How Long Do Graphics Cards Last? (Do GPUs Go BAD)

How long do graphics cards last? When assembling your computer rig, graphics cards are among the most expensive components. As for motherboards, they come in a wide range of quality, performance, and, of course, price. Wouldn’t you consider investing a little more in a graphics card that is truly worth it if you heard that it would last for 7 years? How long does a graphics card last?

What is the lifespan of a GPU? On average, GPUs (graphics cards) last between 5-and 7 years, but in extreme overclocking situations, GPUs may only last 2-5 years. Although the majority of GPUs were replaced not due to any hardware failure because they had become outdated and were unable to run the latest software.

A graphics card can last between 6 to 8 years with full support from the manufacturer if it has been around since its launch still use it past this point, but there are a few things to consider before continuing to use your graphics card for so long.

Following are some data on GPU with their Launch Year, Lifespan & Overclocked Status:

GPU NameLaunch YearLifespanOverclocked/Status
GeForce GTX 77020136 YearsNo/ Replaced for getting old
GeForce GTX 108020164 YearsYes/ Wear out
GeForce GTX 107020165+ YearsLittle Bit/ Running currently
GTX 980 Ti20155 YearsNo/ Stopped working
GTX 106020165 YearsYes/ Sold

Please note that I have not intentionally included the latest GPUs in this chart. In comparison to GPUs such as Nvidia 3070 and 3080, the AMD Radeon series is pretty new, so we don’t know how much faster they are.

Therefore, I have only included the older GPUs that were once beasts, and people still use them today.

Do Graphics Cards Go Bad?

Depending on the games you play, a graphics card could last a long, long time, but at some point, every graphics card will play its last game. There is a chance that a GPU might go bad over time as well, usually because they are no longer fast enough to play modern games.

When graphics cards are operated at high temperatures for a long period or overclocked and run at high voltages, they eventually stop working. In most cases, overheating is the cause of a failing graphics card. They usually overheat when a heatsink gets clogged with dust or when a cooling fan bearing fails.

How Often Do Graphics Cards Fail?

It happens very rarely. There’s very little chance that your graphics card will fail unless it’s old, heavily overclocked, used for cryptocurrency mining, or overheating.

Failure rates for cards are not released by manufacturers. Despite this, some retailers provided return rates in the past, giving modern GPUs a failure rate between almost zero and 5%.

What Causes Graphics Cards To Fail?

In addition to failing for reasons we do not know, the heat can seriously harm graphics cards, drastically shortening their lives and reducing their lifespans. Even if thermals are bad, a few other things can also cause imminent failure.

Bad Cooling Performance

To cool a very powerful GPU and CPU, you will also need a powerful AIO (All in one cooler). Using the highest-end GPU is useless if the cooling system can’t keep the parts cool.

GPUs generate lots of heat, so they end up overheating, and performance declines rather than increasing.

Cooling Fan

In addition, proper airflow is another factor to consider if you expect your GPU to run for a long time. Most people believe bigger cabinets can increase airflow.

But bigger cabinets do not guarantee better airflow. You cannot expect optimal performance if the airflow is not in your GPU’s favor.

PC cabinet fans are often installed in the opposite direction, which also interferes with airflow.

Extreme Card Overclocking

It is possible to overclock your PC for even more performance. Normally, when we talk about OC’ing, we are talking about the CPU, but this time it is the GPU.

As a result, you can overclock it to improve its performance, such as increasing the number of frames per second in games and producing better benchmark results.

There is a reason why manufacturers give you the choice of overclocking or not. There is a very moderate increase in a factory because they don’t want to take all of the responsibility if your card suddenly fries. Everything has a limit, so be sure to stay within it.

GPU Overclocking

Overclocking causes extra heat since you are putting more strain on the card; it is being pushed harder than it was intended to be. This causes higher levels of heat.

You may not realize how much heat can harm your GPU; your fans could melt at extremely high temperatures, solder points can melt, and VRAM chips on your PCB can get fried.

In a graphics card, there is usually a fan installed on top of the chip to provide continuous cooling, but if that cooling is not sufficient or your case’s cooling is inadequate, then you’re hurting your card.

