A GPU or graphics card is one of the most essential pieces of hardware; without it, we can never see what is going on inside a computer system when we are using it. This necessary hardware also increases our productivity and multitasking skills when connecting dual or multiple monitors simultaneously.
This article is a guideline to know if a GPU is getting enough power and will also clear most of your concepts about an underpowered graphics card. We will gladly share and discuss the information about a GPU’s other aspects. Let’s start exploring more about GPUs more.
Things to Know If GPU is Getting Enough Power
The term underpowered GPU is used for a graphics card not working on sufficient power. On the other hand, an adequately powered GPU will never show graphical glitches, its clock speed will be fast, the games and apps will run smoothly, and you will not experience chopped videos or screen flashing with lines.
There are a few visible signs that your GPU starts making. These signs and symptoms indicate that your GPU is not getting enough power.
- Distortion and Artifacts
The first and foremost sign of an underpowered GPU is that when you run a video, app, or video game, you experience graphical glitches. The term “distortion” or “artifact” is also used for this situation. You will experience flickering screens, skewed textures, deformed mesh, or geometry during these glitches.
- Low Speed or Frequency
The second symptom of a GPU working on insufficient power is its low speed or frequency. In addition, you will never be able to overclock such an underpowered graphics card. And if you forcefully do it, the GPU will be at risk of burning out. Because of its low speed, its performance will be degraded.
- Dropped FPS
In addition, a slow GPU will drop the frame rate, also known as FPS (frames per second). In other words, it will ruin your gameplay. If you are into animation, rendering will take more than usual, especially in 3D animation. The same delay will occur for the video editors when exporting the video.
- Low Video Quality
On the one hand, if your GPU gets enough power, the graphics quality will be good. On the other hand, an underpowered graphics card will drop the graphics quality of your images, videos, and video games. That is because it will not work appropriately for graphics-intensive apps or software as it should.
- Sudden Crashes
A GPU or graphics card not getting enough power to operate correctly will crash suddenly. It may burn out for good and never start back again. We recommend you provide enough power to your graphics card to prevent your loss of money and energy.
How Do I Test My GPU Power?
Testing your GPU or graphics card power is a piece of cake. If you want to do it using software, you first need to download and install a free software known as CPU-Z. After opening CPU-Z, it will gather all the information about your leading hardware, such as CPU, GPU, RAM, etc.
Next, you need to switch to the tab named “Graphics.” In this tab, you must navigate the label “TDP” in the “GPU” section. TDP is nothing but Thermal Design Power or Thermal Design Point. This integer value will tell you how much power your GPU is working on. We recommend you open the game or app.
Now, match this TDP or the currently consumed power of your GPU with the defined control. If the TDP is lower, your GPU is underpowered; otherwise, it has sufficient power to work correctly. To know which GPU you have installed, open the “Start Menu” and type “Run.” Then type “dxdiag.exe” and press the “OK” button.
If you want to test your GPU power by performing a physical inspection, save your progress and shut down your computer system. After this, unplug it and press the power button for at least 12 seconds to prevent electric shocks. Next, open its casing and check if all GPU power connectors are attached.
If your graphics card is connected to only one connector while the other GPU socket has no power source, you must attach its power cord. It is because, without both power connectors, your graphics card will never be able to get its demanded power. We hope that your GPU issues will be solved.
How Can I Know If My Power Supply Is Enough?
You also need to see the power your PSU (power supply unit) provides. Your power supply may be the culprit behind an underpowered GPU. If your power supply cannot provide enough power to the GPU and other hardware, we recommend upgrading it.
To check if your power supply is enough, note down the names of all devices connected to your motherboard and add up their maximum power ratings. Each device has a different power rating, so you must do web research. The new PSU should be greater than the sum, including your GPU.
There are signs of a defective power supply unit (PSU) connected to your GPU or graphics card. Your apps and games will crash when you are using or playing them. You will experience BSOD (blue screen of death), and your PC will restart. And it will be very annoying, especially when you have not saved your progress.
