What Is Low Profile Graphics Card

The Zotac GeForce GT 1030 Low Profile Graphics Card is featured at #1 on this list as it offers great balance between a GPU made for gaming and barebones video output. For those who are looking for a cheap, low-profile video card that offers them an acceptable performance on gaming at 1080P, the Gigabyte GT 1030 low-profile graphics card may be a good option for you. Even if you are looking to play current PC games on a PC, when having a low-profile graphics card, then you could still do that with the help of Gigabytes GeForce GTX 1650 Super OC.

In fact, the most effective and powerful graphics cards are usually available in low-profile form, and I cannot leave out ZOTACs GeForce GTX 1050 Ti in this regard.

Overall, Gigabytes Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC graphics card offers great performance, a reasonable aesthetics, and a solid cooling design, making it a great option. If you have a system prone to overheating, because of the dimensions of the package, as well as the cooling that is available, the Gigabyte Geforce could be an excellent replacement for the GPU. This card gives you more space inside the machine for cooling, but at the same time, it will still keep those strong graphics that you require.

The Gigabyte Geforce means anyone who is interested in turning around the life of their older computers has the option of doing so with a relatively low investment. While not powerful enough to get into advanced pro gaming or specialized, the card is capable of taking a modestly appointed computer up to casual hobbyist level of play, just by installing it easily.

If you are planning to build a gaming computer within a mini-ITX or micro-ATX case, and need a smaller graphics card to fit within, then either option above should do. If you are planning to build a smaller system, the following are the options below that are compact graphics cards that will meet your needs, regardless if your budget is big or small.

Nearly all of the lower-profile graphics cards are designed to fit into stock mounts, meaning that you can probably buy another mount that allows the lower-profile graphics cards to fit into standard-sized PC cases. Both of these will generally share the same chip size and brackets, although these will differ a fair bit, so be sure the low-profile graphics card you purchase is suitable for your case as well, and there is plenty of room inside your case. While some low-profile GPUs are really tiny, there are a large number of them that are a bit larger than others, which could become an issue, particularly if you are trying to build the smallest gaming PC possible or are aiming for a specific build.

A lower-profile card that has lower power requirements, is silent, and is smaller in size is generally going to have somewhat less sophisticated graphics processing, though, and a card like this cannot generally compete with the performance of larger video cards. A low-profile high-quality card may be a bit harder to come by, however, and dedicated PC gamers will generally find that such a cards graphics processing is insufficient for running new games at higher video settings.

You will barely find high-end graphics cards at lower profiles, although you can easily find low-end GPUs at mid-range prices that can handle 1080p high graphics settings at a playable framerate. You can easily envision lower-profile GPUs being comparatively cheaper than typical graphics cards, and then it depends on various factors including aesthetics, RGB, heat-cooling design, and general performance.

Often misused as an umbrella definition of smaller/more compact GPUs, Low-Profile GPUs are actually graphics cards that have a maximum height of 2.536 inches, and depending on MD1 or MD2 size specifications, maximum lengths of 119.91mm (4.721 inches) or 167.64mm (6.6 inches), respectively. A Half-height graphics card is also known as a low-rise graphics card, where it is installed comparatively lower in height compared to the rest of the offerings. Typically, low-profile graphics cards feature single slots in contrast to a standard GPU, and are shorter.

If you want to buy a smaller, lower-profile graphics card for your PC, you can look at GPU models such as GT 710, GT 730, GT 1030, and GTX 1650 from Nvidia, and the Radeon 7750 from AMD. Today, users do not just have one choice to go for the high-end GPUs; rather, they can get even half-sized graphics cards that offer nearly as much horsepower required by AAA gaming titles, as well as reasonable FPS results.

If you are looking to build a gaming PC in the smaller form factor, we have listed the top seven lower-profile graphics cards in this guide, in different price points and level of performance, to help you find the right choice for your system. To make it easier to make a decision, we have provided the table below with a brief overview, listing our top choices for the best low-profile and mini-form-factor video cards across various categories.

If you want an absolutely tiny GPU, you are going to have to deal with lower clock speeds and temperatures, which can in some cases prove to be unpleasant. You are getting a GPU that is a little worse performing, but it might be quieter, and will require less fuss in terms of cooling. You get a GPU that performs exactly like a full-size model, but it will get hotter and produce more noise.

Single-fan GPUs are extremely compact, meaning that there is less surface area to heat up, plus, they have just one fan, making cooling that much harder. Incredibly powerful graphics cards come with dual fans, but due to their reduced size, you will not find that they produce nearly as much noise as fans on standard-sized GPUs. In the end, however, low-profile, compact GPUs are niche markets for PC builders who, above all else, must work within size constraints, and can tolerate a hit to performance from thermal throttling or slower clock speeds.

How To See What Graphics Card You Have Windows 8

Next, you can click the Display tab, and you will be able to see detailed info about the graphics card in your PC/Laptop running Windows 10/8/7, including graphics card name, manufacturers, driver model/version/date, etc. Then, you can scroll down and click Advanced display settings to know which graphics card is present in your PC, and see detailed parameters about it. Press Win+I to open the Settings of Windows 10 Click System->Display Navigate and click Advanced Display Settings The action mentioned above will bring the next page, navigate and click on the display adapter properties By doing the steps mentioned above, it will show you your systems graphics card properties.

If you are using the NVIDIA Display Driver, you can also use the Windows Control Panel to open the NVIDIA Control Panel to view your system information and adjust settings. To check whether your PC meets Windows 8 requirements, you can review information about your PC by going to the Control Panel. To find your PCs base specifications, you will need to open up your Systems Panel.

