Need extra cooling for my passive 7950GT (99°C)

They make noise, too.

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TomMe
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Need extra cooling for my passive 7950GT (99°C)

Post by TomMe » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:45 pm

About 6 weeks ago I bought a passive MSI GF 7900GS and was happy with its temperature, it was comparable with that of my previous passive GF 7600GT which went up to 85°C @ load during a hot summer day. Unfortunately, the 7900GS was DOA (artifacts), just like the 7600GT I had owned before it. After more than a month of waiting (with the GF7 cards being discontinued and such), I was able to get a replacement card: a 7950GT. So far, this card rocks, but there is one problem: temperature.

Running 3DMark pushes it up to 99°C! :shock: So far I've removed my dust filters (for better airflow) and placed a PCI-slot vent that came with my motherboard. I thought temperatures had dropped significantly, but after playing the new Medal of Honor Airborne demo, I found out that I had reached 96°C at some point during the game.

Now I'm trying to figure out how I can improve this temperature. I have 2 outtake Nexus 80mm fans @ +/- 11V, a S12 500 and a Nexus 90mm fan @ 12V on my CPU. I was thinking about replacing the PCI-slot vent with something like the Antec VCool, but I'm afraid the VCool would be way too noisy (according to reviews). The 2 Nexus 80mm fans are the noisiest parts of my computer and I would like to keep it that way.

Do you guys know of any alternatives to the VCool or have any suggestions on how I could further improve my GPU's temperature? Here's what my graphics card looks like: link (looks exactly like the 7900GS).

Thanks!
[size=75][color=#1f2676]AM2 4000+ with XP-90 and Nexus 92mm | MSI K9N SLI Platinum | Corsair 2x1GB DDR2 PC6400 | MSI GF 7900GS Passive + Nexus 92mm | SBLive! Value | suspended WD 2500KS | Seasonic S12-500 | BenQ1620 | Plextor PX-W4012TA | Lite-On LH-20A1S | 2 Nexus case fans[/color][/size]

Longbow
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Post by Longbow » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:58 pm

i have a XFX 7950GT passive, temperature never went above 70'C under load, 3dmark or gaming. usually idle at 50 ish, peak at 65~67.

i have a nexus 120mm on the back, and stock ninja which is blowing towards the back vent. 2 pci slots open under the card.

what case are you using? i'm thinking better designed airflow in the case, and maybe better cable management would help.
[size=75]Pentium E2140 @ 2.8GHz, Scythe Ninja B + Thermalright bolt-thru kit, Gigabyte P965-S3 3.3, Corsair XMS2 6400 1GB*2, WD 3200AAKS, MSI NX8800GT OC
Pioneer 109BXL Quiet, Creative Audigy 2 ZS, Antec 3700BQE w/ AcoustiPack Deluxe v2, Antec Phantom 500[/size]

WR304
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Post by WR304 » Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:27 am

Have you tried reseating the stock cooler?

It may not have a very good contact with the GPU core and re-applying the thermal paste could help. :)

ddrueding1
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Post by ddrueding1 » Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:12 am

I've had a passive 7950GT since they came out. In my previous case (Lian-Li V2100 or something), temps regularly broke 100C during gaming without ill effect for around a year. I just recently changed my case for other reasons; I don't know what the temp is these days, I don't worry about it anymore.
[size=75]A64 6000+, GF 7950GT, 4GB DDR2-1000, Gigabyte GA-M57SLI-S4, Auzentech X-Plosion 7.1, 3Ware 9650SE-16ML, 2x 74GB Raptors, 6x 750GB 7200.10s, Antec Nine Hundred, Samsung SATA DVD-RW, Seasonic M12 700W, Logitech G15, Razor Copperhead, Vista Ultimate[/size]

TomMe
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Post by TomMe » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:36 am

Longbow wrote:i have a XFX 7950GT passive, temperature never went above 70'C under load, 3dmark or gaming. usually idle at 50 ish, peak at 65~67.
That's a very nice load temp. Idle temp isn't much of an issue for me, usually at 51-54°C.
what case are you using? i'm thinking better designed airflow in the case, and maybe better cable management would help.
They say a picture says more than a thousand words. Here are some pictures of the inside of my computer.
WR304 wrote:Have you tried reseating the stock cooler?

