The video card is usually the most expensive part in a PC. It is the video card that determines the type of our computer – gaming, multimedia or office. Novice users often boldly take on the upgrade and maintenance of video cards, because at first glance there is nothing complicated in this. But careless handling can easily disable the video card, hitting your wallet hard. Let’s look at the main reasons why a video card can fail.
If you look at popular computer-themed YouTube channels, you may get the impression that the PC is just an expensive LEGO constructor, and assembling it incorrectly or with errors will not give the measures provided by the connectors and standards developers. But in practice, the user may encounter a dozen non-obvious problems, each of which can disable PC components.
Usually, video cards get the most, because replacing and dusting them is one of the first PC maintenance jobs that novice users face. If you want your components to work properly and the risk of them breaking down is minimal, you will have to spend time reading the instruction manual, reading guides and forums.
Let’s get acquainted with the most common causes of video card failure and ways to prevent it.
Poor ventilation in the case
Modern mid-range graphics cards generate a decent amount of heat – 100-180 watts, which must be quickly removed from the case. The situation worsens if the video card is clogged with dust. Some inexpensive cases are sold without an exhaust fan installed, and the heat is only blown out by the power supply.
As a result, the components begin to heat each other, bringing the temperature inside the case to 50 degrees or more. The video card in such conditions begins to heat up to critical values. And if overheating of the video chip is at least somehow eliminated by throttling, then strong heating of the memory chips can lead to their degradation and “dump” – damage to the BGA soldering contacts.
In a modern ATX or MicroATX case, you need at least one 120-140 mm fan for blowing out and one or two of the same for blowing in. Make sure they are spinning fast enough by going into the BIOS and looking at their RPMs.
Fans at 1000-1200 rpm will be optimal in terms of performance and noise, for example:
Fan Cooler Master NCR-12K1-GP
The case and the video card itself must be regularly cleaned of dust in compliance with all safety precautions.
One of the most common causes of video card failure. Sometimes it is enough to touch it with your hand, for example, by feeling it for heating, and after a quiet click, your video card will no longer show signs of life.
We do not touch components without a reason. We do not wear synthetic clothing when manipulating the PC. We use a protective bracelet and touch the metal parts of the case before touching the video card.
Tight installation of expansion cards
It is enough to install a decent-sized expansion card under the video card, for example: a sound, network or SATA controller, and you can significantly block the air supply to the video card.
And if you put any board above the video card, then the temperatures on it will begin to break all records. The situation worsens even more in cramped cases with MicroATX motherboards .
We put the expansion cards in the slots as far as possible from the video card. We replace the PCI-E expansion card with an analog with a USB connection.
If this is not possible, then we provide enhanced ventilation in the case by installing a fan at the bottom and in front.
In this case, a fan in the side cover of the case, blowing directly onto the video card, will help a lot. Additionally, you can increase the fan speed on the video card using the MSI Afterburner utility .
Weak and poor quality power supply
One of the highest risk factors for components is a low-quality PSU. Inexpensive power supplies may lack some of the protections, for example, against the supply of undervoltage and overvoltage (UVP / OVP).
This is complemented by weak capacitors that fail in 3-4 years, and thin wires, which heat up and even melt the insulation and contacts under a serious load.
As the filtering capacitors degrade, the power supply unit hardly keeps the voltage at its nominal value, supplementing this with strong ripples. Which, in turn, begin to disable the filter capacitors on the video card and motherboard.
Sooner or later, such a power supply will fail and may damage other components.
We do not save on BP! A fairly high-quality power supply with all protections and 80 PLUS certificates can now be bought for only 4000-5000 rubles.
Power Supply Cougar STX 550W [CGR ST-550]
[550 Вт, EPS12V, APFC, 20 + 4 pin, 1x 4+4 pin CPU, 6 шт SATA, 2x 6+2 pin PCI-E]
3 799 *
In stores: in 18 stores
Power Supply EVGA 600 W1 [100-W1-0600-K2]
[600 Вт, EPS12V, APFC, 20+4 pin, 1x 4+4 pin CPU, 6 SATA, 2x 6+2 pin PCI-E]
Do not chase power, most computers need a high-quality PSU with a power of 500-600 watts. It is better to choose a power supply with a longer warranty period. Together with 80 PLUS certificates , this indicates the quality of the PSU manufacturing.
Regularly clean the PSU from dust . After a period of work of 3-4 years and the end of the warranty, once a year we inspect the capacitors inside for blisters and drips. We try not to use adapters and power splitters.
We connect all power connectors all the way – until the safety tab snaps into place.
Distortion in the PCI-E slot
Skew in the PCI-E slot can occur when a video card is inserted or removed, as well as when the fixing bolts are loose. As a result, damage to the PCI-E pins is possible. It is strongly not recommended to leave the video card to work in an open stand without fixing.
It happens that the user forgets about the PCI-E latch and pulls the video card, breaking out the slot or damaging the contacts. Another type of slot damage is possible when installing a very heavy video card with a massive cooling system. She can simply break the slot.
Too much tension on the power cables that start to pull the video card is also dangerous.
We do all the manipulations with the video card and the PCI-E slot very carefully, without distortions. Lighting in the workplace should be sufficient. Do not assemble a PC while squatting on the floor. Allocate a fairly spacious table for this.
Do not forget about the PCI-E latch, look in advance in which direction to wring it out. If you have a very massive video card, choose motherboards with reinforced PCI-E slots. Power cables must fit with minimal interference.
Sagging and bending of textolite for heavy and long video cards
Even a well-fixed heavy video card can sag over time, bending the textolite and causing breaks in the conductive tracks or BGA soldering in it.
It is easy to avoid this, just support the video card with any support, such as a felt-tip pen. But a special emphasis looks more reliable and beautiful, for example:
Holder for video card Deepcool GH-01 750 *
Video card holder Deepcool GH-01 LED 799 *
Bending of the textolite of the video card during disassembly, cleaning, installation or replacement of CO
Textolite bending can also occur when disassembling a video card. Any pressure that causes the textolite to kink must be excluded. By strongly pressing on the CO (cooling system), for example, by inserting or removing a video card, you can cause not only bending of the textolite, but also chipping the graphics processor. Sometimes a dangerous bending of the textolite can occur when the CO bolts are too tightened.
When inserting a video card, gently press not on the CO, but on the edge of the PCB and the mounting frame. Video cards come in different designs – with a metal backplate, and with a huge cooling system hanging on four bolts. But always pressing on the edge of the textolite will be safer.
Tighten the CO bolts very carefully, alternately: “crosswise” and not to the maximum stop.
Chipping of small elements
This is one of the common types of damage to a video card without a protective backplate. Dozens of small capacitors and resistors on the back of the board are easily chipped if, for example, you hit them on the case, not to mention the video card falls to the floor.
You can damage the elements and tracks on the motherboard by hitting them with a frame with video card ports when removing and installing it.
All manipulations with the video card should be carried out very carefully. The workplace should be well lit. It is necessary to have free space where you can put accessories.
Try to choose video cards with a protective backplate. And it is better if it is metal and perforated for cooling. Like KFA2 GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER EX -1 Click OC .
Video card KFA2 GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER EX -1 Click OC
Overclocking video cards with a weak cooling system
Some video cards allow you to greatly increase the voltage on both the GPU and the memory. If the CO is weak and cannot cope, it can cause failure of the chip, memory, and even the power system.
You need to understand how much you will increase the power consumption of the video card during overclocking and whether its cooling system and power system will cope with this. If you are a beginner overclocker, overclock your video card moderately, without increasing the voltage, and read the guides and reviews on the forums about your model before you start serious overclocking.