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HD 7950 fan spins up to 100% at idle

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 14, 2012 1:31:43 AM

I've had a Sapphire HD 7950 since I ordered one on launch day. Link I don't have any performance issues with the card.

Before I get started, full system specs:
CPU: i7 2600K @ 4.3GHz using Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
Mobo: Asus P8P67
RAM: 4GBx2 G.Skill 1600MHz 9-9-9-24 CR2
GPU: Sapphire HD 7950 at default clocks
SSD: Intel 80GB G2
HDDs: 1x WD 1TB Green "EARS", 4x 2TB Seagate Barracuda in software RAID 5
PSU: Seasonic X-650 Gold
OS: Win 7 Home Prem x64 (retail)

Problem:
About half the time when my display goes to sleep and the card enters ULPS mode the fan spins down and everything is as it should be. However, sometimes after the fan spins down it'll randomly start spinning up to 100% for a second then go back to idle CONSTANTLY until I wake the display back up. Detail: Enters ULPS and fan spins down, fans stays off for about 5 seconds, fan spins up to 100% for about 1 second, fan returns to idle for a couple seconds, fan spins up to 100% for about 1 second... rinse and repeat.

It pretty much sounds like the card is waking up from ULPS as it normally does (card does spin to 100% briefly on a normal wake up) except that it keeps waking up and going back to sleep in rapid succession.

Most of the time I notice it right away and wake it up to get it to stop. Usually it'll go back to doing the same thing if I let it go right back to idle but sometimes it'll go back to idle and stay there. So far I haven't been able to track down what behavior is causing this. At first I thought it was due to leaving Chrome open with Flash adds or animated gifs going, but the last time it happened with no open windows and only a video encode using MeGUI w/x264 running minimized.

While testing this I've lowered my screen sleep time to 2 minutes. My concern is that I'm going to wear out the fan if this behavior continues. Also, my computer is usually on 24/7. If this were to happen when I was away at work I'm sure it would be very bad.

Has anyone else seen this? Any suggestions?

Thanks!
April 14, 2012 10:06:48 AM

Can you control fan speed manually with programs such as MSI afterburner?
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April 16, 2012 2:16:26 AM

I'm sure I could but I don't think that'd achieve the desired results. The card is semi-passive and completely spins down the fan when it enters "long idle". I'm pretty sure that the issue is that something, either a program or some kind of driver or firmware conflict is causing the card to alternate between "long idle" and idle modes in rapid succession. In essence it's a GPU power state issue, not a fan control issue.
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April 19, 2012 1:08:57 PM

My main specs - very similar:
i5 2500k
Asus P8Z68-V GEN3
2 X 4GB G.Skill 1600MHz
Sapphire HD 7950 OC 3GB
Seagate Barracuda 500GB
Silverstone Strider Plus 750W
Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I am having similar problems with my Sapphire HD 7950 (OC) 3GB, also pre-ordered. The fans seem to spin to a very high speed for a few seconds, then slow down, after windows goes into the screen saver (or whatever is in place when a specific screen saver isn't set).

Quite a few times I have woken the PC back up to be shown a seemingly failed attempt to "redraw" the desktop - typically a black background with a few application icons on the taskbar. A couple of times it has only managed a black background and the mouse pointer and I have had no choice but to restart the machine.

I use Firefox and have never had Chrome installed.

I have tried looking for driver updates, unsuccessfully.

Out of curiosity have you made any attempt to overclock? I have tried using the Asus Auto Tune feature but have reset the BIOS settings and am still having the same problem.

No suggestions here, sorry, but I'm hoping the fact that I am experiencing the same problem might help solve this!
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April 19, 2012 3:32:39 PM

Hello,

I just bought that same card (7950 Sapphire) and I'm having this exact issue.

I tried tinkering around with the power management options of my computer but with no avail.

I don't want to risk leaving my card do this odd thing - might damage it in some way.

This means I cannot leave my computer running when I'm at work :( 

I will try manually setting the fan speed using ATI OverDrive when I have to leave home, and turning it back to auto when I'm using the computer.

