Usually, graphics cards should last around five years before people should consider upgrading. But that isn’t usually because the hardware wears out over time.
Instead, software and games may place more demands on computer hardware over time. Software may need your CPU to perform better, or it may need more RAM space to properly run. And over time, you’re bound to notice your graphics card performing worse too.
Keep reading below to learn more about why a graphics card may not perform as well as it did when you first got it!
Graphics Cards Don’t Usually Wear Out
When it comes to computers, many average users think that hardware simply degrades with time. They actually don’t, the hardware you buy will be functionally similar for years after you buy it. There may be minor wear and tear issues, but most components will continue processing the way they’re designed.
One thing can change dramatically over the years — the demands programs place on your computer. Over time, games demand more resources to run at high levels, exceeding what some components are capable of. Regular programs can also demand more resources over time.
If you use Google Chrome, you know exactly what this is like. The browser is notorious for consuming plenty of resources just to run a few tabs and extensions. The browser you use in 2022 may not be able to even run on hardware from the early 2000s.
The Hardware Is Hard to Break and (Usually) Easy to Fix
If there is an issue with graphics cards and other computer hardware, it’s usually software-related. Drivers can get corrupted and programs can get stuck in infinite loops. Most of the time, these issues can be easily fixed by entering your computer’s BIOS.
This stands for “Basic Input/Output System” and is a core part of what helps your computer runs. These systems demand exceedingly few resources and are usually built right into the motherboard. The system decides how different pieces of computer hardware communicate with each other.
Through your BIOS, you can usually enter a “safe mode” version of your operating system. Usually, this is similar to an old saved state of your computer, with some features disabled. In it, you can adjust pieces of software to make the computer operational again.
You can also adjust graphics card processing power, overclocking it to get more out of the equipment. While this can usually also be done through manufacturer hardware, some BIOS systems also allow you to adjust your hardware’s settings.
Mechanical Issues Are Not Card Failures
Sometimes, fans on graphics cards may stop spinning. This is usually due to a mechanical or a software issue, not an issue specifically with the card. However, graphics cards still need those fans to turn to properly run.
The fans are responsible for helping mitigate the amount of heat graphics cards generate. As they spin, they take heat from the cores that actually make computations through arrangements of logic gates. They then feed that heat to other fans in your computer which pushes it outside the tower.
The first step to fix it is to make sure the PCIe power cable is properly plugged in. If it isn’t plugged in the right way, the fans may simply not be getting the power they need. The fan bearings may also need to be oiled since they can wear down over time.
Most of the time though, fans stop spinning either because of a driver issue or due to a feature on graphics cards called “passive cooling.” They are rarely due to a hardware failure, or from a graphics card wearing down.
Computer Hardware Can Always Age Out
There are tons of new games on the market right now that avid gamers are drooling over. Elden Ring recently topped the charts as one of the best games ever made. Meanwhile, new releases are on the horizon like Ghostwire: Tokyo and possibly even Starfield.
These games offer incredible worlds brimming with life, with advanced graphics and high frame rates to make gaming even more fun. However, the games come at a cost on top of the usual $60. Anyone who wants to play these games on their PC needs to invest in high-quality hardware.
By now, a lot of graphics cards are aging out of viability. Popular cards like GeForce GTX 1060s are quickly approaching the limit of what they can do when it comes to gaming. Some games are even challenging the generation after that, the RTX 2080.
It’s a nightmare to spend $60 on a game just to find out you have an obsolete graphics card. So consider this your warning — make sure to check your graphics card’s performance before buying a new game!
It May Be Time For an Affordable Upgrade
If your equipment is starting to age out, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on an entirely new computer. Even if you build your own PC, it’s understandable to shy away from the prices of most new graphics cards. Cryptocurrency mining and other new demands have pushed prices up a lot.
If you want an upgrade, you can instead shop with a trusted used graphics card dealer. Companies like ours take equipment from gamers looking to make some quick money and make sure it works. Graphics cards and other peripherals go through rigorous testing to make sure customers can use them.
Since the graphics card is preowned, we can sell it to you for far less than what most other retailers charge. You still get the same stellar performance, but without the insane price tag.
An Obsolete Graphics Card Affects Gaming and More
Running an obsolete graphics card doesn’t just affect your gaming performance. It can affect your ability to do simple tasks like stream videos or chat with others online. With the release of Windows 11, more demands will be placed on your PC just to run an operating system.
The best way to make sure you’re able to stay online is to simply keep your computer hardware up to date. And we can help you find the components you need.
Set Your Expectations Higher Than the Minimum Requirements
Gamers’ graphics cards are more than just a piece of computer equipment. They are a statement to the world about what a person is capable of through their computer. A good graphics card shows that they understand how technology works, and how to improve it.
Most of the time, a good graphics card also shows that a computer was built by hand. It shows that someone took the time to research and collect the parts they needed for the perfect PC. It takes time and work, so building your own computer deserves respect.
And if you want to get started on building a PC, or if you just want a graphics card upgrade, click here!