Graphics card fan RPM

By St1ckM4n
Nov 28, 2013
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  1. Hi all,

    I'm having problems with my newly purchased Sapphire HD7970 OC. Fan RPM stays at ~1000, fan% doesn't affect it at all, neither does gaming.

    Rig is:
    - Win 8.1 x64
    - Catalyst 10.9 and 10.11b tried.
    - PSU is 550W Antec, within spec.
    - Lucid VirtuMVP is not installed.

    Speedfan or Afterburner have no effect on actual fan speed, but they do increase the fan%. Same with gaming. The dual BIOS switch also doesn't work as expected, because the GPU clock stays the same - possible BIOS corruption?

    Things to try:
    - Driver before 10.9
    - My identical card in the problem rig, and vice versa.
    - BIOS flash if it is easy.

    What can affect the PWM signal for the fan? I don't think it's bad PSU (GPU works fine otherwise), and I don't think it's a conflicting fan speed program (Speedfan was uninstalled).

    Any other things to try? Google has a couple of these issues, but no resolutions (as always :) ).
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,060   +2,556

    The fact that the card works and the fan does spin suggest it is not a PSU issue. Since the fan will spin but does not regulate, only points at the Pulse Width Controller. I couldn't say whether it is controller fault or driver issue, but I am fairly certain it is not the PSU.
  3. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,920   +627

    Yeah, me too. I was playing a game easily for 15mins+. I just hope that it's something that can be fixed via software ... :(
  4. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,920   +627

  5. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,920   +627

    To be clear:

    On idle, fan is 1000RPM, fan speed 25%. (as reported by CCC, afterburner, speedfan).

    As temps rise, fan speed increases up, 75% easily. Fan RPM stays at 1000RPM as reported by software, and also in real life.
  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,861   +1,192

    Definitely sounds like a hardware problem regarding the fan control, although with a dodgy PWM connection/wire it usually results in the fan running at 100%.
    If you have access to 4-pin extender cable and fan controller (or a spare mobo PWM fan connector) you could ascertain whether the fault lies in the fan cabling or the PCB components...although the exercise might be academic anyway since you might want to RMA the card.
  7. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,920   +627

    That's what I thought, regarding 100% speed if dodgy PWM. I'll try the cables etc tonight, although I read that GPU PWM connectors are slightly different to mobo ones. Thanks.
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,861   +1,192

    Yeah, the GPU connector has a central cutout, while a fan controller/mobo is almost the reverse (and a larger connection). Easily sorted. Just gently depress the locating spur in the plastic 4-pin plug for each individual pin (using a pin/needle point or the point of a fine pair of tweezers) and gently remove them from the connector plug block. You can then use a pair of tweezers to individually attach the cable pins to the fan control/mobo fan connectors.
  9. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,920   +627

    The card had visible fan header cables, but it would have been very annoying to swap them. Since I had an identical card handy I put this into the problem machine and the fans worked with manual override as expected. Opened support ticket now. :(
  10. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,177   +582

    You may just be unlucky and have a bad card, have you tried adjusting via MSI afterburner where you can manually set the speed?

    Also you said the readings are telling you that its not at a higher RPM, have you tried setting it manually to low then max and seeing if you hear a difference in the fans spinning up? If that does not work you may have just gotten a bad one from Sapphire.
  11. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,861   +1,192

    Good luck with the RMA. I've never had a problem with Sapphire's support- hope your experience mirrors mine.
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  12. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,920   +627

    GhostRyder Yeah must be bad card. The fan stays at the same RPM (software backs this up). Software picks up the increase in fan speed signal, but nothing actually happens. Yes, Afterburner has been tried.
  13. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,177   +582

    St1ckM4n Yea that sucks, its probably a bad card, it just happens from time to time. Sorry you got unlucky.

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