There are many components that contribute to making your computer work, and your graphics card is one of them. There may be a point where the graphics card is starting to fail, and you need to know what to look for to help troubleshoot it.
One problem you may notice at the early stages of graphics card failure is stuttering with how the graphics update on your screen. Animations may not seem as smooth as they could, or games have odd stuttering while you play them. The graphics may even freeze for an extended period of time and then refresh as if everything is normal.
Glitches can show up on your screen as a result of a bad graphics card. A common problem that people run into is known as screen tearing. This looks like there is a line across the screen where part of the screen is slightly behind the other part.
Graphic artifacts show up when the graphics card is failing. There will be portions of the screens with odd colors that may only show up temporarily or be quite persistent depending on the task that you are doing. This problem usually happens because the graphics card is getting too hot. The fan on the card may be dead and the card is unable to get the airflow it needs.
A bad graphics card can also cause your computer to randomly shutdown, which is more likely to happen when you are performing graphics-heavy tasks. If the computer shuts down in the middle of a game, but it is fine when browsing the internet or in a word processing program, you know that the problem could be graphics card related.
A common error that comes up with a graphics card is a blue screen when starting up the computer. The screen will likely indicate that it has encountered a BSOD error, which means it is graphic card related.
Are you getting errors that the graphics card is overheating and you need to shut down your computer? Is the fan spinning fast when you are doing simple tasks? This is an indication that something is wrong with the graphics card that needs to be fixed.
Unsure about what's happening with your computer? Take it to a professional in your area that handles computer hardware repairs, since they can help you out in this exact situation.