In other words, when your PC starts throttling, it is telling you that it has reached its limits, and going over them more is not a good idea.

Insufficient Airflow

A positive airflow is usually maintained by ensuring that there is more pressure in the intake than the exhaust, i.e., having more intake than exhaust pressure.

Similarly, it is a good idea to maintain positive airflow rather than negative, but of course, it will depend on the specific system and case.

The lack of adequate airflow can lead to the fans spinning at full speed while proving ineffective and even more dust can build up within the system, around the GPU that can clog the fans and cause them to fail.

CPU Airflow
CPU Airflow

To keep the temperatures inside the case as low as possible, you need good airflow on your PC unless you want it to have a tour of hell.

Your computer will fail to effectively provide natural and artificial cooling to the components within if it does not have adequate airflow or if the air does not reach where it should.

Excessive Crypto Mining

Bitcoin & Ethereum (cryptocurrency) were wildly popular not that long ago, and a craze began, but to mine Bitcoins, you needed a ton of graphical power.

Hence, the extreme inflation of GPU prices, where they were selling for literally twice what they were worth and availability had become quite limited.

In other words, if you are one of those people who abuse their GPU for cryptocurrency mining, then you have already messed things up.

Crypto Mining
Crypto Mining

Some people are running used graphics units, and the used market is filled with mining units that people want to sell cheaply, so avoid mined cards whenever you can.

Because of the insane amounts of heat they produce, mining rigs that are half-melted result from the abuse the graphics chips receive.

Knowing how bad this is for the longevity of a GPU, you don’t need me to tell you that a mined GPU is much more likely to fail than one that is not mined.

Power Supply

Many people overlook this factor. Since GPUs consume too much power, if you do not have a sufficient power supply (PSU), their lifespan will be shortened.

There may also be sudden crashes and performance drops due to insufficient power.

It is also important to consider the quality of the refined current. When comparing expensive and cheap power supplies, the latter frequently provide a constant rate of high-quality current.

So, use a good CPU, which can provide sufficient power, to prolong the life of your GPU.

Heating Issue

It’s pretty straightforward. Heat is produced by processing, and your graphics card processes a lot of data. That’s why it’s called a graphics “processing unit.”

You will see your system being thermally throttled under more intensive workloads. The more heat it produces, the more fans will ramp up to compensate for it, and eventually, the fans won’t be able to handle it anymore, and the system will shut down.

These problems occur if you push your PC to its absolute limits and continue pushing. If you don’t do that and you use your computer effectively, you won’t see any of these issues.

Your computer also generates heat from a great many other components. As long as you don’t provide adequate cooling, your temperatures will get hot, your system will start thermal throttling, and if you don’t stop and do it, bad things will follow.

If you overclock your processor, you will also produce a lot of heat; you will suffer a fried chip if you don’t compensate for it.

If you already have a good cooling system and good airflow, it shouldn’t be an issue because most GPUs nowadays have awesome heatsinks and cooling mechanisms, given that your case isn’t small, cramped, and suffocating.

Dust Particles

Computers are harmed by dust. You have to keep your PC clean regularly since it is the one thing you won’t be able to stop easily.

The GPU is particularly susceptible to dust entering it through its fans, which blocks airflow and causes the GPU to overheat.

To maintain the health of the GPU, as well as the entire PC, clean the GPU fans and other PC fans.

Thermal Paste Problem

The thermal paste on GPUs is usually pre-applied by the factory, however, after prolonged usage over long periods, or if the GPU is subjected to extreme weather conditions, the thermal paste may dry up. Since your graphics card’s heat does not dissipate properly, this can cause high temperatures.

Thermal Pasting
Thermal Pasting

In this case, if your GPU temperature is astronomically high or you took off the cooler for whatever reason, you need to reapply thermal paste. As an example, the Arctic MX-4 is a great and affordable option, and applying thermal paste is pretty simple.

How Long Do Graphics Cards Last?

Most graphics processors are built to last a very long time. As long as it’s properly preserved, then you can rely on it for over a decade with hardly any problems. In any case, you can expect the card to at least operate as expected during its warranty period.

By nature, electrical products are susceptible to malfunctioning for no apparent reason. However, quality control has improved considerably, and random failures have become less frequent.

