You are likely into gaming and PC parts, leading you to stumble across this article. One of the most significant parts of a computer is the video card, handling all graphics-related processes. As such, it typically runs hot. Just like other electronic components, there are too hot and normal temperatures.
Suppose you ever notice your machine crash or a performance decrease. In that case, it might be an overheating issue with the Graphics Processing Unit or GPU. Suppose it is running too hot all the time. In that case, it will be detrimental to your computer’s performance and reduce your unit’s lifespan.
In this article, we will be going through the ideal temperature ranges for your GPU, keeping it healthy and safe from damage.
Why is my Computer Fan so Loud?
Your computer will process and respond as one unit. When a component gets too warm, it triggers a signal to your computer fans to increase its revolutions per minute (RPM). It causes it to be louder than usual. There are also cases when heat is not the reason for a noisy fan. It could either be defective or have collected too much dirt.
The fans speed up to drive hot air away from your computer so cold air can normalize the heat. Below are some reasons for the fans to kick into action:
- Your fans are defective – Anything with moving parts will wear down eventually. The same goes for your computer fans. If these run noisy and loud, there could be moving or loose parts. If not, there could be something wrong with the firmware. It could cause it to run weirdly. You will have to find out the issue’s root cause before determining the next steps.
- There is too much load on your CPU – It is not all the time the fans are at fault. If there is a running program taking up too many resources, it could easily bump your fans to the max level. It could be very bad in the long run. If it is randomly making noise, it indicates high CPU usage.
- No proper air ventilation – Heat ventilation in a desktop and laptop are very different. Let’s dig into it one by one. For desktop computers, the chassis typically has at least two fans. When there is no proper ventilation that brings hot air out and cold air inside, it could cause a spike in temperature. On the other hand, laptop computers are quite different. Air passes through the laptop’s bottom, which you may block when placing it on your lap or some surfaces.
- The fans are dirty – When there is dust building up around, it could prevent air from passing through without obstruction. It could render ineffectiveness, causing loud noises. To keep it from happening, you need to clean it regularly.
Is a Loud Computer Fan Bad?
A loud noise indicates an issue with your system, which is not good. If it persists for an extended period, the issue may be serious and could need immediate action. Its job is to keep the components inside running at normal temperature. Excessive noise indicates they are overworking.
Fans cannot always bring the heat levels down to normal temperature. You will likely start experiencing performance issues with your device when it operates beyond the normal range for an extended period.
First, your Central Processing Unit (CPU) will regulate its performance to lower heat output. With that, you will notice a significant drop in performance and speed. Second, your GPU will also throttle its performance. When gaming, you will encounter performance lags or issues. They include but are not limited to FPS drop, ghosting, and stuttering.
When it gets too hot, performance throttling no longer works. Your CPU will shut down to prevent damages from happening. The entire system will follow through, resulting in a blue screen of death.
You may also experience issues while booting up your systems, such as an infinite reboot series or a black start screen. If you think the fans are too loud, start troubleshooting immediately or take it to the nearest service center.
Normal & Safe GPU Temperatures while Gaming
The most popular GPU brands are AMD and Nvidia, each having a similar set of normal temperature ranges. Further classifications come into models, with Nvidia having the GTX and RTX series and AMD having the RX series.
There is no exact answer to what temperature a GPU should be running at while playing games. This value varies. Certain factors influence temperature variation, such as make and model. Moreover, every computer game has a specific minimum and recommended graphics card requirements when gaming. To set an example, your video card’s heat levels when playing Minecraft is not the same as when you are playing Apex Legends or Valorant.
Even if two video cards have similar specifications but come from different brands, there will be differences in operating temperature. It is best to check the manufacturer’s official website to get accurate answers. For example, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super has a maximum operating temperature of 93 C. On the other hand, the AMD Radeon RX 6600 can operate up to 100 C without issues.
Most experts believe that temperatures ranging from 90 C to 105 C are normal, depending on specifications. As a general rule of thumb, lower operating temperatures are always better.
What is a Good CPU Temperature?
Whether you have an Intel or AMD processor, the temperature threshold varies. 75 C to 80 C is the optimal temperature these days when gaming. It can sometimes potentially run hotter, such as overclocking or during long gaming sessions.
These levels are less than what was normal a few years back. Why? Because modern architecture draws most of the work from the GPU instead of the CPU. As a result, the graphics card drives the power you see when playing. Before the shift in architecture, games heavily relied on the CPU for processing.
Idle GPU Temperature
Each manufacturer has its range of idle GPU temperatures. It should generally be between 40 C to 60 C when idle. There should be no problem if your video card runs along these temperatures.
Some manufacturers rate their GPUs between 35 C to 55 C, while others rate them between 50 C to 65 C. It is important to double-check your specifications.
How to Lower GPU Temperature?
There are a few things you can do or observe to lower the heat levels of your GPU, especially when you are gaming. Here are a few things you can practice or when to lower your temperature.
Disable any overclocking you set with your system.
Overclocking makes your GPU run at a higher speed, consuming more power and producing more heat. If your system runs stable, it should be fine. Otherwise, disable any overclocking settings.
Control GPU Fan Speed
Set your Graphics Card to Low-Power Mode
Undervolting is when you set your GPU at a low-power mode. In effect, you will experience lower performance and speed. But it may stabilize and lower the temperature.
Clean the Graphics Card Using Compressed Air
If you have been using your GPU for a few years, it is likely dirty. Using compressed air, you can clean it safely and with precision. Make sure your system is off and unplugged.
What Causes High GPU Temperature?
There are several reasons why your GPU temperatures are over the normal range. Below are some of the common reasons.
Cable Management is Poor
In earlier times, cable management does not exist. It may be because components back then are not as demanding as they are now.
