PC Components

How Long Do Graphics Cards Last?

Graphics Card

Graphics cards are the most crucial part of a computer’s visuals. However, you might be curious to know how long can your built-in or external graphics card can last and what are different ways to prolong its life.

Quick Answer

Graphics cards usually last longer if used with care. It is possible to increase their life by avoiding overclocking abusing, addressing overheating issues, using the correct power supply/power cables, keeping the card clean, and playing graphically less demanding games. 

As games become more advanced, you may need to upgrade your Graphics card for a better resolution and gaming experience. As the latest GPUs are costly, it is in your best interest to keep your investment safe for a long time by preventing damage tips.

We’ll discuss all of this below so that you know what went wrong that resulted in a dead card. 

How Long Can My Graphics Card Last?

A graphics card is used to increase the video memory, resulting in improved display quality and faster system performance. The cards can last about 3-5 years, sometimes up to 7 years, depending on how you have used them.

However, a few reasons can cause your Graphics card to wear out quicker than the average lifespan.

Overheating issues due to airflow obstructions, dust, debris, or spills clogging the GPU, abusing overclocking, using sub-standard PSU or power cables, or playing high-demanding games without taking a break are common causes that contribute to a dead graphics card. 

Methods To Make Your Graphics Card Last Long

Graphics card manufacturers have better quality control these days, so there is a rare chance of a random failure. But like any other electronic product, yours can die without any reason. However, you can make your Graphics card last longer with some extra care.

Our easy-to-follow instructions will help you explore all possible means to do so. So here are the five methods to prolong the life of your graphics card.

Method #1: Avoid Overclocking

Under no circumstances should you overclock your GPU unless you have experience with the hardware and understand the safety net when driving the card’s performance. Overclocking can cause various issues, including data loss or stability problems, which could significantly affect your build.

Warning

Regularly increasing the clock speed of your video can make it run hotter than usual. It can cause the card to fail or even melt from overheating.

Method #2: Address Overheating Issues

To make your graphics card last longer, try to keep it cool. An overheated card quickly transfers the heat to the chips, resulting in a shortened life span.

To avoid this from happening, try not to overload your system with powerful applications or games that require high-level graphics capabilities. However, if you can’t resist, install external case fans to cool the computer and GPU, thus killing two birds with one stone.

Method #3: Use the Correct Power Supply

A good quality power supply ensures the long-term sustainability of the graphics card. Be sure to check your power supply’s wattage ratings. If you are not sure of it, search for it on the label or specifications of your computer. The higher the number, the more powerful your power supply will be.

Also, make sure that you use only high-quality power cables. Power supply and cables directly affect your system and graphic card’s performance, stability, and safety. If your PSU can not provide sufficient power to GPU, the card will crave more and eventually overheat.

Information

A gaming PC needs at least 650 watts PSU.

Method #4: Clean the Card

Dust accumulating inside your computer case can cause problems for the graphics card. When in excess, it can create turbulence within the PC’s internals, leading to data loss or even a damaged GPU.

To protect your PC and GPU from future damage, you should regularly clean out all of your vents, including those near the graphics card and power supply.

Method #5: Play Graphically Less Demanding Games

One of the ways to extend the life of your graphics card is by playing 2D games that use a lower resolution. This approach will reduce the amount of data used for video processing, which will allow your graphics card to last longer and run cooler.

However, if you are all up for the latest high-demanding AAA titles, your best bet is to upgrade your graphics card. But it does not mean that it won’t fail without regular maintenance and consistent overclocking.

Obsolete Cards and Manufacturing Issues

When it comes to graphic cards manufacturing, a few things never change. An increase in demand can lead to the pressure of maximizing the manufacturing potential, resulting in problems that come straight out of the factory and cause hassle to the end-user.

In the past, people only needed a graphics card for gaming purposes, but nowadays, they use them for video editing and other complex jobs. So that justifies the accelerated production rate but makes no sense for the diminishing quality.

Also, obsolete cards still exist, and manufacturers are still producing them, but the problem is that these cards often fail while trying to keep up with modern games.

So, it is best to conduct thorough research before investing in a graphics card; otherwise, you may hold the wrong end of the stick AGAIN.

Summary

In this guide about how long graphics cards last, we’ve discussed several reasons that can decrease the life of graphics cards and explored preventive methods to get the most out of them safely.

We’ve also discussed the manufacturing defects and obsolete cards that cannot keep up with modern games. Hopefully, you now know that your Graphics card can last longer if dealt with care.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Replace Your Graphics Card?

You need to replace your graphics care if it becomes obsolete and can not match the demands of the latest games or when it simply dies.

What Is the Average Life Period of a Graphics Card?

A graphic card can last about 5-7 years before being considered obsolete if used correctly.

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