Fan speed won't change

I have a 2.5 year old video card (Sapphire ATI Radeon 5870) that is beginning to overheat. The box was pretty dusty but I have cleaned it out completely. i even took the video card apart and cleaned significant dust out of it. When I play SWTOR (about the only game I play any more) for more than an hour or so, the card gets very hot to the touch - it will almost burn you. If I play for several hours, it will start getting choppy. My FPS is consistently over 100 FPS unless there is a large battle in which case it drops to 60 - 80 FPS.

When I look at the Catalyst control, the fan speed is on auto and stays at 21%. Even when the card is crazy hot, it will not increase fan speed. While in the game, I cannot manually increase fan speed. If I exit the game, I can increase fan speed. Once I increase fan speed, the temp comes down quickly.

So it appears it is not so much a hardware issue as a software issue. i have downloaded the latest version of CCC. Is there something I can do differently to make my card more quickly increase fan speed? If it is hot enough to burn and hot enough to start lagging the graphics, it seems reasonable that the fan speed should be about 21%. I can try a profile and manually increase fan speed before I start the game but I would prefer to not have to listen to an afterburner if I don't have to.

Any thoughts?

OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz, 2668 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. 0402, 11/25/2009
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 6.00 GB
PSU: Corsair 850
Box: mid tower
Fans: two front side intake 120 MM
one top output 200 MM
one back output 120 MM
One on PSU
Noctua NH-U12P SE2 120mm SSO CPU Cooler (2 120 mm fans around heat sink)
Fan on GPU

MB: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about speed change
  1. Hi

    How are you able to read the fan speed whilst in game, do you have more than one monitor connected?

    What temps does the card reach under load?

    Have you tried uninstalling CCC and installing the latest version?
  2. I run my game in Windows mode so I can tab out of it.

    For the past hour or two, I have done nothing other than some spreadsheets, Quicken and internet surfing. I just booted up SWTOR. It has been running less than 3 minutes and the card was already hot (not sure if from game or from earlier activity). Temp per CCC was 59C. Fan was at 21%. Turned fan up to 40% and temp is already down 37C in less than a minute.

    I will check the temp under load.

    I installed the latest version of CCC last night. I did not physically uninstall the old version but the new one is completely different so I know that I have the newer version.

  3. Best answer
    I'd suggest downloading a free program called GPU-Z, then go to the sensors tab and click the option called "log to file" so that you can play games in full screen and then check after to see if the fan speed changed, I have a feeling that it may not change because your playing in windowed mode.
  4. I did as suggested and downloaded GPU-Z. After tracking for a day or so, it doesn't appear that the automatic fan speed is really adjusting much to compensate for heat gains. The fan runs at 21% most of the time. If heat rises from base of around 37C to about 77C, it might increase to 30%. This doesn't seem like much or nearly enough. If I manually adjust the fan to 50%, the temp comes down do mid-50's even under load. Seems like the fan should be adjusting more on its own. It didn't used to get this hot (over past 2 years). I recognize the difference now because I can feel the blast of hot air coming off the back of the computer and it makes my leg sweat. I guess I will stick with adjusting manually since the auto seems inefficient. I am afraid if I don't manually increase to keep the temp down more, that I am just going to brick my GPU card and have to buy another. This way, at least I can hopefully get another year or two out of the card.

    Thanks for the help.
  5. Best answer selected by RedneckCPA.
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