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Overheating? Huge GPU temp increase + several crashes

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May 6, 2011 1:00:57 AM

What's going on with my graphics card? Today, my computer crashed about 5 times in a span of 3 hours...which is more than it has done in 5-6 months. I thought something fishy was going on with my GPU temp....and I noticed that it was at 49 degrees celcius idle. When I launched an application (Civilization 5) I noticed that the GPU temp of my card immediatley shot up about 10 degrees. JUST 5-10 minutes into the game my GPU was reading a temperature of 70 degrees!!! With no surprise...my computer crashed a few minutes later. I opened up my CPU and did some thorough dusting and did my best to moves a few wires around to improve the circulation. However, when I started my CPU there was literally no major difference of idle temperature...only about 1-2 degrees. I tried launching the same application again, but witnessed the same result...a spike of 20-30 degrees in like 15-20 minutes...

In my "Catalyst" control center...my GPU's activity also reached a peak of 87%. That seems unusually high for so little time. I'm not sure if this could be causing the increase in temperature, but it is quite hot outside right now, about 90-93 degrees fairenheight. Therefore, it is quite stuffy inside the house, which could possibly be affecting my CPU?
Again, this has never happened in the past. I've been able to play games/launch applications for 3-4 hours without any problems.

My specs:

AMD Phenom II X4 2.8 Ghz
4 GB DDR3 Ram
1TB SATA II Hardrive
1GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon 5770
600W Xtreme Cooling Coolermaster
May 6, 2011 2:55:04 AM

You should check first for some common problems. Don't get mad if you think I take you for a noob, but I'm just trying to help.
Any type of overheating can result from bad air circulation. You said that isn't the case. You should check if the fan works fine, if there are any wires unhooked (power or fan cables) or physically damaged. If anything looks like its burnt out or cut/damaged, well do whatever you think appropriate to fix those. Other reasons may be that its running at a higher core/memory clock rate than its supposed to, is there anything that you can connect the change to? Any new program you have installed? Or has it just started doing this out of the blue? Have you done anything at all to gpu recently through software such as rivatuner?
It does sound like your card have accumulated damage and/or dust, dust can act as a conductor and short out certain micro schemes over time. That can happen if you haven't cleaned your PC's insides often enough.
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May 6, 2011 3:00:48 AM

it literally has happened right out of the blue. I have not been having this problem before as I stated.

When I dusted out of my system...I saw a lot of dust accumulated on my processor and very little on my graphics card + power supply's fan/CPU fan. I was able to take off the majority of the dust...but it didnt seem to make a difference when I saw my GPU's temps.

I have not installed anything since yesterday...and when I dusted out my case I did not see any cut/melted wires.

My card isnt overclocked so it is running at normal core speed.
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May 6, 2011 5:10:25 AM

Hey, welcome to the tomshardware forums! :) 

To be honest, your temperatures are NOT the problem. For video cards, 70C for load is COMPLETELY NORMAL. If you want to decrease your temperatures, you could increase your fan speed; however, you really don't need to. Your temperatures will obviously go up when you're using your video card. That is DEFINITELY normal. You said "to no surprise, my computer crashed." Actually, I find that very surprising. You should not be experiencing any crashes from those temperatures. Have you experienced any crashes with anything else other than Civ 5? If not, it may be some conflict with that game. Make sure you update your drivers to the newest version.

Here's the link for the AMD video card drivers:
http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx

If that doesn't fix your problem, just post back on here and we'll try to help you. :) 
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May 6, 2011 5:29:00 AM

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2856/13

As you can see from this anandtech (great website by the way... The reason why I'm not posting a Tomshardware review link is because that review didn't cover temps) the load temps routinely go past 70 and my even go into the 80C. That should not worry you. Video cards are designed for that. It is not going to hurt your video card or any other components. By the way, the fact that your gpu was using 87% of its processing power is a GOOD thing, not bad. That just shows that your gpu is doing what it is supposed to. If it was only showing 40% but you were getting low framerates, that could mean that there is a bottleneck in your system. Also, you said that you were worried that the load jumped so quickly once you started that game. That is very normal. CPUs and GPUs have usage rates that vary constantly. So far, the only thing that you've said that was worrisome was that the computer crashed.

