Graphics Processing Unit – Graphics Processing Unit Failing?

What is a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)?

The graphics processing unit is a device found in your computer that is responsible for displaying the visual image on your screen. A function of the GPU is to decrease the load on the Central Processing Unit of your computer. A GPU can be a dedicated graphics card or could be integrated within the motherboard of your machine. When subject to heavy loads or over clocked a GPU can be subject to strain which could lead to damage of the device.

How the GPU Fan Works

Most video card are equipped with fans to keep them cool. The driver software usually dictates the fan speed. The fan speed is adjusted by the driver dependent upon the pressure being put on the video card. This occurs because as the graphics processing unit is under a heavy work load it will generate additional heat and this in turn causes the fan to rotate faster to keep the unit cool. An example of when this is likely to occur is when you run graphically intensive programs such as 3D applications, high definition video rendering or playing HD videos which cause a heavy work load for the GPU.

Signs your GPU is Overheating

If the fan speed increases randomly or remains loud even when the system is not doing anything resource intensive, it can be an indication that the GPU is overheating. One way to rectify this problem is to check there is no dust or debris on the video card as this is a common cause of a GPU overheating. You can also check the temperature of the GPU using a temperature monitoring utility.

Symptoms of a failing GPU

Like any other computer device GPU’s don’t’ last forever, and the lifespan the GPU can be reduced if the device is continually performing to its maximum ability.

Intermittent Errors

Signs that the GPU is not performing optimally can be when there are intermittent errors on your computer. Examples of a struggling GPU include a slowdown in frame rates when using 3D programs which you didn’t experience previously. You might also find that the GPU can no longer handle the heavy load of some games causing the machine to crash while you are playing. – you could also get an error message when this occurs stating the display driver has been recovered.

Fan Noise

If you GPU is struggling to cope with high intensive applications you should notice an increase in the noise made by the fan. Visual Anomalies Another sure way to tell that your GPU is on the way out is if you get vidual anomalies on your screen:

Lines across the screen

Flickering images
Artefacts – weird angular shapes with holes in them.
Incorrect colours
A blank screen

Obvious Failure of the GPU

An obvious indication of a faulty GPU is that the computer reboots, displays a blue screen or locks up. This is most likely to happen when the GPU is under pressure as described above – trying to cope with the intensive calculations required for 3D applications, high-definition video rendering or other heavy work load such as playing HD videos.

Some Potential Solutions

An easy solution would be that the graphics card is not properly seated in your computer. Another easy fix is if the cables have come lose and need reconnecting. Also you might find the problem goes away if you update your video card drivers. Another possible correction could be that you have recently installed updated drivers which are unstable. Try going back to the previous drivers to see if this solves the problem.

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Affordable Computer Repairs and Service – If your graphics card needs replacing we can help. It is best if you bring you PC, laptop or Mac to us (48 Octantis Street, corner of Mars Street, Coorparoo). We will source a new video card for you and install it carefully and properly in your computer so that when we are finished your machine will perform as it used to before the failure of your video card. If the video chip is on your motherboard we can still help, unfortunately though, this is a more expensive repair job.

Graphics Processing Unit

Graphics Processing Unit

Affordable Computer Repairs and Service

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