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GPU Overheating Problem? Need Advice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 5, 2010 6:27:53 AM

My computer keeps shutting itself off randomly while playing video games. This has happened because of my CPU before, but now I'm relatively sure it is my video card. I downloaded Rivatuner, and as far as I can tell it is running at approx 115 C under load.

Is the computer turning off without warning a symptom of video card overheating or would something else happen?

Is there a better program to monitor my GPU temp and my CPU temp? Rivatuner just says "Core Temp", which doesn't help a lot. Also, what are acceptable temperatures for these two devices?

If it is in fact my GPU, what can I do to remedy this? I have a ATI Radeon HD 4850 which is approx 1.5 years old. Is it already time to get a new card?

Any advice you guys have is greatly appreciated.
a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2010 1:08:11 PM

If you had that card for 1 1/2 years and did no cleaning of the card's ventilation system, especially cleaning off dust, the card will generate large amounts of heat like you're seeing now. I'm going to assume that the card hasn't been cleaned out for a while. First thing to do is clean your card of dust, preferably with an air can. After that, monitor your temps at idle and full load. Your card should not pass 90 degrees Celsius during load or you're asking the card to fail soon. Second, how is the ventilation in your computer case? The most common airflow will be air being sucked in from the front of your case and blown out from the top corner of the back of your case. Even with this standard (usually) airflow, your computer should be exhausting most of the heat generated by your system. Also, what are your CPU temps right now? Try to keep it under 70 degree Celsius at all times. I had a mobo that would turn off the computer if it reached 80 degrees, and that's already too high for my liking. I keep my CPU at around 28-30 degrees idle and 45 at full load. Make sure the CPU heatsink and fan is cleaned out too.
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January 6, 2010 1:36:21 AM

no it's not overclocked. i seem to have stopped the random crashing by re-applying thermal compound to CPU heatsink and in general just cleaning out dust (especially from video card). now that I have this temperature monitor though, I'm kind of worried. My Core temp at idle appears to be 60 C (I'm assuming this is for vid card because it comes from rivatuner), and is now around 90 C under load (while playing GTA4). How do you keep your temp at 45 C under load?
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a b U Graphics card
January 6, 2010 11:51:15 AM

Temps from 60-85/90c are normal for graphics cards with the original cooler. You can improve your temps with an aftermarket VGA cooler and/or better case airflow. You may also find that your current GPU fan isn't spinning up to 100%, so you may be able to cool it more by using CCC or Rivatuner for example to up the fan speed.
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