Computer overheating in games

First of all my specs:


CASE: Coolermaster Elite 333

PSU: Coolermaster Silent Pro 600W

PROC: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 950 Socket 1336LGA @ 3.07GHz (8 CPUs), ~3.1GHz [...] e-i7-.html

MOBO: Asus Rampage III Gene x58 [...] ublic.html
BIOS: BIOS Date: 08/06/10 11:34:41 Ver: 08.00.15

GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 Display Memory: 4069 MB Dedicated Memory: 869 MB Shared Memory: 3199 MB

MEMORY: 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHZ PC12800 Memory (CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9)

HARDDRIVE Caviar Black WD1002FAEX, 1 TB - internal - 3.5" - SATA-600 - 7200 tpm -buffer: 64 MB



I finall solved a freezing problem in my computer that has persisted for around 3/4 years with me replacing almost everything in my computer (hard drive was the problem in the end).

Now a new problem has arrisen. my GPU is overheating whenever I play a game with high graphics (up to about 85 degrees celcius (when idle around 50 degrees)). I got stock coolers on everything and got a fan in the back blowing outwards. My case is a Coolermaster Elite 333 as stated above and I was wondering how to solve this problem? If I need to put in new/more fans then I'd like to know what would be best to get for the lowest price possible.

Whenever my computer overheats the sound starts cracking and the screen starts freezing up, my interpretation of this clearly stating overheating.

Before I had this new harddrive it was never a problem (it's just as big and in the same spot where my old harddrive used to be). Putting up the fan speed is the only thing I can do right now but it still isnt enough, even blowing at 90/100% eventually it will overheat and the computer sounds like a jet engine.

So my question is:

How to get my computer/graphics card cold enough that even under the highest stress it will still perform perfectly?

(I hope this is the right place for this topic, if not one can put it in another spot on the forums)

Thanks in advance!
31 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about computer overheating games
  1. Have you opened up the case and blown out all the dust bunnies lately? The temperature of components will rise overtime because of dust build up on heatsinks and fans.
  2. Do you have a front intake fan and what are you temps on your CPU. I recommend using HWMonitor to monitor temps and then post your findings. You can get HWMonitor here:
  3. Here's how to test your overheating theory:

    1. Clean the dust outta everything if ya haven't done so. That includes inside the GFX coolr fan housing, CPU cooler, all nooks and crannies. My youngest son recently started playing WoW again for example (recent subscription gift) but wasn't play much as he was complaining about fps in mid 20s. I used my handy dust eradicator (see link below) on his machine last nite, and now he's in the 49 fps minimum and up range.

    Use whatever ya got that can blow air in a tight stream into small spaces. Even "canned" air works tho it does get expensive.

    CAUTION: Of course don't use a compressor of any type that is not suitable to the task at hand.....compressors must be properly maintained, moisture traps drained, oil free so that the area is not contaminated with these liquids. In case you have heard that compressors release water vapor the opposite is actually true, the act of compressing the air condenses water vapor into a liquid which will rest in the pressure tank. If left over the years and not drained thru the trap, you will have tank of water eventually. And we want to be sending out an air pressure that is suitable to blow dust of surfaces, not high enough to remove paint :).

    I only use cases w/ inlet air filters and blow out the dust about every 3 months. Every 6 months it's the "unplug every connector and plug it back in" and remove all RAM, cards and plug back in" routine.

    2. Leave the side panel off and use one of these as a temporary measure. It can push 331 cfm about 70 feet and will more than eliminate any "stagnant air" issues inside ya case.

    If problem goes away, you need to find a way to augment case cooling whether by adding fans or changing case.
  4. jprahman, yes all the dust is out.

    OgCracKer, Second poster I used HWmonitor. I'll post my findings when the fans run at 100%, the temps will go up to 75-80 degrees celcius after an hour of playing then, but the thing sounds like a jet engine. I do not have a front fan blowing air in.

    Here's HWMonitor's screenshot with case open, if i need to close it and do another test it will take some time but just tell me and i'll do it.

