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The average life of a GPU

By Renrew ยท 27 replies
May 14, 2013
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  1. I've been blowing through graphics cards about every 12 months. Even with my new system it's been the same. I do play a lot of graphic intensity games. Could that be the reason for their early demise? The latest casualty is my GTX 560.
  2. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 857   +205

    A GPU's lifespan is at least 3-5 years. Hell, if you take care of your components it will last as long as you need it to in most cases. The fact that your GPU's are dieing in a year is strange. If this has indeed happened to all of your GPU's it is safe to say that the operating conditions inside your PC may not be too good. Or, you may just be burning them out? Do you SUPER overclock them or something? What sort of operating temps do you usually get?
  3. Renrew

    Renrew TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 253   +19

    The CPU runs @ 40 C
    The DPU runs @ 41 C
    I did notice on my custom built machine the PSU is mounted in such a way that the fan is blowing up into the GPU.
  4. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 857   +205

    Did you mean GPU instead of DPU? Are those idle or load temps? 41c idle temp for a GPU is fine. And, if the PSU is blowing into it - I wouldn't worry about it unless you start to see high temps because of it. When you say that your GPU's are dying. Do they just stop working? Do they start to create artifacts?
  5. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,233   +494

    Yeah, I'm betting it's the environment. I've only had one video card actually die on me (my 9800 GX2) but I still have cards as old as an nVidia nv10 that still works. Do you happen to smoke or have hairy pets that come close to your machine? Do you keep your home hotter than most? Is your computer sitting on a carpet floor?
  6. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,703   +171

    You need to monitor your temperatures under load, I'm guessing the 41C is at idle. Also check you're not pumping high voltages through your GPU if you're overclocking.
  7. Renrew

    Renrew TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 253   +19

    Sorry it is the GPU @41C and that is at idle.

    Environment---We keep our house @ 80 Degrees Farenheit. Have 2 small longhaired Dachshunds that are mostly outside, and the computer sits about 3 ft above the floor.

    Symptoms----card starts to shut down when I play an intensively graphic game, black screen. It does this more frequently as time goes by and then quits altogether. The symptoms are the same for every card I've had.

    I don't overclock, but the 560 ti I just bought states it is overclocked.
  8. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Posts: 319   +68

    I gave a friend of mine my old GTS 250 a while back. It's still working, although I doubt he uses it for games. You shouldn't be losing GPUs at the rate you describe. I'd agree with slh28. Check how high your GPU temperatures get when you game.
  9. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,233   +494

    Try using MSI Afterburner and in the settings go to the Monitoring tab. Select Log History to File and pay attention to what your temps are when your machine crashes. It may even be worth using the overlay to see the temps in realtime.
  10. Renrew

    Renrew TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 253   +19

    Thx everyone. I will download Afterburner this weekend after my business trip and let you know the results
  11. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Evangelist Posts: 353   +110

    80f (26.6c) is a fairly high ambient, but even so 41 & 42c is too high for idle temps, a case with decent airflow should keep idle temps within a few degrees of ambient temp (like my Corsair 400R does, even with CPU overclocked to 4500 and GPU overclocked to 1100). Sounds like a side fan or more airflow in general would help.
  12. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,380   +53

    Hell I still have my 295's that idle at 55c still working, from 2009. Hope you figure out what your issue is.
  13. dikbozo

    dikbozo TS Booster Posts: 82

    Often overlooked, PSU. How old, how big, what brand, what other peripherals or devices are using it. This could be caused by a short, as well.

    EDIT I have and use a PSU tester. It has solved and saved much grief and time.
  14. jarre

    jarre TS Rookie

    Had similar symptoms with a Radeon 4870 for a long time until I decided to bake it in the oven a year ago. Problems vanished after that and it works better than ever now. Could be a last resort if nothing else helps. IMHO your idle temps are just fine, but as stated, you need to see what they land on when the system is being stressed. And, if you've been using the same case, motherboard and PSU during the time all the graphics cards have died, you should investigate and/or perhaps exchange these components too.
  15. Renrew

    Renrew TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 253   +19

    I finally ran the Kombustor test on the GPU 560 TI. The temperature climbed to a toasty 80 C after a 2 minute test.
    Not one to be able to resist tinkering, I had set the fan speed from 20 % to 45% previously with Afterburner.
  16. i am Phenom II

    i am Phenom II TS Rookie

    For keepler its probebly 10-11years
  17. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,233   +494

    80 isn't too far off the mark for a full load on your GPU especially in such a warm environment - https://www.techspot.com/review/359-nvidia-geforce-gtx-560ti/page11.html

    As far as messing with the fan speed - make sure it's still ramping up as the load goes up. I would definitely have it running at 100% as soon as I passed ~65-70 C. Was it stable while you were running Kombustor?
  18. PC nerd

    PC nerd TS Booster Posts: 317   +41

    I think PSU fans usually pull air into the PSU. Not out of it.

