Do GPU Fans Always Spin?


If you’ve ever wondered whether or not GPU fans always spin, you’re in for a treat. In this blog post, we’ll explore the answer to this question in depth.

Adequate cooling is the most important aspect of the GPU. The best tools go down the drain when it does not perform efficiently due to overheating. While overheating remains a damaging problem faced by GPU users, some cooling apparatuses are used to make it easier. The most frequently used are the Open-air coolers. They contain a set of fans. These fans cool the incoming air and pass it across the heatsink, which causes the warm air to disperse and move to the inside of the case. There are fans installed in the cases, which direct the warm air inside the case to the outside, making sure the temperature doesn’t increase. 

Types of Coolers

A set of fans works together to maintain the heat level in the GPU and save it from throttling. The other cooler used is the blower. While the blower initially uses a fan too, it uses plastic housing wrapped over the GPU. Here, the air does not go into the interior of the case. The drawbacks seen in blowers include the very loud noise it makes. Liquid coolers can also be used. The AIO coolers are already assembled, and you only have to install them. On the other hand, the water block contains water loops that have to be set up by the user.

When the Fan Triggers

The fans in the GPU are one of the most important assets of the machine system. The GPU cannot work without a fan. The fan does not spin all the time. It only spins at specific temperatures speaking of how the system works. The fans start spinning only when the temperature reaches 50-55 degrees Celsius in the NVIDIA cards. Because the machine heats up quickly, the fan plays a vital role in lowering the temperature and cooling down the components to about 30 degrees Celsius. It is made to process in a way as to spin only at specific times, and it will not spin even if you turn on the computer. Although spinning all the time might not be an issue, the GPU fans should only run when the temperature rises.

Fan Speed

The speed of the fan changes according to the temperature of the GPU. When the temperature is 70 degrees Celsius, the speed is almost 100%, but as the temperature reduces to 40 degrees, the speed declines to 0. If a GPU fan spins for consecutive days at full speed, it will last for two years. That means that any fan that spins just at a certain temperature range can work for more than five years. 

What To Do If GPU Fan Always Spin

If you see a fan spinning all the time, it means that there are some issues with the system. The mishap going on in the GPU is presented with this sign. The issues vary from hardware problems to settings change. If the GPU is not situated properly in the slot or the software is not updated, you need to reconnect the cable or update the software to the latest version. The users can use the control setting of the fan to set the optimum temperature for the spin phase. The failure of transistors due to high temperatures can affect the graphic cards. These have to be replaced as soon as possible, or re-installation may help too.

Moreover, you might see that the fan is spinning fast, but the system is not detecting it. This means that there are some connection issues. First, clean the connectors using alcohol and recheck. If it still does not work, then change the boards. There might be a problem with the power supply.

The GPU fan may spin at varying speeds, up and down. The website driver can malfunction in such cases. Check the heatsink position the flow of air and look for blockages. The users should also recheck the fan control chipset and the fan sensor. Setting the PCIe slot to always work in the Performance mode will ensure efficiency.

While we have an option to turn the fan on and off, this may cause wear and tear. Due to wear and tear chances, we have the default temperature setting. This setting prolongs the fan’s life and adjusts its workload according to the environmental temperature. Limiting the temperature bar will control the speed and save our expenses of changing the fan repeatedly. 

Extensive usage and wear and tear will eventually damage the GPU fan. Overheating, which leads to throttling, is the biggest reason for the low performance of the fan. Temperatures exceeding 70 degrees Celsius are considered dangerous for the GPU fan, and extreme temperatures will turn it off. The GPU works best between 40 – 50 degrees Celsius, in which there is no need for cooling down; thus, the fans don’t spin. The most common temperature where the fans work is between 50 and 85 degrees Celsius. 100 degrees Celsius is the upper limit, and you should not let the temperature cross this. This, however, can be exempted under severe workload or stress but it should not happen repeatedly. 

GPU Fan Not Spinning

Many people are worried when they see a GPU fan idle. They expect it to keep spinning. Rather, it is important to understand the reasons behind it. The GPU fan is made to operate like this. There is nothing problematic about it. Spinning at a certain temperature proves to be a crucial power-saving action. It also reduces the noise to a minimum and protects us from loud noise pollution. 

The GPU fans are capable of handling the huge workload; that’s why they would not break down when it is made to spin constantly. However, the bearings will wear and tear after some years, as mentioned above. The fans create a lot of noise and so it is not recommended to keep your fan spinning all the time. 

It is sometimes seen that the fans stop spinning. The first step will be to plug it in and turn on a game to overheat it. If it still doesn’t work, you must check for other reasons. This is what you should do:

  • Make sure the PCIe power cables are securely plugged in.
  • Force a stress test on the GPU, if the fan still isn’t spinning after you have applied stress tests, or manually altered the fan speed, it’s possible that something is wrong.
  • Connect your graphics card to an already working power supply, and check if your graphics card and the fan is working. If it does, it means that the power supply unit of the fan was damaged, and you can replace it. If it doesn’t, your board or graphics card is the problem. You can use a new PCIe lane and install the graphics card again.
  • You can use another computer to test the graphics and motherboard. If it turns on, then the motherboard in your system is defective. If it doesn’t, then you know your graphics card is faulty.

It would be best if you kept a strict eye on the GPU temperature. Although there is a well-developed cooling system in the GPU, these systems can only protect the machine to some extent. Your computer may go to hitches if you don’t monitor it regularly. As the installed software does not have any temperature detecting device, you will have to use a third-party tool like GPU-Z. In the installed tool, use the sensors option and choose the GPU temperature. Different GPUs see different optimum temperatures. 

Final Thoughts

Therefore, now we know that it is completely normal for the fans not to spin. They are programmed to only work when cooling is required and protect the GPU from crashing and dying. They work when activated by the temperature changes and prove to be the savior of GPU systems.

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