This is not a solution but might be a temporary workaround unless it does not work...the observations of MrCommunistGen could be spot-on.
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April 19, 2012 8:39:15 PM

hey guys ...I have also had that problem ....and after reading around ....go 2 ur settings and set ur montior to never turn off ...( now u will have 2 hit pow button on monitor ..instead of it goin off automatically) . now u should be able 2 leave it goin with out the spin up/down bug
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April 23, 2012 8:20:53 PM

Hi,

same problem with a powercolor 7950. No idea how to solve it at the moment. I have opened a support call to Powercolor but no answer till now.
All we have together is an ASUS Mainboard. I have an ASUS p6t deluxe v2.
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April 23, 2012 10:11:42 PM

I have the XFX Radeon 7950 and have a very similar issue. The only difference I seem to have is sometimes when I move the mouse it won't come back on. I have to do a hard reboot to get it up again. Tech support at XFX has given me an RMA number to return it so the can test it. So going to send it back this week and hopefully they figure it out.
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April 30, 2012 5:35:36 AM

Oh my, I didn't realize how many people had replied to the thread I started. I have some additional info I can add to the thread.

First, I too sometimes have the issue that xllsargellx has where the computer may not always wake up from the Ultra Low Power State. It's relatively rare but has happened a handful of times. The most recent was actually when I was trying to wake up the graphics card when it was doing its annoying spin up, spin down routine. It stopped the cycle but at that point the system had crashed...

Second, I put in a ticket with Sapphire the day that I started the thread. They have yet to respond.

Third, and possibly most importantly, I think I've found the cause of the issue... at least for my situation. I mentioned that I mostly noticed that I was getting the issue when I was encoding video. When I'm running a job the window for it has a progress bar. This progress bar shows up in the Windows taskbar at the bottom of the screen even if the main window is minimized. As the job progresses it redraws the progress bar. Its a "pretty" progress bar like the one you get when doing a large file transfer in Windows... it's green and it shimmers once every second or so. This shimmer is most likely animated using the Aero interface which is probably making a call to the graphics hardware and is forcing the card to wake up. I think this is odd behavior since the display never actually wakes up through any of this. The cadence of the shimmer is pretty spot on to the cadence I've noticed of the fan on the video card spinning up and then going to idle.

Though not really a solution, I've taken to keeping GPU-Z open to it's "sensors" tab while running encodes. I was using the tool to try to track what was going on but I could never get it to record the results. Apparently, that particular window keeps the video card from going into deep sleep and powering down. This keeps the fan from doing its spin up, spin down but also keeps the fan from spinning down at all which is what I was going for. I run my encodes at night when I'm asleep and I'd prefer to have one fewer fan running in my system.

Long story short, does anyone have any suggestions for letting ULPS engage itself yet keep it from constantly waking back up? I'm going to test a few things like turning off Aero or... anything else that comes to mind. So far I've tried hiding the taskbar with the window minimized but you can still see a bit of the icon and it still causes the funny fan behavior. I'll report back with my findings here in this thread.

I know this has been long winded but hopefully it helps. As far as I can tell, this issue is not a hardware problem, or even a software "problem" per -se. Just a bit of unexpected behavior.
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April 30, 2012 5:44:46 AM

revo_83 said:

Quite a few times I have woken the PC back up to be shown a seemingly failed attempt to "redraw" the desktop - typically a black background with a few application icons on the taskbar. A couple of times it has only managed a black background and the mouse pointer and I have had no choice but to restart the machine.
...

Out of curiosity have you made any attempt to overclock? I have tried using the Asus Auto Tune feature but have reset the BIOS settings and am still having the same problem.


I reread the whole thread and realized that I've also experienced the issue with the desktop not properly redrawing after I wake up the display. I don't really have a comment to add to that other than I've only seen this once or twice. The only thing I can think of is that the system is trying to redraw the screen right as the card is coming back online and/or ramping up clocks which is leading to corruption.

As for overclocking, I've been running my system at 4.3 GHz since about day 2. I've been using default voltages, though in my troubleshooting of the problem in this thread I've tried adding voltage. It didn't help. Needless to say the topic of overclocking is neither here nor there in regards to this thread. I'm sure you can find any one of a hundred threads on overclocking a 2500K on a Z68 board. I certainly would *not* consider myself an expert on the subject so I'll refrain from trying to give you any potentially bad advice.
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April 30, 2012 5:50:57 AM

Isilwen Nightfall said:

I will try manually setting the fan speed using ATI OverDrive when I have to leave home, and turning it back to auto when I'm using the computer.

