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I have a PC with two graphics cards and four monitors. All the monitors are running 1920x1200 with 16Bit colour. The cards are an NVIDIA GeForce 9500GT and an NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT.

When I run SpeedFan 4.2 it reports that one "GPU" is at 55°C and the other is at 88°C. I can not tell which card this is. 88°C seems very hot to me... should I be worried? If so, any suggestions as to what I can do about it?

EDIT: I don't believe I am straining the graphics cards in any way - I am not playing high speed 3D games. The chip is hot even without running any programs at all (other than the OS).

EDIT: using CPUID HWMonitor I found that it is my 8500 GT that is hot.

UPDATE: I found that the fan on the card had stopped working altogether. I swapped the card for another 8500 GT I had spare and the new one now runs at 55°C.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think you are right on the borderline of safe. Have you checked both GPUs fans? Make sure they are not clogged up. Also, maybe you should try air dusting your computer with a can of air. I would take all precautions.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention something... There have been mentions all over the GPU community of the solder joints melting due to high amounts of lead once the GPU gets above 70 degrees Celsius. I think NVidia has been notorious for this lately.

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The nvidia "solder bump" manufacturing defect seems to be a mobile GPU issue only, but it is possible it happened to desktop GPU's as well, and is not noticed because desktops are generally better cooled than laptops. – kmarsh Jan 19 '11 at 16:33
True @kmarsh (+1 becuase you are correct and good point). I only say GPUs in general because of @Mick having overheating problems which are high enough to worry, and because I know people at the data center who have had that issue before (they were 3d gaming and other similar stuff). They ended up baking the GPUs and making them work again :D. There are online tutorials of this that show you how to bake a GPU with foil and it works! – David Jan 19 '11 at 16:36

That is very warm for a mostly idle GPU. I would make sure to check ventilation and ensure that the fans are not being impeaded. I would also recommend removing any dust build up with a can of compressed air. If this has been the norm, you may need to reevaluate your case/airflow model and perhaps adjust as needed.

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For example, my G80 based 8800 Ultra in a poorly ventilated case idled at 78C to 80C and ran games at 98C and sounded like a hair drier. Moved to a very well ventilated case, it idled at 57C and gamed at a peak of 70C, typically 65C to 68C. Pretty much any video card should run cooler than an 8800 Ultra.

To better place your expectations, the 8500GT is a 40 Watt peak device made with the 80nM die process. As such we would expect it to run cooler than 90nM G80 based dies (8800 GTX/Ultra/early GTS) but hotter than 65nM process cards (such as the G92 8800GT).

While your 8500GT won't ever run as cool as a 65nM 9xxx series, your current temperatures are extreme. You may have a defective card. Airflow to the card may be blocked by some combination of other cards, and IDE cable, other cables or case members. It may be enjoying hot airflow from another heating device, such as the CPU or the other video card.

Simply running the system with the side off and observing airflow with tissue paper should help you identify airflow issues. The best cooling for a video card is often obtained by putting fresh outside air directly on it, usually by mounting a 120mm fan in the case side.

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