Question Old Radeon HD 6970: temp sensor died / need help setting fan to manual or coming up with another solution

ladyhawks_lair

Commendable
Dec 29, 2018
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Yup, the GPU temperature sensor on my old Radeon HD 6970 died during a GPU shortage. It lasted for ten years, but I was hoping it would hold out for a little while longer. The temperature sensor says the core temp is -128.0 Celsius (LOL) and that my fans are spinning at 5908 RPM. My computer sounds like a jet getting ready for take-off. I can't work around that kind of racket. Ear plugs might help, but the fans are so loud, I wouldn't be surprised if the neighbors complained.

I'm still running Windows 7 64-bit SP1 on that machine. I need it because I can't afford to purchase newer versions of various programs. Any video card solution would have to keep in mind the fact I'm working with an unsupported OS.

I tried MSI Afterburner and set the fan speed at 40%, but it didn't work. Fans are still spinning at full throttle.

1) Is there any other way I could reduce the fan speed?

2) Are there any cheap water cooling solutions I could try?

3) Can you think of anything that might work?

Thanks in advance. I really hope someone can help me.
 

Loadedaxe

Honorable
Jul 30, 2016
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An aftermarket cooler you can run off the MB fan header or molex. Or splice a case fan header into your fans on the gpu. You would have to play with the curve for that header or set it to a fixed voltage thats tolerable noise wise. Or, go with a fanless heatsink, you need have good air flow in your case though.

Are you sure its the temp sensor? I would try removing the HS and fans and cleaning and repasting it all, a 6970 is ~10 years old. If its never been done maybe it is running that hot. Does the card feel hot?
 
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Zerk2012

Titan
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Yup, the GPU temperature sensor on my old Radeon HD 6970 died during a GPU shortage. It lasted for ten years, but I was hoping it would hold out for a little while longer. The temperature sensor says the core temp is -128.0 Celsius (LOL) and that my fans are spinning at 5908 RPM. My computer sounds like a jet getting ready for take-off. I can't work around that kind of racket. Ear plugs might help, but the fans are so loud, I wouldn't be surprised if the neighbors complained.

I'm still running Windows 7 64-bit SP1 on that machine. I need it because I can't afford to purchase newer versions of various programs. Any video card solution would have to keep in mind the fact I'm working with an unsupported OS.

I tried MSI Afterburner and set the fan speed at 40%, but it didn't work. Fans are still spinning at full throttle.

1) Is there any other way I could reduce the fan speed?

2) Are there any cheap water cooling solutions I could try?

3) Can you think of anything that might work?

Thanks in advance. I really hope someone can help me.
This might look bad but works.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yQHAMz1v5g
 

ladyhawks_lair

Commendable
Dec 29, 2018
7
1
1,515
0
An aftermarket cooler you can run off the MB fan header or molex. Or splice a case fan header into your fans on the gpu. You would have to play with the curve for that header or set it to a fixed voltage thats tolerable noise wise. Or, go with a fanless heatsink, you need have good air flow in your case though.

Are you sure its the temp sensor? I would try removing the HS and fans and cleaning and repasting it all, a 6970 is ~10 years old. If its never been done maybe it is running that hot. Does the card feel hot?
Well, the temperature sensor says -128 C, so it's likely the sensor. However, I've never re-done the thermal paste. I'm not sure if I have any on hand, but I can certainly try it after I've worn ear plugs long enough to get my files off the HDD.

I've never taken the housing off a graphics card, but I'm guessing it's similar to working on a motherboard: ground yourself, undo screws, etc. I can pull up a video or something.
 
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Loadedaxe

Honorable
Jul 30, 2016
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Well, the temperature sensor says -128 C, so it's likely the sensor. However, I've never re-done the thermal paste. I'm not sure if I have any on hand, but I can certainly try it after I've worn ear plugs long enough to get my files off the HDD.

I've never taken the housing off a graphics card, but I'm guessing it's similar to working on a motherboard: ground yourself, undo screws, etc. I can pull up a video or something.
Its not that hard, if you take your time and make sure you label the screws so you don't inadvertently put one where it isn't suppose to go it should go smooth. I would repaste it, put on some new thermal pads for the memory and give it a shot. My granddaughters RX580 was running at 110C and artifacting, and with the gpu crisis there was no way she was getting a new one, i redid the pads, thermal paste and cleaned the fans at a whopping cost of $19 and it dropped to 72C tops, this was over 8 months ago and it is still running strong.
 
