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Radeon 9700 Pro overheat issue

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bradleyland

Registered
Joined
May 20, 2004
This is getting really, really aggrivating. I have a Radeon 9700 Pro card in my rig that is running the stock clock speeds, yet it still seems to have significant heat issues. My case is a large chieftech with plenty of fans and not much hardware in the case. I'm running two hard drives, and no PCI expansion cards.

What happens is, if I leave the computer on for an extended period of time, even idle, then I try to play a game, like BF: Desert Combat, I get all kinds of artifacts. If I boot from a cold start, I can usually get a few hours of BF: DC in before any artifacts show up. Unfortunately, when playing DOOM 3, the card seems to heat up immediately. I get black speckles all over after just a few minutes of playing. I have to actually open my case and point a stinking 10" floor fan like the one below directly at the video card. This just doesn't seem right :bang head Why in the hell would Sapphire provide such poor cooling with their card? Is there anything I should check. My machine is overclocked (FSB 190-200 range), but not my video card. Should I turning back my AGP speed? Also, what is under that metal plate that gets so hot? I was going to order the VGA Silencer from Arctic cooling, but I don't think it's the GPU that is heating up...

Below are some pics of what my card looks like, with notes:

The metal plate in the upper right corner of the PCB get's really hot. I have a hard time keeping my finger on it. The PCB where the processor is doesn't appear to get that hot though.
9700-back-side.jpg


This is the top side. I have this type of heatsink and fan.
9700-cpu-side.jpg


This is the stinking fan I have to use. Do you know how much airflow that is??? More than you'll get from a 120mm, that's for sure :)
honeywell-fan.jpg


NOTE: If this sounds familiar, it's because I've posted before. I have the side mount fans now (120mm) and I still have these issues :( I did not order the VGA Silencer though.
 

HousERaT

Senior Air Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Location
Imladris
well my opinion is stock hsf combos are never enough..... I have a 9700pro and they tend to use a lot of power and can get kinda hot. Still if you're running your card at stock speeds you shouldn't be handling this problem.... does the heatsink on the gpu get hot at all? it should.... if it isn't then it's not doing its job and more than likely there is way to much thermal gunk on the heatsink...... using some as5 might help out a lot..... hope this helps.
 
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bradleyland

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Joined
May 20, 2004
When I reach down and touch the PCB on the back side of the GPU, it's just warm, but that metal plate on the top right is like scorching hot. I'm reluctant to mess with the GPU heatsink because it seems to be running so cool. Do you happen to know what's under that plate? Does yours get hot there too?

I've got some ceramique at home that I may apply to the GPU to see if that helps. It's really dissapointing how quickly this thing starts to go to ****. Are there any video card monitoring tools that work like MBM?
 

HousERaT

Senior Air Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Location
Imladris
bradleyland said:
I'm reluctant to mess with the GPU heatsink because it seems to be running so cool.

My point exactly.... the gpu heatsink should be warm, and if you game it should be warmer. You should definately put the ceramique on the gpu. I can't speak about the plate as mine doesn't have one but what the plate is covering looks like a mosfet.
 

JigPu

Inactive Pokémon Moderator
Joined
Jun 20, 2001
Location
Vancouver, WA
I believe that under that plate is voltage regulation stuff. If it's getting hot, you may want to try putting a HS you have lying around on it. It's not as hot as you describe on my card, but my card seems to be slightly different. You could also try turning the AGP frequency down to 66MHz as you suggested, and see if it helps.

JigPu
 
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bradleyland

Registered
Joined
May 20, 2004
HousERaT said:
My point exactly.... the gpu heatsink should be warm, and if you game it should be warmer. You should definately put the ceramique on the gpu. I can't speak about the plate as mine doesn't have one but what the plate is covering looks like a mosfet.
Now that is a good point. I'm going to pull it off and apply the ceramique. Thanks for the suggestion.

I'm sure I have an extra heatsink lying around. I need to get out the hacksaw and order some adhesive thermal paste.

I really don't want to turn my AGP frequency down :( It'll degrade performance I'm sure.

I'm just so ****ed that this card won't operate like it's supposed to. What a bunch of crap.
 
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bradleyland

Registered
Joined
May 20, 2004
Here's what the current thermal paste application looks like.

9700.jpg


It's pretty sloppy. You know what I noticed though? The HSF was not very tight on the GPU. It kind of floats around. Is that right? All that holds it on are those cheap *** little plastic things. The heatsink isn't very substantial at all. I think I am going to go ahead and order a VGA Silencer. I'm a little worried though, because if I put it on, it will obstruct my ability to cool my RAM.

I think I'm going to try applying the ceramique and try it out. I'm pretty sure I'm going to order the VGA Silencer though. This thing just doesn't look like it will do much of a job cooling.
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
ok, 1 - vga silencers dont distruct yoru ability too cool ram. you can sink the ram as long as the sinks are 14cm or less, and it only blocks 2 sinks if you have 15mm sinks, and a dremel fixed that up easy for me.

Second, if it cant run stock, you might want to RMA it instead of messing with it.

that heatsink looks really puny on it, i would also reccomend setitng the agp speed to the stock of 66mhz, it doesnt effect performance much at all, and is probly causing instability. Before locks came around, alot of times, the system overclock limiter was soemthing on the AGP/PCi busses because they couldnt handle the speed, leave the agp frequency at 66 (unless you need it higher for fsb overclock - in this case, bump the fsb down about 5mhz)
 

CandymanCan

Disabled
Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Location
Woodbridge, Va
JigPu said:
I believe that under that plate is voltage regulation stuff. If it's getting hot, you may want to try putting a HS you have lying around on it. It's not as hot as you describe on my card, but my card seems to be slightly different. You could also try turning the AGP frequency down to 66MHz as you suggested, and see if it helps.

