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Sapphire HD 4850 Insane overheating

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 3, 2011 9:01:13 PM

I need some serious help and advice about this bloody graphics card...

I've been having a recurring issue lately with my ATI 4850 512MB GDDR3 GPU (with stock 625MHz GPU and 993MHz memory clock) lately, in which it overheats during gaming, screen turns to black, it promptly shuts my pc down, especially when full screen (which is why I've taken to windowed gaming, though I enjoy watching series while I play these days. 8D).

But I am worried, as it's idle/heavy load speeds and temperatures are ridiculously high. I've come to understand that the Sapphire 4850 tends to run hot, but according to Catalyst Control Center's Overdrive Function (which I can't turn off or modify now, completely arbitrarily...) mine IDLES at 92 degrees Celsius with the fan speed at 55%, and under load runs at 108 degrees, with a fan speed of 100% and I was just dawdling in the menu screen of HON!!!
I've finished CRYSIS on full 1080p fullscreen before, without a hitch throughout long stints, though still hot, it wasn't restrictive.
This seems to have changed in an astoundingly short amount of time from 86 idle to 96 load.
Also to be noted, at time of writing, it's currently 14 degrees Celsius outside.

I dust my computer regularly and unscrewed the fan to get rid of any dust that might have clumped up below it (which was NONE), so I'm stumped. Is this just simply the card's end, or is there a malfunction that can be addressed?

My specs are as follows (all with stock cooling):

Motherboard: ASUS M4A79T Deluxe
RAM: Corsair 4GB DDR3 1333
CPU: AMD Phenom II 955 3.2GHz Black ed.
PSU: Gigabyte ODIN 720watt
HDD: Seagate SATA2 1TB
Seagate SATA2 500GB
Seagate IDE 150GB

Advice and shared knowledge will be greatly appreciated!
April 3, 2011 9:25:37 PM

It may be possible that thermal paste no longer functions like it should. Anyway, you have to address the problem. The cheapest way (if you don't want to RMA the card) is to remove head sing, clean the paste from both, GPU and heatsink (use either just a wipe, highly concentrated rubbing alcohol, or an electronics cleaning kit) and then apply a new (and good) thermal paste (such as Arctic Silver, IC diamond, or similar and stay away from metal oxide pastes, they are not the best).

You may also look at aftermarket cooling solutions.
April 3, 2011 10:07:10 PM

If the block is clean then indeed the compound may be to blame however that typically fails with in the first few months of use any way. Remove the cooler for a more thorough cleaning and new compound.
Related resources
April 4, 2011 1:27:14 AM

Remove the cooler and resit it, making sure the thermal paste covers evenly the core, without any gaps OR any excess. Re-sit and retry....
April 4, 2011 9:14:18 AM

Thanks guys for the quick response, will be purchasing a tube of CoolerMaster thermal paste this afternoon and post my utmost joy or (thankful) disdain, though the latter would give me the last bit of motivation to go for the irresistible GTX560ti sitting in the cabinet at work.... @w@
April 4, 2011 1:34:16 PM

Nope... No luck... Removed the previous dried out compound that was on the core, applied the new paste, and only noticeable change was the idle temp which lowered by 5 degrees to 87, with the fan speed at 44%. Under load it flies back up to 108 in no time, 100% fan speed.

Anything else I can try?
Thanks for the help so far, appreciate it!
April 5, 2011 1:03:19 AM

If the card is under warranty just send it back... don't spend too much time trying to fix it.
April 5, 2011 2:26:35 AM

It could also be that the 4850's thermal sensors are malfunctioning. Try the old "hand in the exhaust" thing. If the air coming out of the 4850's exhaust is indeed hot, then it's really idling at 90+ C. Otherwise, it's probably malfunctioning sensors.

April 5, 2011 2:33:01 AM

gracefully said:
It could also be that the 4850's thermal sensors are malfunctioning. Try the old "hand in the exhaust" thing. If the air coming out of the 4850's exhaust is indeed hot, then it's really idling at 90+ C. Otherwise, it's probably malfunctioning sensors.


That was my initial reply, until I remembered that his games crash... so it is a real issue...
April 5, 2011 4:13:17 PM

gracefully said:
It could also be that the 4850's thermal sensors are malfunctioning. Try the old "hand in the exhaust" thing. If the air coming out of the 4850's exhaust is indeed hot, then it's really idling at 90+ C. Otherwise, it's probably malfunctioning sensors.


I'm pretty sure leaving my hand on it for more than 5 seconds would scald my skin beyond repair, but over-exaggeration aside, it really is blazing hot. Should probably remove it before it gets angry and decides to smelt itself to the PCI slot.
April 5, 2011 4:15:49 PM

darkguset said:
If the card is under warranty just send it back... don't spend too much time trying to fix it.

Agreed, probably the best decision with this kind of issue, apart from replacing it and using it as a breakfast stove. Thanks for your help!
April 6, 2011 8:49:19 AM

Hahaha, OK then. I think I'll agree with everyone that the card went bad. Time for an upgrade.
!