Undervolting Radeon HD5870 Temperature Drop

Hello all,

My current setup is as follows:

ASUS P6T motherboard
Radeon HD5870 Graphics card (OEM model I believe) (GPU-Z screenshot
Intel i7 960 Processor
Seagate Barracuda 1TB and 500GB harddrives
Corsair HX750 Power Supply
2x 3x2GB OCZ Platinum RAM
HP ZR24w 1920x1200 Monitor

The fan on my graphics card recently failed, and since then I have been running it 'passive cooled', with the plastic housing removed, and no fan attached. For obvious reasons, this causes the card to overheat somewhat, and throttle. (See furmark screen capture below)

I would like to attempt undervolting my card to see if I can drop the temperature a bit without loosing performance, but I am having some trouble doing so.

The guides I found recomend using TechPower's Radeon BIOS editor to deal with voltage changes to this card. However, the screen captures don't seem to be the same as what I see. The following imafe shows the BIOS editor after I have loaded in my cards BIOS (Saved from GPU-Z). The guides say that there should be some voltages listed in the BIOS voltage table, but this box is empty.

Alternatively, I have found reference to changing the voltage in the drop down list below each 'Clock info' tab, but these also have no adjustable options.

Can anybody here give me some guidance on undervolting this card, or point me to some useful resources?

In addition, is this method likely to give me any sort of visible temperature drop, or should I abandon this endeavor entirely?


By the way, just to be clear, I do understand that running a graphics card at 96 C is a terrible idea, and will probably cause my graphics card to melt sooner rather than later. When that happens, I will just replace the card; it doesn't seem worth the money to buy an aftermarket cooling solution at this point. If some of you can convince me otherwise, please do!
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  1. Best answer
    Something that would be actually useful, is to attach a fan on the cooler with a couple of zip ties... It will just solve everything up. A 80mm case fan will just do the work, it doesnt matter if it will look ugly, it just have to work because you will replace the card.

    An aftermarket cooler will be better, and that card is still relevant by this time as performs about the HD7850. You can buy an aftermarket cooler and sell the card with it later to get some cash.

    I really dont think that undervolting will actually be viable, as you dont have fans to disipate, the heat will built in the fins and around the card increasing temperatures even if the card is running a lower voltages, clocks or whatever... You need is something to dissipate the heat away and any fan will do the job...

    Just be creative and attach a fan careful without forcing any part and you will go good!
  2. Can you zip tie a case or cpu fan to the cards heat sink?
    Or bend a couple of the fins closer together to hold screws to mount a fan?
    Or remount the plastic shroud and then screw a fan to it?
    Undervolting will help a little but may cause stability problems unless you underclock it also.
  3. If I have zip ties directly around the cooler, won't they melt if the card is actually getting to 96 degrees?
  4. I have seen zip ties holding car radiators and LOL ! they work!
  5. Thanks for the advice guys.

    I did as you suggested, and Frankenstein'd one of my case fans (Additional one I had tacked on a while ago) onto my gpu (Used nylon twine as I couldn't find any zipties). Furmark still causes the card to throttle, but the temperature profile is much smoother (And takes longer to throttle), and the card only gets to 92C instead of 96C, which is a significant improvement.

    Also, furmark only drops to a minimum fps while throttled of 44 (1280x720 resolution), rather then 28, which is huge.

    New Furmark results:

    Hopefully the twine doesn't melt.
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