Dealing with overheating GPU

By precursoris
Mar 9, 2010
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  1. Just recently my GPU started to heat up a lot. I discovered this after all my games crashed within 10 minutes of playing them. My computer is quite new, so I'm surprised, and I don't really see an obvious reason for this to have happened. I know that my fans are working, because I've used EVGA Precision to increase fan speed, and I definitely hear the increase in fan noise. However, this did not stop the crashing. So I'm beginning to think my graphics card is faulty, or pehaps there may be some other reason. Here's my specs:

    OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Quad CPU Q4800 @2.66GHz (4 CPUS) ~2.7GHz
    Memory: 8GB RAM
    DirectX: DirectX 11
    Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 220

    My GPU temperature at the moment is 72 C, and the rest of the temperatures seem normal(in the 30's to low 40's).

    I haven't opened up my computer case to see if indeed it is too dusty. I'm a bit suspicious about this beign the reason since my computer is relatively new. So I'm guessing my card is faulty, but you never now.

    What should I do?
  2. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,128

    is the pc a Dell, HP, Acer. if you built it your self try moving cables away from the GPU and try to get good air flow to it.
  3. precursoris

    precursoris Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    No, I did not build the computer. It is an Acer.
  4. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,128

    then you should take it back to where you bought it and see what they say
  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,788   +639

    The 72C temp. Is this at idle ? or during gameplay/under load ?
    I would check the card for dust buildup-especially if the computer chassis is not fitted with fan filters and to make sure the card is properly seated in the slot .If the card seems dust free and correctly installed then I would try lowering the game graphic detail to see if this stabilizes the card.
    The card could be faulty -possibly the GPU heatsink needs reseating, but the cause could also lie with the power supply. If you can swap out the card for one to known working, then this would eliminate the PSU in all probability- bear in mind the replacement cards power requirement in relation to your PSU's rated output.
    Since you are using Precision to create a profile for the card it is unlikely that the 196.75 driver release is causing the problem (assuming you are using it).
    If all the troubleshooting outlined above (or as much as you can undertake) doesn't pinpoint the problem then I'd suggest getting in touch with the company who sold you the computer (or card) and initiate a warranty claim.

    EDIT: I see you have a prebuilt. There may be "tamperproof" stickers on the chassis that preclude you opening the case up. If this is correct then get in touch with Acer.
  6. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,318   +117

    Did you update to the latest driver?
  7. precursoris

    precursoris Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    The 72 C was actually during idle periods. The GPU temp goes well above this during gameplay, whether I set the graphics low or not, which is why all the crashing happens. But I will check inside my computer to see if dust is a problem. But do you think dust alone would cause 72 C? I have some doubts.

    I don't think the drivers is an issue here. I have the 196.21 version(I heard of the issues with the latest one so decided not to get it yet). I did try rolling back my driver, and that didn't have an affect. Also, I don't have another graphics card with me, so I can't test it out.

    You are correct about the computer being prebuilt. I bought it from an electronics shop, so it's an Acer. I've never actually opened a computer before.

    If it looks like a faulty card is what I have, I could send a warranty claim. But why would I get another GT 220 when I can purchase a much better card myself? I may end up getting the GTS 250, but that's a choice I'll make once I resolve the issue at hand.
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,788   +639

    Since the 72C is at idle then the problem I think lies with a poorly attached heatsink fan on the card. If the computer is under warranty then let the electronics shop deal with it. If the problem is the heatsink then it's not a job to be undertaken lightly, and if this isn't the problem then you will have voided your warranty by disassembling the card.
  9. precursoris

    precursoris Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Actually, I've found out that making the warranty claim will cost me more than buying a new and better card. I didn't get a great warranty deal, so I have to pay for the shipping. So if the problem lies solely with the graphics card, I don't think it would be a big problem if I opened the computer myself and took a look at it. Is reseating a heatsink fan overly difficult?
  10. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,788   +639

    Here's a basic guide on the procedure.
    Before removing the heatsink I would advise you buy a small bottle of Isopropyl alcohol (or wipes that have Isopropyl alcohol impregnated into them) or thermal grease remover to clean off the old thermal paste. You will of course need some new thermal paste. Tuniq TX-2, Arctic Silver 5, OCZ Freeze Extreme or similar.
    Before you start the disassembly I would advise you run the card for a little while to warm it up -shouldn't take long by the sounds of it- this will loosen the thermal grease and make the heatsink easier to remove.
    Instead of push pins (as the article mentions) you should have four small philips head screws if this (last pic) is the same layout as your card. Unscrew the screws making sure you don't strip the screwheads out, clean the GPU chip and the bottom of the fansink with iso, clean with a lint-free cloth, then apply a very thin layer of new thermal grease, reseat the fansink and secure with the screws.
    You don't need much thermal grease. Take note of how much of the old stuff there is. A drop about the size of a grain of rice should be enough to apply a very thin coating-it is just to fill in imperfections between the GPU and fansink base to ensure a smooth fit.
    There's not too much to it, and if you are planning on getting a new card first then you can attempt this at your leisure. Post back if you have any questions or if anything is unclear.
  11. precursoris

    precursoris Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for the help. Do I need static wrist bands before I open the computer? My room is not carpeted.
     
  12. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,318   +117

    Not necessary, if you have them you could if you want though.
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