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HIS Radeon 5970 high idle temps and gpu activity

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 4, 2012 1:57:52 PM

Hello, just noticed my GPU runs with extremely high GPU activity even on the desktop when I'm not doing anything. I get anywhere from 90-99% gpu usage from both gpus and 80-90 C temps. Is this a serious threat to longevity of the graphics board? I tried using a third party app to reduce the gpu and memory clock speed while I'm not gaming and was able to reduce temps to 40 C, but it still shows the gpu with high usage, and it seems to make the system more unstable if I do that. :pfff: 
I'm not sure if it has anything to do with Catalyst 12.10, I seem to recall that previously it used to switch the gpu / memory frequency to a low frequency automatically depending on whether gaming or not gaming.

December 4, 2012 2:09:33 PM

Have you experienced anything similar to what you are describing on previous catalyst drivers or has it started after you installed the new drivers? It is my experience that only higher end 6000 series and 7000 series GPU's preform well with the most recent drivers. That said the 5970 has been notorious for causing problems with artifacting/ tearing in combination with heat issues. Have you noticed any graphical issues. If you notice that the the heat issues were brought on AFTER the installing the newer driver, I recommend installing something more stable and better suited for an aging and temperamental card like the 5970. You could try rolling back a few updates to 12.7 but some claim that they receive the best performance with 12.1-12.4 with the 5970.

Hope some of this helps.
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December 4, 2012 2:19:28 PM

Hello,

Too many people were found to be having the same overheating problem as yours, after installing catalyst 12.10, including me.

I think you should better roll back to a previously installed display driver (start menu > search device manager > extend display driver > right click then properties > drivers tab > click on previous version): Windows will attempt to restore the previous display driver that you had before updating.

Hopefully that should fix your problem,
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December 4, 2012 11:47:51 PM

I see. Good to hear I'm not the only one. I will have to revert back then.

*UPDATE*
Hmm, switching back to older versions of catalyst didn't seem to help at all. MSI Afterburner still reports 90-99% gpu usage of both GPU's while not even running any 3D applications at all. What on earth could cause something like this? I find it totally bizarre.
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December 7, 2012 3:13:02 PM

Sounds like a driver problem. Have you tried wiping the drivers and reinstalling? If not, its the card.
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December 7, 2012 6:50:35 PM

spagalicious said:
Sounds like a driver problem. Have you tried wiping the drivers and reinstalling? If not, its the card.


Yeah, I did try wiping and reinstalling. I've had the card for almost 3 years, and this issue only popped up recently. It's bizarre, but I found that the temperature and GPU usage actually drops if I open windows task manager and leave it open, so it seems like it might be some kind of malware or something. Microsoft Securiity Essentials comes up clean for everything though... Interestingly enough the clock speed reduced from 725 to 400 when the temperature went down despite it being set at 725.

So yeah, I found out if I open windows task manager, gpu usage drops to 0% and clock speeds and memory speeds are significantly reduced only while task manager is open, as soon as I close task manager, clock speeds go back up, and gpu's are at 99% usage and temps get close to 80 c. It seems indicative of a software issue, but I've reinstalled drivers and virus scanned already...


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December 25, 2012 10:23:41 AM

Apply a fresh coat of thermal compound. My XFX 5970 BE started to show extremely high idle temps (64C) almost exactly after three years of usage this last October. I took the card apart myself (surprisingly easy that) and applied a new coat of TC (AS5). Couple of reboots later, idle temps dropped to 48C. Running smoothly ever since, touches 72-74C at full load now.
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December 26, 2012 12:23:06 AM

PC-PIA said:
Apply a fresh coat of thermal compound. My XFX 5970 BE started to show extremely high idle temps (64C) almost exactly after three years of usage this last October. I took the card apart myself (surprisingly easy that) and applied a new coat of TC (AS5). Couple of reboots later, idle temps dropped to 48C. Running smoothly ever since, touches 72-74C at full load now.


But it's not just higher temps, it's high gpu usage while not gaming. Isn't that an indication that something is amiss?
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December 26, 2012 9:15:18 AM

lordvr said:
But it's not just higher temps, it's high gpu usage while not gaming. Isn't that an indication that something is amiss?


I'm sorry, I missed addressing the part in the beginning where you mentioned GPU overload. Have you tried installing the card into one of the other PCI-E slots? You could do a complete CCC/drivers uninstall using 'ATIman Uninstaller' followed by a clean install of the same without CCC. Use GPU-Z to check load and temps.

Load and temp dropping upon launching the TM is indeed bizarre.
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December 27, 2012 9:55:20 AM

Yeah, I tried reinstalling the drivers to no avail, but never tried it without also installing CCC. Maybe I should give that one a shot.
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