How To Monitor Your GPU Temperature

Keeping your GPU temperature in check is the key to getting the best visual performance out of your graphics card. Here's how you monitor it.

Your GPU temperature getting too high can be a sign of more serious problems developing under the hood.

Therefore, it’s crucial to keep that in check, especially when your GPU is placed under a lot of strain, for example, when running resource-heavy games. Here’s how to monitor your GPU temperature.

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Why Is It Important To Monitor Your GPU Temperature?

There are different reasons why you might need to monitor your GPU temperature, but they all boil down to the same old goal: getting the best performance.

Related:Best GPU Temperature For Gaming

Overclocking

If you have tried overclocking your GPU, you will need to keep a close eye on the temperature that your graphics card’s slightly increased clock is producing. Keeping the temperature of the GPU in that sweet spot is a necessity when overclocking it.

Today, graphics card manufacturers are well aware of the overclocking community among gamers. This has led to them carefully designing their graphics cards to accommodate overclocking while also keeping their product’s integrity intact.

A key thing you will need to consider when overclocking your GPU is the possible need for additional cooling. This is the key to keeping your GPU running at an optimal temperature. If you’re experiencing overheating, this is probably the first thing you should consider in order to fix the problem.

Playing Resource-Heavy Games

Cyberpunk 2077

Even if you’re simply playing a game with higher-quality graphics for a longer period of time, it could place a strain on the GPU. This, in turn, can lead to more severe problems.

The key here is knowing how well your graphics card can handle the load. In many situations, your GPU will fulfill the minimum system requirements or even recommended system requirements but might still have trouble running the game at higher graphical settings for a few hours.

Related:How To Check If Your PC Can Run A PC Game

Depending on how long you ignore the obvious problems while playing (such as stuttering or beeping from inside the PC case), you could end up with different levels of damage. Fortunately, most modern GPUs are built in a way that prevents the graphics card from suffering physical damage by turning it off before things get too heated.

On the other hand, that doesn’t stop other related hardware from malfunctioning. Also, the GPU shutting off when hitting dangerous temperatures doesn’t completely prevent it from being damaged. Ignoring the problem and having the GPU shut off multiple times can eventually wreck the card and leave you looking for a replacement.

Best Ways To Monitor Your GPU Temperature

As mentioned earlier, an overheating GPU can cause some serious issues. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to keep an eye on the GPU temperature and ensure that it doesn’t cross that dangerous threshold.

Each of these options has its own pros and cons and we hope to teach you these well enough to make an informed decision.

Manufacturer-Specific Software

Both AMD and NVIDIA have companion software for their graphics cards. This is mostly used for tasks such as keeping your drivers up to date and enabling some additional performance-enhancing features specific to the respective brand.

Both NVIDIA and AMD have bundled an overclocking tool together with the drivers (you will need GeForce Experience for NVIDIA GPUs).

AMD’s solution allows the user to adjust the fan speeds, clock speeds, and power delivery. There is also the option for automatic overclocking.

NVIDIA was a bit late to the party and their OC tool still isn’t as good as AMD’s. There is an ‘Automatic Tuning‘ option to automatically overclock the GPU clock speeds, but there’s no option to do it yourself.

As both companies have delivered some kind of overclocking tool with their drivers, they have also added a feature for performance monitoring.

radeon overlay
Performance Monitoring on AMD cards

Both monitoring tools deliver plenty of information, including fan RPM, memory clock, GPU clock, temperature, etc. If you need even more data than that, you should consider third-party software.

Third-Party Solutions

With technological developments, there were unsurprisingly many enthusiastic people willing to learn all the ins and outs of how a PC works. Thanks to those people, we first saw component monitoring software, some of which are still in use today.

Disclaimer: Most of these tools will include some other functions, enabling you to monitor other parts of your PC, which is always a plus.

HWiNFO

HWiNFO has to be the best of the bunch, considering you can get temperature readings on almost every component in your computer. This includes everything from your GPU to your drives.

Additionally, there is an option to oversee clock speeds, voltage, and even your RAM timings. It is also customizable, so you can easily remove the sensors you aren’t interested in.

That’s not all. Add-ons are also available for HWiNFO, for example, an add-on to use Riva Tuner’s, MSI Afterburner’s, or EVGA Precision’s On-Screen Display tool. There are many more add-ons for extra information and features.

Open Hardware Monitor

Open Hardware Monitor

This tool is another old-school looking piece of software but is just as reliable as the first one. Like HWMonitor, it can also keep your RAM in check but, most importantly in today’s context, it allows you to manually adjust the fan speed.

This is quite useful as the fan speed isn’t always automatically adjusted when the card is placed under more strain. At the cost of extra electricity, you can crank up those RPMs and enjoy a smooth gaming experience.

SpeedFan

SpeedFan

Continuing the theme of old-school software, SpeedFan is another reliable solution. In addition to the standard monitoring of voltage, fan speed, and temperature, it can adjust the RPM of fans as well as help to reduce the noise.

MSI Afterburner

MSI Afterburner

It’s impossible to discuss hardware monitoring software without mentioning MSI Afterburner.

This tool is the perfect solution for measuring the performance of your GPU while you’re playing a game, as it features a nifty overlay that tells you exactly how hot your GPU temperature is.

msi afterburner overlay

You obviously won’t want to run every game constantly with this overlay, but it’s a great solution for a stress test that can help you either adjust your in-game settings or fan speed, something MSI Afterburner can also help with.

HWMonitor

HWMonitor

HWMonitor is a relatively old tool but is still incredibly reliable. In addition to the ability to monitor your GPU temperature, HWMonitor can also help you keep an eye on voltages and fan speed of other PC hardware such as the CPU, hard drive and the motherboard.

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Aleksandar Cosic
Aleksandar Cosic

Alex is a Computer Science student and a former game designer. That has enabled him to develop skills in critical thinking and fair analysis. As a CS student, Aleksandar has very in-depth technical knowledge about computers, and he also likes to stay current with new technologies.