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4870x2 high startup temps

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August 23, 2008 12:58:16 AM

Has anyone else experienced, solved or even heard of this issue: Basically on start up my 4870x2 idles at 79-82c. Once I have run a 3d app and close it the temperatures go down to about 55, but not until then.

I first noticed this after installing the card yesterday. This morning I also noticed that on start up CCC was reporting five hundred and something % GPU activity. I didn't go after the problem as I had planned to do a clean install and move to 64 bit Vista anyhow.

Typical of me I decided to throw a couple more upgrades into the mix while doing the clean install; motherboard, CPU and PSU. After changing out the OS and the aforementioned hardware I still see the same high temperatures on start up. The only difference is that GPU activity reads zero but the temps are still indicative of a loaded card. As a matter of fact the computer started up at 80c and only climbed to 82c doing a 3dmark run but immediately started to drop after finishing the test and is now idling at 55c.

What changed:
motherboard p965 to x38
cpu- e6600 to q9550
psu-seasonic 600w to pc power cooling 750w
OS- Vista 32 Business to Vista Ultimate 64

What stayed the same:

4870x2
8.8 drivers
antec 900 all fans on high and an optional side fan blowing toward the card.
dvd, hard drive,

It sure seems like a driver issue but maybe someone has encountered and remedied this?
August 23, 2008 1:28:41 AM

Does it stay that way or crawl back up?

Best guess

ATI cards in the past where very loud. ATI has since decided to focus on quiet. Because of this the cards idle hot. Now once you start playing a game the cards get hotter and the cards turns up the fan, Since many users said the 4870 was too hot at load it looks like ATI has increased the fan speed further when gaming.

You can try a program like GPU-Z to see the fan speed changes while gaming and see if it does infact increase.

http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/

My single 4870 idles and loads the same, that fan speed controller works well for me. I have tried with 35% speed and its in the mid-to high 40's idle and 50s at load.
August 23, 2008 10:46:02 AM

I haven't had a chance to game for any extended period yet as I'm dialing in the components. So far fan is staying at 40%. I've just now started up the system and again CCC is reporting 524% GPU load and the temps have climbed to 80c. GPUz is reading 0% load and 80c. This will stay like this until I launch a game or 3dmark and then exit it.
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August 23, 2008 1:44:23 PM

My Asus 4850 came with software to control the fan speed. I just cranked it up to 55% which keeps it reasonably quiet and quite cool. What brand 4870X2 is yours?
August 23, 2008 2:52:38 PM

No1sFanboy said:
I haven't had a chance to game for any extended period yet as I'm dialing in the components. So far fan is staying at 40%. I've just now started up the system and again CCC is reporting 524% GPU load and the temps have climbed to 80c. GPUz is reading 0% load and 80c. This will stay like this until I launch a game or 3dmark and then exit it.

The 524% is just a glitch. So the fan is 40% even on start up?
August 23, 2008 6:13:37 PM

EXT64 said:
My Asus 4850 came with software to control the fan speed. I just cranked it up to 55% which keeps it reasonably quiet and quite cool. What brand 4870X2 is yours?


Cranking the fanspeed doesn't account for the fact that the GPU is being loaded when it should be idle at startup. I can confirm by power usage and temperatures that the gpu is being partially loaded until I have run and exited some other 3-d app.

nukemaster said:
The 524% is just a glitch. So the fan is 40% even on start up?


Yes, the fan has so far stayed and only run at 40%. The brand is Pallit, I have not tried any of there included software yet. they are somewhat new but they have a Canadian office an hour from me and it was in stock to just walk in and buy. Having a presence in Canada is something I like to see from any brand I buy.

August 23, 2008 7:12:23 PM

Your idle core speed is in 2D mode?
August 23, 2008 7:39:23 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Your idle core speed is in 2D mode?



CCC reports 2d mode but when I run two instances of GPUz monitoring each GPU separately one is being clocked up. This seems to suggest it is in 3d mode but only using one core which is a known issue in windowed mode or 2d. The system is also pulling 30 more watts at the wall. Below are two screen shots. The first one is what it reports after rebooting the system, the second one is 5 minutes after starting briefly and exiting a 3d app.

