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Graphics Cards idle up over 95 degrees!

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
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September 22, 2009 1:42:50 AM

I've got a pair of radeon 4850s, I've done the fan fix mod and, at the moment, they're set to 80%. Sitting idle, one of the cards is at 98 degrees and the other is 100. I realize it's quite hot in my room, I'm in California and it's in the mid to high 90s outside. It's a little bit cooler than that inside, but not much. Still, that can't possibly explain why the cards are so hot.

I built this computer several months ago (with help from the good members on this board, thanks again btw!) and everytime I did something with heavy processing, my system would shut itself off. I thought it was my GPU at first because it always happened when I tried to play games but I realized it was my CPU. I was only using the stock fan. I got a Coolermaster v8 for the CPU and the problem was solved, no more shutting off out of nowhere. But my cards are now the problem. I've got dual booting with Vista 64 bit ultimate & XP 32 bit. The cards run slightly hotter in Vista, but a degree or two, but both OS are well over 90 degrees idel.

Any ideas?? Thanks in advance,

Shant

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September 22, 2009 1:56:36 AM

Do you honestly think I'd be posting this if all I needed to do is turn the AC on? I've got an industrial swamp cooler in here, seperate from central air. The central air is practically always on. Even when they're both blasting my cards are in the high 80s' low 90s' idle. And when the cards are at load, it doesn't matter how cold it is in here.

There is something else at play here. I realize whatever the issue, I'm going to need to get a couple of pci-based coolers, one for each card. But until I can afford them, I'm wondering if there's anything I can do. And even if there's nothing I can do, I'd still like to know why they're getting so hot. I haven't really heard people complaining of such high idle temperatures, particularly when I've got the cards' fans cranked up to 80%. Incidentally even at 100% I'm in the 90s'.
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September 22, 2009 2:07:11 AM

Thermaltake Armor+ MX

It comes with a 120cm fan that blows right over the cards, but the thing hardly moves any air. I've had to remove the side door and put a very powerful room fan right on top of the components in order to play games. It's a stainless steel fan, one of those kinds of fans that you can hear across the house at full strength. When I've got that cranked, the cards come down to the low 60s'. But at load, even with that damned fan maxed, they approach 90s'.

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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2009 3:12:02 AM

I assume you mean 90s Fahrenheit outside and 98-100 Celcius for the cards, correct? If so, that is insanely hot. Are those single slot coolers? Regardless, check for dust buildup.
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a c 206 U Graphics card
September 22, 2009 3:18:19 AM

Swap the all of the fans out for ones with higher CFM ratings. You cant be picky about noise when things are threatening to melt down. Also get some thermal compound and thermal compound remover, try removing, cleaning, and reseating the heatsinks and see if that helps.

If you dont have the dual slot cooler versions they will generate a lot of heat, try to space them out a bit if you can.
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September 22, 2009 5:53:30 AM

Thanks for your replies, I'll go point by point to milk your guys' input as much as possible.

Quote:
Case looks nice but that side fan looks cheap and flimsy. Sell it and get a Nine hundred , Scout or CM 690


Are the models you mentioned side fans, or are they gpu coolers? Honestly I don't think a better side fan will amount to much. As I mentioned, I've got an industrial strength room fan which is bigger than my whole tower sitting right where the side fan would be, and even with that cranking full blast my cards idle in the low 60s. At the very minimum I think I'll need gpu coolers, one for each card. I was hoping that I could do something before then though, something other than leaving this deafening room fan on all the time.

EXT64 said:
I assume you mean 90s Fahrenheit outside and 98-100 Celcius for the cards, correct? If so, that is insanely hot. Are those single slot coolers? Regardless, check for dust buildup.


Yes, the card temperatures are in celsius. Forgive my noobiness, but when you talk about single slot coolers, what do you mean? For the graphics cards? I don't have any coolers for them yet. Just whatever fan comes stock on the card itself. They only take up 1 pci slot, if that's what you mean. I realize I need coolers for them, but they shouldn't be getting this hot regardless, should they?

hunter315 said:
. Also get some thermal compound and thermal compound remover, try removing, cleaning, and reseating the heatsinks and see if that helps.


You mean the heatsinks that sit on the cards themselves? I didn't realize you could remove those. It's worth a shot, but what are the odds that they came loose on both the cards, which are only several months old?

If you dont have the dual slot cooler versions they will generate a lot of heat, try to space them out a bit if you can. said:
If you dont have the dual slot cooler versions they will generate a lot of heat, try to space them out a bit if you can.


I think I only have single slot versions, they only take up 1 slot. As for spacing them out, they need to be close enough to connect the crossfire cable. I have 2 pcie slots separating them. Is that enough to put decent coolers on each? Any you reccomend?

Thanks again for bearing with me gentlemen, I appreciate it.



