A GPU is one of the most integral components of a PC. In most cases, it is also the most expensive comment. A GPU is something that is used to accelerate graphics rendering, and it comes in many shapes and sizes. It either comes soldered onto the motherboard or as a standalone unit. As the GPU does a lot of work, it can overheat at times. And today, we are going to talk about what is a good idle GPU temperature.
What Is A Good Idle GPU Temperature
Temperature between 40°C–60°C is considered a good idle GPU temperature. If the temperature is any higher than this, chances are that there is something wrong with either the GPU or your overall system. We are going to talk about this in detail below.
What Does “Idle” Mean?
It is first important to learn what idling is. When someone says that “my computer is idle”, it means that the system is currently not doing any heaving tasks that have a big effect on the GPU. This includes playing games or doing video editing. When you’re doing light tasks such as browsing through the internet, creating documents, and similar tasks, your GPU stays idle and its fans are not spinning during these times.
When your not doing any tasks that require the use of the GPU, its temperatures should be between 40°C–60°C. If the number is lower than it, then congratulations, you’re getting even better idle temperatures. But if the temperatures are higher than 60°C, then you should potentially look into cooling your GPU.
Factors That Influence The Idle Temperatures
An important thing to keep in mind is that there are various factors that influence the idle temperatures of a GPU, and you must learn about all of them to know whether you’re getting the right temperatures or not.
There are many GPU manufacturers in the world, and all of them have their own variants of a specific model. For instance, the GTX 3090 has different variants, such as the EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3, MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3090, GIGABYTE AORUS GeForce RTX 3090, and many more. There isn’t any major performance difference between them, but they all have their own cooling solutions. Therefore, the idle temperature will vary from one brand to another, but the difference won’t be huge. For instance, the MSI variant might be sitting at 40°C when idle, while the EVGA variant’s idle temperature might be 45°C.
Weather and Room Temperature
The weather and room temperature also have a big effect on the idle temperatures of a GPU. If you’re living in Canada, the idle temperatures will be lower as it’s one of the coldest countries in the world. But if you’re living in a hot country, like Bahrain, you can’t expect the idle temperatures of your GPU to be low. Therefore, do take the weather and room temperature into consideration while determining the idle temperature of your GPU. Sometimes, people start panicking that there is something wrong with their GPU, without noticing the hot weather in their country.
New Vs Old GPU
When you have used a GPU for around a year or more, it will stop performing the same as before. A new GPU will always have good temperatures, even during gaming, while an old one will have different temperatures. While the difference won’t be huge, you will still notice a 4-5°C increase in idle temperature.
How To Check The Temperature of GPU
Now that you have learned about things that have an influence on the idle temperature of a GPU, let’s take a look at how you can know the temperatures of your GPU. There are two quick methods that can help you with determining your GPU’s temperature. The first one allows you to do it using the Task Manager, while the second one will have you using third-party software.
Using Task Manager
A lot of people don’t know that Windows 10 can help you with knowing the temperature of your GPU without downloading third-party software. This feature wasn’t previously available when Windows 10 was first launched, but it was introduced through an update that was released in 2020. Thanks to it, you can learn about your GPU’s temperature by using the Task Manager. Here’s what you will need to do:
- Open the Task Manager on your computer. You can type in “Task Manager” in the Windows search bar and you’ll see the utility in front of you. Or, you can right-click on the taskbar and open the Tas Manager from the menu that will appear on your screen.
- In the Task Manager, click on the Performance tab, which is right next to the Processes tab.
- On the left side, you will find your GPU at the bottom.
- Click on it, and you will plenty of information regarding your GPU on the right side, such as its utilization, dedicated GPU memory, shared GPU memory, and temperature.
Using A Reliable Third-Party Software
Alternatively, you can download third-party software to monitor your GPU’s temperature. This is mainly done by those who either don’t trust the results of the Task Manager or are unable to see their GPU listed there. At the time of writing, there are plenty of good GPU temperature monitoring software, such as the MSI Afterburner and CPUID Hardware monitor. Both are used by many PC users to accurately measure the temperatures of their GPU. Furthermore, they also help you with finding out the temperature of your CPU.
If you purchased an Nvidia or AMD card, you will get the option to download either the Nvidia Control Panel/Nvidia GeForce Experience or the AMD Control Center. These two can also help you with monitoring your GPU’s temperatures. You can download both software from the official websites of Nvidia and AMD. Nvidia GeForce Experience also lets you set up an overlay that pops up on your screen, thanks to which you can see the temperatures while you’re gaming without the need of opening the software.
What Should Be The Normal GPU Temperature When Gaming and Video Editing?
Both gaming and video editing are GPU demanding, and they put a lot of burden on this component. However, GPUs are built to handle these big tasks, and this is the reason why they are expensive.
