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How to underclock my ATI 4870?? runs too hot

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May 28, 2010 8:22:30 PM

So I have a 4870...while it is a great card it runs very hot. While in the winter this is fine, my room gets absolutely unbearable in the summer.

I noticed that while even idle it runs very hot like 80C. I can understand it running hot while in a game or something but I don't think its necessary to have it run this hard while idle...its very inefficient.

What should I do? Are there cards out there that can run cool while being able to play highend games as well? If so, perhaps I can upgrade.

In addition to that, perhaps I can simply underclock and undervolt my videocard? If I can, how do I so specifically?

Thanks!
May 29, 2010 6:24:12 AM

Did you have this problem since day 1?

How big is your case and how much airflow is it getting?

Underclocking will make a SLIGHT difference but I think you have more underlying issues.

In addition, you shouldnt have to underclock a product that was designed to run at a higher speed.

IMO, the 4xxx series ran notoriously hot, however 80C idle is excessive. You should be getting this temp under load.

Clear away dust from case and fans. Airspray, a moist cloth covering a screwdriver for hard to reach areas usually does the trick.

Reapply thermal paste. You would be surprised how "shoddy" thermal paste application can be during manufacture. BE CAREFUL if undertaking this procedure.

Create a fan profile (ex 50%) in CCC.

Good luck.
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May 29, 2010 11:52:24 AM

An underclock won't do too much, because if it is idling, it's already running at significantly lower clocks.

An undervolt, however, would do something. It depends on your brand of HD4870..ASUS? MSI? Gigabyte? Etc..

As for a cooler card, the HD5770 Vapor-X edition is one of the coolest cards. It is, however, a sideways upgrade (meaning you will get the same performance), but it uses significantly less power. This means the heat output is extremely less.
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May 29, 2010 1:44:22 PM

First question, do you have any problems when you are actually gaming? or any other issues? OR are you just concerned about the temps?

If have very high ambient temps, of course your card is going to run HOT at idle. You can always use a utility to adjust the fan speed to help cool it. However, it really isn't running "inefficiently" the cooling is just not moving the heat from the cooler fast enough.

1) What model card is this? I had a 4870 and it always topped out over 80C at load, around 50C ish idle.
2) take the cooler out and blow out any dust with an air compressor. Dust is the enemy and can REALLY give your car a nice wool coat to wear.
3) Repaste your GPU. Sometimes the factory paste isn't applied properly or has dried up. I've had this happen once and repasting dropped my temps 5C+. However, I've also done it an had no results. Actually this was most of the time. But if it worked once for me it could work again.
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May 30, 2010 10:27:30 AM

hunuok said:
Did you have this problem since day 1?

How big is your case and how much airflow is it getting?

Underclocking will make a SLIGHT difference but I think you have more underlying issues.

In addition, you shouldnt have to underclock a product that was designed to run at a higher speed.

IMO, the 4xxx series ran notoriously hot, however 80C idle is excessive. You should be getting this temp under load.

Clear away dust from case and fans. Airspray, a moist cloth covering a screwdriver for hard to reach areas usually does the trick.

Reapply thermal paste. You would be surprised how "shoddy" thermal paste application can be during manufacture. BE CAREFUL if undertaking this procedure.

Create a fan profile (ex 50%) in CCC.

Good luck.


Well yeah, its always ran hot. I mean isn't that how they are all suppposed to be...i heard they were notioriously bad for that.

Ive tried clearing dust away but its still hot. it runs at like 77 idle to be percise. what temperature should it be running at?

thermal paste doesnt apply for videocards though.

a fan profile would just make the card be cooler...it would still disspiate just as much heat. I actually want the card to run at a lower temp, run more efficiently at idle cause its make my room way too hot.

shadow187 said:
An underclock won't do too much, because if it is idling, it's already running at significantly lower clocks.

An undervolt, however, would do something. It depends on your brand of HD4870..ASUS? MSI? Gigabyte? Etc..

As for a cooler card, the HD5770 Vapor-X edition is one of the coolest cards. It is, however, a sideways upgrade (meaning you will get the same performance), but it uses significantly less power. This means the heat output is extremely less.


Yeah I have VisionTek....How would I undervolt it, would it be dangerous?

Hmm, so should I just buy that card the 5770 vapor-x edition if that is the case???? would it be worth it?


jay2tall said:
First question, do you have any problems when you are actually gaming? or any other issues? OR are you just concerned about the temps?

