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Question Why my GTX 1080 Ti runs hot under no load ?

Jun 4, 2021
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I just bought a used 1080Ti and noticed under full load it was reaching temperatures of high 70s using the normal fan curve, so I created a more aggressive one with the fans at about 75% to keep it to low 70s. That's fine but the fans are pretty loud at this level.

To test the heat dissipation I run the card under no load (just web browsing) and turned the fans off. after about 15mins the temp rose to 81.4C (hotspot was 94.6C). That's when I switched the fans on.

Surely the GPU shouldn't get this hot under no load?

I gave the card a quick blast with compressed air before I installed it but maybe it wasn't thorough enough.

This seems to be like a thermal paste issue or dust within the fins, or could it be something else?

Thoughts appreciated.
 
hmm i have 1070ti it used to have msi armor cooling...80C with fans at 50% (quiet mode), fans at 100 was 70C
it got watercooled 2 years ago.. 40C with no noise ^.^
dunno about zero fan temperature, but if you disable fan on gpu, then it fully relies on your case airflow and even then you would need thick fins with huge space in between fins for case airflow to actually do some proper work there, if fan kicks in and temperature drops, then thermal paste works
you could try reduce voltage on idle, that could help
 

bignastyid

Titan
Moderator
Even idle the card is using power and creating heat and without a fan to remove that heat it will continue to get hotter as it's not designed to be a passive cooler. BTW temps in the high 70's under load on that card aren't bad. It wont even start dropping the boost clock till the mid 80s.
 

jasonf2

Honorable
Oct 11, 2015
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This is normal behavior. You should never try to override fan curves to shut them completely down. Even web browsing uses GPU acceleration and even though they aren't spinning fast those fans are running almost continuously.
 
To test the heat dissipation I run the card under no load (just web browsing) and turned the fans off. after about 15mins the temp rose to 81.4C (hotspot was 94.6C). That's when I switched the fans on.

Surely the GPU shouldn't get this hot under no load?
What's the clock speed when it's idle? Because if it's not floating around <500MHz, then it's not meeting an idle condition.
 
Jun 4, 2021
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Thanks for all your responses, that's reassured me somewhat.

I don't have a mesh at the front of my case so airflow probably isn't adequate for this card. But even when I removed the side panel, the temp still rose to the same levels.

Resetting the fan curve to default in GPU Tweak , the GPU is idling at 55C with fan speed at only 8%.

if fan kicks in and temperature drops, then thermal paste works
That's a good point.

What's the clock speed when it's idle?
Seems to be idling at 1569MHz!

Can't see a way to attach a screenshot so here's a link to the readings under no load:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ob6qUo9Y9KBSuCKG8

you could try reduce voltage on idle
Might be worth trying, do I just reduce the Power Target, what's a safe level to test?

But sounds like the issue may be the clock speed remaining high.
 
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David0ne86

Prominent
Mar 11, 2021
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It's an old card, it probably needs a deep cleaning and a repaste. Yes i know the heatsink fins might look cleaned by looking at them but trust me, once you'll rip the card open, you'll see how much dust have accumulated at the bottom of it.

If you wanna go the software way, download afterburner and downclock the card manually. 1.5ghz in idle is way too much. No wonder it goes up into the 70s.
 
Jun 4, 2021
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It's an old card, it probably needs a deep cleaning and a repaste. Yes i know the heatsink fins might look cleaned by looking at them but trust me, once you'll rip the card open, you'll see how much dust have accumulated at the bottom of it.
I'll probably need to go down this route, once I've confirmed it's past its warranty period.
If you wanna go the software way, download afterburner and downclock the card manually. 1.5ghz in idle is way too much. No wonder it goes up into the 70s.
I shouldn't need to do that though, should I? Doesn't this indicate an issue with the card's BIOS ?
 

