Likewise, games not compatible with your GPU may put an extra load on your graphic card.


#4- Blue Screen of Death


When you switch your PC on, and it shows a blue screen, you might get curious. There could be many reasons for it, including different problems with RAM, hard drives, or other components.

Image of Blue Screen of Death In Windows 10

But, when you are enjoying your favorite game (a graphically heavy task), and your screen goes dark, then your graphics card is on its way to dying. It is quite a difficult problem to resolve.


#5- Stumbling


Imagine playing Cyberpunk with your squad, and your monitor starts showing the frame rate drop with motionless images. You wouldn’t tolerate that, right?

Let me tell you; it is because your game is not compatible with the graphics card you’re employing. To overcome this issue, you have to upgrade your GPU over time. Otherwise, it will continue to tease you, causing a worthwhile lag in the game.


#6- Lag or Stuttering


Are you facing the same issue of stuttering while playing games or watching movies? This is due to insufficient FPS (frames per second) or screen freezing, signifying a problem in your graphics card.

Usually, it happens when the card fails to process the current frame before progressing to the next one, causing substantial lag in the game. It shows that your graphics card is on the edge of its death.


#7- Strange Artifacts


Are you guys tired of the glitches or artifacts that appear on your screen? You may have noticed distorted images on your screen. It is also known as a “trash display,” and its function is similar to glitches.

Image of gpu artifacts
Image Credits: Ghoast524

The GPU is accountable for this act. It is responsible for displaying all of it on your monitor. Excessive GPU overclocking, heat and even dust particle accumulation can cause artifacts on your screen.


#8- Driver crashes


It is one of the most tell-tale symptoms of a dying graphic card. If your graphics drivers keep crashing continuously, excessive overclocking and GPU temperature are the main reasons for this issue.

To get rid of constant crashing, you have to keep the drivers up to date. Also, be aware of fraudulent cards that can cause damage to you financially and your GPU as well.


#9- Significant Frame Drops


Are you having these issues with FPS drops (micro stutters) in games? If your game’s frame rate lowers, you will notice stuttering or huge frame drops, which means the action in the game comes much later than it normally would.

GPU drivers are arguably the most common cause of gaming issues. If your graphics card’s drivers aren’t compatible with your operating system, you’ll face a slew of problems.


How To Troubleshoot Or Diagnose A Dying Graphics Card?


I will tell you some life-saving tricks for your expiring graphic cards. If your graphic card has the above-mentioned problems, try doing the following before you go to buy a new card.

Following are some ways to troubleshoot or diagnose a dying graphics card.


#1- Check For Damage Or Debris


Do you know that if debris is present on your indispensable components or your GPU has a withered part, then your GPU is on the edge of its death.

By following a few simple steps, you will be able to troubleshoot this problem.

  • Unfasten your GPU screws.
  • Detach your cable cords, drag the release tab, and bring out your GPU.
  • A vigilant examination is essential to see if the graphics card is damaged or if it is stopped by debris.
  • Clean your GPU using compressed air.
  • If you find any damaged parts, e.g., a fan, replace them with new ones.

Once you are done with cleaning, to be sure, examine your GPU to see whether it is working properly or not.


#2- Cool It Down


There are loud noises coming out of your GPU, especially when you are rendering 3D graphics. It occurs because of overheating your GPU. This overheating is also caused by the dirt and debris piled up on the GPU, which later creates a malfunction.

Image of thermal paste

You could use thermal resistance to overcome this problem. Thermal pastes increase the lifetime of your GPU. Note that it is not necessary that you apply the paste yourself. Take professional help whenever needed.

Another way to overcome overheating in your GPU is detaching the card and blowing it with pressurized air. Various tools are available on the internet to regulate the graphics cards’ speed.


#3- Make Sure It’s Properly Seated


If you want your graphic card to give high-performance output, make sure that your graphic card is installed in the PCI slots appropriately.

Remove it immediately from the slots if it’s not installed properly or you’ve placed it in the wrong slot. Otherwise, it would kill your GPU.

Disconnecting the GPU from motherboard

Check whether there are any dust particles or debris on the connectors. Clean all the connectors with the help of a rubber and reinstall your graphic card appropriately. All the power plugs responsible for operation should be plugged in without any maneuvering room.