It may not have a very good contact with the GPU core and re-applying the thermal paste could help. :)
I haven't reseated the cooler, but I've noticed it has plastic supporters on each end which might block the airflow (see pictures above). If that's true, then this heatsink is poorly designed. I'm a bit scared of ESD, so I don't dare touch the card other than on the sides.
ddrueding1 wrote:I've had a passive 7950GT since they came out. In my previous case (Lian-Li V2100 or something), temps regularly broke 100C during gaming without ill effect for around a year. I just recently changed my case for other reasons; I don't know what the temp is these days, I don't worry about it anymore.
I'm concerned with longevity though. It's strange, paying more for a passive cooling system that shortens the card's life. Silence really seems to be golden. Since the above passive XFX 7950GT has decent temps, perhaps this means that there's still something that can be done in my case. Or perhaps the XFX has a better cooling system.

edit: I just noticed those 2 holes in the graphics card's heatsink, they resemble the holes on my XP90 which are meant to hold the fan in place. Perhaps they serve the same function here, that would be great! But then I'd have to put the card in my PCI-e x8 slot below. Do you guys think this will have an impact on performance, 7950GT @ PCI-e x8 vs x16?
[size=75][color=#1f2676]AM2 4000+ with XP-90 and Nexus 92mm | MSI K9N SLI Platinum | Corsair 2x1GB DDR2 PC6400 | MSI GF 7900GS Passive + Nexus 92mm | SBLive! Value | suspended WD 2500KS | Seasonic S12-500 | BenQ1620 | Plextor PX-W4012TA | Lite-On LH-20A1S | 2 Nexus case fans[/color][/size]

tehfire
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Post by tehfire » Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:33 am

7950GT @ x8 shouldn't be so bad. Many SLI setups are in this mode and don't have any ill-effects. This really seems to be a poor tradeoff, though. Wish you could keep it at x16...

TomMe
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Post by TomMe » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:15 am

Yeah, I wouldn't want any performance hits. Maybe I should get my hands dirty and get a Thermalright HR-03. I could position it upside down and pull cool air from the bottom up with a Nexus 92mm fan, like the last picture on this page. Cool and quiet, garanteed. The only thing is, I'm afraid of damaging the card. :) What do you guys think?
[size=75][color=#1f2676]AM2 4000+ with XP-90 and Nexus 92mm | MSI K9N SLI Platinum | Corsair 2x1GB DDR2 PC6400 | MSI GF 7900GS Passive + Nexus 92mm | SBLive! Value | suspended WD 2500KS | Seasonic S12-500 | BenQ1620 | Plextor PX-W4012TA | Lite-On LH-20A1S | 2 Nexus case fans[/color][/size]

WR304
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Post by WR304 » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:51 pm

So long as you ground yourself to get rid of static build up before touching the card (touching a grounded metal water pipe for example) you should be ok.

The bits to avoid touching are the gold PCI Express connector and the components if possible.

You can safely hold it by just touching the edges of the PCB. :)

I'd try removing all the PCI blanking plates beneath the card. That should help get rid of any hot spots where air is being trapped beneath the card. :)

I wouldn't really recommend using the single card in the lower slot of the motherboard when the PCI Express slot is slower than 16x.

The results where I tried it with my 8800GTS 640mb are here: :)

viewtopic.php?t=40686&start=120

The difference with my card was quite significant. :(

TomMe
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Post by TomMe » Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:44 pm

