I have an HSI x1950 pro PCIe that appears to be overly sensitive to heat. After a couple of hours of use, I get all sorts of graphical artifacts in WoW. Resetting the video card by changing some of the graphical settings will usually clear up the problem, but only for a short while. I checked the temp and fan using ATI Tool and it runs at about 45C and 40% at idle, and goes up to 80C and 70% in WoW. From what I have read, these temps are not unusual for this card. When I duct 5C air in from outside (there's a window next to my comp) into the case input fans I can get the temp during WoW down to 60C and then the problem disappears. I have cleaned the card of dust and physically inspected it. It looks like the GPU and memory chips are all in contact with heat sink (although the memory chips are separated from the HS by some kind of spongy pads that look more like insulators than heat conductors to me, but whatever). If this card is causing problems at normal running temps, I'm not sure what I can do. Even if I got a 3rd party HS/fan and ran it at 100%, I doubt I would be able to get the temp down to 60C using room temp air. Are there any other things I could do to salvage this card? Thanks.
What i would do is get the after market cooler and fit it. While you are doing this you can clean the card even better than you have already. You will be reaplying the thermal paste, make sure you clean the old paste of properly. You can get various makes or paste and remover but most people seem to use the Arctic range. Arcticlean and Arctic silver for the cleaner and paste respectively. I dont know 100% but i recon you should be able to get new pads if you want to. I would, or you can use the paste on the memory as well. BE CAREFULL HERE While the paste isnt conductive it is capacitive which means it has the ability to build up a charge, which would mean trouble if you got it on any circuitry.
You can get differant pastes as i said and i beleive some are non capacitive. People report better temps using paste for both the GPU and the memory. Personally i have never needed to use it so cant say from personal experiance.
Thanks for the suggestions. What I think I heard here was that I should pull the stock HSF, clean the GPU and memory chips of thermal paste and/or pads, apply some Artic Silver paste (carefully) to the GPU and memory chips, and put on a 3rd party HSF like the Arctic Cooling Acelero. Before I lay out the $ for the new HSF, I might just try replacing the paste/pads and use the old HSF again. Has that worked for anyone else?
Sounds like a plan to me, makes sense to me to at least try the old cooler with new paste first. I do know that some people will strip down and re paste a new GPU straight out of the box so there has to be some benefit. Cant hurt to try anyway.
I finally got some time to try the suggestion. I pulled the HSF, cleaned off the ram and gpu chips, applied some Artic Silver, and re-installed the HSF. The result? no improvement. The temperature dropped a degree or two (maybe), but I'm still getting lots of graphical artifacts in WoW after the board runs up to normal max temp. I could try putting on a third party HSF, but I don’t feel like sinking any more money into this board.
What I would like to try next is to increase the fan speed using ATI Tool, but I’ve never done this before and I'm a little uncertain how the tool works. I have read the ATI Tool wiki info about the fan speed controls, but it's not clear on where the changes gets stored, and how long the changes persist. If I set the fan speed to 100% using ATI Tool, it says that the speed will still be maintained even after ATI Tool is exited. Ok, but what happens the next time the PC is restarted? Does the fan go back to using it's original fan temp/speed table? In other words, assuming I don't setup the tool to automatically startup with windows, are changes I make to the fan speed with ATI Tool wiped out on the next restart? That is the way I hope it would work, I don't want the tool changing the default fan speed setup on the board. Does anybody know how this works?