As of now, I have a Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition (the Vapor-X) and never before have it hit temperatures over 65*C. Now, recently I started playing Assassin's Creed IV, and after that, It suddenly decided to rise up to 87*C (after approx 20 minutes)
Is this something I should worry about? Is it bad? Is it potentially damaging to my components?
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they are built to work up to 95C. but those are still high temperatures for the card... are all the fans in the case working ok?
temps in the mid 70s are fine for a GPU, but the high 80s are very hot, have you cleaned the heatsinks, the fan, the card in general for dust? Maybe apply new thermal paste?