Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

Multiple Monitors Cause Overheating

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
August 7, 2012 5:15:33 PM

I have an Alienware m17x r3 with an AMD Radeon 6990M graphics card. I can load the GPU to 100% and leave it long periods of time without exceeding 75 degrees celsius. I can play crisis without any issues whatsoever. The weird thing is, if I plug it into an external monitor and try to run both the laptop screen and the external monitor (both 1080p, if that matters) even on a static screen (web browser window or desktop) the graphics card rapidly heats up. It easily breaks 100 degrees celsius and the computer shuts off. If, before the computer shuts off, I tell it to run only one of the two displays, the temp rapidly falls to about 55-60ish. GPU load is 0-5% the entire time. The clock does move from 100 mhz with one monitor to 200 (or maybe 250, I can't remember) with 2. What causes this?
August 7, 2012 5:29:52 PM

PatrickAupperle said:
I have an Alienware m17x r3 with an AMD Radeon 6990M graphics card. I can load the GPU to 100% and leave it long periods of time without exceeding 75 degrees celsius. I can play crisis without any issues whatsoever. The weird thing is, if I plug it into an external monitor and try to run both the laptop screen and the external monitor (both 1080p, if that matters) even on a static screen (web browser window or desktop) the graphics card rapidly heats up. It easily breaks 100 degrees celsius and the computer shuts off. If, before the computer shuts off, I tell it to run only one of the two displays, the temp rapidly falls to about 55-60ish. GPU load is 0-5% the entire time. The clock does move from 100 mhz with one monitor to 200 (or maybe 250, I can't remember) with 2. What causes this?



Have you tried running the external monitor at a lower resolution to see if the problem persists?
Score
0
a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 6:07:42 PM

Difficult to say what the cause is, but be aware getting that hot is extremely dangerous, overheating the GPU can destroy your laptop permanently by melting and weakening the solder joints on the chip. If you can, I would simply refrain from using multiple monitors, or try to get it repaired under warranty if you want to use multiple monitors (assuming you are under warranty and the issue isn't a design flaw).

It could be there is a flaw in the chip somewhere that's causing it to shunt power and heat up when outputting to both display paths, it doesn't seem like it's actually getting taxed very hard; but it's definitely odd behavior.

Have you tried this with any different monitors and/or connectors? It would be really odd, but maybe there's some odd shorting to ground on the monitor, and it's sucking a some extra power through the GPU, which is causing enough additional heat to get into a thermal runaway situation. Doesn't exactly explain why it's fine if you just output to the monitor though I suppose.
Score
0
Related resources
August 7, 2012 6:57:51 PM

I realize the heat is dangerous and have been keeping it in check since I noticed. I noticed because after my computer shut down randomly once, I started it up and checked the temp on the gpu (103 C). Maybe I'll contact Alienware and see if they can fix it.

I've tried through both the HDMI port and the VGA port and it happens on both connections. Attempting it with a different monitor, one that only supports to a resolution of 1280x1024, does not seem cause the problem. I will try again on the other monitor in varied resolutions when I can.

Edit: Adding to the strangeness of this problem, I've got my computer plugged into a small HDTV in my room right now and it seems to be holding extremely steady temps. Both screens are active. I really will have to try that larger monitor again soon. It would be really strange the the problem just evaporated since I started this thread.
Score
0
a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 9:06:29 PM

The best thing to check would be hooking it up to a different 1080p display via the same connector.

I suppose it's possible that it's a driver issue maybe, though it would be pretty fail if it were. (All kinds of fun conspiracy theories could fit into that bug).
Score
0
August 7, 2012 11:13:02 PM

djscribbles said:
The best thing to check would be hooking it up to a different 1080p display via the same connector.

I suppose it's possible that it's a driver issue maybe, though it would be pretty fail if it were. (All kinds of fun conspiracy theories could fit into that bug).


The HDTV mentioned in the edit in my last post was 1080p and hooked to the HDMI port (same port I experienced the problem on).

I guess I don't really know enough about drivers to even guess, but a driver issue seems unlikely given the fan turning on as fast as it would go. What kind of conspiracy theories could fit that bug? AMD hates Samsung?
Score
0
August 8, 2012 12:24:12 AM

What size screens are your monitors and televisions?
Score
0
August 8, 2012 12:48:03 AM

danny2000 said:
What size screens are your monitors and televisions?

Laptop: 17 inch
HDTV: 19 inch
Monitor: ~30 inch, I think.
Score
0
August 8, 2012 12:50:11 AM

PatrickAupperle said:
Laptop: 17 inch
HDTV: 19 inch
Monitor: ~30 inch, I think.



