Temps on the 9800gt confuse me...

Hellooo Tom's Hardware, big fan, long time listener first time call here.

I love making systems, setting them up and so on. Usually I've had the luxury of never really having to overclock them since they are usually pretty beastly.

But being much older and wiser and needing to afford things like girlfriends I was looking to keep my setup for a bit longer, til at least Christmas when the prices come down a bit.

I've had this set up for about 2 years, it works great. Even to this day I really can't complain. So my friends have recently started asking me to build them desktops for heavy gaming. Now having built them all top notch computers, I am quite jealous and would like to stay competitive. So I've recently been studying the how-to and effects of overclocking. Primarily the CPU and GPU. I also understanding that serious overclocking will shorten the life of the parts but since they are old, I wouldn't mind if they crapped out.

The question: For a long time I was worried about the GPU temps before I ever started overclocking my 9800gt. In the summer temps would reach 80C under heavy load and idle around 60. I benchmark using Fur and get a score of 2830 and GPU temp of 70C. OK, not much room for OCing without aftermarket cooling. but I discover quickly that the fan speed is on auto at 25% speed. So I crank it up to 100% and rerun the benchmark. After running the test again my temps are reaching 55C max. Why would the default speed under load stay so low and risk damaging my card at stock? I am thoroughly enjoying the new cooler temps and push it eventually to 725/1750/1000. Temps never rise above 55C and reach a score of 3100. Im so happy but so confused, is there any risk of running the fan at 100% all the time?.
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  1. The default fan speed is low to keep it quiet. It is not risking damaging your card. It will be fine up to 90C-110C.

    Running the fan at max is ok, it shouldn't burn out anytime soon.

    However, you should use MSI Afterburner and make a fan profile so it's only speeding up when the temps go up.
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