Sapphire 7950 OC Activity and Temp Issues

Okay so I have a Sapphire 7950 3gb OC. Temps have been hovering around 68-70 degrees Celsius. What bothers me the most is not just the temp but the activity. It's frigging stuck at 85-87%. It does not matter if I'm playing Far Cry 3 or doing jack, its always at 85%-87%.

I have several questions:

Why in the world is activity stuck at 86%? It's like my card won't go idle.

What's the safe operating temp range for my card? I read somewhere that the real dangerous temps is around 90 above. While I'm not worried that its going to immediately crash or anything I am worried that it will affect my card's lifespan. What temperature levels will have a negligible effect on my card's lifespan?

Is there any tool I can use to detect if there's any issues with my card?
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More about sapphire 7950 activity temp issues
  1. 85 is the highest you'll want to go, to be on the safe side of things. 90 - and it starts to get dangerous.
    How are you measuring the activity usage? MSI Afterburner? - You could attempt to use MSI Kombustor's 'furry test thing' to check the usage, temps, etc and see if any tearing, etc appears
    AFAIK, there's no reliable GPU diagnostic tools out there
  2. Ohh ok. Last question, is a marked rise in temperature normal? This is my first major investment in a computer. I bought my GPU when it first came out. My question is could the new drivers be the reason behind the sudden increase in temps?
  3. BTW I went to this website after checking around the forums. http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/overview.htm

    I clicked on the MSI monitor thing which says my card is at 42 degrees although my other stuff says it at 69 degrees.
  4. Nevermind I downloaded the MSI afterburner and it still says the same thing about performance and temps
    could there be something running in the background causing all this?
  5. Possibly. AFAIK the only graphics intensive program that runs in the background is FAH when you're using your GPU to fold.
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