This is not a solution but might be a temporary workaround unless it does not work...


Has this worked for you (or anyone else?) My intuition would tell me that it wouldn't simply because you'd be selecting a fan state the card uses when active. If the card goes into "long idle" it is no longer active. I haven't tested this since it isn't the kind of behavior I'm trying to achieve. I *want* the fan to spin down... and then stay that way.
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May 1, 2012 8:23:19 PM

I have another issue.
If your graphics card is awakening from long idle, pci-express mode switched from x16 mode to x1 mode. Only a reboot solves that issue. This is something I saw with GPU-Z.
Does anybody have the same problem.
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May 10, 2012 4:40:25 PM

magic1416 said:
I have another issue.
If your graphics card is awakening from long idle, pci-express mode switched from x16 mode to x1 mode. Only a reboot solves that issue. This is something I saw with GPU-Z.
Does anybody have the same problem.



I have not seen this issue. What kind of motherboard do you have?
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May 11, 2012 11:44:48 PM

hey guys ...I have also had that problem ....and after reading around ....go 2 ur settings and set ur montior to never turn off ...( now u will have 2 hit pow button on monitor ..instead of it goin off automatically) . now u should be able 2 leave it goin with out the spin up/down bug
.....not sure if fixes it while pc is in sleep mode...but it does work

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May 12, 2012 12:12:18 AM

Have you guys tried using the Catalyst Control Center and going to the AMD OverDrive to just test to see if you enable Manual fan control to see if it resets to that speed? If so you should be able to keep your fans at a 40% speed or so, it will not hurt your card to enable manual fan speeds. Just don't enable it and leave it at 10% and try to game. Might not end well lol
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May 12, 2012 9:38:03 PM

MrCommunistGen said:
I have not seen this issue. What kind of motherboard do you have?



I have an Asus P6t Deluxe V2 Mainboard with latest Bios Version. It has an Intel X58 Chipset.
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June 2, 2012 9:31:19 AM

I had the same problem, but i think i found a solution: go to windows power settings and turn off PCI-Express power saving features. After that my card started to behave correctrly.
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June 29, 2012 12:11:11 AM

Update (sadly no progress):

This problem with my HIS remains unchanged (video here http://youtu.be/UWYyfqvKcjI )

I've tried going to:

Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > Edit Plan Settings > Change Advanced Power Settings > PCI Express > Link State Power Management and turning it to "Off". Doesn't fix the problem unfortunately.

Tried updating to 12.6 beta drivers. Didn't fix it.

Catalyst Control Center --> Performance --> AMD Overdrive --> Enable Manual Fan Control 40%. No luck - must only apply when the displays are not off.

The only solution that works so far is disabling "turn display off" altogether. And while I recognize I can manually turn on/off 4 monitors each time I decide to use my computer it's rather an inelegant solution!
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August 4, 2012 11:14:25 AM

I've tried everything discussed in this thread and the problem remains.

I hope this card will not require upgrading for a few years still... so I'm hoping someone has solved this !
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October 21, 2012 8:02:09 PM

Right around when I made my last post to this thread my best friend was killed in Afghanistan and I kind of checked out of the computer world. Now I'm back to looking into this.

Quick recap: AMD has a new feature that brings the card and the fan to a much more complete idle such that when in "long idle" the fan spins down entirely. Under some as yet unknown circumstances the fan will spin back up. Setlist was kind enough to take a video and post it on YouTube:

Quote:
MrCommunistGen, and everyone else,

Any solutions? I presume I have the same problem as documented above by MrCommunistGen --- here's a video of the problem:

http://youtu.be/UWYyfqvKcjI

Thanks for the upload of the clip. Just to clarify, at least when my card is exhibiting this behavior the display stays off. Also, if I let this behavior continue for a while it'll hard crash my system where the only resolution is a hard power off and then a reboot (pressing the reset button does not work). My thoughts are that this is probably a power state issue.