@simple359, frankly, I wouldn't go around calling other people noobs on here just yet. :p 
You have 8 posts on the tomshardware forums and started gave Arzgania bad advice, so I don't think you have a ton of room to call other folks noobs. His temps are fine. In all likelihood, the issue is a driver problem. In my experience, the vast majority of problems with GPUs are related to driver problems. Don't take this to be an insult. I'm just saying that you really shouldn't go putting other people down for knowing less about computers than you do. Also, if you have no idea what the problem is or what the solution could be, please don't post solutions. You probably freaked out Arzgania.

@Arzgania: If updating the drivers doesn't help, just post back on here and let us know. If nobody responds in a timely manner, feel free to message me and I'll try to help you. :) 
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a c 540 U Graphics card
May 6, 2011 5:26:55 PM

Check the Application and System events in Windows Event Viewer for any Warning or Error events that may help you in determining the cause of the problem.
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May 7, 2011 3:00:38 AM

jednx01
Do you have a problem with me? I gave this person advice that can be understandably taken as checking the most common problems, and the ones that are easiest to check. Thats why I told him to not think that I take him as a noob. What I dont understand is what you want to say by your post. I never said he knew less about computers than me. For all I know, he is Chief Hardware Designer at Microsoft. As a matter of fact, for all you know, I am one. Regarding "Also, if you have no idea what the problem is or what the solution could be, please don't post solutions. " Which part in my post indicated that I do not know what the problem is or the solution? That I gave some advice that could potentially help him/her out?
My 7 posts come from my own problem thread, which means this is my 1st post trying to help someone.
And how can I not take that as an insult? You obviously meant that post to be one. Please don't take your time to write something to someone that has no value other than putting them down, on a consult and help forum.

Regarding the topic, my 8600GTS routinely crashes when the temperarure goes over 80C (it is factory overclocked so I suspect that to contribute) so this potentially could have something to do with strictly temperature/wear. Arzgania said he hasn't installed any new programs, and the problem started out of the blue, room temperature does have a negative effect sometimes as well.
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May 7, 2011 5:39:07 AM

Thanks jednx01 and simple359 for the input.

I have been having this problem with other games, not only Civilization 5. The only real difference I can see is that the crash happens sooner with Civilization 5 rather than another game (Starcraft 2).

To jednx01: Relating to the driver suggestion, I did actually uninstall my drivers, 11.2, and download the latest one, 11.4 for my 5770 ati radeon. It did seem to make a difference! However...instead of crashing in the first 5-10 minutes...I was able to go on for about 1.5ish hours and then crash...which means something still must be wrong. I did a full scan of my computer to see if any malicious programs or viruses were intefereing and found out that there quite a few tracking cookies on my computer. I deleted all of them...and also 2 "potentially harmful programs," which for some reason I could only delete one. The other program said it could not be deleted? (the scan advised me to rescan and try again? odd).

This is very unusual because my CPU has never crashed repeatedly like this in the past. I have been able to play for numerous hours without any problems. For some odd reason my GPU has decided to jump on a grill and shoot 30-40 degrees in matter of minutes.

I am still trying to find out the error to my problem. I really hope it isnt a PSU issue...as my 600W should be more than enough to power the 5770!
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May 7, 2011 5:40:36 AM

to simple359: I noticed that my computer seemed to crash when my GPU hits 81 + degrees...

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May 7, 2011 5:43:39 AM

to k0888: I will try to see if I can find an error report.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
May 7, 2011 5:54:12 AM

70C GPU temps isn't that out of the ordinary (81C with that card is pushing it), but with the GPU temps the VRM and VRAM temps also rise, but are not monitored. In many cases, the problems you've seen do come from the VRM's overheating, which help regulate the voltage in the VRAM.