David0ne86

Prominent
Mar 11, 2021
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Could be a miriad of things, from a simple software bug (but you prolly uninstalled/reinstalled the drivers using the ddu method) to the card starting to giving you the "hey im breaking down) signal. Im also pretty sure a 1080 ti is way past its warranty due. Unless you bought it like a year ago or smt. Then you should just rma it.
 
Jun 4, 2021
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Just realised, I have "prefer maximum performance" set. Which apparently prevents the clock speed from dropping even when idle. Will try this,

Everyone seems to recommend setting this, but what's the point, if it will boost the clocks when it needs to anyway.
 

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
Everyone seems to recommend setting this, but what's the point, if it will boost the clocks when it needs to anyway.
That's one of those long running questions. It applies to cpus too.

SUPPOSEDLY, some apps stutter when the frequencies aren't constant... I don't know how much truth there is to that one; the things respond to activity in the milliseconds.

FYI, my 1080Ti 'idles' at 1518mhz. I closed the browser(rule out gpu acceleration) and set NVCP to optimal power. Doesn't go any lower.
Voltage is at 781mv. Windows is on balanced power plan.
Guess that's normal for this card.
 
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I set Power setting to Optimal but nothing changed until I updated the drivers and the clock speed issue is fixed now - much better, stable at 43C with no fan:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/mRXsn8oo4xUi1jUNA

I has the same problem after upgrading my CPU, was fixed at the old CPU's boost clock and I had to restore BIOS settings. it seems to remember the settings from the previous component.
 

bignastyid

Titan
Moderator
Just realised, I have "prefer maximum performance" set. Which apparently prevents the clock speed from dropping even when idle. Will try this,

Everyone seems to recommend setting this, but what's the point, if it will boost the clocks when it needs to anyway.
Iirc in some games during cutscenes, going into a menu or low action the gpu would lower clocks(throttle down) and when it ended it needed to throttle back up it would cause some lag/stuttering which could be annoying. Using max performance mode would stop it from throttling down and alleviate the issue.
 
Reactions: George9t8
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I would argue this is a problem, because I had a 1080 that could idle to around 300-400MHz, with the occasional spike but that's expected.

What's your monitor setup?
Just have the one running 1080p at 144Hz

My issue seems to be resolved now, I think Prefer Max Performance was set globally.

Looking at JayzTwoCents video on the cooling of this card, it should run at 65C under load, without excessive fan speeds, so I think a deep clean is needed.
 
Reactions: hotaru.hino
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I replaced the thermal paste, gave the PCB and heatsink a quick blast with compressed air and there was no difference at all. Looks like the issue is the airflow in my case:

Running MS Flight Sim:

With closed case: 72C with fans at 68%
With open case: 64C with fans at 48%

Fan noise above 60% (2190RPM) is the most I'd like to get to before it starts getting loud.

I know an open case will always be cooler but that seems like an excessive difference.
 
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Last edited:

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
I went for a cheap one with a closed front panel:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MSE3M3W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It was fine with my 1070Ti, that stayed at 70C with lower fans speeds.
Oh. I see how it would be a problem now.

Also, 1070Tis pulled up to ~200w. 1080Tis are in the ballpark of up to ~300w.
That's a lot more energy use that's turning into heat and needs to be removed effectively, which, with that chassis, I can see why it'd be a problem.
Gonna need something a bit more 'open' if you want to drop those temperatures.
 
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Oh. I see how it would be a problem now.

Also, 1070Tis pulled up to ~200w. 1080Tis are in the ballpark of up to ~300w.
That's a lot more energy use that's turning into heat and needs to be removed effectively, which, with that chassis, I can see why it'd be a problem.
Gonna need something a bit more 'open' if you want to drop those temperatures.
Yes, thanks. I've been looking. A review of a Phanteks case showed the difference in temp between the open case and a closed one was only 2C, and they said that wan't a great result!
 
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I've upgraded my case to a Phanteks P400a, now the GPU remains around 70C with fan speeds at around 45%. Cooler and silent.

I never budgeted for a new case when I upgraded my GPU!
 

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