Everything seemed to be fine for the first week or so. However yesterday I installed Company of Heroes and on playing it only for afew minutes the PC shutdown itself. On restarting it again shutdown midway through windows 7 startup.
I went to the bois and saw the CPU and system temps. The were 46C and 38C respectively. No problems there. I waited for a while and started again. This time i had a successful startup. I monitored the GPU temperature and it was around 60C with fan speed 40%.
I fired up COH and after playing for 5 minutes paused and looked at GPU temperature -- it was 104C with fan speed 100%. It gor down to 94 in 10 seconds. I switched to the game again and the system shoutdown in 15-20 seconds.
What's going on?
I had a three year old IDE DVD writer which i put to use in this. Could it be that the IDE ribbon cable is obstructing airflow?
104c is pretty high and could have caused it to freeze up and shut the computer down before over heating and killing the gpu. 60c is what you'll see most in ati's card because they usually run at those temps. Check with your manufacturer about replacing the card.
I have a sapphire x1950pro card, same thing happens to me when i play games with heavy graphics settings. At first there were blue scrrens on WinXP, and i had to change the power supply. I had a 500W Deluxe, and i replaced it with a 550W Corsair. No more blue screens, but the crashes did not disappear. When i checked the GPU temp it was around 100c. The fan is very noisy but it seems that it can't cool the GPU fast enough. I keep the case open for a better ventilation, but i do not recommend it because it gathers a lot of dust fast. So from time to time i take the graphic card out and clean it.
I never overclocked the card, i do not know why it stays so hot, i have heard that my card usually runs pretty hot, but that is no excuse for crashes in the middle of the game.
High temperatures are either a cooling flaw or a GPU flaw, if you can make sure that the cooling is ok, then it means that the GPU is not running within normal parameters. (my opinion)