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Sapphire HD 6950 heating questions

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 17, 2011 11:36:31 PM

Hi I recently bought a Sapphire 6950 2gb card and I had some questions about heating issues. I'll just outline some of the issues I've been having along with some things I've noticed with the card if someone could give me advice on what I should do given the information below :) .

*UPDATE* I left my computer running with a video on pause all night and when I got up and exited my screensaver, the fan slowed down and apparently my clock speeds dropped to 150 and 250 respectively and the temperature dropped from something over 60 deg (I caught it at 59 deg after it had had a short while to cool when i took notice). when I played the video my core speeds DID NOT increase. When i went full screen, they did increase but this time they dropped instantly when I stopped going full screen, so it seems to be responding better.

So my idle temperature is at about 51 deg which is a bit high from what I've heard (should be ~45) but this isn't too too bad. When I'm at idle temperatures my core and memory clock speeds are at 250 and 150 respectively.

The card defaults to its max memory clock speed (1250MHz) the second there is a slight load put on it (say a youtube video, or if i add a second monitor) and the core clock speed stays around 450MHz. This heats the card up to about 68 deg and the clock speeds DO NOT reset when i close the video unless I fiddle around with some graphics settings (eg. change res to 1024x768 then back to 1650x1050).

This makes my "idle" around 67-68 deg which is ridiculous and it is HARD to get the core/memory clock speeds down back to normal.

The fan speed rarely automatically goes above 40% (maxed at 45%) which only happened once when my load temperature went to about 91 deg with Crysis on full settings w/ 1650x1050 res. It generally stays at exactly 40% when it's at 90 deg

My average load temp is about 86 deg even with some pretty not-graphically-demanding games and I'm worried that my fan does not automatically adjust itself properly and I'll end up ruining my card. Currently I force the fan manually to go either 45% or 50% depending on the game, this makes it work at about 76 deg w/ load.

Starcraft 2 DOES NOT run on "medium" graphics settings without major graphical errors, only on "high" to "extreme" settings

So yes, any input would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much!
April 27, 2011 5:18:03 PM

thanks for the help
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April 27, 2011 11:32:14 PM

Download MSI Afterburner, create a fan profile so that as your temperature rises, you can force the video card's fan to adjust automatically to a higher setting. Personally, I just have mine run at 80% all the time because I wear headphones and the noise doesn't come through.
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May 1, 2011 5:05:07 AM

thank you very much :)  I don't have any proper headphones so it gets really loud when the fan reaches ~80% on the automatic setting on MSI.

But what about my ~55 idle temperature and ~66 "idle" temperature? (nothing's running but it forgets to drop clock speeds)
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May 1, 2011 9:39:59 AM

Hi,

Are you running the latest drivers? Try unistalling them, booting to safe mode and running Driver Sweeper and then installing the newest ones (11.4 came out a few days ago). How long have you had the card? Has it always been like this or only recently?

Your temps do seem very high. What's the temp of your CPU and Motherboard? If the general internal temp of your case is very high then your graphics card will run hot. Is your Motherboard designed well or is your graphics card right up against the PSU or CPU fan or something?

My 6950 2GB idles at about 37C and the max temp I've ever got out of it is 62C (running Dragon Age II with all the trimmings) and thats with a small overclock to the card and the fan on auto (it's goes to about 55% for 62C).

As said before, MSI Afterburner can be used to create profiles and to monitor temps in-game so this is an option but I would NOT set the fan to a permanent 80% for two reasons. Firstly, they are not designed to run at 80% all the time and you risk burning the fan(s) out, and secondly it would only mask the problem, not fix it. It shouldn't be necessary for the fan to run this high just to maintain temps under normal circumstances.

I'd look at the drivers, try another PCI-E slot if you have one, look at the airflow in your case, try the card in another system if you can....

Let us know how you get on!
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