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ATI Radeon HD 5870 Reference Design Idle/ Load Temps too high? FAN STOPPED WORKING HELP!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 8, 2013 7:32:24 AM

Recently my 5870 started making weird noises and research taught me that this is caused by a faulty fan bearing. Basically sounds like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tALt25kxUrU without the high pitch rattling that this dude has.

My card did this every once in a while when booting but a light smack on my pc case would stop it. Last week it started becoming a lot more obstinate for a couple days but now it's been running just fine for 4 days or so.

I'm not sure if this stuff has made me more aware of the 5870's noise level or the potentially faulty fan bearing causes this but I feel like it heats up more easily and therefore increases fan speed/ gets noisier. I got this card 3 years ago btw and use it almost every day.


I would like to know if it's just me being paranoid or these temps are too high indeed.
You can find the temps I get in IDLE/ LOAD state below:

a c 359 À AMD
September 8, 2013 7:37:47 AM

Temps are high but have you cleaned out the cooler on the card?
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September 8, 2013 7:42:54 AM

91C is way to high for a fan that is about to go out. If your fan is starting to go out you want to replace it ASAP! Over the years I have owned many ATI/AMD video cards and when the fan goes out the video card dies right afterwards because the temps are just too high for them to last long without proper cooling.
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September 8, 2013 7:56:15 AM

rolli59 said:
Temps are high but have you cleaned out the cooler on the card?


Im not allowed to choose best answer right away but this seems quite likely to be the issue/

if you have had these temps slowly getting warmer then I recommend taking off the cooler completely and cleaning it by hand then applying new thermal paste.

I might be ocd but I completely tear down my computer every year.. the gpu twice a year depending on the temps.
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September 8, 2013 9:34:13 AM

I have not cleaned the fan of the card yet but I actually got some Arctic MX-4 thermal compound, 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and Oil to grease the fan bearing. I was expecting what your replies suggested and got the proper equipment in advance.

I have been looking on the web to find a replacement cooler too but I couldn't exactly find a stock replacement unit so I ended up considering the $50 Accelero Xtreme III because that seemed to be the quietest and coolest solution.
I also considered refurbishing the card (cleaning, applying new TIM and replacing current with new stock cooler) and selling it so I can put another $100 on top of that and get a gtx 660 ti which seems like a good mid range graphics card to me.

I guess I'll have to clean it first and see how the temps behave. I was initially going to use the spread method when reapplying the TIM but I have recently learned that this method may cause air bubbles so I'm now going to use the pea method and let the heat sink spread the TIM.

Do you guys know for how many applications 4g of Arctic MX-4 suffices? I'd also like to know what you think about greasing the fan bearing for a temporary fix obviously, because I could just go ahead and do that while I'm at it.

thanks for your assistance
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September 8, 2013 5:12:01 PM

4grans is a lot mx4 which I also use as for spreading leaving bubbles I would not worry about that of you use something with a good edge on it, I have a really sharp strait blade knife I use or even a razor or even a credit card if you are precise.

Everyone wants an new faster card but frankly the 5870 is still a good card that won't max out the newest games but on high you will enjoy gaming.

4G tube of mx 4 is tons I can not tell you how many applications it is as I have a 12G tube and for personal use I will never need to buy more
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September 10, 2013 10:30:20 AM

I just took my graphics card apart, cleaned everything, oiled the fan bearing, reapplied thermal compound and put everything back together. I feel like I did a pretty good job but my graphics card's fan is no longer spinning at all.

I booted to about 40°C, I'm now at 49°C. I guess my time to figure this out is limited because it will heat up over time if the fan is not spinning. All of the temps are at 53 °C now so I should be fine if I don't run any gpu demanding apps right...

GPU-Z says fan speed (%) = 21% and fan speed (RPM) = --

on a side note: I forgot to plug in the pcie power connectors and it made a beeping sound when I tried to boot so I checked, and fixed it.

Please help me sort this out!
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a b À AMD
September 10, 2013 10:48:58 AM

Don't want to sound insulting, but did you remember to reconnect the small fan lead to the circuit board?
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September 10, 2013 10:57:43 AM

coozie7 said:
Don't want to sound insulting, but did you remember to reconnect the small fan lead to the circuit board?


all help is appreciated! yes I definitely did. I plugged that in before applying the TIM so that I could put the PCB with the TIM on the the gpu back on the heatsink quickly.

