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BFG 7800GT struggling with temps

By JohnK93
Jul 28, 2006
  1. Hi,
    Perhaps this should be in the cooling and modding forum...I wasn't sure. I recently purchased a 20.1" widescreen 1680x1050 monitor and had to rma my evga 7800gt for a bfg 7800gt. Since then, I've had major trouble with artifacting while gaming, specifically with Splinter Cell Chaos theory at low in-game settings, and occasionally (but not as often) with HL2 at max settings. The problem also occurs using rthdribl for a few minutes. When the GPU temp reaches 69-70C, major artifacting occurs and I have to close the game. It also seems that upon first starting the game, it'll artifact at 62-65C, but withstand the heat a bit longer as it breaks in. I'm guessing this is an effect of the thermal pad heating up.

    Tech support at BFG indicated that the GPU should work up to 90C without problems. Can anyone offer their experience with GPU temp artifacts...is 70C all I can expect from this BFG card, or should it be able to take more heat? BFG also indicated that changing the fan and thermal compound will void the warranty, so I'm leary about doing this. Finally, they suggested updating my BIOS and chpset drivers...could this actaully improve the temp performance of the graphics card? (nvidia graphics driver is clean and up-to-date)

    Thanks a lot for any feedback.

    John

    BTW, it's been hot here lately in CT,about 85F in my apt, so that is probably contributing...but not as hot as you folks on the west coast!:)
     
  2. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    You could try removing the side panel and pointing a fan into the case. If you are having heat problems with your GPU this may help. Another possibility is that your power supply may not be up to snuff. What kind of PSU are you using, what is the wattage, and how many amps on the 12v line (all this can be found on the psu sticker)?
     
  3. JohnK93

    JohnK93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    The side panel is already removed, I usually keep it off. Is it possible to get a cooler case by keeping the panel on and improving air flow than having the case open? There isn't a lot of air flow around the computer, but pointing a fan at it didn't seem to make a lot of difference in the idle temp (48-50C). My PSU is an Antec TP-II 550. The specs show 19A on the 12V rails, I never measured myself.

    Thanks,
    John
     
  4. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    Hmm... very interesting. I looked at your power supply and you have 2 12v lines at 19a each, so you have enough power. It could be failing, but its a pretty good psu so I doubt that.

    If your case has good air flow it would be similar to having the side off with a fan on it, but an open case with a fan is still better. More overall air flow over a larger area. Do you have another rig you can test your vid card in? Or a different card you can try?
     
  5. JohnK93

    JohnK93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    Nope, this is my one and only. The fan is running at 100%, according to RivaTuner, so it seems to be cooling the best it can. Could it be poor heat transfer between the GPU and the fan?
     
  6. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    It could be. It wouldn't hurt to take the fan/heatsink off, clean it up and apply a new layer of thermal grease.
     
  7. JohnK93

    JohnK93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    That's a good idea. I don't want to void the warranty...I've had to send back to evga cards (not to mention the LCD monitor) already due to various problems, so my luck isn't too good so far. I don't want to do anything that would cause them to say "you've modified the product, we're not taking it back" but maybe I could get away with just re-applying some thermal paste.

    Thanks,
    John
     
  8. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Is it possible you have another PCI card near your 7800 slot that's sort of blocking good air flow around the graphics card?

    Also BFG tends to sell OCd cards, what are your default clock and memory freq? I think normal is 500/1000. Overclocked cards always run hotter, BUT BFG is SUPPOSE to supply the appropriate cooling solution to avoid overheating issues you are experiencing.(i.e. the HSF is of such design to maintain reasonable temp).

    You might try back off the above freq to see if this reduces the heat enough to avoid the artifacts. Try the memory clock first, this is most likely the culprit. Sometimes HSF doesn't make good contact with the memory.

    Cheers.
     
  9. JohnK93

    JohnK93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    Unfortunatly, I only have the 1 BFG card in the PCI-e slot, no PCI cards. Also, my card arrived clocked at 425/1050. I tried it at 420/1050 but didn't see a difference, but I'd hate to have to underclock my new card. Seems counter-productive. Do you think it's time to give up on this one and RMA it? Or do you have any other suggestions?

    Thanks for the help,
    John
     
  10. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Well clocking it down to those values won't help the overheating. Try something like 400/1000...just to see if this helps. You're right, makes no sense to have to do this for a new card. This is just for trouble-shooting.

    Only other suggest is, make sure you divide the two 12V outputs evenly. Is there any indication on the leads from the PSU to determine output 1 and output2 for the 12V? My point is you want to make sure the 12V line going to the graphics card is mostly on it's own, no other loads if possible. That card eats current for breakfast.

    If that doesn't help, then yeah, maybe best to RMA.

    Cheers.
     
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