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XFX 4890 strange heat issues

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 11, 2010 3:19:09 AM

Greetings,

System:
i5-750@stock
XFX4890@stock
4GB Corsair Dominator
Asus P7P55 LX
600W PSU

So recently I've noticed about a 40% frame drop while playing Bad Company 2, Assassins Creed 2 and other such games, normally on maximum settings. I've had the system since last Christmas, never had to put anything below maximum before.
Then a few days ago my computer just switched off, monitor went blank, PC off a second later, no warning. Turned it back on, installed new Catalyst drivers and decided to find the cause, assuming it was an overheat of some kind I decided to monitor GPUid and fiddle about with Catalyst Control Centre. It's still been crashing every now and then since.

Right at this moment at idle with the case side open, with 0% GPU activity it's at 85 Celsius WITH the fan speed at 100% according to the CCC. This seems odd which ever way you look at it. I took the card out and cleaned out as much dust as I could without disassembling it. Put it back in there was a small improvement, however it's at higher idle temperatures now than it was a few hours ago. I'm baffled.
Under load it's up to 110 Celsius which is 20-30 degrees higher than it should be. There haven't been any significant changes to software or hardware that would have an affect on the card, it's just suddenly started overheating. The strangest part is that I've never noticed as inordinate amount of noise from the card under load since I've had it, so it would make no sense saying that the fan is defective as it's worked at the same sound level since I've had it and not reached temperatures that caused it to crash.

I found that when I put the GPU fan speed at 100% there was NO noticeable noise increase from the card itself which seemed very odd, as looking on youtube, the standard XFX 4890 makes a racket at 100% compared to 30%, mine didn't. When I put the fanspeed back down to 30% the temperature goes up to 100 celsius, while the thing is idle. So it proves that the fan is making a difference at different values.

So there are possibly two issues. the cardfan has been defective since purchase, yet worked fine until now, then what is the cause of the overheating recently?

Does anyone have any similar experience? It's still under warranty, so I'll probably have to return it to XFX, but thought I'd ask as I'd rather avoid being graphics-less for a couple weeks while they fix it or replace.

Regards,

D
October 11, 2010 3:42:49 AM

To keep it short that you need to clean the card and there is no way around it. You have to take the cooler off and clean out the dust and while you are at it put new thermal compound on then temps should be down to a much more normal range.
October 11, 2010 3:58:59 AM

Doesn't seem normal for it to just be a dust issue. I removed as much as I could with a compressed air aerosol earlier today. While it's still under warranty I won't be removing the heatsink. Even so, I can't see how the tiny amount of dust that is still in there will be causing 30 degree discrepancies in temperature. Also this wasn't a gradual problem, it was pretty much overnight.

To add, I changed the fanspeed to 95% then back to 100%. The temp has dropped to 50 degrees then back up to 80. I put Assassins Creed on just now played for about 10 mins, tabbed out, temp was up to 103, while writing the post it's dropped to 49. None of it makes any sense.

This is all with manual fan control on 100%.
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October 11, 2010 4:34:00 AM

Since it's still on warranty then RMA the card...
October 15, 2010 10:39:19 PM

hello, same exact problem has been happening to me, ive been looking around the net to figure it out and yet nothing ive found, my card has risen up to 110 c, it freaked me out because this happened out of nowhere for myself as well and the card worked fine before that.
October 16, 2010 2:25:48 AM

joerge said:
hello, same exact problem has been happening to me, ive been looking around the net to figure it out and yet nothing ive found, my card has risen up to 110 c, it freaked me out because this happened out of nowhere for myself as well and the card worked fine before that.



It happens at some point knowing this generation. It is usually hot and cold cycles that wrap the card slightly and the degradation of the stock compound that makes it worse. Also cleaning out the dust will help knock the temps back. Unmount the cooler to replace the old compound and before putting it back clean the cooler the best that you can. That will bring temps down by at least 20c-40c depending on conditions and the state of the card. Not every card responds the same. The 4830 up through the 4870 behaves better than the 4890 and the 4870x2 due to their lower power draw and thermals. The 4870x2 is the worst as expected and the 4890 fallows close behind in terms of problems.
October 16, 2010 7:33:28 AM

I contacted XFX, after a day of "diagnostics" they decided to give me an RMA via Scan. If it's something as simple as replacing the compound then it's tempting to do it myself, however, if it voids the warranty I may be kicking myself if the temps are still high afterwards.

