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Asking for Cooling advice with Stock Case

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May 17, 2013 5:05:28 PM

Hello,

I recently bought a new video card (Radeon 7870 GHz Edition) and I'm really pleased with the performance boost it gave me. However, I started to be concerned about temperatures when I continued to research online. I would like some help in choosing fans or other cooling solutions that would fit my situation. I'll provide as much information as I am able.

First, here is my processor info:

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Second, here are screen shots of my temp's in various situations.

1: Running Idle on the desktop
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2: Running Bioshock Infinfte Benchmarking Utility on the lowest graphical settings:
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3: Running Bioshock Infinfte Benchmarking Utility on Max graphical settings:
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Now, if these temps are a high, I would like some advice on cooling solutions for my stock case. I have pictures available on my photobucket album for reference. I would rather stay away from anything to complicated, as I am a hardware novice. I was thinking along the lines of upgraded fans, if I need to re-position the cables in my case, etc.

Would it be recommendable to upgrade the heat sink located near the bottom of the case?

I appreciate your taking the time to read this, your input is extremely helpful and desired.

Best solution

a b U Graphics card
May 17, 2013 5:15:46 PM

ProtoBoss said:


Would it be recommendable to upgrade the heat sink located near the bottom of the case?

I appreciate your taking the time to read this, your input is extremely helpful and desired.


Your case doesn't have a lot of room, and doesn't seem to support extra fans. The BEST thing and simplest thing to do is to remove the 2 PCI bracket covers just above the 7800 video card. This will allow air to be flown in, past the video card, sucked out by the fan below it. It SHOULD give you a better (lower) temperature on the GPU, and is simple enough to do quickly.

Beyond that, check in the BIOS for fan control options, and see if you can set it to higher settings (something to the tune of quiet, normal, performance, etc, in the case of branded computer boxes). If you find that setting, try the higher settings to allow the system fan to spin up a bit more.

I see you have one of those Seasonic X series PSUs in the rig, does it run completely fanless ? I can't remember... If so, you can try swapping it for one with a fan that runs constant duty, this will clear up the stale air around the GPU to help it to run cooler as well.

Lastly, you can use a pair of metal snips (shears, wire cutters, they all work) and snip off the grille that is covering the exhaust fan. This should improve the flow rate, which when coupled with the removal of the 2 PCI bracket covers, should give you better air flow around the GPU area.

Those are the simplest things I can think of looking at your pictures.

EDIT: I see the X-series from Seasonic has a switchable fan behaviour. Does yours have this ? If it does, you can switch it from fanless to silent to cooling mode. I'd recommend to set this on cooling mode if you can, to use that fan to cool the video card just beneath it.

EDIT2: I suppose since you mentioned it, you CAN move the white/beige cables up a bit and away from the video card. Use a zip-tie or cable wrap to hold it up to something above it so it doesn't drape over the video card.
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May 17, 2013 5:25:52 PM

Maxx_Power said:
ProtoBoss said:


Would it be recommendable to upgrade the heat sink located near the bottom of the case?

I appreciate your taking the time to read this, your input is extremely helpful and desired.


Your case doesn't have a lot of room, and doesn't seem to support extra fans. The BEST thing and simplest thing to do is to remove the 2 PCI bracket covers just above the 7800 video card. This will allow air to be flown in, past the video card, sucked out by the fan below it. It SHOULD give you a better (lower) temperature on the GPU, and is simple enough to do quickly.

Beyond that, check in the BIOS for fan control options, and see if you can set it to higher settings (something to the tune of quiet, normal, performance, etc, in the case of branded computer boxes). If you find that setting, try the higher settings to allow the system fan to spin up a bit more.

I see you have one of those Seasonic X series PSUs in the rig, does it run completely fanless ? I can't remember... If so, you can try swapping it for one with a fan that runs constant duty, this will clear up the stale air around the GPU to help it to run cooler as well.