If your GPU is under full load continuously for long periods, the capacitors can eventually go bad and pop; the solders can then erode or melt at high temperatures.

Voltage regulators and VRAM chips are also very likely to malfunction. Gold contacts or semiconductors on the GPU will diffuse if nothing else happens.

Please do not panic; none of this will occur in the first few years of owning a laptop; it is only after years of intensive use that these things will surface. If you take good care of it and don’t treat it like a madman, then you can expect it to last a long time. However, that isn’t the major problem that can make your card obsolete; there is another much more harmful factor known as “obsolescence.”

Because we are essentially in a new golden age of technology, trying to move past our oil-intensive and oil-dependent wasteful era, we are compelled more and more to innovate and develop the next best thing.

Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Samsung, etc. are among the top manufacturers developing new hardware and software that outperforms older technology and makes yesterday’s chips seem like toys today.

It is easy, however, for this rapid evolution towards adopting newer technology to lead to technological obsolescence. Accordingly, in just a couple of years, a $1000 GPU that was the top-of-the-line model will no longer be able to run modern games at acceptable settings.

The developer team works hard each year to produce the best possible-looking game with photorealistic textures, shadows, and effects.

Every year, new graphics cards are released to support this incline infidelity, offering more performance and efficiency at a lower cost.

As a whole, they provide better FPS, run cooler, produce less noise, and are generally easier to use.

Thanks to the improved units, game developers are now able to create games with better detail, higher resolutions, better lighting, and more polygons than before.

As these games become more complex, the GPUs that run them get more advanced. Despite increasing power requirements, older hardware falls by the wayside as new hardware becomes available.

Older hardware has a difficult time retaining its value because its capabilities depreciate quickly. The older units could run the latest games at maximum settings in their day, but now they cannot handle newer titles at a playable resolution and frame rate.

As the decline continues, the card will eventually be rendered functionally obsolete because it is incapable of playing even 720p games at 30FPS, let alone modern games. Many of these products also lose driver support, and they run on outdated drivers that don’t work well with most modern games.

A graphics unit’s “obsolescence lifetime” is the period between its launch and the time when it becomes no longer relevant. That is why I said at the beginning of this article that a GPU has a higher chance of becoming obsolete before it ever fails.

In addition to all this, manufacturers are trying to maximize profits by producing better cards, so we will have to upgrade more frequently as a result of their attempts to minimize obsolescence.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

how long does a GPU last mining 24/7?

It would take your GPU’s fans about two years to degrade if you were to run it 24/7 at 100% load with no breaks. As for the fact that you won’t run under full load 700 days in a row unless you’re a mining rig.

How often should you replace your graphics card?

Rarely at all! A high-quality model can last for years without having to be repaired. Buying a new card is a good idea only if you need a more powerful GPU or if your old one goes bad/or becomes obsolete.

Can a GPU Last 10 Years?

The majority of users replace their GPUs because they become outdated after around 5-6 years. It gets old, but other software stops supporting it, so they can’t keep up with the latest software, so they have to replace it.

What is the average lifespan of a graphics card?

Around seven to ten years. Their life expectancy is 3-5 years, at most, and they will become obsolete before they die. It is recommended that you use a good quality video unit for at least 5 years regardless of the model or manufacturer.

How long do laptop graphics cards last?

Generally, laptop graphics cards are durable, and they can exist for many years before they fail, especially if you use them for rigorous gaming. In general, laptop parts last less long and are more difficult to replace. A new laptop or external enclosure may be the best option if you want to upgrade your GPU.


This ideology can also be applied to GPUs. First, they will cease to exist as they become obsolete, and then they will cease to exist when they cease to function.

Even if you don’t dwell on deep existential questions, video cards are made with care and precision and will last you years upon years if you preserve them and don’t abuse them 24/7 under maximum load.

However, some cards continue to run fine even after that, yet others die simply due to short circuits.

It is possible to increase the longevity of the card by following a few general rules and avoiding things that can harm it.

lisa shroff
About Lisa Shroff

I am a Tech Enthusiast who is Obsessed with Graphics Cards or GPU. I have been building Gaming PC since last 6 years and got super experience in this field.

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