I'll probably just send it to them on Monday and hope they send me back a 5850 :sarcastic: 

I did however figure out the cause of the frame drops. On CCC when the gpu is idle the core clock is 240, when I booted up a game it would only go to 500 for some reason even with the maximum set to 870 (default for this card). Odd indeed, I used Atitools to change it up to the default load speed and it worked fine... that is until the temps hit above 100 degrees and I had to let it cool. Bit strange though, didn't find the cause, uninstalled all drivers, sweeped, reinstalled, same thing.
November 9, 2010 12:10:29 AM

Update:

So I sent it off like 3 weeks ago or something. It arrived at Scan on the 19th Oct, took them a week to get around to testing it, it was deemed faulty on the 26th, then sent to the suppliers I assume XFX as my returns tracking page said awaiting XFX results.

Anyone been in a similar situation? As Scan have not been selling 4890 for a while now, I'm curious as to what sort of replacement I'll get as the card was only £150 at the time, yet beats the closest equivalent card (5830) in all the benchmarks on this site by a reasonable amount 5-10%. Will the DX11 support make a difference with the upcoming games, or will I more likely get credit?

Edit: Anyone had good luck with an RMA and was sent back a significant upgrade? Three weeks soo far with no gfx card, I need cheering up!
April 17, 2011 1:26:35 AM

Well, i have to say i am very pleased to read this! I have been looking around the net for help with my card - the similarities are uncanny.

I have stock I7 950 and an XFX 4890 (489x-zsqc). I was playing black ops with graphics on ultra at 1080p and i noticed my frame rate drop after an hour or two from ~80 to ~30. I thought it was odd so i installed ATI tools, gpu-z and msi afterburner to check it out. I found that my card was running at 110c under load and 80c idle. Also, the fan speed in CCC is at 100% but the fan is running very slowly, and manually changing the speed makes no difference. Sound familiar?

Weirdly, a few days ago my computer randomly turned off too and struggled to boot up again initially, just as you described, which prompted me to blow all the dust out of it. I have also noticed the clock speed changing from 240 idle to 500 under load too, even though its supposed to be 870. Again, sound familiar?

As i write this the temp is down to 75c and its been idle for about 30 mins at least. Neither gpu-z or Msi afterburner are registering any speed for the fan in RPM.

We clearly have the same problem whatever it might be.

Did you have any luck with your RMA in the end?
April 17, 2011 4:32:25 PM

mesmeric said:
Well, i have to say i am very pleased to read this! I have been looking around the net for help with my card - the similarities are uncanny.

I have stock I7 950 and an XFX 4890 (489x-zsqc). I was playing black ops with graphics on ultra at 1080p and i noticed my frame rate drop after an hour or two from ~80 to ~30. I thought it was odd so i installed ATI tools, gpu-z and msi afterburner to check it out. I found that my card was running at 110c under load and 80c idle. Also, the fan speed in CCC is at 100% but the fan is running very slowly, and manually changing the speed makes no difference. Sound familiar?

Weirdly, a few days ago my computer randomly turned off too and struggled to boot up again initially, just as you described, which prompted me to blow all the dust out of it. I have also noticed the clock speed changing from 240 idle to 500 under load too, even though its supposed to be 870. Again, sound familiar?

As i write this the temp is down to 75c and its been idle for about 30 mins at least. Neither gpu-z or Msi afterburner are registering any speed for the fan in RPM.

We clearly have the same problem whatever it might be.

Did you have any luck with your RMA in the end?


All the symptoms are the same as what I had. After chasing up with Scan they offered me a £90 refund as a replacement wasn't possible, though it took them about 4 weeks to get to it. I bought a GTX 570 eventually.
!