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Help me cool my GPUs (crossfire/picture included)

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August 16, 2012 12:49:39 PM

Hey fellow geeks :) 

I have been reading up heavily on cooling of GPUs in crossfire lately. This is because I have chosen to (re)install my second card, and just try to solve whatever issues might occur.

When I first tried to run in crossfire, I had to place the cards right next to each other, which gave some serious heating issues. I later acquired a 107mm bridge, and the temperatures went down. Yet I am not happy with, 1) the temperature of the second gpu, 2) the noise level since I have to set an aggressive fan profile.

Picture (air flow illustrated by arrows):
http://i47.tinypic.com/b4i3jk.jpg

So, when I run a 3 min stress test on full load, the second card reaches ~80-85 C, while the first card stays under 80 C, generally 5-10 C lower. I kind of feel this is too hot. (Btw I presume that the bottom card is the second, considering that I had the upper one installed already)

I know the picture is not super, but my regular camera didn't work :/ 

Anyway, I am wondering what my options are here? Since my case places the PSU at the bottom, it will be hard to install i.e. an xtreme plus II to each of the cards. I am open to most solutions, though I guess I feel WC is too expensive and comprehensive.

Thanks in advance!
August 16, 2012 1:20:06 PM

EDIT: Currently looking into WC after all :)  Anyway, hope that someone has something clever to say. Cheers!
August 16, 2012 1:37:16 PM

what cards are those
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
August 16, 2012 1:37:58 PM

quadisgod said:
Hey fellow geeks :) 

I have been reading up heavily on cooling of GPUs in crossfire lately. This is because I have chosen to (re)install my second card, and just try to solve whatever issues might occur.

When I first tried to run in crossfire, I had to place the cards right next to each other, which gave some serious heating issues. I later acquired a 107mm bridge, and the temperatures went down. Yet I am not happy with, 1) the temperature of the second gpu, 2) the noise level since I have to set an aggressive fan profile.

Picture (air flow illustrated by arrows):
http://i47.tinypic.com/b4i3jk.jpg

So, when I run a 3 min stress test on full load, the second card reaches ~80-85 C, while the first card stays under 80 C, generally 5-10 C lower. I kind of feel this is too hot. (Btw I presume that the bottom card is the second, considering that I had the upper one installed already)

I know the picture is not super, but my regular camera didn't work :/ 

Anyway, I am wondering what my options are here? Since my case places the PSU at the bottom, it will be hard to install i.e. an xtreme plus II to each of the cards. I am open to most solutions, though I guess I feel WC is too expensive and comprehensive.

Thanks in advance!



Your cooling setup is such that:

(A) GPUs exhaust internally (not like reference designs which exhaust externally)

(B) 2nd GPU has very little room to breathe (unlike reference designs which pulls air out, not recirculating it)

SO, your setup benefits greatly from 2 things

(1) A large amount of air being pushed into the case from front fans. To push away the exhausted heat from the 2 GPUs. The rear vents/PCI slot brackets must be removed between the 2 GPUs and as many as there are below the 2nd GPU to allow air to be pushed out.

(2) See if you can turn your PSU around so that the fan side of the PSU faces the 2nd GPU, this will aid in removing latent circulating air.

Also, make sure your case has a very significant "positive-pressure" setup with the front fans injecting far more air than the exhaust fans so the air gets dumped around the GPUs instead of staying inside. If you have front fans.

Lastly, remove all unused drive caddy/cages in the front of the case, and position the HDD at the BOTTOM-most cage slot, to remove any impediments to the air flow from the front of the case.

EDIT: Spelling Error...
August 16, 2012 1:47:57 PM

Still reading maxx_power's post,

but these are 5870's - top card is PowerColor and bottom card is Gigabyte.
August 16, 2012 2:43:36 PM

Ok so I managed to clean up the case a bit - removing cables, empty cages and the HDD from the ingoing air, aswell as removing the aluminium plates, at the back of the case, between the to cards.