    Remember the case is open, GPU fan speed 100% (look at max to see the temp when I just got out of my game (78 degrees celcius)).

    @ JackNaylorPE, haha I don't have a compressor but that's a bit drastic indeed xD. No I think i just need a new fan that is able to support a steady flow of air and can stop my graphics card from overheating. And it has to fit in my case ofcourse. Also the computer has recently been assembled again so all dust is out. Side panel is off. Got one simple fan which blows air out, none blowing air in, rest is all stock. I might be able to make pictures of my case etc. if that would help (although it won't be that high quality I think).

    My computer does last at 100% fanspeed of my gpu will just hold , but it's just enough for an hour and as I stated before it sounds like a jet engine.
  5. @JackNaaylorPE,

    I understand where you are going with blowing out the PC but to suggest buying an air compressor that cost $160.00 is a little extreme and/or a $60.00 fan at this point. Hes requested fixing it with the lowest price possible if needed.

    I think giving us a run down of his temps will help point us in the right direction and yes cleaning/maintenance of your PC is necessary and will help on temps. Which a lot of users do not do. my .02
  6. I just did OgCracker, have a look please :). Thanks for the help so far all of you!
  7. Slickzor,

    I'm a bit concern more with your CPU temp than your Video card and yes it would be nice to see the temps with the case closed.

    Is the case free off dust bunnies as JackNaaylorPE suggested and did you try using a house fan blowing on the system with the side panel off? If so did the temps drop at all?

    Sometimes having the case open will increase temps, because it changes the air flow and/or pressure inside the case. The front fan would be a good idea.

    Please post temps with the house fan blowing on your pc and the temps with the case closed. Thanks!

  8. This is a comparison of before and after gaming with 100%GPU fan speed, open case, no extra blowing.

    Indeed the CPU seems very high as well. I need some serious cooling if I look at this, what do you guys suggest, I don't want to put fans etc. next to my computer cause it's under my desk which would be very annoying, I can try if it does anything.

    Do you want idle temperatures with case closed and house fan or just after gaming? If after gaming then it will be tomorrow before i can upload them since it's already 2.30am here.

    I'll check the idle temperatures right now and I'll get back asap.
  9. My ATI 4850 use to run at 100c while gaming for over a year lol...Then i decided to change the thermal compound and at the same time I cleaned out my system including the graphics card.. And i found alot of dust hiding in my graphics. Anyways when i changed my thermal compound with Antec formula 5 the temps dropped dramatically. Now it runs at 70c while gaming. Try changing your thermal compound i recommend Artic Cooling MX-4..yeah i know i used Antec formula 5 which actually worked really well but i just had that one laying around so i used it and it worked my gpu temps alot.
  10. @Bigmac, it's also my CPU that's overheating when gaming, so then i'll probably need a different cooler for that as well. So you're saying thermal paste would do the trick? That I'll have to disassemble my GPU (which i've never done before) and put some paste on it and then it's fine? Well for you it probably worked, but my computer needs overall more cooling. Appreciate the thought and sharing the experience, I'm going to wait for some more suggestions and I might just try this. Thanks :)

    Update: Here's my HWMonitor readings at system idle open case, system idle open case with house fan blowing on it, system idle closed case

    System Idle open case:

    System idle open case with full speed house fan:

    System idle closed case:

    If you want me to do readings after a 1 hour gaming session doing the same as I just did, I'd like to hear it from you OgCracKer. thanks!
  11. Simple test for case airflow or a cooler issue:

    Pull the side panel of your case, clean all the dust to eliminate clogged coolers as a variable.

    Get a house fan, set to high, blow into the case. (box fans at Walmart are like $10 and most people own a house or desk fan.)

    Run benchmarks/game, etc.

    If your temps go down, you have a case airflow issue. New case, more fans, clean up cabling...etc.

    If your temps remain the same, you have a cooler out the best solution for you and your budget.

    From the looks above...looks like you did this. Side off/with least 5C cooler. I think that should answer some questions for you.

