My gtx460 is idling (just a browser open eg.) at around 45C. (measured by GPUz) When I start World of Warcraft (the only game I really use it for) it jumps up to 65C pretty fast. Once I fully log in and run around a busy area for a bit it goes up to around 85-90C and during heavy gameplay it has been overheating and crashing with the logs showing it hitting 103C. Ambient temperature is maybe a bit over 75F.
I had this same problem when I briefly tried to play Diablo III but up until the most recent WoW patch I had only seen it occur once in WoW. I have tried putting a huge fan in front of it with an open cover but this doesn't seem to have much effect (1-2C maybe).
The driver is up to date (188.8.131.52 ForceWare 301.42 is what it lists) and the machine is Win7x64. I am using the x64 WoW client and have tried using the generic settings slider at the recommended (high) and lowest settings, both of which cause crashes during high usage. My understanding is that this card should be more than capable of running an older game like WoW so something must be wrong.
two things to try.use msi afterburner and change the fan profile to max the fan out sooner. also check that the gpu fan when you set it to max spins up where you can here it. at full speed a gpu fan should sound liek an airplane taking off. on the game side try tuning down aa/aafx settings. also tweek some of the games video settings. with any video card it a trade off beween eyecandy or fps. myself i turn down the eye candy for higher fps and a cooler running gpu. (with some of the aa and aafx setting look at the video card control pannel to see what there set for too. sometime they over rule the game settings.last thing to check is dust filled system.
Just to make a point, Diablo 3 really sucks - I mean, as soon as I load the pregame loader my fans ramp up to keep up with the temps (I use afterburner and modified the fan curves for both cards), meaning it's sucking the life out of the cards without even getting into the game! Yeah I have high settings and all, but it's a major difference from playing Skyrim or CIV5. I don't have any issues playing those and temps never reach 80C after modifying the fan curves, but with Diablo 3 I reach 90C on my sandwiched card.
I don't really have any other games with which to test (WoW is the only game I play and I only have Diablo3 because they gave it away for free). I believe the GPU brand is EVGA.
I just tried redoing the thermal compound with arctic silver and that doesn't seem to have helped at all (and cleaning out all the old compound was not fun). I also was pretty thorough about cleaning out the dust - I don't have compressed air but I took pretty much everything apart to get to the dust. I will try using the software to change the fan speed but judging by gpuz it seems to be going up to a pretty high speed as the temperature increases (about 2800 RPM which it says is 70%).
What would i need to do to not even be stressed in a game like Diablo3 (which seems to be comparable to the most recent WoW patch). I had thought the card I had was more than sufficient but I am not averse to throwing hardware at the problem as long as it doesn't involve a lot of extra effort on my part. I just don't want to buy another card that has the same issue.
I just tried msi burner and moved the fan to 95% - the change in noise was noticeable so it was definitely working. I still got to 93C just while moving around a crowded city and I'm sure a large-scale raid would be worse.
I'm not really sure how to evaluate the case airflow. Taking the side panel off and pointing a gigantic fan (the diameter of the fan is roughly the same as the height of my case) directly into it isn't helping though. My CPU is running at 43-47C which I believe is reasonable so it would seem adequate for that at least.
I've tried turning everything down. It does help some but the game becomes almost unplayable. If a gtx460 isn't sufficient for WoW then I guess I just need to buy something better - it seems strange though that a 2 year old card would be inadequate.
maybe you can google more about case air flow. toms also done an article about case air flow in the past. i'd like to post links but i'm texting from my phone and lol. but if the situation doesn't change much after replacing thermal paste and sorting out the case air flow then maybe your card might nearing it's end. if you don't have the money to replace the card now then maybe you should start saving from now on