Okay, I don't think that that should matter then.
Score
0
August 8, 2012 12:51:38 AM

danny2000 said:
Okay, I don't think that that should matter then.


If the monitor where much bigger (it might be, I haven't measured), would it matter?
Score
0
August 8, 2012 1:24:05 AM

I believe if it was much larger, then yeah, it might matter.
Score
0
August 8, 2012 1:47:46 AM

danny2000 said:
I believe if it was much larger, then yeah, it might matter.


How much larger? I believe my monitor may be closer to 40 inches. I seriously underestimated when I wasn't looking at it.
Score
0
August 8, 2012 1:52:53 AM

the 40 inch might matter if you are running it at 1080P, but not certain.
Score
0
August 8, 2012 1:58:14 AM

danny2000 said:
the 40 inch might matter if you are running it at 1080P, but not certain.


Why would size matter? Shouldn't the graphics card work just as hard on the same number of pixels regardless of size? Do the larger screens pull more power from the HDMI/VGA port or something? If I turned it to 720P, would the problem go away (assuming screen size is the culprit)?
Score
0
August 8, 2012 2:03:02 AM

PatrickAupperle said:
Why would size matter? Shouldn't the graphics card work just as hard on the same number of pixels regardless of size? Do the larger screens pull more power from the HDMI/VGA port or something? If I turned it to 720P, would the problem go away (assuming screen size is the culprit)?


The resolution is the problem on the larger screens.
You can try it at a lower resolution, such as the 720P that you suggested.
Score
0
August 8, 2012 2:54:23 AM

danny2000 said:
The resolution is the problem on the larger screens.
You can try it at a lower resolution, such as the 720P that you suggested.


If resolution is the problem, why would a 40" 1080p screen cause more overheating than a 19" 1080p screen?

Sorry for the rapid questions. I just want to understand the problem.
Score
0

Best solution

a b U Graphics card
August 8, 2012 3:49:20 AM

The physical size of the screen does not matter at all, the GPU only cares about the pixel quantity (1920x1080).

(edit: ignore the rest of this, the contents of the next post seem fairly promising)

My bet is that there maybe something funky about the monitor itself causing the heat (like a data line shorting to ground), however it maybe that it's simply the explicit combination of that laptop and that monitor that causes the problem, and the monitor would be fine on another computer just as the laptop is with a different monitor.

Just to confirm, if you disable the laptop monitor you don't see the heatup, correct?

Is it possible for you to test the problem monitor in a multi-monitor setup on a different computer?
Share
a b U Graphics card
August 8, 2012 3:52:33 AM

After doing some more searching around, I found this:
http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/37...

Very disturbing, is it possible that your fans shut off for some reason when the monitor is connected, or that this issue simply occured randomly and the monitor was a coincidence?

If it is actually the fan stopping. Flashing a new video bios and/or PC bios may fix the issue, but do so cautiously, as it will carry the same bricking-risk (for the GPU) as flashing a PC bios. (Make sure you have the right bios file for your model, make sure it's the proper version, have a good amount of charge in your battery, and be plugged in to the wall).

Also note that a few people reported that some temperature monitoring programs caused their issue. Another person had the issue prior to temp monitors, and only had the problem resolved by a motherboard replacement.
Score
0
August 8, 2012 12:43:23 PM

djscribbles said:
After doing some more searching around, I found this:
http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/37...

Very disturbing, is it possible that your fans shut off for some reason when the monitor is connected, or that this issue simply occured randomly and the monitor was a coincidence?

If it is actually the fan stopping. Flashing a new video bios and/or PC bios may fix the issue, but do so cautiously, as it will carry the same bricking-risk (for the GPU) as flashing a PC bios. (Make sure you have the right bios file for your model, make sure it's the proper version, have a good amount of charge in your battery, and be plugged in to the wall).

Also note that a few people reported that some temperature monitoring programs caused their issue. Another person had the issue prior to temp monitors, and only had the problem resolved by a motherboard replacement.


That is disturbing. The fan sounds like it is going full blast the entire time, though. I both hope that is not the issue and don't believe it is the issue. In the link you provided, they don't hear the fan at all. I certainly did. Thank you for digging up the link, but I don't think it is the problem I am having.
Score
0
August 19, 2012 3:46:19 AM

Best answer selected by PatrickAupperle.
Score
0
a c 271 U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 9:07:34 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
Score
0
a c 271 U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 9:09:36 AM

This topic has been reopen by Mousemonkey
Score
0
a c 271 U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 9:11:00 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
Score
0
!