[SOLVED] HD 7970 Fans Not Adjusting

Nighttide1032

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May 1, 2020
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Tried searching this problem and found plenty of people talking about the one fan cutoff and such, but not this particular problem.

Bought a second-hand Saphhire Dual-X HD 7970 3GB that’s in pretty good shape. Tested it, ran fine, then changed out the thermal pads and pasted. Tested it again, still running fine, but this time around I tried benchmarking and noticed the fans didn’t ramp at all. The card was adjusting the fan percentage appropriately based on Afterburner, TriXX, HWMonitor, everything I’ve tried, but the RPMs don’t actually change. This is true at 25%, 80%, and 100% fan speed, including manual override. The RPMs just stay at idle - I’m not at the computer at the moment, but I think it’s in the low 1000s. I’ve tried both BIOSs as well - they seem to be stock in that they adjust the CPU and RAM speed the way the card was supposed to upon release, but I’m still not certain someone hasn’t been tinkering with this card, especially considering how clean it was and fresh the thermal compound seemed to be when I took it apart.

So, am I missing something here, or is there something wrong? Fans seem to be fine - no bearing noise, no effort to spin them manually, plenty clean, and they’re plugged directly to the card with all wires confirmed intact from plug to fans.
 

Nighttide1032

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May 1, 2020
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and what RPM does the manufacturer state is the maximum?
I’d love to know myself - just searched online for specs, max fan speed, etc, and found no mention of it. Couldn’t even find an archive of the manual. Is there another way I can find out? I will say I find it very suspicious that the fan speed isn’t changing at all at any ramp and doesn’t run the fans at full throttle upon initial boot like my 6970 Dual-X or 7970 GHz Vapor-X
 
I’d love to know myself - just searched online for specs
being ~10 years old i''m not surprised there isn't much detail available about the specs.

are you sure these are the original fans and haven't been replaced with some other?
they still have the Dual-X sticker in place?

can just be that the fan controller burned out over time.
10 years is a long a** time for a graphics card to run if used daily.
 

Nighttide1032

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May 1, 2020
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being ~10 years old i''m not surprised there isn't much detail available about the specs.

are you sure these are the original fans and haven't been replaced with some other?
they still have the Dual-X sticker in place?

can just be that the fan controller burned out over time.
10 years is a long a** time for a graphics card to run if used daily.
They’re original and still have the stickers on them. Would the fans still be able to run at idle even if the controller has gone bad? And if so, what might be an alternative?
 
if the controller has gone bad? And if so, what might be an alternative?
if the controller is shot they will normally just sit at a static speed or not run at all.

an alternative;
a new card.
even if you found a new compatible shroud & fans it would need to connect to the card's fan header(s) which don't appear to be working.

possible you could rig something that would run off of motherboard 4pin headers but that would a lot of trouble for a 10 year old card that doesn't hold up to today's standards.
 

Nighttide1032

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May 1, 2020
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if the controller is shot they will normally just sit at a static speed or not run at all.

an alternative;
a new card.
even if you found a new compatible shroud & fans it would need to connect to the card's fan header(s) which don't appear to be working.

possible you could rig something that would run off of motherboard 4pin headers but that would a lot of trouble for a 10 year old card that doesn't hold up to today's standards.
Thankfully I’m just using this as a combo WinXP / Win7 rig for some retro games alongside other systems, so I have some flexibility here. I do have some old PCI bracket-mounted dual fans that have an adjustable speed dial on the backplate I could use - perhaps could remove the shroud and fans, leaving the stock heatsink to be cooled by the bracket fans. It’ll look wonky since they were made in the late 90s / early 2000s, but it’s one alternative I can think of if there’s no other recourse for this particular card (aside from getting another like you said)
 

Nighttide1032

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May 1, 2020
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The bracket fans didn’t reach far forward enough into the chassis to feed air into the fans, so I took an old Mac Mini third-party cooler (a stand with a 120mm fan on it) and stuck it under the midpoint of the card to feed a bit of air into each of the card’s fans. It helps a lil - balances out at 80c after 10 mins of Heaven benchmark - but I feel like this card should be doing low 70s ideally based on old reviews of this card when it was new. My Vapor-X only reaches 72c in Furmark, but I know this isn’t the same cooler. I’ll probably buy one of those DIY brackets that you can add and adjust your own fans to and stick a couple basic Corsair 120mms I have lying around, if nobody has any other ideas
 

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