It is vital to fix your cable for maximum airflow and efficiency now. If air is blocked or does not flow well inside the case, it will impact your system’s operating temperatures. It gets worst during the summertime when the ambient air is naturally warm.
Regardless you are building a budget or a high-end rig, always properly do your cable management. If you do it right, you will see an improvement in your system’s performance.
In all honesty, how often do you check and clean your system? It is unlikely you have, leading to dust building up all over your PC, contributing to one of the major causes of high heat levels.
If you do not clean it, dust will accumulate in your components. When it becomes too thick, it will affect the airflow. It leads to inefficient internal cooling. Dust buildup can be annoying and tedious to clean as you can find it everywhere, even at the tightest parts.
Using compressed air is the best, easiest solution to address this issue. A vacuum may be able to reach some parts. For hard-to-reach places, use compressed air. Before cleaning, bring your case outside or in an open space.
Lack of Cooling Fans or Poor Airflow
Improving your overall airflow system is the easiest way to address high heat levels.
Have at least one outtake and one intake fan to promote a natural flow throughout your chassis as you set up your airflow system. You can add more fans as desired, depending on the capacity. In most cases, intake fans are in front. Outtake fans are at the back and on top.
The Surroundings are Humid
The ambient temperature is an important area when dealing with heat. Maybe you live in a tropical country and get sunny, warm days throughout the year. Your GPU will run hotter than those living in colder countries.
You cannot change ambient temperature easily. The best you can do is position your setup in an air-conditioned environment. You can also invest in a water-cooling system for your CPU and GPU.
Apply New Thermal Paste
You can find the thermal paste between your cooling system and your CPU and GPU. We recommend changing it at least once every six months to get the best performance. If unsure, consult an expert or bring your PC to the nearest service center. Incorrect applications may cause you problems.
Here’s the absolutely best thermal paste for your needs.
Overclocking will boost your GPU and CPU performance, but it can increase your internal temperatures. Overclocking pushes the components to their limits, resulting in higher heat levels.
Some models have a built-in overclocking profile, pushing the unit automatically to its limits. The user has an option to override via the BIOS.
Best GPU Coolers
Nvidia and AMD have long been at the forefront of manufacturing graphics cards, with the former dominating the market. In recent years, AMD has caught up. However, the cooling system that comes out of the box doesn’t always work well. These manufacturers need to introduce a more efficient cooling system to reduce heat levels.
Until then, third-party GPU coolers are the way to go for your cooling needs. The maximum temperature we recommend is 95 C. Any value beyond this may cause long-term, permanent damage to your unit. The most optimal gaming temperature is 85 C, even if some manufacturers rate it higher.
The Kraken X53 RGB 240mm and NZXT Kraken G12 are the most recommended coolers. We will go over these items more in the following section.
NZXT Kraken X53 RGB
If you are an enthusiast, you might have already heard of NZXT. It is popular for its all-in-one (AIO) liquid cooling systems. The Kraken AIO has three series – Z, X, and M. If on a budget, the M series is for you. For performance and an affordable price, the X series is for you. The Z series is its premium lineup, featuring exceptional cooling performance.
Check it out below.
The Kraken X53 RGB belongs to the X series. It comes with a 7th generation Asetek pump and dual RGB fans. It works well with AMD or Intel processors but is pricier than its competition. The X53 has the smallest radiator among the X series. It should handle up to an AMD Ryzen 7 or Intel Core i7 processor. The 240mm radiator should be enough to handle a high-end PC build. If you want to overclock, we do not recommend the X53.
You will get the following items in the package:
- Radiator and pump
- Mounting brackets
- Two P120 fans with RGB
- Other small accessories and wirings
The RGB lights are managed through CAM software. You can find them in the two fans. There are several lighting effects choices. Copper and plastic make up the CPU block and pump, while aluminum for the radiator. The 7th generation Asetek pump is inside the CPU block, allowing a much more efficient cooling at minimal noise.
Consider buying the NZXT Kraken X53 to overclock your CPU (low to mid-tier) and CPU that runs cooler. You should not buy it if your case does not support a 2400 radiator or struggle with airflow. Maybe you don’t want direct control over the fans and do not want to use the CAM software. If so, look for a different option.
- 7th-gen Asetek pump
- 240 radiator has great performance
- The LCD screen on the CPU block
- A little bit pricier than its competition
- No direct control over the fans
NZXT Kraken G12
The NZXT Kraken G12 promises a 40% increase in cooling performance over the stock cooler. Inside the box, you will find an installation guide. There is also the cooler, mounting screws, brackets, and radiator.
Here’s the NZXT Kraken G12.
In terms of aesthetics, there is not much to see. The panel has two large holes for mounting a 92mm fan. The NZXT logo is stenciled on the bracket’s opposite side and has ventilation holes. It could be an issue for those who do not like to have warm air dumping back into the case.
Installing the G12 is easy. The instruction guide comes with a 10-step manual that is effective. We recommend downloading it from NZXT’s website for the most updated version.
- Effective and simple design
- The official instruction guide provides enough details for an easy installation.
- Some issues with the VRM temperatures for prolonged usage
How to Check GPU Temperature
Monitoring this temperature is easy. You will only need to download any software that can monitor GPU temperatures, such as GPU-Z or CPU Temp. MSI Afterburner also works. After installation, configure it with the correct settings.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions. They include good GPU temperature ranges, and what’s too hot while gaming to keep your system safe.
Your graphics card should not go above 80 C or 176 F.
Generally, it is not safe. However, you can confirm the normal operating temperatures of your specific GPU card with the manufacturer.
There are several ways to diagnose and fix a noisy computer fan. The most common way is to clean the computer fans.
A healthy CPU temperature is between 70 C to 80 C or 158 F to 176 F.