Radeon 6970 Overheating problem (manually changing fan speed does not help at all)

Hi all,

Was wondering if any one could help me with the problem that I am having:

I used to run dual monitor setting through my Radeon 6970 card (MSI 6970 Lightning with latest Catalyst Suite 13.11 Beta)

the card (monitored by GPU-Z) would idle at 75-80 degree Celsius. and when gaming, GPU load would be at about 50~60% and temperature reaches over 100 degrees (within minutes) and screen would start to stutter.

I then connected one of the monitor to the on-board video card (Intel HD 3000), now Radeon idles at about 40 degrees. I tried gaming and it still reaches over 100 degrees and stutters. I noticed that the fan speed did not increase at all (idle at about 30% speed, and when gaming it's still 30%)

I then use catalyst built-in function to force the fan speed at 100% all the time, and then I tried gaming and assumed that the overheating problem would go away. Boy was I wrong. the temperature shot from 40 degrees to 105 degrees with fans at 100% speed within literally one minute of gaming. And then it stutters.

by the way the ambient temperature is around 22 degrees and the game is Borderlands 2 (not terribly demanding). and I did not overclock anything setting at all.

did I get a faulty card or what? please advise.

Thank you!
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  1. Best answer
    These cards can run a bit on the hot side. Yours is VERY hot. I have a 6950 running 4 monitors. Mine was hot too and I bought a Artic Cooler Twin Turbo cooler for about $35 ( they are $40 now ) and it now idles around 40C ( from 50C+ ) and max temps with Uniheaven it won't go over 54C! My max temps before were about 69C. It is very quiet at full speed too! I use a Silverstone Raven II case ( 3-180mm fans on bottom and 120mm fan exhaust on top ) which has excellent air flow. I would guess that you could use some better air flow in you case!
  2. Thanks for the suggestion. I checked out the item and on youtube I found a installation video

    Does it mean that I would have to take out the stock heatsink on the 6970 and install the Arctic Accelero one. doesn't it void the warranty?
  3. Technically Yes! The install is easy except for the fact that the epoxy they use for the ram heatsinks takes overnight to dry. I bought some Arctic thermal adhesive that dries in 5 minutes, but is permanent! It's pretty hard to screw it up and since your card is not exactly brand new, it is probably worth it to know your card will always run cooler and running cooler means it is far less likely to fail! If you do this, here is one tip: get one of those chapstick type glue sticks for those stupid little soft washers. Getting the backing off is near impossible without ruining them and the soft glue sticks work perfectly to get them to stay in the right place! You'll see!
  4. great! thanks for the feedback, I'll give it a try and report back in a few days :)
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