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Radeon 5870 Crossfire overheating, card reaches 95C

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 3, 2011 8:02:19 PM

Hey guys, I've used your forums for a LOT of help in the past, but never actually posted. Sadly, I'm at my wits end about how to get this fixed.

I recently upgraded my computer in Feb, when the 5870's were getting liquidated for CHEAP. So I picked one up for my system and built the following (links where I still have them).

Coolermaster Wavemaster Case
Corsair 850W Enthusiast (recently upgraded to accomodate SLI, see below)
ASUS Sabertooth x58 Motherboard
Intel Core i7-95- @ 3.06GHz
12 GB of Kingston HyperX T1 RAM
Intel X25-M 120GB 2.5" SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Hitachi 1.5 TB 7200 rpm Drive
and old WD 500 GB 7200 rpm Drive
a DVD/RW Drive

(plus 1 widescreen 1900x1200 monitor and 1 square 1280x1024 monitor)

and the part in question, a XFX Radeon HD 5870 1GB

My wife, who is decidedly fantastic, knew I'd wanted to mess with crossfire and bought me a second Sapphire 5870 for my birthday. I knew my old 650W PS wouldn't do it, so I upgraded to the 850 above.

I gladly threw in the Sapphire and tried out crossfire. Much to my dismay, I noticed a lot of new artifacts in the BF3 beta, and black lining in BF:BC2. Using MSI Afterburner I tracked down temps and found when crossfire is enabled......

My temps at idle are ~55(secondary)/~70(primary). At load ~80/~93 (that's 93C with 100% fan). And the only reason it stays at 93 is b/c the card throttles down from 850 to 600. By the way, these temps are with the side of my case removed.

I've got both cards in the Sabertooth's x16/x16 configuration and, as I'm sure you know, they're right on top of one another. I do have a 3rd PCI-E slot that's more distant (i.e. has better airflow), but it's only at 4x.

So......

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Question 1: How the holy heck can I get this heat under control?

Question 2: I heard 16x/4x performance hits aren't necessarily that bad. Will I see dramatic underperformance at that level?
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I don't want to sell the cards, or buy another, so please help me work with what I have. Having recently spent a bunch of money on this, I'm loathe to "just buy a better single GPU." I'd also like to avoid expensive aftermarket coolers, especially since I understand they block SLI.

Help?

Best solution

a b U Graphics card
October 3, 2011 8:32:35 PM

It is normal that the top card heats up much more than the one below due to restricted airflow, moving it to the x4 slot would make about 10% difference on a 5870 performance - wise .

But the problem here is the case you're using, it has very little ventilation options and it doesn't make a good match with lots of hot-running power hungry equipment you're using, even if you let the side of the case open it still won't make a good airflow, having a couple high CFM 120mm fans blowing directly towards the cards will make a difference, I suggest you upgrade your case to something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Tower-Case-RC-912-K... and fill in the optional fans
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October 3, 2011 8:41:22 PM

I'm floored the case makes that much difference - when I got the Coolermaster way back when I thought it was supposed to have great airflow. Le sigh.

Thanks for the quick reply though. In regards to the 10%, I presume that's 10% off of what I'd get from full-performing 5870's CF'd, right?
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October 3, 2011 9:55:24 PM

That case has no airflow, lol @ 3 80mm fans
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October 3, 2011 9:55:25 PM

That case has no airflow, lol @ 3 80mm fans
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October 4, 2011 1:14:58 PM

Best answer selected by SheerLunacy.
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October 4, 2011 1:56:15 PM

[deleted to continue thread in more appropriate forum]

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October 4, 2011 4:05:53 PM

[deleted to continue thread in more appropriate forum]
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a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2011 7:52:54 PM

I'd recommend you do both move the card to the x4 slot and upgrade your case for best results.
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