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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2009 11:06:28 AM

Yes, single slot means that only the PCI-E slot the card is actually plugged into is occupied (and thus no exhaust out the back or heatsink taller than about 1/2 an inch). You could theoretically put a card directly under them. If they are the single slot and are getting a little old, new thermal paste/GPU coolers may be in order. I had the same problem. My old 4850 was getting hot, topping 110C in games even with the fan fairly high. It did not used to be that bad. So, I bought an Akasa Vortexx Neo dual slot cooler. After a quick swap, it now runs at 40-45C idle and 60C or so max. A Huge drop from 60-70C idle and 90-110C max.
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September 22, 2009 11:13:37 AM

So if I've got 2 4850s, and they need to be close enough for the crossfire cables, that leaves a total of 2 pcie slots between them. Would that leave room for 1 of those dual slot coolers fit? I need 1 cooler per card, so does that mean I'd only be able to fit 1 cooler in there? How about putting in a single slot cooler for each card?
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2009 3:35:17 PM

2 PCI Between them should be enough. In general, the coolers like the one I have take up 1 slot (plus maybe a tiny overhang). So just to make sure we are talking bout the same thing, your computer looks like:

PCI-E that 4850 1 is plugged into
Empty
Empty
PCI-E that 4850 2 is plugged into
Empty
Empty

Then you should be more than fine If you add in a cooler like mine, the end result will be:

PCI-E 4850 1 is plugged into
Cooler and Cooler exhaust
Empty (with maybe a tiny protrusion by the cooler)
PCI-E 4850 2 is plugged into
Cooler and Cooler exhaust
Empty (with maybe a tiny protrusion by the cooler)
Etc.
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September 22, 2009 4:46:19 PM

Mine looks more like this...


EEEEEEEMMMMMPTY

PCI-E that 4850 1 is plugged into
Empty

Empty

PCI-E that 4850 2 is plugged into
EEEEEEEMMMMMPTY

The spaces I inserted were intentional, the slots are not evenly spaced out. The slots inbetween are very small, about an inch in width. Not sure if those are pcie or what. The slots on top and bottom are more regular size pci slots. The slot on top of 4850 1 is spaced maybe a half an inch above it. But the slot below 4850 2 is literally right underneath the card, ie no space separating the card and slot whatsoever.

- I'm not sure a single slot cooler would fit down there...Is that how it's supposed to be?

- Which slots am I supposed to plug the coolers into, the small ones inbetween or the regular sized ones above & below?
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September 22, 2009 4:50:47 PM

My mobo's a rampage formula btw, if that helps.
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2009 5:39:29 PM

The coolers attach to the cards. If you look at your current ones, they are probably about a half inch thick and red. A replacement dual slot one would be the same (in the way it attaches) but about 1 inch think and vents out the back.
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September 22, 2009 5:59:21 PM

You mean the coolers don't plug into the pci slots?
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2009 6:32:29 PM

No, I am talking about replacing the stock coolers on the cards (sorry I wasn't clear). Look at the original 4870s or this picture:

http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=72906

Its a bit of work, but it will cool the card nicely. You could start with the original suggestions of replacing the thermal paste first if you'd like.
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September 24, 2009 3:15:24 AM

Well I'll be damned...it was the dust afterall. Tried to take off the stock cooler/heatsink but it wouldn't budge and I didn't want to force it. Didn't see dust anywhere but almost as an after thought or formality I took a can of air and started blasting away. I noticed a lot of dust coming from a particular area so I took a pair of tweezers and dug in there. Sure enough, I pulled out little 'snakes' of dust and lint-like material.

With the fans set at 60%, the cards are now idling at 64 & 65 respectively. Thank goodness for you guys. I reckon I'll still need to get coolers because it's only a matter of time before it happens again but at least now I'll be OK until I then.

Thanks again fellas, wish I could return the help in some way.

Shant
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a b U Graphics card
September 24, 2009 10:47:28 AM

Yeah, the big coolers last alot longer before dust starts hampering performance, however if you are careful, singles can work fine. I remember when I replaced the stock single slot coolers on my 6800s I was amazed at all the dust that fell out. Same when I replaced a dying chipset fan, a big ole dust ball. You definitely have to be careful with low profile coolers, however, in most cases they make it very difficult to clean/inspect them, which is why I just gave up and went to duals after a while with the singles.
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September 24, 2009 12:10:23 PM

So when you say you replaced the stock single slot cooler, are you removing screws on your actual card, taking out the heatsink/fan, and replacing it with something else? Or are you simply adding a cooler like the one you linked which goes into the pci slot beneath your card?
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a b U Graphics card
September 24, 2009 3:25:57 PM

To install the one I linked to you must first remove the old cooler. That invovles unscrewing the sometimes spring pressured screws and carefully easing off the old cooler (since it will have thermal tape/goop on it). Then after cleaing it, you have to screw on the new cooler (new thermal tape/paste) and make sure to add heatsinks for anything not covered by the new cooler. It isn't incredibly hard (I've done it on three different cards with no bad results) but you have to be careful and make sure you know what you are doing.
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September 26, 2009 1:42:27 AM

Thanks EXT for all your help, and to everyone as well.
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!