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SLI Temperature/Cooling Questions.

Last response: in Overclocking
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December 8, 2006 6:40:40 PM

Howdy,

I just bought a used gaming rig (Rig Specs) and I'm somewhat of a noob (since everything has pretty much changed in the last 3 years) and need some knowledge.

I’ve looked everywhere for some type of answers to what are good temperatures to be running on a pc box and what effect they have. Maybe its just common knowledge.

I currently have 2 6800GTs sli’d up. The new Nvidia drivers don’t seem to have a way for me to see both GPU temps. I see one temp and it lets me log temps for up to 1 hour. And currently they are idling around 64C, and get up to 79C to 84C (its turns from green to yellow warning at temps over 77C )under heavy gaming. But I’m not sure which gpu that is. When I had the old drivers installed there was a selection box for me to look at each gpu, but I don’t see that here. (Maybe I’m just blind). I’m thinking of adding 3rd party coolers and I know Anoobis said not to worry about it but that’s when I thought 78C was the ceiling! What do you all think?

So I would appreciate:
1: Any links on good cooling articles, or apps that are good at monitoring temps.
2: Any Sli folks know how to look at the other gpu?
3: Is low 80’s an ok temp to game at?
4: Also what is the real effect of higher temps? Example: If my temps are running at 80C at load, will my games run better at say 60C, or will there be no difference, it just gives more room to overclock?

Again, I really appreciate your input and comments.

Thanks,
Doody
a b K Overclocking
December 8, 2006 7:22:27 PM

Cooler is better my friend, you could try Everest http://www.lavalys.com/ as this shows both GPU's although I don't know what limits if any are placed on the freebie or demo version. If your cards get too hot they will throttle back resulting in dropped frames or 'stuttering'.
December 9, 2006 1:46:05 AM

Just for fun I would reverse the cards and see what the temps are.

I use a pair of 7600GTs in SLI that I removed the stock noisy coolers and glued copper heatsinks to. Than i use a cooling tube with a 120mm fan to cool them both. Its almost silent and my idle temps are about 41C and gaming never goes over 52C.

My 3DMark05 is over 11,000 (and I dont know how to OC very good)
Related resources
December 9, 2006 3:32:42 AM

Thank you so much for your input. I found that by switching to classic mode I can see both gpu's and low and behold my #2 gpu is running in the low 90s under the HL2 stress test 1280x920 everything on. GPU1 is running low 80s.

I did a lot of research on case cooling and I think the problem is a couple things.

1. Using a Antec Super Lanboy case. This has a front fan, but not only does is run very slow, there is a hard drive saddle in front of it...so really there is 3 x harddrive width openings (x 2 pannels) in the way from the fan to the vid cards. Very low air flow.

2. There is a great exhaust fan, a zalman cpu fan, large powersupply exhaust fan, and 2 x 80mm fans on the side pannel. The issue is the side pannel fans don't really hit the GPU's, especially #2. Its at the bottom away from any air flow. I did add an exhaust pci fan/card at the very bottom (removed sound card) but that only helped by about 3C overall. I also removed the side pannel and here are the results (bottom).

3. Also while digging around I found that the "Chipset Fan" is not registering any Fan revolutions in BIOS (it is spinning, i can see it). Its temp is 52C idle and load. I still need to find out if this is an issue.

4. So I need to add some cooling for my vid cards. I was thinking of 2 options.
a: Remove the 2x80mm fans and add 2x120mm fans with emphasis on the vid cards. Noise isn't a real issue since i use headphones.
b: Get some VGA coolers. Arctic Cooler silencers or maybe some Zalmans. But will they fit??? I really don't want to add water cooled for this old rig.

I'd appreicate all comments, and Thank you so much for your time,
Doody

12/08/2006

*** INITIAL

IDLE
CPU: 45
SYS: 41
GP1: 64
GP2: 70

1280x920 HL2 Stress Test (max details 148 fps)
CPU: 52
SYS: 47
GP1: 81
GP2: 93


*** Dust Removal & Add blower (air out pci card) in Sound card slot.

IDLE
CPU: 43
SYS: 41
GP1: 62
GP2: 69

1280x920 HL2 Stress Test (max details 148 fps)
CPU: 55
SYS: 47
GP1: 80
GP2: 90

*** Side pannel off, blower still in.

IDLE
CPU: 45
SYS: 41
GP1: 59
GP2: 64

1280x920 HL2 Stress Test (max details 148 fps)
CPU: 57
SYS: 47
GP1: 78
GP2: 87
December 9, 2006 3:50:38 AM

Here is kind of what I do. Most of my builds are pretty high end, I try to get very good cooling and very low noise.
First I remove the stock heatsinks/fans and epoxy copper heatsinks to the GPU and Memories.


