If you’re a computer enthusiast or a hardcore gamer, you must have encountered the frustrating issue of graphics card crashing.
As your graphics card is an essential component of your computer system, its malfunctioning can lead to significant performance problems and even system failures.
If you’re facing this issue regularly, you might ask yourself, “Why does my graphics card keep crashing?”
There can be various reasons behind this issue, which we will discuss in this article, including how to solve the problem.
So, Why Does Your Graphics Card Keep Crashing?
Several reasons can cause your graphics card to crash, and it’s always frustrating and time-consuming.
However, by identifying the cause of the crash, you’ll be able to know the right approach to fix the problem or prevent future crashes. Here’s why your GPU keeps crashing.
- Overclocking – Overclocking means running your graphics card at a higher clock speed than its recommended speed. While overclocking can boost your computer’s performance, it can also overheat your graphics card, causing it to crash.
- Outdated GPU drivers – GPU drivers are software that helps your computer communicate with the graphics card. If your GPU drivers are outdated, they can cause conflicts with other software or hardware components, resulting in crashes.
- Incompatible in-game settings – If your graphics card keeps crashing when you play a particular game, that’s how you narrow down to in-game settings issues. Every game comes with its recommended settings, and if you don’t configure your graphics card settings accordingly, it can cause conflicts and crashes.
- Incompatible drivers – Incompatibility with drivers occurs when you update other system components, such as the motherboard or chipset, without updating the corresponding graphics card drivers. Incompatibilities between different drivers can lead to instability resulting in crashes.
- Overheating – Overheating is a common issue that can cause graphics card crashes. Graphics cards generate heat during operation, and if the cooling system is inadequate, it can lead to overheating. The graphics card may automatically shut down when the temperature exceeds safe limits to prevent damage or crash.
- Old graphics cards – Another possible reason your graphics card keeps crashing could be that it’s simply old and can no longer keep up with the demands of modern games and applications. Over time, technology advances, and newer graphics cards are released with improved performance and capabilities. If you’re using an outdated graphics card, it may be struggling to handle the latest software.
- Moisture buildup on the card – like other computer components, Graphics cards are sensitive to moisture. Excessive humidity in the environment or liquid spills on the card can lead to short circuits or corrosion, resulting in crashes and other malfunctions.
- Faulty power supply unit – The PSU is responsible for providing power to all the components in your computer, including the graphics card. If the PSU cannot deliver a consistent and sufficient power supply, it can result in voltage fluctuations or insufficient power reaching the graphics card, leading to crashes.
- Outdated DirectX – DirectX is a collection of APIs many Windows-based games and software applications use. If your version of DirectX is outdated, it may not be compatible with newer games or applications, leading to performance issues.
How Can You Tell That Your Graphics Card Is Dying?
- Missing or flickering textures – Graphics cards render textures in video games and other graphics-intensive applications. If you notice that some textures are missing or flickering, it could indicate that your graphics card is starting to fail.
- The screen turns off – A faulty graphics card can cause the screen to turn off abruptly or randomly without warning signs.
- The screen turns blue – This blue screen of death (BSOD) occurs when an irreversible critical system error occurs. In many cases, the error is caused by a malfunctioning graphics card.
- GPU Artifacting – GPU artifacting occurs when the screen has graphical glitches or anomalies. These anomalies can appear as strange lines, dots, or shapes on the screen.
- Black Screen – Experiencing a black screen where your monitor remains on but displays no image clearly indicates a failing graphics card.
It can occur during system startup, gaming sessions, or even during regular desktop use, suggesting that the graphics card is struggling to function properly.
Diagnosing A Dying Graphics Card
Diagnosing a dying graphics card seems complicated, but it is not. You can accurately diagnose the problem and take appropriate action by following simple steps.
Check motherboard error codes.
When experiencing issues with a dying graphics card, one way to diagnose the problem is by checking the motherboard’s error codes.
Many motherboards have built-in diagnostic features that display error codes or LED indicators to identify hardware malfunctions.
Check the motherboard’s manual or website to understand the error code meanings and identify if any specific codes point to issues with the graphics card.
Inspect the graphics cards for damage or debris.
A visual inspection of the graphics card can also help you check and see what might be causing it to crash.
Check for any physical damage, such as bent pins, broken components, or burnt marks that may indicate a hardware failure.
Additionally, examine the card for dust or debris that could obstruct proper airflow and cause overheating. An observation you make from the inspection can help you pinpoint the root cause of the problem.
Test your graphics cards under load.
Testing the graphics card under load is an effective way to diagnose its health and identify potential issues.
Running stress tests or benchmarking software that pushes the graphics card to its limits can reveal instability, crashes, or artifacts on the screen.
During the stress test, observe if the graphics card produces unusual noises, such as coil whine or fan rattling, as these can also be signs of a dying card.
Pay attention to any sudden shutdowns or blue screen errors, as these can further confirm the deteriorating state of the graphics card.
If the graphics card exhibits these symptoms consistently during stress testing, it is likely to be nearing the end of its lifespan and may need to be replaced.
However, suppose the issues only occur sporadically or are resolved by other troubleshooting steps, such as driver updates or cleaning. In that case, the card may be experiencing temporary issues rather than a complete failure.
How To Fix The Graphics Cards That Keep Crashing
If your graphics cards keep crashing, here are some tips to fix your graphics card.
- Get a new graphics card – If your current card is outdated or damaged, it may not be able to handle the graphics demands of modern applications. Upgrading to a newer and better graphics card may be the best option.
- Change in-game settings – Adjusting the in-game settings can also help resolve graphics card crashes. Lowering the graphics settings, such as reducing the resolution, disabling anti-aliasing, or lowering texture quality, can reduce the strain on the graphics card. You will need to experiment with different settings to find the optimal balance between performance and visual quality. By reducing the workload on the graphics card, you can mitigate crashes and improve stability while still enjoying your games.
- Replace your PSU – You may need to replace your PSU with a more reliable and higher-quality unit that can meet the power demands of your system, especially if you have upgraded your graphics card or added other power-hungry components.
- Turn off overclocking – Reverting to the default clock speeds or reducing the overclock to the recommended speed may help resolve the issue.
- Update DirectX – Download and install the latest version from the official Microsoft website to ensure compatibility and stability with DirectX-enabled software.
- Check why your graphics card is overheating – Check for any underlying issues that may be causing your graphics card to overheat. Ensure that the cooling system, including fans and heat sinks, is functioning properly and not obstructed by dust or debris. Consider improving the airflow in your computer case and use additional cooling solutions such as liquid cooling.
- Update GPU driver – Drivers play an essential role in ensuring that your hardware works correctly with your operating system. Updating to the latest driver version may fix issues related to compatibility and stability.
- Run SFC scan – System File Checker (SFC) is a built-in Windows tool that scans and repairs corrupted system files. Corrupted system files can sometimes cause crashes and other issues with the graphics card. Open the Command Prompt as an administrator and run the “sfc /scannow” command. This will initiate a scan and automatically repair any corrupted system files that may affect your graphics card’s stability.
- Remove and clean your graphics card – Dust buildup on the graphics card and its components can hinder proper heat dissipation, leading to overheating.
Remove the graphics card from its slot and use compressed air or a soft brush to gently clean it, removing any accumulated dust or debris. The cleaning process can help improve airflow and reduce the risk of overheating and crashes.
A graphics card that keeps crashing can be frustrating for any computer user. However, there are several potential reasons why this may be happening, ranging from outdated drivers and overheating to hardware malfunctions.
By identifying the root cause of the problem, you can take proactive steps to resolve the issue. In some cases, replacing the graphics card altogether may be necessary.