Do you have an OC on your cards memory? If so, you might want to return it to stock. You may also want to increase the fan profile with MSI afterburner, or make sure you have good airflow in your case. I personally have an Antec 902, which has filters that need to be cleaned quite regularly, or airflow gets obstructed and my temps rise.

You might even see if underclocking the memory stops your issue. If it does, there is a good chance the thermal tape on those VRM's is fried.

I'd still look into the issues listed above as well. I just have run into this with a 5870 and so have a number of people here.
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May 7, 2011 6:19:38 AM

My memory is not overclocked. However, how do you increase the CPU fan speed? I think I know how to increase the fan on the GPU card (in the overlock menu of the catalyst center).

Do you think that a system restore would help in any way? The problem started on Monday of last week...possibly restoring my system to an earlier date could do something? Perhaps something was secretly installed...or a hidden virus etc.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
May 7, 2011 3:19:41 PM

The video memory was the memory I was referring to. It's cooled by the same fan cooling the GPU. If it is overheating, a system restore wouldn't help, but cleaning out the system with a can of compressed air might help.
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May 7, 2011 4:30:34 PM

Hmm alright. I'll increase my GPU fan, but recomendations on how high I should increase it to? (% speed).

I will also do another round of dusting. I have a pretty good feeling it isnt my CPU because I am not seeing low framerates/choppy play before crashes. Everything is smooth and then crashes at some random time.
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May 7, 2011 4:36:49 PM

Arzgania said:

To jednx01: Relating to the driver suggestion, I did actually uninstall my drivers, 11.2, and download the latest one, 11.4 for my 5770 ati radeon. It did seem to make a difference! However...instead of crashing in the first 5-10 minutes...I was able to go on for about 1.5ish hours and then crash...which means something still must be wrong. I did a full scan of my computer to see if any malicious programs or viruses were intefereing and found out that there quite a few tracking cookies on my computer. I deleted all of them...and also 2 "potentially harmful programs," which for some reason I could only delete one. The other program said it could not be deleted? (the scan advised me to rescan and try again? odd).

This is very unusual because my CPU has never crashed repeatedly like this in the past. I have been able to play for numerous hours without any problems. For some odd reason my GPU has decided to jump on a grill and shoot 30-40 degrees in matter of minutes.



Well it sure is odd that with installing different drivers the time till it crashes changes. To exclude any type of a driver issue, I suggest you do this:
1. Get driversweeper http://www.guru3d.com/category/driversweeper/ , install it.
2. Uninstall any kind of a video driver that you have installed at the moment (so you end up using the default windows driver).
3. Restart the computer and enter safe mode - By pressing the F8 key right before Windows starts loading.
4. Use the driversweeper utility to clean out your pc, and make sure you have no "residue" of any kind of any video drivers on your hard drive.
5. Reboot again, now its your choice. You can install the latest video driver, or the driver that you remember worked best before.
If it still crashes and does the same stuff, well then i guess it is not a driver problem per se. It may be a GPU problem independent of the driver. Regarding system restore, I doubt it will make any difference, unless it is a program/compatibility issue.

Bystander's got a very valid point. It may not even be your GPU core acting up, but another element like the VRAM on the graphics card.
If nothing helps, like bystander said, you can use Rivatuner to try and underclock the memory a bit, which would cool it down as well. http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=163

edit: I just saw your latest post. What I do, with Rivatuner, is I have a profile that consists of my fan speeds linked to a hotkey. When I press Caps Lock during a game, my fans jump to 100%. I think you should try setting them on a 100% permanently and see if that fixes your problems, because that is exactly what keeps my GPU from overheating.
Mind you, I never had any problems like that on an 8800 ultra, just this 8600gts.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
May 7, 2011 4:46:17 PM

When you say "CPU" are you refering to the system, becuase CPU = central processing unit as in the processor... Have you checked the temps of your processor under load?
What make and model PSU do you have, and also how old is it?
When you says the PC crashes do you get a bluescreen or does the PC just turn off?
I would try and rule out some components... run Prime95 Blend for 8 hours to rule out the CPU and RAM
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May 7, 2011 5:04:44 PM

by CPU i mean the entire system...sorry should of been more specific. I have not checked the temps of my CPU under load, but it doesnt seem to be the problem because it is showing no signs of bottlenecking or irregularity during game.

my PSU is 600W CoolerMaster. It does have a pretty bad efficiency rating 70% but it provides enough ampage for the 12V rails for my graphics card.

