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Apparently, ants can eat your GPU now

A Reddit post of ants eating a graphics card.

Every few months, a post pops up on one of the various subreddits I follow with a desperate user showing off horrific photos of ants crawling around inside their gaming PC. That’s exactly what happened to u/Thejus_Parol, who posted on r/pcmasterrace with some true nightmare fuel (spotted by Tom’s Hardware).

In this case, pesky fire ants made their way through the dense componentry of the graphics card, ending up at the GPU itself. As is usually the case with these stories, the ants started eating the thermal paste on the GPU core and the thermal pads on the VRAM, causing temperatures to spike. This is usually the first indication of a problem. As the user says, “I noticed that my max GPU temps were rising a bit. When I checked if the fans were spinning correctly, I saw ants marching on my GPU and on top of my case.”

Terrible stuff, I know, but this isn’t uncommon. You can do a simple search for “ants” in r/pcmasterrace and find dozens of posts about ants in power supplies, graphics cards, laptops, mice, monitors, and just about every other component that makes up a PC battle station. Some internet wisdom suggests this is because the components are warm.

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Our own Kunal Khullar says, “I’ve faced this more than once,” noting ants infesting a router and a monitor’s power brick at different points.

Around 2013, a swarm of a species of ants known as “crazy ants” made their way up through Southern states like Texas and Florida, which apparently have a particular fascination with electronics. It’s hard to say the exact species of ants you could find in your PC — I’m not a zoologist — but these crazy ants seem to be the common thread among these posts. Tom’s Hardware notes that a rise in these posts could be tied to fire ants moving North, causing a wider spread of ants in gaming PCs.

Regardless, stories like these are a good reminder to deal with an ant problem as soon as you can. It’s impossible to completely safeguard your gaming PC from an infestation, but it is a solid, proactive step to ward off the problem before the ants can reach your prized electronics.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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