You have been playing your favorite game for hours, and you start hearing a buzzing noise. You realize that the noise is coming from your GPU and you start wondering. Is my GPU temperature too high? What is an average GPU temperature while gaming?
If this story sounds familiar, you are at the right place. In this article, I will answer the frequently asked question: “What is an optimal GPU temperature while gaming?”. And also give you some tips on how to monitor your GPU temperature, and what to do if your it is too high.
Let’s get started!
What Is a Normal GPU Temperature for Gaming?
The normal GPU temps while gaming should be around 60-85°C (140-185F). If it is below 60°C, you have a very good cooling system, or your GPU is underclocked. However, if your GPU temperature goes above 85°C, you need to take some action to bring it down.
Related Article: Is 75hz Good For Gaming?
Average Nvidia GPU Temp for Gaming
I am sure that a lot of you reading this article so far will be like, “but Nvidia says that their GPUs can operate at up to 100°C“. Yes, that is correct. However, that does not mean you should allow your GPU to reach those temperatures.
You see, when Nvidia says that their GPUs can operate at up to 100°C, they are referring to the “maximum junction temperature.”
The maximum junction temperature is the highest safe operating temperature of the GPU. It is not the temperature that you should be aiming for. You should aim for a core temperature at least 10-15°C lower than the maximum junction temperature.
For Nvidia GPUs, we recommend aiming for a core temperature between 70-85°C when gaming. Anything above that, and you are pushing it too far.
Related Article: What Is CPU Throttling & Thermal Throttling?
Average AMD GPU Temp For Gaming
Now, if you are an AMD user, you already know that AMD states their GPUs can operate up to 90-100°C.
Just like with Nvidia, take this number with a grain of salt. You should not be aiming for a graphics card temperature that high. We recommend keeping your AMD GPU temperature between 60-70°C when gaming.
Related Article: Does Motherboard Matter For Gaming?
What is a good Idle GPU temp?
An idle graphics card’s normal temperature range should be around 40-60C. I will not go into this as you are here to find the normal GPU temperature while gaming. But if you want to know more about idle GPU temperatures, you can read this article.
Monitoring Your GPU Temperature
Now that you know the normal graphics card average temperature, you might be thinking, “How can I check my GPU temperature while gaming?”. There are many ways to do that, and the most common is using a software called “MSI Afterburner.”
MSI Afterburner is a free graphics card monitoring software that works with both Nvidia and AMD GPUs. It is very user-friendly and will allow you to check your GPU temperature while gaming.
To download MSI Afterburner, go to their official website and download the latest version.
Once you have installed MSI Afterburner, launch the program and go to the “monitoring” tab.
There you will see a list of all the sensors being monitored. Find the “GPU Temperature” sensor and click on the tick box next to it.
Scroll down and select the “Show in On-Screen Display” option.
Now, launch your game, and you will see your graphics card temperature in the left corner of your screen.
Just play your game and monitor your GPU temperature. If it goes above 85°C, then you need to take action to bring it down. You can check out this article if you want more details about installing and using MSI Afterburner and other GPU monitoring software.
Why Is My GPU Temperature Too High?
There can be many reasons for your GPU overheating, but let’s look at the most common ones.
1. Dust Build-Up
This is by far the most common reason why your GPU overheats. Over time, dust will build up in your computer case and GPU fans, eventually blocking the airflow to your Graphics Processing Unit.
When this happens, your graphics card will start overheating because it is not getting enough fresh air to cool itself down. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix.
All you need to do is open up your computer case and clean out the dust that has built up. You can use a can of compressed air to make this job easier. Just make sure that you hold the can upright when you are using it, or else the liquid will come out and damage your GPU.
2. Poor Airflow
Another common reason for high GPU temperatures is poor airflow. If your computer case does not have enough fans, or if they are not positioned correctly, your GPU will not get enough air to keep itself cool.
To fix this problem, you need to make sure that you have enough fans in your computer case and that they have the correct airflow.
The are two airflow patterns, and they are called “negative pressure” and “positive pressure.”
Negative pressure is when you have placed the fans in a way where more air is being pulled out of the case than being pushed in. This airflow pattern has better cooling performance, but dust build-up will be a problem.
Positive pressure is when you have placed the fans in a way where more air is being pushed into the case than pulled out. This airflow pattern does not have as good cooling performance as negative pressure, but dust build-up will not be as big of a problem.
I personally use negative pressure because I have a routine of cleaning out my computer case every few months, but you can choose whichever airflow pattern you want.
If you have overclocked your GPU and are reading this article, it means that you shouldn’t have done it in the first place.
Overclocking is a very complex topic and if you don’t know what you are doing, you can easily damage your GPU.
So, if you have overclocked your GPU recently and it is running too hot, then the only thing you can do is reset your GPU to its default clock speeds. When you overclock your GPU, its temperature will increase, and if you don’t have good cooling, it will overheat.
4. Your GPU Is Not Good Enough
This is not a problem but more of an explanation for why your GPU might be running too hot.
If you are playing a demanding game and your GPU is running hot, it is probably because your GPU is not good enough to run it at high settings.
Try lowering the game’s settings and see if that helps reduce your GPU temperature. If it did, your GPU is not good enough to run the game at high settings, and you should either get a better GPU or play the game at lower settings.
Related Article: 100% GPU Usage: Should I Worry?
5. Your Room Is Too Hot
If you are playing a demanding game and your GPU is running hot, it might be because the room temperature is too high.
GPUs tend to overheat when the ambient temperature is high, so if your room is too hot, that might be why your GPU is running too hot.
To fix this problem, you need to lower the room temperature. One way to do this is to open a window or turn the air conditioner on.
Related Article: Is Intel Core i7 Good For Gaming?
Normal GPU While Gaming FAQ
Is 80 Degrees Celsius Hot For A GPU?
If you are playing a game and your GPU is running at 80 degrees Celsius, it is not too hot, and you don’t need to worry. However, if your GPU is idling at 80 degrees Celsius, then that is too hot, and you need to take action to fix the problem.
How Hot Should RTX 3080 Get?
Like all Nvidia GPUs, the RTX 3080 should not exceed 85 degrees Celsius.
Related Article: What Is GPU Artifacting, And How To Fix It
A good GPU temp while gaming is anything below 85 degrees Celsius. If your GPU is running above 85 degrees Celsius, then you need to take action to fix the problem.
Overclocking, dust build-up, and high ambient temperatures are reasons your GPU might be running too hot. Monitor your GPU temperature while gaming and fix the problem if your GPU is running too hot.
Nick Ryley is a computer architect and the owner of The Pc Geekz.
His love for playing games got him interested in computers in the first place. He wanted to be able to build a gaming PC that could run all the latest games at max settings, and this has him pursuing a major in computer architecture!
He started this blog to help people out and answer some of the most common questions about computer building