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What’s GPU Thermal Throttling and is it harmful?

In this post, we delve into the topic of GPU thermal throttling, its impact on your Windows computer, and how to mitigate its effects.

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If you are an avid PC gamer, having a powerful GPU is essential to getting the most out of your games. However, it’s equally important to be aware of the phenomenon of thermal throttling.

While several factors can cause performance issues, some are more difficult to pinpoint than others. One such issue is GPU thermal throttling. In essence, this occurs when the GPU’s temperature rises to a level that could potentially cause permanent damage. As a result, the GPU’s clock speed is lowered to a level that is more manageable and less likely to cause damage.

GPU clock speed refers to the speed at which the GPU chip can process information that requires a lot of calculations, such as graphics processing. A faster clock speed usually means higher efficiency in storing and processing graphics information, resulting in increased frames per second. However, higher clock speeds also generate more heat, potentially causing the GPU to overheat.

Thermal throttling comes into play when a GPU overheats, preventing further damage by lowering the clock speed. It is triggered when the ambient temperature of the computer is too high or when the GPU is overworked due to heavy GPU-based applications. If left unchecked, thermal throttling can result in a drop in framerate, visual glitches in the game, and even a system crash.

To prevent thermal throttling, it’s important to keep an eye on your GPU’s temperature and avoid overworking it. Check the ambient temperature of your computer and ensure that it’s not too high. You can also consider investing in better cooling options such as liquid cooling or upgrading your GPU with one that has better thermal performance.


GPU thermal throttling can have a significant impact on your gaming experience and potentially cause permanent damage to your system. By understanding its causes and effects, you can take the necessary steps to prevent it and optimize your gaming experience.

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