At the top of the screen, you will also see which version of Windows you are running, and the bottom of the screen, you will see the name of your PC (as it appears over a network). You will see all general information on the current display preferences for your system, including your graphics card, its brand and model, amount of VRAM (video RAM), and what current resolution is being outputted from your device. Under Display Information, you will be able to see what graphics cards are installed in your PC, along with other crucial metrics that affect the visuals on your PC, such as the desktop resolution and the refresh rate.

Under Graphics information, you can see details of your graphics hardware, including how much memory you have. The total available graphics memory and dedicated video memory available in your system is shown.

In the resulting window, under the “Adapter” tab, the video cards VRAM and specifications are displayed alongside the dedicated video memory. If you dig deeper into the device manager, you will find the entry listed in the Adapter display category is the Microsoft Basic Display Driver, not your graphics cards model name.

Assuming that your graphics driver is installed properly, the easiest way to find out which graphics card model you installed is by checking Display adapters under the device manager. If you own a laptop or a prebuilt desktop, you can usually just look up the computers model to see which GPU is listed.

If you do not know which graphics card is used by your Windows-based computer, then check out this page for four ways of checking your graphics cards model and details, applicable for Windows 7, 8, 10, and beyond. Most games and programs for Windows will list details about your graphics card in the system requirements, and you may have to check which graphics card you have in order to know whether or not it fits the requirements. You can also look up your computers graphics card information using Task Manager in your Windows 10/8/7 PC.

Along with showing you the graphics card your GPU is sitting on, the Windows Task Manager will also display other details such as GPU Usage (how much the GPU is working right now) and GPU Temperature. You will also see additional information, like how much dedicated memory is in your GPU, in the Task Manager. Windows 10s Task Manager shows you GPU utilization here, and you can view GPU usage for individual apps, too.

In Windows 10, you can see GPU info and usage details directly in the Task Manager. On Windows 10, you can find video card statuses and other display-related info in the Settings app with ease.

For instance, if you have a gaming desktop system that has a side window panel, you can simply peek through the window and read out the cards name. You can also switch between card info using the GPU drop-down at the bottom of Windows built-in DirectX diagnostic tool, if you have dual graphics cards on the machine. This will not show your graphics cards manufacturer (this is known as sub-vendors under GPU-Z).

Once Windows built-in DirectX diagnostic tool has loaded, you will be presented with several individual tabs, as well as plenty of system info, including your motherboards maker, how much RAM is inside of your PC, etc. Choose the Display tab. For those with dual graphics cards (integrated and discrete) on the system, you will have two Display tabs open within the window.

Click on Display?tab to get the complete breakdown of your graphics devices, along with the graphics drivers running them. Next, you can expand System Summary -> Components -> Display, for detailed computer graphics adaptation information, including.

By selecting System information, you get the complete GPU specifications, including the model name and how much VRAM is present. The System Information window will pop up, automatically detecting the NVIDIA drivers, RAM memory, and showing you other details related to your graphics hardware. At the bottom-left of the window, you will see a drop-down list listing every GPU in your system.

Even if you are looking to find out whether or not you will be able to run Cyberpunk 2077 on your PC, you will be glad to hear Windows 10 has this graphics info built directly in. If you are checking information on a display connected to another GPU, or something like a USB handheld screen, that method might not display information for your main graphics card.

How To Reset Graphics Card Shortcut

One of the fastest ways to solve this issue is by reseting your graphics card on Windows 10, including using the hotkey, but there are several other ways of solving this issue. One of the fastest ways to reset or reboot your graphics card is to hit the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Ctrl + Shift + B. Please press the windows, Ctrl, Shift, and B keys together to reboot your graphics drivers.

This command will cause your screen to go black for a second, but restarts your graphics driver, potentially fixing whatever problems you are having. You do not need to wait for Windows 10 and 11 to catch the error, since you can reboot the graphics driver manually. This ability to restart the driver automatically is incredibly handy, but you should not wait for the system to catch up.

Other drivers may also get stuck, sometimes, and can be restarted manually, with some help from the device manager. Other drivers may also eventually freeze, and that requires visiting the device manager to be reloaded. If this does not fix your issue, you may want to try to reinstall the drivers for it.

Restarting a driver may fix small problems that appear out of nowhere. For instance, if your monitor suddenly starts showing artifacts, restarting its drivers might solve the issue.

If your graphics card has a lingering issue, restarting its drivers will not solve it. If you killed the driver process, Windows automatically restarts it. Once the removal is completed, you can restart the device, and Windows will automatically install the graphics drivers again.

After the graphics driver finishes its restarting process, your Windows experience will appear the same as before. Your Windows experience will resume once this process is completed.

You will see the PC froze, your screen went black, and the PC came back to normal life with the sound of the alarm. By default, doing this will make a Beep sound, and your screen goes black for a brief moment. Your screen will go black for a brief moment, you will hear the beep, and then it will return to normal.

Anytime you start doing anything that involves a visual graphics, the system can freeze, bringing up a blue screen before you. If your system stops working, and there is a blank blue screen before you, you have to assume your graphics card is what is causing problems. If your graphics card is malfunctioning, then you might encounter a black or flashing screen on your Windows device.

There may be a few reasons why the graphics card is not working, or why you are seeing a message on the screen saying the display drivers stopped responding and recovered. If your Display Driver has gone bad, then simply rebooting might not fix your issue easy. Remember, it is quite possible in rare cases your PC will not reinstall your drivers automatically.

Windows 10 will update your graphics cards drivers automatically via updates it deploys. Heres how to update graphics card drivers on Windows 11 machines. You can restore the graphics drivers using Windows Shortcuts or the Device Manager, the step-by-step is given below.

Using the Win+Ctrl+Shift+B shortcut in Windows is the easiest way to reboot graphics drivers in Windows 10 and Windows 11. Use the Win+Ctrl+Shift+B combination on the Windows 11/10 keyboard.