My PC just turns off and then reboots by itself. No blue screens or anything. the only "error" sign i see is that when it reboots it says "Windows did not shut down correctly.."

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May 7, 2011 5:06:11 PM

600W Xtreme Cooling Coolermaster to be more specific


to simple359: I did uninstall all drivers before installing the latest one, just to see if it was corrupt, but still got crashes.
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May 7, 2011 5:27:49 PM

Ok so I did some searching and took a look at the event finder. I saw a few logs with "Warning" that detailed system shutdowns. However...there was literally no information about the shutdown other than how long it was! I don't even know if these logs are the crashes because I also see random errors for when my computer turns on.

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a c 540 U Graphics card
May 7, 2011 6:33:58 PM

Arzgania said:
my PSU is 600W CoolerMaster. It does have a pretty bad efficiency rating 70% but it provides enough ampage for the 12V rails for my graphics card.

Sufficient amperage alone is not enough. The DC Output quality must also be good or it will cause system instability.

According to Hardware Secrets test review of the Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 600W (RS-600-PCAR-E3) on June 23, 2010, this power supply has poor voltage regulation. Bad voltage regulation can cause random BSODs, system resets and freezes.

Hardware Secrets' Conclusion :
Quote:
Why manufacturers like Cooler Master are still carrying power supplies with fake wattages is a mystery to us. We know that this is a very low-end power supply, but this doesn’t give the manufacturer the right to lie. This unit should be labeled as a 450 W unit and sold for half of its price. Being labeled as a 600 W product and sold for USD 70, it is a complete rip-off.

If you pull more than 450 W from this product, it will offer real risk to your computer, plus it provides poor efficiency, between 69.2% and 77.6%. If you are looking for an inexpensive yet decent power supply, get an OCZ StealthXStream 500 W. It costs less than this Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus and presents better performance.
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May 7, 2011 6:36:20 PM

Bleh, no surprise to be very honest...


I'm not sure if I took a warranty on the PSU...I'll see if I did.
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May 7, 2011 7:38:05 PM

Ok, well it seems like you got this figured out. I had a thought or two that it could relate to the PSU, I wouldve suggested something, but I did not realize that the Radeon 5770 needs that much power! So i threw that idea off. I should've looked it up before.
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May 7, 2011 8:15:30 PM

what were you thinking? I still am trying to see if anything...anything at all could be causing this and not the PSU.

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May 7, 2011 8:16:05 PM

Best answer selected by Arzgania.
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May 7, 2011 9:06:35 PM

Well it seems now that it is the PSU. ko888 digged up the info, and those specs would explain your problem. If you get no artifacts, no blue screen, nothing but a seemingly random restart, that does seem like a power problem more than anything else. PSU's, especially relatively low-end ones tend to wear out faster than any other component from my experience.
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May 8, 2011 5:49:20 AM

I agree that the issue may be a PSU problem. I've had a similar experience with a PSU that has gone bad.

@Simple359, I wasn't trying to be insulting (all though, reading back over my post, it definitely came across that way...). What I meant to say was that I didn't think that your initial answer seemed very informed about his problem. You said that his temperatures were too high and that he should be worried about them. I just was trying to point out that that statement was not useful given his information, because his GPU temps were well within safe levels. The other posts that you posted on this topic seemed much more useful and helpful. I don't have a problem with you. Heck, I don't even know you... :p 
*extends olive branch* :) 
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