    BTW...85C on a GPU is normal. This won't cause lockups.
  12. @Rubix, so this means that i have a case airflow issue (since there's no dust and i put the house fan on it with decrease in temperature)? What is the best way to solve it? Put in a front fan? or just overall new coolers? There's no cables in the way, it's all very compact and I can't really improve anything to benefit airflow. Shall I upload a few picture of what my case looks like from the inside with everything in there as it is right now? Or is that unnecessary?

    I know 85 degrees is still normal, however this baby goes higher. around 90-100 and then it starts to malfunction. Could be the CPU as well but I couldn't check, since I couldn't do readings anymore since my computer froze and I had to manually reset it. And as you can see in my comparison of system idle and just after gaming an increase in the cores of 25 degrees celcius or more up to 77 degrees (Core #1) celcius is quite a lot for a CPU as well, right?
  13. Yeah, a pic might help to see what you're working with. Always helps if it's possible.

    As for your case are your friends. If you can't feel the air from a fan, it's a poor fan. If you have empty fan holes, fill them up with fans if you can. Case airflow for ATX and BTX cases are: front to back, bottom to top. Warm air rises and should vent out the top/back of the case.

    If you have a side vent or fan hole, put a fan in.

    Edit: I looked up your case; I built one just like it for someone. I think you can fit an 80mm fan where the blowhole/funnel is and either a 92mm or a 120mm fan below in the vent, unless you have a windowed case. Also, I'm pretty sure the front intake doesn't come with a'll want one to intake the lower front across your HDD cage, and into your case. The side panel fans blow in, get a decent CFM exhaust fan in the back.
  14. @Rubix_1011, So if i get this correct I need 3 fans (more if possible but it isn't 3 is max).

    - 1 in the lower front for blowing in (92 or 120mm)
    - 1 where blowhole/funnel is for blowing in (80mm)
    - 1 in CFM exhaust in the higher back for blowing air out

    Could you please correct me if I'm wrong, as I said I'm not really a pro when it comes to airflow.

    I'm making a few pictures now to show you what it all looks like.

    EDIT: Can't upload pictures, software of my old mobile phone isnt compatible with windows 7. I think I got the picture of how to fix the problem now though. Just need to know if the above is correct and I can work :). 2 blowing in, 1 blowing out.
  15. Best answer
    Yeah, it will be fine. If you are going to buy fans, just make sure they are good ones, with decent CFM and quality. I know I have a link to some fan tests done by Martin of Martin's Liquid Labs...the predecessor to Skinnee (watercooling Gods among men).

    So, here is what I would highly suggest: front panel fan, 120mm (by your HDD cage) is intake. Side panel fan(s) intake (the blowhole will definitely fit a fan, not sure about the mesh below...I'm betting you can affix one somehow). Back of the case should be a 120mm.

    Remember that higher CFM also means more noise. You can strike a good balance between CFM and noise if you look around. The link above was tested for fan speed, CFM and noise for radiator use in watercooling, but applies in normal case fans.
  16. This will do then. I'll buy some high quality high CFM fans and put em in. Thanks for the info! Thanks a lot! :)
  17. Best answer selected by Slickzor.
  18. Good luck, hope this helps correct your issues.

    The blowhole should give you cool air on your CPU, and if you can fit a fan on the other side vent, it should blow directly in on your GPU.

    The front/back fans also are much needed...again...hope this helps your issue. If your temps drop, but you get the system freezing, you may have a PSU on the fritz.
  19. One more question that just popped in my head, If you put a fan at the blowhole blowing in, and a fan at the back blowing out, wouldn't the one blowing out take all the air that is being blown in by the blowhole fan and just blow it out again? Or is the one in the back not strong enough to do that?
  20. No, it will be fine. And in theory, the better your exhaust fans are, the better your overall case temps will be. Cool air will be drawn in not only by your intake fans, but by negative case air will come in through any seams between hardware or vents. Getting the hot out is good. It will naturally be replaced by cool air. The blowhole and side vent will just focus cool, intake air in the 'hot' areas that need more cool air, quickly.
  21. I agree with rubix, adding the front and the side fans should greatly help with temps. I also would suggest checking your CPU heat sink to make sure it's seated correctly. Might need to remove it, clean old thermal compound, reapply new thermal compound and reset. Possible a new CPU cooler if the new installed fans and reseting does not do the trick. Let us know how it goes.
  22. Thank you, that will be it then. I'm now looking for some great fans by the use of your link and some other reviews. Thanks a lot once again! :)

