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Here is a Curly One for You: GPU and Audio Card

By PinothyJ · 6 replies
Dec 13, 2013
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  1. I posted this on another forum but let us see if you enthusiasts can get your heads around it.

    I have an HIS IceQ HD 6970 in my computer right now.

    Images for reference:
    I have just installed a sound card in the slot next to it (heatsink side). The sound card reaches to just before the fan opening of the heatsink cover so it is not blocking the airflow. I also have a ninety degree rotated case and there is a 200mm fan right underneath -- and perpendicular to -- the video card.

    With the audio card installed in that slot, the GPU dances to 105°C very quickly just sitting at the title screen of Borderlands 2. Without the card it sits in the seventies. Sliding a temperature sensor between the two cards reads 34°C when it is hitting 105°C in BL2. Not only this, but there is a semi-opaque plastic cover sitting in between the GPU heatsink and the audio card. Not to mention that the audio card's heat output is negligible at best.

    The audio card is not interfering exhausts or intakes; they are snug but there is still a gap to slide a temperature sensor in-between; and even if it was, there is an insulating cover separating the two.

    Unfortunately, I cannot put the audio card anywhere else and the GPU, when placed in the other slot, will run at 8x PCI-E instead of 16x PCI-E.

    I am stumped…
  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Is that a problem if it runs at 8x instead of 16x?
  3. PinothyJ

    PinothyJ TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 455   +21

    Surely its performance would be capped if it is running with half the PCI bandwidth…
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,410   +3,425

    My guess would be the audio card is trapping the internal heat coming off the card. This means the video card is pulling heated air straight back in the card. Which in turn makes the internal trapped air even hotter. Just because the audio card is not covering the intake fan doesn't mean the audio card is not directing hot air back to the intake. If you could block the exhausted air from directly re-entering the intake, it could help.
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    About a couple percent.
  6. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 861   +203

    I don't think you'll notice the difference between x8 and x16.
  7. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,264   +454

    I think a couple of percent would be a worst case scenario with a 6970 and a fairly modern mobo.

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