#4- Stress Testing The Card


You might have witnessed the overheating problem while playing your favorite (GPU intensive) games, and you want to check your graphic card’s health. To do so, install stress examining software and heat monitoring software.

Both these software work together. Heat software will measure the temperature while stress is being applied by the other software.

If the heating software shows less than 80 Celsius, then your graphics card is still in good condition. But if the meter shows more than 80 degrees Celsius, it means your graphics card is counting its last breaths.


#5- Check The GPU Cable


You might have witnessed some weird visual effects or strange things visually during your game. These are symptoms of contortion in video cables. It can also cause stutters, your pc will lose signals, and eventually, your monitor will turn all black.

Keep an eye on your cables. If you observe any jiggled connections and distortion in the wires, substitute them with the good ones.

In the old generation system, VAGS cable was used. In the upgraded versions, they make use of HDMI and DVI cables. Ensure that you are utilizing the perfect cable according to the port version.


#6- Update or Roll Back Your GPU Drivers


Before jumping to the decision of buying a new graphic card because of unstable performance, give a check to your graphic drivers in the device manager.

Graphics card drivers are changeable, and you should always keep them up-to-date according to your manufacturer.

Rollback the drivers in rtx 3090

You can easily find the well-suited drivers on the company’s websites, like Nvidia, AMD, or Intel. If you still go through the same difficulties, then you might need to uninstall the drivers and install the previous version, which is also available.

Outdated drivers can exhibit some serious issues like overheating because they quickly flame out the cooling components. A wide range of drivers can burn out your GPU.


#7- Replace The Card


If none of the above-mentioned tricks fix your GPU, then it might be withered due to excess heating and overclocking. If you believe that nothing can breathe life into your GPU, you can buy a cheap card and replace it to check if it works.

In that scenario, it is time to bid farewell to your old graphics card and procure a new graphic card with all the latest features.

There are many options, like NVIDIA GeForce 2000 and 3000 series units. If we talk about AMD, it’s also your friend to get the best bang for your buck.

Keeping everything in view, your requirements, future amendments, and the heavy games you want to play, then buy the graphic card.


Final Verdict:

A faulty graphic card will wither, giving you the signs of what is actually killing it. It will allow you to pinpoint the evidence to check if it is repairable or not.

Although the GPU will work in the best way until and unless it shows various serious issues like overheating and unstable performance, thank heavens, there are many ways to diagnose and troubleshoot your graphic card defects and fix them.

If it happens, you can easily take it back to the company for a substitute and get it overhauled by a mediator. If you want to save your precious time, you can also purchase a “hot off the fire” GPU.


Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – How do I check the health of my graphics card?

You can go through different tests to check the life of a graphic card.

  • Check the cooling fan to see whether it is working properly or not.
  • If issues still arise, substitute the thermal paste.
  • Perform load test combined with a temperature of GPU

By performing the above tests, you can have the health results of your graphic cards.

#2 – Do graphics cards wear out?

As you know, graphics cards have so many crucial characteristics and cooling components that prevent them from frying out in the middle of intense gaming sessions.

If the internal components get too hot, cards can flame out, and as a result, the graphic card will breathe its last over time.

#3 – Can a graphics card be repaired?

If your graphics card is diagnosed with basic issues, you can fix them at home while following the above steps.

If your GPU shows different serious bugs like overheating with unstable performance, You can take your graphic card back to the company or to Mediator to get it overhauled.

#4 – How do I know if my GPU is getting enough power?

As your monitor starts showing flashes, dots, or lines, there is a likelihood that the computer’s power supply unit is out of power.

Insufficient power can cause incompatible rendering of screen displays on computers with CPU and graphics cards.

#5 – What is a normal GPU temperature?

Heat software will quantify the temperature, while stress is applied by the stress software. If it shows less than 80 degrees Celsius, then your graphics card is still in good condition.

But if the meter shows more than 80 degrees Celsius, it means your graphics card is counting its last breaths.

#6 – How do I monitor GPU temperature?

You can see your GPU temperature in the Task Manager.

  • To open the task manager, press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC.
  • Then press the “more details” option. Click on the Performance tab.
  • Scroll down on the left side. You will see the GPU and its temperature.
  • You can also check it at the bottom of the GPU page.

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