5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2012 5:13 PM by antzrhere

    Lifetime of HD 7970 fan under full load?

    pwvdendr

      I'm planning to buy a few HD7970s for OpenCL computing, which would be under full load permanently, probably for years. Now I'm wondering if this could be a problem for the fan. Is the fan of the HD7970 able to run for years under full load, or would this be a problem? I'm wondering since AMD's primary aim seems to be gaming, which doesn't cause the fan to run non-stop for many years.

       

      I could go for watercooling, which solves this problem, but of course this is a nontrivial investment that I don't like making if it's not necessary. Alternatively, how and where to buy new fans when they're broken? Would a heap of spare fans be cheaper than watercooling?

        • Re: Lifetime of HD 7970 fan under full load?
          notyou

          My 2 cents. Theoretically there shouldn't be a problem running the fan all the time, it should be engineered for it, plus, the 7xxx series seems to be pretty good at keeping temperatures down (particularly on some custom cooler versions, or maybe it's the 7950 I'm thinking of) so the fan shouldn't need to run at full capacity.

           

          Either way, I would suggest that watercooling would be the best option if you need ultimate reliability. Not that I have any experience with it, but getting the fans built specifically for the GPU can't be that easy and, in the event of a failure the GPU is probably going to heavily downclock or turn off until a new one is fitted, which doesn't help if you're doing HPC work and going slow isn't an option. At least under water, provided the pump doesn't fail you should be able to swap fans out (most likely without having to power down) or with a big enough radiator, go fanless.

          • Re: Lifetime of HD 7970 fan under full load?
            d.a.a.

            If I'm not wrong, card's fans are provided by third-party companies responsible for packing the cards. So, the fan quality (lifetime) will probably vary depending on the particular vendor. Environmental factors, such as temperature and amount of dust, make the lifetime estimation difficult.

             

            I believe there is nothing stopping GPU fans from being as reliable as CPU fans. And there are a lot of CPU fans running at 100% for years.

            • Re: Lifetime of HD 7970 fan under full load?
              notzed

              When it dies (which will literally take years, assuming your environment isn't too dusty and you didn't get a still-birth fan), you'll be better off buying a new card: it'll be faster, use less  power/flop, and thus be more efficient.  From a pure economic perspective the fan will almost certainly outlive the "economic worth" of the card itself.  i.e. it'll be cheaper in power costs and $time$ to replace the card than replace the fan.  From experience any fan lasts about 3-4 years before it start to whine through warn bearings, and a another before it fails/causes damage (if they are out of whack).  And it takes about that long to double performance with approximately the same power usage.

               

              Personally I think all "after-market" cooling solutions are a scam to separate you from your money. but that probably isn't the only view out there.    By definition you are running the hardware 'out of spec', and the vendor cooling solutions havn't just been slapped on with no mathematics behind them.

               

              "full load" is pretty much a pipe-dream,  I can't even manage to get much more than a 50% load with a single kernel, let alone a full application.  And unless you're running a GTX 480 your heat profile wont be all that high anyway (those things are terrible).

                • Re: Lifetime of HD 7970 fan under full load?
                  pwvdendr

                  notzed wrote:

                   

                  "full load" is pretty much a pipe-dream,  I can't even manage to get much more than a 50% load with a single kernel, let alone a full application.  And unless you're running a GTX 480 your heat profile wont be all that high anyway (those things are terrible).

                  If I see it never outpasses 50%, then the logical conclusion is to overclock it until a higher percentage is obtained, or is that wrong? At least I was hoping on some slight OC.

                   

                  Also, what is "dust"? It is a mathematics building, so there will be a lost of chalk dust. This is "dust", but not the kind of dust that hangs together in packs and blocks your fan. Would this kind of dust be a problem?