If your PC does not respond to either of these shortcuts, even after you rebooted its graphics drivers, then you probably will have to do a hard shutdown. This shortcut for Windows is a useful way to make sure that your GPU is working properly, without having to reboot the whole PC. After you do, your screen might go black for a brief moment as your troublesome graphics driver re-initializes.

If the windows shortcuts are not working due to any reasons, such as Ctrl keys do not work, then you can reinstall the graphics driver through Windows built-in tool, the Device Manager. To manually reset graphics drivers, you can use Win+Ctrl+Shift+B shortcut. Pressing Reset Video Driver Hotkey whenever there is any display problem, just hit the keyboard shortcut Windows + Ctrl + Shift + B.

This will bring up an Updates window, click Automatically search for drivers. Search the driver from the list, and then click Update to download and install it. The Driver Easy software will scan all of your drivers that are causing problems, and the screen will display the option to update.

Also, Windows may fail to automatically install a damaged driver once you have removed it. If Windows 10 and 11 continue to lock up after you reinstall your driver software, it could be deeper problems. It does not matter how powerful your gaming PC is; you are probably going to run into problems using Windows.

How To Make Sure A Game Is Using The Right Graphics Card

If you are wondering about the question of how do I ensure that my laptop is using a proper graphics card – both a CPU and a GPU – to play games, then you can confirm it very easily following the solutions mentioned above.

Sometimes, you might find your games or other apps are not using the NVIDIA specialized graphics card like they are supposed to. If your system has several GPUs, both an integrated one and a dedicated one, knowing which GPU is being used for what processes may be helpful. Heres how to find out whether your PC has just an integrated GPU, or also has a dedicated GPU, without opening up your hardware.

For regular gaming, and occasionally doing some picture/video editing, the integrated GPU should be sufficient. You will also want a dedicated GPU if you work regularly with graphics-intensive programs or play any serious games. If you plan on playing games such as The Witcher 3, you will want to make sure to pick up a top-of-the-line video card.

On the other hand, if you are planning to play games on a 1080P display only, then you may want to save a bit of money by going for a less-expensive graphics card that will still handle games with a 1080P display easily. Many of the mainline cards are good enough to run games at 1080p at 30–60fps, but you will want to get a higher-end card to run games at or near 4K with higher settings within-game in more demanding titles. If you are looking to build a high-end computer for competitive gaming, and need a monitor with high refresh rates in order to get the edge on the competition, then you will probably want to pick up a high-end graphics card capable of handling high refresh rates.

If you are getting below 80%-90% GPU utilization on demanding games, then it is very likely you are experiencing CPU bottleneck. Your GPU utilization is extremely low because you are using integrated graphics, you are having driver issues, you have a CPU bottleneck, or the games you are playing are not optimized.

This causes a lower GPU utilization, since there is no leftover CPU power to devote to something important, such as a video game. Some games make a mistake by using an integrated graphics card onboard rather than using a dedicated card, and because an integrated graphics card is not powerful enough to handle games, you will get really low frames and graphics.

Powering graphics-intensive games using the integrated card not only will choke their FPS output, it will cause a bottleneck and overload your CPU. Users will experience performance hitches when trying to run graphics-intensive games on integrated GPUs. Since both integrated and dedicated graphics processing units each have their uses, users can benefit by knowing the procedure for switching between the video cards in their systems.

So, if while playing a game, or while doing something demanding such as rendering video, you begin hearing loud fan noises coming from your laptop or desktop, there is a good chance the specific app that you are running is using the dedicated graphics card. In the event if the app you are running is using an integrated GPU rather than a dedicated graphics card, then one of the ways you can fix the problem is by forcing the app to use a dedicated graphics card via dedicated graphics control panel. In case if the specific game or process is not using a dedicated graphics card, then GPU load will be quite low.

This option allows to choose a preferred GPU, either the main Nvidia GPU or onboard integrated graphics, while right-clicking on an application or a game that you wish to launch. Another way of forcing the app or game to use your chosen GPU is by adding a Run With Graphics Processor option to your context menu when right-clicking any app or game. Also, some apps can bypass the Force if they have their own graphics settings (e.g., games).

If you wish to prevent an app from using this functionality, then on the Advanced Graphics Settings page, choose an app from the list, then press Remove. In the left-hand pane, click Manage 3D settings, and then choose High Performance NVIDIA Processors in the drop-down, and click Apply to save your changes. You will now be presented with a graphics preference window, where you can configure what GPU should be used for which app.

Under the Select application for setting preferences drop-down, choose Desktop Application to choose which third-party applications you want to set up on a particular GPU. From the top drop-down menu, choose which games/apps you wish to use a dedicated video card for. Open NVIDIA Control Panel Go to Manage 3D Settings in the left-hand menu Choose Program Settings In Step 1, select the program for which you wish to configure your graphics card In Step 2, in the dropdown menu, choose either Dedicated or Built-in Graphics Processors for the selected program.

If your laptop does not switch to the dedicated GPU when needed, you can manually do so through NVIDIA Control Panel or AMD Radeon Settings. Under “Set Graphics Preferences,” choose a power mode that uses the GPU that you would like to use for a game or application. Or, choose “Microsoft Store apps” to choose built-in Windows apps that will be running on the dedicated GPU.

If you would like to make Chrome, Firefox, or really any application or game run on dedicated GPUs like Nvidia or AMD, rather than the integrated graphics, or vice versa, heres how to choose the GPU an application runs on via graphics settings in Windows 10/11. This tutorial teaches you the steps for configuring which GPU your app uses in a multi-GPU Windows 10 laptop or desktop. If you understand these five factors, you will be much better equipped to pick a GPU that is suitable for your needs.

