How To Tell If Your Graphics Card Is Dying

Looking at the specs of any PC, a solid graphics card with strong specs is a must-have for your modern device. It is a must-have for professional games, YouTubers, or anyone who wants to push their graphics game to the next advanced level.

GPU contains a metallic backplate, two or three cooling fans, and large heatsinks. Along with a lot of benefits, they also come up with a lot of issues and glitches, and the ones who aren’t aware of them a lot might find them problematic and complicated, so here’s a detailed article about what you might face when your card is on fault.

If you’re having trouble while working or playing video games, or you’re facing any kinda technical difficulty or visual display glitches, or your PC has been giving those different red signs it might be that your graphic card isn’t working properly or is about to die.

If you’re not having proper knowledge about technical hitches and you’re unsure that if it’s actually your GPU(Graphic Processor Unit) dying or any other complication. Then, here are some signs which will assist you to identify the roots of the problem.



It basically means that you’ll face some random video stuttering while watching videos. Your screen may freeze for a while and then will return to normal.

Though malware, viruses, faulty hard drives, or RAM could also cause such event if you’re confident that your PC is new and fault free and virus free, your RAMs are working fine and hard drives are accurate too then that’s the only time you should consider your graphic card may be at fault too. But at this point, your graphics card is still redeemable.


You might have seen random color lines while watching videos on the wear and tear CDs or in your old televisions, which more looks like a dead pixel. If this dead pixel stays on one part, then it might be the monitor’s fault. But if those random pixel colors go around the screen then it can be the last minutes of your graphics card working error-free.

Random Glitches

It is one of the signs that your graphics card is becoming faulty. At this point, the graphics card can be redeemable or not redeemable depending on how often you’re experiencing this.

If you’re continuously experiencing screen stuttering and random glitches and are doing nothing to fix this or prevent this, then your graphic card may die soon.


In this, you’ll see random green colored lines on your screen. These lines can be too much that may cover your screen and you’ll feel difficulty while seeing or doing your tasks or these can be few covering a little space of your screen but in both cases, they indicate the problem in the graphics card.

Although, this type of issue may be caused by a graphic card driver as well, if you already got the latest driver through the auto-update and you’re still seeing this on your screen, no matter how much you restart your PC. At this point, your graphics card is almost dying and is not redeemable anymore.

Buying a new one is the only solution. Most of the time this issue occurs while performing specific tasks i.e watching Youtube videos. If it’s only on youtube or any video or movie then I guess one needs to update the driver or reinstall it. And make sure to update your windows as well. This bizarre visual artifact may be long-lasting or of some seconds as 3 seconds. You may notice off-color pixelations.


This usually happens when the age of the graphics card has exceeded. You may experience hanging of your device, delay in the loading of your tabs, and continuous interruption during doing any heavy task. This may happen due to several reasons but the graphic cards could be one too.

You can resolve this either by fixing minor issues at home or to consult a laptop technician. Sometimes you have to replace the old wear and tear one with the brand new graphics card.


In this, you’ll see that monitor isn’t receiving any signal even if you try to restart your PC. Your monitor will crash and won’t reboot. These crashes will be simply from the appearance of a blue screen to a lockup, mostly known as freezing of the screen.

Most often it happens after an intense gaming session. Though, this issue can also be of power supply issue or a RAM stick issue. If it is the power supply’s fault then you’ll see no system lights and system fans running at all. If it RAM issue then you’ll see lights and fans running properly.


But if you do all of the preventive measures and try to fix the RAM and power supply and still it isn’t fixed, then your GPU is already dead. But you can also double-check it to make sure that it is a graphics card issue or not. You can insert your graphics card into your friend’s PC’s rig that is compatible with your device. If the problem persists, then I guess it’s time to purchase a new graphics card.

Most of the time when you’re watching something bright and your skin turned black, this could also be the sign but it could be a monitor issue too. Firstly, double-check it, if it’s really the GPU then you need to fix it as soon as possible.

When the issues mentioned here get severe, then the whole screen may crash. It’ll appear black at first and then after some time, you’ll get a notice that one of your hardware components, most of the time graphics card isn’t working anymore.

About the blue screen of death, it is actually random warnings popping out on the monitor’s screen. They are known as blue screens of death and they could be due to several reasons including general problems not specifically telling you about GPU.

Sometimes your laptop will ask for a restart or a reboot by itself. Your screen will turn blue with some sort of warning on it. The words might be Your PC ran into a problem and we need to restart.


