9800GT - Fan Speed stuck at 100%

Every now and then when I'm gaming in World of Warcraft, typically when the fan speed would increase slightly in more graphic intense areas the fan speed will shoot to 100%. When this happens, programs like MSI Afterburner and EVGA precision read the fan speed as default(35% or so) and I can not manually change the fan speed.

I was going to let it go, but its extremely loud and I couldn't take it anymore and I also didnt want to kill the life span of the fan. At first I tried updating drivers, uninstalling any software that could maybe cause an issue such as MSI afterburner. None of this worked, so I decided to rip the card out of my PC, clean it out and Disconnect/reconnect the fan to the pcb on the card.

This somehow fixed the mysterious issue... Until now, just recently happened again. Pulled the card out re-seated and cleaned it out. Seemed to fix the issue.

Im curious what could be causing this to happen when it does. Im running this card in an old dell e521. Theres no screw holding the card in place its just some crappy black retention device. Could it possibly be vibration from the fan moving the card a little in the PCIe slot?
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  1. Take the card out and clean it. The reason behind the high fanspeed is the driver trying to keep the card cool enough to keep it alive or it will fail. Blast out the dust and maybe replace the old stock compound and once done it should run much cooler. If not then live with the noise, at least you wont be out of a working card. Noise is free, a new card isn't.
  2. If the retention device is set properly it shouldnt be an issue, I doubt is vibration causing the fan connector to go loose, if it was the fan just wouldn't spin.

    Is the card new? did it happen before? Is the fan connector on the card 3 or 4 pin?

    Run a game and use HWmoitor to watch you temps, post the max temps here.

    If it's cool enough try a clean install and see if it still happens.
  3. Its only happened recntly, At max on a warm day I hit 80c in World of Warcraft, this would be during raids in some graphic intense areas. Other than that its around 69-73c as id like to say 'Idle in game'. The fan is a 4pin connecter. It was pretty dusty when cleaned it out but temperature wasnt affected to much. I usually leave after burner open and I always keep an eye on my temps.

    The card usually isnt being stressed at all when this happens either and under 70c. Also this is not a new card, Id say a couple years old. Used to belong to a friend of mine.
  4. Either you used bad compound or tried to reuse the original compound or nothing at all or just having very poor contact between the gpu and cooler. Is this a single slot or a dual?
  5. Single slot card a Dual slot card wouldn't fit in this Dell Case. I have not taken the fan/heatsink off. Just unplugged the fan connector and reconnected it to much sure it was secure in place.
  6. Try a clean install
  7. rhartzell88 said:
    Single slot card a Dual slot card wouldn't fit in this Dell Case. I have not taken the fan/heatsink off. Just unplugged the fan connector and reconnected it to much sure it was secure in place.


    That isn't cleaning :pfff:

    Get a fan of compressed air and blow at the port end of the card to push the dust in the cooler towards the fan and then out through the fan vent. Next blast the dust out from under the cooler if you don't want to do a proper cleaning job. It isn't like a vcr or dvd player that one shoves into a corner and forgets for 15 years.
  8. I pulled the card out of my PC, took a can of air from the back of the card and cleaned it all the dust out of the fins on the eat sink aswell as possible blowing towards the fan. I did all this prior to posting. Which seemed to have fixed the issue. Im mostly looking for a definitive answer to what could be causing the issue. Two times in one month is very annoying. The only thing I have not done is pulled the heatsink off and slapped some new grease on. If it is necessary I will do so.
  9. Any serious gamer would. If it cracked or any of the screws are stripped and the fan isn't sitting even with the cooler? Also if the bearing had gone bad then live with the noise for a while till you can get another compatible cooler or replace the card. Don't try to keep the rpm down when you have temps in that range as it will harm the card in the long run.
  10. What kind of thermal compound would you recommend for a GPU? And thanks for the advice.
  11. Arctic silver 5 is what I use but there are others to choose from. It is not cheap but far better than any thing from the factory.
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