How To Tell If Your Graphics Card Is Dying

While the GPU is going to run the best way if and when it does not exhibit any of various major issues such as overheating and unsustainable performance, thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can diagnose and fix the flaws of your graphics card. Especially if a dying GPU is just failing when playing heavier games, or even lighter games, there is a very high probability the graphics card is defective.

If your GPU has damaged parts, or debris in important components like fans, then chances are that it will get too hot and die. Sometimes, if the fan stops working, this will result in your GPU running hotter, causing malfunctions and shortening your GPUs life. Fan noise is not directly related to GPU dying, but can be the reason for the graphics card dying.

Listen out for GPU fans suddenly getting louder, or constantly shifting to overdrive even when not gaming, etc. A complete lack of fan noise could also suggest an overworked fan has failed, with a graphics card not far behind. If GPU fans are making a consistent, loud noise, that means that they are working overtime to keep the GPU cool, and that may be the problem. When your system is under stress, or you have been using it for an extended time, its cooling fans are running at higher speeds and making more noise.

When playing games around the clock, this causes excessive heat, which may impact the performance of your system. You might not realize your GPU has failed or died until the PC crashes while using it. Most often, you will know that your card has died when you cannot restart the system.

You will begin to notice signs of your video card dying, like stuttering, forced restarts, and so on. If fans stopped working on your card, or if you see any leaky or bulging capacitors, then its time to get a replacement. If overheating is an issue, or the dying PSU is defective, look at the fans and cables, as these are probably the root problems that are causing your problems.

If problems such as stuttering occur on various media, and you are trying to fix the other possibilities, this may be a sign your graphics card is failing. Note that crashes may also occur when your video card does not support the software that the game is running. In some cases, the screen crash will occur only while playing games or running programs that use your video card.

In worst cases, screen glitches happen even when the GPU is in standby mode. There can be game crashes caused by glitches in-game, or minor screen hiccups. When a GPU is malfunctioning, a PC can crash and encounter problems with restarting.

Sometimes, when a GPU is defective, you might have a situation where your PC reboots, freezes, or shuts down unexpectedly. You might not realize your GPU has died until the computer crashes in the middle of a game, or smoke starts coming from your computers chassis. If you are playing games with higher power levels than your GPU can handle, then you are going to quickly find that the GPU is dead.

The minute you try using your GPU for something that requires a little bit more power, it is simply going to crash at the desktop or reboot the machine entirely. Otherwise, your GPU will keep on ticking away at you, creating worthless game latency. If a strange hiccup keeps coming up with each different game, even after restarting your PC several times, then that is your graphics unit; it is going to die.

If your computer suddenly starts to stutter or slow down at things that were doing just fine before — particularly anything graphics-intensive, such as games, rendering, and so on — then it is possible your GPU is dying. If your PC is turning into a portable oven every time you try to do something graphics-intensive, chances are, your GPU is dying. If you are doing something graphics-intensive, such as playing games or watching movies, maybe the blue screen indicates your GPU is dying.

Graphics-intensive tasks could include playing games, running video editing software, watching high-quality movies, etc. If a blue screen appears while performing any of those processes, you might experience signs your video card is dying. Considering virtually everything that is graphically intensive is running on your bad GPUs shoulders, getting telltale signs of a near-failure is always absolutely devastating. Believe it or not, your GPU is smart enough to give you a few early signs of failure, such as crashes and unusual noises.

Obviously, graphics and display issues on your monitor are a sign, but there are plenty of other indicators pointing towards a pending GPU disaster. If your PC starts showing tiny dots, strange lines and patterns, or visual junk, then it is likely your GPU is on the verge of seeing its last days. A dying GPU is a frustrating GPU, because it may make your PC crash frequently when gaming.

A dying GPU is not the only thing that can cause programs to stuttered and slow down. A dying GPU will exhibit several signs over time, including flickering screens, out-of-color pixels, and occasional screen crashes. While GPU issues are easily solvable and fixable, you may not realize that your GPU is dying until something dramatic happens.

GPU crashes can occur anytime, and there are plenty of telltale signs that indicate that your GPU has failed, including smoking coming from the PCs chassis, or consistent crashes in games. If you are using your graphics processing unit, or GPU, with extreme care, it may be capable of lasting decades, but it could get damaged if any electrical or internal faults occur. A weak card, poorly-coded games, or driver issues could cause your screen to also stutter, and it is still worth checking that it is well-maintained, especially if you believe that you have installed a powerful graphics card.

What Is Ssc Graphics Card

SSC stands for Super Superclocking, so lets take a look at just how well this works right out of the box. As far as EVGas version of the GTX 950s Super SuperClocked (SSC) goes, it looks pretty similar to the companys GeForce GTX 960 SSC ACX 2.0+ that we reviewed previously back in 2015. The Super SuperClocked (SSC) is the second-to-last model, while the GTX 950FTW edition offers an even higher clockspeed.

These three models are the Superclocked (SC), Super SuperClocked (SSC), and For The Win Edition (FTW) cards. Evga, one of Nvidias card partner panoply for the launch, is effectively going to be offering up four versions of the GeForce GTX 950. The GeForce GTX 960 card that we are looking at today is EVGAs GeForce GTX 960 SSC 4GB model, which is sold as part number 04G-P4-3966-KR.

EVGAs graphics cards are known for their impressive specifications and effective coolers, and now you can get their GeForce GTX 960 SSC as well, featuring 4GB GDDR5 instead of the earlier reference 4GB of 2GB GDDR5. The GTX 960 also includes DirectX 12 support, a newer, more productivity-enhancing gaming API that comes bundled with Windows 10. With GeForce GTX 980 and 970 comfortably commanding the high-end graphics card space, Nvidias targeting a critical enthusiast 1080p segment with GTX 960, the first true mainstream iteration of its mighty, but astoundingly energy-efficient, Maxwell processor architecture.

The EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card is loaded with groundbreaking new gaming tech, making it a great choice for recent HD games. A fantastic all-around solution from EVGA Corporation, in their SSC iteration, GTX 970 stays cool, excellent OC, smaller footprint. If you could find a GTX 950 GeForce card in any sort of guise — not necessarily EVGAs SSC iteration — at around $150, that is a decent savings over pricey alternatives.

It is an appealing package, and a perfect upgrade over an integrated graphics or aging discrete GPU, although partners will have to be aggressive about pricing, especially with an existing GTX 960 now available for less than PS150. As the higher resolutions show, however, the GeForce GTX 950 (as well as the more expensive GeForce GTX 960) is really not up to the challenge of gaming at more than 1080p, unless you are reducing the settings on the games significantly. The good news for those using 1920 x 1080 monitors for desktop gaming is that you do not need to shell out a few hundred dollars on a video card, since NVIDIAs GeForce GTX 960 is more than capable of 1080P gaming, and we have seen partners on board selling 2GB GeForce GTX 960 models priced at just $155, following rebate offers.

You have got a base model which is available with just 2GB of framebuffer memory and the reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 clock speeds, then you go up to overclocked cards which comes with either 2GB or 4GB of GDDR5 memory. First up, we have a package which, as you might notice, is smaller than the normal GTX 970, which is foreshadowing the GTX 970 being a very compact video card. On the front is all of the info you would want, with highlights like DX12, G-Sync, SSC, so you know this is the super-clocked model, and proprietary cooling, the ACX 2.0.

When the GTX 980 and GTX 970 were released, Microsoft provided the above initial specifications of the cards. The GTX 900 GPUs launched were going to be the standard Full/Die Harvested pair of cards, the GTX 980 using GM204 based underlying GPUs, and GTX 970 using a Die Harvested GPU in which one or more SMMs failed. As part of our discussions with Microsoft, they laid out that the GTX 970s initial published specifications were incorrect, and that this uncommon behavior was actually expected behavior from a card configured the way that GTX 970 was.

Looking at it as a card to move up from the GeForce GTX 750 Ti, the GeForce GTX 950 Ti delivers an extremely impressive amount of added performance — at least, that is what we tested with an overclocked EVGa SSC board. In the graphics subscore, which isolates the graphics hardware of our test bench, the EVGA GTX 950 SSC comes out a respectable 63% higher than the GeForce GTX 750 Ti, and around 13% lower than EVGAs own GeForce GTX 960 SSC (a card currently retailing for around $210, which is $40 higher). In the Graphics Subscore, which isolates our testbeds graphics hardware, the EVGA GTX 950 SSC landed an impressive 63 percent ahead of the GeForce GTX 750 Ti, and about 13 percent behind EVGAs own GeForce GTX 960 SSC (a card that currently costs about $ 210, or $ 40 more ). While the Nvidia GTX 960s stock and reference clocks are both at 1126MHz and 1178MHz overclock, the ASUS GTX 960 Strix is at 1253MHz/1317MHz; and the SSC from EVGA is clocked at 1279MHz/1342MHz.

The EVGA SSC packs in two BIOSes, which you can switch between at the push of a physical switch on the card. By default, the card uses a dbi BIOS that keeps fans turned off until temperatures reach 60C. Alternately, you can use ssc Performance BIOS to get a little extra grunt. EVGA recommends only a minimum of 400W PSU to properly run the single graphics card.

It would have been nice to see 3GB or 4GB of memory, or at the very least, wider memory buses, in order to future-proof the GTX 960 in a more effective way. This card is designed around PCI Express 3.0 bus architecture, offering maximum data-transfer speeds for more bandwidth-hungry games and 3D applications. The EVGA GeForce GTX 960 SSC 4GB comes with a black, fully covered backplate, which is tightly fitted into the rear portion of the card, and is meant not to interfere with the memory slots, nor with any other components located directly behind the main PCIe slots.

How To Tell If Graphics Card Is Dead

You may have witnessed an overheating issue when playing a favourite game that uses the graphics processor (GPU), and want to test your graphics cards health. Remember, overheating your GPU is a major reason why your card is dying. If overheating happens only after rendering 3D graphics for some time, or if your GPUs fans are loud while rendering, you may want to check your graphics cards temperatures.

Now, we are going to look at whether GPU is having any problems with overheating or graphics when running games. If the graphics drivers are constantly failing, then excessive GPU overclocking and temperatures are the primary cause of the problem. Sometimes, while playing a video game, your GPU might not render graphics properly.

If you are playing games that are more demanding than the GPU can handle, then you are going to quickly find that your GPU is dying. A dying GPU is a frustrating GPU, because it may make your PC crash frequently when playing games. A dying GPU is not the only thing that can cause programs to stuttered and slow down.

The most common indication that your card is dying is that you often experience crashes while running graphics-intensive programs. In some cases, the crashing of the screen occurs only while playing games or running programs that use your video card. There may be game glitches causing a crash of a game, or slight on-screen errors.

Note that glitches may occur even if your video card does not support the software that the game is running on. If issues such as stuttering occur on different media, and you are trying to fix the other possibilities, this may be a sign your graphics card is failing. A failing graphics card will result in the screen freezing while playing games or videos, and can occasionally crash your computer.

It is also worth noting that if you do not have a graphics card and are using a graphics integrated into the motherboard, the problems may be a signal of a motherboard malfunction, rather than a graphics issue. You tried doing a quick switch between dedicated graphics cards to integrated graphics cards while trying to fix the black screens. If you are getting Blue screens while performing visual demanding tasks, then it is possible that your GPU is ready for replacement.