This can be like when you’re done doing your tasks, a white screen will appear and you’ll be unable to see your desktop. Temp looks fine, pretty good scores on benchmark, games work fine but you’ll get a white screen after you’re done using your laptop.

Everything is fine until you put some stress on the system. Usually, the new GPU doesn’t go that way even if you stress test it but if that GPU is 2nd hand it is a different story. On the other hand, you can ask a friend with a compatible pc to try your GPU out. If the problem persists then it is the GPU, if not it might be a failing drive or some other parts.


This happens when your GPU already dies like you may experience smoke coming out of the ventilations and your computer may crash during a game. Now, this is some sort of serious issue with your graphics card and the only solution to this is to spend hundred dollars and buy a new graphics card.



After closing any app that gave you a warning, if it crashes after few minutes, then it could be a sign of graphics card disturbance. If your whole screen gets filled with colorful particles and they spam all over the screen for like a whole minute, then it’s some serious issues.


Things on the screen move unusually making it difficult for you to see. Lines on the screen jump above and below also kind of artifacts displayed on the screen. This doesn’t necessarily mean that our GPU is bad or failing. It could be a monitor issue, driver’s issue, or any cabling issue. Or it could be more probably that the graphics card is going bad. The way you can tell is when you’re gaming or using the screen.

If you’re not using any specific GPU and are using motherboard integrated GPU then a slight problem in the motherboard can destroy the GPU. Some motherboards can sense where the problem is coming from and will give you signs or warnings to fix them the moment they fail.

You can detect or fix this by unveiling the case of your computer, then check out if the motherboard has shown any error codes or signs. If it is so, then you should reboot your computers and fix them by following the instructions given on the instruction manual card of motherboards.


Nowadays GPUs are designed so perfectly that they might bear your crucial gaming sessions but if that limit exceeds, your video card may end up dying. Faulty GPUs run a little bit hotter than normal. They do build up the dust too quickly and push up a temperature quite sooner.

But at this point, it is quite redeemable and recoverable. Keep an eye on the temperature and the sound of the fan, they might give you a lot of info about the GPU’s health. If the sound of the fan is quite loud then it is clearly indicating the problem in the graphics card.

Sometimes temperature elevates due to aggressive programs running into your PC or Laptop, so try to use less aggressive software. Running with super high temperatures for so long will damage the card and also will shorten the life of your card. So keep an eye on the fans so you must be able to tell where the problem is coming from.

But sometimes, you can do some measures and save your dying car to some extent and can increase its life span.


Regular checking after a month or two is a mandatory part to keep your graphics card work time long. Check out the fans of graphics cards after a month or two, if there is any debris, clean it by taking proper measures. Make sure it isn’t too hot.

Maintenance of your device and its components regularly both digitally and physically is really important. You can check this by losing the screws of the components and by visually checking them.


Sometimes, it’s not the problem of GPU and it can be some sort of minor problems i.e wire problems. The signs may trigger you and make you worried about the GPU or any other stuff but double-checking every piece of equipment before falling into the conclusion is the key.


Double-check your wires, sensors, and other minor equipment. These little problems don’t need high-level knowledge to get fixed. You can fix those wires at home as well.


When you don’t have the right drivers installed, your graphic card will fry up quickly. Make sure your drivers are up-to-date and are coping with the version of your PC and new mandatory stuff. You can uninstall and then reinstall for the newer version.


With passing time, the graphics card will first get rust and then will be dry. Firstly, you should be taking care of it enough to not get dry but with time rig, and graphics card, both can get dry and rusty. There is nothing much to be worried about, a little care may save it.

An average graphic card can stay up to 5 years i.e it is having a lifetime of 5 years. So once, it is rusty, it is inevitable and may reduce its lifetime but silicon gel may help sometimes. Check out the back of the GPU, it might be dirty and dusty at the back.

The best way to fix this out is to clean this gently with Isopropanol or some sort of contact cleaner, aggressive cleaning may lead to more destruction, so stay calm and clean it with gentle hands.

If you are interested in purchasing a new Graphics Card that will fulfill your needs. Then our Buying Guide will surely help you in having a new one

Chris Stobing
Chris Stobing is a hardware analyst at PhenomBuilts. He is a graduate of New York University. Chris brings his experience benchmarking and reviewing gadgets and PC hardware such as graphics cards, monitors, storage, and networking equipment.
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