Why does my Graphics Card keep crashing?

It’s not just you, it happens to everyone from the most hardcore gamers to those who are perfectly happy with their integrated graphics solution in an ultrabook or desktop PC.

So what exactly can cause your GPU (graphics processing unit) to crash while playing games? Let’s take a look at some common reasons why that might be happening.

Why does my graphics card keep resolving crashes?

Driver issues

If you’ve been using Windows 10 for quite some time, you know how much Microsoft has changed things lately. The latest update brought major changes to DirectX, including breaking some older game drivers. If you’re still using Windows 7 or 8.x, make sure all your system hardware is working properly before you upgrade to Windows 10. Upgrading without first checking that everything is working as expected can lead to driver crashes during gameplay.

And of course, make sure to update your GPU drivers to the latest version.

Faulty RAM sticks

Faulty RAM modules have caused problems for many users since they were introduced.

While modern computers are usually equipped with two slots so that if one fails, another slot remains operational, sometimes only one stick is used due to compatibility issues between certain motherboards and specific memory types.

This is especially true for builders who use third-party manufacturers for their RAM. Sometimes even those builders get in trouble because defective RAM was passed on by distributors under warranty.

Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool to check if your RAM is working properly.

Software errors

While software failures don’t necessarily cause crashes directly, they often cause them indirectly. There are several ways this can happen.

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For example, an outdated antivirus designed to protect against malware can disrupt game performance by constantly scanning files that are trying to load.

Another possibility is poorly coded background processes that try to access sensitive data but are not allowed through the appropriate permissions set on the user account.

These types of errors can also lead to crashes if they prevent critical file functions such as opening save states or loading textures from completing normally.

So think about recently installed programs and see if they could be the cause.

Hardware Damage

Sometimes minor accidents involving damaged computer components can do more harm than good. A simple power failure/surge hitting the motherboard or overheating of a component can cause delicate electronics to fry, leading to permanent damage. Overheated GPUs are particularly susceptible to these effects. Therefore, video cards should be kept away from heat sources and fans should always be kept clean and cool.


Overheating systems put undue stress on all parts, including the cooling mechanism. As such, a sudden drop in temperature can cause cracks or chipsets to fail completely. And no matter where the problem is, clearing dust clouds around vents is vital to keep everything working properly.

Bad settings

Game developers place a lot of demands on your CPU and GPU, depending on whether you’re playing on a console or PC.

Most games require high resolution while others require ultra high quality rendering speed.

Some titles require higher frame rates, while others want lower frame rates. All these factors combine to create potential conflicts within your system.

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By default, both your GPU and CPU will work optimally for 3D rendering, but other tasks, such as web browsing, typically put less powerful processors at work. Meanwhile, your video card can handle 2D rendering tasks, but struggles to maintain its own optimal clock speed for each task.

Working outside the recommended parameters will make your machine hotter, putting additional stress on internal components. Eventually something goes wrong.

Video card problems

Video cards rely heavily on external inputs such as USB ports, HDMI cables, and PS/TS connectors. Unfortunately, bad connections can wreak havoc on signal integrity, resulting in poor picture quality or outright interference. Even small pieces of dirt in electrical contacts can drastically reduce performance. In addition, incorrect installation can lead to incorrect polarities, which can further reduce the effective output bandwidth.

Accumulation of dust

Dust build-up can clog airflow channels, leading to excessive temperatures.

Poorly ventilated areas become hot enough to melt plastic parts. Heat build-up can also negatively affect surrounding electronic devices. Think of charging stations and batteries.

Never leave a laptop unattended for long periods of time, as this can easily allow small particles to accumulate.

Malware infections

Infections from viruses and spyware are a constant threat all day long. Fortunately, most antivirus programs now automatically quarantine suspicious applications when they detect them. However, this doesn’t help with corrupted registry entries that trigger automatic updates that happen anyway.

Viruses themselves are built to stay hidden until they spread unchecked across entire networks. Once they reach critical mass, nothing less than a full reformat can stop them.

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Now that you’ve read our list of possibilities, let us know below which troubleshooting techniques helped you resolve your particular case!

How did you fix yours? Have you ever encountered a similar problem before? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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