PC Components

How To Tell if Your Video Card Is Dying

Pc Video Card

The video card is arguably the most expensive component of your computer, so understandably, you want it to last for as long as possible. Any sign that your video card may be dying would cause significant panic. But even if you protect and maintain your video card as well as you can, there is still a chance that it might reach the end of its lifespan due to wear from normal use. 

Quick Answer

You can tell if your video card is dying when you notice some of the following signs. Your computer repeatedly crashes while playing games on different occasions; you notice that your visuals are freezing; you experience screen glitches; too much noise in the graphics card fan; strange artifacts on your screen; the blue screen of death; significant frame drops, etc.

This article addresses six common signs your video card might be dying. We will also explain three things that reduce the lifespan of your video card and how to prolong the life of your video card and protect it from sudden damage. 

Seven Signs Your Video Card Might Be Dying

Occasionally, your video card can become faulty without showing prior signs. That can happen in cases where your video card suffered direct physical damage, such as being burnt in an electrical power surge or a fire incident. It might also suffer physical crashes like being crushed by something heavy or destroyed when immersed in water. 

You will often see the signs before the damage becomes permanent and irreversible, especially if the damage comes from normal use and not some unfortunate hazard. These signs are very common and may also be a symptom of damage to some other parts of the computer, such as the RAM or hard drive

Frequent Games Crash

This isn’t definitive proof that your video card is dying, but it is one of the common signs you will notice when your video card has reached the end of its lifespan. Your video card is one of the most important and expensive components in a gaming computer, and you need a high-quality video card to run high-quality games,

If your computer has been running some games without issues in the past, but you find that you have recently started experiencing frequent crashes while running those same games, then there is a good chance that your video card is faulty. To ensure that the problem isn’t with the game, make sure that you test different games to see if the fault is generic. 

Visual Freezing or Stuttering

A computer with a low-quality video card will experience visual freezing or stuttering when you run several high-quality programs or games on it or when you have a lot of activity on your screen. 

However, if you have a high-quality video card and are used to running several apps without visual stuttering, but you started noticing that your screen is occasionally freezing even when running simple programs, your video card is likely showing signs of damage.

Graphical Glitches

All forms of graphics are rendered on screen by your graphics or video card, so if you are experiencing poorly loaded textures, screen flickering or tearing, weird colors all over your screen and screen glitches, especially when you’re running graphics-intensive programs or games, your video card may be showing signs of dying. 

The extent of the damage depends on how often the graphical glitches occur. 

Strange Artifacts on Your Screen

This is similar to graphical glitches, but instead of loading textures and graphics poorly, you start noticing strange dots, random lines, weird shapes, and patterns on your screen. These artifacts appear where they don’t belong and can make it impossible for the user to play games or run programs.

Excess Fan Noise in the Video Card

When you run power-intensive programs on your computer, a lot of internal heat is generated. If your games require a lot of graphics processing power, your video card will work hard and generate even more heat. Luckily, modern-day video cards come with fans to cool them.

These fans will only be required to work when you run powerful programs requiring much power. But if you notice excessive noise from the fans even when running the normal programs, your video card might be dying.

Blue Screen of Death

The blue screen of death is common on Windows computers and usually indicates several problems with the computer hardware. If your computer crashes and the blue screen appears when you are playing a game or running a program that requires a lot of graphics processing power, it could be a sign that your video card is dying.

Significant Frame Drops

When you start noticing huge drops in frame rate while watching movies or playing games, it is a common sign that your video card is dying.

Things That Reduce the Lifespan of Your Video Card

Your video card is not supposed to last forever. On average, video cards can last for about five to eight years as long as it is maintained regularly. When it is close to the end of its lifespan, its performance level dwindles. If you hope to use your video card until you are ready for an upgrade, you need to be careful of some factors that can reduce your video card’s lifespan.

Too Much Internal Heat

Powerful video cards are designed to handle the occasional high temperatures when running power-intensive games. Your video card has a cooling system to ensure it doesn’t overheat. 

But when your cooling system cannot work well because of excess heat in the internal components caused by a blockage in the vents, a broken fan, or running high-power games 24/7, it can affect the performance of your video card and reduce its lifespan.

Constant Overclocking

While your video card has a maximum performance value, pushing or exceeding its limits is not advisable. Running programs heavier than your video card’s capacity can reduce its lifespan.

Power Surge

Electrical power surges can damage your computer’s internal components, including the video card. If the power surge is not too much, it might not cause instant damage, but it will weaken the video card’s ability to withstand future power surges and reduce its lifespan. 

How To Prolong Your Video Card’s Lifespan

We explained the common factors that can reduce the lifespan of your video card. Prolonging your video card’s lifespan will depend on how well you can prevent those factors that can cause damage to it. 

  • Don’t overclock your video card. Do not push or exceed the limits of your video card’s capabilities.
  • Clean the vents regularly and remove dust and debris from the fan blades to ensure proper ventilation in the video card and prevent overheating.
  • Invest in an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) system and a Surge Protector. You need a UPS if you’re using a desktop computer to provide enough time to shut down your system properly. A surge protector helps protect your video card from sudden electrical power surges that can damage your computer components. 

Final Words

Now that you can tell if your video card is dying, you can watch out for the signs and fix the problem before it is too late. If the problems are serious but you notice the signs early, you will have enough time to save for a new video card before the damage becomes permanent.

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