WR304 wrote:So long as you ground yourself to get rid of static build up before touching the card (touching a grounded metal water pipe for example) you should be ok.
I don't think that's correct. If the metal water pipe is at a potential that differs 20.000V from the component, you can still easily fry it. I use a wrist strap, grounding mat and grounding cable.
The bits to avoid touching are the gold PCI Express connector and the components if possible.
That's what I'm afraid of, avoiding the GPU is a bit difficult if you're replacing its heatsink (which is of metal and directly connected to the GPU if I'm not mistaken).
I'd try removing all the PCI blanking plates beneath the card. That should help get rid of any hot spots where air is being trapped beneath the card. :)
I don't know if that's really safe with electrostatic and electromagnetic fields and such. I prefer to keep the small plates on. Besides, the heat is transfered to the large heatsink that's on top of the GPU. I think the lower part of my case is quite cool.
The results where I tried it with my 8800GTS 640mb are here: :)

viewtopic.php?t=40686&start=120

The difference with my card was quite significant. :(
Thanks for the link. I found an article on Tom's Hardware that describes the same test and same results. But the 8800GTS is more powerful than the 7950GT, so I'm not sure if the result would be the same. I'd try it out, but my CPU is a bottleneck and I'm not quite sure how to calculate that in.
[size=75][color=#1f2676]AM2 4000+ with XP-90 and Nexus 92mm | MSI K9N SLI Platinum | Corsair 2x1GB DDR2 PC6400 | MSI GF 7900GS Passive + Nexus 92mm | SBLive! Value | suspended WD 2500KS | Seasonic S12-500 | BenQ1620 | Plextor PX-W4012TA | Lite-On LH-20A1S | 2 Nexus case fans[/color][/size]

WR304
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Post by WR304 » Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:09 am

Actually breaking a non-faulty graphics card is surprisingly difficult.

The easiest way is epoxying ramsinks onto it and then trying to pull them off again later. :(

Removing the PCI blanking plates under the card has the advantage of helping cool the other components on the bottom of the card. :)

With low airflow the VRMs in particular can get very hot. :(

On a Nvidia 7900GTX (with Thermalright HR-03 fitted) they get so hot you can hardly touch them.

Image
MSI 7950GT Silent

TomMe
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Post by TomMe » Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:25 am

WR304 wrote:Removing the PCI blanking plates under the card has the advantage of helping cool the other components on the bottom of the card. :)
Well, as you can see on my pictures above, I have an intake vent in one slot. That's as far as I dare to go. :D Looking at that picture you posted, it seems the heatsink can be taken off quite easily, I wonder if I could invert the heatsink so it is upside down, just like with the HR-03. Must ask MSI about that. Otherwise the best solution would be to get an HR-03 I think. Upside down it would probably cool the other components on the card as well (and perhaps even my chipset), and as you can see I have room to spare anyway. :)
[size=75][color=#1f2676]AM2 4000+ with XP-90 and Nexus 92mm | MSI K9N SLI Platinum | Corsair 2x1GB DDR2 PC6400 | MSI GF 7900GS Passive + Nexus 92mm | SBLive! Value | suspended WD 2500KS | Seasonic S12-500 | BenQ1620 | Plextor PX-W4012TA | Lite-On LH-20A1S | 2 Nexus case fans[/color][/size]

WR304
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Post by WR304 » Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:46 am

If you look at the PCI plates that come with a Antec P182 case for example they have ventilation slots cut in them as standard.

The only real downside of taking the PCI plates out is that they can let more dust into the PC. :(

http://www.antec.com/uk/productDetails.php?ProdID=09183#

Image
Antec P182 PCI Blanking Plates

A Thermalright HR-03 is only going to cool the bottom of the card if you have a fan fitted?

Without a fan it's almost exactly the same as your current cooler. It just has a few more heatpipes. :)

TomMe
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Post by TomMe » Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:03 am

WR304 wrote:A Thermalright HR-03 is only going to cool the bottom of the card if you have a fan fitted?
There aren't any components on the top, so what would be the point of cooling that side? I think as it is now, my heatsink is dumping heat on the top instead of cooling it. In any case, my CPU fan and top front intake will blow some air over the top of the card and the exhaust fans will remove it.
Without a fan it's almost exactly the same as your current cooler. It just has a few more heatpipes. :)
Well, the fan is just the point. I have a spare Nexus 92mm lying around that I could put to good use. :D You're right, otherwise it would be a bit pointless.
[size=75][color=#1f2676]AM2 4000+ with XP-90 and Nexus 92mm | MSI K9N SLI Platinum | Corsair 2x1GB DDR2 PC6400 | MSI GF 7900GS Passive + Nexus 92mm | SBLive! Value | suspended WD 2500KS | Seasonic S12-500 | BenQ1620 | Plextor PX-W4012TA | Lite-On LH-20A1S | 2 Nexus case fans[/color][/size]

