Graphics card keeps downclocking itself. Fan won't stay at 100%


My graphics card (an AMD Radeon 5830) won't stay at it's normal clockspeed of 800mhz.

I first noticed this when my fps in games started fluctuating during play. I decided to keep an eye on my graphics card through the Catalyst Control Centre and this is when I saw that after playing for a while, my card would be running at 600mhz instead of 800.

Thinking that this was the card reacting to overheating, I used CCC to force the fan to 100% and see if it would fix the downclocking. What I found was that eventually the fan would slow down to about 40-50% speed and while the graphics card downclocked itself again.

I've tried using different over-clocking tools such as EVGA and MSI Afterburner but it still has the same problem. I'm pretty sure drivers won't sort the problem either as I've had this card for 2 years and none of the drivers have solved the problem.

Does anyone have any idea what could be causing my card to not stay at the forced clock speed and fan speed?

Thanks for any help.

In case it helps, I'm on Windows 7 64-bit and these are my specs:

Motherboard - ASUS M4A77
Processor - AMD Phenom II X4 B35 2.91GHz
750W PSU
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More about graphics card downclocking itself stay
  1. This is normal, the graphics card is not running at max load as it does not need to, the game you are playing or whatever does not need the full power, it does this to save power.

    If you are still concerned try running heaven on ultra settings and see if it fluctuates then.
  2. it depends on the situation. when in 3d mode the clock should running at full speed at all times. afaik the clock will only down to 2d mode (or semi idle clock) when the game playing pre-rendered scene or or showing loading screen when the game load the level. another cause would be the game itself. for very old games that is very light on gpu (such as warcraft 3 dota) the card might operate at semi idle clock as well. but if the gpu downclock itself durig heavy load then something mustcbe wrong. i haven't use radeon for a very long time so i don't really know how catalyst control center these days. but with nvidia cards there are option to force the clock running at full speeds at all times regardless what the game do. if there was such option in CCC try to enable it. btw have you done any OCing to the card?
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