How to Tell If Your Graphics Card Is Dying – 4 Signs to Look At
Today is a really sad day for me because today ( on 4th of January, 2019 ) I lost my GPU and I probably know the reason behind it. I had MSI GTX 1060 which is a 6GB, DDR5 graphical processing unit and I truly loved it. It was the second most expensive component in my budget custom PC build and in my personal experience I was able to run almost every AAA game titles with max visual settings and at 1080p resolution with at least 45 to 55 fps.
So, in this guide, I am going to share few most common pointers that tell you that now is just the right time to start searching for a brand new GPU ( unless you are ready to spend few hundred bucks on repairing your older model ).
Signs your Graphics Card is dying
There are a lot of different parts in your computer which starts to fail over time. One of these parts is the graphics card. It’s not just another part but rather its one of the most costly component of your system and also the one which is responsible for graphical computation.
It is really important to understand that your GPU, just like all other components of your system is electromechanical equipment. They are not designed or built to last 10’s of years, especially not in an era when technology is changing faster than our own ability to manage them.
So, it is important that you know what the signs of a dying graphics card are so you know when you have to replace it. As they are responsible for the visuals on your computer, most of the signs will be visual in nature.
Below I have discussed 5 such signs you should look for in your system.
Stuttering And Lag
If you have connected your monitor to your GPU’s video output and your screen starts sturring then its a reasonable indication that your video card is having some issues.
BUT, there can be so many reasons behind a flickering screen.
The most common reason is a faulty HDMI, VGA or the Type-C video output cable.
Another reason can be a damaged display.
In my experience,e my display suffered from lags and stutterings when my computer had malware and viruses.
You can also encounter this problem if your computer’s RAM is insufficient for the tasks you are trying to complete.
So, at first, I will suggest you check and fix above-listed issues as they are quite easy and are cheap.
Personally, once I do the above checks and fixes I run my system in safe mode with lower resolution. If I don’t find any problem, I BOOT my system normally and then try to play games and run a resource-intensive program at a lower resolution.
If the game or program still stutters and lag then the first thing I try is updating my drivers. You can use Windows update to let Microsoft decide what drivers on your computer need updates and which don’t. Alternatively, you can download any free/premium driver update application. I will recommend using a free version of IOBit Driver Booster as it works just fine.
Now, even after applying all your software and wiring related fixes, if your display still has the issues then you will have to accept the fact that your GPU is damaged and need a replacement or a costly repair.
Glitches, unusual lags, strange lines and discoloration in a certain portion in your screen can also be a sign of a dying graphics card.
Of course, this can also be caused by a bad display cable or the drivers that you might have installed. However, if the glitches occur when you play a system resource intensive games like GTA 5 or while running applications like Adobe Premier, the problem is likely to be with your Video Card.
A Blue Screen Of Death
If you are running a Windows OS, the blue screen of death is a clear sign that something is absolutely wrong with your computer. The problem is that this can be caused by a number of different issues.
You can get a blue screen due to a faulty hard drive or bad drivers. They can also appear because of a debug error with your USB ports or incompatibility with any newly installed hardware in your computer. Fortunately, the blue screen will provide you with an error code. Every error code is unique and indicates a specific issue. If Windows OS finds any issue with any installed application or hardware then it will display a message with Code 43.
Noise From The Fans
Noise from fans in your system comes only when they are operating at 100% speed. This is one of the most important sign that many people are not aware of and often overlook. If the fans in your computer are running faster and harder, there is a problem and you really need to look in for the root cause.
The first scenario and what I have personally experienced is that CPU and GPU fans ( or condensers, in many cases ) operate at 100% speed when the respective component is under 100% operational load.
The second scenario can be an overclocking program. Modern GPUs can be easily overclocked using programs like MSI Afterburner, RivaTuner, etc. But when you overclock, these programs usually set your GPU’s fan speed to maximum. This is done so as to avoid any thermal throttling or meltdown.
The third scenario is when the microcontroller of the respective component thinks that it’s under 100% load and is reaching the highest operational temperature.
The first scenario is completely normal and the fans will stop making noise as soon as you close your game or application. In the case of the second scenario, you will need to uninstall the overclocking application and the issue should be fixed. But as for the third scenario, the fans especially the one in your GPU doesn’t stop making noise or slows down even after closing your game or applications then there is definitely some issue with your video card.
There are a number of signs of a dying graphics card that you need to be aware of. Most of these signs can be attributed to other issues and you need to know how to determine if the GPU is the culprit.
If you have noticed anything unique which is not listed in this guide but you believe is the reason behind you not being able to play your games or behind screen lags then please share it with us in the comment section. I will try to do more research on your issue and will provide you with the best possible answer.
Written by Johnathan Abram