Building a computer especially a gaming computer that requires a graphics/video card can be expensive, so it’s natural that one will wonder about the lifespan of such a device. For certain applications such as gaming, hardware encoding, and Crypto mining, the graphics card is a vital device that you cannot do without.
In this post, we’re going to find out the average lifespan of a graphics card, and what measures you can take to prolong the life of this device. Also, we’re going to go over the key failing points of a graphics card so you know what to expect.
Answer: A graphics card can last up to 3 years, but a well-kept one can last up to 10. What the graphics card is responsible for is quite simple, it’s made to accelerate the computer’s graphical processing power. As previously stated, it is fundamental in a lot of PC builds. The graphics card works like a normal processor(CPU) in the sense it has a processing core and requires RAM(VRAM).
Graphics Card Lifespan For Gamers
Graphics cards are meant to endure harsh conditions such as frequent overheating and cooling, therefore they’re not as fragile as you’d think. Gaming on a graphics card is essentially using it for its main purpose, it’ll last anywhere between 3-5 years of constant gaming. Sparse gaming can increase the lifespan significantly by reducing wear and tear so it could last up to 10 years.
The life expectancy of your graphics card is dependent on how much of a gamer you are, the more you play the quicker your GPU will die. However, the approximated lifespan is around 3-5 years and you should be looking to upgrade your graphics card before then.
Pushing your graphics card to its limit by overclocking, and overvolting will significantly decrease its lifespan, this is only recommended if you really want the extra FPS. You can expect the graphics card to last 2-4 years which is usually the warranty of graphics cards. Overclocking will indirectly decrease the lifespan of your graphics card by increasing the temperatures.
Graphics Card Lifespan For Crypto Miners
With crypto mining, the scenario is a lot different compared to gaming, because graphics cards for crypto mining are meant to run indefinitely at 100% utilization. This can have adverse effects on your graphics card, but with proper precautions such as undervolting, your GPU meant for crypto mining should last anywhere between 5-8 years.
Crypto miners are expected to apply the appropriate precautions for their graphics card, this includes regularly removing dust from the graphics card, and ensuring that there is sufficient airflow to the GPU. Also, a traditional crypto mining rig isn’t built in a normal PC case, rather they’re built in an open air frame.
When building a crypto mining PC it’s important to consider what power supply you’re going to be using. A bad power supply can cause your graphics card to perform usually, this is due to poor power delivery or bad voltages. Picking up a decent power supply can increase the lifespan of your graphics card, and help it last longer.
Also Read: Does Mining Damage GPU
how to tell if your graphics card is dying
There are signs letting you know that your graphics card is dying, and many of the times they can be inconspicuous. But the most common signs are games are becoming unplayable, frequent crashes, visual distortions/anomalies, and weird noises. The more subtle signs are
It can be frightening when you realize that you need to replace your graphics card especially if you paid a lot of money for it, but that’s the way it goes with PC components, nothing lasts forever. Most of the time, a graphics card will fail due to an overheating chip, and bad VRAM, improving the cooling may prolong its inevitable failure.
Another sign is obnoxiously loud fan noises which is a sign that your graphics card is operating hotter than usual or the fans themselves are failing. If it still runs loudly even when the graphics card has been cleaned, then it could be a sign that your graphics card is failing.
Replacing Graphics Card Thermal Paste
Your graphics card has a layer of themal paste placed between the GPU die and the cooler, it plays the same role it does with the CPU which is to efficiently transfer heat away from the processing core. Usually replacing the thermal paste can improve thermal conditions only in specific circumstances.
The time you should replace your thermal paste depends on what issues you’re facing, if your graphics card is dealing with abnormal temepratures, then it could be caused by the thermal paste wearing off. Also, when you’re replacing the graphics card cooler, you’ll need to apply a new layer of thermal paste to the GPU die.
This should be done in only niche situations as it is potentially warranty voiding and usually pointless. There have been many times where someone has replaced their graphics cards thermal paste to improve thermal performance to be suprised with worse temperatures, but for a guide on replacing thermal paste, check out computerinfobits.
Replacing Graphics Card Cooler
Replacing your graphics card cooler should only be done if your current cooler is failing you, however the process of replacing the cooler is quite simple. The GPU cooler is attached to the primary board and can be unscrewed. When unscrewed, apply a new layer of thermal place and place the new cooler which fits your graphics cards physical specifications.
You can find plenty of aftermarket coolers which fit your graphics card specifications, these aftermarket coolers can even provide you with superior cooling performance. You can even use a water cooling system on your graphics card which can provide you with even better cooling performance compared to an air cooler.
In conclusion, its pretty hard to estimate the lifespan of your graphics card as there are so many variables to consider. But in general, your graphics card should last longer than its warranty so you can expect your GPU to last up to 5 years. A hardcore gamers graphics card might last 3-5 years, and a sparse gamers graphics card can last up to 10 years.
If you’re crypto mining, it’s a little different because you’re putting the graphics card into an intesnive situation. Crypto miners usually undervolt and underclock their graphics card to keep the temperatures at an appropriate level. A crypto miners gpu should last 5-8 years.