When you’re playing video games, there are different factors that influence the temperatures. For instance, if you’re playing a video game at a low resolution and with low-to-medium settings, your GPU’s temperatures should stay between 60°C–65°C. However, if you are playing video games at a higher resolution with everything set to ultra, you can expect the temperature to go all the way up to 80°C.
The temperatures can go up by 2-3°C more, but it shouldn’t exceed this number. If the temperatures are higher than this, you need to do something about it. This is because higher temperatures can potentially damage your GPU, and its overall life also decreases. You can also expect your video game to start lagging if the temperatures get too high.
While video editing, you can expect the temperatures to be between 60°C–75°C. During rendering, the temperatures might shoot up a little and that is okay. However, they shouldn’t exceed the 85°C. But again, this will depend on the type of video editing you’re doing. If you’re editing 720p clips without any effects, you should be just fine. But if you’re editing a 4k footage with a lot of effects, then prepare yourself to see some high temps. Some video editing software are also more CPU demanding, so they don’t put a lot of burden on your GPU.
How To Lower GPU Temperature
If the idle temperatures of your GPU are higher than what we mentioned, or if you’re getting high temperatures while gaming, there are a few things that might be causing this issue. We are going to talk about all of them in detail below.
Make Sure All the Case Fans Are Working Properly
The fans installed inside your case play an important role in keeping your components safe. After all, the entire ventilation system is based around them. However, poor ventilation can lead to an increase in the GPU’s temperature. Therefore, you need to make sure all fans are working properly.
When idle, the fans of the GPU won’t spin. This is why the temperature of the GPU will rely on the case fans. If you see that a fan is not working properly, either try to repair it or replace it with a new one. Furthermore, some people also have only two fans installed in their case, and this can also cause your GPU to overheat. Ideally, you should have at least six fans in your case, with three placed on the front, two above, and one at the back. This will provide good ventilation. Also, make sure that there is nothing blocking the airflow of the fans. It will be wise to leave some space between your PC and the wall; if there is any.
Do Some Cable Management
Poor cable management can also cause your GPU to overheat, and a lot of people overlook this matter. They find it difficult to believe that the cables in their system can cause the temperatures of their GPU to rise. But what they don’t understand is that if the cables are blocking the airflow of the GPU or the case fans, the temperatures will increase.
Therefore, if the cables inside your system are all messed up, it’s time to do some cable management. It will hardly take you an hour to do it, but it will save you from a lot of damage. Furthermore, PCs that are packed with good hardware should have good cable management, for aesthetic purposes also of course.
Change Your GPU’s Thermal Paste
A lot of people think that thermal paste is only used to keep the processor cool. However, GPU’s also require thermal paste, and you should change it after every few months. The thermal paste can dry out because of the constant heat it’s getting, and this can cause the temperatures to rise.
There are many videos on YouTube through which you can learn how to change the thermal paste of a GPU. But if you think you might damage your card while changing it, you can always take it to a store and ask the professionals to do it for you. If you have your own paste, they might do it for you free of cost. Even if they charge for it, the cost will be low. Also, make sure that you’re using a good quality thermal paste, and not just some random one.
Clean Your PC
If you’ve tried everything but the temperatures are still not decreasing, it’s time to clean your PC. A lot of people don’t bother with cleaning their PC at all, and this even damages their components. Dirt and dust can easily make their way inside the case of your PC as well as the components. Therefore, it is recommended that you clean your entire PC, including the components, once a month.
If you’re living somewhere where there is a lot of dust in the air, then you should do it twice a month to stay on the safe side. Dust and dirt can get in the way of airflow and can even cause the fans to not spin properly. Therefore, make sure you clean each and everything, including the fans of the GPU. However, make sure you’re not aggressive during the process as the GPU fans are sensitive and can get damaged easily.
Use An Air Conditioner
As mentioned before, hot weather and room temperature have a big effect on the temperature of the GPU. If you can afford one, it is recommended that you install an air conditioner inside your room and turn it on whenever you’re doing GPU demanding tasks, like gaming.
But since not everyone can afford to pay the bills of an air conditioner every month, you make a one-time investment and get a water-cooling system for your PC. Compared to air coolers, water coolers offer betting cooling and can help keep the overall temperatures of your PC low. There are many top brands that manufacture water-cooling systems, but they are a little expensive. However, you will need to make the sacrifice for the greater good.
Wait For New Drivers
There are times when the graphics card drivers also mess things up. People often complain about seeing high GPU temperatures after installing the latest drivers. In most cases, the problem goes away through the next update that arrives. Therefore, make sure to wait for the next drivers update before you consider taking your GPU to the repair shop.
This was everything you needed to know about what a good idle GPU temperature is. If you’re getting higher temperatures, make sure to follow the methods we mentioned as they will help you lower them. But if you are unable to lower the temperatures even after doing everything, you need to take it to a repair shop.