When buying a new video card (and possibly a new computer or laptop), it will not be superfluous to conduct a so-called stress test (check the video card for performance under prolonged load). It will also be useful to drive away the 'old' video card (especially if you take it from a stranger).
In this short article, I would like to take a step-by-step analysis of how to test a video card for performance, along the way answering the most common questions that arise during this test. So, let's begin…
1. Choosing a program for testing, which is better?
There are dozens of various programs for testing video cards on the network now. Among them there are both little-known and widely advertised ones, for example: FurMark , OCCT, 3D Mark. In my example below, I decided to stick with FurMark …
Website address: http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/
One of the best utilities (in my opinion) for checking and testing video cards. Moreover, you can test both AMD (ATI RADEON) video cards and NVIDIA; both ordinary computers and laptops.
By the way, almost all laptop models are supported (at least, I have not yet met one on which the utility would refuse to work). FurMark also works in all current versions Windows: XP, 7, 8.
2. Is it possible to evaluate the performance of a video card without tests?
Partially yes. Pay close attention to how the computer behaves when turned on: there should be no 'beeps' (so-called beeps).
Also take a closer look at the quality of the graphics on the monitor. If there is something wrong with the video card, you will probably notice some defects: stripes, ripples, distortions. To make it clearer what it is about: see a couple of examples below.
HP Notebook PC – ripples on the screen.
Regular PC – vertical lines with ripples …
Important! Even if the picture on the screen is of high quality and without flaws, it is impossible to conclude that everything is in order with the video card. Only after its 'real' loading to the maximum (games, stress tests, HD video, etc.), it will be possible to draw a similar conclusion.
3. How to stress test a video card to assess performance?
As I said above, in my example I will use FurMark. After installing and running the utility, a window should appear in front of you, as in the screenshot below.
By the way, pay attention to whether the utility has correctly identified the model of your video card (on the screenshot below – NVIDIA GeForce GT440).
The test will be carried out for the NVIDIA GeForce GT440 video card
Then you can immediately start testing (the default settings are quite correct and there is no special need to change something). Click on the 'Burn-in test' button.
FuMark will warn you that such a test loads the video card very heavily and it can get very hot (by the way, if the temperature rises above 80-85 degrees C. – the computer may simply restart, or picture distortions will appear on the screen).
By the way, some people call FuMark the killer of “not healthy” video cards. If not everything is in order with your video card, then it is possible that after such testing it may fail!
After pressing the 'GO!' the test will run. A 'donut' will appear on the screen, spinning in different directions. Such a test loads the video card harder than any newfangled toy!
Do not run any extraneous programs during the test. Just watch the temperature, which starts to rise from the first second of start … Testing time is 10-20 minutes.
4. How to evaluate the test results?
In principle, if something is wrong with the video card, you will notice it in the first minutes of the test: either the picture on the monitor will go with defects, or the temperature will just go up, not noticing any limits …
After 10-20 minutes, you can draw some conclusions:
- The temperature of the video card should not go beyond 80 degrees. Ts. (Depends, of course, on the model of the video card and yet … The critical temperature of many Nvidia video cards is 95+ degrees C.). For laptops, I made recommendations on temperature in this article: https://pcpro100.info/temperatura-komponentov-noutbuka/
- Ideally, if the temperature graph goes in a semicircle: i.e. first a sharp rise, and then reaching its maximum – just a straight line.
- A high temperature of a video card can indicate not only a malfunction of the cooling system, but also a large amount of dust and the need to clean it. At high temperatures, it is advisable to stop the test and check the system unit, if necessary, clean it from dust (article on cleaning: https://pcpro100.info/kak-pochistit-kompyuter-ot-pyili/).
- During the test, the picture on the monitor should not flicker, distort, etc.
- There should be no errors that look like: 'The video driver stopped responding and was stopped …'.
Actually, if you didn't have any problems in the steps listed above, then the video card can be considered operational!
By the way, the easiest way to check a video card is to launch some game (preferably newer, more modern) and play it for a couple of hours. If the picture on the screen is normal, there are no errors or failures, then the video card is quite reliable.
That's all for me, a successful test …