Have you ever noticed your computer slowing down or crashing during intense gaming sessions? It's usually heat! Just like any hardworking machine, your PC's graphics card (GPU) generates heat when rendering graphics.
Whenever you're running resource-intensive applications, like Virtual Machine, Video Editors, or games, it's crucial to monitor your GPU temperature so you don't damage your graphics card. Pushing your GPU too hard can wear it out faster, forcing you to buy a new one sooner than you'd like. If you have a laptop, replacing a graphics card is nearly impossible, and you'll likely need to buy a new laptop instead.
By keeping an eye on your GPU temperature, you can prevent overheating, ensure optimal performance, prevent crashes, and prolong the life of your precious graphics card.
Using Windows Task Manager
Windows 11 offers a built-in option for checking your GPU temperature - Task Manager. This simple method provides a quick overview of your GPU's current temperature. Here's how you can quickly check your GPU temperature using Task Manager.
- Right-click the Taskbar and select 'Task Manager' or press
Escto open Task Manager.
- Once the Task Manager opens, switch to the 'Performance' tab on the left.
- Scroll down and find the GPU section. If you have a laptop with dedicated graphics card, you will see GPU 0 and GPU 1 sections. GPU 0 is usually the integrated graphics card and GPU 1 is the dedicated graphics card.
- You can see the current temperature below the graphics card name on the left-side panel or you can select the graphics card and check GPU temperature at the bottom of the GPU page.
Not all GPUs are compatible with Task Manager's temperature monitoring. On some computers, only dedicated GPUs work and you might need an updated driver (WDDM 2.4 or later) to get it working.
Using OEM Software
Graphics cards from manufacturers like NVIDIA and AMD come with companion software like GeForce Experience or Radeon Software that help you monitor performance, adjust settings, and optimize your graphics card.
AMD Graphics Cards
If you have an integrated or dedicated AMD graphics card, you can use the AMD Adrenalin software or AMD Radeon software to monitor your GPU's temperature.
- Right-click on your desktop and select the 'AMD Software' option. Alternatively, you can search for the 'AMD' app in the Windows Search and launch it. If you don't have the AMD Software installed on your computer, you can download and install the latest driver from the official AMD Driver and Support site.
- Once the AMD Software is launched, go to the 'Performance' tab on the top navigation bar.
- Then, click the 'Additional Metrics' option under the GPU section.
- Now, you can check the temperature of your AMD GPU here.
In addition to temperature, you can also monitor GPU utilization, clock speeds, power usage, junction temperature, and fan speed.
Unlike the overall GPU temperature, which refers to the average heat across the entire chip, the 'junction temperature' in some GPUs refers to the hottest spot on the GPU, specifically the area where the silicon meets the heat spreader. If the temperature exceeds the safe operating temperature, it can lead to performance throttling, hardware damage, system crashes, etc.
AMD's software also lets you log GPU data to a CSV file. It can be useful for in-depth performance analysis or comparing temperature with other GPU stats.
Nvidia Graphics Cards
If your computer has an NVIDIA video card instead, you can monitor your GPU temperature from the GeForce Experience app. Let's see how to do that:
If you don't have the GeForce Experience app, download and install the app from the official GeForce Experience website. After installing the app, check for any driver updates and install them as well via the GeForce app.
- Launch the 'GeForce Experience' app from the system tray or the Windows Search.
- On the GeForce app, click the triangular icon in the top right to open the in-game overlay settings. Alternatively, you can press
Zto bring up GeForce Overlay.
- After that, click the 'Performance' option on the top-right corner of the overlay screen.
- On the Performance panel that appears on the left, you can check your GPU temperature, along with other metrics such as GPU clock speed, GPU usage, voltage, fan speed, and power usage.
Using Third-Party GPU Monitoring Tools
Besides Task Manager and graphics card companion apps, several third-party system monitoring tools can help you check and monitor the temperature of your GPU. They offer comprehensive information and features like alerts and overclocking controls. Here are some free recommended tools that you can use to monitor GPU temperature:
MSI Afterburner is one of the most popular and versatile tools for monitoring GPU vital and overclocking the GPU. It's free and compatible with both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs. It can help you tack your GPU temperature constantly, even during intense gaming sessions. You can download and install the MSI Afterburner from the official website.
If you're into fine-tuning performance, Afterburner offers comprehensive overclocking tools. You adjust fan speeds to optimize cooling and reduce noise. This tool is powerful and tweaking its settings carelessly can lead to trouble. It's best for experienced users who know what they're doing.
If you have both integrated and dedicated graphics, click the 'Settings' icon.
To switch graphics cards, click the drop-down menu under 'Master graphics processor selection' and choose the video card you want to check. Then, click 'Apply'.
HWiNFO is a powerful and versatile system information and monitoring tool for Windows and DOS. It's a reliable and comprehensive tool that provides detailed system information, including detailed GPU temperature readings. It is free for non-commercial use and available in a portable version that doesn't require installation.
You can also customize the HWiNFO interface to display only the sensors you're interested in, making it easier to monitor your GPU temperature.
Go to the official HWiNFO website and download the latest version for your operating system. You can download either the installer version or the portable version.
Then, launch the HWiNFO application. You will see a small main interface window. Here, select the 'Sensors-only' option and click 'Start'.
Scroll down the list of sensors until you find the section for your graphics card (GPU[#1] and GPU[#0] if you have multiple GPUs) with the name of your GPU displayed to the right. Look for entries labeled as 'GPU Temperature' and 'GPU Hot Spot Temperature' and check the temperature.
Another great tool for monitoring your graphics card temperature is the GPU-Z. GPU-Z provides real-time information about your graphics card's GPU temperature, current clock speed, memory clock speed, fan speed, GPU load, and more. It works with NVIDIA, AMD, ATI, and even Intel graphics cards.
Download the GPU-Z app from the official website and launch it. Once the GPU-Z tool opens, go to the 'Sensors' tab, and check the 'GPU Temperature' and 'Hot Spot Temperature' (if available). In case, you have multiple graphics cards, use the drop-down menu at the bottom to switch between graphics.
What is a Good GPU Temperature?
Unfortunately, there's no single optimal temperature for every GPU. It depends on several factors, including the specific model, the type of workload it's under, and its cooling system.
However, in general, normal GPU temperatures typically range from 50-70°C at idle and 65-90°C under load. During extended gaming sessions, especially with an overclocked GPU, temperatures can reach extreme 100°C and beyond.
Modern gaming PCs with adequate cooling systems are built to handle the heat but your GPU temperatures consistently exceed these ranges, there's something wrong with the cooling or workload.
If temperatures are high, consider improving your system's cooling, increasing fan speed, or reducing game graphics settings. Make sure there is proper airflow throughout your case by correcting fan placement and cleaning dust buildup regularly.