In this post, we discuss what is GPU Thermal Throttling and whether is it bad or good for your Windows computer.
If you want to get the most out of your PC games, then a competent enough GPU is needed. However, it is also important to know when the device is thermal throttling. Advanced gamers from the PC space should know this, but that’s not a given so we’ve decided to explain.
Now, one should note that performance issues can boil down to several reasons. But there are times when the cause is not as straightforward as an outdated or corrupted driver or a damaged component. Some issues are very hard to find, and that includes GPU thermal throttling.
What is GPU Thermal Throttling?
When you see the core clock speed of your GPU, it usually refers to the speed of the chip, something that makes it easy to determine how fast the GPU can process information that relies on a lot of calculations, such as graphics processing.
If your graphics process is fast, then expect to have increased frames per second or FPS. Additionally, we must note that a GPUs clock is the speed of the VRAM that is onboard the device. Its purpose is to store graphics information temporarily. For example, textures relating to your game among other things.
When a GPU has a fast clock speed, it simply means it is more efficient at storing information. Still, always bear in mind that a faster clock speed is not better at improving framerates when compared to a core clock speed. Nevertheless, it is capable of making a noticeable difference, so do not shy away from using it.
Note that higher clock speeds usually mean your GPU will have to work harder than normal, and such things generate more heat. When the heat is too much, the GPU can experience an overheating situation, which could potentially cause permanent damage. Therefore, one must learn how to check the temperature of their GPU.
This is where thermal throttling comes into play. It is designed to prevent overheating of your GPU by lowering the clock speeds to a number that is more manageable.
Why does a GPU overheat?
If the ambient temperature of your computer is too high, then chances are your GPU is sucking in hot air instead of cool air. The hotter your computer gets, the more heat is generated by the GPU, and this will end up leading to thermal throttling.
In some situations, your GPU is still thermal throttling despite the low ambient temperature. This is likely due to an overworked GPU, so cut down on using heavy GPU-based applications for a while to give the GPU time to cool.
Can thermal throttling affect your games?
Yes, thermal throttling can indeed affect your games where performance is concerned. The moment a GPU begins to thermal throttle, players will see an immediate drop in their framerate. Still, if thermal throttling does its job properly, then the framerate drop issue should be rectified in short order.
Now, if the GPU keeps overheating then chances are the game or the entire operating system will crash. But not before seeing visual glitches in the game such as missing or flashing textures.
Now, if your GPU is overheating repeatedly without aid, then expect permanent damage in the long run because these devices are not immune, and they do not last forever.
How do I know if my GPU is thermal throttling?
Your fan speed will likely increase, and the computer will begin to make loud noises. Furthermore, expect slowdowns and possible crashes as the system attempts to protect itself from possible damage.
What temp will GPU shut down?
Many high-end GPUs have a maximum temperature between 95°C and 105°C. Once the system goes above the maximum temperature, the computer will, or should automatically shut down to protect components.
Read: How to Enable or Disable Power Throttling in Windows.