Than I use a 120mm fan attached to a tube that covers the Video cards


Here is an end view showing the chipset cooler too. I got rid of the JUNK Coolermaster one and replaced it with the copper one from Swiftech


Here is a pict of the whole case (from the back)


I designed a few tower cases like this, if you want to see them just ask and il post the picts..Mark

PS: if $$$ is limited I REALLY love the ArcticCooling Products. Not a big fan of the Zalmans cause they just spread the air around..
December 11, 2006 4:59:23 PM

Thank you all for your help. Sorry been a crazy weekend, but here are some pics.

And Mark, that is a sweeeeeet looking rig...Very damn nice! I'm not ready to do anything that extreme, ahahha. Nonetheless that is rig art!

EDIT: Awwww, Photobucket limits my pic sizes...if for some reason you need to see the 4.5 meg pic, leme know.

Outside of case:
Large
HUGE

Inside of Case:
Large
HUGE

Inside of Case Front Fan:
Large
HUGE

As you can see the vid cards aren't really getting much air. And since I added the exhaust blower under the last card it really releases some noticeably warm air.

Now I know the wiring isn't cleaned up in front, but if you look at that hard drive brace it doesn't really matter. There is almost NO airflow that I can feel after it has to go through that gauntlet.

I contacted the company I bought it from and I'm bringing it in tomorrow. They said they can add a fan to cool it down. That's fine, but what Temperature should I be shooting for with these to gpus? Nvidia's thermal slowdown kicks in at 127C, but that seems NUTS to me. I'm not overclocking, but I do push it pretty hard by running everything in 16x12 (which I haven't done since I noticed the high temps).

One other quick note, I switched the 2 vid card locations, and now the bottom one runs about 4C hotter, as opposed to 9C. So it's not really any particular card as much as location I believe.

I have 2 weeks left on this warrenty and I want to make sure I get what I need.

Thank you, Thank you! for all those that have helped me.
December 11, 2006 5:48:23 PM

First, Thanks..
I think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be.

When I see all the fans blowing at the side to me thats just air hitting the cards and swirling around and around.

When I design cases I like air to go in past the hot parts(GPU,CPU and Chipset) than take that hot air out.

Here is one I built kind of like your case. (Definately get rid of the HDD rack) Mabye put your HDD below the CD rom or Floppy.


The HDD rack on mine blocked almost all the air. Also take out all the extra PCI slot covers so the air has a way to escape.

Basically in the front, straight back and out.
December 11, 2006 6:09:49 PM

Thanks again for your input Mark, and another beutiful rig.

I'm not trying to make it complicated necissarily, I'm just trying to decide to buy a new case like...
Antec Nine Hundred Gamer case
Or to actually put some money in this case. I don't want to buy a new case it only ends up dropping the Temp by 5C. I hope that's not the case. I just don't know How Good/Bad this case is, and what results i can kind of expect with the diffent case paths.

I love your tubes. You mind me asking what materials that is? (No offense taken if you'd rather not) Also, I'm assuming the Tube works the best with the stock GPU coolers removed and using the fins like your other rig?

And all this boils down to what Temperature am i shooting for here. I really have NO idea whats a good temp to run games at. Nvidia's Temp color changes from green to yellow at 80C. So does that mean I want to shoot for 70C average, with spikes into 80s? And once I know that, then I need to decide the best way to get there.

thanks again for your time.
December 11, 2006 6:19:39 PM

I am more than happy to share stuff. The tubes are Cast Acrylic(cheapest tubing)
I just happen to be at a local plastic store and saw about 10 pieces about 12" long. They only wanted $8 for a piece and so I got a couple and tried them. They just happen(pure luck) to fit inside a 120mm fan, so just a little model glue and voila perfect seal.


I REALLY dont like The NineHundred case.
Here is a better reason not to get it.
http://xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=121157

Yours is just fine if you remove the HDD cage (just a couple of rivets) and cut out a circle in the front (where the 120mm fan goes).
That will allow the front fan to work 10 times better.

And as to your question of Temps the hotter stuff runs the shorter its life is gonna be.
I think 70-80C is too hot. I think 50-60C is a better limit.
December 11, 2006 6:23:00 PM

Very cool, thank you for your time once again. I'll do more research and cutting and let you know how it goes. Thanks.

EDIT: Following some help on another post, I have rephrased my google searches on Temps and it has helped up bunch.

Seems 70's are acceptable and CPU in the 40's. I guess I was looking for some sort of OFFICIAL acceptable temps, but it apprears it really varries per setup.
!