When using a computer, it is important to keep the hardware components at a reasonable temperature to prevent overheating and product failure. Hardware components that have been exposed to high temperatures for prolonged periods are the most vulnerable. So, how hot should my GPU get? In this article, we will be focusing specifically on the GPU and the multitude of ways to decrease GPU temperature.
An NVIDIA GPU that constantly exceeds 90C will have its potential lifespan reduced and may cause other errors related to overheating. As for AMD cards, the maximum temperature is more dependent on the actual graphics card.
What temperature should my GPU be?
Ideally, GPU temperatures should range from 65 C to 85 C while the GPU is under typical use conditions. In idle conditions, your GPU should be sitting at a much lower average temperature and should not exceed 60 C while idle. Be cautious if you find your GPU temperatures are on average sitting at higher temperatures than recommended here. The lifespan of your GPU may decrease as you continue to use it at high temperatures.
If your GPU manufacturer has its own software/tool for managing your GPU it is likely worth a download. As it will make it easier to check your GPU temperatures and to manage the fan speeds and clock rates.
Many contributing factors can cause high heat within the GPU, which include but are not limited to:
- Playing graphically intensive video games
- Poor GPU cooling design
- Not enough case fans in your system
- Poor system airflow
- High ambient temperature
This list is limited and could keep going on, as there are many factors that contribute to the production of heat. These are only the most important and affecting factors for you to keep in mind to ensure you maintain low GPU temps.
What is the hottest temperature my GPU should reach?
As a rule of thumb, GPU temperatures should not exceed 90 degrees C. And if your GPU does consistently run beyond 90 C, some issues should be resolved. However, with that said, each GPU has its maximum heat threshold, indicated by the manufacturer. Below you can find a list of GPUs and their maximum temperature value. The list has been updated to include NVIDIA’s most recent RTX 30 series.
Press Ctrl + F and type in the name of your graphics card to quickly locate it on this list:
|GPU||Maximum Temperature in Fahrenheit||Maximum Temperature in Celsius|
|RTX 3060 Ti||199.4°F||93°C|
|RTX 2080 Ti||192.2°F||89°C|
|Titan X (Pascal, 2016)||201.2°F||94°C|
|GTX 1080 Ti||195.8°F||91°C|
|GTX 1080, GTX 1070 Ti, and GTX 1070||201.2°F||94°C|
|GTX Titan X (Maxwell, 2015)||201.2°F||94°C|
|GTX 980 Ti||195.8°F||91°C|
|GTX 1060 6GB and GTX 1060 3GB||201.2°F||94°C|
|GTX 780 Ti and GTX 780||203°F||95°C|
|GTX 1050 Ti and both GTX 1050 (3GB and 2GB)||206.6°F||97 °C|
|GTX 760, GTX 660, and GTX 660 Ti||206.6°F||97°C|
|GTX 480 and GTX 570||206.6°F||97°C|
|GTX 750 Ti||203°F||95°C|
|GTX 560 Ti||210.2°F||99°C|
|GTX 560 Ti (448 Cores||206.6°F||97°C|
|GTX 650 Ti||221°F||105°C|
|GT 740 and GT 740 (DDR5)||208.4°F||98°C|
|GTX 550 Ti||212°F||100°C|
|GT 640 (DDR5)||203°F||95°C|
|RX Vega 64||185°F||85°C|
|RX Vega 56||167°F||75°C|
|R9 Fury X||149°F||65°C|
|RX 480 (4GB and 8GB)||176°F||80°C|
|R9 Fury Nano||163.4°F||73°C|
|RX 560 4GB||143.6°F||62°C|
|R9 280X (XFX)||158°F||70°C|
|Vega 11 (R5 2400G integrated)||134.6°F||57°C|
|Vega 8 (R3 2200G integrated)||129.2°F||54°C|
NOTE: This data was sourced from wepc.com as well as a multitude of manufacturer websites.
How to check GPU temperature
Checking your GPU temperature before May of 2020 was a more complicated task that involved downloading the software included with your graphics card. However, that has now changed, and it is quite simple to quickly check GPU temps.
