How Long Does A GPU Last? The Average GPU Lifespan

GPU lifespan
Quick Answer
Under normal conditions, a GPU can last for more than 5 years if it is not abused by overclocking and is provided with sufficient cooling.

Being a user of several graphics cards for around a decade, I have been always curious to know how long my graphics card will last.

As an electronic component, the GPU also dies at some point in time but the question is when. Just as you are looking for an answer, I too was worried most of the time when my GPU aged for a few years.

In this post, we will look at how many years a graphics card can last and what are the factors that affect the GPU lifespan.

How Long Does A GPU Last?

There is no particular number when it comes to GPU lifespan and every GPU has a different lifespan whether they differ in years, months, or even days.

Graphics cards are electronic components and work by supplying a particular voltage to their VRMs. GPUs, therefore, are prone to wear and tear in their lifecycles.

As the GPU starts to work vigorously, the GPU resources are consumed even more and affect the GPU gradually over time. This leads to the death of the GPU after some years and the lifespan can vary depending on the type of GPU you are using, the cooling solution it uses, the total time it has worked for, and the voltage fluctuation it has endured.

Average GPU Lifespan

A short answer to what the  average GPU lifespan is can be between 5 to 10 years . GPUs don’t live as long as RAM or CPU and this is due to their complex circuitry which is similar to a motherboard but has fewer sections.

A graphics card can die sometimes even before 5 years or may work even after 10 years while the latter is not seen on the large scale. Graphics cards are stressed a lot and this affects the circuit board more than the CPU.

Generally, most graphics card manufacturers like EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte, and Asus provide a warranty of around 3 years but some manufacturers like Zotac also provide up to 5 years of warranty. From this, it is easier to guess that your GPU should at least work for 5 years.

Personally, my GTX 650 Ti lasted for around 6 years followed by the GTX 1060 and GTX 1080 Ti which are still alive even after working for more than 5 years.

Why Can’t GPU Work Forever?

As I said before, the graphics card is an electronic component and as the voltage passes through its circuit, it raises the temperature of the GPU. These temperatures generally stay between 65-85 degrees Celcius under full load and can also exceed 90C if the card has aged a lot.

Heat always affects the durability of electronic components and causes wear and tear. This is why no electronic component including a graphics card can operate forever.

Does Overclocking GPU Reduce Lifespan?

Most manufacturers allow overclocking of your graphics card. Overclocking is a process where you raise the core clock and memory clock speeds of the GPU to a point higher than the factory settings. This allows an increase in gaming performance which can be observed through the FPS or Frames Per Second.

When overclocked, the stress on the GPU increases and so does its temperature. Overclocking may also affect the voltage and can increase it if it is put to auto or can be increased manually by the user. This also increases the temperature further.

If the temperature stays within the safe zone while gaming or any other stressful task, there is minimal to no harm to the GPU lifespan.

Is GPU Overclocking Safe?

Yes, it is completely safe if the temperature doesn’t exceed the critical temperature which is generally around 95-100C.

Even when the GPU reaches a temperature this high, it has inbuilt features to stop the GPU from working either by downclocking or stopping all kinds of graphically intensive applications.

Manufacturers also produce overclockable special editions of their GPUs so that users can obtain more performance by overclocking the GPUs.

However, if overclocking somehow leads to physical damage, its warranty will be voided. The same is the case with overclocking a CPU. Therefore, do it at your own risk.

Final Words

Graphics cards will at the minimum last for at least 3 years and if it dies within that span without any physical damage, you are entitled to RMA. Most GPUs will still last more than 5 years but abusing them may reduce their lifespan.

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