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My Radeon 5870 is running near 90°C while not doing anything. I have dusted it, but it made no difference. What, if anything, should I do?

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How old is the card? – Mokubai Mar 8 '11 at 14:13
got it in 2008, maybe early 09 – charlie Mar 8 '11 at 14:19
That card seems to be slightly newer (Q3 2009). – oKtosiTe Mar 8 '11 at 19:07

First thing I would check is the fan on the card. It might not be working properly. If it is that hot, the fan would be running at a fairly high speed. Can you hear the fan working hard? Check the rpm's of the fan. If you can't hear it or it is running at low RPM's, you will need to get a replacement fan or aftermarket cooler.

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I would open the case and check that the fan is working. With temps like that, you should be able to hear the fan working hard. Also run the machine with the side panel off to see if it is a ventilation/cooling issue with the case.

If the fan is running properly and running the computer with no side panel, you should remove the heatsink from the GPU and reapply thermal compound. It is possible that the thermal compound has gone bad, and is no longer transferring the heat properly.

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I do vote for the couple: Thermal compound + Heatsink.

Just to check if your temperature sensor is working you could use a hair dryer set to cool air to see if you can lower the temp. Otherwise your sensor's gone :)

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