TomMe
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Post by TomMe » Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:56 am

Yesterday I've installed an HR-03 with Nexus 90mm fan on the card. GPU temperature dropped 50°C!! :shock: It went from 99°C to 52°C, is that crazy or what? I can't believe MSI put such a crappy passive cooler on this card. I've had nothing but bad experiences with MSI graphics cards this past year, next time I'm trying a different brand.

On the other hand, the installation of the HR-03 was a real b*tch and the manual was inaccurate. I do hope I didn't damage anything in the process. I used an ESD kit, but you never know. No problems so far, let's hope it stays that way. Cool and Quiet. :)
[size=75][color=#1f2676]AM2 4000+ with XP-90 and Nexus 92mm | MSI K9N SLI Platinum | Corsair 2x1GB DDR2 PC6400 | MSI GF 7900GS Passive + Nexus 92mm | SBLive! Value | suspended WD 2500KS | Seasonic S12-500 | BenQ1620 | Plextor PX-W4012TA | Lite-On LH-20A1S | 2 Nexus case fans[/color][/size]

ddrueding1
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Post by ddrueding1 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:28 am

Of course, the problem now is that you are cooling the component with the temp sensor better, and everything else worse. If other parts of the card were in direct contact with the stock HSF and are not anymore, you have reason to be concerned.

I typically just reach into my case after some time gaming and feel around for hot spots (while trying to avoid spinning fan blades); but you seem like the overly-cautious type...;)
[size=75]A64 6000+, GF 7950GT, 4GB DDR2-1000, Gigabyte GA-M57SLI-S4, Auzentech X-Plosion 7.1, 3Ware 9650SE-16ML, 2x 74GB Raptors, 6x 750GB 7200.10s, Antec Nine Hundred, Samsung SATA DVD-RW, Seasonic M12 700W, Logitech G15, Razor Copperhead, Vista Ultimate[/size]

Wibla
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Post by Wibla » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:55 am

I hope you fitted the ramsinks, or that baby is gonna burn under load.

TomMe
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Post by TomMe » Thu Oct 04, 2007 2:19 am

Double post, ignore.
Last edited by TomMe on Thu Oct 04, 2007 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
[size=75][color=#1f2676]AM2 4000+ with XP-90 and Nexus 92mm | MSI K9N SLI Platinum | Corsair 2x1GB DDR2 PC6400 | MSI GF 7900GS Passive + Nexus 92mm | SBLive! Value | suspended WD 2500KS | Seasonic S12-500 | BenQ1620 | Plextor PX-W4012TA | Lite-On LH-20A1S | 2 Nexus case fans[/color][/size]

TomMe
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Post by TomMe » Thu Oct 04, 2007 2:21 am

ddrueding1 wrote:Of course, the problem now is that you are cooling the component with the temp sensor better, and everything else worse. If other parts of the card were in direct contact with the stock HSF and are not anymore, you have reason to be concerned.
Then I have no reason to be concerned as that is not the case. The standard cooler that MSI provided only cools the GPU, as you can see in the link I posted. No, I didn't use the ramsinks. And I'm glad I didn't, as I removed the HR-03 and am now looking for a more universal solution.
[size=75][color=#1f2676]AM2 4000+ with XP-90 and Nexus 92mm | MSI K9N SLI Platinum | Corsair 2x1GB DDR2 PC6400 | MSI GF 7900GS Passive + Nexus 92mm | SBLive! Value | suspended WD 2500KS | Seasonic S12-500 | BenQ1620 | Plextor PX-W4012TA | Lite-On LH-20A1S | 2 Nexus case fans[/color][/size]

Wibla
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Post by Wibla » Thu Oct 04, 2007 2:57 am

Heh.. I think the HR-03 is excellent.. mine idles at 51C right now with case fans at ~800rpm... gotta remember that GPU's are made to operate in much higher temperatures than CPU's.

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