GPU Overheating

GPU Overheating? 11 Methods To Lower Temps in 2023

GPUs can overheat and cause your device to shut down or perform poorly due to thermal throttling. This issue can be caused by various factors, such as dust accumulation in the cooling system, inadequate airflow around the GPU, and many other reasons that we will discuss thoroughly in this guide.

Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure your graphics card does not overheat and continues to function properly.

In this guide, you will find all the possible ways to stop your graphics card from overheating and bring it back to its glory days.

GPU overheating? ALL Possible Ways to lower Temps

What temperatures are considered high on GPUs?

GPU temperatures are considered high when they exceed 80-85°C while gaming or using demanding graphic applications.

Additionally, a good indication that your GPU is overheating is its idle temperatures. For example, if you are browsing the internet and your graphics card temperature is over 65°C, that means that is something wrong with it.

How To Lower Temps and Fix an Overheating GPU.

Below we’ll explore some of the most effective techniques for reducing GPU temperatures, including optimizing fan speeds, applying thermal paste, adjusting power settings, undervolting and more.

By following these tips, you can keep your GPU running cool and stable, even during the most demanding workloads.

1 – Cap your FPS in-game. (Applies to specific games only)

The easiest thing you can try is to limit the frames per second(FPS) your game can reach. If your in-game FPS limiter is set to unlimited, you can try and lock it to your monitor’s refresh rate, and if that doesn’t help, try to lock your FPS to 60.

Once you do that, monitor the temperatures of your graphics card and see if there is any difference.

A laptop with locked FPS to 29.

2 – Lower the graphics settings. (Applies to specific games only)

Lowering the graphics settings will reduce the workload on your GPU and help it stay cooler.

Start by setting all of the in-game options to their lowest value and then increase them one by one until you find a balance between performance and temperature.

For example, if reducing the resolution doesn’t help, try lowering and disabling other settings such as anti-aliasing, texture filtering, shadows, and reflections.

It is important to note that lowering the graphics settings will reduce the visual quality of the game, but it will help to keep your GPU cooler and prevent thermal throttling.

Two gamers are watching a  gaming monitor.

3 – Fix the Airflow of your case.

Good airflow is critical to keeping your GPU and other components cool. Poor air circulation in a PC case will lead to high temperatures on your graphics card and on every other hardware component.

To have good airflow you need two basic things. One is a way to input fresh air in the case and the other is a way to output the hot air from your PC. Having enough fans in the right places to push the hot air out of the case and bring in cooled air from outside the case is critical.

To achieve this, you can add an intake fan at the front of your case and an exhaust fan at the rear or top.

I see this often with my clients that they will have, for example, 5-7 fans on their PC, and all of them are bringing air in the case, and none is outputting the hot air resulting in overheating issues.

Below I created an image to demonstrate two different scenarios with the same exact setup of fans. As you can see on the left build, we have four intake fans and two exhaust fans. On the right one, all fans bring in fresh air, but the hot one has no way to get out, so it’s a never-ending cycle.

A photo showing two PC Cases with the same cooling setup, but some fans are pointing on different directions. The left side is the correct airflow for gaming PC since it has input and output fans and the right one is wrong since all the fans are bringing in air without an exaust.

4 – Increase GPU fan speeds.

Most modern GPUs have some kind of automatic fan control that will adjust the fan speed based on temperature. The default fan configurations are based on keeping your graphics card quiet instead of cool, so I highly recommend you change the speed settings.

Increasing the fan speed can help significantly lower GPU temperatures, allowing more air to pass over the heat sink and cool the card. However, increasing fan speed also increases noise levels, so consider that when deciding how high to set your fan speed.

How to Increase Fans Speed on AMD GPUs

  • Right-click on your Desktop, and choose “AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition”.
  • Look for the ‘Performance’ tab and then click on it.
  • Click on the ‘Tuning’ tab from the top of the menu.
  • Choose ‘Custom’, and Enable ‘Fan Tuning

Now you can either go full speed at all times, or you can copy my fan configuration below, which is pretty balanced in order to keep your card as cool as possible while not sounding like an F-16.

Best FAN curve to keep any AMD Card cool.

How to Increase Fans Speed on NVidia GPUs

  • Download and MSI Afterburner.
  • Run it and go to the ‘Fan Tuning’ tab.

Now you can either go full speed at all times, or you can copy my fan configuration below, which is pretty balanced in order to keep your GPU as cool as possible.

Best FAN curve to keep any NVidia card cool

5 – Revert or Adjust your graphics card overclock.