All in all I think it might have taken a few degrees of the temperature, the difference between the two cards are now only 5 degrees Celcius.

After a 6 min full stress test the bottom card maxed at 83 C, and the curve seemed to flatten out.

Though I kind of feel it is 10 C more than what I consider safe (would love to go under 80 at least!). So that still leaves me open to new solutions!

In reply to maxx_power I would prefer not to move around the PSU, so that is something I will not attempt at the very moment.
August 16, 2012 3:10:07 PM

Does that case provide fan mounts on the side panel that you have removed in the photo?
August 16, 2012 3:30:48 PM

mmaatt747 said:
Does that case provide fan mounts on the side panel that you have removed in the photo?


From the looks of the side panel, it seems that it allows for two fan mounts, one of them pretty much right next to the cards.

I should also mention that I actually have a top exhaust fan mounted, but I didn't realize until second time I looked :ange: 

I am currently starting to look into 2-slot aftermarket coolers.
August 16, 2012 4:02:32 PM

Guys, would it be possible to install Accelero Xtreme 5870 to the cards? And given the minimal space to the PSU would I even benefit from this?

Anyhow I'm looking to put a case fan in front of the GPUs (intake), but I doubt that alone will solve the issue.
a c 177 U Graphics card
August 16, 2012 4:45:55 PM

My rigs VF3000A likes plenty of cool air from the front fans and I get no benefit from the top fan in my Antec 200 case. I inverted the PSU a build time, I think that's a help, too so, if you can fit them in your case, twin, powerful intake fans up front will help (the only way to get hot air out is first to get cold air in ;)  ) and inverting the PSU may also be beneficial.
The Antecs are superb coolers. Check their website, it'll have drawings showing the size of the cooler, as long as you've half an inch or so between the fans and PSU it should be OK.
Just make certain they'll fit your cards, some coolers have issues with non reference parts.

a b U Graphics card
August 16, 2012 5:47:39 PM

quadisgod said:
Guys, would it be possible to install Accelero Xtreme 5870 to the cards? And given the minimal space to the PSU would I even benefit from this?

Anyhow I'm looking to put a case fan in front of the GPUs (intake), but I doubt that alone will solve the issue.


You can try installing the Accelero Xtreme, but you MIGHT have a VRM temperature issue. That Accelero cooler (I have one) comes with puny VRM cooler heatsinks. Also, the main issue here is the lack of clearance and air flow (inward air, mostly), so the Accelero may not make things much better for the money you want to spend. If anything, the Accelero is thicker installed than your current cooler, so plan on having the GPU+Accelero coming even closer to the bottom PSU.

If you have side fan possibilities, try those as others here have suggested.

EDIT: And something I should mention is that I don't know how well the Accelero Xtreme fits on non-reference cards. You may have to examine the layout of your card with a ruler to figure out if the Accelero will fit just fine. The Accelero Xtreme is designed for reference card dimensions. Just double check before you decide on it.
a b U Graphics card
August 16, 2012 5:55:18 PM

As a side suggestion, try switching the 1st GPU with the 2nd one (swap up-down order). It could be that the 1st GPU (since you have different brands) have a more potent cooler. This might even out your temps.
a c 177 U Graphics card
August 16, 2012 6:15:10 PM

Forgot the VRM temperatures, a point well made by Maxx_power.
About half an inch of clearence will give plenty of intake area, even for two strong fans, but, obviously, the bigger the better ;) 
There are ways to improve the VRM cooling such as:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS...

Zalman and others also made memory cooling heatsinks that will do the job as well.
Welcome to the world of modding ;)  .
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
August 16, 2012 6:15:57 PM

Does the case have top fan? intake fans front and side, exhaust rear and top. Removing extra pci covers may help, maybe can fix a 80,92,or even 120mm in the space between cards.

Worth mentioning, adjust fan speed of these locations. Are the fans on the mobo headers, molex, seperate fan controller?
August 17, 2012 11:39:19 AM

@coozie7:
So you are suggesting me to get twin VF3000A along with an antec side fan (not sure I can fit two extra, but will check on that)?