High usage at start up


After exiting a 3d app


August 23, 2008 8:01:21 PM

Hmm , its almost like its getting woken up after it does a 3D task , and not until then
August 23, 2008 8:05:26 PM

This happened to someone else on here as well. Not sure they had an answer. They tried the full windowed mode, but there problem was similar, except Im not sure of theres ever came down at all, even after exirting 3D mode. Ill look around, see what I can dig up
August 23, 2008 8:22:35 PM

OK, according to these guys, its normal. The temps are because the fan speeds are lower, and only 1 core is being used, so one will be hotter. Someone suggested that its GPU-Z not correctly reading the core speeds. Ill look over at TPU for that tho Heres that link http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=17908... I havnt looked yet, but tech power up no doubt has this issue up somewheres
August 23, 2008 8:50:30 PM

Im thinking the overall problem is AMD changes the clock reading method in every new driver. Thsi complicates things for CCC, GPU-Z etc. Its a driver issue from appearances. More then likely will be fixed with the next driver. If the clock reading method is changed, maybe the software causes the core being used to go into 3D mode, until it actually is, everything wakes up from there. Thats my interpretation from what Ive been reading
August 23, 2008 9:33:51 PM

@JD

I had read that thread last night while looking for a solution. It confirms that what I'm seeing is not unique but I wouldn't call it normal. I've seen no other mention of anyone pointing out that the problem corrects itself after running a 3d app. This may also explain why you see very different idle temps in some of the reviews out there.

I realize this is bleeding edge but so far doing some reading ATI needs to do some driver work. This is my first ATI card since an 850xt and as someone who drives right past there offices frequently (tip-bikes on car=free 407), I'd be happy being a customer. Cranking up the fans to compensate is not a solution and having to enter and exit a 3d app on start up is simply inconvenient.
August 24, 2008 2:40:35 AM

w1zard, over at TPU was saying that they change the way the clocks are read with every new driver now. Im thinking theyre tweaking it all and testing it. I know its a pain, but really, theres only like 1 ot 2 drivers out for your card. That being said, it shouldve been dealt with before release. I guess patience has to come into play here. If I hear of a fix, Ill post back here
August 25, 2008 5:46:44 PM

Something else I've now learned; GPUz sometimes does not correctly report fan speed in percentages. I was getting reports of 40% fan speed all the time. I've now played with manually changing the fan speed and it continues to read 40% but the rpm's do increase. I can set 40% or 70% and GPUz still reports 40%.

I definitely feel that at this point there is a problem with the 8.8 driver properly changing fan speed and starting up in 2d mode. Oh well, I'll work with it. These things can be expected with a card released 2 weeks ago. I'll reserve judgement for 2 months out not two weeks.
August 25, 2008 6:08:02 PM

If the clocks are read different in every driver release, maybe that holds true for the % read on the fan, regarding readout only, and not actual rpm of fan. If say, it tells GPU-Z that its at 40%, its going to say that no matter how fast the fan is acually running, which is another path/determination being used. Not sure why ATI is doing this, makes it hard for ATI Tools/GPU-Z etc
September 15, 2008 12:53:50 PM

im sure i remember reading about nvidia temps are better on idle while ati goes in the other direction meaning there temps work better in games thus nvidia built there cards for the desktop while ati went for the gamming probably cuz its more intense usually except some cases say extreme polygon modeling etc. (curves, sharp points and lots of em) but nvidia still seemed better for games on most cards with the exception of the 2900xt and 4870 and its x2 version which is most likely gonna hold up to its specs as the best card of 2008 with 2gb ddr5 and other awesome specs anyway ati had probably been worse because of compatibility with AA (Anti Aliasing) and other driver problems so games freezing could happen and **** well nvidia didn't hav such problems overall but i hope the 4870x2 has all this resolved cuz im gettin it but if its not what i want it 2 be like i'll return it anyway :hello: 
September 19, 2008 7:05:38 PM

Same issue for me.

This is a timeline that shows how running Age of Conan (high settings) somehow makes the GPU temp drop during idle and during WoW.

Note: Fan Speeds and GPU temps monitored using Expertool, I've gotten the same results with CPUID Hardware Monitor and CCC.

1) Boot system - Idles at 86c
2) Run Wow - Plays at 89c
3) Quit WoW - Idles at 86c
4) Run Age of Conan - Plays at 91c
5) Quit Age of Conan - Idles at 64c !!!!!!!
6) Run Wow - Plays at 66c
7) Quit WoW - Idles at 63c
8) Run Age of Conan - Plays at 91c
9) Quit Age of Conan - Idles at 63c

This data would appear to show that upon bootup a driver bug is making the card run "at load" even though no 3D application is running. Something about running Age of Conan (AoC) fixes this and makes the card idle where it should (Let's call it a reset). After running AoC my idles will stay at 63c until reboot at which time my idles go back to 86c.

AoC runs consistently around 91c no matter what.

Oddly enough running WoW and quitting is not enough to get this reset to happen.

