How To Speed Up Graphics Card Fans (Prevent Overheating)

If you notice that your GPU fans don’t spin faster or your graphics processor is getting too hot when you play a game, here’s how to speed up graphics card fans to maintain performance and reliability.

To speed up graphics card fans, install MSI Afterburner and create a fan speed profile based on the temperature of the GPU.

Keeping the components in your computer cool is essential to preserve the overall longevity of your system.

One component running too hot can cause the internal temperature of your computer (in an enclosed case) to rise higher than it should.

Your graphics card will perform at its best when running nice and cool. So, ensuring the fan is spinning up to an adequate amount of RPMs will help with losing those precious frames per second.

How to speed up graphics card fans.

How fans should work on any card

The GPU heats when playing games or doing anything else, increasing your graphics card’s workload.

The heatsink on the graphics card can only do so much alone.

That’s why graphics card manufacturers have included a fan on the models requiring extra cooling.

These fans usually idle along when the GPU temperatures are low.

As the heat increases, so should the fan(s). Sometimes, this doesn’t happen.

You will notice immediately if your fans don’t spin any faster when playing a game. Fans make quite a noise when they are running at higher RPMs.

This is where you need to take action to prevent damage to your graphics card.

How to Speed Up Graphics Card Fans

To solve the issue of your fans not spinning up to the speed you need, we will install a free program called MSI Afterburner.

Don’t worry if MSI doesn’t manufacture your graphics card. This software will work for most cards.

1. Download MSI Afterburner

Click here to download MSI Afterburner.

2. Install MSI Afterburner

Now that you have downloaded the installation file, it should be in your Downloads folder.

If it’s a Zip file, right-click on it, then left-click on the ‘Extract All…’ option in the contextual menu. Follow the prompts to complete the extraction process.

If the downloaded file isn’t a Zip file, right-click on it and left-click on ‘Run as administrator’ in the contextual menu. This will run the setup file as an administrator.

Once you have extracted the Zip file’s contents, right-click on the setup exe and left-click on Run as administrator.

Follow the prompts to complete the installation. It should be straightforward and easy to complete. If you are in doubt as to which options to choose, simply leave it as default and continue the process.

3. Setup a fan speed control profile and enable automatic fan control

Click on the gear icon, then click on the fan tab.

MSI Afterburner's user interface.

Make sure ‘Enable user-defined software automatic fan control’ is checked.

A recommended graphics card fan speed profile in MSI Afterburner.

Recreate the curve of my fan settings and click on ‘OK’ to finish. If your fan is too noisy with little or no workload, click and drag the 40 and 50-degree markers a bit lower.

Make small adjustments until you are happy with the noise levels. The crucial thing is to have a maximum fan speed from 65 degrees upward.

Tip: Left click on the plain white line to create another temperature reference point. You will only be able to add a certain amount of them in total.

Relaunch the game or program, putting a heavier workload onto your graphics card.

You should notice an increase in fan speed after a few minutes.

After you exit the game or program, look at MSI Afterburner. You will see a history of the last few minutes of temperatures and fan speeds.

I don’t like seeing GPU temperatures over 176 degrees Fahrenheit or 80 degrees Celcius.

Most graphics cards’ maximum temperatures are around 190.4 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit and 88 to 100 degrees Celcius.

Signs your graphics card is overheating

1. Your computer is stable when performing low-intensity tasks

If your computer runs perfectly fine when checking emails or browsing the internet but starts playing up when gaming, you may have an overheating component.

It may be the case that your CPU is the culprit. To make sure, install HWMonitor to look at which component is overheating.

2. Graphical artifacts

If you notice some artifacts on your screen during gameplay, your graphics card is likely overheating.

And by artifacts, I mean anything you wouldn’t normally see, like extra lines, blocks of graphics that look like they don’t belong in the scene, or patches of various colors.

3. Crash to desktop (CTD)

While playing your game, you may find yourself back on your desktop with an error message with NVidia, AMD, or graphics card. I have seen occurrences with no error message appear. And apart from that, maybe the game itself is reporting a crash.

4. Your computer reboots or powers off

In cases where it’s a little more serious, your computer could reboot during gaming, freeze, or shut down completely. When you experience the latter, it’s usually not good. Further damage could have occurred. If your computer doesn’t turn on aftward, try these steps:

  1. Unplug the computer from the mains power.
  2. Remove the graphics card.
  3. Plug the computer back into the mains supply and try to start it up.

If it starts without the graphics card, it’s time to replace it. If your computer still doesn’t want to power up, you will have to do some further diagnosing. It will be from damaged components like the power supply, CPU, or motherboard.

Things to try when your card is overheating

Check to see if your fans can spin freely. Sometimes, a cable inside your case can find its way to the GPU fan, jamming it in place.

Power off your computer. Use your finger to flick the fan to produce a few revolutions. If the fan stops immediately after you spin it, it needs replacing.

It’s also important that your heatsink and fan area are clean. Remove the card and blow it with compressed air in a can to clean it.

Wear something over your nose and mouth so you don’t inhale dust blown off the card. And safety glasses won’t do you any harm, either.

Be careful not to touch the copper contacts on the edge of the card where it plugs into the motherboard.

If you experience overheating even with a clean card and good fan speeds, try replacing your thermal compound between the GPU and the heatsink.

If all that fails to produce results, try the following:

  1. Check your computer case’s cooling.
  2. Reset your motherboard’s BIOS to default if anything is set incorrectly.
  3. Replace your power supply, especially if it’s around five years old or more.

You can read more about solving overheating problems with your graphics card by reading our other article discussing why your GPU is overheating and how to fix it.


I’ve used MSI Afterburner for years. It’s a program that has existed since 2009 or maybe even earlier. It’s a hassle-free method to speed up your graphics card fan in a few steps.

After trying these suggestions, your GPU shouldn’t overheat, and gaming should be more stable.

While it is slightly annoying having a bit of noise from your GPU fans while playing a game, it is vital.

After all, you want longer-lasting components and a reliable computer, right?