How To Monitor Your GPU Temperature

Noticing that your GPU temperature is getting too high can be a sign of more serious problems developing under the hood and therefore it is crucial to keep that temperature in check, especially when it’s under a lot of strain

An example of that is playing resource-heavy games.

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Why Is It Important To Monitor Your GPU Temperature?

There are different reasons why you need to monitor your GPU temperature, but they all boil down to the simplest – the need for the best performance.

Related:Best GPU Temperature For Gaming

Overclocking

If you tried overclocking your GPU, you will certainly need to keep a close eye on the temperature the slightly faster clock of your graphics card is producing. In fact, keeping the temperature of the GPU in that sweet spot is necessary when overclocking the GPU.

Nowadays, video card manufacturers are very aware of the overclocking community in the tech world and they carefully design their graphics cards to accommodate them while also keeping their product’s integrity intact.

A key thing you may need to consider when overclocking your GPU is the need for additional cooling. This is they key factor in keeping your GPU running at an optimal temperature and if you experience overheating, this is probably the first place you should look in order to fix the problem.

Playing Resource-Heavy Games

Cyberpunk 2077

Even if you are just simply playing a game with a higher quality of graphics for a longer period of time, it might cause strain on the GPU which can in turn lead to more severe problems.

The key here is knowing just how well your graphics card can handle the load. In many situations, your GPU will fit the minimum system requirements or even recommended system requirements but will 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 (like stuttering or beeping from inside the PC case), you are looking at different levels of damage. Luckily, most modern GPUs are built in such a way that they prevent the graphics card from causing actual physical damage by turning it off before things get too heated.

Of course, that doesn’t stop other related machinery from malfunctioning. Also, the GPU shutting off when hitting dangerous temperatures doesn’t actually completely prevent it from getting damaged. Ignoring the problem and having the GPU shut off on you multiple times can wreck the card and force you to look for a replacement.

Best Ways To Monitor Your GPU Temperature

Overheating GPU can cause some serious issues as mentioned earlier, but 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 pros and cons and we hope to inform you well enough on them so you can make a decision that is the best for you.

Manufacturer-Specific Software

Both AMD and Nvidia have companion software for their graphics cards that is mostly used for stuff like keeping your drivers up to date and enabling some additional performance-enhancing features specific to the respective brand.

Despite having really good options to get the best out of your GPU, neither AMD nor Nvidia have a built-in overclocking tool in their software. However, we’re not here to discuss that, but rather the monitoring of the GPU temperature.

Interestingly enough, AMD does have a decent GPU temperature monitoring tool, while Nvidia doesn’t have it all.

radeon overlay

Even though AMD’s tool can be used, there have been widespread speculations around the internet regarding the accuracy of the temperature reading. Many have judged AMD “simply a corporation” and as such believe that they would falsify the temperature measuring tool. Of course, there is nothing to gain from this for AMD, so you can feel free to ignore this talk and freely use AMD’s tool.

Third-Party Solutions

As the technology kept getting even more advanced, there were logically just as many enthusiastic people willing to learn all of the ins and outs of how a PC works.

From this group, we got out component monitoring software, some of which are still in use to this day.

Disclaimer: most of these tools will also have some other functions enabling you to monitor other parts of your PC as well, and that is not a bad thing.

HWMonitor

HWMonitor

HWMonitor is a relatively old tool, but it still incredibly reliable. Besides the ability to monitor GPU temperature, HWMonitor can also help you keep an eye out on voltages and fan speed on other PC hardware like the CPU, hard drive, and the motherboard.

Open Hardware Monitor

Open Hardware Monitor

This tool is another old-school looking piece of software that has the old-school reliability. Unlike 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 actually quite useful as the fan speed isn’t always automatically adjusted when the card is under more strain, and at the cost of extra electricity, you can crank up those RPMs and enjoy a smooth gaming experience.

SpeedFan

SpeedFan

Remaining in line with the old school software, SpeedFan is another reliable solution. Besides the standard monitoring of voltage, fan speed, and temperature, it can adjust the RPM of fans as well as help reduce the noise.

MSI Afterburner

MSI Afterburner

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

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

msi afterburner overlay

Of course, you’re not going to run every game all the time with this overlay, but it’s a perfect solution for a stress test that can help you either adjust your in-game settings or fan speed, something MSI Afterburner can also do.

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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.