If users are getting a blue screen error, particularly while performing graphics-intensive tasks, it is possible that your GPU could be having problems. If you are doing certain graphics-intensive tasks, such as playing games or watching movies, maybe a blue screen indicates your GPU is dying. Graphics-intensive tasks could include playing games, running video editing software, watching high-quality movies, etc. If a blue screen appears while performing any of those processes, you might experience signs your video card is dying.

When you are enjoying a favourite game (a graphics-intensive task) and the screen goes black, your graphics card is about to die. There is no telling how many times the blue screen of death may occur before the graphics card completely dies. A dying GPU will exhibit several signs over time, including flickering screens, out-of-color pixels, and occasional crashes on screen.

Especially if the dying GPU is just failing when playing heavier games, or even lighter games, there is a good chance the graphics card is defective. GPU crashes can occur anytime, and there are plenty of telltale signs that indicate that your GPU has failed, including smoking coming from the PCs chassis, or consistent crashes when playing games. Believe it or not, your GPU is smart enough to give you a few early signs of failure, such as crashes and unusual noises.

You may not know that your GPU has died until your PC crashes in the middle of a game, or smoke starts coming from the PCs chassis. Most often, you will know that your card has died when you cannot restart the system. You will begin to notice signs of your video card dying, like stuttering, forced restarts, and so on.

When GPU is defective, PC may freeze up and has problems with restarting. When a GPU dies, your monitor remains in idle when your PC is turned on, and on other occasions, you may hear beeps or warning codes coming from your motherboard.

Obviously, graphics and display issues on the monitor are a sign, but there are plenty of other indicators pointing to a pending GPU disaster. Considering virtually everything that is graphics-intensive is running on your bad GPUs shoulders, getting a telltale sign that it is about to fail is always absolutely devastating.

If your PC suddenly starts to stutter or slow down at things that were perfectly fine before–especially anything graphics-intensive, such as games, rendering, and so on–your GPU may be dying. If you are still suffering slowdowns on graphics-intensive tasks after all of this, then you could argue it is probably a hardware problem stemming from your GPU. You might not realize your CPU or RAM are bad until you need to push them through heavy workloads, such as rendering the graphics from #d in a high-resolution game.

While a graphics card is going to run the best it can unless and until it shows some severe issues, such as overheating and unsustainable performance, thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can diagnose and fix graphics card flaws. If your GPU shows different severe bugs such as overheating with unstable performance, you can return the graphics card either to the company or Mediator for overhauling. A weak card, poorly-coded games, or driver issues may cause your screen to stutter too, and is still worth checking for a healthy state, especially if you believe that you have got a high-powered graphics card installed.

These problems may be caused by other hardware or software issues as well, so users should perform troubleshooting to make sure it is the GPU, and not another component, that is the fault. Excessive GPU overclocking, heat, or even accumulation of dust particles may result in artifacts on the screen. You might even notice that the graphics in your games are blurred, particularly if the occasional artifact appears in an uncharacteristic location on the monitor.

How To Clean Graphics Card

First, you will want to use the compressed air can to get rid of the overwhelming amount of dust that is hanging out of your graphics card.

Instead, just use the can of compressed air, and use the cloth and Q-tips to clean as much as possible on the cards. Use compressed air to blast the dust off of what is left from wiping down with the cloth. Once removed, you can once again use a clean cloth and a Q-tip to brush off additional dust from your radiator.

If necessary, you can use Thermal Paste Remover or Isopropyl Alcohol to clean off the lids on your CPUs and heatsinks baseplates, and then allow to dry. If you have to change thermal paste, you can use a Q-tip or round brush with the alcohol to gently brush off any old thermal paste. You can use Isopropyl Alcohol to remove any stickers from your device, but use the cotton swab carefully to do this, do not allow it to bleed through.

Use a microfiber cloth, a swab, and isopropyl alcohol to wipe down the exterior of your GPU. Clean out the back of the GPU on your card using your lint-free cloth and alcohol. If GPU has thermal pad on rear side of video card, also remove with a flat-head screwdriver.

Use the flat-head screwdriver to carefully pull your video cards radiator off of the GPU chips. Remove the retention screws which hold your video cards heatsink to the GPU and the card.

Clean up the remaining surfaces on the video cards heatsink using a lint-free cloth and alcohol. You can also use the soft-cloth method to clean your fans wings, if you do not have the above mentioned hardware. Use a cotton ball dipped in alcohol to wipe down the cooling fans blades to get rid of all the gunk or mud that cannot be removed by compressed air.

Once the radiator is separated from the fan, you can use the brushes to get rid of much of the collected, caked-on dust to prevent it flying all over, and then use compressed air.

Direct compressed air to blast out of the case any dust falling on your PC or on the other components. If you are opening up a graphics card, use compressed air to blow around the interior, removing any remaining dust lurking behind GPU barriers. You might notice a bit of dust coming off your graphics card after reinstalling and turning on, but this is fine, and it is easy to clean up again with another quick blast of compressed air.

The first reason why dust may be the reason why a graphics card is overheating is because it may be getting into the vents and fans, blocking the airflow. Experiments have shown that cool air cannot efficiently pull heat away from heat sink fans in a graphics card when it is covered in dust. With its unique Dust Removal Technology, whenever a computer is booted, the cooling fans on the graphics card are reversing for 30 seconds at maximum speed.

Anti-static brushes and cloths may be helpful to remove especially stubborn dust, but for most cases compressed air is good enough to do it itself. If you are looking to get professional and make sure that all of your circuit boards are looking brand new, I suggest getting a small paintbrush and using it to help out your compressed air canister, brushing over your circuit boards as you blow in brief blasts of air to blow the loosening dust off. If the graphics card has not been cleaned for some time and dust is not coming off, you will want to use a cloth soaked with a little bit of isopropanol.