If have very high ambient temps, of course your card is going to run HOT at idle. You can always use a utility to adjust the fan speed to help cool it. However, it really isn't running "inefficiently" the cooling is just not moving the heat from the cooler fast enough.

1) What model card is this? I had a 4870 and it always topped out over 80C at load, around 50C ish idle.
2) take the cooler out and blow out any dust with an air compressor. Dust is the enemy and can REALLY give your car a nice wool coat to wear.
3) Repaste your GPU. Sometimes the factory paste isn't applied properly or has dried up. I've had this happen once and repasting dropped my temps 5C+. However, I've also done it an had no results. Actually this was most of the time. But if it worked once for me it could work again.


I dont have any problems gaming I don't believe. I havent really checked out for intense power hungry games, but I dont think there is any tearing or anything like that. ill have to check. I am just concerned about the temps cause it makes my bedroom hot.

1. mentioned earlier...visiontek.
2. are you saying the cooler of the actual videocard??
3. so there is repaste on the videocard? what kind of thermalpaste could i expect?

also, what do you suggest if i just want lower temps while still having some good performance?

would doing these fixes lower it enough? or should i just exchange for a different videocard???
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May 31, 2010 9:12:00 AM

bump
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May 31, 2010 10:20:09 AM

A picture of the inside of your case would be really helpful, The things I found most helpful in reducing heat are:

Cleaning out all the dust from your case and your graphics card heatsink (This will involve taking apart your graphics card, and in turn voiding your warranty).

Using a quality thermal paste like IC Diamond, AS5 or MX3 on the graphics cards Core (This will again involve taking apart your graphics card).

Adding more fans to your case, aswell as doing some cable management.

I had 2 x HD4870's and they idled at about 45C, you should expect similar temps.
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May 31, 2010 5:52:05 PM

interesting I will def have to try those, thanks...BUT do you think it could just be an underlying problem with my card??

im not sure if 80degree c idle is really all that normal? I know its supposed to be a hot card...but THAT hot??

oh, and it might be of some interest but I was one of the ones that bought it whenever it first came out....do you think it might be because i bought a first model, and then they later fixed the later models??
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May 31, 2010 5:59:58 PM

Well If you've had it that long and never taken off the heatsink and given it a good clean then I expect its incredibly dusty

And 80C idle is not normal, that should be your load temps.
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May 31, 2010 7:58:30 PM

damn, so what do i do then?

void my warranty by seeing if its dust? what if i remove the card and its not the dust...its truley an underlying problem and then I cannot return it.

I think I should probably just possibly exchange it(i should be able to rma it right?) and just upgrade in place of it.

should i just get the 5770 vapor-x edition? or should i upgrade to something better with better perfomance? I want to something that can perform well but at the same time remains really cool. you have any recommendations?

Thanks
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May 31, 2010 8:15:08 PM

He is not talking about getting the card temps to be lower, he is asking specifically about making the card itself give off less heat so most of these suggestions will be of questionable merit.
The amount of heat a card puts off into its environment is directly related to the amount of power it uses. So yes, an HD5770 would help significantly there, especially at idle. At idle the HD4870 uses 60-75w while the HD5770 uses just 15-20w. During normal gaming the HD4870 should average about 140-150w while the HD5770 uses almost exactly half of that.
Like others have said this is a sideways upgrade in terms of performance but it should give off much less heat, give you DX11 compatibility and a good amount of the cost should be covered by selling the HD4870.
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May 31, 2010 8:17:16 PM

jyjjy said:
He is not talking about getting the card temps to be lower, he is asking specifically about making the card itself give off less heat so most of these suggestions will be of questionable merit.
The amount of heat a card puts off into its environment is directly related to the amount of power it uses. So yes, an HD5770 would help significantly there, especially at idle. At idle the HD4870 uses 60-75w while the HD5770 uses just 15-20w. During normal gaming the HD4870 should average about 140-150w while the HD5770 uses almost exactly half of that.
Like others have said this is a sideways upgrade in terms of performance but it should give off much less heat, give you DX11 compatibility and a good amount of the cost should be covered by selling the HD4870.


