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Heat issues after video card upgrade

Last response: in Components
July 6, 2011 7:29:21 PM

Hello Tom's Hardware, I am a new member and have been reading many support threads lately, and came upon a question of my own. Hopefully this is in the right forum.

I recently upgraded my Dell Studio XPS 7100 with a Galaxy GTX 465 graphics card, and since have been having some issues. Based on a PSU calculator (which I am aware are not always accurate), my current system is recommended at ~455W, and the PSU I have should be 460 (And based on what I've heard, Dell PSU's are underrated). After upgrading the video card, though, my idle temps for CPU/GPU are ~30/40C, but once I open any game, they both climb very quickly to ~80/90C.

I know dell airflow isn't the best, but the issue persists even with the entire side of the case open. I am not sure what to do, and am open to any suggestions. I know my way around the hardware, but I am not too adept in PC building.

The PC is about 3 months old, here are the specs.

AMD Chipset, not sure of exact details
AMD Phenom™ II X6 1090T
Galaxy Geforce GTX 465
8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs
Seagate 1TB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
Windows 7 Home Premium

It seems in the long run I should invest in a new case, and in hindsight should've probably (with some help) built the computer myself, but nothing can be done about that now.

Thanks very much for any replies.

More about : heat issues video card upgrade

July 6, 2011 7:37:02 PM

A new case would probably be the best bet (and increased airflow). Remember the GTX 465 is basically a cut down Fermi which ran very hot (ya remember the Fermi days?).

You might also want to check your PSU as it's not about the wattage but the 12v rails having enough amps to power things.
July 6, 2011 7:51:48 PM

Thanks for the reply,

Essentially I figure my options are
a new case,

a new PSU (in which case a new case would most likely be needed anyway),

or a new, lower end graphics card, though I do want to upgrade significantly from the ATI Radeon HD 6450 that I currently have (I believe, I'm currently at work but I am almost certain that is the card).

My main concern is cost, along with in the end making sure after spending the money needed that I fully solve the issue. Do you think if I set up a box fan next to the sideless PC, I can watch my temperatures with that on and pinpoint my issue to be case airflow?

Also, I do have a multimeter, but I don't know how to check my PSU rails. I'm sure this is something I could google once I get home though, and shouldn't be a big deal to test.
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July 6, 2011 7:56:56 PM

You definitely need a case and PSU upgrade. GTX 465 is not a very good purchase to be honest. You could have opted for GTX 560 instead.
July 6, 2011 8:11:56 PM

I bought the card through newegg and should be able to RMA it still. Do you know if this would/should solve my heat issue? I got a decent deal on the 465 and it is plenty for what I need, if upgrading would produce the same heat issue than I probably wouldnt choose to do that.

I have heard horror stories of people trying to move dell's into custom cases, though I'm willing to do it if it's possible and will solve my problem.

Also, would this void my warranty? I would imagine if I needed dell to see my computer for any reason I could just move it all back into the stock case.
July 6, 2011 11:41:43 PM

So, this is the current situation (I'm home now) and once I open Starcraft 2, my video card and CPU both climb up to 80C still. If a huge fan doesn't move enough air through the case..what will?

I may just not understand the way these things work, but how can the inside of a case get that hot with such a big fan in front of it. It's 72F in my house..

This is frustrating :( 

Also I can't get a refund on the card, I'm stuck with it. Any more ideas or explanation are much appreciated.

P.S. - Idle 12V Rails = 11.93V, while any game is running it bounces a bit but ~11.7V

Also I see now that I have 1 case exhaust fan in the back, 1 CPU fan, 1 GPU fan, and a fan mount in the front but no fan there. I assume I should put an intake fan there. I am skeptical, though, because if my huge box fan didnt help anything, I don't see how more case fans could.

Best solution

July 7, 2011 2:00:24 AM

do you have by any chance programs that allow you to set up the fan speeds? You might want to download MSI afterburner and use the custom fan profile to set the fan speed up quite a bit. It'll be loud but hey... thats fermi for you. (doesn't apply to gtx 460 / gtx 560 etc.. those are the efficient and loved ones)
July 7, 2011 4:13:01 AM

Just got it, so much simpler, I like this a lot better than speedfan.

After turning the fan up to 80% I can see my GPU idles at 38C and my CPU at 34C and my GPU peaks at 54C and my CPU at 49C during gaming, success!

My friend is going to give me 2 case fans tomorrow that I should be able to add to the front as well, for intake, which should make these numbers even better.

These are reasonable temperatures, correct? And my voltage on my 12V rails shows that the power supply isn't overworked?

I'm so happy this is finally dealt with. Since the GPU idles fine I'll just have MSI automatically kick on the fan while gaming and thankfully not have to worry about it anymore.

Thank you so much for your help.
July 14, 2011 12:07:49 AM

Best answer selected by xiience.