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How do I reduce graphics card performance? (and heat!)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 2, 2012 8:39:48 AM

I'm running a Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7850 with a core i5 2500K, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM on an Asus Z77 motherboard. However, for now I'm using a 1280x1024 17" display, and the graphics card is overkill for every game I've tried.

It goes to about 67-70 degrees C, 10 degrees hotter than online benchmarks suggest. It idles at about 40 degrees C. (The ambient temp is about 25 C.)

I want to know if there is some way to get the card to under-perform so it doesn't get as hot. It runs everything I've thrown at it at 100+ fps and I would really like a cooler card instead with lower framerates (~50-60).

The chasis is a Cooler Master 690 II, there's plenty of airflow.
a b U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 8:46:35 AM

The people reviewing the card most likely used an open test bed...it'll always show lower temperatures than having your card in a case. My brother's XFX Double D HD6870 is a great example! When we first tested the card outside of the case, it rarely never went up past 59-65C. However, when we put it in a case, it can sometimes shoot up to 74-78C.

Underclocking your card should give you slightly lower heat and performance, however, I don't think it's worth the time and trouble.
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a c 99 U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 8:49:31 AM

You can try want to underclock your card, I believe Sapphire has a tweak utility. You can make the card at stock clocks and make it stock voltage.

You can also try to lower the amount of frames rates. Because very high frames constantly will make your card run hotter. You have the following methods such as increasing resolution, increasing graphics settings, turning vsync on and it will match the frame rate as your monitors refresh rate (normally 60 Hz).
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a c 76 U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 9:04:25 AM

Turning on vsync is the best option. I really can't imagine why anyone would ever have it off anyway. increasing resolution or settings will lower frame rates because the GPU has to work harder per frame, but will have zero impact on GPU load or temps. its still going to be maxing itself out.

As for your temps they are fine. GPUs generally font hit issues till 90+ and 70 at full load is fine
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June 2, 2012 9:14:41 AM

Thanks, guys.

I guess turning on vsync is the easiest option.
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a b U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 9:37:57 AM

Um 70 c is really good for a GPU temp under load. Not sure why you think that is running hot. But it really isnt.
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June 2, 2012 9:46:56 AM

vrumor said:
Um 70 c is really good for a GPU temp under load. Not sure why you think that is running hot. But it really isnt.


I've only tried Company of Heroes, Dawn of War II and Kingdoms of Amalur so far, and none of them are graphically very demanding. Plus, it's a low res display (1280x1024).

I suspect the temperature will go much higher when I get around to playing Crysis or The Witcher 2 on a 1920x1200 display.

Besides, anything over 60 fps is wasted effort anyway, so I was hoping I could save some power and keep the room cool.
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a c 76 U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 10:02:08 AM

karthink said:

I suspect the temperature will go much higher when I get around to playing Crysis or The Witcher 2 on a 1920x1200 display.


Just FYI that's not how it works. You can check the GPU load with GPUz but its likely 100%. The gpu will crank out frames as fast as it can. Unless it hits a CPU/memory bottleneck or you turn on vsync it will always be 100%. If it takes more "work" per frame you get lower frame rates, but its still working at full load just like before and there wont be much of a temp difference between a high end or low end resolution or game
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June 2, 2012 10:08:21 AM

unksol said:
Just FYI that's not how it works. You can check the GPU load with GPUz but its likely 100%. The gpu will crank out frames as fast as it can. Unless it hits a CPU/memory bottleneck or you turn on vsync it will always be 100%. If it takes more "work" per frame you get lower frame rates, but its still working at full load just like before and there wont be much of a temp difference between a high end or low end resolution or game


I see. Thanks for letting me know.

That said, I have noticed (from past experience, not this setup) the GPU gets hotter when playing certain games. I never tested it rigorously though.

If it stays at 70 degrees C no matter what I play, I'm a happy customer.
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June 12, 2012 8:19:27 AM

Best answer selected by karthink.
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June 30, 2013 5:07:52 AM

Hey. I have a dual fan Sapphire 7850 1gb card and the highest it ever got to was 70 degrees C running at a 1100 core overclock in Tomb Raider, no case fans (gonna install some soon anyway). 70C is perfectly normal.
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March 2, 2014 2:40:04 PM

karthink said:
I'm running a Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7850 with a core i5 2500K, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM on an Asus Z77 motherboard. However, for now I'm using a 1280x1024 17" display, and the graphics card is overkill for every game I've tried.

It goes to about 67-70 degrees C, 10 degrees hotter than online benchmarks suggest. It idles at about 40 degrees C. (The ambient temp is about 25 C.)

I want to know if there is some way to get the card to under-perform so it doesn't get as hot. It runs everything I've thrown at it at 100+ fps and I would really like a cooler card instead with lower framerates (~50-60).

The chasis is a Cooler Master 690 II, there's plenty of airflow.


first clean your case.
second , check the paste between the heatsink and the GPU, if in need - replace it.
third , try to add more fans around the card itself , i did it. checkout my 3 fan video card mod i made, it really helped reducing temperatures: http://www.benshardwareblog.com/pc-hardware/hd3850-trip...

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