To check how hot your GPU is currently running, simply navigate to your Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete and choosing Task Manager, or by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Wait for your Task Manager to appear on your desktop. Select the Performance tab on the top bar and scroll down the list of options on the left side to select your current GPU from the list. Refer to the image below for details. After you have selected your GPU in the Task Manager you will be presented with some graphs and details.
The highlighted locations (as pictured above) are where you can find your GPU temperature in the Windows Task Manager. Beyond the GPU temperature, you can also find a few extra handy details such as which GPU you are running. As well as the version and date of your GPU drivers, and the amount of memory (VRAM) your GPU has.
Ways to reduce GPU temperature.
As with any other component in your computer, there are many ways to reduce the temperature of your GPU. Some of the possible ways to decrease the temperature of your GPU are as follows:
Adjust fan speeds
This can involve adjusting the speeds of your case fans, as well as the rotational speed of your GPU fans. Increasing the speed of your fan will improve your system’s airflow and can decrease the overall temperature inside of your PC. To adjust fan speeds, you will need to acquire a free Third-Party GPU Temperature Monitoring Tool.
Remove any dust from the fans and heatsink
Dust and any buildup within your PC can cause your fans to run slower and can reduce the amount of contact the heatsink receives. Removing dust from the fans and heatsink includes removing all connections from your computer and unplugging from any power source.
You will then need to remove the side panel from your case to access the inside of your PC. To safely remove any dust without damaging any components use a can of compressed air rated for pc cleaning. Aim the can to remove all dust from inside the case. You can also use an anti-static cloth to remove any excess dust.
Increase system airflow
Increasing system airflow can include adding additional case fans or allowing air to more easily pass through the case. This can be achieved by removing any panels which block vents that typically would allow hot air to escape.
An example of this includes the NZXT S340’s front panel which blocks a massive vent that can allow for air to escape; this is a common design flaw that plagues many modern PC cases. In the case of the NZXT S340, the aesthetic of the case is not as nice with the front panel off. But with the front panel removed the GPU was seen running at temperatures ~10°C lower than with it on. So, there is a trade-off between aesthetics and temperatures.
Add additional case fans
Adding additional case fans aims to solve the problem of poor system airflow. If you do not have any case fans or your case has room for more case fans, I highly recommend adding additional case fans. For a list of our top chosen case fans check out our article on Best PC Case Fans 2020.
Install a GPU water cooler
This is an expensive and enthusiastic solution to the modern problem of keeping our graphics cards cool. If you are very emphatic about improving your GPUs cooling solution, you can try installing a GPU liquid cooler. Tampering with your GPU in any way voids its warranty. Therefore, installing a GPU liquid cooler will void any warranty on your graphics card. GPU liquid coolers can be quite expensive as they need to tailor to the design of your specific card.
The main downsides here are the price and complexities of installing the water cooler itself. However, a liquid-cooled GPU can easily outperform their air-cooled counterparts by taking advantage of overclocking.
GPU Temps While Overclocking
Whether you are running an AMD card or an NVIDIA card, you will be able to overclock your GPU. Overclocking is a process that speeds up the processing power of your GPU at the expense increased GPU temperatures. On top of drawing more power, overclocking also causes your GPU to produce more heat.
If you are overclocking your GPU and its average temperature exceeds the maximum temperature, then you are directly harming your GPU. It is important to only overclock your GPU to the point it will not exceed its maximum temperature as listed above. Overclocking can be a valuable tool when utilized correctly, however, can be detrimental to your system if it causes overheating.
Third-Party GPU Temperature Monitoring Tools
There are tons of different third-party software available for download that provide great options for adjusting fan speeds, clock speeds, etc. MSI Afterburner is a great tool for managing GPU temperatures, fan speeds, and overclocking. You can find a video below from Britec09 which steps through how to download and use the free application.
In conclusion, it is important to monitor your GPUs temperatures while gaming on occasion to ensure it is not overheating. The GPU should not be exceeding 90°C and the optimal temperature while active is between 60°C and 85°C when utilizing air cooling. If you are running into overheating issues it is vital to act on them by utilizing one or more of our ways to reduce GPU temps.