Overclocking can potentially increase your GPU’s performance but also lead to higher temperatures. If you have overclocked your GPU, then you should try and revert or adjust the settings to lower your card’s temperatures.

The first thing you should do is check what clock speeds and voltages your GPU is running at.

Once you know what your current settings are, you can start to adjust them.

The best way to lower temperatures is to reduce the voltage as much as possible while allowing the GPU to run at its highest clocks. This will reduce your graphics card’s power usage and thermal output while keeping the same and even better performance.

If you can’t get your graphics card to run stable with a lower voltage, then you can try reducing the core clock and memory clock speeds instead. Lowering these settings will reduce power usage and thermal output but also reduce performance.

You can also follow my guides on how to properly overclock your GPU.

6 – Undervolt your Graphics Card

Undervolting a GPU is a process of reducing the voltage supplied to the graphics card, which in turn lowers its power consumption and heat output. This can help reduce temperatures significantly while keeping performance levels on par with stock settings or even higher.

The main benefits of undervolting your GPU include increased performance, lower power usage, and lower temperatures.

If you need help with undervolting your card, you can follow my guide on how to properly undervolt your GPU.

7 – Limit the power that your graphics card draws.

One way to reduce your GPU’s power draw is to limit its maximum power output. This can be done using a tool such as MSI Afterburner or AMD Radeon Software, which allows you to set a max power limit for your GPU.

Setting a lower power limit will reduce the amount of heat generated by the GPU and help keep temperatures down. It will also reduce power consumption, which is beneficial if you’re trying to lower your electricity bill.

However, limiting your GPU’s power output will also reduce performance. So it’s important to experiment and find a balance between power consumption, temperatures, and performance that works for you.

How to limit power draw on AMD GPUs

  • Right-click on your Desktop, and choose “AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition”.
  • Look for the ‘Performance’ tab and then click on it.
  • Click on the ‘Tuning’ tab from the top of the menu.
  • Choose ‘Custom’, and Enable ‘Power Tuning
  • Take the slider all the way on the left side to lower the power draw of your GPU as much as possible.

How to limit power draw on NVidia GPUs

  • Open MSI Afterburner and on the right side you will see the ‘Power Limit’ option.
  • Start decreasing it and each time you decrease it by 10%, do a stress test and see if your temps are better.
MSI afterburner

8 – Check if all the fans are working

It’s important to make sure all of your GPU fans are working properly in order to keep the temperatures low. To check if all fans are working correctly, you can use a tool such as MSI Afterburner, GPU-Z, or HWinfo.

I would personally recommend that you check your fans physically as well and make sure they are all working. Just open the PC case, and take a close look and ensure that all of them are working correctly.

GPU Fans

9 – Cleanup Dust

Dust can build up inside the case over time, clogging up the fans and cooling components and leading to overheating issues.

The best way to clean dust from your GPU is to power down the computer before starting. Then, open the PC case and inspect all of the components inside. Use a vacuum cleaner or air compressor to clean out any dust that has built up on the GPU fan, heatsink, and other components.

You can also use a compressed air can to blow away the dust from hard-to-reach spots.

Dust on PC.

10 – Reinstall a different driver(Rare)

Even though it’s very rare for a driver to cause significant issues with temperatures, some drivers may be bugged or corrupted.

If you’re experiencing increased temps in games or applications even after following the above tips, then updating your GPU driver or going back to an older version may help resolve the issue.

NVidia drivers download page.

11 – Replace thermal paste

I left this as the final step if all the above didn’t work because it’s the hardest and most time-consuming.

If everything above fails to lower your GPU temperatures, then you may need to replace the thermal paste between the GPU and its heatsink. This is a relatively simple process; however, depending on your experience and how comfortable you are with touching your PC components, it will require time, effort, and being super careful.

You can use a thermal compound such as Arctic Silver 5 or Noctua NT-H1 to replace your old thermal paste with a fresh layer. Make sure that you apply a thin, even layer of thermal paste to the GPU die and spread it properly. Then, carefully reattach the cooling fan back in place so that it doesn’t come off during use.

Replacing your thermal paste will improve the heat transfer between the GPU and heatsink, leading to lower temperatures. Be sure to follow all safety guidelines while doing this, and make sure to follow a guide on Youtube from someone that knows what he is doing.

Showing how to replace thermal paste on GPU.

After replacing the thermal paste, monitor your GPU temps to check if they have improved. If not, then it may be time to consider sending your GPU back for a checkup for hardware damage.

That concludes our guide on how to reduce the temperatures of your GPU.

If you have any other tips, let us know in the comments section below!

Good luck, and stay cool!

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