If you have removed your graphics card from the computer to repair connections or change thermal paste, for instance, you may want to perform a little more thorough cleaning than when the card was in your case. You can perform deeper cleanings on a card when it is removed from its case for whatever reason.

If you have to reapply thermal paste, or if taking off your CPU cooler makes it and the surrounding parts on your motherboard a lot easier to clean, you can gently pull off the cooler and place it to the side for cleaning on its own. As mentioned earlier, the most critical part of cleaning the PSU is to remove and properly clean the dust filter, before trying to clean the rest of the unit. The same tech that keeps the dust in will keep the debris out of the enclosure, too, so it is best to remove your filters at the beginning of your cleaning process.

You can also remove dust with an older, relatively inexpensive, vacuum. The best cleaners are those that have pressured air, and if you do not have a compressor, then the Soft Bloom will get the job done.

Like your RAM sticks, PC fans, and monitors, your graphics cards also can get smeary with time, and will need a little bit of scrubbing to keep them running their best. Overall, the frequency you need to clean your GPUs and CPUs depends on the dirtiness of the GPUs and CPUs, which you will notice when the temperatures are high.

For this step, just grab a piece of paper, pull off as much excess paste as you can, and remove any leftovers or most of the scuffs using a bit of paper dampened with Isopropyl Alcohol, making sure you wipe it down thoroughly. Once the paste has been cleaned off the GPU as well as the cooler, put a drop onto your IHS, the method for spreading this out is up to your personal preference since each one will tell you a different method, for me I like to use a plastic tab to evenly spread it over the whole surface of my IHS, as you can see in the picture.

How To Change A Laptop Graphics Card

You can update your laptops video card with the boring process of upgrading your GPU, which is also how you update your laptops graphics cards. Unfortunately, in order to really update your laptops cards, you need an upgrade in your GPU, which is also attached to your motherboard.

If you are looking to upgrade the graphics cards, and you do have a GPU on your laptop, then you are going to only see improvements to the displays if you are upgrading your CPU, and if that upgrade includes a GPU improvement. If your Laptop has dedicated GPU, or dedicated graphics card slot, which has compatibility for MXM 3.0, then you may be able to improve your graphics.

Only a few very selected laptops allow for direct upgrades of graphics chips. There is only a very select selection of gaming laptops that allow you to upgrade your graphics card.

If your laptop has one of the above GPUs, you will likely be able to get a compatible upgrade from the manufacturer. To answer the question, if you are looking to do a GPU upgrade on a laptop rather than getting a new laptop, then yes, but only under certain circumstances. The option of upgrading your laptops graphics card is a nice one to have, but rather than spending more than a thousand dollars just to upgrade a relatively outdated systems GPU, you could simply get a new laptop with the current specs.

With a modification kit, like those offered by Eurocom, you can install a new graphics card into the laptop and benefit from the many additional graphics horsepower. If you have a compatible laptop, there are various options that you can take to gain additional graphics power to use with gaming and for other tasks. Before you get too excited, these options do not mean that you can just pop in the card and instantly have a bump in the graphics power of your laptop.

Plugging really just gives you extra graphics out, so you can power external displays in addition to the built-in laptop screens. The easiest way to make a go of it with GPU options is to purchase an external graphics processor unit (GPU) and attach it to your gaming laptop.

You will want to have a compatible port, as an external GPU needs to be able to push graphics information quickly enough into your laptop. Your laptop needs to have the Thunderbolt 3 port in order to be connected to the gaming rig, which is compatible with both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. Your laptop must have a compatible port and a gaming box to house your video card, since they are powered via ThunderBolt 3.

If this is you, then keep in mind that some device manufacturers offer their own external GPU housings which you can attach to your laptop through the ExpressCard slot. If your laptop has either a built-in graphics card, or a discrete GPU soldered onto your motherboard, and you want to upgrade your GPU, you will have to get yourself an external GPU enclosure.

If you are upgrading from an integrated graphics, then your laptop will have a lot more graphics power with an external GPU enclosure than it does without one–do not expect desktop-like performance. If you are feeling the same, but you hate not being able to play every latest title, there is a way to gain a little more graphics performance out of your laptop, and that is to use an external GPU enclosure kit which can accommodate a desktop graphics card. If you have a Thunderbolt 3-capable compatible laptop, you can purchase a desktop graphics card and external GPU enclosure kit, and attach them to start taking advantage of higher-speed graphics.

With an eGPU equipped, your laptop can issue requests for graphics that the laptop needs to render to be pulled from an external dock instead of from your devices internal graphics card. The eGPU is a separate piece of hardware you can use to boost the graphics on your laptop, so that it can run games more demanding than what it is capable of at present. Using a laptops graphics processor, you can play games or encode/decode videos while still having the convenience of throwing it into a backpack.

External GPUs (eGPUs) let you attach an external hardware bridge to a laptop, which increases its graphics capabilities. An external GPU, known as an eGPU, allows your laptop to enjoy graphics similar to those of a desktop. An eGPU can easily outperform the internal graphics capabilities of a laptop, allowing more demanding software and more advanced games.

Since laptops are basically computers that you can take anywhere, most current laptops come equipped with a really nice graphics capabilities. An important point to note here is that nearly every laptop CPU has integrated graphics, whether from Intel or AMD.

Some higher-end or gaming laptops also have optional discrete graphics. The point is that most laptops come with dedicated GPUs — NVIDIA and AMD are the most common.

