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I suspect my video card is failing


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My computer has a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB video card. About 10-12 mo. ago I noticed what I originally thought was the computer fan going on high speed more frequently than before. But then I started noticing random display issues: one of my two monitors would go black for a quick second. The fan would go on super high speed when using photo/video editing software or AutoCAD. The random black-outs and fan speed are now happening more frequently, when using a web browser or Office software. So I suspect the video card is failing, but I'm not sure. The monitor that usually blacks out is connected with a HDMI, the other is connected with a DisplayPort. (I just realized I should test that with a different cable, but that doesn't touch the fan issue)

I thought I saved a post from the Ask Damien FB group recently about video cards and changes in software requirements, but I can't find it.

Does this sound like a video card issue? I'm comfortable replacing that myself, but am not sure what requirements I need to look for. Could you give me some suggestions about what hardware requirements I should be looking for, if you believe this is a video card problem, or what I should otherwise check if it might not be? Thank you.


Details about my computer health: I have a PC desktop running windows 10 and Elements 2021. It is 5 years old, and has 32GB of RAM. Its main hard drive has 252GB free out of 500GB. The last time I shut down was last night. I run a cleanup program about once a week.

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1 hour ago, dhadley said:

Does this sound like a video card issue?


A GeForce GTX 1060 is getting "...a bit long in the tooth" in 2022/23, so yes, I'd say it's having a hard time keeping up. The recent Photoshop updates have really hit the graphics cards and a 5 year old card just can't keep up. The fans kicking on are an indication that it's working harder. In fact, on my fancy 2017 iMac, the fans are kicking on way more than they used to and this started with Photoshop 23 and definitely Photoshop 24 (the current version.) I have a feeling that this version of Photoshop will be the last one my current computer can handle. 

You are looking at upgrading to a NVIDIA RTX 3070 8GB and possibly a new Power Supply as well. (I'd skip the NVIDIA 4000 series for now, they seem to be having problems.) I'd recommend getting a 850 Watt Power Supply to go with your new card, or you could be looking at just buying a new computer.

Also, a 500GB still isn't "enough," and I'd get at least a 1TB model, but in your situation, 252GB Free is "fine."

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Thanks, that's very helpful. 

I should have mentioned that C: is a 500GB SSD and D: is a 2 TB SSD. The computer came with D: as a 1 TB HDD but I swapped it back when I doubled the RAM. 

I'll consider costs of upgrades vs new desktop.

Thanks again!

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I'd recommend something like a Sandisk 1TB SSD Drive, they are like...$66 on Amazon. All you would need is a cloning program, like Acronis to clone your main drive. Keep in mind, everything you are buying (Power Supply, SSD, Video Card, etc.) can be used when you swap out the Motherboard / CPU and RAM. So they are "Investments" (for lack of a better word) that you should get some life out of. That's why I recommended getting a 850 Watt PS instead of like a 600/650 Watt.


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