Problem with 4870X2, what to do?

SiC420

Senior member
Jul 7, 2001
491
0
0
I'm having problems with this card overheating. I finally found an Arctic Cooling Accelero 4870X2, but I want to make sure it's going to solve my problem before I dish out $100 on just a cooler.

Here's what the problem is.

Right now, the stock fan speed is on 100 percent all the time, and it idles at about 53 degrees. Changing the fan speed doesn't actually change the fan at all, it's like it's stuck on 100 percent all the time.

Now, if I don't play games things are all fine, the computer runs great. When I power up a game, the game itself runs great. However, after a few minutes, I get green dots everywhere, I alt+tab and I see the videocard reaching about 115 degrees (which is in the red in CCC) and then the computer will instantly crash. As soon as I restart the computer the video is back to normal until I try playing a game.

So, I guess my question is, do you think I've permanently damaged the GPU? Or do you think that getting this cooler will solve my problem?

Thanks for all your help.

TLDR: Basically, my videocard has overheated a few times and I want to make sure that I didn't do permanent damage to it.
 

Necrolezbeast

Senior member
Apr 11, 2002
838
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AFAIK there should be no reason that the stock cooler isn't sufficient, if the fan is running like you say it is. It sounds like it is a contact issue, before ordering a new HSF you should take off the current one and reapply some Arctic Silver on there and make sure all the mounting hardware is causing the HSF to make proper contact.
 

Tempered81

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2007
6,374
1
81
Take the video card apart. Take a can of air duster to the cooling fan and heat sink fins. Clean it out completely. Put some MX-2 or other high quality Thermal interface material (like artic silver 5) on the gpu dies, and spread it thinly, smoothly & evenly. Make sure you have fresh, thick thermal pads sufficiently transferring heat from the surfaces of the mosfets, vrms, memory chips and other pcb components to the bottom of the heat sink cooler. Reseat the cooler and secure it firmly to the card with hand tightened screws.

This process is good routine maintenance for any graphics card. The 4870x2 in particular is know to be a warmer card even brand new out of the box. If you want to take it a step further, you could flash to the most modern asus bios, assuming you have a reference board. Asus is known for agressive fan profiles. Or go for your own personal modded fan profile via Afterburner, Rivatuner, or your own homemade bios.
 

SiC420

Senior member
Jul 7, 2001
491
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0
I've taken the cooler off and reapplied MX-2 compound and cleaned out all the dust. It didn't make a difference.

The weird thing is that it used to run a lot cooler, but has been getting hotter and hotter the longer I've had the card.

I've also flashed the bios with an Asus one and that did drop the temperature a little bit, but not much.

I'm just worried that the GPU is defective itself and spending $100 on a cooler is going to be pointless. The GPU isn't under warranty anymore either.

And like I said the fan is on 100 percent all the time. Even if I create a profile, it still stays at 100 percent.
 
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GotNoRice

Senior member
Aug 14, 2000
329
5
81
The only issues I've had in this regard have been dust related. The double-heatsink configuration tends to collect dust in a bad way that isn't easily cleaned once it builds up.

Beyond that, I'd agree with other suggestions trying to use a program like afterburner (instead of CCC) to control the fan.

Your behavior definitely isn't normal. The 4870x2 is the only card in existence that sucks more power and puts out more heat than a GTX480. Even then, I'm running both of mine crammed together in a case with poor airflow, overclocked, and I rarely see temps above 80C in game.

Does the card stay at 100 percent fan during bootup? That would be before any kind of driver or program has any kind of control over the fan so if the fan doesn't kick down a few seconds after boot while you're still loading windows, that could mean your fan issues are bios related.
 

SiC420

Senior member
Jul 7, 2001
491
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Yeah, it stays at 100% on boot. What is weird is when I formatted last, before installing any type of drivers or anything, the fan was still spinning at 100%.

And right now, I can open up CCC and it will say the fan is at 100%, if I lower it to anything else, like 30% for example, CCC or rivatuner will report that the fan is indeed at 30% but you can tell that the fan never actually slowed down and is still spinning at 100%.

It's really weird. I'm just worried that something else is going on other than the cooler and replacing it won't fix anything. I hardly want to waste $100 on a cooler if it isn't going to solve any of the problems I'm experiencing.
 

IMZORRO

Junior Member
Jun 6, 2007
17
0
0
I had the same problem with my 4870 X2. Fortunatley mine was still under warranty.
My brother has the same card also with the same issues. unfortunately his warranty expired. He ended up taking his card apart. He said there was a lot of dust caked up inside. He cleaned it out and reapplied some compound. It worked great after.
 

Rifter

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
11,522
751
126
Honestly if the card is not under warranty i would buy a new card before i spent $100 on that one.
 

SiC420

Senior member
Jul 7, 2001
491
0
0
Yeah after doing some thinking I'm just going to buy a set of GTX 460's. Been a long time since I've used an Nvidia card.

Should be interesting.

Thanks for all your help though.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
765
126
You should at least take the heatsink apart and see if dust is the culprit before you write off the 4870 x2. If you want to upgrade to 2xGTX460, at least this way you could sell the working 4870 x2 used :)
 

dguy6789

Diamond Member
Dec 9, 2002
8,558
3
76
Just how thoroughly did you take it apart? On those reference coolers, you really gotta take every part of the cooler apart to get to the part where dust builds up and forms a carpet.