I thought the VRM heating problem mainly was associated with the Acellero series?

I am a bit confused here - how can I check on the VRM temperature, and what level should I be at? (I'm figuring MSI Afterburner is giving me the chipset temperatures)
a c 177 U Graphics card
August 17, 2012 12:36:47 PM

Just pointing out there are alternatives to the Acellero VRM option.
Try GPU-Z, it shows Vreg temperatures for my 6950 but, obviously your cards may not have that sensor on board.
The VF 3000 is a excellent cooler but the Acellero is more compact as is this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you go for the VF3000 it'll need 2 1/2 inches vertical clearence to fit and work (thats from the top of the PCB to bottom of the cooler+ 1/2 inch clearence).
No probs with the top card, but space looks a little tight for the lower card.
August 19, 2012 10:26:33 AM

I am currently stuck with the Accelero Xtreme 5870 at the moment, since the GELID cooler is not being sold in my country atm (only overpriced).

It seems like an entire field of science to figure out if it will even fit...

My cards are:

1) PowerColor AX5870 1GBD5-PPDHG2
2) Gigabyte GV-R587OC-1GD

Does anyone have experience with installing an AX cooler on these, or can anyone help me in the right direction here?

Thanks
a b U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 3:14:21 PM

quadisgod said:
I am currently stuck with the Accelero Xtreme 5870 at the moment, since the GELID cooler is not being sold in my country atm (only overpriced).

It seems like an entire field of science to figure out if it will even fit...

My cards are:

1) PowerColor AX5870 1GBD5-PPDHG2
2) Gigabyte GV-R587OC-1GD

Does anyone have experience with installing an AX cooler on these, or can anyone help me in the right direction here?

Thanks


I have only done this on reference cards. Here is what I suggest you should do. Pull up a picture of a reference card, like this one:

http://www.koolance.co.kr/web/Item2010/reference/pcb_am...

And compare your cards with this, to see if it has the same layout. I suspect your VRMs are not the digi-vrms used in the reference (manufacturer's often skip digi-vrms because traditional types are cheaper, they can be identified by a row/column of capacitors, where as the digi-stuff have only surface mount ceramic capacitors). If those capacitors are placed away far enough from the die, and not too tall, you should be able to mount the Accelero on it. The Accelero has clearances underneath the card (check with AC, who provides a PDF with dimensions for you to check against).
August 19, 2012 4:36:38 PM

you could also remove the slot at end of case to have hot air to leave case in rear (the slot between the 2 cards)

best
revro
August 31, 2012 1:33:54 PM

I just wanna thank everybody for helping me out.

I ended up messing as much as possible with the case, to give better airflow, while installing an intake 140mm Arctic Cooling fan. Noise level has not increased at 80% rpm (<3 PWM 4 pin).

I figured that since both my cards had customized coolers, something else might the issue. And in the end switing a GPU cooler is quite a hassle!

I have not been able to fix this sooner due to monitor being @ repair shop :) 

Not sure how to select "Best Answer", but I guess a mod has to finish the thread for that.
August 31, 2012 1:37:00 PM

Oh and the GPU temps dropped a stunning 10 C :) 

<75 C max load is ok for crossfire after all ?! :) 
a b U Graphics card
August 31, 2012 2:14:20 PM

quadisgod said:
I just wanna thank everybody for helping me out.

I ended up messing as much as possible with the case, to give better airflow, while installing an intake 140mm Arctic Cooling fan. Noise level has not increased at 80% rpm (<3 PWM 4 pin).

I figured that since both my cards had customized coolers, something else might the issue. And in the end switing a GPU cooler is quite a hassle!

I have not been able to fix this sooner due to monitor being @ repair shop :) 

Not sure how to select "Best Answer", but I guess a mod has to finish the thread for that.


It is good to see this coming to an end. Congratulations and enjoy!
!