14 Replies Latest reply on Jul 4, 2015 10:54 AM by black_zion

    7870 overheating and throttling


           I've been noticing some low frame rates while gaming lately.  So today I ran some monitoring software to diagnose the issue.


           I discovered that my 7870 core clock was running at 450mhz instead of the factory specs of 1000mhz.  I set it back to 1000mhz and ran some games.  There was a dramatic improvement in the fps across the board but the temperature became extremely unstable.  As soon as any game launches the temperature begins rising.  It rises quickly and steadily until it reaches 105c and then the core clock throttles back to 450mhz and the temperature drops.  The fan speed ramps up with the temperature until the fan is at 100%.


           The systems idles at about 40c.  Nothing is overclocked.  No settings are outside of manufacturer specs.  The games I tested it on were Witcher 3, Warframe, Diablo 3 and Borderlands 2, all with the same results.  The system is running...


      AMD Phenom II X4 955

      8 gigs ram

      ASUS M4A79T Deluxe mobo

      850w Corsair psu



           Assuming the card is just toast because that's always been my luck with video cards but I wanted some advice first.  Thanks

        • Re: 7870 overheating and throttling

          As long as you do not see weird and unusual artifacts, your videocard should be fine. You can Google what it is meant by graphics card artifacts for examples. And, about artifacts, some can be permanent and some disappear after being dealt with.


          What I would do in your shoes, is use an graphics card OC program like MSI Afterburner. We will instead need to downclock the GPU to observe if the temp will rise-up too much again, and to see if there are any throttling. Fortunately, Afterburner includes a graphing chart so we can easily see the both the temps and any throttling.

          Start downclocking about 50 to 100Mhz (or more) for the GPU at a time and run a game like Witcher 3 for a few mins to see the results.


          Keep doing that till the GPU temp stays around less than 90C. Once it is less than 90C or not throttling, you can save/remember that GPU speed to deal with the summer heat, or as a temp. fix to the possible problem described below.


          I assume your 7870 is fine. Other than the above, you can consider thinking about the cooling aspect of your video card. Maybe blowing it as best you can with an compressed air duster (can) or by vacuuming instead--might help. Or maybe, you should replace the thermal paste with something better? If your video card temp rises too fast, the thermal paste could be degraded, or not making a good enough contact with the HSF (HeatSink Fan) cooler.


          Good luck, please keep us posted, and do not hesitate to continue asking the community if anything else comes up.

            • Re: 7870 overheating and throttling

                   This is a blanket response to everyone here so I hope you all don't mind if I don't address you directly.  Thanks for all the responses by the way. 


                   I have been using MSI Afterburner to monitor and make changes from the start.  Today, after verifying the fan is spinning and increasing RPMs as the heat goes up. I removed it from the case and disassembled it.  I then cleaned every spec of dust from the casing, radiator, pipes, fans, and board.  Once that was done I removed all of the old thermal paste and replaced it.  Then I ran the air conditioner in my place till it was nice and cool to see if it was the summer heat.  The temperature still rises very quickly in games until it breaks 100c and then throttles the clock down to 450mhz.  The last thing I tried was incrementally throttling it to see if there was a stable clock speed.  It did not become stable until it was all the way down to the 450 that the card is automatically throttling down to.

            • Re: 7870 overheating and throttling

              The first thing I'd do in that situation is remove the heat sink assembly, apply new thermal compound, and re-attach.  You do need a quality thermal compound on hand to do that.  Beyond that, it doesn't require anything but some common sense and patience used with a screwdriver.

              • Re: 7870 overheating and throttling

                Sounds more like it's packed with dust.

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: 7870 overheating and throttling

                  Are you sure that MSI Afterburner is giving you the correct information? Assuming you are monitoring your 7870 with MSI Afterburner, without applying any overclocking (I guess that is what you are doing, if not actually throttling it back a bit to see if that would help), are you positive that MSI Afterburner is not actually applying overvoltage, overclocking sometimes and/or giving you false information? At least some bad information?


                  I had a similar issue with one version of Asus GPU Tweak. I had played with the voltage, GPU/MEM clocks and fan settings and was still overheating which caused intermittent lock-ups and BSOD's. I even set it to factory defaults, then tuned it down some to no avail. Well, it turned out that the particular version I was using (Which WAS for my Asus HD 7950) actually was the culprit. Even more, I had just downloaded it the day prior and had upgraded my ROG - CPUID/CPU-Z to what I thought was the newest version a day after I got the GPU Tweak. It turns out (Seriously) both of them had issues. And as stated they were both for my card from the ASUS site.


                  I had the latest AMD Beta driver too. I began looking at all three. I did not have the newest GPU Tweak, I had the one that came out a couple months before. So, I downloaded the latest one from Asus. Then I rolled back the Beta driver and things were much better. I was still having some lock ups once in a while. So, the last thing I did was search for the CPU-Z again. Well, Asus had one on their site for my card. But, I found a ROG version on the CPUID site and it was one version number newer. After adding that to the other two changes all my problems went away. I have updated my CPUID once again and the latest Beta driver. Everything is working seamlessly. It runs nice and cool and overclocks well. The fan utility in GPU Tweak is working well with the fan curve I have added to cool it down due to overclocking from 800/5000 to 980/5240 (GPU clock/MEM clock) and voltage is up from 1600 to 1625 on MEM and from 1100 to 1140 on the GPU clock. My card never gets over 58c with a load (Bioshock Infinite set full blast, Batman Arkham City full everything Tess is all the way up too) when pushing it hard with my FX8350 at 4.5 to 4.6 and Ram at 2400. Both voltages are up too.


                  The reason I am telling you this is because I actually had the same software packages on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. I was not clocking anything and I had hell. Now on both OS's I am running what I stated - overclocked/overvoltaged and a fan curve setup. My case does a great job of assisting in cooling. Cooler Master Storm Trooper. All my issues were ONLY the GPU Tweak and CPUID. And the driver was not helping.


                  I would check my BIOS for the latest ROM Flash, Replace MSI Afterburner, and if you are running another monitoring solution such as something from CPUID and/ or different drivers by chance change all of it. I went into a full explanation because this so much reminds me of what I had going on. And, it was on two separate Operating Systems.


                  I hope this is helpful. Good Luck!!