Also, although some people have offered the solution of forcing the display to not go idle, this is not what I am looking for. I *want* the GPU to power down completely, both for the minor power savings and the reduction in idle noise from my system. The latter is much more important to me than the former.


oddwhocanfly said:
I had the same problem, but i think i found a solution: go to windows power settings and turn off PCI-Express power saving features. After that my card started to behave correctrly.

I'm at work right now but I think I'll try this when I get home and see if it helps at all. I can see that some people have already reported that it doesn't but I know there are other factors involved as well. I also intend to try out the Catalyst 12.9 Beta but at this point I don't really think it is a driver issue... unless AMD can somehow forcibly block whatever process is calling the video card yet not forcing the display awake... yet not block the mouse/keyboard from doing a complete wake on the card.

I hope there are still people following this thread.
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October 21, 2012 8:06:26 PM

Oh, also not a solution, but at least in the Sapphire Trixx overclocking tool (maybe others?) they have a checkbox to disable ULPS which is the Ultra Low Power State which allows the fan to spin down entirely. I'm not sure if this works on other cards (I imagine it should work on any AMD reference board since that's all my card is). If you don't want to force your display to stay awake but want the annoying fan spin up to stop this might be a solution for you.
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October 24, 2012 4:07:38 AM

i am also having the same issue with my powercolor 7950. it doesn't turn on the monitor after idling for too long. also, the trixx utility disable ulps and fixed fanspeed doesn't solve the fan maxing to 100% randomly while in sleep..

EDIT: my specs

cpu: i5 2500k OCed to 4.3ghz 1.27v
gpu: powercolor 7950 3gb 384bit (reference design)
ram: 8gb ram 1600mhz gskill ripjaws
mobo: asus p8z68-M PRO
psu: coolermaster GX650w Bronze
hdd: 500gb hitachi standard hdd
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April 18, 2013 5:04:11 AM

Hi Guys,

Anyone found the cause of the problem ?!

If don´t, try to look for the process named "ieutil.exe"...
=)

This was the real cause of my card going on 100% in idle..
Since i removed this "virus" from my HDD it´s ok.
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June 30, 2013 7:52:28 AM

I have an XFX 7950 and recently had my fan speed up to full as the system sat idle.
It would only take 5 or so mins of non-interaction before it started. It wasnt when the monitor went off but seemed to be as the system began to go into a lower power mode. As soon as i moved my mouse the fan would return to normal speeds within a few seconds.
It turned out to be a piece of malware on my system causing it as since i removed this i have had zero issues.
I ran Malwarebytes Anti-Malware which found a file called 'pools.exe'. I removed this and all was fine after. I also ran the new Spybot to ensure everything was clean.
Hope this can help someone else :) 
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July 2, 2013 4:52:14 PM

I am having the same issue here. Computer will go into sleep (low power) state and will not wake up. Other forums recommended changing the USB power settings as well, but that didn't seem to help at all.

My computer will do this when nothing is occurring at all. I am not encoding, streaming, processing, or doing anything with it. My card is an XFX 7950 3gig, if that helps any. Latest drivers installed, no difference.

After darkgameover suggested a possible infection, I ran an MBAM scan and turned up nothing (not a real surprise, I use this computer for school and gaming exclusively, all legit everything). I wish I could say it was malware, but I don't think so.

Anyone else have a suggestion? It's driving me up the friggin' wall.
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July 18, 2013 1:53:53 AM

I have the exact problem with a Gigabyte AMD Radeon 7950 and I think I found the root cause.

In my case, it is due to malware. When I killed TimeServer.exe through task manager, the fan went back to normal operation right away. Now I just have to figure out how to remove the malware.
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October 25, 2013 12:45:05 AM

I have had this problem since I built my Haswell I7 and thought it was the power supply issue that Haswell has with incompatible power supplies but obviously it is not. I tried numerous settings and had it waking up from display turn off (but sleep set to never) fine for 3 days but when I had to unplug my power supply for a period, problem returned. I yesterday set my display to stay on indefinitely but just that it goes to sleep after 30 minutes and it has woken up successfully. I will give you an update post in a week or if the screen doesn't start but looking like possible solution.
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March 7, 2014 9:53:05 AM

Any update on this for solutions?
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