6 Reasons Why Graphics Card Fan Spinning but No Display

These are 6 reasons why your graphics card fan is spinning but no display.

You’ll learn:

  • Why your graphics card fan is spinning but no display
  • How to fix it

So if you want to understand and solve this problem, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s jump right in!

Table of Contents

Why Is My Graphics Card Fan Spinning but No Display?

Not getting any signal on your display or encountering an issue with a screen that freezes, crashes, or goes black is often a sign of something wrong with your graphics card.

A graphics card fan spinning but no display can indicate that some components of the graphics card are working adequately, but there are some steps you should take to troubleshoot and fix the problem.

Let’s get started!

Power Issues

A graphics card fan spinning fast with no display can indicate that the graphics processing unit (GPU) fan is getting enough power, but the power supply might not be stable enough to power the GPU.

Close-up of power supply unit with red fan.

Power issues are common because new graphics cards require a lot of energy to function correctly. It’s not uncommon to see recent high-end models require a 600W power supply unit (PSU).

For most recent GPUs, you should have a 450W PSU.

Check the power requirements of your graphics card to determine if it’s getting enough power to be stable.

Depending on the graphics card you have, you will need to use a six or eight-pin connector for the power supply. However, some recent high-end models require two connectors.

Power issues can be difficult to diagnose because they might not appear until you install the driver for your new card and launch a program that causes the acceleration feature to kick in.

At this point, the GPU will start drawing more power, and the power supply might not be able to keep up.

A graphics card fan not spinning with no display more than likely indicates an issue with the power supply since the fan isn’t powering on.

The solution?

Make sure you’re using a power supply that is compatible with the graphics card, and check that you have connected all the pins.

Replacing a faulty power supply will often fix this problem.

GPU Installation

If you see a graphics card fan spinning but no display, there might be a problem with the GPU installation.

If your computer has an integrated GPU chip, you might need to visit the BIOS to enable the PCI Express slot and switch to the PCIe video card.

If you don’t see your graphics card in your computer’s device manager, you’re dealing with a graphics card fan spinning but not detected.

Installing your card’s driver again should fix this problem, but you might need to visit the BIOS first.

Here’s how you can do this:

  • Open the BIOS by pressing the F2, F10, F12, or Del key during startup
  • Navigate to the advanced tab
  • Look for the video configuration menu
  • Next to First Display Device or Primary Display Adapter, you should have an option to enable the PCI Express Graphics feature
  • Press F10 to save your changes

If this GPU no display fan spinning fix doesn’t work, check your BIOS version. You can determine this by rebooting your computer and accessing the BIOS menu during startup.

Visit the official website of your motherboard’s manufacturer to see if there is a firmware update available for the BIOS.

Don’t forget to visit the official website of the GPU manufacturer and download drivers for your card.

Make sure you’re downloading the right drivers for your OS (Operating System) and that you’re installing the latest version of the drivers.

PCI Express Slot

The PCI Express slots establish a connection between the motherboard and different components.

Depending on the motherboard you have, you’ll find different slots with varying lengths.

PCI Express slots can have a different number of lanes that determine how components communicate with the motherboard. There are also different versions of PCI Express slots, including PCI 2.0 and 3.0.

Even though you can connect some components to different slots, you should know that it can affect the bandwidth available for communicating with the motherboard.

If you keep running into a graphics card fan spinning but no display problem, make sure that you’ve connected your GPU to the right PCI Express slot. You’ll need to use an x16 slot in most cases.

In some cases, a dirty PCI Express slot can make it difficult for the GPU to communicate with the motherboard. You can clean these slots with a soft brush to remove dust.

Cables, Ports, and Monitors

Your graphics card lights up but has no display?

The problem might not come from the GPU itself. Instead, you should check the ports, cables, and your monitor to determine if any of these components are faulty.

You can usually connect the GPU to a display via a VGA (Video Graphics Array), DVI (Digital Visual Interface), HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface), or DisplayPort. Then, you can test the different ports available to see if one of them works properly.

Now, connect a different monitor or even a TV to your computer to see if the problem persists. Of course, if you’re using old cables, test different cables.

RAM Problems

A graphics card fan spinning but with no signal on the monitor is a common indicator of a GPU problem, but you should know that other components can cause issues with your display. Unfortunately, RAM sticks are a common culprit.

Technician installing RAM stick to socket on motherboard.

First, make sure that the RAM sticks you use are compatible with your motherboard. Thankfully, the motherboard’s manufacturer should have a list of compatible RAM sticks on their website.

You can use Memtest86+ or a similar program to test your RAM. Run this software from a bootable USB device to test all your RAM and diagnose issues.

If a faulty RAM stick is causing issues with your display, your best option is to simply replace the faulty stick.

Dead GPU

A number of things can go wrong with a graphics card without affecting the fan.

A graphics card fan spinning but with a signal on the monitor can indicate that the GPU processor or another important component is faulty.

Aggravating as it is, a graphics card fan spinning but with no display isn’t enough to diagnose a dead GPU.

If your computer has an integrated graphics chip, switch back to using it to see if the problem persists.

If you have another graphics card, install it to see if your system is stable.

If your display works properly while running another graphics card or relying on the integrated graphics chip, you’re probably dealing with a faulty graphics card and will need to replace it.