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Aftermarket GPU Cooler


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#1
reconman

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My 8800GT is artifacting like crazy around the 60c mark. I've never had any problems with it before but for the past few months, it's been giving me trouble at temps it should easily be able to handle.

I blew all of the dust out of it a few months ago and that helped, but the problem still persists.

Basically I'm thinking that both the fan and the thermal past have gone to crap. What are some recommendations for a good cooler for an EVGA 8800gt?

Thanks for any input!
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#2
Digerati

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I blew all of the dust out of it a few months ago

Months ago? Note that everyone should be inspecting the interiors of their computer cases monthly for heat trapping dust build up, and cleaning as necessary - which could be monthly as well - depending on the operating environment, foot traffic, and the number of dander shedding mammals living in the house.

Thermal paste does not go bad and never needs to be replaced UNLESS the cured bond between the processor and the heatsink has been broken due to heatsink movement or removal. So if the cured thermal paste bond has been disturbed, then you do need to remove the old, clean the surfaces thoroughly and apply a new and proper layer of TIM.

And if the fan is gone, that should be obvious by either slow, or no movement. But as you noted, 60°C for a graphics card should not be a problem and indicates to me there is decent cooling going on. Are your CPU and system temps good?

Before spending and possibly wasting money on a new cooler, I recommend removing the side panel and blasting a desk fan in there then see if the artifacts still appear. If they do, then you likely have a driver or failing card issue. This assumes your PSU is still pumping out good, clean, stable and enough horsepower.

Oh, and if you are overclocking, don't! At least not until this is resolved.
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#3
reconman

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Thanks for the reply, Digerati.

I usually clean out all of the dust from my case once a month or so, sometimes more often. That being said, I never took the GPU out and took the casing off to suck up any dust before I started having these problems. That was back in April, I made a thread then as well:

http://www.geekstogo...em-t273657.html

It definitely helped lower the temps but the problem never went away.

I've never taken the stock fan off so we can rule out the thermal paste being "bad".

I'm using EVGA Precision to have the fan at 100% at all times. It's definitely working as it's as load as a jet engine when going full speed.

My PSU (CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W) is a little over a year old and it is actually a replacement of the same PSU I had that went bad on me. This one could be causing the trouble but I don't find it very probably of getting two crummy PSU.

All of my temps and voltages for my CPU, RAM, etc are good and haven't changed since the GPU problem occurred.

I'll see what happens when I try the desk fan option.
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#4
Digerati

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I agree with your statement about the Corsair PSUs - the are certainly a well respected maker - it would be unlikely to have two in a row go bad early - unless they are not big enough, or your facility power is really bad.

If the deskfan makes a difference, then I might start looking at improving case cooling.
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#5
reconman

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I've had the side of the case off with a desk fan at full blast facing the components for over an hour now, playing Crysis on very high with no problems yet. The temp seemed to plateau at 55c which is better than the 60c+ it was operating at.

I have an area in the front of my case for an additional fan but if I keep the desk fan running for a few more hours with no artifacting, do you think it would be a good idea to look into both an additional case fan along with an aftermarket cooler for the GPU?
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#6
Digerati

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I am not convinced the problem is with the current graphics cooling solution. And, if as indicated in that other thread this card is still under warranty, putting a new cooler on it will certainly void it.

What case cooling are you using now?
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#7
reconman

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Yes, I too am thinking it's not the cards cooling system as I've had this card get to 80c without any problems before now...

Currently I have one 120mm fan on the side and one 120mm fan on the back. There's room in the front of the case for an addition 120mm fan as well.

Thanks for your help!
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#8
Digerati

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I hope the side fan is blowing into the case.

Good luck.
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#9
reconman

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Just checked to see if the fan was blowing into the case and it was. I've never messed with it but at least we know for certain now.

Perhaps I should try older drivers? I keep all of the ones I download so there's a good amount of versions that are older than the latest 197.13.
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#10
Digerati

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I would stick with the latest drivers from the card maker. Since it appears your system works with a desk fan in there, I would look for solutions to heat. The goal for cooling is to get a good front-to-back flow through the case. So a fan in front drawing cool air in may help.

And as noted above, your PSU must be of adequate size and working fine too. You might check your voltages with your HW monitoring program, or in the BIOS to make sure they are correct - you only need to worry about the positive voltages: +12VDC, +5VDC, and +3.3VDC.
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#11
reconman

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The PSU has the power to run my hardware:

Gigabyte P35 DS3L rev.2
e8400 @ 3.6ghz
EVGA 8800GT 512mb @ stock
Two XMS2 Corsair 1024mb stick of RAM @ 800mhz
500GB HDD @ 7200rpm
Lite-On Disk Drive

According to OCCT, my voltage readings are as follows:

3.3v : 3.31
5v : 4.97
12v : 12.16

Those should be right where they're supposed to be, correct? I think I'll go ahead and purchase a 120mm fan for the front of the case. Even if it doesn't help the problem, my case should have better cooling all around.

Do you have any suggestions for good case fans?

EDIT: Do you think it might be a good idea to replace the side fan as well? When I checked to see which way it was blowing air, I could feel it blowing in on one area, but the rest of the fan didn't seem to be blowing in very much...

Edited by reconman, 16 June 2010 - 02:58 PM.

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#12
Digerati

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Your voltages are well within tolerances so that is good.

I don't think it would do any good to change the side panel fan - unless you think it is making too much noise. As far as fan brands, there are many. I generally look for ball or liquid bearings, and low noise levels. Sleeve bearings work, but may be noisier.

Edited by Digerati, 16 June 2010 - 04:53 PM.

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