Lastly, you can use a pair of metal snips (shears, wire cutters, they all work) and snip off the grille that is covering the exhaust fan. This should improve the flow rate, which when coupled with the removal of the 2 PCI bracket covers, should give you better air flow around the GPU area.

Those are the simplest things I can think of looking at your pictures.


Hi Maxx_Power! Thank you for your suggestions. I will certainly check the BIOS right now and will remove the bracket covers. I will post an update once I have done these things. Would you suggest replacing the exhaust fan located at the bottom back of my case? I understand there may not be room for additional fans, but perhaps if I replace it with a higher quality one...? Just a thought. In response to your question regarding the power supply, it has a hybrid fan which will not run if it doesn't detect a need to (high temp's). However, I have it switched to normal mode so that it will run at all times.
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a b U Graphics card
May 17, 2013 5:39:32 PM

in addition to the post above, just a few things. tidy up those cables, if you dont have room behind the board, tie em up or something.

also, get a spotcool (google it if you dont know), i have one and works wonders for me, it's flexible... literally. helps cool my hot southbridge
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a b U Graphics card
May 17, 2013 5:40:17 PM

also, next time, get a better case :)  less head ache, better cooling, looks better
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a b U Graphics card
May 17, 2013 6:02:36 PM

ProtoBoss said:
Maxx_Power said:
ProtoBoss said:


Would it be recommendable to upgrade the heat sink located near the bottom of the case?

I appreciate your taking the time to read this, your input is extremely helpful and desired.


Your case doesn't have a lot of room, and doesn't seem to support extra fans. The BEST thing and simplest thing to do is to remove the 2 PCI bracket covers just above the 7800 video card. This will allow air to be flown in, past the video card, sucked out by the fan below it. It SHOULD give you a better (lower) temperature on the GPU, and is simple enough to do quickly.

Beyond that, check in the BIOS for fan control options, and see if you can set it to higher settings (something to the tune of quiet, normal, performance, etc, in the case of branded computer boxes). If you find that setting, try the higher settings to allow the system fan to spin up a bit more.

I see you have one of those Seasonic X series PSUs in the rig, does it run completely fanless ? I can't remember... If so, you can try swapping it for one with a fan that runs constant duty, this will clear up the stale air around the GPU to help it to run cooler as well.

Lastly, you can use a pair of metal snips (shears, wire cutters, they all work) and snip off the grille that is covering the exhaust fan. This should improve the flow rate, which when coupled with the removal of the 2 PCI bracket covers, should give you better air flow around the GPU area.

Those are the simplest things I can think of looking at your pictures.


Hi Maxx_Power! Thank you for your suggestions. I will certainly check the BIOS right now and will remove the bracket covers. I will post an update once I have done these things. Would you suggest replacing the exhaust fan located at the bottom back of my case? I understand there may not be room for additional fans, but perhaps if I replace it with a higher quality one...? Just a thought. In response to your question regarding the power supply, it has a hybrid fan which will not run if it doesn't detect a need to (high temp's). However, I have it switched to normal mode so that it will run at all times.


The stock fans on those cases are usually pretty high flow. Is it a 92mm fan ? Those are fairly common. I found that the grille at the back is actually more restrictive than it looks, and by taking it out, my case (branded case) received quite a bit more cooling. You can try that first, and if that's still not good, make sure you google your fan's specs before "upgrading" to make sure you are not stepping down in flow to trade for less noise.
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May 17, 2013 10:28:46 PM

Cons29 said:
in addition to the post above, just a few things. tidy up those cables, if you dont have room behind the board, tie em up or something.

also, get a spotcool (google it if you dont know), i have one and works wonders for me, it's flexible... literally. helps cool my hot southbridge


Cons29 said:
also, next time, get a better case :)  less head ache, better cooling, looks better


Hi Cons29!