    @Ogcracker, yeah that will be my next step if these fans won't do the trick and upgrading the CPU cooler. But first some descent airflow. Thanks for the info!
  23. OgCracKer said:

    I understand where you are going with blowing out the PC but to suggest buying an air compressor that cost $160.00 is a little extreme and/or a $60.00 fan at this point. Hes requested fixing it with the lowest price possible if needed.

    No where did I suggest any such thing. I said I use the Husky, I have it at hand. What I did say is:

    Use whatever ya got that can blow air in a tight stream into small spaces. Even "canned" air works tho it does get expensive.

    That's not suggesting anyone buy anything .... that's the exact opposite, use whatever ya got .... Using whatever ya have "at hand" is a $0.00 expense.
  24. Slickzor said:
    @ JackNaylorPE, haha I don't have a compressor but that's a bit drastic indeed xD. No I think i just need a new fan that is able to support a steady flow of air and can stop my graphics card from overheating. And it has to fit in my case ofcourse. Also the computer has recently been assembled again so all dust is out. Side panel is off. Got one simple fan which blows air out, none blowing air in, rest is all stock. I might be able to make pictures of my case etc. if that would help (although it won't be that high quality I think).

    That setup can be a bit problematic as it leads to air "dead spaces". Taking the side panel off works in the example I gave because I have the desktop fan blowing in moving air around. With the side panel off, your exhaust fan serves can't create any air movement within the case.

    Here's a fan used by many test sites

    113 cfm .....
  25. I've seen that fan and I actually wanted to buy it. Unfortunately I can't seem to get it anywhere in the Netherlands which means importing it which costs a lot of extra money. I was thinking of getting these as inflow and outflow Sorry it's a dutch site but you can make sense of the figures. And this one as a 80mm sidepanel fan

    They all had high ratings and I can get them for a good price.
  26. That 120mm fan says 96 cubic meters of air/hr...comes out to about 56 CFM. Decent fan. If you can find higher volume fans, I'd go with them, unless you want quiet over cooling performance.
  27. Well according to the tests the PL2 is the most balanced when it comes to silence and CFM. Do you think these can't do the job and I should consider others? All I want is good airflow, and the sound isn't really that extremely important unless it becomes a jet engine whenever I start the computer. I'd love to get 2 Delta fans but they're unavailable outside North America it seems. If there is a similar one please show me :).

    Update: What about 2 of these? 110 CFM get recommended by a few sites. It is said to be loud though.

    How high of a CFM is recommended?
  28. That's insane...if they are actually 110CFM, they will likely be loud...but 'loud' is different to different people.

    CFM is just the volume of air moved, there isn't really a recommended value as a one size fits all. It just depends on what you feel is personally acceptable as a noise limit.
  29. I think I'm going with the Silverstone then since I can adjust the speed at any given time (fancontrol), so if I'm going to game and need it cooled I'll just crank it up and I won't hear it anyways because of game music/sound. And whenever I don't need the power I just put it lower again, easy as that (already checked and the fan control can fit in my computer :) ).

    Thanks for all the information, I'm going to buy those 3 fans (1 Nexus 2 Silverstone) whenI got enough money again. I'll let you know if it solved the heating problem!
  30. Update, just installed 2 Silverstone fans front and back for airflow (massive CFM but a vacuum cleaner at full speed) also another fan from nexus that blows straight in my CPU. When playing crysis 2 beta at full (as a benchmark) it's still getting very hot (60 degrees celcius after 30 minutes of playing). Also my graphics card goes to around 78 degrees celcius.

    Do I need to get new, other than standard coolers, for my CPU and Graphics card or is their another (cheaper) solution?
  31. You have to open the computer and blow in to everything in side it

    Hope this helps ;)
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