I knew nothing about GPU mining, let alone what a safe mining temperature is. After my first fifteen minutes of mining, Claymore’s Miner was showing a steady 87c. That’s not a bad temperature, is it? Yikes, I was wrong. Your GPU’s temperature is more important than you think, here’s what you need to know, to stay safe.

When mining, you’re pushing your graphics card to work as hard as it can(and extra if you are overclocking). These are consumer products(not industrial ASIC mining hardware), and are really only made for playing video games. It’s important to understand they aren’t meant to work at 100%, 100% of the time.

If your graphics card(s) are running too hot, you’re risking its functionality, and most likely reducing its lifespan. (Toms Hardware)

Temperature Zones

  • 0C – 29C Is the thing even on?
  • 30C – 49C Idling. No major tasks are running. You’re probably checking your email, or scrolling around on Twitter.
  • 50C – 59C GPU is idling in a warm room, or working around 50%. You tell me?
  • 60C – 69C There’s action happening, and it’s getting a little warm. This is where you want your temps to be.
  • 70C – 75C Okay things are getting pretty toasty. High graphics gaming or optimized mining. We definitely should not get any hotter.
  • 75C – 79C This is the danger zone. Some graphics cards will be semi-ok with this… But, it’s not worth risking it.
  • 80C – 89C Like playing with fire. At this range, your GPU might seem like it’s doing fine, or you might smell burning plastic. Either way, you are deducing it’s life-span quickly.
  • 90C – 99C There’s definitely some damage happening. You might want to get the fire extinguisher.
  • 100C – 109C If you’re lucky you can use your GPU after it get this hot, but treat it nice like an abused puppy.
  • 110C+ Congratulations, your GPU is now a paperweight. However, let it cool off before you hang it on your wall.

Ensuring Safe Temperatures

Now you know, it’s probably a good idea to keep your rig running cool… Here’s how you can successfully do it.

Turn Up Fan Speeds

If you aren’t using an overclocking tool already, you should be. For that, I’d recommend MSI Afterburner. Increasing your fan speed will help push more air across your chip. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, as using higher fan speeds also increase risk of your fans blowing out. Everything is a fine balance. I’d recommend keeping your fans under 75%.

Spacing Out Your Cards

If you have a rig with more than one card, try spacing out the cards further apart. This will allow for them to pull more fresh air from above and around your machine.

Create Better Airflow In The Room

Open a window. Try seeing how your temperatures are, with more air moving through the room.

Using An External Fan

There’s only so much you can do to improve airflow to your machine. I’d consider this a last ditch effort.

Underclock Your GPU’s

You can always make your GPU’s put off less heat, by working them less. I wouldn’t consider this much of an option, as we’re now lowering our hashrates tremendously.

In Conclusion

Thankfully I had only pushed my cards at that god-awful temperature for an hour or so. Don’t ruin your investment, keep your cards cool, and keep on hashin’.

If your concern is setting your house on fire, you should also probably check out “Are Sata Adapters Safe?”.


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