Troubleshooting a hot case

solarfuse

Junior Member
Aug 28, 2007
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Hi all, I recently got back into gaming. I noticed recently that at times my FPS would drop mid game. After looking into it, I found out my video card was reaching 120C (the max threshold) and then slowing down. This is actually my 2nd evga card. The first was replaced by RMA because of the same issue (but I had only had it ~2 weeks).

I opened up the case (Antec P180), blew out all the dust, cleaned the fans (case/video/cpu), turned all the case fans from their default recommended settings of "low" to "high", and sealed it back up. I think ambient temps went down a bit (which I'm monitoring from the nvidia video card properties) and it seems to take a bit longer to heat up, but the video card is still getting really hot.

Right now, just surfing the net, my ambient temp is 48C and my GPU core is 85C. I just started my favorite game, watched a replay of the same content I was viewing before, and within 4 minutes or less my ambient went to 61C and my GPU core went to 111. If I left this running for 30 minutes or so, surely I would reach 120C.

Also, i noticed the FPS in said game really fluctuates. This morning, the same exact content yielded ~25-35FPS and now it's 70-80FPS.

The temperature of my room is fairly cold (not server room cold), but I'd say around 69-72F. I'm not really sure where to begin to troubleshoot this. I'd imagine my case is far superior in regards to cooling than a normal cheap case. It's not overclocked.

Specs:
Power Supply: Antec Neo Power 500 (500W)
Case: Antec P180
Processor: AMD 3400+
MB: MSI K8N Neo Platinum 754 nForce3
Memory: 1GB Crucial Ballistix
2 7200RPM hard drives (although one basically idles 99% of the time since it's for a diff OS).

I believe both hard drives are in the bottom bay.
All three stock case fans (120mm) are set to high.

After a quick search here I found that normal case temps should be ~25-30 or something like that and I'm definitely not seeing that.

Am I supposed to take off the plastic shroud in order to clean the evga 6800GT?

I was thinking about upgrading to a new system and if I'm having all these issues right now I can't imagine what issues I'd have with an SLI setup. How do you go about troubleshooting something like this?

Thanks!
 

BassBomb

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2005
8,396
1
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Do you have pics of the internals?

A bad wiring job can make an amazing case really hot. I do know 6800gt's weren't extremely hot cards either
 

mpilchfamily

Diamond Member
Jun 11, 2007
3,559
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See if you can move the cooler around. Some coolers on older cards had some wiggle room and may not be sitting on the GPU like it should.
 

solarfuse

Junior Member
Aug 28, 2007
7
0
0
Originally posted by: BassBomb
Do you have pics of the internals?

A bad wiring job can make an amazing case really hot. I do know 6800gt's weren't extremely hot cards either

Hi guys, sorry it took so long to reply.

Here's a pic of the internals:
http://i28.tinypic.com/t5nlop.jpg

I didn't really take much care in the wiring and the P180 kind of makes it really crowded near the bottom. But considering I only have 1 CD drive, 1 video card, and 1 sound card in the upper compartment (besides the CPU), would the cabling really make the case that hot?

I'll try to clean it up.
Thanks guys
 

BassBomb

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2005
8,396
1
81
Are you using that HD cage right in front of the HD?

Yea your wiring does look pretty bad especially right below/infront of the video card
 

solarfuse

Junior Member
Aug 28, 2007
7
0
0
Amazing.... well I did two things. I took off the fan on the CPU and cleaned out a shitload of dust I didn't even know was there. I also did my best to take off the shroud on the video card (but two screws would not budge). I cleaned out as much as I could in there as well. Then, I relocated my sound card towards the bottom of the case and tried to clean up the wiring as much as I could. I jammed most of the cables under the extra HD cage because it doesn't appear to block any air.

http://i25.tinypic.com/295sv8o.jpg

Before:
Ambient: 60-70 (under load, keeps increasing)
GPU: 110-120 (under load, keeps increasing until it hits max 120)

Now:
Ambient: 43-44 (under load, steady)
GPU: 64-65 (under load, steady)

Thank you so much! Whether it was the cables or the dust on the CPU heatsink I don't care. You got me off my butt to clean it out :)
 

RallyMaster

Diamond Member
Dec 28, 2004
5,582
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1. The 6800GT has airflow that blows the reverse of the rest of your case. It's blowing from the back to the front and you want it to go from the front to the back. This can be potentially remedied by a side fan which you don't have.
2. The stock 6800GT cooler (same as my stock 6800GS cooler) is a worthless piece of crap and should be at the very least replaced by a Arctic Cooling Silencer NV5 Rev 3...which at this time is no longer made. If you want better temps without a 3rd party cooler, use RivaTuner to turn the fan up to 100% all the time. Caution: You might hate the noise.
3. You want your sound card as far as away from the rest of the components as possible to reduce potential noise. Move it to the bottom PCI slot. This also gives the 6800 more breathing room.