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 under a lot of strain, for example, due to 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 need to monitor your GPU temperature, but they all boil down to that old bare necessity – getting the best performance.
If you’ve tried overclocking your GPU, you will certainly need to keep a close eye on the temperature that your graphics card’s slightly faster clock is producing. In fact, keeping the temperature of the GPU in that sweet spot is actually necessary when overclocking the GPU.
Nowadays, video card manufacturers are very aware of the overclocking community in the tech world. This has led them to carefully design their graphics cards to accommodate overclocking 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 the key to keeping your GPU running at an optimal temperature. In fact, if you’re experiencing overheating, this is probably the first thing you should consider in order to fix the problem.
Playing Resource-Heavy Games
Even if you’re simply playing a game with a higher quality in terms 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.
Depending on how long you ignore the obvious problems while playing (like stuttering or beeping from inside the PC case), you’re looking at different levels of damage. Luckily, most modern GPUs are built in a way that prevents 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 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
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 pros and cons and we hope to inform you well enough on them so you can make a personal and informed decision.
Both AMD and Nvidia have companion software for their graphics cards. This is mostly used for stuff like 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. Additionally, 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’s the ‘Automatic Tuning‘ option to automatically overclock the GPU clock speeds, but there’s no option to do it by yourself.
Since both companies have delivered some kind of overclocking tool with their drivers, they’ve also added a feature for performance monitoring.
Both monitoring tools deliver more than enough information such as fan RPM, memory clock, GPU clock, temperature, etc. But, if you need even more data than that, you should consider third-party software.
With technological developments, there were logically just as many enthusiastic people willing to learn all of the ins and outs of how a PC works. Thanks to them, we got component monitoring software, some of which are still in use to this day.
Disclaimer: most of these tools will come with some other functions, enabling you to monitor other parts of your PC as well, which is always a plus.
HWiNFO has to be the best of the bunch considering that you can get temperature readings on almost every component in your computer. Everything from your GPU to your drives.
Aditionally, there is an option to oversee clock speeds, voltage even your RAM timings. It is also customizable, so you can easily remove remove the sensors you aren’t interested in.
But, that’s not all. Add-ons are also available for HWiNFO. For example, an add-on to use Riva Tuner’s, MSI Afterburner’s and EVGA Precisions, On-Screen Display tool. And many more add-ons for more information and features.
Open Hardware Monitor
This tool is another old-school looking piece of software, but just as reliable as the first one. 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.
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 to reduce the noise.
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.
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 to either adjust your in-game settings or fan speed, something MSI Afterburner can also do.
HWMonitor is a relatively old tool, but it’s still incredibly reliable. Besides the ability to monitor the 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.