Video Card Overheating

January 23, 2011 at 19:26:07
Specs: Windows Vista 64-bit, AMD Phenom 9100e x4 , 4-gigs Ram (Dual Channel)
I have a Radeon HD 4850 from VisionTek. I bout the computer and upgraded a few of the components so I could work, and occasionally play a game. When I bought the card I read reviews about how hot these cards were getting. Even with that being said, people said turning the fan speed up would solve the basic problem.

Right now the Card is sitting at about 80 C. If i play a game that puts pressure on my card then it immediately goes up to 100-120 C and then my computer display will go black or the computer will shut down.

I don't actually know if it's my video card I'm only speculating as it only happens when playing games like borderlands or dead space.

The question i have is, if it is my video card; What is the best way to get it cooled down?

See More: Video Card Overheating

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January 23, 2011 at 20:01:06
High end games tend to use the video adapter a lot more aggressively. It's normal for the card's video chipset to get hotter in that situation.

There is usually a setting for adjusting the fan's speed in the software for it - have you found it and increased the speed yet ? E.g. in the ATI Catalyst settings somewhere.

The more air space there is on both the sides of the video card, especially the fan side, the better .

If you have another card in a slot right next to it, especially on the fan side, move that other card to another slot farther way if you can.

However, don't use the last PCI slot of the PCI slots that's nearest the center of the mboard for any card other than a PCI video card, otherwise you're more likely to have problems with the card .

You could install an after market fan on the card that moves more air and cools it better - they're common at local places that have lots of computer parts.

If the case has no case fan install one - the best place is at the back of the case as high up as you can mount it, blowing outwards. If it has one, a larger one will work better. The larger the fan blade diameter, the more air it moves, the quieter it tends to be at full speed.

You could custom rig up a case fan on the bottom of the case so it's mounted close to the video card and blows towards the card's fan side.
If your case has the mounting place, you could mount a case fan on the side of the case so that it's pulling air out of the case away from close to the video card.

On some cases, where you mount a case fan has holes that are too small, or there are not enough of them, and that restricts the air flow of the fan - drilling the holes larger or drilling more holes improves that greatly, but of course that produces tiny bits of metal, so you're better off doing that when the mboard has been removed.

All fans for computers are blowing away from the side where you can see the entire fan blade, and towards the side where you see the non moving center part obscuring the moving blade.

"then my computer display will go black or the computer will shut down."

It's not likely an overheated video chipset alone would cause the motherboard to shut off, but if there is not enough airflow inside the case and the interior of the case is getting way too hot when the card gets too hot, the cpu may overheat too, which WILL cause the mboard to shut off

If your Phenom cpu came in a AMD boxed set with the cpu fan and heat sink included, in my experience usually that AMD supplied cpu fan heat sink combo cools the cpu very well under all conditions, especially if the heat sink has heat pipes on it.
Make sure the cpu fan and cpu heat sink, and the video card fan and heat sink, are not clogged with too much accumulated mung (lint. dust, etc.) . If the room the computer is in has carpet on the floor, if you have the case on or near the floor that mung (lint) will accumulate a lot faster, on the cpu fan and heat sink and on the video card fan and heat sink .
DO NOT use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the mung, unless you can rig it up to blow the mung away without touching anything on the mboard - they produce a tremendous amount of static electricity and touching anything attached to them to a mboard can easily discharge that. Use small artist's brushes, and/or canned air or gas meant for cleaning the interior of a computer. .

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January 23, 2011 at 21:58:33
I upped to fan speed to 50% when i first got it, but over the months i have had to up it to 90% and when it gets up past 105 C it automatically bumps the fan speed to 100% and the fan gets really loud and starts to have a screeching sound.

I have a case fan near the top just under the PSU. I have been toying with the idea of adding a case fan near the card, but I don't know if i can mount it there. It has some vent holes near the card, but i'm not sure if i get a fan if it will let me mount it there or not. It has circular holes in the side of the case, but I doubt it was meant for mounting a fan. The case is from a gateway and not a case meant for a custom computer.

The other problem I'm running into is with knowing whether i have the cables necessary to add a new fan (i've never added a new fan before). I've also been toying with the idea to build my own computer, and just buying a case in the mean time, and gutting my computer and put it in a new case so i can get better air flow.

Figured it might be a good idea to learn how to build a PC, so i get exactly what i want, and don't get holed up on these little issues anymore, and can just add in or remove what i would need to.

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January 24, 2011 at 11:19:08
Did you look inside the case to see whether you have too much "mung" on the cpu fan and/or video fan and their heat sinks ?

As a side note, I bought a HD 4850 card for a friend and chose a Sapphire model because the user reviews of the card said it had a better than average fan / cooling - he's never had overheating problems with it.

If there are local places that have lots of computer parts, check them out to see what they have for after market video card fans (or fan / heat sink combos) - that's probably your best bet.

You can probably buy generic cases locally that have no power supply that have more places to mount case fans for not all that much money. Just make sure the openings where the fans mount have a generous amount of holes. otherwise you'll need to drill more holes or make the holes larger before you mount the mboard in it. .

If you have spare 3 pin fan headers on the mboard, it doesn't matter whether they are for a case fan or a power supply fan (some power supplies that have two or more fans have the external wiring for that purpose), you can use any case fan that has three wires and the 3 pin hole female connector. You can check the rpm of those in the bios if you wish.
(If your power supply does have external wiring that can be connected to the mboard, that has two wires and is only for monitoring the fan's rpm - it does not need to be connected to the mboard - the fan works anyway.)
Or - you can get 2 wire fans that plug into a spare molex connector you normally use for a IDE hard or optical drive .

You can rig up where a case fan mounts on the bottom of the case simply by drilling, say, 1/4" holes, and fastening it to the case with something such as zip ties through the holes in the case and two of the mounting screw holes in the fan, or you could hot glue it to the case with a hot glue "gun".

Local smaller places that build custom computers and have lots of computer parts are likely to have lower prices for fans or for a generic case with no PS. A larger local place that has lots of computer parts is more likely to have more after market video card fans to choose from.
Local places usually also have web sites - if you don't know which ones do, take a look in the yellow pages - if they do, it's in the ad, or, search for computer part places in your area on the web.

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