Hey guys, I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to hardware, so I apologize if my question that I'm about to ask is ridiculous. For the sake of motive, let me give some background first though.
For the past 2-3 years, I've been using the Saphire Ati Radeon x1950 XT card. For the past couple of months, I've noticed a huge increase in artifacting (to the point where I can no longer play Crysis or Call of Duty MW 1/2 without the screen being blinded with vertex tears). Additionally, blue and black color blotches flicker on the screen at random intervals. While playing games, it isn't uncommon for the temperature to rise up beyond 80/90 C. My guess is the heat made things go bad.
So, after putting LOTS of time digging through reviews and whatnot, I ended up deciding to purchase an XFX Radeon HD 4890 card (for the cost and because I don't see DX11 as something to wet my pants for). Now, the card itself hasn't gotten to my house yet (just ordered it last night), but judging by the reviews, I *think* the fan/cooling system is pretty decent. However, I'm concerned with what'll happen months from now.
Now to my question, hehe. With this new card of mine, would it be recommended to install my own cooling system and/or fan to ensure it won't end up like my X1950? I want this card to last me for several years (or at least until most games switch to DX11 and prove that upgrading is worth it--but even then, I suppose DX12 will be coming out, hah!).
I'm really scared about the longevity of my card. Please help!
EDIT: However, if the current fan/cooling for the XFX card is good enough, I'd prefer to NOT buy my own.
The cooling system on the card should be sufficient to keep it below 80C, my 4850 stays below 65C at all times with the XFX cooler. I definitely recommend against installing your own cooler on an XFX card as that voids the lifetime warranty, just make sure to register it online and when its time comes and it begins to die they will replace it.
It should be, these cooling systems are designed to keep them cool enough even under full load so the fan should be plenty, it probably wont even need to run at full speed.
I would wait until you get it, if it runs hot then you can consider other options to reduce its temperature but i doubt you will need to. Also make sure that your case has sufficient airflow for the card to draw some in to exhaust out the back.
Should idle below 40C. When you get it download and run Furmark, let it run for about half an hour or an hour, at load 70C is warm, 85C is hot, and most cards will auto throttle to stay below 100C which is considered to be the max safe temp for a GPU. GPUs are safe to run at much higher temps than CPUs due to a different manufacturing process.
With that in mind, any idea why my X1950 card would be artifacting when temps rise up past 70C?
Also, to ensure that the new 4890 card stayed in that range you specified, would it be wise to manually set the fan at a certain speed or should I let it auto-adjust? My only reason for asking this is some of the reviews say that the fan speed randomly adjusts up and down very frequently (to the point of being annoying by some people).
Those are my last questions, I promise! Thank you!
Your X1950 may have been more susceptible to heat due to its age, it is also possible that it was the VRAM that was overheating rather than the GPU itself as that would also cause artifacting and would not be possible to check the temperature of.
I would leave it on auto unless it doesnt keep it cool enough for you then you can create a different fan profile. If you use headphones while you game you wont hear the fan at all, i barely hear mine even when im not wearing my headphones.