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6870 CrossFire temps too high (66C on idle)?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 22, 2011 10:33:22 AM

Hey there Forum,

I have recently (about half an hour ago) installed a second ATI 6870 and I am now running them in CrossFireX. One of them is Sapphire and the other HIS, both with stock heatsinks and fans. My case is a CoolerMaster HAF-932 with all of its fan brackets filled (stock fans + a 140mm). The idle temperatures with all ATI settings at default - standard core clock, standard memory clock, auto-fan speed (30% on idle), both cards are at a toasty 66C. I almost don't want to run any games on them because it will heat up a lot more. Also, I can manually force the fan to spin at a much higher rate but it is really loud and unbearable for the others in the room.

So, is 66C too high for an idle temperature? What can I do to reduce it without making heaps of loud noises?

Thanks,
-Klosteral
July 22, 2011 10:52:43 AM

Hey, thanks for the link and I have looked over my airflow but I think the airflow should be fine.
230mm on the front, intake.
140mm on the back, output.
230mm on the side, intake.
230mm on the top, output.
2 x 140mm fans on CPU cooler, intake/output.

Also, each graphics card has its own heatsink and fan. Is there anywhere I could get card-specific information that would tell me if 66C is safe or too high?

Thanks,
-Klosteral
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July 22, 2011 11:04:34 AM

did you put the card next to each other (use 1st and 2nd slot)? one way to improve the gpu cooling in dual gpu setup is using the 3rd slot (if available) for the second card. in this setup you have to make sure the 2nd card run at least in X8 not X4 if you want the best performance out of your both card. however it depends on the mobo as well since some mobo 3rd slot have been restricted to X4 by default
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July 22, 2011 11:12:52 AM

In this board, it only has two slots. One is at x16 and one at x4. In the board I am going to install later next week or so, there are three slots, one at x16, one at x8 and one at x4. Either way, these cards are going to be right next to each other.
GA-H67A-UD3H - Current
GA-Z68A-D3H - Upgrade

Thanks,
-Klosteral
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July 22, 2011 11:15:08 AM

Temperatures Update:
GPU 1 Idle - 63C
GPU 2 Idle - 37C

I think the fan is actually being blocked but there is no way of changing it and still running both cards.
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July 22, 2011 11:29:50 AM

hows the spacing?
Stress them out and report back their temps
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July 22, 2011 11:31:07 AM

i believe GPU 1 is your gpu on the 1st slot. when running each other the second card will block the 1st gpu air intake to get cool air.

after checking your upcoming mobo from gigabyte site it seems that the second slot will run at x4 and the third slot will run at x8 speed. so if you want x8/x8 config you will have to use first and third slot. with this the 1st gpu will have more room for air intake.

you're good to go with your upcoming mobo :) 
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July 22, 2011 1:09:12 PM

Yes, that is correct but my next motherboard actually has four PCI-E x16 slots, three of them right next to each other. That means that the second slot (PCI-E x4) will be blocked by my graphics card so that I may use the first and third but the air flow will still be prevented because the cards will be very close together as they take 2 slots each.

After running some tests...
Medal of Honor
1920 x 1080, Highest Settings, 4 x AA
Maximum load - 73%
Temperature - 81C

That is very hot. What is more is that only my first ATI 6870 - the one being choked - was doing the processing. It seems that I have not actually enabled CrossFireX yet and there no obvious buttons in my ATI Catalyst Control Center to activate it.
Any suggestions?

Thanks,
-Klosteral
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July 22, 2011 1:53:31 PM

Alright, I have hit so many speed-bumps I cannot even think of an analogy to use. Pretty much I decided that my version of ATI Catalyst Control Center might be out dated so I went through the ATI site and downloaded the latest 11.6. I installed the whole ATI suite and some programs had errors and didn't install properly bust regardless, I individually reinstalled CCC. Now, it randomly crashes and does not save my 'Enable CrossFireX' function. As soon as I click 'Apply' the box automatically unchecks itself and I am back to a single card. If I do not click 'Apply' then it doesn't save anyway.
I am so confused.

