How to Fix a GPU Lag

By Mark Robinson

Some graphics-intensive computer games can bring the average graphics card to its limit.
i Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

Constant lag and other performance issues can ruin a great gaming experience, especially if the lag is bad enough to bring graphics-intensive programs to a halt. Lag can sometimes occur from the GPU if the device becomes overworked when processing graphics and textures. Excessive heat and performance demands can cause most graphics cards to slow down and display processing errors. In most cases, these problems can be cleared up with just a few changes.

Check the performance requirements of the program you're running to ensure that they do not exceed the capabilities of the graphics card. Replace the card with one that meets or exceeds the requirements to continue using the program if the program's requirements outweigh the graphics card's capabilities.

Check and clear your computer chassis and GPU fans of dust or any other obstructions that may interfere with air flow. Open the computer case and use compressed air to blow away all dust and debris. Use a non-static cloth to wipe away any remaining dust from the fans and case surface.

Update your graphics card's drivers to the latest versions available. Right-click the desktop and select "Screen Resolution." Click "Advanced Settings" and select the "Adapter" tab to locate the name of the video card under "Chip Type." Navigate to the manufacturer's website and download the newest drivers available for that graphics card. Double-click the installer and follow the on-screen instructions.

Scale down the screen resolution and texture settings of the program you are using. The higher the screen resolution, the more GPU power is needed to process graphics and textures. These settings can be adjusted under "Display Settings" in most programs.

Upgrade your graphics card as newer programs with higher performance requirements can add greater strain to your graphics card. Graphics cards can also degrade in performance as they age. Replace a graphics card by opening the computer case, removing any wiring connected to the card and pulling the card out of its slot. Set the new card firmly into the appropriate slot, reconnect all wiring and install the new card's graphics drivers.