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ladyhawks_lair

Commendable
Dec 29, 2018
7
1
1,515
0
Are you sure its the temp sensor? I would try removing the HS and fans and cleaning and repasting it all, a 6970 is ~10 years old. If its never been done maybe it is running that hot. Does the card feel hot?
I finally got around to removing the housing and yes, it looked like a ten-year-old graphics card inside. Imagine that. ;)

I got rid of some dust and cleaned off the very dry thermal paste on the GPU with 91% isopropyl alcohol.

There were remnants of vram thermal pads (not paste) on what I assume are RAM chips (8 of them).

Obviously, I'm going to apply thermal paste to the GPU. The thermal pads were torn to pieces, so I removed them and cleaned up. Do I need to purchase more or can I simply use paste? If I need vram thermal pads, what would you recommend?

Here's the basic layout for a Radeon HD 6970, showing the eight chips I'm talking about.

6970Open.jpg (2000×1591) (anandtech.com)
 
Last edited:

ladyhawks_lair

Commendable
Dec 29, 2018
7
1
1,515
0
Check if u can lower fan speeds with https://openhardwaremonitor.org/ , has worked well with me in the past for older cards
Alas, no. I went into the GPU fan speed manual control, lowered to 30%. When I re-opened the program, it said the fan speed was at 30%, but it's still spinning over 5000 RPM and sounds like a jet ready for take-off.

I've also tried MSI Afterburner.

I suspect the fans are programmed to go full speed when the sensor fails and that's that.
 

ladyhawks_lair

Commendable
Dec 29, 2018
7
1
1,515
0
When I cleaned and replaced the thermal paste, I looked at the shroud for the heatsink and fans and wondered how in the world I could get it off if I needed to. Hmmm...I guess I'll have to take another look. Any ideas? It's an XFX Radeon HD 6970. It's possible cards during that time shared the same shroud configuration.

How large are the fans in the video? 80 mm or 120 mm...do you know? I didn't hear him say. I looked at the dimensions of my card: 128 mm wide, so perhaps I should use the 120 mm.
 

ladyhawks_lair

Commendable
Dec 29, 2018
7
1
1,515
0
An aftermarket cooler you can run off the MB fan header or molex. Or splice a case fan header into your fans on the gpu. You would have to play with the curve for that header or set it to a fixed voltage thats tolerable noise wise. Or, go with a fanless heatsink, you need have good air flow in your case though.

Are you sure its the temp sensor? I would try removing the HS and fans and cleaning and repasting it all, a 6970 is ~10 years old. If its never been done maybe it is running that hot. Does the card feel hot?
OK, I cleaned, greased and put everything back together and it's definitely the heat sensor. When I took everything apart, I wondered how I would get the shroud over the heatsink and fans off if I needed to. I've done some Googling on that and haven't found anything. Maybe I just need to do more Googling...or look more closely.

I might try the cheap method recommended by zerk2012, but it might be more helpful if I bought an after-market rig so someone could talk me through the process. Is there an after-market GPU cooling company you would recommend? Obviously, I don't want to pay a lot, but I do need this computer to make it through the GPU shortage intact.

Thanks in advance.

Everyone's been very helpful. I think I need to order some more thermal paste and some thermal pads to prepare for major surgery.
 

Loadedaxe

Honorable
Jul 30, 2016
115
31
10,620
4
I finally got around to removing the housing and yes, it looked like a ten-year-old graphics card inside. Imagine that. ;)

I got rid of some dust and cleaned off the very dry thermal paste on the GPU with 91% isopropyl alcohol.

There were remnants of vram thermal pads (not paste) on what I assume are RAM chips (8 of them).

Obviously, I'm going to apply thermal paste to the GPU. The thermal pads were torn to pieces, so I removed them and cleaned up. Do I need to purchase more or can I simply use paste? If I need vram thermal pads, what would you recommend?

Here's the basic layout for a Radeon HD 6970, showing the eight chips I'm talking about.

6970Open.jpg (2000×1591) (anandtech.com)
My bad, I have been on vacation in the florida keys. Just got back today.
Yes those are thermal pads, you need to use pads and not grease as there is too much of a gap. But it looks like you will be needing a cooler as well. Let me see what I can come up with online, also what country do you live in ?
 

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