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GPU running insanely hot for no apparent reason.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 21, 2011 6:02:38 PM

My computer is roughly a year and a half old and I've had plenty of heating issues with the CPU in the past. The issue was almost always dust related. I've never noticed a GPU issue though. Granted, I never really checked the GPU before.

Well I just picked up a 2nd monitor and now I can have tools open on one screen while I stress test on the main screen. And now I realize... Holy cow, my GPU is about to melt... And likely has been for the past... Forever?

Currently my Radeon 5770 idles at 67 degrees C. My case is fairly breezy (a handful of fans and plenty of air holes all over it, which also conversely contributes to the dust problem). The fan on the video card is still running, and I blew as must dust from it (and the rest of my system) just earlier today. Yet when I run a game like Skyrim, my GPU temp jumps up to 97+ degrees C, and capped out at 99 degrees C multiple times (I don't think my GPU temp reader even does a 3rd digit, hah). Yet the game runs smoothly, and there doesn't seem to be any sign of a problem other than my video cards fan spinning in super overdrive mode (it gets super loud when I run a taxing game).

I also get the feeling it has been running at these temps for a long time running now, as my system is no more 'clean' than it has been in the past. In fact, it's more clean now then ever. Yet I haven't had an actual problem with overheating other than my CPUs.

My system is fairly stock (with the exception of my heatsink and fan since I OC'd my CPU by a hair. My RAM also uses some RAM profile to allow the sticks to run at 1600 instead of 1333). So I am having trouble understanding how this card could run so damn hot yet still function fine.

Ideas?

Edit: I meant to say the clock speed starts going super fast, not the fan.
December 21, 2011 6:57:17 PM

97C is getting pretty dangerous. Graphics cards normally will run at higher temps, like 85C, but higher than 85C is dangerous. A couple things you can do, use msi afterburner to set a custom fan speed profile to crank up the fan speed, and if your capable, remove the heatsink and re-apply new thermal paste. Noctua nt-H1 thermal paste is the best stuff i have used recently and has no curing time. Works better than AS5. I replaced all my AS5 thermal paste with it and each item runs cooler. Make sure your air flow in your case is set up properly. fans at the top/rear should be expelling the hot air from the case, not sucking air in.
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December 21, 2011 11:44:07 PM

It does seem like the fan on the top of my computer is sucking air in instead of blowing air out. It came stock like that with the case though. Can you switch the direction of the fan without reinstalling it?

I'll also try to get that program and see if I can boost the fan speed.

I'm not sure how the thermal paste on the CPU will change anything. I JUST installed a new CPU heatsink and fan and my temps are running pretty good right now. Only 30 degrees C. I did put a little too much of the thermal paste on but I can't imagine that little extra paste is sending my GPU to such insane temps.
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December 21, 2011 11:58:56 PM

When you cleaned your GPU fan(I assume you used a can of compressed gas[air duster]), did you push air in both directions(to clean the heatsink so through the fan then from the exhaust to the fan a few times or until dust no longer flies out)? Allot of dust can build up over time.
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December 22, 2011 7:16:28 AM

My GPU is in like, an enclosed case so you can't really blow it out the other direction. Perhaps what I will do tomorrow is take it out and see if I can open the case and clean it that way. I have a sinking feeling that dust is a prime culprit.
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December 22, 2011 8:33:42 AM

NonMagical said:
My GPU is in like, an enclosed case so you can't really blow it out the other direction. Perhaps what I will do tomorrow is take it out and see if I can open the case and clean it that way. I have a sinking feeling that dust is a prime culprit.

keep the case open while you game and monitor temps.
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December 22, 2011 1:15:19 PM

NonMagical said:
My GPU is in like, an enclosed case so you can't really blow it out the other direction. Perhaps what I will do tomorrow is take it out and see if I can open the case and clean it that way. I have a sinking feeling that dust is a prime culprit.

If you mean the shroud, Do not remove that. It will require you to remove the heatsink as well.

You just need to use something like and air duster to push some air into the vents then from the fan back and forth a few times.

Air dusters
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_duster

Is this what your card looks like?


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December 22, 2011 2:55:18 PM

Yes it does look like that. I didn't even realize those were vents. Haha. A quick blow through whatever vents I could see (namely the one on the back, where the monitor connections are) seemed to help a bit. I didn't really see any dust fly out, but my idle temp lowered to 49 degrees C (down from 67 or so).

Update: I have tested out running some skyrim, and my temps are running at a much much cooler ~65-75 degrees C, compared to the 99 it hit yesterday!
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December 22, 2011 4:08:54 PM

If your card idles @ 49c and happens to run at 400mhz instead of 157(this was done to some cards because there had been some reported issues running down to 157), its about right.

As long as you clean it from time to time(in both directions as this helps remove built up dust that would otherwise get stuck in the fins), you should be good. When cleaning from the back vent, the dust flys out the blower/fan...

As you see, the air passes through the center(the heatsink sits in there and can collect dust that will not blow out from just one side). This image is from a defective(cracked stock cooler) I do not recommend taking it apart unless you are changing it.


The card also sucks a small amount of air from the back near the video power plug(it cools the voltage system a bit), but that should not get much dust.
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December 23, 2011 6:45:39 AM

Yeah, it runs at 400MHz. Thanks for your help! :) 
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