What causes a graphics card to stop functioning properly?

There are a variety of causes that can lead to a graphics card malfunctioning. The most common occur when hardware or software issues arise, resulting in the graphics being displayed incorrectly or not at all. One of the most frequent causes is due to overheating, which occurs when the graphics card is not cooled adequately. Poorly ventilated cases, or fans that aren’t running up to par, can cause the GPU to overheat and become damaged. Dust buildup, low lubrication, and worn internal components can also contribute to this issue. Although rare, hardware incompatibility can also occur if the GPU is not compatible with the motherboard, or if the drivers of the graphics card have not been updated.

Other potential causes include a faulty power supply unit (PSU), incorrect card installation, a failing graphics card, malware attacks, corrupted data, and outdated drivers. A failing PSU can cause the graphics card to malfunction, as the insufficient number of watts will cause it to shut down unexpectedly. Card installation is often overlooked, but improper installation can lead to faulty connections and damage. Over time, the internal components of a GPU can wear out, leading to a decrease in performance and potential failure. Malware attacks can occur if the proper security measures are not taken, and they can cause files to become corrupted. Outdated drivers can cause issues as well, so it is important to regularly check for — and install — the latest driver versions.

In some cases, a graphics card may stop functioning after a software update. This issue is caused by compatibility errors; the new and/or improved features of the update may be too much for the system to handle. It is also possible that the user-selected settings are too high for the GPU, leading to a crash.

The best way to ensure that your graphics card continues to function properly is to keep everything updated with the latest versions, maintain a clean and dust-free environment, and, most importantly, monitor the temperature. If any of these signs appear, take action quickly to diagnose the problem and fix it before it results in permanent damage.