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Potentially faulty graphics card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 24, 2012 4:11:30 PM

Hi,

Last night I noticed that an intermittent 'blowing' sound was coming from within my computer. I inspected it properly today and found that the noise was being produced the fans on the GPU cooler. The graphics card I am using is the ASUS HD 7850 DirectCUii V2, which uses two fans.

I was wondering if someone could shed some light as to whether the following is normal, a BIOS/software issue, or whether I need to contact ASUS regarding an RMA.

Firstly, whatever is going on, it seems related to the Display Sleep function in Windows, and whatever controls the fans on the GPU cooler.

The issue is basically that intermittently, both fans will exhibit a 'surge' in speed, while the display is asleep. What's more, is that if the computer is completely idle when the display goes to sleep (no downloads, no nothing. just your usual windows background processes) the fans turn off all together, but still spin up intermittently. If, however, the computer is occupied with something, the fans don't stop spinning completely, they seem to remain at idle speeds, but when they 'surge', they spin faster, a thus are fairly audible. It is almost like both fans are receiving a 100% fan speed signal, but only for 0.5 seconds or less. They then return to idle speed/off.

I recorded a short video of when the display has gone to sleep from a completely idle state:

http://www.sendspace.com/file/2c5aic

As you can see, the fans are still for a good 40 seconds, they spin up at about 50 seconds, and again at about 1 minute 10 seconds. This will continue until I move the mouse or press a key to wake up the display. They then spin up immediately and remain consistently at their idle speed.

The camera I used has a pretty terrible mic, so I used a *slightly* better one to capture just the sound of the fans 'surging' from idle speeds. At the time, I was formatting a large, but very slow, USB thumb drive. As mentioned, this is the same as when downloading from Steam. The fans will not stop completely like in the video, but will still spin up every now and again.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/dmerlg

The 'surge' happens just after the 4 second mark.

There seems to be no timing regularity to the surging or stopping / starting.



Apart from this everything seems to be functionally ok. I've been playing a lot of Battlefield 3. Furmark runs without any problems.

Should the fans even be stopping completely? I'm not sure I've ever heard of this happening. And seeing as though they are inaudible, even under load, I don't see why completely stopping them would be necessary?

Many thanks for taking the time to read / download.

Toby
a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2012 4:27:35 PM

In short, your GPU is probably fine.

The fan's are controlled by a fan speed controller, otherwise, they would be at 100% all the time. When the GPU reaches certain temps, the fans spin faster. How faster and at what temp is controlled by the application controlling the fan speed controller. My EVGA cards have an application from EVGA in which i can controll the fan speed "curve". Basically, its a chart with temps on the x-axis and fan speed on the y-axis. As GPU temperatures climb, you can set what speed you want your fans to spin. Some people have straight lines to make it completely proportional. I like a slow curve with lots of points to make it stay as quiet as possible, till it needs to go faster. You're is probably a straight line till a certain temp, at which it turns to a straight vertical line up to a much higher fan speed. See if you can find these settings in your card's manufacturer's programs.
October 24, 2012 4:44:54 PM

ittimjones said:
In short, your GPU is probably fine.

The fan's are controlled by a fan speed controller, otherwise, they would be at 100% all the time. When the GPU reaches certain temps, the fans spin faster. How faster and at what temp is controlled by the application controlling the fan speed controller. My EVGA cards have an application from EVGA in which i can controll the fan speed "curve". Basically, its a chart with temps on the x-axis and fan speed on the y-axis. As GPU temperatures climb, you can set what speed you want your fans to spin. Some people have straight lines to make it completely proportional. I like a slow curve with lots of points to make it stay as quiet as possible, till it needs to go faster. You're is probably a straight line till a certain temp, at which it turns to a straight vertical line up to a much higher fan speed. See if you can find these settings in your card's manufacturer's programs.



Hmmm. I understand that. But the way that the fans spin so irregularly makes me question whether or not the behaviour is intended.

The other thing I should note, is that the other day, I had a one off problem where my display was stuck in sleep mode. I could not wake it by moving the mouse or pressing keys. I ended up having to hard restart. Another strange occurrence related to display sleep? Or merely coincidence?

It is also the way that the fans do not stop completely if the computer is busy with something (downloading from Steam or formatting a USB stick for example), and when they surge in this situation, it is very audible and actually quite annoying.
!