JigPu


That i suggest you not do. If you have an Older 9700pro where the backplat was just glued on then adding a heatsink on top of the backplat is a bad idea because if you drop something or bump something it can tear the thing right off the card along with the voltage regulators. Its happend to me and a few people before. But yes deff turn the agp frequwency down to 66, why do you have it higher?? You wont get any performance increase with it higher just artifacts.

The newer Ati cards with the red backplates are glued on and Screwd on adding a heatsink to that will be fine.

As for the overheating issue if youre card is overheating and the HSF isnt even warm or hot then thats probly youre problem. Soundsl ike it isnt making good contact. Touch the back on the video card in the little square in them middle of the card, thats bottom of the gpu if that super duper hot and the hsf isnt then its deff a heatsink issue not making good contact
 

FelleSis

Registered
Joined
Jul 2, 2003
I see you have etrontech ram on your sapphire 9700 pro. Sadly that's the problem, it just can't handle the stock speed of a 9700 pro. Sapphire released a bios that should resolve this problem but in reality they just reduced the mem speed from 310 to 290! Just check out the numerous complaints at the forum on their website. Man I will never buy a sapphire card!
 
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bradleyland

Registered
Joined
May 20, 2004
Just got back from a weekend in St Augustine. Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

Man, I'm super dissapointed in Sapphire for using shitty RAM and a poor cooling solution. I may file a complaint with them directly and see if I can't get the card RMA'd for a newer card, or just ditch the effort altogether and order a 6800 GT :\ One thing is for sure, I'll never buy another Sapphire product :bang head

The PCB directly behind the GPU is hot to the touch when just sitting here browsing the web. I don't know where I was touching it before, but it must have been the wrong spot. I can hardly leave my finger on it now. How lousy is that. I'm so dissapointed at this point that I may just hock the thing on eBay and start fresh :(

Also, I don't know what my AGP is set at. I've never turned it up... so it should be at 66 MHz, no?
 

JigPu

Inactive Pokémon Moderator
Joined
Jun 20, 2001
Location
Vancouver, WA
CandymanCan said:
That i suggest you not do. If you have an Older 9700pro where the backplat was just glued on then adding a heatsink on top of the backplat is a bad idea because if you drop something or bump something it can tear the thing right off the card along with the voltage regulators. Its happend to me and a few people before. But yes deff turn the agp frequwency down to 66, why do you have it higher?? You wont get any performance increase with it higher just artifacts.

The newer Ati cards with the red backplates are glued on and Screwd on adding a heatsink to that will be fine.
Woah, didn't know that little tidbit! Didn't look at the pic all that closely, but indeed his card dosen't have the screws that my card (with red plate) does have. Definatly could be a problem waiting to happen...

JigPu
 

FelleSis

Registered
Joined
Jul 2, 2003
bradleyland said:
Check out this tool over at Saphhiretech.com

http://www.sapphiretech.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6124

"Electronics break... it happens." bwaaaahahaa. No.

Typical sapphire. They just try avoiding their problems. They are the cheapest but they skimp on quality. 2 years ago they produced their 9700 atlantis pro series with the biggest junk of memory: etrontech. No other company used it because the memory timings were lousy and the memory couldn't be overclocked at all. They even had to release a bios with decreased memory timings (290 instead of 310.5) Even with this bios update some people experienced screen corruption (horizontal green/yellow columns in windows and white blocks at the bios screen) with these cards.

They knew that this memory sucked and what did they do? They used it in some of their 9600 and 9800 np cards. This year they even released a 9800 card with only 128 bit as a 9800 pro.

And of course they only send their good cards to the reviewers so ignorant people will fall in their marketing trap.
 
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bradleyland

Registered
Joined
May 20, 2004
FelleSis said:
Typical sapphire. They just try avoiding their problems. They are the cheapest but they skimp on quality. 2 years ago they produced their 9700 atlantis pro series with the biggest junk of memory: etrontech. No other company used it because the memory timings were lousy and the memory couldn't be overclocked at all. They even had to release a bios with decreased memory timings (290 instead of 310.5) Even with this bios update some people experienced screen corruption (horizontal green/yellow columns in windows and white blocks at the bios screen) with these cards.

They knew that this memory sucked and what did they do? They used it in some of their 9600 and 9800 np cards. This year they even released a 9800 card with only 128 bit as a 9800 pro.

And of course they only send their good cards to the reviewers so ignorant people will fall in their marketing trap.
This is the feeling I'm getting. :\ You know, sometimes it's time to just cut the strings and let things ride. Someone at the Sapphire Tech forum suggested checking my voltages, which I'm going to do, but I doubt I'm going to turn anything up. My power supply is an Antec, whom I trust more than Sapphire at this point. Sapphire gets the big thumbsdown from me at this point.

I see eBay in the future of this card. I'll probably try to get $100 for it and call it a done deal.
 
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bradleyland

Registered
Joined
May 20, 2004
I'm not getting any responses in my other thread. Do you guys have any feelings about PNY?
 

FelleSis

Registered
Joined
Jul 2, 2003
Seems to be ok: reference design just like BFG but with no software and a dubious lifetime warranty:

Lifetime is defined as the lifetime of the product on the market. Outdated technology is not covered by lifetime warranty if the item is no longer available on the common market as a new product

(still probably more than 1 or 2 years)

http://techreport.com/reviews/2004q3/geforce6800-comparo/index.x?pg=7

Hey the support can't get worse than sapphire so you shouldn't worry :D