I'm not sure what to do now. The card seems to run just fine except for the fan not spinning up. I read some people damaged their cards and got no display after cleaning but my only issue is the fan right now and I can't think of why it doesn't work any more.

Please if you have ideas do not hesitate to ask, even if it might be silly or insulting :) 

On another note: I actually used a brush to remove the dust on the pcb and fan, I wasn't aware that this can cause static shocks and I will use canned air in the future, as that seems to be the way to go.

Do you think this may have caused it? It seems unlikely to me cuz it's only the fan not working and the rest is fine.
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Best solution

a b À AMD
September 10, 2013 11:18:46 AM

You'd be amazed at how often a problem is caused by something so simple-and easily forgotten.
Using the compressed air also produces static "Remember, short, controlled bursts".
Probably disturbing the fan has popped the bearings out of line, with the system powered off, push up gently into the hub of the fan, it should move upwards a little then drop down as you release the pressure, also, gently try to spin the fan by hand, it may have just jammed, it does not take much, those little motors produce very little torque.
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September 10, 2013 11:31:09 AM

I think I know what the problem is now!

Not entirely sure if you were referring to this but you definitely reminded me of this.
So I took apart the fan and the heatsink when I cleaned everything and there is this triangular thing that attached to the part of the fan with the magnetic coil and stuff. I had to pop it out in order to access the section where I needed to apply the oil.
I think I forgot to pop it back in and merely pushed it back without going all the way cuz it reached the point where I had to pop it in.

Does that make sense at all? Would I have been able to screw everything back up together if I in fact didn't pop it back in?

Also when I try to move the fan by hand its very hard and requires quite a bit of force. I guess that because I forgot to pop it back in. It should be rotatable by hand very easily right?

This is the triangular thing I referred to

and this is my card I should be able to rotate that fan thingy with the sticker quite easily right?
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a b À AMD
September 10, 2013 11:37:19 AM

It should spin with no perceptible effort, sorry, looks like you're going to have to strip it out again.
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September 10, 2013 11:43:15 AM

coozie7 said:
It should spin with no perceptible effort, sorry, looks like you're going to have to strip it out again.


damn I spent so much time on this, okay I guess I'll get back to work and do it all over. At least I don't have to dust everything off again. But these tiny screws are giving me hard time.

Alright I will be back with the updated temps :) 

Thank a lot buddy!
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a c 359 À AMD
September 10, 2013 1:11:46 PM

Yes it should rotate freely. Waiting for your update when back together.
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September 10, 2013 1:46:02 PM

this is amazing check it out :D 



It now actually runs over 20 °C cooler and I feel like the game (Battlefield 3) runs smoother too, but I'm not entirely sure on this one. What I know for sure though, is that the noise level has dramatically decreased. going from 53% fan speed to 28% is soooo much better. It kept adjusting the fan speed when it was all dusty and old so that the noise level would also keep going up and down, this was really annoying.

I'm so glad this worked out so well, first hand experience of the effects of missing maintenance teaches you like nothing else boy :D 
It taught me at least, I for certain will not let it get anywhere near this far in the future ever again. I used to clean my cpu cooler every now and then but I will now also take care of my gpu cooler.

thanks for your help everyone, especially coozie7 for helping me out quickly after the initial disassembly.
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a c 359 À AMD
September 10, 2013 1:48:25 PM

Remember to blow out your fan and cooler every 3-6months from now on.
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September 10, 2013 1:50:45 PM

rolli59 said:
Remember to blow out your fan and cooler every 3-6months from now on.


I will Sir, I will. I should also note that the the min idle temp was 38°C and max load temp was 70°C. Those screen shots are not 100% accurate.
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a c 359 À AMD
September 10, 2013 1:53:32 PM

Great to hear enjoy.
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September 10, 2013 3:21:18 PM

WAY BETTER NOW! cheers.

Take the fan up to 40% and get those temps down further, and OC!
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September 11, 2013 7:45:57 AM

spentshells said:
WAY BETTER NOW! cheers.

Take the fan up to 40% and get those temps down further, and OC!


Indeed! It's great. Not sure if I want to OC though.
I'm very content with the noise level now and I haven't played too many games lately because I'm currently mainly bothered with web and game development in which low noise levels are much more enjoyable than a couple more fps.

But I actually considered this and appreciate your suggestion :) 
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