    If yours really does blow out of the GPU, it will be pushing hot air into the GPU.

    PSU's should be mounted so the fan is facing down.
  19. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,925   +546

    I've got a pile of graphics cards, some cheaper brands, some more expensive brands, some performance, some passively cooled, many overclocked! The one common element is none have ever died in at least the last 13 years. Fans may have died on the active cooled ones and have either been relubricated or replaced but that is it. The cards were good as new after a bit of maintenance!

    80C is "warm" but not life threatening to the card. I've got an old HD4870OC that ran as much as 90C due to poor airflow which at last check was still working great. They are usually rated for 100C. Wouldn't recommend it but there you go.

    Having not experienced that sort of complete failure of hardware, no expert here but here are things I'd look at:
    • PSU quality (a very good way to blow components like silicon is to provide them with the wrong voltages).
    • Look out for dry fan bearings on the video card. This is something that has happened to me many times. Usually they go noisy before they die so you get some warning of problems. Your idle temps don't seem bad so this doesn't sound like the problem but very easy to check.
    • Bad motherboard. Low quality mobo (or bad component on it) could be damaging the card. Mobos do supply some power and have their own power regulating circuits.
    • Poor airflow - you saying the system goes black when under heavy load could be overheating or under-supply. The hotter your PSU runs, the lower it's max power output as well. If you have a pedestal fan you could open up your case and point the fan at the inside and see how you go. Hopefully your temps will be much lower and you can see if the PSU capacity is the problem. This comes back to the first point (PSU not keeping up can damage components).
    Renrew and cliffordcooley like this.
  20. swing82

    swing82 TS Member

    As another person mentioned, several things can cause this. If you live in an area with poor quality electricity [layman's term] your PSU will take a pounding.

    The power supply was also mentioned. Most people do not know that the power supply is one of the most important components, yet spend as little as possible thinking any PSU is fine. You should at least get a power supply that has been 80Plus Certified. Check to see if your PSU name brand and model number are listed. Here is the link:


    One other thing that has me concerned is your PSU blows air INTO the case. It should be pulling air OUT of the case and expelling it into the room where your computer is located.

    One other thing that I do is purchase a good uninterruptable power supply [UPS], it will help with some electrical problems coming to the computer.

    A PSU is a little like a shock absorber on a car, however, the PSU helps to protect against electrical problems. You can use a surge protector, but plug your computer and monitor into the surge protector and the surge protector into the UPS, which is plugged into the wall outlet.

    I cannot over state this, the quality of your power supply is vital. And, take it out of your case and figure out why it is blowing air into your computer case.


    Get cans of compressed air and clean all fans, heatsinks, and dust bunnies from inside the computer on a regular basis, twice a year if it is in a fairly dust/dirt free environment, more often if you live near a field that a farmer uses for crops, near any industry that dumps a lot of dirt and dust into the air.
  21. I second that motion, clean the computer, compressed air in a can is great for cleaning the video card heatsink. I have never had a video card fail on me ever. They get outmoded, like AGP to PCI-E
  22. Geesus

    Geesus TS Rookie Posts: 22   +15

    I've never in over 12 years had anything die on a pc other than a psu and a few optical drives. Still have a ti 4600 running perfectly in an old xp machine and a 9800 pro elsewhere. I put this "luck" down to having never touched these components without first having a grounding wire attached to me. But then I'm cautious like that. Seen plenty holding their gpu's proudly while dancing about on nylon carpets and claiming I'm being silly about the grounding stuff. They don't make the connection if their stuff dies a few months later, but what do I know?
  23. swing82

    swing82 TS Member

    I have others tell me safety from ESD is not important ... Ignorance. I am not trying to start a flame post, just that stopping ESD is important.
  24. ESD is a reality, I would never touch the gold contacts on RAM for instance, never. FWIW since Win98 only part I had die on me was a capacitor on a Gigabyte mobo.....long, long time ago. Excuse to upgrade. My brother has only had a psu blow. And I mean blow, big bang, smoke and flame. That's all the failed components (excluding hard drives) for 2 users for over a decade each
  25. Prosercunus

    Prosercunus TS Maniac Posts: 260   +106

    I don't even really take that great care of my computer (maybe dust it out twice a year) and I have only had one video card completely crap out on me (EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB). Otherwise I have never had problems with anything in my computer except maybe a faulty HDD here and there.

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