You just finished building your new computer or installed a new graphics card. You start the computer, everything seems fine… except the GPU fan doesn’t spin.
This can be a worrying situation because you don’t want your graphics card to overheat. This can lead to display problems or even hardware failure.
1. Is the GPU loading?
Before proceeding with any other steps, you need to first check if your GPU fan can spin. Typically, the GPU fan doesn’t spin unless it’s under load (meaning you’re doing something intensive on the system, such as gaming or displaying images) and the card reaches a specific temperature. This is because the GPU fan is constantly spinning which wastes power if the temperature of the card is already low enough.
2. Reattach the GPU and check the cable
Power off the PC, unplug everything and open the case. Time to look inside.
First, remove the GPU from the PCIe slot. See your motherboard’s manual to check if you’re using the best slot – it’s likely the top slot offers the most bandwidth. If you are using this, you should try another location for testing. Push the card firmly into the slot and make sure the card is properly seated.
Second, if your GPU requires power off the motherboard (and if it’s a modern card/gaming card it certainly does), make sure you’ve plugged in all the necessary cables from the mains. to your graphics card. Refer to both your PSU and GPU manuals for this. It is very easy to accidentally fail to connect all the necessary PCIe power cables. Please note that you must use the cable that came with your PSU.
Even if you’re sure all the cables are correct, unplug them and plug them back in; a certain cable may not be connected as firmly as you think.
3. Clean GPU
While opening the computer case, take this opportunity to clean the dust of the GPU. Heavy accumulation of dust can cause your GPU fan to not spin. Skip this step if your card and/or system is new.
4. Update GPU driver
In general, you should update your GPU drivers to benefit from the latest features and fixes. You may find that updating the GPU driver fixes a software issue that is preventing your fan from spinning. See Quantrimang.com’s instructions on how to update the graphics driver.
5. Control GPU fan activity
As mentioned earlier, normally, GPU fans don’t spin until they reach a certain temperature. As the temperature rises, the fan spins faster to keep the card cool. You can change the fan settings if you want the fan to spin earlier than the default setting.
Alternatively, if you have an AMD card, you can use AMD Software. Open it and go to Performance > Tuning > Custom, enable Fan Tuning, then enable Advanced Control. From here, you can choose how fast the fan rotates at a given temperature.
6. Test GPU on another system
If possible, try the GPU on another system. This will help you determine if the problem lies with the graphics card or other components in the system. For example, perhaps your power supply is failing and not providing enough power to the GPU, causing the fan to not spin.
7. Return the GPU to the manufacturer
If all else fails, your GPU is most likely faulty. You can try replacing the GPU fan yourself if you’re comfortable with that procedure, although it’s not a recommended fix. Instead, hope that your GPU is still under warranty so you can return it to the manufacturer or get your money back to buy another GPU.