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How To Lower Your GPU Temperature

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Does your graphics card heat up a lot when you play video games? Do you want to lower the temperature of your GPU?

In this article I have listed 7 tips that will help you lower the temperature of your GPU and thus prevent your graphics card from overheating.

How To Lower Your GPU Temperature

1) Change the fan profile

Fan profiles are simply curves that will dictate how fast the fan should spin depending on the temperature. It sometimes happens that the default profiles lack aggressiveness. Indeed by default, some manufacturers favor acoustics over performance, which means that the fans will turn at reduced speeds so as not to make too much noise. For example the AMD 5700XT with the reference design have this problem. And I’ve already seen the card climbed to 99°C without any problem with a fan running at 40%…
So we’re going to change that to put a more aggressive profile.

If you have a laptop PC, use the manufacturer’s proprietary software to manage the fans, there are often some on gamer PCs and select the “Turbo” or “Gaming” profiles and avoid the “Silence” profiles.

Otherwise, you can simply use MSI afterburner which allows you to change the profile of the fans in the “Fan” tab which is located in the software settings. Do not hesitate to put the fan on 100% as soon as the temperature exceeds 90°C.

2) Update the drivers

It sometimes happens that drivers that are too old are the cause of overheating of the graphics card. Indeed being responsible for the behavior of the card, it is possible that they have a problem leading to overheating. Either way, keep your drivers up to date to make sure you don’t have a problem with your graphics card.

If you ever need to downgrade your drivers, use the DDU utility which allows you to cleanly uninstall the drivers. Then you can reinstall an earlier version if it ever worked better than the last version.

3) Clean your graphics card

Dust accumulation can have a very detrimental effect on component temperatures. Indeed, the dust can literally create plugs preventing the card from breathing. It may not be visible from the outside, but dust accumulations can occur in between the fins of the radiators. These caps prevent air from flowing properly through the radiator. The heat is therefore no longer dissipated and the hot air accumulates, causing the temperatures to rise excessively. This happens especially on laptops where the slightest cap is fatal for the card.

The best way to solve this problem is to use a can of compressed air (Amazon link) to clean the card thoroughly. You can find it easily on the internet.

4) Increase the airflow in your case

The other possibility is that your graphics card is not getting enough fresh air to cool down. Air circulation plays a very important role in cooling the components.

The first thing we will do is add fans to evacuate the hot air from the case. If you don’t have one, add a fan to the back of the case (a selection of the best PC case fans). I was able to gain 2 to 3 degrees on my GPU just with this fan!

In addition, you will need to add fans to the top of your case. Hot air being less dense, will tend to rise, so we will facilitate the natural movement of air with fans at the top.

Finally we will add fans at the entrance if you do not already have one. Often cases come with fans in the front, and if there is space you can add one.

And finally consider using reputable brands of fans like this one from Noctua (Amazon link).

5) Change the thermal paste

Thermal paste plays a crucial role in cooling the graphics card. Indeed it makes the link between the GPU and the cooling system. However, it is possible that over time the thermal paste will dry out and lose its effectiveness. This is especially true on older graphics cards, which have several years under their belt.

How do you change the thermal paste on your graphics card?

You will need to remove the heatsink from the card. Each card being different it will be necessary to seek for each how to disassemble it. The operation is not so complicated in itself, it is enough to unscrew some screws but, that can be a little more complicated according to the models.

Remember to put the thermal pads back on the memory modules and power handling chips when you reassemble the board.

6) Underclock the graphics card

Underclocking consists of deliberately lowering the operating frequencies of your GPU in order to lower consumption and the amount of heat produced. The disadvantage is that you will lose performance.

The loss of performance will be proportional to the reduction in frequencies. Do not therefore divide the frequencies by 2 otherwise you risk having only 50% of the normal performance of your card.

Underclocking is very effective for those looking for ultra-quiet and low-heat machines.

How to underclock your card? Here again we will use the MSI Afterbuner software .

Instead of adding more Mhz we will simply remove some. Just slide the slider to the left and TADA you have underclocked your graphics card! In the example below, I removed 88 Mhz from the Core Clock, which in theory will allow you to gain a few degrees.

I made a detailed guide on underclocking if you want to use this method. You can find this guide by clicking here .

7) Boost your GPU

One of the most effective solutions is to Undervolt your GPU. The principle of the undervolt is to lower the voltage applied to the GPU. This reduces the power consumption and therefore also the temperature.

I made a detailed tutorial on how to Undervolt your graphics card . Thanks to this technique I was able to save 10°C on my GPU.

Even if the handling is a bit technical, it is therefore well worth it!

8) Switch to water-cooling

If despite all his tricks you find that the temperature of your GPU is too high, then I fear that you will have to go through the watercooling. This is the ultimate solution to the heat problem.

It is specially reserved for DIY PC aficionados who wish to have maximum performance with advanced overclocking. 

Honestly, I do not recommend this solution to many people. Normally if you have followed the steps before your graphics card should be well cooled.

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Peter Shevlin

I am interested in science and technology in all their forms. Geek by birth, gamer by adoption, I sublimate my passions in my work and compulsively test all electronic equipment (PC, mobile, audio photo video) and all software (Android, iOS, macOS, Windows).

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