I"ll have to install some other games and see if they will also get this reset to occur. Could be the game has to use advanced shaders to trigger the reset?

It's worth noting that the fan speed during idle never changes! It is always at 27% speed. Whether the computer is idling at 86c or 63c, the fan always is at 27% when no games are running.

During AoC the fan will kick up to 34%.

I've also tried using Expertool to kick up the fan to 50% to see if that will trigger the reset. It does not. After going back to Automatic (Dynamic) fan speed control the temps go back up to 86c as if the GPU is at load, even though it is not.

In conclusion. ATI's drivers are a mess. They need major work surrounding the dynamic fan speeds and certainly are causing crashes in WoW.

Some posters on HardForum have also had similar issues:

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?p=2818603
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?p=2822923


Also of interest is the high temps this board hits. 91c is nuts.

- I called VisionTek and they said "You should start to worry when your temps hit 95c-100c."
- I called ATI and they said "91c is too hot, sounds defective".

However many forums and reviewers have reported temps around 90c and seem to think that is the norm?!?!

I can't find any consistent line on what is an acceptable temp for this board to run at.



Specs:

VisionTek ATI 4870 HD X2 (8.9 driver)
EVGA nForce 790i Mobo (BIOS and Drivers up-to-date)
4GB DDR3
Vista Ultimate 32-Bit
Intel Q9550 2.83 - Quad Core
Antec900 Case with all fans on Medium
Dual Monitors
September 19, 2008 9:00:10 PM

I've done some more experimenting and have found that games run in fullscreen mode (and then quit) will make the idle temp drop.

If the game is run in windowed however it will have no effect. Doesn't matter what game it is. In the example I posted above AoC was running in fullcreen, but WoW was running in Windowed mode.
September 19, 2008 9:58:12 PM

That explains why I couldn't use something as simple as ATI tool to "trick" it into going into 2d mode. It also makes since as you may notice your card won't use both GPU's in windowed mode.

I have now gotten into putting my computer sleep rather than off to avoid having to launch a 3d app every time I start up. The downside to this is that apps like Fraps, Rivatuner, and coretemp don't display on my G15 when returning from sleep. These all need to be shutdown and restarted to work with the g15.

In short this strange behavior with the card is inconvenient. I still intend to try setting up profiles with Rivatuner to under clock the card on start up. I do this with my old card (8800gtx) and get about 30 watts of power saving. I still like the concept of Nvidia's hybrid power where your GPU is using no power until it is needed. The silly thing is last I've read they only use this on low end cards thus far.

I'm not an enviro freak but I don't like waste. I have no problem with my computer pulling 400 plus watts running Warhead but I try to hit a minimum displaying this web page. My feelings on this issue is why I am very unhappy with ATI not correcting this behaviour with the 8.9's.
September 19, 2008 10:43:39 PM

Let's hope they address it soon. Sadly it doesn't seem from what I've found that ATI wants to have much conversation with their customers. They require signing up on their website just to get the support phone number, and then put you through hoops trying to reach a tech. Then, even after you reach one, they don't seem to know a whole lot.

As a past mostly Nvidia user, i'm not feeling the love from ATI/AMD. There is no communication whatsoever with the community from them. They don't appear to post on their own forums.
September 19, 2008 11:01:53 PM

I posted this interview earlier, http://www.rage3d.com/interviews/atichats/undertheihs/ with ATI's Eric Demers, one of their chief engineers/big cheeses.


Anyway, on the question of heat on the 4800 series, this is what he said:


R3D: On to a rather burning issue: looking back, do you still think it was a good idea to setup the RV770 cooling solution as you did, with a focus on silence rather than thermal performance?



Eric: We went through a lot of feedback we received, as well as further investigating the topic, and it turns out that the majority of users are far more sensitive to the noise associated with the cooling solution, than they are to GPU temperatures, which led as to aim for the most silent possible operation. Considering that, for stock operation, the cooling solutions we have implemented are more than adequate in terms of thermal performance, as they keep the chips well within specifications- we rate the chips to work up to 105o C which is quite a bit higher than the temperatures you'll be normally seeing. Of course, if you're considering significant overclocking, you'll probably be better served by the alternate cooling solution that our AIB partners bring, as some of those are better suited to such a task than our reference design.


You can try asking him what the heck is going on in the thread for that article on the forums there...
September 19, 2008 11:43:56 PM

that's really useful information Sus-penders. Thanks for posting =)
September 20, 2008 5:24:20 AM

I'm glad it helped you out! And yes, those Rage forums are great for any ATI related head-scratchers, heh :) 
!