Thanks,
-Klosteral
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July 22, 2011 1:55:34 PM

Klosteral said:
Yes, that is correct but my next motherboard actually has four PCI-E x16 slots, three of them right next to each other. That means that the second slot (PCI-E x4) will be blocked by my graphics card so that I may use the first and third but the air flow will still be prevented because the cards will be very close together as they take 2 slots each.

After running some tests...
Medal of Honor
1920 x 1080, Highest Settings, 4 x AA
Maximum load - 73%
Temperature - 81C

That is very hot. What is more is that only my first ATI 6870 - the one being choked - was doing the processing. It seems that I have not actually enabled CrossFireX yet and there no obvious buttons in my ATI Catalyst Control Center to activate it.
Any suggestions?

Thanks,
-Klosteral

Although I'm running completely different cards, 81c doesn't seem that high under a heavy load but your idle temps do seem to be higher than average.
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July 22, 2011 2:59:53 PM

Alright, I ran another quick test on my cards now that I have CrossFireX enabled. For the sake of reference, I am using an i5-2500 with 8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM.

Grand Theft Auto IV
1920 x 1080
All settings on High
4 x AA, 4 x AF
Card settings (AA, rendering etc) maxed out through CCC

GPU 1 Load: Max 85%
GPU 2 Load: Max 95%
GPU 1 Temp: Max 90C
GPU 2 Temp: Max 67C

I didn't do any FPS recording but it was jerky at times so I am going to assume it was around 25-30fps generally.

I am a little unsettled by the fact that one card has idle temps the same as the other card's load temps but the air flow is being blocked. I might take some screen shots of MSi Afterburner and maybe a photo of the inside of my case tomorrow to show you what I am dealing with here.

Thanks,
-Klosteral
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July 22, 2011 3:05:15 PM

It looks like you have an airflow or fanspeed problem there.
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July 22, 2011 3:28:42 PM

Do you happen to have 2 or more monitors? The video card will run hotter with multiple monitors when at idle, but the only card that runs hotter is the first card, the one you have the monitors connected to. If your bios allows it, you could change which card is the first so that the card with better air flow is the one that runs hotter at idle.
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July 23, 2011 12:57:14 AM

I am running two monitors, actually, and they are still running of my first GPU which is the hotter one. They are both 22" in 1920x1080. I run my video games on one and have all my support monitors (CoreTemp, Afterburner, CCC) as well as TeamSpeak on the second one. Should I simply switch these outputs to my other graphics card?

I will post pictures of the internal layout of my case when I get home from work today.

Thanks,
-Klosteral
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July 23, 2011 2:05:43 AM

Yes, you should if you can. With AMD's, only one of the cards outputs are usable. I don't know how many motherboards let you change the initial/primary PCIe slot, but some let you pick which is the primary. If you can do this, I'd highly advise to do so.
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July 23, 2011 7:11:58 AM

I know that the Gigabyte mainboard that I currently have will let me choose my primary display adapter as either integrated, PCI-E x16 or PCI-E x4 so it should be a simple matter of rebooting and changing that in the BIOS.

I have taken two photos of the inside of my case to show the current situation with the cards and uploaded them on facebook, here:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1904458933931....

My new mainboard should allow me to have at least one slot of space between the cards which will do wonders for the cooling. I plan to install this, along with my SSD as soon as possible.

Other reviews say it is best to keep the GPU temperature below 90C with the recommended max being between 70C-80C. As such, load temperatures of 92C cannot possibly be a good thing. I think I will be rebuilding my system ASAP.

Thanks,
-Klosteral
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February 26, 2012 12:12:55 PM

I had this exact same issue with my 5830's in crossfire except my GPU 1 was 72C idle, I was able to fix it by installing driversweeper, installing fresh new ATI drivers and enabling crossfire.

My gpu1 temp is still a lot higher idle then my gpu2 because my cards are right next to each other and when I plug my monitors into the bottom card I get blue screens all the time so I have to keep both my monitors plugged into my gpu1 which idles around 47-54, is this dangerous? My gpu2 idles around 35-42, in game both gpu's don't go over 75 which is good but I am more concerned about my idle temps. Am I taking a risk having my GPU1 idle on average 50C? The top 5830 is a Saphire mw3 edition, the bottom one is a regular saphire version, The headsink isn't as long.
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