Question AMD Radeon 7870 Fan(s) will only spin when set at 90% and above

Oct 3, 2022
So, as the title would suggest, I have noticed an issue with my somewhat old GPU with regards to the fans not spinning correctly.

The card is an AMD 7870 and I've not noticed any performance issues (though I do not play any modern games) however I have noticed that the card can get very hot and that's when the fans will ramp up to 100% for a few seconds until cool enough.

Now, I know that the fans are not responding correctly because when manually setting fan % values in Radeon Software, they only spin when set at 90-100%.
Under load I can see the card gradually get hotter as the fans are supposed to spin faster to keep up however when observing inside the case, the fans will not react until they are at 90-100%.

I have updated the drivers for this card, tried to reseat it into different PCI-e slots and finally as a last ditch effort, cleaned out the card and fans as best I could.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have no need to get a replacement card due to not needing the extra power however I am slightly concerned that it is causing unnecessary heat throughout the entire system.



Retired Mod
Try using Afterburner to control the fan speed on your graphics card instead of the Radeon software. Keep in mind that for ALL fan control software it needs to be running for fan control to happen otherwise it is simply using the onboard hardware controls. If you close the application, no matter the application, the fan curve is not going to continue to be applied and it will revert to hardware controls. You can minimize it to the system tray but if you close the utility it will stop controlling the fans.

If that does not work, then it is likely the motors in your fans have become weak and it is requiring significantly more voltage to get them going due to age. It could also be due to incompatibilities in the driver software needed for the card and the OS version.

What version of the Radeon software are you running and what version of Windows are you running?

Also, what is the exact model of your power supply and how long has it been in service?