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Monitoring Your GPUs Temperatures at All Times

Written on December 20, 2019 by Chad Warmenhoven
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What Is the Point of This Article

Monitoring your Graphics cards (GPU) temperatures during critical operations can help prevent damage and identify possible problems. Windows doesn't include any GPU temperature monitoring tools so we have compiled a few of what we believe are the most useful. Because we primarily carry Nvidia's GPUs we will be focusing on those. We may provide details on monitoring AMD cards at a later date if we start carrying them more consistently. 

Choosing the Right Software

Nvidia's GeForce graphics cards currently sit at 75 percent of all GPUs in gaming PCs, based on the Steam's hardware survey. However Nvidia's GeForce Experience does not provide any way to monitor GPU temperatures. There are plenty of 3rd party tools out there to choose from but here are what we believe are the simplest and most beneficial. 

Engage Afterburners

MSI's Afterburner tool is a versatile and accurate application for monitoring your GPU's temperatures. While the tool also offers a great deal of core clock and fan control, we usually advise against making any major changes and letting the 'Auto' settings control that. Instead we will more heavily focus on the monitoring capabilities of the MSI Afterburner software. The MSI Afterburner software also offers a gaming overlay (OSD) so you can monitor your systems performance and temperatures while in-game! You will need to download a separate tool that we will not be covering and instead recommend using EVGA's Precision as it is free and includes the OSD built in! More on that below.

MSI Afterburner is a very powerful software but personally I found the interface slightly confusing; it seemed like there is a lot of 'zazz' that really isn't needed. There are numerous icons/graphics in the interface that look clickable yet have no function. 

As you can see below, once you ramp up your system under load you start to see some great details about the temperatures, current base and boost clock along with voltage readings.

When Precision is Priority

EVGA offers a very powerful and robust app called EVGA Precision X1, recently reprogrammed specifically for the release of GeForce RTX 20-series GPUs, this application provides a clean and accurate software for keeping track of temperatures. The EVGA Precision X1 software also offers a gaming overlay (OSD) so you can monitor your systems performance and temperatures while in-game! As you can see below, the interface is simple to navigate but also provides all the information you need to accurately monitor your GPU temps, clock speeds, and voltages.

As you can see the EVGA software reports very accurate readings and is super simple to navigate. Additionally the overlay is thorough while not interrupting your view of the game.

Work > Gaming

If you're not much of a gamer or aren't worried about checking your temperatures while in game with an overlay then a better software for your needs would be HWInfo. HWInfo provides in-depth monitoring of every sensor your PC is able to see. We recommend setting the application to start with 'Sensors-only' so you have access to the litany of information available. If you prefer a simpler view then the 'Summary-only' will work great.

Other Alternatives

If none of these are quite your style, OpenHardware Monitor and SpeedFan are excellent options. While their interfaces are slightly more confusing, less intuitive, and don't always report temperatures as accurately as others, they are a solid option for just checking temperatures quickly.

HWMonitor offers a super in-depth look at your hardware's temperatures, frequencies, fan speeds, and voltages. HWMonitor can be slightly inaccurate on occasion but for the most part provides the information needed.

SpeedFan offers a VERY simple interface with information prioritized by importance to stability. The application also offers some fan speed control but we recommend simply using the monitoring capabilities.

Conclusion

If you would like to monitor your GPU temperatures we have curated a selection of GPU monitoring applications we recommend. EVGA Precision X1 is definitely our go to especially if you need a gaming OSD. If you are looking for a basic hardware monitor that includes a lot of useful information then HWInfo is the way to go. 

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Tags: Advice, Desktop, Fan, GeForce, Graphics Card, NVIDIA, Open Hardware Monitor, Operating Systems, Overheating, Performance, Software, Technology, Temperature, Windows 10
JordanViray

I'm guessing RTSS is the software you are referring to for getting an overlay in conjunction with Afterburner? RTSS works with HWInfo so you can get get an overlay with whatever information you want from HWInfo e.g. Max Thread CPU instead of Total CPU. As for SpeedFan, I have found it less stable than HWInfo generally.

Posted on 2020-01-13 23:46:14
Jan

I wish the was a Windows version of IStatMenus on the Mac. They had the most complete set of monitors that would just sit in the task bar and included fans, temps, memory, disk, and network activity. You could see the most critical overview right there and then use drop downs to get more detail. I want the right monitoring, but I cannot have any HUD or overlays or separate windows. When working in editing and color apps, screen real estate is spoken for already.

Even better would be something like an iPhone app that uses WiFi to read sensor information. My BitDefender firewall is entirely managed through an app instead of a web interface. At first it was a bit of an adjustment, but now I really like it. That would get the monitors off the screen and it can more easily notify me of issues without disrupting the main apps.

Posted on 2020-01-19 13:30:59