Even the ones that do can take a bit of complicated configuration, including finding an eGPU enclosure made by the same maker as the laptop. Remember, not every laptop is compatible with an eGPU, and some might even require the eGPU to be made by the same manufacturer as your laptop. If you are not sure about GPUs and suitable cases for your laptop, there are useful websites to guide you on assembling a suitable EGPU.

Even if there is a discrete graphics card for laptops, unfortunately, you cannot change that, since GPUs are soldered onto the motherboard before they even leave the factory and make their way into your hands.

Since an actual integrated graphics card is embedded into your laptops motherboard, the only way you could update would be by swapping motherboards, or having a professional install another integrated graphics card. The vast majority of laptops feature integrated graphics, meaning that the GPU (graphics processing unit) is permanently attached to the motherboard, rather than being removable like it is on desktop PCs. Laptops may utilize external video cards to get optimal gaming performance, since upgrading the graphics card is difficult.

Why Are Graphics Card So Expensive Right Now

The global market chip shortage is a major cause for helping to drive up graphics card prices. Another massive factor behind expensive graphics cards is the worldwide chips shortage, stemming from demand of semiconductor chips around the globe.

One of the biggest drivers behind the general rise of graphics card prices, along with other electronics components, is a spike in the demand for semiconductor chips, and a general shortage of supplies. There just are not enough graphics cards to go around in order to satisfy demand worldwide, and like any product in this situation, prices are going up accordingly. Combine this scarcity and despair with advanced bots capable of buying entire batches of supplies quicker than any human being could, and you have got the kind of insane prices seen on third-party seller sites such as eBay.

You cannot escape going, but neither should you buy an overpriced, scalped GPU from eBay or Facebook Marketplace simply because it is available. If you actually need a GPU, and have the cash, you may as well just buy it now, since high prices are not going down anytime soon. It is unclear whether inflated prices for GPUs are the result of GPU shortages, or just graphics cards getting expensive.

The more obvious reasons for the inflated GPU prices are silicon shortages and cryptocurrency mining. Add in scalpers, which profit off of the demand of gamers and cryptocurrency miners, and it is easy to understand why GPUs are priced this high. Graphics cards are expensive because scalpers bid up prices knowing that desperate buyers will pay nearly anything to get their hands on them.

The surplus graphics cards that the scalpers did not want were then listed online for sale at an inflated price, and those that missed out on buying one at the retailers when it was first available were forced to purchase them at an increased cost. The Scalpers are successful in buying cards at near MSRP, and then selling them back to consumers for much higher, inflated prices, and pocketing the difference.

GPU manufacturers are trying to make enough cards to sell in the market, but scalpers are still finding ways to stockpile them and creating artificial scarcity. Asus, one of the biggest PC parts vendors in the world, just told investors that the most pressing problem with GPUs now is Nvidias shortage of GPUs. From new PlayStation 5 (PS5) and Xbox game consoles, to the newest graphics processing units (GPUs) from AMD and Nvidia, supply is in severe crunch across the globe, as well as India. While the consoles are still available for sale at the retail price, it should be noted that GPUs are being sold for twice the cost, if not more, on the gray market.

The higher price tags are leading many PC gamers to wonder (open in new window) for whom the new-generation GPUs from Nvidia are for, too. Then, cards have climbed up the stack, with $1,199 16GB models of the RTX 4080 and $1,599 of the RTX 4090, both of which are coming out next month.

Now we are further into the year, and some of the RTX 3080 cards are actually selling for less than the list price on eBay. The RTX 3080 Ti is one of the only graphics cards selling for less than list price right now, which makes sense considering that it was severely overpriced to begin with. The RTX 3090 launched at $1,500, with recent price cuts dropping it to about $1,200.

Of course, it is hard not to view Confirmed as Nvidias way to entice a larger number of Nvidia customers–many of whom had been holding off buying a new GPU for several years, while cards were still difficult to purchase–to shell out even more cash for the expensive card.

Videocardz (open in new tab) converted price increases of a variety of Nvidia graphics cards that are in high demand from RMB to Dollars in their own report, and noted that AMDs GPU inventory seems less affected by the scarcity, even though they are facing an overpriced pricing. MyDrivers (opens in new tab), a Chinese language technology site, reports that Nvidias supply of its RTX 30-series graphics cards will fall 30% compared with August, with the RTX 3060 suffering from a 50% reduction in expected availability, while prices are rising once more for nearly all the GPUs on the market — including older equipment such as Nvidias GTX 1050 Ti. Nvidias new GeForce RTX 30-series, and AMDs new Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards, are both setting new performance records over the last-gen offerings, are setting new performance records over the disappointing offerings from last-gen — most have no way of getting one, especially not at reasonable prices.

Now, there are particular problems for graphics card makers like Nvidia and AMD, but in essence, last years explosion of electronics demand has vastly overtaken semiconductor manufacturing, creating bottlenecks for far too many products to mention here, graphic cards being among them. Pandemics, droughts, trade wars, an unprecedented boom in cryptocurrencies, global shortages in semiconductors, and a demand for electronics that would even 10 years ago have seemed science fiction, all added up to the semiconductor shortage. These four main reasons show it is not just in the graphics card industry that this is happening, and, as things stand right now, none of the conditions driving the graphics card costs seem likely to change.

Even more surprising, used GPUs are more expensive right now than new units. The expiration means prices are up to 25% higher on the highest-end GPUs – including Nvidias new RTX 3090, 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti, as well as AMDs RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT. Even older cards, such as NVIDIAs RTX 20-series, are going to cost more in 2022 than when they launched just a couple years ago.

While that is not going to cause a dramatic reduction in GPU prices, it will be easier to get them, which reduces demand. CEO Jensen Huang said consumers need to adjust their expectations about the pricing of GPUs, noting that the heavy production costs involved with chip production.