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HD 3870 and heat. A bios that actually uses the damn fan!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 18, 2008 4:25:59 PM

I thought I might help out all of us fellow HD 3870 users who are worried about the high temperatures our cards chug along at.


I've been using an HiS 3870 (the one with the reference ATi cooler) for the past two weeks now. I noticed rather early on that the damn card would get to near boiling temperatures (90 celsius) when subjected to gaming and stress-testers. The problem is that the card bios won't spin the fan up when the card gets hot (which is a shame, as the stock cooling is more than capable of keeping the 3870 within reasonable temps).

Anyway, I came across this post here. http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthread.php?t=33912408 That fellow (bless him!) found a new bios that dynamically controls the fanspeed and keeps the card at 65c and under! From his post:


Fan duty cycle

57c and lower : 37%
58-61c : 45%
61-62c : 55%
63-64c : 59%
65c : 62%


First thing I did was run "GPU-Z" and make a copy of the cards original bios as a backup (click the little green button to the right of "BIOS Version" under GPU-Z). I then followed the advice on that thread, and downloaded "3870fanfix.bin" and "ATIWinFlash v2.0.0.2", ran ATIWinFlash (in 32bit XP), loaded image 3870fanfix.bin, clicked "program", and when done restarted. When windows came up again, it "found new hardware", which I just ignored and restarted a second time. Windows then loaded normally, and now I have a nice and COOL HD 3870! It now never gets over 65c and no more RivaTuner fanspeed adjusting (which became a tad annoying). At idle, my GPU temp now stays around 45c and the fan spins at 30-35%, which I don't hear. When gaming or stress-testing, you can hear the fan rev up as the card temps get higher.

For anyone having heat issues with the 3870's I highly recommend reading that thread and flashing your card bios to the 3870fanfix.bin one.

NOTE however, that doing so will apparently void your warranty and you do run the risk of screwing up your card if the flashing process doesn't go swimmingly. SO READ UP FIRST! Also note that I'm not even close to being an expert on these sorts of things; just a regular schmuck who happened across this particular solution. It might be a good idea to read up on GPU flashing somewhere (perhaps some of you can enlighten us?). I'm pretty happy with how it worked for me, though.

Hope that's helped you all.
January 18, 2008 5:00:11 PM

thats interesting.

tho i configured rivatuner to do something similar to the bios update u have posted. im using the 8800GT.
January 18, 2008 5:08:16 PM

to night_wolf_in: The rivatuner auto fan adjustment tool doesnt work for the 3870. I have a sapphire 3870 and rivatuner will not auto change fan speeds with higher temps.

My card actually overheated and Sapphire is ignoring my RMA requests.
January 18, 2008 5:10:27 PM

ATI Tools has something similar in temp to fan speed chart. I, on the other hand, just set it to 60% always.
January 18, 2008 5:39:45 PM

bfellow said:
ATI Tools has something similar in temp to fan speed chart. I, on the other hand, just set it to 60% always.


I did exactly the same thing, but to be honest, even underload w/o the 60% fixed value, my card never went over 78-85c, thus the fan never spun higher thant 66%. I think the original bios that's on the card is set to adjust the fan temps in large increments only, ie 33%-66%-100%, and below 102C it doesn't go higher than 66%. I read that on the techpowerup forums, which are know to have pretty fair information when it comes to GFX card OC'ing.

Also, I don't know if the CCC temp. monitor is exact, but I get 39-41C idle on that thing (HD3870).?!

My 2 Cents.

Edit: I forgot, the temps I posted are with 840 Core/1300 Mem. OC through CCC.
January 18, 2008 8:11:19 PM

I used Rivatuner to set the fan speed manually as well (before I updated the bios). It just bugged me that I had to use a third party program to do something that the card bios should have been doing from the start. Also, the rivatuner option doesn't work if rivatuner isn't operational (just idling under Ubuntu was enough to warm the card up pretty high).

A bios that dynamically controlls the fanspeed is a much more elegant (and stable) solution. I'm surprised that ATi hasn't fixed this yet.
January 19, 2008 2:09:21 PM

50bmg said:
to night_wolf_in: The rivatuner auto fan adjustment tool doesnt work for the 3870. I have a sapphire 3870 and rivatuner will not auto change fan speeds with higher temps.



Ok I don't get it. Rivatuner autos my 3870's. I just got playing cod 4 and when I was done I went right into CCC and I was sitting at 55 and 61 and the fan control on the 2nd card was up around 40% and Coming down.
January 19, 2008 9:47:28 PM

so... does anyone know if this also works for the HD 3850?
January 20, 2008 11:47:11 AM

MCMONOPOLY said:
I did exactly the same thing, but to be honest, even underload w/o the 60% fixed value, my card never went over 78-85c, thus the fan never spun higher thant 66%. I think the original bios that's on the card is set to adjust the fan temps in large increments only, ie 33%-66%-100%, and below 102C it doesn't go higher than 66%. I read that on the techpowerup forums, which are know to have pretty fair information when it comes to GFX card OC'ing.

Also, I don't know if the CCC temp. monitor is exact, but I get 39-41C idle on that thing (HD3870).?!

My 2 Cents.

Edit: I forgot, the temps I posted are with 840 Core/1300 Mem. OC through CCC.


Soz just a question: what did that overclock do to crysis performance? performance in general?

cheers
January 21, 2008 6:52:01 AM

this doesn't seem to work in crossfire if you have 2 cards as 1 doesnt get detected at all, and theres no control center part to enable crossfire, i dont think i uninstalled this driver correctly because if i use an updated version of my mobo's bios driver then it still doesnt detect 2 cards, anyone know of a solution? :( 
January 29, 2008 5:10:24 PM

is this a fault with all of HiS HD 3870s?? ive got one coming in tomorrow for my build n i dont want to go flashing it and all already!
January 29, 2008 5:31:38 PM

I had this problem with my Diamond HD3870. Rivatuner would not reliably adjust the fan either. Diamond support was non-responsive and/or useless, so Diamond is now on my personal black list. I dropped back to an ASUS EAH3850, and Rivatuner seems to be working with that. The 3870 is on a shelf, but hopefully there will be a fix soon so I can use it.
Anonymous
January 29, 2008 5:43:09 PM

you are waaaaaaay too late posting this. already been done. use the search =P
Anonymous
January 29, 2008 5:44:06 PM

Onus said:
I had this problem with my Diamond HD3870. Rivatuner would not reliably adjust the fan either. Diamond support was non-responsive and/or useless, so Diamond is now on my personal black list. I dropped back to an ASUS EAH3850, and Rivatuner seems to be working with that. The 3870 is on a shelf, but hopefully there will be a fix soon so I can use it.



use this bios bud, it works perfect on my diamond
January 29, 2008 7:01:31 PM

I tried this method on my Triplex 3870s as RivaTuner doesnt like crossfired cards at all, as i couldnt use winflash i had to use a boot disk and it buggered them up! So i got them refunded and got an X2 instead!

Still, for everyone else it seemed to work perfectly! I was just unlucky.
!