Additionally, your GPU will make strange clicking and buzzing noises. The fans of your graphics card will be on and spinning, but there will be no flickering display on the monitor(s). You will see lines and dots as well. In such a case, your GPU will not support multiple display monitors, and forceful overload will burn it out.
How Much Power Should My GPU Be Getting?
There is no predefined power limit that your GPU or graphics car gets from the PSU (power supply unit). Instead, it is a power range between which your graphics card operates. Your GPU draws more power when overclocked or used for high-end games and apps such as video editors, animation rendered, etc.
On the other hand, your GPU requires less power when used for standard apps and low-end games. Hence, it consumes power within the maximum and minimum ranges. You need to search on the internet how much energy your GPU requires. Suppose it is 120 watts; you will need a power supply to provide the power significantly.
It is because other devices, like SSDs, RAMs, keyboards, mice, cameras, mics, etc., are connected to your computer system and require power. So, your GPU and those devices collectively consume power from the power supply. A powerful PSU means sufficient power for your graphics card.
How Do I Know If My GPU Is Overclocked?
To check what frequency your GPU operates on, you need to search for it on the internet on the official website of your graphics card manufacturers. After that, you must download and install a freeware called CPU-Z. This software will tell you the stats about your GPU, CPU, RAM, motherboard, etc.
After opening CPU-Z, you will find a small window with multiple tabs appearing. If you switch to the “Graphics” tab, you will find all the stats about your GPU or graphics card. Next, change the “Pref Level” to “Base.” Now note the frequency in the “GFX Core” under the “Clocks” section.
After this, switch the “Pref Level” to “Boost.” On this, if your GFX Core rating increases, then your GPU is not overclocked. It is because the first stat was about the base frequency of your GPU, while the other was about the overclocking speed of your graphics card.
If you have CPU-Z with a different user interface (UI), then it will show you two stats named “GPU Clock” and “Default Clock.” If the GPU Clock stat exceeds the Default Clock values, you have overclocked your GPU.
Is GPU Power Important?
Yes, GPU power is essential for its regular and proper working. There are two conditions of a graphics card in terms of GPU power. The first situation is known as overpowered GPU. In this case, your GPU is overclocked more than its clock limits. As a result, the graphics card becomes overheated.
Without a high-end cooling system, your graphics card can burn out. A high power surge can also damage your GPU for good. That is why most professional computer users install surge protector circuits with their computer systems. This circuit cuts off the power when the input power exceeds your PC needs.
The other condition is known as underpower. In this case, the graphics card does not have enough power to operate. The causes behind an underpowered GPU can be dusty PCIe slot and GPU power connectors, an old power supply unit (PSU) with less power rating, loose GPU power cord connection, more PC hardware, etc.
What Happens If Your Power Supply Is Too Strong?
It is good to have a strong power supply because it increases the scalability of your computer system, allowing you to attach more devices or hardware. If your power supply is too strong, you can install a powerful motherboard, CPU, GPU, RAMs, SSDs, etc. Such a power supply will fulfill their power demands.
It is considered that a powerful PSU (power supply unit) burns out your computer hardware by overheating because it has more input power, but this myth is not true at all. If you have installed a 360-watt power supply, then it means that you can get more or less 360 watts from it for all of your devices collectively.
In simple words, if hardware installed in your computer demands 120 watts and the power supply unit can provide three times more power, even then, the hardware will use 120 watts only. Hence, the myth that being too powerful PSU burns out your computer system devices is lame. We recommend you install a powerful PSU.
In summary, it will work properly if your GPU gets the right power. It can be permanently damaged if too much or too little power is given to your graphics card. Also, having a powerful PSU can benefit you in many ways, including scalability, performance boost, etc. So, always prefer a high-power PSU for your PC.
Hey, I’m Hammad. I write for this website to help you with the IT advice about PC, RAM, CPU, Motherboard, PSU, and other PC components.
I will provide detailed guides with images, and explain step by step so you can understand the process. Check all my articles here.