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Need to replace a Radeon 5770 on a very tight budget.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 20, 2012 3:37:57 PM

I've been having some serious overheating problems with my GPU (Radeon 5770) since a few months, but recently it just became downright scary. Even games that are not graphically demanding at all makes the card hit between 100 C and 108 C.

Before anybody suggests adding more fans, I already have 4 fans in my computer (2 front, 1 back and 1 top). I have a good case and the airflow is not the problem.

Now, on to the real question. I'm on a very, very tight budget, so I can't afford paying too much for a "good" GPU. Not to mention to my Athlon X3 450 is starting to piss me off and that I've been looking to upgrade my CPU for a while as well. Considering this, do you think one of AMD's APUs would be a decent choice here ? I'm not that knowledgeable about computer hardware so... could anyone tell if replacing my Rad 5770+ Athlon X3 450 combo by an APU would be an upgrade at all ?
a b U Graphics card
February 20, 2012 3:56:47 PM

well i hate to tell ya, but unless you plan on changing out your mobo. plus the AMD Apu's are for the low end people. i personally believe youd be better off with a new graphics card. Also what is your mobo. is it AM2+, AM3? What? because u may can't uprage your mobo but a new CPU and a newer better graphics card for a deal
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February 20, 2012 4:21:34 PM

My mobo is a Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3, so it's AM3. I know they make AM3+ now so I don't know in what way it may limit my upgrade options. As I said, I know a bit about hardware but really not that much :( 

I'm kind of disappointed to learn that the APUs are that bad for gaming, I went on to check some articles after reading your comment and yeah... really disappointing.

I guess the only option I have considering how much money I have is to buy another 5770 and skip the CPU upgrade for another year. God why did I buy AMD... those corei3-2120 look so sweet for the price.


Edit : Anyone knows if there would be a way to apply some thermal paste to my current GPU in hope of lowering my temps ? I know I have some Artic Silver left somewhere from when my PS3 crashed.
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a b U Graphics card
February 20, 2012 4:44:01 PM

Have you confirmed that the GPU fan is actually spinning? I've had a few cards in the past where the fan just stopped working. If the GPU itself isn't cooked, you should be able to repair the cooling system on the card. Isn't it under warranty?
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February 20, 2012 4:58:44 PM

Yeah the fan is spinning. Actually, when the temps reach 100+, it spins so fast that it almost sounds like a spaceship is about to take off.

Unfortunately, it's not under warranty anymore.
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a b U Graphics card
February 20, 2012 5:19:12 PM

Ok, well it sounds like the contact between the heatsink and the gpu is bad. The fan throttling up is at least a sign that its trying to cool itself. You could attempt to remove the heatsink, clean the contact surface, apply thermal paste and reassemble. Since it isn't under warranty you don't have much to lose right?
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a b U Graphics card
February 20, 2012 5:29:42 PM

Very good Lark, Ok so is what you do Arthan is lay the GPU with the Black PCB facing upward. take the screws out and you should see the GPU with paste on it. you what the rest is..... I hope this helps, and yea man i ask my self that question lately, why did i get AMD, well at the time it seemed for the money the best to get, but next time i will be Intel, and i would be happy to fork out that extra 100$ for it if its possible. Because 100$ more for extra 70% performance increase it so much better
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a b U Graphics card
February 20, 2012 7:09:42 PM

Have you cleaned the heatsink on your GPU ever? I have cats and get a problem with a lot of hair and dust build up inside my computers, this includes both the CPU and GPU heat sinks causing temps to rise over time. It is possible you just need to clean the thing with some compressed air.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
February 20, 2012 7:17:02 PM

dust in the heatsink is my bet as well.
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February 20, 2012 8:52:56 PM

Thanks a lot for the advice guys. I will be cleaning the fans and heatsinks, as well as reapplying thermal paste later tonight. I'll report back tomorrow and let everybody know how it went.
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a b U Graphics card
February 20, 2012 10:23:34 PM

can o air and blow that thing out.
a controlled air compressor would work as well
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February 22, 2012 7:30:57 PM

A bit late on the reply, I've been pretty busy yesterday.

What I did so far is unplug everything, remove the GPU and the CPU fan, blow some air in there. It was really full of dust everywhere. Then I tried doing better than when I originally assembled my PC on the cable management side. The airflow is just so much better, I can't believe the difference I'm getting on CPU temperatures.

Unfortunately, the GPU temps, which were the real problem, are still the exact same. I'm opening it tonight and reapplying some AS5. Will report back again tomorrow with more feedback.

Still, it was a great idea to clean the dust in there.


Edit : About applying the paste, I always used an old credit card to spread the paste and make an even, thin layer. Is this the correct way ? I did it for CPUs before but I'm kinda scared to open the GPU. Never did it in the past and I just don't know how it's gonna look in there :( 
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a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2012 7:45:07 PM

Arthan said:
Edit : About applying the paste, I always used an old credit card to spread the paste and make an even, thin layer. Is this the correct way ? I did it for CPUs before but I'm kinda scared to open the GPU. Never did it in the past and I just don't know how it's gonna look in there :( 


There is a little debate on the best method for applying the paste, but I use the bead method. Squeeze a smallish bead of the paste in the middle of of the chip (after cleaning the old paste off). Let the heatsink's pressure spread out the paste. If the bead is the proper size, the heatsink will spread it out evenly.

Some people do spread it themselves making a thin, even layer, but the spreading action can cause tiny air bubbles to get trapped within the paste, lowering its heat transfer. But I've known plenty of people that spread out their paste using a card without any heat issues so I'm not going to say that it doesn't work. You can use the card if you prefer, just don't use your finger to spread the paste.
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a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2012 8:03:15 PM

I use the card method and my temps are turbo low
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a c 87 U Graphics card
February 23, 2012 10:13:42 AM

card method dude over here as well :) 
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February 23, 2012 1:59:01 PM

I managed to find some time yesterday night to disassemble my GPU. I went with the bead method since I always used the card method for CPUs in the past, wanted to see if there would be any difference. I might have used a bit too much paste but... whatever.

Anyway, I got some great news to report. My idle GPU temps are now around 50C, a great improvement from my usual 70C. It went to a maximum of 86C under heavy load during testing, but it usually hovers around 80C. That's also a tremendous improvement compared to the 100-108 I had before.

I don't really know what to make of these results. Changing paste usually don't give a 20C difference in temperature, that sounds almost too much to be the work of AS5 alone. Perhaps the heatsink really wasn't making contact correctly with the GPU, or maybe it's a combination of both.

Thanks a lot to everyone who posted, you guys rock :) 
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a b U Graphics card
February 23, 2012 2:24:27 PM

The orig paste must have been dried up or something.
To better your temps download msi afterburner and set a fan profile 1% for every 1c. That should help keep them even lower
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February 24, 2012 1:30:52 PM

Best answer selected by Arthan.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
February 24, 2012 1:51:02 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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