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  #11 (permalink)  
Old January 9, 2010, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by geokilla View Post
I think in your BIOS, you have your settings set to auto overclock. You never overclocked before?

As for your GPU temperatures, you are right that it's a heat problem... RACK UP THAT FAN SPEED! NOW! 106C will kill your GTX295! It shouldn't even idle at 80C! If raising the fan speed doesn't help, try reseating your heatsink.

Make sure you have good airflow in your PC. Is your PSU wires blocking the airflow? Maybe it's time to clean them up if they are. Also change your fans so that you have a front and side intake. Then keep the rest as exhaust. Or even put 2 fans as front intake then rest as exhaust.
Yep, definitely heat. I've never overclocked (never really saw much use in it; the rewards are relatively small for the risks involved and the reduction in lifespan) and I'm pretty certain I haven't set any OC profiles in my BIOS, but I'll double-check just to make sure.

As I mentioned it generally idles at about 70C which is still too high; I think this thing should be idling somewhere around 50-60. Airflow in my case is excellent; all of my wires are tucked away in the cord management area on the other side of the case and run through various inlets to route them to where they need to go without getting in the way. I should also mention, there is a 240MM fan on the side of the case, too, making 3 240MM fans overall (front and side intake, and top exhaust, to go with the 160MM rear exhaust and 80mm bottom intake. This case was made for cooling.)
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Old January 9, 2010, 09:17 PM
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download evga percision, and see what your fan speed is, and raise it.
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Old January 9, 2010, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Mindfield View Post
Yep, definitely heat. I've never overclocked (never really saw much use in it; the rewards are relatively small for the risks involved and the reduction in lifespan) and I'm pretty certain I haven't set any OC profiles in my BIOS, but I'll double-check just to make sure.

As I mentioned it generally idles at about 70C which is still too high; I think this thing should be idling somewhere around 50-60. Airflow in my case is excellent; all of my wires are tucked away in the cord management area on the other side of the case and run through various inlets to route them to where they need to go without getting in the way. I should also mention, there is a 240MM fan on the side of the case, too, making 3 240MM fans overall (front and side intake, and top exhaust, to go with the 160MM rear exhaust and 80mm bottom intake. This case was made for cooling.)
Overclocking is very useful, especially for your CPU. You can easily hit at least 3.8Ghz if you don't mind spending say an hour tweaking. Once you find a comfortable speed like 3.8Ghz, just run OCCT or any other stress testing program for say at least 5 hours and you're good to go. Of course, make sure your temperatures are fine as well. As for the reduction in life span, you're not going to run a Phenom II for over 10 years are you? And even if you are, well no one knows what the lifespan of a CPU is. I say go overclock.

Idling at 70C is too hot. As Phobia said, get EVGA Precision Tool and use it to monitor your GPU. Also use it to adjust the fan speed, core, memory, and shader speeds if you want. You can also use GPU-Z to get detailed info on your GTX295. It's just like CPU-Z.

Instead of having a bottom rear intake, change it into an exhaust. I believe a bottom rear exhaust is screwing up the airflow in there.
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Old January 9, 2010, 10:12 PM
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Actually I just downloaded nVidia System Tools (formerly nTune) which lets me do the same thing as eVGA Precision. Seems that it's running at stock speeds (the 801MHz I saw above was the speed my CPU was running at at the start of the app apparently; dynamic core clock speeds I guess.) I've ratcheted up the fan speed to 75% and it seems to be cooling a little bit better; after 45 minutes it's idling at 63-65C, which is still a bit too high. However, once I ran OCCT on it again, it hit 105C in just two and a half minutes, and that was enough. I could ratchet up the fan to 100% I suppose, but that's bloody noisy and it doesn't seem like it's going to make much difference anyway. :P
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Old January 9, 2010, 10:20 PM
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I think geokilla had a good point, the bottom lower fan should be exhaust, not intake. I don't think it'll make a huge impact, but it still might make some.
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Old January 10, 2010, 09:33 AM
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Disable cool n quiet in bios while your figuring it out, also go through bios and double check mem settings and voltages, just a thought for stability so your not fighting two problems. Have you physically cleaned out the card, blow it out with canned air? Last resort since there's no warranty try pulling the cooler off and re-apply TIM.
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Old January 10, 2010, 10:28 AM
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I was thinking of tearing it apart and checking the internal cooling, but I'm afraid I might mess something up.

I should also point out, the card had this same problem on my previous motherboard so I'm pretty certain it isn't BIOS settings.

Interestingly, at 75% fan speed, and having idled all night and the morning today, it's idling at about 55C, which is around where I think it should be idling. However I don't even have to test it to know it's going to shoot up to 100+C if I stress it.

Out of curiosity, short of waterblocking, are there enhanced cooling methods for these cards? I've tried searching but couldn't come up with anything.

Also, in terms of new cards, I've been eyeing the Radeon HD5870. Any opinions on who makes the best one and who I should steer clear of?
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Old January 10, 2010, 10:47 AM
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Another thought , could the previous owner have done a volt mode bios flash on the card? If the card is borked in some way I wouldn't through mor $$ at it. If I was to buy a 5870 guess XFX for warranty would be a good pick.
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Old January 10, 2010, 10:53 AM
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I've seen this issue many times.....take the card apart and blow out the heatsink with a can of compressed air, put it back together and use some high quality TIM and it should solve this issue.


IF that doesn't work (it should) then I would RMA the card again and hope they fix the issue in their labs.
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Old January 10, 2010, 11:02 AM
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Unfortunately I can't RMA it, since I'm neither the original owner (bought it used) and I don't have the receipt. I may just open 'er up and blow it out though. With the fan at 75% it seems to be idling at more or less a proper temp which suggests that, at idle, it's able to dissipate heat sufficiently to maintain a normal idle temp. But when it gets hot, something in there is not allowing heat to dissipate fast enough, so it builds up quickly. Either it's dust, or there's an air bubble or missing patches of TIM on the heat sink(s) that's trapping heat.

You're right that I don't want to throw more money at this, quite frankly. I do have some spare TIM in my toolbox so maybe I'll give it a go. I think I'm still going to go out today and get a new card though. My nearest store has three brands available -- none are XFX unfortunately, but they do have PowerColor, HIS and Sapphire, none of which I'd consider stop brands. But they all look like straight up reference designs so how bad can they be? The PowerColor also comes with a 2-year warranty, which might be something to consider (even if the entire front of the box is splashed with the promo for the Dirt 2, and when a company displays the pack-in game more than the card I start to wonder...)
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