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Thread: Keeping Video Cards cool?

  1. #1
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    Question Keeping Video Cards cool?

    I have 4½ year old XPS Dell i7 desktop with a OEM GeForce GTS 240 1GB GDDR3 graphics card. It still runs fast and great. The fan on the video card started to get loud again and Disk Utility told me PC temps were running 102-104 °F. It usually runs 99°F for boot SSD and 91 °F for the mechanical Seagate HDD. Video card fan kicks into higher speed at 102 °F. making the noise more noticeable/annoying. Opened up the PC and it was dirty. Usually clean it out once a year. Hadn't been cleaned in 15 months, so it was due. Cleaning inside was easy but cleaning the video card is a real pain. You have to pull it out to clean it. Then I use a combination of Q-tips and vacuum to get the dirt out as best as possible around the video card fan. After cleaning put everything back together and things quieted down and inside temps are back to what seems to be normal.

    Question is is there anything extra that can be done to keep the video card cooler and quiet?
    Asked on the Dell site and they said to get a new video card.
    Best Buy geek squad said upgrade the video card and get a bigger power supply!

    Now that it's clean all seems well. Just wondering if there is anything that can be done to keep it clean longer and running cool longer?
    Last edited by cybrsaylr; April 30th, 2013 at 05:06 PM.
    Ubuntu 14.04 64bit Ext4 on a Dell Studio XPS Desktop Intel® Core™ i7-860 2.8GHz, 8GB DDR3 ram and Dual booting: Ubuntu 14.04 64bit Ext4 & 32bit Vista Home Premium, on a Toshiba laptop dual core AMD Turion 64, 2.0 GHz, 4GB ram.

  2. #2
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    Re: Keeping Video Cards cool?

    104F is 40C. Your body temperature is 38C. Temperatures above 60C might be worth addressing, but your computer is pretty cool.

  3. #3
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    Re: Keeping Video Cards cool?

    My Nvidia card has the fan blades close to the cooling fins on the heat sink and will make noise when it needs dusting. Your temperatures are fine as gordintoronto wrote. The environment of the computer has much to do with how fast it get dusty. Keep an eye on the case air intake and fans if you are so equipped.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Keeping Video Cards cool?

    Thanks for the feedback guys.
    Had no idea what the norm was here. PC has 3 fans: for case, heat sink and on video card. Video fan is the only one that makes noise when it kicked up to a higher speed at 102F. Other 2 fans are very quiet. Funny since I cleaned out the case and 3 fans, the video fan doesn't kick up to that higher speed even at 104F now. Guessing part of the problem is room environment. Room is warmer now that winter is over. Disk Utility reported 106F this afternoon when it was warm and sunny outside and video fan never went into the faster mode. Been keeping an eye on this to see what happens.

    When doing my spring cleaning the heat sink fan mounted right on top of heat sink was pretty dirty. Had to disassemble it to vacuum out the heat sink properly and clean off the fan.
    Ubuntu 14.04 64bit Ext4 on a Dell Studio XPS Desktop Intel® Core™ i7-860 2.8GHz, 8GB DDR3 ram and Dual booting: Ubuntu 14.04 64bit Ext4 & 32bit Vista Home Premium, on a Toshiba laptop dual core AMD Turion 64, 2.0 GHz, 4GB ram.

  5. #5
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    Re: Keeping Video Cards cool?

    3 fans? My MainBox has 11 fans, not including the oversized fans on the 2 GeForce 9500 GTX SLI bridged cards. One of the extra fans is on a mount that mounts above the 2 cards (where they screw to the case card slots), another fan between them in a card-type mount that intakes air through the card slot... And a 240mm fan above them in the case side cover. Then I use a conky script to display the temps on my desktop... Even with all those fans, my GPU's usually run at an average of 54C.

    "psensor" is a nice app to display and track temps and fans...

    You removed the heatsink? Did you re-add heatsink compound back to it before putting it back together. If you are using the high-grade silver heatsink compound- it stays soft, remounts and bonds back pretty well... but the normal white stuff usually hardens and doesn't go well with trying to re-use it.
    Last edited by MAFoElffen; May 1st, 2013 at 03:42 AM.
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    Re: Keeping Video Cards cool?

    MAFoElffen,
    I never removed the heat sink. Just removed the fan mounted on top of heat sink to clean both fan and heat sink. Then snap-locked the fan back in place on top of heat sink.
    Ubuntu 14.04 64bit Ext4 on a Dell Studio XPS Desktop Intel® Core™ i7-860 2.8GHz, 8GB DDR3 ram and Dual booting: Ubuntu 14.04 64bit Ext4 & 32bit Vista Home Premium, on a Toshiba laptop dual core AMD Turion 64, 2.0 GHz, 4GB ram.

  7. #7
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    Re: Keeping Video Cards cool?

    FWIW, it was a warm day and hit 83F.
    Temp on the SSD hit 108F but the fan on the Video card never kicked up to a higher speed. So PC temp seems to be room related and cleaning out the video card and fan seems to have done some good keeping PC a bit quieter.

    Right now things cooled down. It's 66F outside and PC SSD is at 100F.
    Ubuntu 14.04 64bit Ext4 on a Dell Studio XPS Desktop Intel® Core™ i7-860 2.8GHz, 8GB DDR3 ram and Dual booting: Ubuntu 14.04 64bit Ext4 & 32bit Vista Home Premium, on a Toshiba laptop dual core AMD Turion 64, 2.0 GHz, 4GB ram.

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