I appreciate your input. I won't bore you with the details, but long story short I had the choice of any component for my PC, and my video card was severely lacking. Being very new to the "Upgrade" aspect of computers, temperature never even occurred to me. I will certainly be looking at a new case next with several factors (Cooling!) as my next purchase. I Googled the Antec Spot Cool, and it looks promising. Can you explain to me if this is meant to blow cool air towards all components? Or blow heat towards an exhaust? I'm still a little fuzzy on some of the concepts of PC cooling.

Also, I cleaned up the cables as you suggested. Some small wires from my internal wireless card were resting on the fans for my GPU. I'm not sure how much that affected performance, but I imagine it did to some extent. Thank you for that tip. (I ended up zip tying them together resulting in a much less jumbly mess :)  )
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May 17, 2013 10:44:52 PM

Big thanks to Maxx-Power and Cons29;

I followed the following advice:

1. I opened up the PCI bracket directly above the GPU (the one above that was actually for my internal wireless card, OOPPS).

2. I cleaned up the cables by zip tying them up and away, this way they were not resting on the fans for the GPU or resting directly on it.

3. I cut the grating off the back fan cover. I was reluctant to do this as it cannot be undone short of buying a new case. However it was worth it.

Tip's I was unable to follow immediately at this point in time:

1. Buy and install the Antec Spot Cool. This was all done in one day, obviously I did not have time to order and install it.

2. Modify the BIOS for my CPU fans. I could not access them despite everything I Googled. I really wanted to try this, as my computer runs quiet, implying to me that the fans must not be working very hard (un-educated assumption).

The results:

3: Running Bioshock Infinfte Benchmarking Utility on Max graphical settings:



This managed to drop it by 12 °C! Of course this was a simple benchmarking program, and I do not know how it will fair over an intense gaming session. I've also noticed that the temperature will drop far more rapidly now, which speaks volumes to the increased airflow. Sitting idle at the desktop, it currently runs about 4 °C cooler. I will more than likely still look into the Spot Cool, but for an immediate solution, the above tips worked quite well. Thank you very much for the help, it is greatly appreciated.
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a b U Graphics card
May 18, 2013 6:53:43 AM

ProtoBoss said:
Big thanks to Maxx-Power and Cons29;

I followed the following advice:

1. I opened up the PCI bracket directly above the GPU (the one above that was actually for my internal wireless card, OOPPS).

2. I cleaned up the cables by zip tying them up and away, this way they were not resting on the fans for the GPU or resting directly on it.

3. I cut the grating off the back fan cover. I was reluctant to do this as it cannot be undone short of buying a new case. However it was worth it.

Tip's I was unable to follow immediately at this point in time:

1. Buy and install the Antec Spot Cool. This was all done in one day, obviously I did not have time to order and install it.

2. Modify the BIOS for my CPU fans. I could not access them despite everything I Googled. I really wanted to try this, as my computer runs quiet, implying to me that the fans must not be working very hard (un-educated assumption).

The results:

3: Running Bioshock Infinfte Benchmarking Utility on Max graphical settings:



This managed to drop it by 12 °C! Of course this was a simple benchmarking program, and I do not know how it will fair over an intense gaming session. I've also noticed that the temperature will drop far more rapidly now, which speaks volumes to the increased airflow. Sitting idle at the desktop, it currently runs about 4 °C cooler. I will more than likely still look into the Spot Cool, but for an immediate solution, the above tips worked quite well. Thank you very much for the help, it is greatly appreciated.


I'm very glad to hear that things worked out. Those temperatures for gaming are absolutely fine. I wouldn't bother with the Spot Cool. It seems like you are getting some good air flow across the card now, and it is being sucked in through the PCI-bracket openings, so I'm not sure how you can assist this flow path with that Spot Cool fan.

To do the BIOS thing, you need to Google your branded computer box's model to see what the key press is to get into the BIOS at POST. I see that your board is Pegatron OEM made, but can't tell your exact model.

Cheers!
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