Eh? 80C idle isn't because of the power it uses... 40-50C idle is normal for a 4870.
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May 31, 2010 8:17:23 PM

Well if you still have warranty then you could try and RMA, although the card technically works so I don't know if it will be successfully RMA'd

If its not under warranty then you might aswell take it apart and clean it out and put some quality thermal paste on.
If you just want to get a new card then I would suggest no less than a HD5850, anything less powerful isn't really an upgrade.
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May 31, 2010 8:34:16 PM

Once again the temperature of the processor itself is NOT what he is concerned about. How efficient the cooler is at removing heat from the processing core is largely irrelevant to how much the heat the card is giving off in general. So while the suggestions in the threads may very well help achieve better cooling of the processor itself they will be very marginally useful in terms of the problem he is actually asking about which is the card raising the temperature of the room he is in.
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May 31, 2010 8:45:06 PM

The cooler is good enough to cool the card, but he's had it since release and hasn't cleaned it....

If he was to remove the dust and apply some good thermal paste then he would get alot better temps and for a long period of time.

He was looking to underclock his card because its running too hot....Sooo he IS concerned about the processor/core's temps
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May 31, 2010 9:03:57 PM

Rustyy117 said:
He was looking to underclock his card because its running too hot....Sooo he IS concerned about the processor/core's temps

He framed the whole post in terms of what I'm saying in the first line. Just because at the end he asks if unclocking/volting the card while help doesn't change the general point of the post.
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May 31, 2010 10:56:07 PM

yeah jyjjy hit it on the head with the statement. "He is not talking about getting the card temps to be lower, he is asking specifically about making the card itself give off less heat so most of these suggestions will be of questionable merit. "

My question is: is there a card that has better performance than the HD5770 WHILE being just as efficient(less voltage so less heat)? Because I do not mind spending more for an upgrade if there is a significant jump in performance. Its been like 2 years since I upgraded so I wouldn't mind upgrading my graphics card at all.

OR should I just stick with the 5770 vapor-x edition?

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May 31, 2010 11:10:09 PM

An HD5850 uses the same power as an HD4870. If you wanted a Vapor-X version you'd end up being up to the mid $350s though. There's no other card out worth upgrading to over a 5770.
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June 1, 2010 12:37:35 AM

shadow187 said:
An HD5850 uses the same power as an HD4870.

Not quite. At stock it actually uses slightly less power than the HD4850 but the rest of what you say is right. You aren't going to get the performance of the HD5770 or higher with better power efficiency/less heat. It's really very impressive in that regard as is. The HD5850 is also very power efficient for its performance but it certainly does use significantly more power.
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June 1, 2010 9:41:41 AM

oh ok thanks a bunch guys and everyone.

ill prob be getting the 5770 vapor-x edition then.
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June 1, 2010 10:32:50 AM

oh yea got a question. if i get the 5770 do i have to unistall old drivers, or can I just plug in and play essentially?
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June 1, 2010 4:08:11 PM

They use the same drivers
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June 23, 2010 5:53:52 AM

ok cool guy, the 5770 vapor-x runs great. any idea how much do you think i could sell my 4870 for? its an early edition so its only 512mb
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June 25, 2010 12:29:35 AM

bump
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June 25, 2010 3:59:05 AM

@ INeedSomeAdvice, Please start your own thread if you have questions rather than hijacking this one.
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June 25, 2010 9:56:54 AM

oh yea got a question. if i get the 5770 do i have to unistall old drivers, or can I just plug in and play essentially? said:
oh yea got a question. if i get the 5770 do i have to unistall old drivers, or can I just plug in and play essentially?


i switched from a 4850 to a 4870 before, and it wasn't a plug and play experience, you need to reinstall the drivers.

if i were you i'd driversweep just to make sure.
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September 9, 2010 5:33:55 PM

I have same friggin problem OP was facing.

I do not have air conditioned room. My ATI diamond 4870 was running 80C from the day one when my pc was just assembled. with lowest setting possible with ATI overdrive tab in the driver software.

It releases too much heat with fan and reduce to 39 for Graphics card but room become furnace in summer. Summer is almost over in canada , so my pc will be now my free HEATER.

All these card should come with low power mode. Because most of the times we do not play games.

These card should not release 80c when it is in idle. Unfortunately all 4870 does if u switch off the GPU fan,

So i am looking out for a card that runs cooler without a GPU fan in idle mode.

Note: It is same problem as OP , not interested in reducing the heat of the card by fan or cleaning...because those heat will be in the room. if anyone find a solution to reduce heat of ATI 4870 by underclocking to lowest of lowest mode...for normal pc operations.

Thanks
alexk
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September 9, 2010 6:36:25 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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